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2009 Fall Constant Change

5 Questions: Serial biographer Jeffrey Meyers

Having written 43 books, including more than 20 biographies, you’re nothing if not prolific. What’s your work routine? JM: I work every day— it’s important to keep up momentum—from 9:30 to 1 in the morning and from 7:30 to 11 in the evening. In the afternoons I recharge by playing tennis (inexpensive psychotherapy), taking long […]

Out of the Gate

My first reporting job after a couple years in the Berkeley journalism program was at the Arkansas Democrat, one of two papers battling it out in the early ’80s in Little Rock. I had a lot of assumptions about Arkansas. Although I had grown up in Missouri, it’s a different world across that state line. […]

The Girl Curator

After 30 years, Renée Dreyfus welcomes the ‘Boy King’ back to the Bay Renée Dreyfus stood in a corridor of the Legion of Honor considering an ancient Egyptian idol carved from granodiorite. The figure, which held an ankh and a scepter, represented a deity, but she couldn’t say which one: It was missing its head. What […]

Going Local

The credit for one bright spot on the gloomy landscape of American journalism belongs to a recent Cal grad who arrived in the United States from China only two years ago on her first overseas trip. On the same day that Linjun Fan, M.J. ’09, received her master’s from the Graduate School of Journalism this […]

A Few Words with Neil Henry

After 16 years on the faculty of Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, Neil Henry was named dean in May. The seasoned reporter and professor sat down to talk with California about how the school is evolving along with the media industry itself. California magazine: I read that the students you’re admitting have an average of […]

Why Reporting Matters

I cowered in my seat as the conductor of Phantom—Las Vegas Spectacular called out my name during a cabaret show at the Liberace Museum. The fact that a Pulitzer Prize had been won in Las Vegas gave him a “new lease on life,” he said dramatically, as an audience of show-biz hams laughed at me […]

Coast to Coast

A fresh face with a great résumé takes the podium at Cal Performances. Matìas Tarnopolsky has traveled far to become the new director of Cal Performances, the university’s esteemed performing arts presenting organization. The Buenos Aires-born, London-raised administrator, who last worked as vice president of artistic planning of the New York Philharmonic, is assuming his first […]

Pawning the Jewel

Why did the average Californian meet recent threats to the UC system with silence? When State Senator Leland Yee ’70, a San Francisco Democrat, suggested last May that the state legislature and not the Board of Regents should have the final say over how the University of California system is run, there was plenty of snickering […]

Delivering Health

When Laura Stachel was a practicing OB-GYN, she could take Western medicine’s up-to-date equipment for granted. As a doctoral student in public health, she discovered physicians in Nigeria doing Caesarians by flashlight. Stachel’s medical degree was from UCSF. After 14 years in private practice, she decided to pursue an academic career in maternal and child […]

Designing Change

A $33 gizmo that plugs into your computer to keep your Coke chilled became the basis of an ingenious little refrigerator that keeps vaccines cold for 12 hours without requiring electricity. As a backup source of power, there’s a hand-crank like the one on an old-fashioned pencil sharpener. Madhvi Venkatesh, a bioengineering major and an […]

The People’s Story

“For me,” said Caricia Catalani, “public health is a way of getting at poverty.” and for Catalani, a 2008 fellow at Berkeley’s Human Rights Center who got her Ph.D. in Public Health this year, videography is a way of doing public health. In 2007, Catalani and a team that included her husband, New York director […]

Coffee to Go

Like a pickup truck parked amid a row of compact cars, the extra-long bicycle painted green, blue, and yellow calls attention to itself among the two-wheelers slotted into the bike rack in front of Wheeler Hall. This unusual campus transport belongs to Jacob Seigel-Boettner, a Peace and Conflict Studies major from Santa Barbara who will […]