May 31 update: Mayim Bialik withdraws as commencement speaker for UCLA College.
Mayim Bialik, actress, bestselling author, entrepreneur and UCLA alumna, will be the distinguished alumna speaker for the UCLA College commencement on Friday, June 15. She will speak at both commencement ceremonies, scheduled for 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., in Pauley Pavilion.
“Dr. Bialik embodies the values of a Bruin,” said Patricia Turner, senior dean of the UCLA College. “Throughout her career, she has shown how hard work, determination and civic duty can lead to success. I know that our graduates will be inspired by her story as they set out to make their own mark in the world.”
Bialik currently stars in the hit CBS comedy “The Big Bang Theory,” for which she has received two Critics’ Choice Awards, four Emmy Award nominations and seven Screen Actors Guild Award nominations. From playing the young version of Bette Midler’s character in the movie “Beaches” to guest spots on TV series such as “Webster,” “Murphy Brown” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” in addition to her turn as Blossom Russo in the iconic 1990s sitcom “Blossom,” Bialik has played numerous beloved roles throughout her dynamic acting career.
An acclaimed author, Bialik has written No. 1 New York Times bestseller “Girling Up: How to Be Strong, Smart and Spectacular,” “Beyond the Sling: A Real-Life Guide to Raising Confident, Loving Children the Attachment Parenting Way,” “Mayim’s Vegan Table” and the soon-to-be-released “Boying Up: How to Be Brave, Bold and Brilliant.” Bialik has recently dedicated her skills as a writer, actress, neuroscientist and mother to GrokNation, a community website she started in 2015 with the aim of having people of all ages and backgrounds engage in conversations on contemporary issues.
After “Blossom” ended, Bialik left acting and earned her bachelor of science degree in neuroscience from UCLA in 2000, with a minor in Hebrew and Jewish studies. She went on to study for her doctorate in neuroscience, also at UCLA, but took a break from her studies in 2005 to return to acting. She went back to UCLA and earned her doctorate in 2007. Her thesis examined the role of oxytocin and vasopressin in obsessive-compulsive disorder in adolescents with Prader-Willi syndrome.
While at UCLA, Bialik was a dedicated student leader in the Jewish student group UCLA Hillel, founding a women’s Rosh Chodesh group, chanting and blowing shofar for the High Holiday services, and conducting and writing music for UCLA’s Jewish a capella group.
Earlier commencement ceremonies include the School of Law on Friday, May 11; the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA on Friday, June 1; and the School of Dentistry on Sunday, June 3.
Learn more about UCLA’s 2018 commencement activities, including UCLA College departmental ceremonies.