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Haas Award Recognizes Venezualan Editor

By José Rodríguez, University Relations
Posted August 19, 1998

A Venezuelan educator and reformer who has promoted the teaching of science and technology has received the Haas International Award, which recognizes outstanding international contributions by a Berkeley alumnus.

Laura Castillo Gurfinkel has served in a variety of posts in her native Venezuela, including minister of education. She spearheaded curriculum changes throughout the nation that emphasized high-quality education in advanced technology, and supported the changes with the needed financial commitment for classroom and laboratory equipment.

Castillo Gurfinkel graduated from the Instituto Pedagogico de Caracas. She was a biological science teacher before attending Berkeley, where she graduated in 1964 with a master's degree in physiology.

During her graduate studies, she researched how the brain develops and how its development can be influenced by internal and external factors. Among the factors she examined was high altitude &emdash; a common condition in Venezuela.

She is married to another Berkeley alumnus, Mariano Gurfinkel, and continues to maintain strong connections with her graduate colleagues in the United States and abroad.

The Elise and Walter A. Haas International Award was established in 1964 by Elise and Walter A. Haas, Jr.; Mimi and Peter E. Haas; and Rhoda and Richard N. Goldman.

The award includes a cash prize of $10,000, a medal, and travel expenses for the recipient and family to come to campus for a public awards ceremony.


Four Undergraduates Receive Beckman Awards

By Terry Strathman, Office of Undergraduate Research
Posted August 19, 1998

Four Berkeley undergraduates are among the first in the nation to receive research fellowships in the Beckman Scholars Program.

Zev Gartner, Tiffany Horng, Vikram Rao, and Jennifer Ziskin were the winners in a competition that began last December, as Berkeley and 129 other colleges and universities competed for a place in the final rounds.

Ultimately, only 20 institutions were chosen to participate in the new program, which focuses on developing the talent of the nation's most promising young scientists.

Through generous summer stipends, the Beckman Scholars Program will allow the four to pursue their research projects in faculty labs over two summers. An academic-year grant will enable them to continue working during the school year.

Next summer, the four will join 60 other Beckman Scholars from across the United States in presenting their research findings at the first annual Beckman Scholars Symposium.

The program was launched to promote a "sustained, in-depth, faculty-mentored undergraduate laboratory research experience for a group of the nation's most talented chemistry and biological sciences undergraduates."


Bob Buchanan

Chair of Plant and Microbial Biology Bob B. Buchanan, received the Charles F. Kettering award for excellence in photosynthesis from the American Society of Plant Physiologists at its annual meeting in June.

The award recognizes Buchanan's major contributions to the field of photosynthesis.

"From his early collaborations at Berkeley with photosynthetic bacteria to his recent investigations and evaluation of possible biotechnological applications that may yield foods of improved quality, Dr. Buchanan has been in the forefront of plant science research," said the society's president, Ken Keegstra, in presenting the award.

Buchanan made a series of discoveries that have become fundamental to the understanding of the biochemistry of the chloroplast, Keegstra said.

A faculty member since 1968, Buchanan was elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences in 1995.


Sir Peter Hall

City and Regional Planning Professor Emeritus Peter Hall will soon be Sir Peter. In June, Hall was named Knights Bachelor in Queen Elizabeth II's birthday honors list, which each year names new knights, lords and other royal honors. Later this year the professor emeritus will be dubbed Sir Peter in a royal ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

Hall received his knighhood for public service to the Town and Country Planning Association, an English voluntary organization that celebrates its centenary this year, and that Hall has chaired since 1995.

Originally from the United Kingdom, Hall returned to his native nation following his retirement from Berkeley in 1992. He is currently a professor at Bartlett School of Planning, University College, London. Despite the distance, Hall maintains close contact with Berkeley's Department of City and Regional Planning.


Donald Pederson

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers has awarded its highest award, the IEEE Medal of Honor, to Professor Emeritus Donald Pederson.

The medal recognizes Pederson's ground-breaking work in the computer-aided design of large-scale integrated circuits.

Pederson's research developed CAD software tools such as SPICE &emdash; a pioneering program for the computer-aided design of integrated circuits &emdash; which have had a profound impact on the electronics industry.


Cal Adventures

Cal Adventures is celebrating two recent honors for its aquatic programs.

The California Department of Boating and Waterways awarded it $27,500 for scholarships for children to learn water safety, and to purchase kyacks, windsurfing supplies, spray jackets and wet-suits.

Cal Adventures director Rob Anderson was recently named outstanding director of a year-round program by the Community Sailing Council of U.S. Sailing. This award recognizes the campus organization for its commitment to bringing the sport of sailing to the general public.

Cal Adventures is the outdoor and water safety component of the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreational Sports.

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