Author Archives: Dick Cortén
In the course of a March discussion in the State Capitol about the Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry, which is exploring the development and use of safe chemicals as well as ways to impact public policy, State Senator Joe Simitian had some specific things to say about UC Berkeley’s immense value to California’s economy.
Please be advised that the University of California Education Abroad Programs (UCEAP) in Japan have been suspended and travel assistance providers are assisting students with arrangements to return to the U.S. Please also be aware that the U.S. Department of State issued a travel warning last night.
[slidepress gallery=’emotional_intelligence’] You’re smart. You can read text in high volume and analytically. But: Can you read people? Can you tell, from what’s written on someone’s face, whether they’re showing anger or fear? If they’re sad or embarrassed? Happy? Lusty? Disdainful? … Continued
Featured: a selection of fellowships and grants with application deadlines approaching in the next few months — among them, the Fernström Fellowship, the Jim Fahey Safe Homes for Women Fellowship, the Brookings Predoctoral Research Fellowship, the Rotary Scholarship Grant for Graduate Studies, and the CGS/UMI Distinguished Dissertation Fellowship.
Clearly not a flash in the pan, the Empowering Women of Color Conference will hold its 26th iteration on Saturday, February 19, in the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union. Keynote speakers are Angela Davis, Ericka Huggins, and Dylcia Pagán. Includes workshops, panels, plus vendors, food, performances, and music a-plenty. Admission: free to UC Berkeley students with IDs.
All members of the Berkeley community are welcome to attend a new series of workshops presented by the Berkeley International Office this spring. It’s called The International Student Experience at Berkeley: Pathways to Personal and Academic Success. Workshop titles include “Popular Culture: Why is Everything Super-sized?”, “History of Berkeley”, “Do You Speak American?”, and more.
Sandia’s Summer Institute: Technology and Policy Tools for Energy in an Uncertain World is a new cross-discipline week-long research program for top graduate students from the nation’s premier universities. Twenty select graduate students will collaborate in small teams, working side-by-side with leading scientists from Sandia. Participants will develop new career skills by solving challenging problems in a fast-paced, collegial work environment.
Abstracts are due February 20, 2011, for a paper competition the U.S. Agency for International Development is co-hosting with the World Bank, the Cities Alliance, the International Housing Coalition, and the Woodrow Wilson Center. The contest is targeted at advanced … Continued
I welcome you heartily, if somberly, to the Spring 2011 semester at UC Berkeley.
As no doubt you’re aware from media reports, the Berkeley campus and the UC system as a whole foresee a period ahead of continued austerity. It’s realistic, if small comfort, to view our situation as part of the challenge our nation, and California, face in a time that has been labeled accurately the Great Recession.
Every year, the Graduate Division and the Graduate Assembly team up to call public attention to the exemplary and caring assistance individual faculty members have provided, above and beyond the call of duty, to their students. As the culmination of … Continued
The opportunities listed by name only were announced previously. (Links to applications and other details are available in an earlier post.) Recently received listings are posted below. SSRC Dissertation Proposal Development Fellowships – 1/29 deadline RWTH Aachen University Summer Research Fellowships … Continued
Here is the the GSI Teaching & Resource Center’s spring schedule of Workshops on Teaching, a professional development series for GSIs. These workshops cover a wide variety of topics related to university teaching and the GSI experience. The purpose of … Continued
The trip back to 1980 (or so) in this photo is fascinating enough. It takes us right into the clothing and hair styles of the era, and the equipment, and the scientists’ oneness with with the … Continued
Connecting with Energy For the Berkeley Energy and Resources Collaborative (BERC), the word “collaborative” is key. The graduate-student-led organization brings together people across campus — in the sciences, business, law, and policy — to address pressing energy and natural resource … Continued
In conversation with some graduate students recently, they encouraged me to address an important if unpleasant subject: academic misconduct — cheating, plagiarism, fabrication, facilitation of academic dishonesty, misrepresentation in records, etc. (Some categories and examples are discussed online.) My hope is … Continued
STEVEN CHU, who received his physics Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in 1976, has been selected as the 2011 Alumnus of the Year by the Cal Alumni Association. The U.S. Secretary of Energy and Nobel Laureate is being recognized for his … Continued
The change in campus activity during the curtailment period affects how you need to think about safety. If you see something suspicious, call the police immediately using the non-emergency number, 510-642-6760. For emergency situations—any imminent threat to life or property—make an emergency call from campus, by dialing 9-1-1 from any landline phone, or 510-642-3333 from a cell phone.
