Student & Alumni Profiles
Selina Shieunda Makana is a PhD student in African American Diaspora Studies (AADS) from Kenya, and benefits from fellowship support made possible by Berkeley-based art dealers of African and Asian imports, Beany and Dick Wezelman. The personal bond they have … Continued
The new Bay Bridge is still more than a year away from opening, but it’s already inspiring the art of Amanda Hughen, M.F.A. ’03. Hughen and her frequent collaborator, Jennifer Starkweather, created a series of abstract prints, paintings, and drawings … Continued
College Writing Programs at Berkeley is, for the record, a singular proper noun. And no, that will not be on the final exam. There is, for the record, no final exam. Even in R1A, a required class for every … Continued
In August, the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation announced the winners of its half-million dollars worth of environmental fellowships and grants for 2011. There were 20 of them around the United States, master’s and Ph.D. students. Four — a fifth of the total — are pursuing studies at Berkeley.
On June 30, Duggan handed over the reins of his associate deanship, having previously retired in 2005 from his formal teaching duties in two departments. Read a tribute to his long and distinguished career, view a slideshow of the decades, see messages from his colleagues and former students — and add your own message, if you like!
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.
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.
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.
Elizabeth Blackburn, then a Berkeley professor, challenged her Ph.D. student Carol Greider in the 1980s with some research that clearly wasn’t easy. It turned out to be breakthrough stuff in molecular biology, but neither suspected at the time that it, with … Continued
The name of one of Berkeley’s most distinguished alumni, Earl Warren (undergraduate class of 1912, law school class of 1914), three-term governor of California and history-making chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, graced a large building along Oxford Street for over half a century — until the structure was torn down in 2008 to make way for the badly-needed Li Ka Shing Center for Biomedical and Health Sciences, named for its lead donor.
Claire Weldin took her master’s degree in architecture to London a decade ago, “fascinated by the complex structure of cities: the multiplicity of urban experience and, underlying it, the presence of the past.” Today, as an Associate with Allies and Morrison Architects, she is leading the £370 million phase 2 King’s Cross Underground Station redevelopment.
While the spanakopita rests on the counter to cool, George Rubissow suggests a walk through the vineyards. He leads us to the picturesque front porch of his yellow farmhouse, its blue chairs surrounded by spring flowers that tumble downhill toward a breathtaking view of the Napa Valley. We follow him uphill past a small redwood grove to the sustainable vineyards, environmentally-friendly and planted to follow the contours of the property. This is Mount Veeder, an appellation famous for Cabernet Sauvignon, where for nearly a quarter of a century Rubissow and his partner-in-wine Tony Sargent have produced award-winning wines.
At the annual Chancellor’s Awards for Public Service ceremony, which took place April 24, two Ph.D. candidates were singled out for their extensive community work. Paula Agentieri of the School of Education’s social and cultural studies program was honored for her 14 semester of serving as the lead GSI and co-cordinator for Education 190, the core class for education minors, during which she has taught more than 1,000 students and has trained more than 70 undergraduate teaching assistants to teach and facilitate a class democratically and to serve the local community.
In a field where the progress of research and career are usually sequential, orderly, and predictable, Rich Muller is a wild card, rocketing wherever the first tantalizing inkling of a puzzle takes him until he has the explanation pinned down satisfactorily. Then he abruptly goes elsewhere, as if cued by the Monty Python catchphrase (first used to introduce a sketch about a man with three buttocks) — “And now for something completely different.”
The GSI Center: from baby steps to national example BEING A GRADUATE STUDENT INSTRUCTOR is not only a good way to offset the expenses of your graduate education, it’s a heck of a good way to develop your skills and … Continued
Art Practice M.F.A. candidate Miguel Arzabe is a West Oakland urbanite who loves the outdoors. He documents his wilderness hikes on video and in abstract paintings, and has also brought the experience back through a medium many of us have … Continued
Reno native and triathlete Sara McAllister has a lot going for her these days. The newly minted Berkeley mechanical engineering Ph.D. and current post-doc not only successfully participated in some 16 triathlons–including a grueling half-Iron Man Aquabike race, she also recently appeared on the History Channel series “The Universe,” …
It’s very hot outside, the sun is burning, and the light is violent at noon. I walk alongside my sister on an earthy red path through sugar cane fields, on our way home from school. We are thirsty; the sugar cane is refreshing and delicious. This is Africa. This is Bouaké in the early 1960s when it still is in the middle of nowhere, a big village in the bush.
