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UC Berkeley Web Feature

Berkeley's Everyday Heroes

Read more about the Heroes project.

Constance Chiba
Coordinator, Disabled Students' Program
Connie Chiba"Connie, a warm and loving person, became something like my second mother on campus. She met with me at least once a month, often more, making sure that I knew all my professors, that my homework was done, and wanting to know all the details about my health and how I was doing. She walked me step by step through every loophole and bureaucratic process in the school."
Suzanne McDermott
Undergraduate adviser, Psychology
Suzanne McDermott"She always has the answer to all of my obvious questions, and for the ones that require a bit more snooping, she picks up the phone and goes out of her way to find out for me. If something needs to be adjusted that is in her domain, it is done with speed and precision. She must have a wand laying around there somewhere."
Jason Simon
Associate executive director, Cal Alumni Association
Jason Simon"He helped set me up with a career path and assisted in my personal, academic and professional growth tremendously during the time that I was at Cal. He is one of the most approachable people I know and provides great leadership to his coworkers and associates."
Alice Jordan
Coordinator, Student Parent Programs and Services
Alice Jordan"She helped me find a class that was an internship that fit my hectic schedule. She e-mails all the student parents about important academic information and is always friendly and kind. She is the first person I would talk to if I had any problem here at Berkeley."
Katie Dustin
Academic adviser, International & Area Studies Teaching Program
Katie Dustin"Katie Dustin is always helpful and happy to meet with students. She is so encouraging and genuinely interested in their plans. I always look forward to having appointments with her; it gives me a sense of confidence in what I am doing."
Ron Williams
Coordinator of Re-entry Student Programs and Services
Ron Williams"Ron is the ultimate resource to figure out how to address an issue on campus AND a fantastic mentor. I can't count the times he helped me. His door is always open and he is always willing to listen and help. Without him my whole experience at Cal would have been different."
Fabrizio Mejia
Academic counselor coordinator, Student Life Advising Services
Fabrizio Mejia"He sat down with me this semester and talked to me about what had went wrong. He listened and guided me in the right direction and gave me a list of names of people who could further help me with the issues I was dealing with. If it were not for him I would not be filling out this survey because I would have dropped out."
Shelley Okimoto
Graduate student adviser, Civil and Environmental Engineering (cited when admissions adviser at Social Welfare)
Shelley Okimoto"She is truly concerned about each and every student and does her best to inform, encourage, and support them in all of their endeavors. ...And she does not limit her help to students, but it extends to the rest of the faculty and staff at the department. Many seek her advice because she always has a listening ear and a supportive shoulder to lean on.."
Mike Wong
Academic adviser, Student Learning Center
"Every time I drop in for tutoring, I always see him there like he never takes a break. Then, no matter how busy it gets, he tries to help everyone and he makes sure we all finish our homework correctly. He explains concepts better than the teacher and he's like a perfectionist."
Diana Lizarraga
Director, UC LEADS research program
Berkeley hero"She has helped me get back up when I'm struggling with my classes as a transfer student. She helped me restore my confidence and self-esteem. She made me believe in myself again that I can do it and I can survive my years at Cal. She has helped sort things out when I'm overwhelmed with academic and social activities and I don't know where to start. She has helped me through my personal struggles in life too. ."
Walter Roberts
GSI, Classics
"This GSI met with me weekly, sometimes for 2 hours or more, helped me make outlines and helped me improve my writing and research skills dramatically. He is an outstanding GSI for recognizing a student's individual strengths and passions and channeling those into a truly meaningful academic experience."
Nadine Gerdes
Student affiars officer, Study Abroad Program
Nadine Gerdes"I was studying abroad and extraordinarily homesick. ...She sent me extensive e-mails trying to help me out, make me feel at ease, gave me suggestions — later on she checked on me here. It really helped to know that someone actually cared about how I was doing and wanted the best experience for me."
Courtney Dolder
Adviser, Athletics
Courtney Dolder"I had a difficult emotional time during my five years here at Cal, and when Courtney took over during my junior year, she was a miracle. Even though I wasn't playing sports anymore, she has still been an advocate for me, listened to me in times of trouble and happiness, encouraged me to keep trying, and helped me put together an academic plan to graduate."
Nate Carroll
Academic counselor coordinator, Student Life Advising Services
"I don't even know if I'd be in school without Nate's extraordinary helpfulness and constantly following up with me. His consideration for me really opened my eyes that even though I am just a "number" here on campus, there are faculty members that still do care about the student as an individual, instead of looking at us as another face in the crowd."
Robert Myers
GSI, Mathematics
"I was struggling in Math 1A, barely passing, and just one hour with him in office hours clarified the entire semester of calculus for me. He is definitely a man of integrity and faith. As an aspiring teacher, I truly admire him as my personal role model."
Joyce Scales
GSI, Public Policy
Joyce Scales"When I chose to enroll at Berkeley, it wasn't just because I wanted to attend the best public university, I also I wanted to be around the kind of people that would be chosen by the best public university. I wanted to meet people like Joyce Scales. She was the perfect person for me to talk to about life changes and the differences between the pressures of "real life" versus that of academic life."
Michael Quan
Supervisor, Letters & Science Computer Resource
"He has been involved in the Alpha Chi Sigma professional fraternity for 12 years, and has promoted chemistry education as well as knowledge in investments, finance, and technology to all fraternity members and many other undergraduate students on campus. He purposely tries to go unnoticed as he is very modest about what good he does for the Berkeley faculty, staff, and students."
Hal Haggard
GSI, Physics
Hal Haggard"Hal has consistently been more approachable and friendly than any other instructor I've had at Cal. Once he even offered to help us edit our graduate school application essays - this is far above and beyond the content of an electronics lab class!"
Bruce Ou
GSI, Education
"Bruce Ou had a great experience in this class when he was an undergraduate, so he goes out of his way to make our experience just as enjoyable. Not only does he help us with our projects by giving suggestions or advice, but he also talks to us individually to make sure we're doing OK in all our classes, and tries to teach us how to manage our time more wisely."
Alexander Mastroianni
GSI, Chemistry
Alexander Mastroianni"He approached each student as an equal, and spent hours of extra time preparing study materials to help students understand the coursework. Further, he was extremely encouraging of students to pursue their academic interests in chemistry, and over the summer he encouraged me to join his research lab. Thanks to him, I have found passion in learning that will be a fundamental part of who I am for the rest of my life."
Efrat Cidon
Undergraduate adviser, Political Science
Efrat Cidon"As I struggled to rebound from [surgery], as well as being a single parent, every time I left her office I felt more convinced that I could and will complete my degree and enter law school successfully. She has filled my tank with gas (figuratively speaking) when I was weary ... [She had] faith in me when I had none for myself, what more could you ask of a person?"
Christine Hong
GSI, English
"Christine is an extraordinary instructor who not only helped my peers and me in the classroom, but made time outside of class to provide extra help and personal guidance. My class with her not only expanded my knowledge on different cultural backgrounds, but it also helped me develop critical thinking skills that I continue to use in my other classes."
