Alumni

2024 Q&A with the Neuroscience PhD Program graduates

June 3, 2024

Congratulations to our recent and upcoming Neuroscience PhD Program graduates: Matthew Davis, Erin Aisenberg, Katie Cording, Marisa Denkinger, Julian Bieber-Dishart, Xue Lily Gong, Madeline Klinger, Sylvia Madhow, Hayley Bounds, and Jacob Ziontz!

Read our Q&A below with some of the graduates to learn about their most interesting discoveries, future plans, and words of advice.

Interview with alumni Tina and David Walton, Honorary Chairs of the Charter Hill Society

Tina (‘91, East Asian Languages and Economics) and David Walton (‘86, JD in Law) both graduated from UC Berkeley, though they only first met after their graduation, when they were both living in Seattle. Their marriage led them first to Hong Kong, and eventually to their permanent home in Singapore. There, David is the Deputy Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer for BOC Aviation and Tina is a published author. Her young adult novel Last Days of the Morning Calm and her short story in the Anthology A Book of Hugs, Stories to Keep you Company, are available through...

A great leap forward for MPS scholars’ careers

April 23, 2024

Standing on Asilomar State Beach just west of Monterey, Marius Castro talked with dozens of his fellow UC Berkeley students for hours under the moonlight. The moment felt special to Castro, like he was in a movie. In actuality, he was attending the first annual MPS Scholars retreat.


“Everybody I met had such good vibes,” said Castro, a third-year student double majoring in applied mathematics and computer science. “I...

A philanthropic innovation strives to advance humanity through science and community

August 23, 2023
William “Bill” Wing Yen Chu used to enjoy poker and golf until those hobbies were overtaken by a new passion: philanthropy. Hearts to Humanity Eternal is the radical experiment that formed out of Chu’s efforts to rethink what a grantmaking organization can be.

L&S Commencement Highlights from 2024

May 23, 2024
Congratulations, Class of 2024!

This year's campuswide spring ceremony took place on May 11, 2024, at the California Memorial Stadium. Cynthia "Cynt" Marshall, UC Berkeley alumna and CEO of the Dallas Mavericks, delivered this year's commencement address. Despite the backdrop of chants and protests from graduates opposing the war in Gaza, the ceremony largely proceeded as planned. Within the College of Letters & Science, many departments hosted smaller, more...

UC Berkeley innovators featured in Pathways to Invention film

May 2, 2024

Are inventors born or made? Berkeley engineers explore that question in the award-winning documentary “Pathways to Invention,” set to premiere in May on PBS stations nationwide. The 60-minute special follows eight “modern inventors of diverse backgrounds and their journeys as they develop life-changing innovations.”

Among those profiled are Berkeley...

Finding My Place in LATAM, Part II: Backpacking through Central America and Returning to Colombia

April 26, 2024

Chaka Tellem is a class of 2023 UC Berkeley graduate who studied political economy with minors in public policy and race & law. Tellem will attend law school in the fall of 2024. His passion for advocacy and law grew from his formative years in Dallas and Los Angeles. Tellem was the ASUC (Associated Students of the University of California) student body president for two years, from 2021 to 2023. He is currently...

“I was prepared for everything:” Highlights from Creative Careers Week in Arts & Humanities

April 23, 2024

How does a Film degree prepare you to launch a company that became a household name?

As part of Creative Careers week in the Division of Arts & Humanities, Jill Foley (Film ‘00) returned to campus on April 3 to speak with Dean Sara Guyer. Foley explained how the skills she learned at Cal have served her every step of the way: from her first post-college job with a North Bay theater company to co-founding and serving as VP of Apparel for Peloton.

Foley’s public speaking skills and ability to think on her feet — honed in small seminar classes...

Kappa Nu alums honor Larry Belling with young writers' award

April 15, 2024

When Nathanael Stephen Payne ’23 was developing Wrestle with Jimmy for UC Berkeley’s “Introduction to Playwriting” class, he had no idea where the project would take him. His answer came several years later, when he crossed the stage at graduation as one of two students to receive the Larry Belling Promising Writers’ Award.

“For the first time, I was receiving some sort of payment for my written work, validated by a long-standing institution like Berkeley,” said Payne. “I’m very fortunate to have been given the recognition at the time I did, on the...

Against all odds: From the streets to UC Berkeley

April 16, 2024

Growing up in the East Bay, Michael Cerda-Jara faced adversity throughout his hardscrabble childhood. He joined a gang at the age of 13. He got into fights in school and faced expulsion multiple times.

He was lost academically because of the trouble he got into and lack of support from those around him, including his teachers. One of them, his 6th-grade teacher, once told him he “wasn’t going to end up anywhere except for prison or dead.” No one expected Cerda-Jara to amount to much and he had low expectations for himself. ...