“After graduating from Carnegie Mellon with my B.S. in mathematics and computer science, I worked in consulting, traveled in Asia, did my military service in France, before wishing to return to academic endeavors. After considering carefully my options, Berkeley stood out for its exceptional “value proposition,” as the business world likes to say — stunning academics and fabulous quality of life.
Richard Ladner, another winner of the 2008 Purpose Prize, not only has a Ph.D. from Berkeley, by one of those curious coincidences he received it in 1971, the same year as Arlene Blum (see above). While hers was in biophysical … Continued
Throughout his career, Richard Halkett has focused on technology, innovation, and education, in relation to foreign policy. He currently serves as the Director of Strategy & Research for Cisco Global Education. From 2006 to 2008, he was the Executive Director of Policy & Research at the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) in London, where he developed programs to enrich and strengthen innovation policy in the U.K. Before NESTA, he worked at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a large foreign policy think tank in Washington D.C.
Halkett graduated from Oxford University with a double first and a university prize from Merton College. After Oxford, he co-founded Boxmind, an Oxford—based technology company, which he ran from 2000 to 2003. He came to Berkeley in 2003 as a U.K.-U.S. Fulbright Scholar in the Goldman School of Public Policy. Not long after he arrived, he and a classmate founded PolicyMatters, the journal of the Goldman School.
Toward the end of September 2008, the New York Times reviewed a concert by the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and mentioned, in the same breath, music by Rachmaninoff, Respighi, and a new work, “Fiesta!” “by a young Peruvian composer, Jimmy … Continued
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer told its readers on September 22, 2008, that University of Washington professor David Montgomery was one day into his sabbatical, wondering how to cut expenses while writing a book, when he was contacted by the MacArthur Foundation. … Continued
A summer job during high school proved to be life-changing for Barbara Staggers. The high achieving teen who aspired to be a ballerina or maybe a veterinarian was working for a recreation program for inner-city kids. “My job was to teach swimming and gymnastics so at the end of the day they’d be too tired to get into trouble,” she recalls. Among her youngsters was a quiet, beautiful 14-year old girl — until a man came to take her away. “He looked like the classic pimp from the movies and said he needed her to work,” recounts Staggers, who went to her supervisor. But when they phoned the girl’s mother, she said, “Let her go. We need the money.”
Few disciplines are as traditional, in every possible sense of the term, as the field of Classics. Indeed, it could be said that Classics – the intensive study of Greek and Roman literature, language, and culture – is an originary site for the notion and study of tradition. traditio (a noun: “handing over, delivery; the handing down of knowledge”) and its cognate tradere (a verb: “to hand over; to hand down”) are both Latin words. These two terms encode a double sense: first, the notion of making a present-time gift and second, the notion of wisdom handed down through time. One powerful example of this duality is the Homeric rhapsode, a bard who professes in each performed song to enact “Homer” – the ever-same, traditional poems by the ever-same poet. Yet each performance is a different event. Ancient evidence suggests that different performances produced drastically different, if structurally similar, poems. Each performance thus relies upon tradition (traditio), even while it delivers (tradit) the present-time gift of a new poem.
In February 1999 when I learned that I was being offered a Berkeley Graduate Fellowship, I had been a part-time English as a Second Language (ESL) instructor at a small community college in Washington state for 10 years. In 1997 I had been awarded a Part-time Faculty Award of Excellence at my college, based on both my teaching and program development work, and then in 1998, I was turned down for a full-time position. I was ready for something new, and excited about the idea of doing research on the social contexts of second language learning in immigrant communities. I also had a house, a husband, two children, and a large extended family in my town in Washington, and it was difficult to consider uprooting. Berkeley’s offer of a prestigious fellowship helped to reassure me that I wasn’t completely out of my mind.
Reams of academic research abound across the country on how to raise happy children, but who has the time to read this myriad of findings, boil down the facts, and then turn them into practical parenting advice? The University of California, Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center is taking on the job with its new website on how to foster joy and avoid brattish behavior in children.
In mid-August, John Gofman died at the age of 88. He was widely known in a variety of roles: physician, cardiac researcher, radiation scientist, and nuclear safety advocate. While working for his Ph.D. here in the 1940s under Glenn T. … Continued
One September evening in 1970, working alone in my chemistry lab in Latimer Hall, I was preparing nucleic acid for my final experiments for my Ph.D. in biophysical chemistry. The lab was quiet except for the repetitive tick of the spinning centrifuge. After finishing the purification, to my horror, I knocked the vial onto the floor, where it shattered, the precious liquid lost.