Dante Valdez
Lower division instruction support facility supervisor, Chemistry
Dante Valdez"He's a humble know-it-all who helped us all out during our independent research work in the Chem 4 lab. Dante helped us get through our first daunting tasks as scientists. He helped get the machinery to work as well as coordinated supplies, and did heavy problem solving for those intense weeks."
Sherman Boyson
Undergraduate assistant, Social Welfare
Sherman Boyson"Students open up to him and he takes it upon himself to help as much as he can without crossing any boundaries. He has an incredible knack for quickly winning the trust of students and alleviating their situations. Sherman is one of the most generous people I know, both with his time and his possessions. He truly loves his work and is loved by his students. ...there are many who would probably not be at Cal if not for Sherman; I may be one of them."
Mark Sithi-Amnuai
GSI, Business Administration
"Mark Sithi pretty much took me under his wings and shared with me his experiences with the real business world. On top of being an unofficial mentor, Mark has spent the past 7 semesters volunteering countless hours to tutoring, recruiting volunteers and coordinating a program that tutors over 200 kids in Berkeley."
Nathan Kramer
GSI, Public Health
"Nathan was someone that I knew only off and on for a few months, and he actually took the time out of his busy schedule to help some semi-random sophomore. When I let slip that O. Chem. was killing me, he e-mailed to offer me a bunch of old study guides for Chem. and some old practice tests that might just help me with some of the concepts. (He even lent me his old MCAT exam books and software and counseled me about med school.)"
Craig Alderson
Library assistant, Social Welfare library
"Craig has stepped up to the plate by making sure the library still runs smoothly, and has ensured that the library remains a vital and accessible resource for students by helping them with their reference queries."
Pat Berumen
Student liaison, Engineering IDS
Pat Berumen"Pat does the work of 20 people. She fights diligently for funding and faculty support for a group that is commonly regarded as the 'runt' of the College of Engineering. She's one of the few reasons that people take us seriously."
Jeffrey Saret
GSI, Economics
"He created review sheets, offered extended office hours, and led review sessions when it was not required of him. He was always willing to give his time, and answer questions that he had already answered a hundred times before."
John Flores
Student affairs manager, College of Environmental Design
John Flores"John Flores truly helped me select the right classes each semester so that I can fully take advantage of my time here. He also helped me in dealing with the stress of my classes and workloads, and he was always available, no matter how much of his own work he had going on."
Rajesh Nishtala
GSI, Computer Sciences
Rajesh Nishtala"He involves me in actively learning the material before doing any work. He isn't just making me do the dirty work but is expecting ME to be 'expert' on the material. This has made me appreciate the value of Cal research and made me want to go back to grad school after I graduate."
Alexei Filippenko
Professor, Astronomy
Alexei Filippenko"Professor Fillipenko went beyond normal instruction techniques to make astronomy fun and interesting. He took some students to an observatory overnight to see how research is done in his field, and he took those who wanted to go up to Tilden Park for a meteor shower."
Anne Walsh
Assistant professor, Art Practice
Anne Walsh"While I was studying abroad in India, Anne went out of her way to present my work to a faculty panel that was judging portfolios. She is honest about students' work in a way that focuses on what they are doing and how they can push their concept further."
Natalia Caporale
GSI, Molecular & Cell Biology
Natalia Caporale"Natalia stays extra hours after every 4-hour lab section to allow students to complete their experiments; she comes in during non-lab hours to assist students who need to repeat experiments; she also communicates with the professor on the students' behalf when assignments are particularly difficult and require more time to complete."
Alan Nelson
Professor emeritus, English
"He created a relaxed environment in which he made the Shakespearean sonnets not only accessible, but also fun to read. At the end of the semester, he invited the class to his house for dinner. We ended the night by reading some of our favorite sonnets. The experience was sublime and unforgettable."
Avaren Ipsen
Lecturer, Interdisciplinary Studies
Avaren Ipsen"She rapidly responds to any e-mail requests or suggestions that I have, and has given her student's her home phone number to resolve any issues that they may have or to give a clearer understanding of any material that they cannot grasp. She is very empathetic and understanding, and shows true leadership and a genuine caring for the success of her students that is rarely seen at other institutions."
Michael Schihl
GSI, Economics
"Michael Schihl totally rocks. He was always prepared for discussion, and had a quiet way of getting the class to understand the material. He would even scan his personal notes from lecture, and e-mail them to the class to make sure that we had the right examples and answers to study."
Rachel Dubois
Assistant director, Financial Aid Office
Rachel Dubois"She alone made it possible for me to continue my college education by looking at the facts of my life, me as a person, rather than focusing on the restrictions imposed by the bureaucracy. She's the one person who answered her phone when I called, met with me when I needed her, and went out of her way to help me."
Sharon Amacher
Assistant professor, Molecular & Cell Biology
Sharon Amacher"She wants to make a real research experience available to enthusiastic undergraduates at Cal. She has written me last-minute letters of recommendations for many fellowships and has taken time out of her busy schedule to proofread my research reports and to listen to my practice talks (for symposiums) and give feedback."
Monica Stufft
GSI, Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies
Monica Stufft"In Monica I found a wealth of information, encouragement to follow my passions, and reassurance about making bold and frightening choices. Monica is someone who genuinely cares about my life with welcoming arms, a level head and even a shoulder to cry on. Most of all she was there with compassion when I needed someone kind and she was there with knowledge when I needed someone wise."
Anthony Barnosky
Professor, Integrative Biology
Anthony Barnosky"Professor Barnosky really was passionate about the subject material. He organized a class field trip down to the ocean so that we could get a personal experience of the different types of marine life that we had learned about in class."
Bernard Griego
Lecturer, School of Public Health
Bernard Griego"Bernard is the sort of mentor that every student hopes to find in college - understanding, empathetic, extremely supportive, and always willing to give his time. He reminds us not to be so hard on ourselves and points out the good in ourselves that we often blind ourselves to."
Benson Tongue
Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Benson Tongue"I first noticed that Prof. Tongue was extraordinary when he somehow learned the names of 188 students by the second class meeting! He also tries really hard to make the class fun and interesting, even if this requires him to talk in goofy accents or dress up for Halloween."
Bin Yu
Professor, Statistics
Bin Yu"After 3 years at Cal, I finally found a professor that I could speak with on a personal level without any of the formalities. She wrote a recommendation for a scholarship which funded my study abroad in her home country, China. That experience allowed me to develop myself and obtain an educational experience like no other."
Christopher Knaus
Lecturer, African American Studies
Christopher Knaus"He is an amazing professor who takes time out of his schedule to hang out with his students at the beach. He is a great person to just talk to about life, during office hours and even during class."
Christine Diehl
SESAME lecturer, Graduate School of Education
Christine Diehl"She goes out of her way to get feedback on her class. Professor Dhiel not only gives me an academically challenging experience, but the passion she has for her subject is obvious, and she shows a desire to share every bit of her knowledge in this field with all of her students."
