CAA Announcements

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.

Cal Alumni Guide Scholars Through Uncertainty

On June 26, 2020, the Cal Alumni Association’s Alumni Scholars Program hosted a virtual panel, “Strategies for Job Searching during COVID-19,” to connect Cal alumni with recent grads and current students who are pursuing their career goals during a time of great uncertainty.

Soumya Karlamangla ’13 Reports on the Front Lines of COVID-19

In any society, people play specific roles. Some are leaders, some are nurturers, some are creators, and some are builders. All are important. However, in a time of crisis, the demand for specialized roles goes up. During a pandemic, doctors, nurses, and first responders become especially important. And keeping the public informed—now more than ever—is just as crucial.

A Message from Our Executive Director: Let There Be Light

“Oh Freedom!”—the song you just heard—was what my mother sang with the Freedom Riders.

She trained in Philadelphia and traveled to the South to engage in nonviolent resistance alongside Martin Luther King Jr. As an eight-year-old girl, I marched in the March on Washington. So, I speak to you today not only as Cal Alumni Association’s executive director, but also as a wife, mother, sister, aunt, and grandmother who comes from a family involved in the fight for civil rights in the United States of America.

Meet the 44 Incoming Recipients of the African American Initiative Scholarship

In 2018, the San Francisco Foundation funded the first set of African American Initiative (AAI) scholarships. Administered by the Cal Alumni Association (CAA), these scholarships were awarded to 28 undergraduate students in 2018 and 12 first-year students in 2019 in support of UC Berkeley’s commitment to Black and African American student success.

A Radical Transformation: Susan Stryker’s Fight for Trans Visibility

Susan Stryker Ph.D. ’92 was born in 1961 and earned her bachelor’s degree in letters from the University of Oklahoma in 1983 before receiving her doctorate in history from UC Berkeley. In less than a decade, however, Stryker’s graduation from Cal would quickly become the first of many awards, honors, and recognitions she garnered in her career as a professor, author, filmmaker, and activist in the trans community.


Subscribe to CAA Announcements