International observers have long viewed America’s higher education system, including a cadre of high-quality major research universities such as Berkeley, as one of its most important socioeconomic advantages. As the first nation to pioneer the idea of mass higher education, the United States proved that the talent, training, and creativity of a nation’s citizens are as important for generating economic prosperity as, for example, its natural resources. It was true over the past hundred years, and is much more so now.
Law + Policy
As it celebrates its tenth year, The Achievement Award Program (TAAP) is also celebrating an even bigger achievement—reaching its first fundraising goal of $10 million. And with that comes another challenge, as CAA plans to raise an additional $10 million over the next ten years.
When Shannon May was putting together her doctoral research project, she had a specific field setting in mind. May, an anthropology student at Berkeley, wanted to learn about life for the majority of China’s population. That meant looking past the glittering coastal cities and focusing instead on the country’s rural population—what May calls the “800 million unnamed.”
We began with the idea of a more porous, transit-friendly neighborhood, one that would feature a network of green pathways for pedestrians and bicyclists that allowed easy access to public transportation. We included buildings of different heights and designs to produce a more demographically diverse and attractive neighborhood, and small, embedded courtyards to provide public spaces for recreation and socializing. But we didn’t stop there. What if we could design a neighborhood that would generate its own energy on site and treat and provide its own water?
Since 1988, Mark Levine, group leader of the China Energy Group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, has been doing the highly technical work of measuring and assisting China’s progress on energy efficiency. But one evening last April, he carried out his duties by fussing over his backyard BBQ. While Levine prepped the salmon, Zhou Dadi, whom Levine described as “the most knowledgeable person about energy in China in the world,” scurried around cleaning deck chairs with paper towels.
Guantánamo is the name of a bay in Cuba and the American naval base that has operated there since 1898. But since 2001, when the United States government built a detention center on the base to incarcerate the enemy as defined by the Bush administration’s “war on terror,” the name has become synonymous with that detention center and the “aggressive interrogation techniques” practiced there. Like “Abu Ghraib,” “Guantánamo” is a name that conjures a mix of shame, dread, and uneasiness. Most of us would rather not think about it or about the men behind the razor wire.
From his tiny upstairs office in San Francisco’s Mission Neighborhood Health Center, where a large portrait of Our Lady of Guadalupe watches over the other Catholic saints covering the walls, Chris Sandoval tries to imagine how his clinic will handle a rush of traumatized patients after a catastrophic earthquake. Most of the nonprofit clinic’s clients are Spanish-speaking and uninsured, and Sandoval, the training and development director, knows that a quake’s no idle worry. The U.S.
Since July 1, 2006, I’ve had the best job in academia: executive vice chancellor and provost at the University of California, Berkeley. The position, both endlessly challenging and exhilarating, is the culmination of a 37-year career as faculty and allows me to give back to the university in ways that stretch beyond research and teaching.
Once upon a housing boom in the Bay Area, million-dollar studios seemed cheap. Short-order cooks were flipping condos instead of hamburgers. Every other cab driver seemed to be moonlighting as a mortgage broker. The proverbial investment-savvy shoe-shine boy—grandson, maybe, of the one whose financial advice gave Joe Kennedy the signal to put his money in the mattress just before the 1929 market crash—was way long on South of Market lofts.
As a girl growing up in Los Angeles, UC Berkeley always held a fascination for me. I loved hearing about the pioneering role it played in the Free Speech and Civil Rights Movements. I even carried an image of the City of Berkeley as a place alive with diversity and openness. So it was no surprise to my family and friends when Berkeley topped my list of college choices.
He may be the most powerful man in the world, but Barack Obama seems determined not to act like it. Making his official international debut at the G20 summit in London recently, the new president laid out a striking manifesto of modesty. “We exercise our leadership best when we are listening,” he declared, “when we recognize that the world is a complicated place and that we are going to have to act in partnership with other countries, when we lead by example, when we show some element of humility and recognize that we may not always have the best answer….”