Charis Thompson
Associate professor, Gender & Women's Studies, Rhetoric
Charis Thompson"She is one of the nicest people I have ever met in my life - so kind and understanding. Everyone in my Rhetoric class loves her, because she is so approachable and enthusiastic. She is very open to new ideas and loves it when we come up with answers she didn't expect."
Greig Crysler
Associate professor, Architecture
Greig Crysler"Professor Crysler made time in his busy schedule to invite his studio class into his home so that we could better know him and each other. Additionally, he often spent extra time outside of class to help us all get the most we could from our design experience."
Daniel Garcia
Lecturer, Computer Sciences
Daniel Garcia"Dan Garcia has helped make many students' undergraduate experience much richer. He runs many clubs in his spare time ... Always filled with energy and encouragement, Dan helps keep us motivated and on track."
David Elliott
Lecturer, Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies
"At the slightest sign of confusion from any of his students, he'll stay after as long as necessary to help us through the problem ... He gave us his HOME PHONE NUMBER, and told us to call it at any time. He is this bright angel of design instruction. I think when I squint I can see the halo."
Lianne Beltran
GSI, Chemistry
Lianne Beltran"She is a wonderful counselor when I need to talk about academic issues, or even issues that are entirely personal ... Her heart is golden; if she sees me working late in the lab, staying even overnight, she would buy me breakfast to eat due to my extra-tired state."
Ellen Langer
Lecturer, Slavic Languages
" Professor Langer went out of her way for me multiple times for myself and others in my class. I had to leave campus early for a family emergency. She was fully understanding and allowed me to [postpone] the exam. ... she also extended an invitation to tutor me with any problems with Czech that I had before I took the final."
Ellen Simms
Professor, Integrative Biology
Ellen Simms"She celebrates the birthdays of her lab students, has invited me to meet her husband, listened to my personal issues, and always offers her best advice."
Steve Etter
Lecturer, Haas School of Business
Steve Etter "He won't let us call him a professor because he only has an MBA. But he has a PhD in real-world business experience, and he teaches with a passion…He contributes immensely to Haas, through teaching, leadership, and investing his own money every year."
Catherine Pauling
Student affairs officer, Earth and Planetary Science (cited for work in Mathematics)
Catherine Pauling"I had experienced some of the most shaking personal experiences during these past years and she helped me maintain a link to this university in the face of its enormous bureaucracy. I don't know if she's necessarily 'unsung' because I've met many math majors who will know exactly what I'm talking about, but she is definitely my hero at Berkeley."
Louise Fortmann
Professor, Environmental Science, Policy and Management
Louise Fortmann"Louise has given me skills and tools that I will keep for the rest of my life when I enter the work force. She saw the potential in me to be a great person and a great researcher, without me knowing either, and I give her thanks more than any other person I have ever met in my life."
Kristina Gehrman
GSI, Philosophy
Kristina Gehrman"Kristina allowed me to rewrite a paper because she realized I understood the material, but did not know how to write a philosophy paper. She took the time and effort to help me improve my logical writing skills, which will still be helpful in the future after I graduate."
Matthew Francis
Assistant professor, Chemistry
Matthew Francis"By about 11 p.m. most people had left but a few were still around. I could see him forcing himself to keep his eyes open to stay awake, but he still answered all of the questions the students had for him. The best part about his effort is that he does it without a hint of bitterness or annoyance."
George Chang
Professor, Nutritional Sciences & Toxicology
George Chang"He most likely doesn't remember me, but he was the first faculty member that made me feel like he cared about me as an individual. It was the first time I felt welcome, significant, and comfortable."
Ole Hald
Professor, Mathematics
Ole Hald"Professor Ole Hald's Math 1b class was the highlight of my first semester at Cal. I love his enthusiam, humor, organized and effective teaching style, availability for help (he had the best office hours!!) and the fact that he challenged us so much."
Kanika Saniford
Student affairs officer, Sociology
"When it seemed that nothing could be done in my effort to drop and add classes, she didn't give up hope, but asked me to leave my papers and phone number. On Monday, she gave me a call to let me know that she had taken care of everything. I don't know how she managed to do it, but I am so grateful and surprised that she did all this for me even though I was not a student in the Sociology department."
John Tannaci
GSI, Chemistry
John Tannaci"Because he teaches with a passion for the material, he transforms Organic Chemistry, one of the most dreaded lower division classes, from a stress-filled prerequisite, into an enjoyable, enriching experience."
William Gentry
Administrative assistant, Sociology
"Most people are not organized enough to be able to take care of all the ongoing tasks he manages. It is one thing to be able to handle all of the work, it is another to be able to do it with a smile on your face as Bill does."
Hatem Bazian
Lecturer, Near Eastern Studies
Hatem Bazian"Being a practicing Muslim woman has not been easy, and at Cal I have often been confronted with bigotry and hatred. Dr. Hatem was someone I could go to for support or to just vent to."
Ignacio Chapela
Associate professor, Environmental Science, Policy & Management
Ignacio Chapela"He encouraged me to stay enrolled, even when I wanted to leave school; his questions made me take my personal and academic life into perspective. In my confusion about choosing a major, my disillusionment with the academic systems and other students' lack of intellectual curiosity, he helped me find excitement and relevance for school."
Joseph Brooks
GSI, Psychology
Joseph Brooks"Despite his busy schedule, Joe always makes time to talk and truly goes out of his way to make our undergraduate experiences just as good as his. I am not that great of a writer, but I hope my message is clear. Thanks!"
Jeffery Winer
Professor, Molecular and Cell Biology
Jeffery Winer"Hands down the best professor I have had at Berkeley. His "scary" tactics and gruff demeanor mask his gentle heart and witty humor. More so, his love for the human brain has inspired many in my class to study long, arduous hours."
Joseph Campos
Professor, Psychology
"Tests were very unorthodox but did a far superior job of getting you to retain and think about the material. And, on top of it all, somehow, after you worked really hard for what you thought was your grade, you slowly realized you were just doing it for yourself and your own self-enlightenment."
Jean Retzinger
Lecturer, Mass Communications
"Apart from being an extraordinary professor, she is extremely approachable as an academic adviser. She is always very personable and has amazing knowledge of an array of different topics and theories. Every time I leave her office hours I feel lucky and glad to have gone to Berkeley."
Jerry Sanders
Lecturer, International & Area Studies Teaching Program
Jerry Sanders"His classes are not only engaging intellectually but go deeper into the complex issues facing the word today. Recently he was in a horrible car accident yet came to class the next day, pretty banged up with missing teeth and bruises. If that isn't dedication to his students, I don't know what is."
Gordon Frankie
Professor, Environmental Science, Policy and Management
Gordon Frankie"A trip to visit Dr. Frankie in his office hours, or just a simple visit, usually ends up in a long conversation about career goals and current issues surrounding your own community. Throughout my schooling here, I have yet to meet another professor who is interested in what is happening at my home and my progress so far."
Joel Corbo
GSI, Physics
Joel Corbo"Some students were extremely advanced and Joel encouraged conceptual learning beyond what was required while carefully grounding their thoughts by relating back to the concepts necessary for the class; other students failed to comprehend even the most basic principles, to which Joel only offered more aid and alternative approaches that were not only effective but typically proved successful and helpful for the entire class."
