UC Berkeley News
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News Briefs

16 April 2008

Six professors win prestigious Guggenheim Fellowships

Six Berkeley faculty are among 190 artists, scientists, and scholars nationally who have been awarded 2008 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation fellow­ships. Guggenheim Fellowships, awarded for distinguished achievement and exceptional promise, provide fellows with funding to further their research, creativity, and work. This year’s fellows, chosen from a group of more than 2,600 applicants, will share awards totaling $8.2 million.

Berkeley’s 2008 Guggenheim fellows, all from the College of Letters and Science, are Margaret Lavinia Anderson, professor of history, who will use her award to continue work on Germany’s relationship to the Armenian genocide, 1895-1933; anthropology professor Stanley Brandes, who will investigate the topic of pets and their people from a cultural-studies and anthropological standpoint; Giovanni (John) Ferrari, professor of classics, who plans to continue his exploration of fiction and the limits of social meaning; professor of philosophy Paolo Mancosu, who will further examine the interplay between the philosophy of mathematics and mathematical logic; Arthur Shimamura, professor of psychology, who will use his fellowship to continue his examination of a neurocognitive approach to the psychology of art and aesthetics; and Kaja Silverman, Class of 1940 Professor of Rhetoric and Film, who is writing a book about photography called The Miracle of Analogy.

The full list of 2008 fellows may be viewed at www.gf.org.

De Luca appointed University Registrar

Anne De Luca has been appointed the campus’s new University Registrar following a nationwide search, it was announced this week by Associate Vice Chancellor for Admissions and Enrollment Susanna Castillo-Robson. Her first day of work in her new position will be May 5.

De Luca, who since 2006 has served as deputy director of Berkeley’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions, holds a Ph.D. in higher-education administration. She was formerly Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, where she oversaw a staff of 123.

Campus educational initiatives honored

In addition to choosing the winners of this year’s Distinguished Teaching Award (see story, page 1), the campus Academic Senate’s Committee on Teaching has chosen the Biology Scholars Program (BSP) and the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology Undergraduate Apprenticeship Program to receive the 2008 Educational Initiatives Award.

The 16-year-old BSP seeks to diversify the sciences by supporting and mentoring students from economic, gender, ethnic, and cultural groups historically underrepresented in the biological sciences. Last year alone, 76 percent of those BSP graduates who applied to medical school were accepted (the national average is 50 percent); a full 100 percent of those who applied to Ph.D. programs were accepted by at least one school.

The Museum of Vertebrate Zoology’s apprenticeship program, begun in 2006, is one of BSP’s partners, offering internships to undergraduates that expose them to specimen preparation, museum curation, field work, and, ultimately, research in vertebrate evolutionary biology.

Law school’s Edley addresses questions surrounding John Yoo

In an open letter, Christopher Edley Jr., dean of Berkeley’s School of Law, discusses law professor John Yoo’s “torture memos” for the Bush administration in the context of academic freedom and Yoo’s employment at Berkeley. The April 10 letter is online at www.law.berkeley.edu/news/2008/edley041008.html.

Substantial spike in applications to Berkeley

Campus officials announced this week that they have offered admission to 12,616 high-school students for the 2008-09 school year, following an exceptionally competitive admissions cycle propelled by a marked increase in applications.

Of those offered admission, 10,388 were admitted for the fall 2008 term that begins in late August; another 2,228 were admitted for the spring 2009 semester that starts in January.

More than 48,400 students applied for admission to the fall 2008 class, up almost 10 percent from fall 2007. The admissions rate — the number of students offered admission compared to the number who applied — for fall 2008 was 21.5 percent, down from 23.2 percent for fall 2007. Berkeley offered admission to 175 more students than last year, but because of the increase in applications from all groups (including California residents, out-of-state students, and international students) the admissions rate dropped.