The National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP) recently announced two policy changes regarding their fellowship: Starting in the academic year 2011-2012, no employment will be allowed during fellowship tenure, with the exception of NSF approved off-site internships … Continued
Insurance after Graduation Workshops If you are a SHIP member who will be graduating this semester, or if you are losing SHIP eligibility because you are no longer a registered student at UC Berkeley, it is important for you to … Continued
At the Faculty Club in November, two quiet ceremonies took place on different evenings, virtually out of the campus eye, but united by history and an unusual item of neckware. Each marked the presentation of the Una Fellowship, given to an outstanding woman graduate student in the field of history to “foster the spirit of inquiry and individuality” so characteristic of the woman for whom the fellowship is named, Una Smith Ross.
Michael P. Wilson has been a member of the Switzer Network since receiving a Switzer Foundation fellowship in 2002. He is on the cutting edge of the emerging field of green chemistry. A product of the environmental health sciences program at the School of Public Health (M.P.H. ’98, Ph.D. ’03), he has been a research scientist at the school’s Center for Occupational and Environmental Health since receiving his doctorate.
A sea change will take place over the next year in the way the Berkeley campus deals with the thousands of graduate student applications it receives.
The process of taking in the annual avalanche of “apps” and then reviewing and making decisions on them is complex, and has been that way for a long, long time.
The China Post, a major English-language daily newspaper published in Taiwan, led the news this way: “The No. 1 public research university in the United States recently sealed an unprecedented cooperative partnership with 15 academic institutions in Taiwan to increase the international experience and exposure of talented local humanities and social sciences scholars through government-sponsored graduate studies.”
Two trios of grad students made the news recently, not for their trinity but for the interesting work they’ve been doing in very different fields. Three journalism students each made 26-minute documentaries as their master’s theses, and all three were … Continued
In an August 29 feature entitled “30 Ways to Rate a College” for the Chronicle of Higher Education, Alex Richards and Ron Coddington created a clear and revealing interactive map to the major rankings showing what measures are important to … Continued
With 19 out of 150 fellowships awarded — over an eighth of the total, more than any other university — UC Berkeley welcomes the lion’s share of students in energy studies across its college and departments who will be studying here for up to three years, with support from the U.S. Department of Energy.
Four professors who individually teach in the fields of computer science, linguistics, engineering, and business are now part of a rare and highly valued subtribe on campus, the recipients of the Distinguished Teaching Award, which is bestowed annually by the … Continued
Laura Stachel is a doctoral candidate in the School of Public Health. She’s also an M.D. — an obstetrician who earned that degree at UCSF. In 2003, she left private practice to pursue public health. She earned her M.P.H. at … Continued
On its journey to a new building, the School of Public Health has vacated its ancestral headquarters (Warren Hall) and watched (from temporary space in University Hall and elsewhere on campus) as that timeworn structure was obliterated (in 2007) and … Continued
Apparently the most-Berkeley person in the Obama cabinet, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu (former director of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley Ph.D. ’76), makes scientific contributions, and news, even while he takes it easy. “In his down time, often while flying somewhere,” reported AP science writer Seth Borenstein, Chu “relaxes by tackling a scientific conundrum and stretching the limits of technology.”
An instrument box mounted in the depths of a campus classroom and office building is hardly a headline-grabbing weapon against climate change. But because buildings are estimated to be responsible for nearly half of all greenhouse-gas emissions, cutting-edge monitoring systems … Continued
Recognizing the proven leadership of campus faculty and students in addressing climate change, poverty and public health, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in May selected the University of California, Berkeley, as one of 10 universities worldwide to launch a new master’s degree program in development practice.
Julie Kang, a psychology graduate student at UC Riverside, stated the case more baldly than most: “Without graduate students, (the university) quite honestly would come to a screeching halt.” A troupe of graduate division deans and graduate students from each … Continued
The world’s best-known search engine varies its logo playfully on its homepage on holidays and whenever it feels like it. This Fourth of July, it featured the basic DNA of a Rube Goldberg device. One of the country’s most popular cartoonists, Goldberg started here, in the first issues of Cal’s best-known and longest-lasting humor magazine, the California Pelican, which was founded in 1903 and survived, amusing and outraging people for eight decades, give or take.
The Rundown, the blog of The News Hour on PBS, has just published an exclusive: for “the first known time in print,” an essay by Mark Twain on the journalistic interview. In the course of Twain’s career, he was frequently … Continued
For two weeks in May, the lone “bong” of the Campanile chiming one p.m. signaled the end of a long morning of labor for a determined group of Information School doctoral students, plus one from the Haas School of Business. … Continued
276 GSIs from 61 graduate programs were granted this recognition, which is now just over a decade old. The award recognizes the excellence of their teaching. Selections are made according to detailed guidelines, following criteria which may include skills in presenting course materials, capacity to promote critical thinking, and skills in developing course materials that promote learning, as well as evidence such as evaluations by students, letters of nomination by faculty or students, and classroom observation by faculty.