David Fullmer
Analyst, ASUC
"Not only is he a computer whiz, he is also a really great guy to talk to. He always has time to talk if you need someone to listen to you, and he gives you real advice instead of telling you what he thinks you want to hear. David makes me feel important when I am around him."
Kevis Goodman
Associate professor, English
Kevis Goodman"Her genuine compassion for my health trumped any academic concerns she might have rightly had as a professor, what with finals and papers around the corner. Having her patience and understanding helped me eke out the rest of the semester and testing period with relative normalcy."
Liza Grandia
GSI, Anthropology
Liza Grandia"She goes out of her way to coordinate review sessions for certain weeks of reading, papers, and exams. She also proofread my paper and some other people's papers when many GSIs would rather let the students proofread among themselves instead."
Laura Levin
Assistant professor, Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies
Laura Levin"As cliché as it sounds, she believes in me. That is honestly what every Cal student needs. They need primarily to believe in themselves and their abilities. But, to also have someone who will fight with you just to affirm that they believe in you, can be enough to inspire a student to move forward. Laura Levin is really the best thing that has happened to me in my college career."
Loni Ding
Lecturer, Ethnic Studies
Loni Ding"She always returned my calls promptly and even drove me home after class a couple times because it was late. She went out of her way to get video tapes I needed for a class assignment and worked with me until 2 a.m. on an assignment for her class."
Edward Carter
GSI, Mathematics
Edward Carter"Although he is no longer my GSI, he still answers questions I have regarding difficult math problems on tests, etc. I recently decided to minor in math and he e-mailed me very helpful advice about which classes to take and when, and how to prepare for them."
Kristi Bedolla
Student affairs officer, Sociology
Kristi Bedolla"I don't even have to tell her anything is wrong, she knows: I will walk down the hallway, she will ask what is wrong, and she will bring me into her office, even if her office hours are over, it doesn't matter to her. Regardless of what she may be going through, she's always there, not only for me, but for everyone."
M.J. Warsi
Lecturer, South & Southeast Asian Studies
M.J. Warsi"Professor Warsi has shown concern for his students beyond the classroom. We have often had meetings at night and for those who commute back home, he has been very careful about making sure they make it to the BART station."
Mary Kelsey
Lecturer, Sociology
"She's real, she's raw. She gave us insight about Berkeley, about the world, and I think in her not being bounded by any limitations, it really helped me to embrace that opportunity to do the same in my classes and my career at Cal."
Darin Jensen
Cartographer, Geography
Darin Jensen"He sincerely cares about the progress of his students. Anytime a class is missed he meets with you individually to help you catch up. He reads his students and is not afraid to alter the schedule and plans accordingly."
Jean Frechet
Professor, Chemical Engineering
Jean Frechet"Excellent professor, quite knowledge-
able of his subject, friendly demeanor, enthusiastic classroom performance, lack of ego, gives hopes to students even when, gradewise, things aren't looking up."
Michael Nylan
Professor, History
"Not only did she expose me to the esoteric teachings of Chuang-tzu; Michael became my personal friend. She lent me books, took me to lectures, and walked me to the BART station. Michael was a truly special professor because she had a vested interest in my well-being."
Martha Olney
Adjunct professor, Economics
Martha Olney"She taught me and my peers that some academic topics, although difficult to grasp, are crucial to making individual differences in society. She has taught me things that I will not only use in school, but in life."
Mark Stacey
Associate professor, Civil Engineering/CEE
Mark Stacey"He is always willing to meet and work with students on class issues or life and career problems. In times of academic stress, he is extremely understanding of the individual needs of his students and is very responsive to student concerns."
Claudio Martonffy
GSI, Architecture
Claudio Martonffy"Because it was the only opportunity for our groups of undergrads to utilize graduate lab equipment, Claudio wasted at least two full days of his spring break to supervise and help each group individually."
Tony Soyka
Student advisor, Public Health
Tony Soyka"He takes the time and patience to spend extra time with both his students and prospective students, late night meetings and evening socials. He also helped mediate and resolve a conflict between student groups, and helped create a safe environment for the students to be clear and open about any problems they had with instructors and other students."
Alan Dundes
Professor, Anthropology (died 3/30/05)
Alan Dundes"I think the effect that Prof. Dundes had on years of students is enormous. He really was remarkable, brilliant, and fun. The eminent publisher of 60+ books actually asked me for permission to excerpt my project. Wow, that made my year."
Steven Pedersen
Lecturer, Chemistry
Steven Pedersen"He taught in a way that encouraged you to explore the subject beyond what was necessary to pass the class, and valued conceptual and intellectual understanding of the material above blind memorization. He's an inspiration to us to live at peace with ourselves and apply all the things we learn in the classroom to daily living."
Sandy Jaeger
Student affairs officer, Economics
Sandy Jaeger"I'm sure Sandy has gotten the same question at least five times every day: "Econometrics is overenrolled — how can I get into this class?" Yet when it was my turn to ask it, after the frightening realization that I couldn't graduate without it, she helped me through the process thoroughly and patiently. Sandy gives the cold, informal economics department a much-needed air of humanity."
Jaleh Pirnazar
Lecturer, Near Eastern Studies
"Her commitment to our learning outstripped her personal conveniences. She is a true model of a dedicated teacher."
David Presti
Senior lecturer, Molecular & Cell Biology
David Presti"Dr. Presti helped me a great deal during a very difficult semester, and without his help I might have crashed much harder. He is truly a remarkable person and a very personable, caring, amiable professor."
John Patton
Student services assistant, African American Studies
"John Patton has gone out of his way to make sure that my undergraduate experience is educational and fun at the same time. He encourages me to explore my options at Cal and think about the greater picture."
Julio Ramos
Professor, Spanish & Portuguese
Julio Ramos"He helped me get into substance abuse treatment, told me who on campus I should talk to about grades and missing classes, etc., and was very supportive of my situation."
Richard Muller
Professor, Physics
Richard Muller"He said in the first meeting of Physics 10: 'If you do not walk out of this class every time with something that deepens your understanding of this world, then I have failed.' He has not failed. In a lecture full of 500 people I have learned more efficiently about life, not just physics, than anywhere else."
Renate Holub
Professor & director, Interdisciplinary Studies
Renate Holub"She invited our whole class (about 100 students or so) all to her house on Thanksgiving. She will always stick out in my mind because she is the only professor of a large class that I have been in who honestly treated it as though it were a small class. I don't think she would have even minded if the entire class had shown up at her house for Thanksgiving dinner."
Ken Ribet
Professor, Mathematics
Ken Ribet"He takes a 10-minute break in the middle of class just to walk around the class asking students how they are doing. On top of that, he invites his students to eat lunch with him once a week so that he may get to know even more students outside of class time."
Stephanie Bobo
Lecturer, College Writing
"She always makes herself available for one-on-one instruction, even offering to have phone conversations from her home at basically any time. One day she was not feeling well and was not going to make it to class. She personally called every student in the morning and informed them that class was canceled and was extremely apologetic."
