CAA Announcements

Cris Gomez ’15: Veteran Continues to Serve at Cal

Cris Gomez ’15 never considered going to UC Berkeley a dream of his. Attending Cal just seemed out of reach to him—until he connected with people who showed him that Cal provided resources for non-traditional students, and that a bustling community of people from all walks of life awaited him.

Community-Builder Omotara Oloye ’21

Four years before Omotara Oloye ’21 was born, her parents immigrated from Nigeria to the United States. “They moved in hopes that they could give their children a better life,” Omotara says. “My parents knew that in order for their children to have a better life, for their children’s children to have a better life, going to college would level the playing field.”

An Evening of Connection at Striving to Thrive: The Resilience of the Sisterhood

On Tuesday, November 19, the Cal Alumni Association’s Berkeley Network program invited alumni and students to Alumni House for an evening of networking, discussion, and empowerment at Striving to Thrive: The Resilience of the Sisterhood. This event, part of The Berkeley Network’s Alumnae Career Advancement Series, aims to provide a space for Cal women to pursue professional development, discuss career advancement, and build meaningful relationships.

Creating Opportunities for Education

Aaliyah Karunaratne ’21 got her first taste of Berkeley when she was a high school student in Pittsburg, California. Her school’s cross country team often ran through the UC Berkeley campus for practice, and Aaliyah fell in love with the city.

Neither of Aaliyah’s parents attended college. “There weren’t expectations put on me to go to college,” she recalls. While her aunts invested time taking her on college tours and campus visits, Aaliyah recalls that the pressure on her to attend college was predominantly self-made.

Access to Opportunities

By her own standards, Alishba Sardar ’23 isn’t from the most typical Pakistani family. Born in Pakistan as the youngest of six daughters, Alishba remembers her parents impressing upon her the importance of college from a very young age. “My parents wanted all of their daughters to go to college,” Alishba says. “It was expectation for us to go.”

Cal Alumni Association Chinese Chapters Co-host 2019 Berkeley China Summit

On Sunday, October 6, the Cal Alumni Association Chinese Chapter partnered with the Berkeley Chinese Alumni International Association (BCAIA) and other UC Berkeley alumni and student organizations to co-host the Berkeley China Summit. The Berkeley China Summit 伯克利中美峰会 (“BCS”) is an annual all-day conference held on the Cal campus to build relationships between business leaders and investors in China and the Bay Area and encourage innovation in technology, engineering, and business.

Xavier Serrato: One of TAAP’s “Founding 15”

Growing up in Los Angeles, Xavier Serrato ’04 knew that going to college might be a long shot. He was raised by his mom, who emigrated from Mexico and cleaned houses to support Xavier and his two sisters. Beginning at age 14, Xavier worked to help put food on the table for his family.

Xavier was an excellent student, but the cost of a college education was daunting. “College seemed impossible,” says Serrato, who is now the founder of two tech companies. “The question was always on my mind—how am I going to pay for college?”

Remembering Shirley Conner ’48, Cal Alumni Association President 1981–1983

We are saddened to announce that Shirley Conner ’48, a changemaker and leader in the Cal community, passed away on October 4, 2019. Conner’s loss is felt deeply by all those who were lucky enough to cross paths with her, as she touched the lives of countless Golden Bears throughout her service to UC Berkeley.

A Life-Changing Commitment to Community Service

Growing up in Norwalk, in Southern California, Gabriela Galicia ’09 knew she was college-bound, but assumed she would attend a school nearby. Then during her junior year of high school, while participating in a program for high-achieving students from low-income, first-generation college families, she went on a college tour of the Cal campus.


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