CAA Announcements

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.

Margaretta Lin M.A. ’91, J.D. ’91 Finds Her Voice for the Voiceless

Margaretta Lin M.A. ’91, J.D. ’91 says she has a weird superpower. It’s a bit like x-ray vision. Whenever she sees a crisis, she can immediately see opportunities for justice. It’s always said that with great powers come great responsibility, and Lin hasn’t let her power sit dormant. Now a lawyer and serial social justice entrepreneur, Lin says she found herself at Cal and learned there how to yield her power. And as with all people with superpowers, there’s always an origin story.

Cal Alumni Rally Online to Support the UC Berkeley Community

Alumni Pivot to Technology to Interview Scholarship Applicants

Cal alumni have always proven themselves to be special, and this year’s scholarship selection process has definitely demonstrated alumni commitment to current and incoming Berkeley students. 66 alumni interviewed 58 candidates for the African American Initiative (AAI) Scholarship, selecting 44 first-years for the 2020 cohort, the largest class of incoming AAI Scholars since the award’s conception in 2018.

Students Bring the Berkeley Experience Online

Every spring, the Cal Alumni Student Association (CASA) hosts the Overnight Stay Program (OSP) for prospective UC Berkeley students. OSP is a student-run, on-campus weekend event featuring student and alumni panels, campus tours, an overnight dorm stay, and a hike up to the Big C. With its unique student-to-student perspective, OSP offers admitted students a taste of Berkeley, allowing them to decide if Cal is the right fit for them.


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