Joan Chamberlain
GStudent affairs officer, Civil Engineering/CEE
Joan Chamberlain"She helps out our CEE student groups so much that she stays late and works weekends! She makes sure we get help running our events, that we get money and other resources from the department, and plans so many things for the undergrads. I don't know how we survived without her before this academic year!"
Katherine Sherwood
Professor, Art Practice
atherine Sherwood"She's an incredibly giving teacher, one who attends professor dinners at your co-op, offers rides to gallery shows, visits your studios, offers internships at local galleries, truly takes interest in student work, and gives honest and uplifting advice."
Mark Bandstra
GSI, Physics
Mark Bandstra"After first semester final exams had ended and second semester had started, he went through the trouble of obtaining and e-mailing the final exam questions, the histogram, and the final exam solutions to me, as well as getting my blue book for me. He met with me on a Friday evening so that I could go through my blue book solutions. He stayed nearly 3 hours with me that evening, going through each of the questions on the final exam."
Sheldon Rothblatt
Professor emeritus, History
"The class was last semester but he has on numerous occasions taken time from his busy schedule to e-mail the class, find out how we are, take us to lunch, and discuss life."
Charles Stone
Professor emeritus, Statistics
Charles Stone"He has gone out his way many, many times during the three years I've known him. From academics to professional advice, he is always there to assist me whenever I go to him, even when I was running late on my scholarship applications and he only had 2 to 3 days to write a recommendation letter on top of his busy schedule."
Paola Timiras
Professor emerita, Molecular & Cell Biology
Paola Timiras"She has given me the opportunity to pursue my research interests, and also presented me with many occasions to improve my public speaking ability by suggesting various conferences to attend. In addition, I have felt that I am able to speak with her about any problems that I am facing."
Pat Klanh
Student affairs officer, L&S Advising Office
"After I was forced to drop out of school for financial and family reasons, Pat did her best administratively to get me back in, staying night after night dealing with paperwork. She always had a strong voice and hand in finding every possible resource that I could go to in order to be readmitted."
Augustin Lucho Pozo
Professor, Art Practice
"He invited class members to his potluck party where we got to meet each other, and other artists in his personal community. He would sit in Caffe Strada or eat dinner after class with us, just to talk more about art — what is happening in parts of the world, where art history is going, etc. — and our own issues as artists."
Meghdad Hajimorad
GSI, Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences
Meghdad Hajimorad"He pulled three all-nighters with students during project time, continues to help his old students in more advanced classes even though he is not the TA. He is a god. A lot of the EE105 students would have been through hell without him."
Louis Segal
Lecturer, International Area Studies
"I was quite intimidated at the size of Doe Library and unsure how to use their services. As soon as I informed him of this, he announced in class that he was taking me on a tour of the Library and for other students to join."
Victoria Robinson
Lecturer, American Cultures
Victoria Robinson"Not only did she make me more aware of inequity surrounding racial injustices, but also completely altered the way I critically evaluate situations. Even though I am quiet in class, she learned my name then and still knows it now, three semesters later."
Vince Resh
Professor, ESPM-Insect Biology
Vince Resh"He's put countless hours into seeing that I get the best possible education at Berkeley, time and again recommending classes that have been the foundation of my education. If this were just for me, that would be one thing, but he does this with every undergraduate who shows interest in biology."
Roger Liu
Assistant director, Biology Scholars Program
Roger Liu"He has gone through a major surgery and yet during that time before and right after recovery he has come to help and do as much as he can for the program and the students involved. ...He makes sure everyone who comes to him understands that they need to balance grades with life, and that it's OK to take time to breath and take things slow."
Alex Alday
Associate director, Student Life Advising Services
Alex Alday"When I told him that I been having problems with my computer and was unable to use it, he personally went to my dorm and fixed my computer. It was that kind of thing that makes him a great person and an asset for Cal."
Anna Del Rosario
Student affairs officer, Legal Studies
Alla Del Rosario"Although she has not done any large particular good deed for me, all the little things she does goes beyond the call of duty of a major adviser, and those little things really add up. When all the bureaucracy seems so cold, Anna is almost a comfort to us because of her unfailingly kindness."
Jeffrey Strahl
Student affairs officer, Engineering Dean's Office
Jeffrey Strahl"Jeff is awesome both as a leader and a person....he carries this energy and vibe inside of him that pushes students to their best. I think the thing I admire [most] is that he believes in the students, and he knows us by name, and treats us as friend."
Jan Johnson
Student affairs officer, East Asian Languages & Cultures
"She has been a great friend and someone who will listen and talk to you without being biased by academic performances. She is always helpful and compassionate to all her students and staff working with her. She is unjaded by the bureaucracy even though she is at times limited by it."
Angela Skrivanich
Student affairs officer, Undergraduate Admissions
Angela Skrivanich"Angela Skrivanich, an extraordinary admissions counselor in Sproul Hall, absolutely went out of her way to get me in the door at Cal. When my application to Cal was denied on a technicality Angela was a brilliant logician and advocate during my successful appeals process."
Katherine Mattson
Production manager, Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies
Katherine Mattson"She has attended all of the technical rehearsals for each one of the shows I have worked on. What this means, is after her usual workday, she stays on at the theater until as late as 1 a.m. and comes in on Saturday and Sunday to ... ensure I have the guidance and support necessary to bring the show through to opening."
Chris Lane
Academic adviser, Athletic Study Center
Chris Lane"With a busy schedule and a lot of athletes to take care of, let alone having to remember hundreds of people’s names, she still pulls through. Every time I see her she is able to put a smile on her face, which makes people feel extremely welcome. ...She is helpful, understanding and if you are stuck in a corner she helps you see thing through."
David Zywina
GSI, Mathematics
"He made sure we all kept up with the instructor who made leaps and bounds, and proved that the truly impossible exam problems actually made sense, even if he had to stay up all night to write the multi-page proof. But then he also pushed us and showed us revelations and tricks that truly made it an Honors class and left us sweating."
Vance Vredenburg
GSI, Integrative Biology
Vance Vredenburg"He's taken trips with me to the Sierra mountains and has showed me the essential qualities that will form my senior thesis. He takes all the time out of his schedule to do these things and advise me when I need help."
William Wong
GSI, Business Administration
William Wong"He is very kind and understanding. He is more than willing to go the extra mile to make sure that his students understand the material. I believe he is the sole reason why most of the people in my section ended up passing the course. Otherwise, I think most of us would be in summer school right now. William Wong is truly our hero!!!"
Thavin Pak
GSI, South & Southeast Asian Studies
"The class fondly calls him 'Lok Kru,' which means 'teacher' in Khmer, and it's clear that he wants his students to learn. Lok Kru is perhaps the kindest and most generous person that I've met at Cal. He has definitely made this big university feel a bit cozier to me."
Susan Gaylard
GSI, Italian Studies
Susan Gaylard"After gliding through a simple second semester of Italian studies, I found myself terribly unprepared for my third. With Susan's help, and despite my initial apprehension, I was able to finish the class not only with a laudable grade, but also with a renewed faith in my ability to overcome any obstacle I may encounter."
