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Press Release

State Sen. Vasconcellos Honored with UC Berkeley Chancellor's Community Service Award

– State Sen. John Vasconcellos, who authored legislation that encouraged the creation of community service programs on California university and college campuses, will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award Thursday, May 1, at a ceremony honoring this year's student, faculty and staff Chancellor's Community Service Award winners from the University of California, Berkeley.

The awards ceremony will be held at 5:30 p.m. at the Berkeley YWCA, 2600 Bancroft Way, Berkeley.

Vasconcellos, who represents the South Bay's District 13, is being recognized for his outstanding commitment to community service. He was the author of legislation that created the "Human Corps" which encouraged the creation of campus-based community service programs. He believes community service should be an integral part of a student's education. The Human Corps legislation was the impetus for the UC Berkeley Chancellor's Community Service Awards to recognize outstanding community service participation.

As part of Vasconcellos' award, $500 will be donated to the LO*OP (Learning Options - Open Portal) Center in his name. The LO*OP Center is a South Bay nonprofit that works on bringing technology into education and developing cross-cultural communication.

At the awards ceremony, a number of UC Berkeley faculty, staff, students and student groups also will be honored.

Faculty winners are engineering Professor Richard White, astronomy Professor Gibor Basri, and Donald Dahlsten, a professor in the College of Natural Resources.

White is involved with the Berkeley Fire Safety Commission as well as a number of other Berkeley civic groups. Basri is a board member and volunteer for the Oakland-based "I Have a Dream" Foundation. He has raised funds, chaperoned field trips and developed programs for the organization. Dahlsten is being recognized for his Urban Environmental Education course and his outreach efforts to under-served youth in the Bay Area.

Staff winners are Stan Weisner, continuing education specialist at University Extension for his participation in the Oakland Fund for Children; and associate university archivist David Farrell who has been a member of the Albany Board of Education since 1989.

UC Berkeley student winners are:

  • Hadi Witanto Tan, a graduating senior at the Haas School of Business for his participation in The Young Entrepreneurs at Haas Program.
  • Evangelia Ward-Jackson for her involvement in the Incentive Award Program where she does outreach to encourage high school and community college students to pursue higher education. She is also a tutor.
  • Akpene Ahoefa Gbegnon for her participation in FACES for the Future program, which serves 70 minority students with an interest in health careers.
  • Michael King for his involvement with the YWCA Youth Mentoring Program.
  • Anne Gregory for her involvement with Berkeley High School. She initiated a teacher-student mediation program.
  • Ami Karkar helps a disabled person, is also the assistant coach for Berkeley High School's women's lacrosse team and works with the Special Olympics.
  • Jose Luis Lopez is a mentor at LeConte Elementary. He also created an after-school program called "check it out" to expose students to various cultural activities.

The American Indian Graduate Student Association, the American Red Cross at Cal, Trying to Uplift My Folks and the YWCA youth mentor program are the student group winners.