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Honoring Achievement Award Recipients 2024

Each year, the Berkeley community gathers together to celebrate the incredible work and achievements of Golden Bears who have shaped industries and benefited humankind.

May 31, 2024
UC Berkeley campus scene at sunset

The University honors these alumni and faculty with the Achievement Awards, co-presented by the UC Berkeley Foundation and the Cal Alumni Association. These awards were formally presented at the Berkeley Charter Gala, on Thursday, May 16, 2024. 

Meet the recipients of the 2024 Achievement Awards:

William Whitaker
Courtesy of William Whitaker

Alum of the Year
William T. Whitaker, Jr. M.J. ’16

Throughout his long and illustrious reporting career, Bill Whitaker M.J. ’16 has told the stories that define our world.

The “60 Minutes” correspondent has reported on everything from race and policing to prescription drug price-fixing and virus hunters working to prevent another pandemic. The 2023–24 season marks Whitaker’s 10th on the nation’s longest-running television newsmagazine.

The Media, Pennsylvania local started at KQED in San Francisco. He’s also worked with CBS and the Washington Post throughout his career, interviewing and profiling people such as Barbra Streisand, former first lady Michelle Obama, and current Vice President Kamala Harris.

Whitaker first came to Berkeley in the late 1970s to enroll in the Berkeley journalism master’s program, returning to finish his degree in 2016. He remains active with the university, serving on the Graduate School of Journalism dean’s advisory board. In 2021, Whitaker helped launch the Dean’s Fellows Program, a leadership development initiative supporting first-generation college students. 

Whitaker is this year’s recipient of the Alum of the Year Award, which honors a prominent alum who exemplifies the very best of Berkeley.

Kathy Kwan
Courtesy of Kathy Kwan

Berkeley Founders Award
Kathy Kwan ’87, MBA ’93, M.P.H. ’93

Through her philanthropy and longtime service to Berkeley, Kathy Kwan ’87, MBA ’93, M.P.H. ’93 is guided by a singular mission: ensuring that students have the opportunities and resources necessary to thrive. 

After a decade working in project management and finance for Kaiser Permanente, Kwan retired and dedicated herself to a new path as a philanthropist, focusing her giving on opportunities to further educational equity, job skills, and professional development.

Since 2006, the Eustace-Kwan Family Foundation, of which Kwan is president, has granted more than $60 million to UC Berkeley, funding summer internships and programs in Student Affairs and other Bay Area causes. Underlying her altruism is a belief that all students should have the access, opportunities, and resources that they need to thrive.

Kwan is this year’s recipient of the Berkeley Founders Award, which celebrates an alum or friend who has given long-term distinguished leadership and service to a broad range of academic, athletic, philanthropic, and other programs across the university.

Carrie Lozano
Courtesy of Carrie Lozano

Campanile Excellence in Achievement Award
Carrie Lozano ’96, M.J. ’05

Carrie Lozano ’96, M.J. ’05 has spent her professional life creating new understandings of the world in which we live, one authentic, impactful story at a time. She is the president and CEO of San Francisco-based ITVS, a congressionally mandated nonprofit that co-produces and presents documentaries on public television.

Before ITVS, she was the director of documentary film and artist programs at the Sundance Institute, creating and leading programs that supported artists through funding, fellowships, and creative labs.

Lozano grew up in Los Angeles and is an alum of Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, where she was also a postgraduate fellow in the Investigative Reporting Program. She serves on the School of Journalism’s advisory board.

Lozano is one of this year’s recipients of the Campanile Excellence in Achievement Award, which recognizes an alum whose remarkable professional achievements reflect the excellence of a UC Berkeley education.

Jennifer Madden
Courtesy of Jennifer Madden

Campanile Excellence in Achievement Award
Jennifer S. Madden ’94, J.D. ’97

Jennifer S. Madden ’94, J.D. ’97 has tirelessly fought her entire career to ensure the safety of girls at risk of being forced into sex trafficking. She was voted in 2016 to a judgeship in the Alameda County Superior Court, where she has presided over family law and criminal cases.

At the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office, Madden led the Human Exploitation and Trafficking (HEAT) Unit, for which she managed a team of attorneys and support staff who prosecuted traffickers. She also trained community groups and law enforcement agencies to combat the practice.

Raised by a single mother in the Central Valley, and the first in her immediate family to attend law school, Madden mentors Berkeley Law students and young lawyers in an attempt to diversify the legal profession, including the judiciary. In her undergraduate years, she was a double major in political science and African American studies.

Madden is one of this year’s recipients of the Campanile Excellence in Achievement Award, which recognizes an alum whose remarkable professional achievements reflect the excellence of a UC Berkeley education.

Omar Yaghi in the lab with students
Omar Yaghi in the lab with students. / Courtesy of Omar Yaghi

Fiat Lux Faculty Award
Omar Yaghi

Omar Yaghi is the James and Neeltje Tretter Chair Professor of Chemistry and has taught at UC Berkeley since 2012. He is the co-director of Berkeley’s Bakar Institute of Digital Materials for the Planet (BIDMaP) and has pioneered the development of materials to capture water from the air, potentially bringing relief to drought-stricken corners of the world.

Yaghi’s academic and research efforts are informed by personal experience. He grew up in Amman, Jordan, in the 1970s, a time when the city only provided a few hours per week of water access to residents.

Yaghi is this year’s recipient of the Fiat Lux Faculty Award, which honors a faculty member whose extraordinary contributions go above and beyond the call of duty to advance the university’s philanthropic mission and transform its research, teaching, and programs.

Carrie Lozano
Koslo, pictured right. / Courtesy of Chloë Koslo

Mark Bingham Award for Excellence in Achievement by Young Alumni
Chloë Allaire Cozima Koslo ’19

Chloë Koslo ’19 is no stranger to the triumphs and travails facing the human spirit. A conservation resource studies graduate, she was instrumental in coordinating natural disaster recovery efforts for the small Los Angeles County community she calls home, following a wildfire in 2020 and a flash flood and mudslide in 2022.

She is the president of the Lakes Town Council in Lake Hughes, Calif., and is pursuing a master’s in psychology. She also developed WhatsMyRainbow, an online resource for the LGBTQIA+ community that offers insights and an exploration of identities. This service has its roots at Berkeley, where Koslo learned to better accept herself and others inside and outside the classroom.

Koslo is this year’s recipient of the Mark Bingham Award for Excellence in Achievement by Young Alumni, which commends a young alum who graduated within the last 10 years and has made a significant contribution to their community, country, or the world at large.

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