Maire Lanigan
Student affairs officer, Environmental Science, Policy & Management
"Maire Lanigan is the most caring, hardworking, genuine person I've met on the Berkeley school faculty. She is absolutely phenomenal, never too busy, always encouraging and pleasant. She is helpful and knowledgeable as well in all instances."
Joe Morello
Advising coordinator, Athletic Study Center
Joe Morello"Joe Morello has definitely bent over backward for me in many ways, educational and personal. I have been put in very difficult situations and he has helped and advised me in ways that a father figure would."
Stephanie Ballenger
GSI, History
"She held extra office hours and study groups, returned all emails promptly with detailed and helpful responses, offered sincere advice on outside academic and life matters, edited and counseled students on work for other classes besides the one she was teaching, was the most encouraging and sweetest staff or faculty member in my experience here and the only one who would recognize me on campus or remember my name."
Lisa Bauer
Campus recycling and refuse manager, Physical Plant-Campus Services
Lisa Bauer "She is an extraordinary woman who ...has always been supportive of my environmental activities. She has helped facilitate my work on bringing an alternative fuel to campus and always listens to me and provides feedback on my project. I don't feel like I could have been as inspired or accomplished without her."
Mary Anne Clark
Student affairs officer, Landscape Architecture & Environmental Planning
"She has always been more than eager to help. She gave me a private tour of the department when I found out I was admitted to Berkeley, and her generosity and personality truly made me want to come to Berkeley. She has done all this with courtesy and has always maintained a smile."
John Matsui
Program director, Molecular & Cell Biology
John Matsui"Dr. Matsui (and Dr. Liu) provided support when I felt worried about what major to choose or if I was falling behind from everyone else. One of the things I liked was that they didn't pressure me to follow a certain major or a certain plan. Instead they taught me that I shouldn't compare myself to other people."
Elvia Villalobos
Assistant director, Student Affairs, Incentive Awards Program
Elvia Villalobos"Elvia has always gone out of her way to attempt to make me feel like a part of this campus. She is the most personable, kind, socially conscious role model that I have encountered at Cal. She has been and will always be a mentor and a friend."
Benjamin Young
GSI, Rhetoric
"When I didn't attend classes, he took the initiative to contact me to ask if I was alright. He spent a lot of time during extra office hours to provide guidance to help me make up my work, and tried to understand what's going on in my life. He's the first person in my four years of college to go out of his way to show he cares."
Gonzalo Arrizon
Study strategies resources coordinator, Student Learning Center
Gonzalo Arrizon"Not only did he help me situate myself in this somewhat hostile and intimidating university, but he made me believe that I can get through my college career. Most importantly, he taught me to be proud of what I have accomplished and not fixate on the trials that I have failed."
David Chao
GSI, Chemistry
"David Chao accommodated my hockey/ engineering/ pledging schedule freshman year and helped me succeed in Chem1A. If I was out of town for hockey and missed a review, he would make me a copy and drive it to my dorm (foothill) at any time and drop it off so I could study for the exam."
Jay Rynek
GSI, Sociology
"Being an international student, it is sometimes difficult for me to really enjoy my undergrad life. Jay, however, made me feel really part of this academic community by integrating me into the discussion in his section. It may have been a small thing for him, but it definitely changed the climate of my experience."
Cristóbal Olivares
Health educator, Engineering
Cristóbal Olivares"Cristobal is in charge of the health worker program and the multicultural AIDS/HIV Peer Program. I have grown so much as an individual simply from being in his presence, and I have learned so much about myself as a supervisor by watching him work....I will be forever grateful to him for what he has done for me."
Ian Tullis
GSI, Environmental Science, Policy & Management
"Ian Tullis was amazing as he spent countless hours of time outside of class typing up explanations, answering e-mails, and holding office hours almost every day to accommodate everyone."
Richard Black
Associate vice chancellor, Admission & Enrollment
Richard Black"[I met Richard] at the Chancellor's convocation my freshman year....he took the time to extend an offer to take my friend and I out to lunch, something which we have been doing regularly ever since...Richard enriches my Cal experience by sharing his wealth of knowledge and Cal's history, ranging from the histories behind the redwoods at Cal and Boalt Hall."
Kelly Mann
Cashier, Tang Center
"I have to see a doctor at the Tang Center every couple of months. Kelly Mann, the cashier there, is warm and friendly. I found myself looking forward to the last part of my visit, when I had to pay. He always made me smile, and warmed my experience at the Tang Center."
Travis Freed
GSI, Environmental Science, Policy & Management
Travis Freed"He gave all of his personal time to his group of students. He spent countless hours carefully explaining any questions, was incredibly flexible according to the needs of the students, and changed his teaching/explanation methods according to how the students best learned."
Santiago Canez
GSI, Mathematics
"He had been extremely helpful in understanding impossibly difficult concepts in lectures. When the midterm comes, he holds the most helpful and comprehensive review sessions there are. People from other sections are in awe of how well he explains things."
Nadesan Permaul
Director, Parking & Transportation
Nadesan Permaul"He is an extremely effective teacher and a very warm man. He has gone out of his way on many occasions to help me with thinking about my future and even with personal issues. He has made the extra effort to not only form a relationship with me, but also to help me form relationships with other professor."
Ruprekha Chowdhury
GSI, South and Southeast Asian Studies
Ruprekha Chowdhury"She is the most supportive and remarkable GSI I have had since I came to Berkeley. Her discussions and lectures are insightful and thought provoking, and she is extremely supportive of her students' efforts, both inside and outside of the classroom. She even attends their extra-curricular performances and concerts and thus shows that she cares about their well-being."
Susan Agnew
Undergraduate assistant, Near Eastern Studies
Susan Agnew"She has always tried her utmost to answer any and all questions that I may have in regard to course offerings and my collegiate path, and she has always taken the time to make sure that when I leave her office, I leave better informed and more prepared to meet the challenges of graduation. I know that if I have any problem at all, Ms. Agnew will know how to fix it, or find out for me."
Anthony Bulloch
Professor, Classics
Anthony Bulloch"He hasn't killed any hydras or cleaned any stables lately, but Professor Bulloch can be considered Herculean in his own right. As a professor in a large lecture hall, he still cares about what his students think, even going so far as to incorporate students' questions into the day's topic."
Ahamindra Jain
Lecturer, Chemistry
Ahamindra Jain"Professor Jain is one of the smartest, kindest, most helpful people I have ever met. He made me love organic chemistry and believe in myself. He gave really good and well-organized lectures, and made me want to learn and understand the material."
Teresita Gutiérrez
Berkeley Cares program manager, Financial Aid
Teresita Gutiérrez"She has been like a second mother, there when I had no one else to cry to and encouraging me to continue my struggles at Cal. Since she attended Berkeley herself, she understands how difficult it is to be first generation ... I respect and admire her and I am glad she is patient with me in solving my financial worries so that I can focus on my education."
A. James Gregor
Professor, Political Science
"Professor Gregor brings an insightful, alternative viewpoint in his classes. He is very accessible to students and is willing to engage in true thought, reason, and debate. He is willing to say things most other professors are not."
