CAA Announcements

Shattuck Avenue East Renamed After Immigrant Activist Kala Bagai

On September 15, 2020, the Berkeley City Council renamed Shattuck Avenue East to honor Kala Bagai, an Indian immigrant activist and leader who fought tirelessly against racial prejudice in early 20th century Berkeley. Her life’s work is now commemorated in Kala Bagai Way. Cal alumna, community activist, and historian Barnali Ghosh M.L.A. ’01, along with her husband, Anirvan Chatterjee, created and led the year-long public campaign for the renaming of the two-block eastern stretch of Shattuck Avenue as part of the couple’s continuing efforts to make Berkeley more accepting of its Asian American population and help South Asian immigrants feel welcome in the city.

Golden Bears, New Students Connect from Afar

Summer Welcome Parties are a Cal Alumni Association signature event, hosted by alumni chapters across the country to welcome incoming students and their parents to Cal. Traditionally, alumni volunteers hold these events in person, but this year, in light of COVID-19, Cal Alumni Association (CAA) alumni chapters pivoted to virtual events. The collaborations between our alumni chapters enabled more alumni-student engagement outside of their local communities. This year, there were approximately 2,000 participants, including more than 500 alumni volunteers and 1,300 students.

Alumni Show Up for Students and Each Other at Summer Welcome Parties

Alumni chapters hosted Summer Welcome Parties to give new students a warm, Berkeley welcome, and reconnect with their fellow Cal alumni. From Cal Band music to Cal-themed trivia and casual conversations about Berkeley student life, this year’s Summer Welcome Parties provided much-needed fun and connection in these virtual times.

Best in Show: Cal Doggo Edition

The dog days of summer are coming to a close, so let’s take a moment to acknowledge our furry friends on campus with the most Cal spirit. We might not have a doggy yearbook, but that won’t stop us from curating our own (subjective) yearbook superlatives! If you’re interested in having your pup featured in future Cal Alumni Association posts, tag @calalumniassociation in your photos and hashtag #BerkeleyForLife.

10 Cal Alumnae You Should Know

In honor of the 150th anniversary of women’s admittance at Berkeley, the following list recognizes 10 inspiring women graduates as introduced by California magazine. Our achievements range from producing Pulitzer Prize-winning journalism and saving marine life to challenging stereotypes through stand-up and ensuring children receive proper school lunches.

From the Executive Director: UC Berkeley Is Changing the Paradigm

UC Berkeley is changing the paradigm. Through innovation, we rise to meet our shared challenge—to connect our community during these virtual times. Our approach strengthens our commitment to raising the next generation of leaders and ensuring the diverse voices of our students and alumni are heard.

As Academic Year Begins, Alumni and Scholars Roll Out Virtual “Welcome Mat”

Each year, the Cal Alumni Association’s Alumni Scholars Program team provides an in-person orientation for the incoming scholars. With the campus still closed, alumni and current scholars stepped up and gave friendly greetings and advice to the incoming cohort of 42 first-year and transfer alumni scholars in The Achievement Award Program and The Achievement Award Program Diversity Scholarship.

Who Are You Now? Maria Smith ’19 Asks Us to Look Inward

During the early weeks of the COVID pandemic, many of us hoped the pandemic would quickly pass and we could resume our lives. But Maria Smith ’19 believed this is a time to take stock of things that matter to us. This thought led her to create Who Are We Now?, a series of conversations with Cal alums that challenge us to think about how the pandemic has changed us. The first episode was released in July, and we talked with Smith about the series.

How to Rock a Funky Story: Glynn Washington at the Lair

Lair of the Golden Bear campers recently buckled up to attend a virtual campfire talk with master storyteller Glynn Washington, titled “How To Rock a Funky Story.” Washington is the creator, executive producer, and host of Snap Judgement, a radio show and podcast that offers a raw, immersive, and musical take on storytelling. His unique, cinematic style of storytelling draws listeners and grips them until the end of every one of his shows. Washington’s connection to Berkeley runs deep; in addition to being a Lair camper, from 2007 to 2010, he was the director of Young Entrepreneurs at Haas—now known as Boost—a program at Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.

Stellar Explosion and Exoplanets: Alex Filippenko at the Lair

“Some stars literally explode in a titanic act of self-destruction at the end of their lives, becoming some million or billion times as powerful as the sun,” Filippenko explains to Lair of the Golden Bear campers. “Exploding stars are not just spectacular to look at, but they’re important for our very existence, because during its life a star generates energy by fusing light elements into heavy elements. Right now, the sun is fusing hydrogen to helium; later it will fuse helium to carbon and oxygen. If stars never exploded, the heavy elements would be forever trapped in their cores and thus not available as raw material for the production of new stars and planets.”

Success Is What Your Community Makes It: Mitzi Iniguez ’09

What makes a successful Cal alum? A C-suite position? A parking spot on campus reserved for Nobel Laureates? Answers vary, but everyone remembers their first successful moment at Cal—getting their acceptance letter.

“I remember receiving my acceptance paper back then, and of course, you get to the first page and it talks about ‘Great! You got it!’ and the second sheet is pretty much costs.” And just that quickly, Cal for Mitzi Iniguez ’09 was no longer an option. “I was actually really focused on going to a CSU just because it was way cheaper.”

For Young Golden Bears, Support in COVID-Era Job Search

In response to the challenges faced by Alumni Scholars and recent Berkeley graduates in the current job market, the Alumni Scholars Program set a goal of helping Golden Bears connect with alumni to provide interview tips and moral support.

Who Are We Now? For Young Cal Alums, We’re a Community Speaking Up

Recent national events have changed much about the world we live in and have sparked questions about how such events influence our identities. Both personally and collectively, we are wrestling with our individuality and struggling to have productive, honest conversations with one another. That’s why there’s something very special about Maria Smith, Isabella Marten, Jordan Veasy, and Elijah Hicks—a few of Berkeley’s new and impending alumni who are making a difference by sharing their perspectives on current events.

Donna Hitchens M.A., J.D. ’77 Never Dreamed of Law, Yet Changed the System

It may be surprising that Donna Hitchens M.A., J.D. ’77—who became the first openly lesbian judge elected to the bench in the United States and spent 20 years of her career on the California Superior Court bench—never dreamed of becoming a lawyer, nevermind a judge.

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