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News Briefs

18 October 2006

Jasper Rine named to head computational-biology center

Jasper Rine, professor of molecular and cell biology, has been appointed director of the Center for Computational Biology (also known as the Computational Biology Initiative) for a three-year term, effective immediately, it was announced on Tuesday by Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost George Breslauer. Rine will replace Nicholas Jewell, professor of biostatistics and statistics, who served two years as the initiative's acting director.

Cell biologist Randy Schekman takes helm at NAS publication

Yeast biologist Randy Schekman, professor of molecular and cell biology and head of the Chancellor's Advisory Council on Biology, has been chosen the new editor-in-chief of one of the nation's top scientific journals, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Schekman takes the helm following the untimely death in March of his predecessor (and Berkeley colleague) Nicholas Cozzarelli.

Academic Senate calls for faculty-award nominations

Nominations are open for the Berkeley Faculty Service Award, which honors a member of the Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate who has given outstanding and dedicated service to the Berkeley campus. In addition to a commendation modeled on the Berkeley Citation, the award recipient will receive a monetary award equivalent to that of the Distinguished Teaching award, currently $10,000.

The deadline for nominations is Monday, Dec. 11. Nominations should be forwarded to the Faculty Awards Committee, Academic Senate, Berkeley Divison, 320 Stephens Hall #5842. For information, contact Diane Sprouse (dsprouse@berkeley.edu, 643-5461).

Nov. 7 ballot and bond measures featured on 'Hot Topics' website

The campus's "Hot Topics" website on California politics just got hotter - thanks to a timely and informative package on the Nov. 7 election that went live last Friday. As in the past, the newest content package provides clearly written overviews on the ballot's 13 propositions and five bond measures, with arguments for and against and links to background materials for those who choose to dig deeper. Renovations to the site include a new design and a news-and-commentary blog, both by Frank Lester, electronic-services librarian at the Institute of Governmental Studies (IGS) Library. "Hot Topics" is found online at igs.berkeley.edu/library.

Hungarian revolt of 1956 to be remembered on campus

A weeklong Bay Area commemoration of the Hungarian Uprising of 1956 will include several events on the Berkeley campus. On Tuesday, Oct. 24, at 6:30 p.m., a colloquium will be held in Bechtel's Sibley Auditorium; faculty presenters include Jason Wittenberg, political science, and Gabor Somorjai, chemistry. On each of the next three evenings, Oct. 25 through 27, free documentary-film screenings will be held in 22 Warren, the Anita M. Baldwin Auditorium, at 6 p.m. Films to be shown include Revolt in Hungary, a CBS News documentary narrated by Walter Cronkite, and Freedom's Fury, which details the events leading up to the so-called "blood in the water match" between the Hungarian and Soviet water-polo teams in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics.

A complete schedule of anniversary events at Berkeley and elsewhere is at hungarianuprising.org.

Free depression-screening and stress-reduction events set for Oct. 24

The campus's annual Depression Screening Day will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 24 (11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Pauley Ballroom, Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union). The screening, with follow-up by a mental-health professional, is free to the campus community and the public. An added component this year, for anyone interested in stress-reduction, is an "Address Your Stress" festival in the building's Kerr Lounge; there, attendees will find art mini-classes, free massages, relaxation and mood-management information, and free phone cards. As always, there will be a booth on Sproul Plaza with information and giveaways.

The event is sponsored and staffed by University Health Services (UHS), the Alameda County Psychological Association, the ASUC Art Studio, and Student-to-Student Peer Counseling. For detailed information, visit uhs.berkeley.edu.

Institute for the Study of Social Change celebrates three decades of 'research with a conscience'

On Friday, Oct. 20, the Institute for the Study of Social Change will celebrate 30 years of research and mentorship dedicated to understanding the processes of social change in ways that challenge and transform structures of inequality. The all-day conference will look back on institute research projects that have influenced academic research, public debate, and social policy and have expanded the boundaries of the social sciences. The conference takes place from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., in the Toll Room, Alumni House. For details, visit issc.berkeley.edu.

Faculty pre-retirement-planning programs offered this month and next; staff program to come

Faculty are invited to attend a comprehensive four-week Faculty Pre-Retirement Planning program, offered through the UC Berkeley Retirement Center and sponsored by the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Faculty Welfare. The free program addresses important areas of retirement planning, including UC retirement benefits and investment plans, Social Security and Medicare, investing and financial planning, legal and estate planning, wellness, housing options, and career/life after retirement.

Each session will feature an expert speaker, time for questions, and resource lists and related materials. All sessions are from 3 to 6 p.m. on Fridays, Oct. 20 and 27, and Nov. 3 and 17. In addition to UC faculty, spouses or partners are also encouraged to attend. To register, or for information, contact the Retirement Center at projects@berkeley.edu, subject line "Faculty PRP."

Separately, temporary funding has been made available for the Staff Pre-Retirement Planning program, which will be offered in early spring 2007. Although spring dates are yet to be determined, staff can place themselves on the spring 2007 notification list by enrolling through ICE (hrweb.berkeley.edu/ice/home) after Nov. 1.

Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Fair to showcase sustainable products and services

As part of its effort to develop relationships with vendors with a strong commitment to sustainability, the campus will hold an Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Fair on Monday, Oct. 30, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., in Pauley Ballroom, Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union. The fair - sponsored by the Procurement Services and Strategic Sourcing Team - will be an opportunity for campus vendors to showcase their sustainable products and demonstrate their support of sustainability (including re-use and recycling). Participating suppliers include UC Printing Services, the CAL Overstock and Surplus Den, Disabled Veterans Enterprises, OfficeMax, Panasonic, Hewlett Packard, Xerox, Lanier, Steelcase/OneWorkplace, DHL, Fastenal, Arrowhead, FedEx, Ikon/Canon, Lenovo, Airgas, Praxair, Fisher Scientific, Sigma-Aldrich, Waxie, CleanSource, Grainger, and Hillyard.

For information, contact Paul Mulligan (pmulligan@berkeley.edu).

Topic set for 2007 Fabilli-Hoffer essay contest

This year's topic for the Lili Fabilli and Eric Hoffer Essay contest - an annual competition open to faculty and staff as well as students - is "Whatever You Say, Say Nothing." Entries are judged on originality of thought and excellence in writing; the maximum length is 500 words. Typically, $3,000 in prize money is divided at the discretion of the judge; last spring three first-prize winners took home $1,000 each. Submit entries in person to prize coordinator Anne Repp (229 Sproul) no later than 4:30 p.m., Friday, Jan. 26, 2007.

J-School contributors make their mark on PBS's website on antiterrorism and 'The Enemy Within' broadcast

In "The Enemy Within," which aired on the Public Broadcasting Service earlier this month, Frontline and the New York Times joined forces to investigate the nature of the terrorism threat five years after 9/11, asking whether domestic counterterrorism efforts have left the country better prepared to prevent another such attack. Immedi-ately following the broadcast, an extensive website went live, featuring special reports by current and past Berkeley journalism students Charlotte Buchen, Jeff Kearns, Lee Wang, Cathy Bussewitz, and Jordan deBree. The investigative report was produced by journalism professor Lowell Bergman; other campus contributors were 2005 graduate Rob Harris (associate producer);students Matt Levin, Kate Golden, and Joseph De Avila (reporting and research); and second-year student Charlotte Buchen and Marjorie McAfee '06 (assistant editors).

The program website is at pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/enemywithin.