Alex Saragoza
Professor, Ethnic Studies
Alex Saragoza"He is a role model for most students in his courses. He is a symbol of hope and his teaching style reflects his understanding of the obstacles these students face. His enthusiasm for teaching history inspired me when I was thinking Cal wasn't the place for me. He is just filled with energy and so freakin' awesome."
Ananya Roy
Associate dean, IAS, and assistant professor, City and Regional Planning
Ananya Roy"She makes time for any student, whether she advises them officially or not. Apart her openness and level of engagement, she is a brilliant lecturer and scholar. Each and every one of her lectures is profound because they force you to evaluate your own life and to make decisions about how you want to live."
Aparajita Nanda
Professor, English
Aparajita Nanda"She made the time to meet with each student to discuss paper topics before we were to write them. When many students were going to be absent because of a holiday, she willingly made herself available to repeat the lecture at a different time for the absent students."
Aaron Cohen
Disability specialist, Disabled Students' Program
Aaron Cohen"He has been amazing in helping me to make the most of Berkeley and my future plans in life. He has greatly helped me to improve my success at Berkeley while dealing with [a learning disorder], sat down with me many times to discuss a clearer career path, and talked to me over the phone, overseas, when I was having a hard time dealing with a friend's suicide."
Arthur Shimamura
Professor, Psychology
Arthur Shimamura"Professor Shimamura gave me the opportunity as a second year to begin research in his lab, allowing me to discover the passion that I have for research. He constantly provided support for everything that I asked - my honor's thesis project, graduate school applications, and graduate fellowship applications."
Robert Bea
Professor, Civil Engineering/CEE
Robert Bea"Not only did Professor Bea teach us the subject matter for the course, but he taught us how to be engineers. He demonstrated the practical use of engineering in a fun and intuitive way, making a drab class interesting and easy to understand."
Mont Allen
GSI, History of Art
Mont Allen"Mont Allen has really helped me both in deciding upon a major, getting through tough classes (even ones that he was not my GSI for), adjusting to college, and personal problems as well."
Gilberta Fortini
Custodian, Residential & Student Services
"Gilberta is an amazing human being granted far too little respect and admiration for what some would consider her menial tasks. With that sparkling wit and quick minded, genuine personability, she has made a great friend to many of us residents."
Lynn Huntsinger
Associate professor, Environmental Science, Policy & Management
Lynn Huntsinger"When two student mentioned that her class was not applicable for their ESPM minor, she got that changed. This allowed me to go to Costa Rica for the tropical bio program. She was also very helpful in regards to midterms, etc. She consulted with everyone individually about their answers and really wanted to make sure people understood the subject even after the test."
Matt Gagliardi
GSI, Mathematics
Matt Gagliardi"Many grad students carry an intimidating aura to them, but Matt really enjoys teaching material to students. He is easy to talk to and nonjudgmental. I often get frustrated and he has come through multiple times and helped me get back on my feet during a difficult course."
Sheila Humphreys
Director of diversity, Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences
Sheila Humphreys"She's always amazing and helps me with my [scholarship], school decisions and now employment opportunities…she's contacting old students who now work at companies to help me get a job."
Claudia Carr
Professor, Environmental Science, Policy & Management
Claudia Carr"Claudia Carr is an amazing professor. Almost all of her students attend every class and she exudes an intelligence and spunk that inspires, motivates and leads students to be free thinkers and proactive. She opens us up to the rest of the world like no other teacher has."
Matthew Medeiros
GSI, Integrative Biology
"He went out of his way to making learning fun for us, and once even had the guts to dress up as Darwin to teach us about evolution. Instead of conventional methods of teaching, like making the students write an essay or a boring lab, he took our lab group to Tilden Park for a "nature hike."
Lupe Gallegos-Diaz
Coordinator, Multicultural Student Development
"She has supported me in my academic endeavors by finding funding for me to attend three conferences (even though I am only an undergraduate). She has also provided me with advice on personal matters. She is ALWAYS there to provide me, as well as so many other students, with support. She is also largely the reason I have decided to attend graduate school, which is a huge step for me, a first-generation Chicana."
Marian Diamond
Professor, Integrative Biology
Marian Diamond"Prof. Diamond is an extraordinarily open and warm professor. Her quest for knowledge and her zest for life are genuine, and she inspires the same zeal in others. She is always willing to listen in office hours, and her demeanor is such that a level of trust and friendships are extended the moment she opens her door."
Earl Klee
Lecturer, Interdisciplinary Studies
"Earl Klee was very approachable and friendly during my first meeting ... He took what seemed to be a confusing and bureaucratic process to declare a major and explained it very simply. He also had a number of suggestions for things I should look into. He is a wonderful asset to Berkeley."
Kathy Slusser
Coordinator, UC Berkeley Washington Program
Kathy Slusser"She works tirelessly to promote the UCDC program on campus and encourages students to participate in the life-changing experience. During my application process, Ms. Slusser calmly explained everything and did so in a way that was both affirming and uplifting."
Elizabeth Page-Gould
GSI, Psychology
Elizabeth Page-Gould"Instead of blaming students when they make mistakes because they didn't understand something, she says that she probably wasn't explaining it well enough and works with us until we understand. She is available all hours of the day, and gave us her home phone number."
Lewis Feldman
Professor, Plant & Microbial Biology
Lewis Feldman"He is one of the best professors here. Not only is he great at lecturing, but he goes out of his way to help his class of 500 students. Professor Feldman went to almost every lab we had."
Felipe Gutterriez
Lecturer, Rhetoric
"Merely coming to understand Nietzsche is hard enough, but dealing with the repercussions of obsessing over his ideas and the consequent destruction of one's previous worldview is perhaps the most difficult experience a mind can endure. Without Felipe's guidance, I don't know where my mind might be right now."
Frederick Dolan
Professor, Rhetoric
Frederick Dolan"I especially appreciate his willingness to treat students as though they were more than students. I remember approaching him one day to ask about his personal beliefs about God, and he said that he would be more than open and willing to discuss these with me at office hours."
John Zysman
Professor, Political Science
"If it weren't for Dr. Zysman, I doubt I would have focused my thesis to a topic I care about. He has taught me an amazing skill in analyzing problems, boiling them down to their essentials, and then attacking the structure. He has taught me how to be a scholar."
Michele de Coteau
Director, Multicultural Engineering Program
Michele de Coteau"She informed me of several scholarships that I was not aware of to help me out with my financial situation, and she has done this for many of my friends who also needed financial assistance. She keeps track of our progress and calls us in to talk when she notices something is not going right."
Jacqueline Fulmer
Lecturer, Celtic Studies
Jacqueline FUlmer"She extended her office hours to help me improve my writing. When she found out I might need a job to help with my schooling, she searched for possible jobs by asking other faculty members."
Zachary Judson
GSI, Mathematics
"Instead of diving right into all the mathematical jargon and symbols, he started from scratch and tackled specific parts of each concept that we had trouble with. He also held review sessions that were extremely helpful — not only did he review material, but he pointed out common mistakes to avoid and special techniques that made the professor's problems much easier to solve."
