Grad-student-led project gets a first prize in the Big Ideas @ Berkeley contest

Acopio, a social venture that translates from the Spanish as "harvest," picked up the $10,000 first-place prize in the Big Ideas scaling-up category, which helps previous contest winners advance existing projects. The information technology-based, development venture aims to improve the circumstances of rural, small-hold coffee farmers and cooperatives in Latin America.

Berkeley graduate students have many outlets to showcase their work

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 issues. BERC also helps to link the Berkeley campus to other professionals working in these areas.

Donor Profile: Eric Stern

Eric Stern’s job takes him globetrotting. But when he isn’t away, the Cal alumnus has a standing dinner date. You’ll find him around the family table, savoring a meal and catching up with his wife, Rachel Kaganoff Stern, and their school-aged sons, Henri and Jonah.

An evening MBA in the limelight

On Wall Street, a national magazine for retail brokers and the financial services industry, has named Valerie Garcia Houts M.B.A. ’99 to its annual list of “Top 40 Advisors Under 40.”

Catching up with Richard Blum

San Francisco’s Richard Blum B.S. ’58, M.B.A. ‘59, widely known as a private equity financier and philanthropist, also gained considerable visibility as chairman of UC’s Board of Regents, in which role he publicly critiqued the ten-campus system and led an overhaul in the Office of the President.

A knighthood for Berkeley alumnus Arun Sarin

When the British Foreign Office announced spring honors for 2010 it listed all the specific awards the Queen “was graciously pleased to approve.” They included, in “The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (Civil Division),” the name Arun Sarin, “for services to the communication industry.” Born in central India, Sarin has two 1978 master’s degrees from Berkeley, one an M.B.A. and the other in material sciences and engineering.