UC Berkeley News


 William Lester (far left), Gibor Basri, Rhona Weinstein, and Alice Agogino are congratulated by Chancellor Birgeneau for having won the Chancellor's Award for Advancing Institutional Excellence.(Peg Skorpinski photo)


31 May 2006

Chancellor's Award for Advancing Institutional Excellence

The campus this year introduced a new award to acknowledge meritorious achievement by Academic Senate faculty members in pursuit of the university's mission to create an inclusive environment and serve the needs of the increasingly diverse state of California. The Chancellor's Award for Advancing Institutional Excellence recognizes faculty who are providing leadership in research, education, and public service in building an equitable and diverse learning environment.

Recipients are Alice Agogino, professor of mechanical engineering; Gibor Basri, professor of astronomy; William Lester, professor of chemistry; and Rhona Weinstein, professor of psychology. Agogino's work is described in the award program as "an extraordinary blend of research in mechanical engineering, inquiry into issues of gender and minority access and equity, and the building of programs, resources, and curricula to advance both causes." Several of the award's reviewers call Basri "a steady, consistent, and solid presence in promoting equity and inclusion who has established policies, processes, and procedures that will advance diversity at UC." Lester, the force behind the Chemistry Scholars Program, which assists students from disadvantaged backgrounds, has been "a strong supporter of underrepresented students in the sciences with his heartfelt advising and long-term commitment to the institutionalization of programs to support diversity and academic excellence." Weinstein, whose recent book, Reaching Higher: The Power of Expectations in Schooling, documents how schools create inequality for socially less favored children, "provides an exemplary model of how to unite one's research, teaching, and service as a thoroughly complementary set of activities that squarely address the needs of California's diverse population."

Each honoree will receive $30,000 to be placed in a departmental account to continue his or her work. For information about the criteria for the award and its nomination process, visit facultyequity.chance.berkeley.edu.

Teaching Effectiveness Award

Each year some 400 current and previous Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor (OGSI) honorees are invited to submit an essay describing a problem they encountered in teaching, a pedagogical solution to that problem, and the methods they used to assess the overall project; approximately 100 such essays are eventually received. From that pool, the authors of 15 essays each year are selected for a Teaching Effectiveness Award; they detail their teaching techniques in compositions that are posted on the GSI Teaching and Resource Center's website (gsi.berkeley.edu/awards/mentor.html).

This year's recipients are Julia Comerford, astronomy; Tatiana Fedyk, Haas School of Business; Benjamin Freedman, molecular and cell biology; Kenneth Haig, political science; Susan Hicks, geography; Jelani Mahiri, anthropology; Wendy Muse Sinek, political science; Jason Ng, vision science; Ari Nieh, mathematics; Daniel Perley, astronomy; Matthew Sargent, history; Nichole Sterling, Scandinavian; Mary Trahanovsky, materials science and engineering; and Leonard von Morze, English.

Distinguished Faculty Mentor Awards

The Graduate Assembly honored Nelson Graburn, professor of anthropology; John Lindow, professor of Scandinavian; and Ananya Roy, associate professor of city and regional planning, with the Distinguished Faculty Mentor Award at the Faculty Club on May 10. The award, which recognizes their outstanding efforts to mentor graduate student researchers, is accompanied by a $1,000 stipend. The winners were selected from several dozen applications submitted by graduate students.

Faculty Award for Outstanding Mentorship of GSIs

A handful of faculty members receive recognition for their role in contributing to the success of their GSIs. Since 1999, deserving faculty have been rewarded with the Faculty Award for Outstanding Mentorship of GSIs. Two years ago, the California Alumni Association, noting that teaching figured prominently in the recollections of Berkeley alumni, partnered with the Graduate Division in offering the award and provided $3,000 to be divided among a minimum of three recipients. GSIs themselves nominate faculty members to be recognized, and the Graduate Council's Advisory Committee for GSI Affairs reviews the nominations and makes the selections. This year's recipients are Janet Adelman, English; Michelle Douskey, chemistry; Paul Groth, geography and architecture; John Hurst, education; and Rosemary Joyce, anthropology. The winners are chosen from several dozen applications submitted by graduate students. The awards were presented at the Outstanding GSI Award ceremony held at Alumni House on May 8.

Four seniors receive Stronach Prize

Four graduating seniors have received a total of $75,000 in the first annual Judith Lee Stronach Baccalaureate Prize competition administered by the division of arts and humanities in the College of Letters and Science. The Stronach Prize, named for the late wife of architecture professor Raymond Lifchez, supports intellectual and creative pursuits that advance awareness and provide visibility for issues of social consciousness, allowing recipients to pursue an innovative project that builds on their undergraduate work.

The four students are Cherie Hill, a theater, dance, and performance studies major and African American studies minor; Teddy Kisch, environmental sciences; Camilo Salazar Prince, philosophy; and Brandon Smith, a double major in African American studies and interdisciplinary field studies. They will return to the campus a year from now to report the outcome of their funded projects.

For details, visit ls.berkeley.edu/StronachPrize.

Berkeleyan, online tour, development earn CASE national honors

Three units in University Relations - two in Public Affairs and one in fundraising - have won national recognition for their efforts from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). The Berkeleyan was awarded a gold medal for Periodical Staff Writing for Internal Audiences; it was the only national gold awarded in the category this year. And the Public Affairs web group was awarded a silver medal for its development of the UC Berkeley Online Tour (www.berkeley.edu/tour), a fixture on the campus home page since its creation last year.

Also honored by CASE was the Development Communications staff within University Relations, who were awarded a silver medal in the Visual Design in Print category for creating a desk calendar for international friends and donors featuring the film-poster collection of the Pacific Film Archive.

Daniel Koshland

Biochemist Daniel Koshland has been named the 36th recipient of the Welch Award in Chemistry; he will receive $300,000 for his life-enhancing contributions to biochemistry and medical science. Koshland, an international leader in research on enzymes and receptors and former editor of the journal Science, was honored for applying "the fundamental principles of chemistry to gain new insights and develop novel ideas to explain complex biological reactions," according to a press release issued by the foundation.

The 86-year-old Koshland currently is a Professor in the Graduate School in the department of molecular and cell biology, where he has served since 1965. He is the fourth Berkeley faculty member to receive the Welch Award since its establishment in 1972. The others were Neil Bartlett (1976), professor emeritus of chemistry, and the late chemists Kenneth Pitzer (1984) and George Pimental (1986).

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