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Awards

01 March 2006

Gates Cambridge Scholars

Two Berkeley students and one alumna are among 40 new U.S. recipients of Gates Cambridge Scholarships for 2006. In October the trio will join fellow Gates Scholars from all over the world in pursuing graduate degrees at Cambridge University.

Johanna Hanink, a Ph.D. student in classics, will use her time at Cambridge to research how classical Greek tragedy from the fifth century B.C. influenced Hellenistic poetry two centuries later. She plans to return to Berkeley for her Ph.D. after receiving a master of philosophy degree at Cambridge.

Calvert Jones, a second-year graduate student in the School of Information Management and Systems, has studied the organizational structures of decentralized groups. One of her projects examines how the CIA and other government intelligence organizations adapt to meet threats posed by loosely knit networks such as al Qaeda. Jones will continue these studies at Cambridge as she works toward a master of philosophy degree.

After receiving a B.S. in environmental science from Berkeley in 1996, Amparo Flores obtained a master's degree in engineering from MIT in 1998 under a National Science Foundation fellowship; she has since worked as an environmental consultant and a water-quality engineer. Flores says she hopes to use her research skills in a leadership role to provide sound science in support of environmental policy, in government or in a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization.

Hanink, Jones, and Flores bring to 11 the number of Berkeley students named Gates Cambridge Scholars since the program's inception in 2001. Now in its sixth year, the scholarship program has brought more than 500 students from 72 countries to Cambridge for graduate studies in a wide range of subjects.

The program is administered by the Gates Cambridge Trust, established in 2000 with a $210 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation of Seattle.

Walter Alvarez

The Desert Research Institute (DRI) will award the 2006 Nevada Medal to Professor of Earth and Planetary Science Walter Alvarez. Alvarez, who led the investigation into the extinction of the dinosaurs and thousands of other species 65 million years ago, eventually identified a comet or asteroid impact on the coast of Yucatan as the cause. DRI President Stephen Wells said Alvarez was joined by an international cast of scientists on a quest that overturned one of the fundamental principles of geology, uniformitarianism, which held that geologic change is a gradual process, never sudden or catastrophic.

Alvarez will receive the award at Nevada Medal Dinners in Reno on March 6 and in Las Vegas on March 9. Presented annually by DRI since 1988, it includes a minted silver medal and a $20,000 honorarium provided by AT&T.