UC Merced founding faculty member and literature Professor Jan Goggans was admired for her kindness and for putting others first. She placed students at the center of their learning, calling out talents by validating their own lived experiences.
Goggans, who died at her home Feb. 3, arrived at the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts in 2005 and helped shape the school’s culture. Colleagues described her as UC Merced’s best imaginable ambassador, working tirelessly with Admissions to show students what a welcoming university is like. Her outreach also helped bring many faculty and staff to campus.
While Goggans taught mostly literature classes, she was an interdisciplinary cultural critic. Her research and classes focused on the often marginalized and forgotten, including working-class readers, Dust Bowl migrants and women whose writing was trivialized by those in power.
A memorial event for Goggans was held March 2 on campus.
Colleagues and students share their memories of Jan Goggans in the latest issue of Inside UC Merced.