CAA Announcements

For Nina Ichikawa ’00, Agriculture Is More than Farming—It’s Life

People of Japanese descent have a long history in the Bay Area—long enough that many consider themselves as American as they are Japanese. Fourth-generation Japanese American Nina Ichikawa ’00 makes that same assertion. Her family has been in the US since the late 19th century when they settled in Richmond.

A Berkeley Reading List for the Holidays (or Anytime)

There’s no better time than these chilly months to ensconce ourselves in comfy furniture with a book. After the year we’ve had, some quality time with a brilliant read is just what the doctor ordered. No matter what your genre of choice is, this list will hopefully introduce you to the book(s) that keeps you company during a holiday season unlike any other. Happy reading, and happy holidays from the Cal Alumni Association!

From the Executive Director: At the Forefront of Civil Rights

Women have long been at the forefront of civil rights.

As we commemorate the past 150 years of women at Cal, we are offered a chance to reflect on the legacies of resilient women who laid a strong foundation for UC Berkeley. Throughout our university’s history we find women leading us forward: teaching respect for human life, fighting for progress, and creating avenues for change.

The Berkeley Changemaker: How Leaders Set Winning Culture

As a continuation of its partnership with Berkeley Changemaker™, the Cal Alumni Association held The Berkeley Changemaker Workshop: How Leaders Set Winning Culture! for its current Alumni Scholars. The workshop was facilitated by Rich Lyons, UC Berkeley’s first-ever chief innovation and entrepreneurship officer. Lyons, a Berkeley Changemaker faculty member, previously served as the dean of Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, oversaw Goldman Sachs University as its chief learning officer, and taught on the business faculty at Columbia University for six years.

Cal Connections: Regina Jackson ’84

I was a transfer student from the College of Alameda. I found an incredibly supportive academic home with the support of Dean of Student Services Michelle Woods, and many African American professors, including Harry Edwards, Barbara Cristian, and Percy Hintzen. I sang in the gospel choir and was a featured soloist during the 1984 Black Graduation, singing Irene Cara’s “Out Here On My Own” from the film Fame. Back then, [African Americans] were 3% of the student body.

Cal Alumni Meet with Chancellor Carol Christ

The Cal Alumni Club of Chicago hosted a talk with Chancellor Carol Christ. Chancellor Christ gave the chapter members an update on the state of the university and insight into how decisions are made, especially as they relate to the pandemic and out-of-state students. She also shared UC Berkeley’s new initiatives and efforts to engage with alumni. The Cal Alumni Club of Chicago is grateful to Chancellor Christ for taking the time to speak with its members.

Good News from Berkeley: November 18, 2020

The University of California has adopted systemwide gender identity and lived name options for UC-issued documents and information systems; milestones in Berkeley and Sacramento with ripples reaching far beyond.

Gift Ideas for the Ultimate Cal Fan

Just about every Cal grad and fan owns a Cal sweatshirt or hat. So, what do you give the ultimate Cal fan during the holidays? Don’t worry—the Cal Alumni Association (CAA) has you covered this season with our list of the best Cal gifts. Some are extra, some are out there, but isn’t that what the Berkeley spirit is all about? We think so.

Felicia Yamaguchi Lives Up to Her Name

My name is Felicia Yamaguchi. My first name derives from the Spanish word feliz, meaning happiness, and my last name derives from the Japanese word for mountain, signifying unwavering strength. With that being said, you can say my mother had high expectations for the person I would become.

Emily Pilloton Is Opening Up the World of STEM—and Possibilities—for Girls

It’s late September, and Emily Pilloton ’03 is at Girls Garage, a nonprofit she founded in 2013 in Berkeley. Girls Garage recently reopened for small groups of girls eager to get back to the space and get building again. “I just feel like failure is not an option,” she explains. “This space means a lot to the girls that come here.” 

Coming Together: Building Community After Cal

During Homecoming, on October 18, the Cal Alumni Association and its Alumni Chapters hosted more than 40 alumni and students to connect, build community, and learn from each other.

Alumni and students exchanged words of wisdom and discussed opportunities to stay connected to Cal through chapter events and mentorship programs.

2020’s Best and Brightest Honored at Annual Berkeley Charter Gala

In partnership with the UC Berkeley Foundation, the Cal Alumni Association honored this year’s Achievement Award recipients at a virtual—yet lively—version of the Berkeley Charter Gala on October 8, 2020. Get to know the 2020 Alumna of the Year and the rest of these esteemed award recipients.

Berkelium 5K Virtual Run/Walk a Huge Success!

At the close of our first-ever virtual Berkelium 5K Run/Walk, Friday, October 16, nearly 700 participants displayed a renewed sense of togetherness among the people in our diverse Cal community—even in the virtual world we find ourselves in now. From all over the globe, alumni and friends of Cal sported blue and gold and fervently showed pride in Berkeley as they ran or walked the 5K. Berkelium 5K participants conjured up Cal spirit all the way from Canada, England, Hong Kong, India, Mexico, and Switzerland!

Ashneel Pratap’s “let there be light” moment

At 15, I realized that my grandmother was completely illiterate, my parents didn’t have a proper education, and that we had slavery in our family. I began to learn about how Indian slavery occurred up until the 1950s and how my own grandmother was in bondage all the way up to this time. I learned about how political strife led to the deaths of thousands of my ancestors. And finally when I was 20, did I realize the impact my ancestral history was having on me this whole time. I felt as though I couldn’t attend a prestigious university like Cal, that maybe I should just work in a labor profession, just like my parents and those before me. All of this changed when a cousin of mine said, “Why don’t you apply to Cal? Why don’t you try for Cal?”

Top Draft Picks: Berkelium 5K Edition

Our first Berkelium 5K Walk/Run was a huge success, with more than 700 Golden Bears, their friends, and families participating internationally. We are so impressed with everyone who laced up their running shoes, threw on their favorite Cal gear, and got moving for this virtual event.


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