Alumni Greg Henderson and his team developed the world's first hoverboard.
Alumni Greg Henderson

Head of Hoverboard

While earning his Master’s degree from the Department of Architecture, alumnus Greg Henderson (’03) begin researching ways to build safer buildings to withstand earthquakes. This interest led him to explore how electromagnetic fields could separate buildings from the ground during an earthquake. The idea came to him during his studies when students were given a problem to build a school in San Francisco’s Mission Bay. It was 1989, following the Loma Prieta earthquake (and, coincidentally, just a few years after “Back to the Future” was released).

Today, Henderson and his engineering team at Arx Pax are taking magnetic field technology to create their Magnetic Field Architecture™ and working on the world’s first prototype hoverboard, Hendo Hoverboard. The hoverboard, which can levitate one inch off the ground and hover in any direction, functions by way of four disc-shaped hover engines. Currently, Arx Pax is raising funds on Kickstarter to further develop the hoverboard, with a goal of $250,000.

“I’m an architect, not a scientist,” Henderson recently told Forbes. “The idea came from being able to levitate buildings out of earthquakes. All of the patents I was looking at were for moving objects. So I asked, ‘Why is that? If I can levitate a train, why not a house?’ We want to use the Hendo Hoverboard and hover engines as a way to capture attention and bring attention to an important topic. Our responsibility is to help figure out a better way to build.”


Author and alumna Barbara Rhine
Author and alumna Barbara Rhine

Author and Activist

Alumna Barbara Rhine has always considered herself an activist. After graduating from the School of Law, she became involved with civil rights causes, feminist activities and, from 1973-75, worked as a staff attorney for the United Farmworkers Union (UFW). She defended strikers who were arrested on the picket lines and migrant camp workers who were threated with eviction during the largest agricultural strike in California’s history.

Rhine’s latest effort is the release her mystery book, Tell No Lies, which takes place during the Central Valley farmworker strikes in the 1960s-70s and follows the love story of three radical activists, including a farmworker organizer, a black fugitive and a Berkeley feminist.



Author and alumna Vicki Iovine will be Executive Producer for Bravo's Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce.
Author Vicki Iovine

Author and the Original Girlfriend

After graduating from the School of Journalism, Vicki Iovine (’76) became a writer for magazines and newspapers, including writing a column for Huffington Post. Today, Lovine, a mother of four, is the author of the highly successful Girlfriends’ Guide series. Some of her titles include Girlfriends’ Guide to Pregnancy, Girlfriends’ Guide to Surviving the First Year of Motherhood and Girlfriends’ Guide to Toddlers. Now, Iovine is getting ready for her latest role as Executive Producer for Bravo’s Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce, set to premiere on December 2, 2014. Based on Iovine’s books, the series follows a self-help book author who goes on a journey of self-discovery after her “perfect” life falls apart and she separates from her husband. The series will star Lisa Edelstein, Janeane Garofalo, Beau Garrett, Necar Zadegan and Paul Adelstein. Guest stars will include Laverne Cox and Bernadette Peters.

Categories: December 2014, Headlines
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About Sarah McClure

Sarah McClure is a Master's candidate in the Graduate School of Journalism. She is studying multimedia journalism and covers the environment and Latin America.