The Graduate Division’s Teaching Effectiveness Awards were presented May 13 in the Women’s Faculty Club. The winners identified a teaching/learning problem in their own classes, laboratories, and sections, then came up with a method, strategy, or idea to address the problem, implemented it, measured its effectiveness, and described the process in an essay. Their essays become part of a permanent archive.
Juliet Holwill had clearly come to trust her fellow UC Berkeley engineering grad student and fellow Aussie Ben Rubinstein, because one sunny September day in 2006 she let him pick her up in a car, blindfold her, and drive her … Continued
In the 1970s, the Berkeley campus was, a veteran faculty member told a concerned new assistant professor, “not a loving institution.” It’s come a long way, baby. The neophyte of long ago who told that anecdote, George Breslauer, has now … Continued
Tom Leonard and I have both been where you are: in graduate school. Mine was Cornell (Ph.D., 1988), while Tom’s was right here at Cal (Ph.D., 1973). We both know how difficult it can be to find the right time … Continued
Despite a budget shortfall, hiring freeze and higher fees, the University of California, Berkeley, continues to attract more and higher quality graduate students, according to new data from the campus’s Graduate Division.
By far, students say their top reasons to come to UC Berkeley include the chance to work with distinguished faculty and to earn their degrees from world-class graduate programs.
Each spring the Cal Alumni Association celebrates the University of California birthday — the anniversary of its founding — with a traditional banquet known as the Charter Gala. This year’s event took place April 24 in San Francisco’s historic Ferry Building. The 2010 award recipients include three alumni with Cal graduate degrees.
Three of the world’s most popular online course lectures — as measured by view-counts of the videos thereof, posted on the video giant YouTube on April 1 of this year — are by UC Berkeley professors, and all three of those have Berkeley degrees. In fact, they have seven Berkeley degrees among the trio, five at the graduate level.
Summer is here! Maybe you’re planning to leave campus over the summer for research or other educational pursuits? If so, then my never-too-frequent admonition about travel insurance is called for. Many of you will be traveling over the summer, while … Continued
Environmental Science, Policy and Management professor Gary Sposito is not fond of having his picture taken. When a friendly deputation (including his GSIs and departmental chair, colleagues, and staff and, oh, God, a photographer) invaded his Wheeler Hall classroom earlier this month to surprise him with an honor, his first impulse was to cross his arms in front of his face, not like a perp-walked mob boss, but more reminiscent of an exhausted exorcist facing the ultimate evil.
About the awards: the Faculty Award for Outstanding Mentorship of GSIs has been given annually since 1999 by the Graduate Division’s GSI Teaching and Resource Center and the Graduate Council’s Advisory Committee for GSI Affairs. The Graduate Council, which guides … Continued
For the last three years, there’s been a new way to honor faculty mentors at Berkeley. Called the Sarlo Distinguished Graduate Student Mentoring Award, it honors faculty for all the ways they help graduate students — not only in research, … Continued
An environmental and health crisis ravaging the Democratic Republic of the Congo has long been overlooked, says Dan Fahey. Despite years of bloody conflict, the region “wasn’t on the radar of the international community,” says Dan, a Ph.D. candidate in Berkeley’s Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management.
What makes some romances sizzle and others go down in flames? That’s a question that fascinates Amie Gordon, a psychology doctoral student who specializes in the well-being of relationships. “If you want to understand what makes society work and brings fulfillment to lives, understanding romantic relationships is vital,” she says.
Dr. Yong-Kyung Lee, better known in the western world as Ken Lee, is a person of many facets. One of Berkeley’s most illustrious alumni from Korea, he’s been a professor, a research scientist in the private sector in the U.S., CEO of a giant telecom corporation in Korea, and he’s now, as a member of South Korea’s National Assembly, a political leader.
What the world needs now — besides love, of course — is a new technology for diagnosing infectious disease that’s inexpensive and portable yet highly effective. The World Health Organization estimates that there were about 247 million cases of malaria … Continued
At least once or twice a year, you can happen upon David Charron’s “Case Studies in Entrepreneurship” course in the Haas School of Business. In this class, students are confronted with a case study of the early days of a … Continued
China and the United States — the world’s top emitters of greenhouse gases — should be at the forefront of clean energy solutions for an ailing planet. That’s the bold vision of the U.S.-China Green Tech Summit, a gathering that drew more than 400 green technology executives, venture capitalists, academics and others to Beijing last fall.
The microphones did not pick up Barack Obama’s private words to MIT biochemist JoAnne Stubbe just before he draped the ribbon with her National Medal of Science around her neck, but his public ones were of gratitude on behalf of … Continued
What she could not know for sure, back then as a 25-year-old grad student, was that this discovery would win her — and her mentor, Elizabeth Blackburn, now at UCSF — a Nobel Prize. … When Greider was in the market for a graduate program, after earning her B.A. at UC Santa Barbara, Berkeley was in her final two choices, narrowed not for the usual reasons, but because those were the ones that would have her.