UC Berkeley News
Berkeleyan

Berkeleyan

Laurels
Blue ribbons, gold stars, honorable mentions.

11 July 2007

Editor's note: We've expanded the focus of our "Awards" section (henceforth known as "Laurels") to include honors, appointments, and other faculty and staff achievements of note. Please forward notice of Laurel-worthy items to bbergman@berkeley.edu; we'll publish as many in each weekly issue as space permits.

Three Berkeley faculty have been elected to the American Philosophical Society, a 264-year-old scholarly association that annually recognizes extraordinary accomplishments in a wide variety of academic disciplines. The honors list includes two humanities professors, Judith Butler and T.J. Clark, and demographer/economist Ronald Lee.

Butler, Maxine Elliot Professor of Rhetoric and Comparative Literature, is a renowned author of critical essays and books, including 2005's Giving an Account of Oneself, and is currently working on essays pertaining to Jewish philosophy. Clark is the George C. and Helen N. Pardee Professor of Art History, whose most recent book, The Sight of Death: An Experiment in Art Writing, was published last year. Lee directs the campus's Center for the Demography and Economics of Aging, and is the Edward G. and Nancy S. Jordan Family Professor of Economics and Demography.

Another outstanding economist, Haas School Professor Emeritus Oliver Williamson, was recently named a 2007 Distinguished Fellow of the American Economic Association. In selecting William­son, the AEA - which bestows the honor on no more than three economists in the U.S. and Canada in a given year - cited his influential role in shaping the way economists think about firms, contracts, and organizations.

Michael Rape's research into how one important piece of cellular machinery, the anaphase-promoting complex (APC), allows cells to divide and differentiate during embryonic development has earned him a selection as one of 20 Pew Scholars in the Biomedical Sciences for 2007 - a distinction that comes with a $240,000 award over four years to support his work.

Rape's efforts could help identify specific inhibitors that would thwart the proliferation of cancer cells or promote the regeneration of injured tissues, and lead to the creation of new treatment drugs.

On a related front, James Robinson, Kaiser Permanente Distinguished Professor of Health Economics, has been named editor-in-chief of Health Affairs, the nation's leading journal of health policy, and will succeed founding editor John Iglehart in the fall. Robinson, now a contributing editor for the 26-year-old journal, chairs the School of Public Health's Division of Health Policy and Management, co-chairs the Health and Policy Program at the Goldman School of Public Policy, and is a core faculty member of the Health Management Program at the Haas School of Business.

But wait, there's more: Connie Chang-Hasnain, the John R. Whinnery Professor of Electrical Engineering and Compu­ter Sci­ences, was honored by the Optical Society of America for her contributions and dedication to optical science. Chang-Hasnain, the director of the Center for Optoelectronic Nanostructured Semiconductor Technologies, received the Nick Holonyak Jr. Award for her "leadership, innovation, expertise, service, and quality research." And Meredith Whiteside, an assistant clinical professor in the campus's Berkeley Optometry program, has been named 2006 Optometrist of the Year by the Alameda-Contra Costa Counties Optometric Society. In addition to her varied teaching roles, Whiteside is chief of the External Geriatric Clinics at Berkeley Optometry.

Along with a group of four anthropologists cited in the June 7 issue of the Berkeleyan, Sally Fairfax, an associate dean in the College of Natural Resources, recently received the Leon A. Henkin Citation for Distinguished Service, an annual award conferred by the Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate's Committee on Student Diversity and Academic Development. "What sets Professor Fairfax apart," said her nominator, former CNR Dean Paul Ludden, "is not only her core belief that science and learning should be available to all students, but her work and actions to promote this set of educational ethics."

And finally, another reminder that when it comes to laurels, Berkeley gives as good as it gets: The Institute for the Study of Social Change recently awarded its $2,500 Foundations for Change: Thomas I. Yamashita Prize to "unsung hero" Alvaro Huerta, a doctoral student in the Department of City and Regional Planning. Huerta, who was a student activist at UCLA in the mid-1980s, has spent the past 20 years working to improve the lives of low-income Chicano/Latino communities in the greater Los Angeles area.