Ron Hassner
Assistant professor, Political Science
Ron Hassner"He is the most accessible person to Berkeley students and goes out of his way to help his students in any way he can. He talks to students as his equals and makes them feel comfortable in all that he does."
Linda Lewin
Professor, History
"She has helped me determine the course of my research without being overbearing or taking the challenge out of research for me. When I attend her office hours, I always leave feeling more secure in my own capabilities and the prospects of continuing research."
Robert Holub
Dean of Undergraduate Division, College of Letters & Science
Robert Holub"The material of the class was so intriguing that we convinced Prof. Holub to teach a complementary seminar the following term. At the close of the class, he invited us all to his house for dinner, further extending our little community."
Helen Lew
Lecturer, Molecular & Cell Biology
Helen Lew"Helen always has so much to say about any topic I asked for, from biology to physics. She has always helped me understand the correlations between the fields, thus allowing me to be excited to further understand just about anything I asked her."
Jennifer Miller
Associate professor, English
Jennifer Miller"She encourages us to ask questions that she cannot answer because it illustrates that we are thinking challenging thoughts ... She makes everyone in her class feel as if their thoughts count, not because they are what she has lectured on, but because they are our own."
Bob Jacobsen
Professor, Physics
Bob Jacobsen"I was always amazed at how much effort he was willing to put forth to make sure that I understood the concepts. After that one meeting, I was assured that physics couldn't be so hard, after all. I attended his office hours that semester many times with groups of other students and the knowledge we gained from these sessions was invaluable."
Amy Utstein
Undergraduate adviser, Comparative Literature
"My roommate suffered serious medical problems, and Amy was the reason I didn't drop out of school altogether. She gave me the courage to speak to my professors, and helped me weigh my options for the difficult and exceptional semester. She forced me to remember that I was in school for me — not to take care of my roommate or to please my parents, but to develop my passions to their fullest potential."
Jere Takahashi
Academic coordinator, Asian American Studies
Jere Takahashi"People under-
estimate how difficult it is to be a progressive East Asian, in a community that although it grows in number, also grows in apathy. It is extremely important for staff members like Jere to exist because as an older member of the community, he stands as a role model of success."
John Tran
GSI, Molecular & Cell Biology
"He would compose a lesson plan and sit with us night after night to painstakingly cover the details of the material that we were responsible for. At the end, he even bought everyone at the reviews pizza for dinner. John is one of those genuinely sincere teachers who care more about their students than themselves."
Lisa Zemelman
Student affairs officer, Nuclear Engineering
Lisa Zemelman"Lisa is the woman to go to for any problem, academic or not. She helped me get an internship ... helps with random problems like looking up common pests on the Internet when she finds out that a student has a bug problem. Lisa is a truly caring person and she is responsible for the outstanding atmosphere in the entire department."
John Shoptaw
Professor, English
"He has continued to encourage me as a poet and even arranged time to discuss my writing, future education, and publishing poetry, when I have not been taking a course with him or when I had class during his office hours."
Caroline Kane
Professor in residence, Molecular and Cell Biology
Caroline Kane"She is never, ever, ever critical if you don't understand something, and is always willing to take time out of her day to explain. If you still don't understand, she'll try to explain it in some other way."
Tabitha Kanogo
Professor, History
"Professor Kanogo, a UC Berkeley Professor and Rhodes Scholar, believed in me, which allowed me to continue my studies with a new confidence. By the end of my first semester I felt like I belonged at UC Berkeley and for the first time began to feel like part of the Cal family."
Kathryn Klar
Lecturer, Celtic Studies
Kathryn Klar"She went out of her way to make things easier for me during a very difficult time in my life. When I was very ill, I was forced to leave school. ... When it came to submitting the paperwork, she delivered it to the Office of the Registrar and wrote a check for it herself (I paid her back, of course), since I was out of state and they required it to be done in person."
Kathleen Moran
Lecturer, associate director, American Studies
Kathleen Moran"She teaches a lively, informative class, the goal of which is 'to get you to think.' She talked about being at a research university and the opportunities that brings. She reminded me of what it means to be at Berkeley, which is something I needed. It will probably be the thing that keeps me from transferring."
Marty Gaetjens
Student adviser, Mass Communications
"Marty put me at ease. Though he had hundreds of students to advise, he gave 110% of himself at all times. He always knew you by name and remembered what we talked about the last time I stopped by. He is generous, sincere, kind, open, helpful, supportive, and with THOSE ears, he's an amazing listener."
Leon Litwack
A.F. & May T. Morrison Professor of History
Leon Litwack"His lectures are amazing; he has an incredible ability to engage the students and allow history to come alive. He opened my eyes to a more honest interpretation of American history."
Lura Dolas
Lecturer, Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies
Lura Dolas"She constantly recommends me for opportunities that arise and gives my name out freely to other directors. Lura does not only do this for me, but for all of her students, putting her whole self into creating a positive and enriched learning environment."
Lisa Walker
Coordinator, Multicultural Student Development
Lisa Walker"She is the person I confide in, even before friends, and go to when I am in trouble, in need, or whenever it is time to celebrate. It is rare when Walker leaves the office at 5, because she is always there for students to help with whatever is needed for however long they need her."
Maureen Miller
Associate professor, History
Maureen Miller"She even offered to share some primary sources which she had come across on a recent trip to Europe. She offered to bring them all in just for me to "browse" through to see if I was even interested in pursuing the topic further. If I decided that I was interested, she even offered to copy them ALL for me."
Elise Couper
GSI, Economics
"Elise has been singularly responsible for helping me appreciate that the economics department at Berkeley does not need to be a large and distant major, and has been influential in stimulating my participation and involvement within the department."
Mark Kubinec
Lecturer, Chemistry
Mark Kubinec"He's a charismatic instructor who makes lecture sessions a joy to attend and chemistry an interesting subject to study for. His sense of humor is that special something that cannot be found in other lecture sessions of other professors."
Mary Mead
Lecturer, Nutritional Sciences & Toxicology
Mary Mead"What has touched me the most about this amazing woman is her dedication to her duty of education. Her concern that we as students have a thorough education has touched me on many levels."
Dan Schmidt
GSI, Geography
"He put in extra time and effort to help me and fellow students understand the class better, and invited us to help him do research at the Bolinas Lagoon (as he said, "to get our toes wet," so that if we ever got to grad school we'd have some field study techniques under our belt)."
Robert Calonico
Director of bands
Robert Calonico"After weeks away from his family and dealing with college students (band students are even more difficult), Bob Calonico continues to maintain his composure and develops inspiring relationships with many students from all backgrounds, cultures, and socio-economic levels. Without knowing it, he has influenced my life and the path I will take to my future more significantly than any instructor or friend."
Paulo Monteiro
Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Paulo Monteiro"The first day of class, I lived the freshman nightmare — I got lost on campus and showed up for class 30 minutes late. Prof. Monteiro kindly smiled and pointed me towards a seat, and for the rest of the semester he always made me feel comfortable and welcome in a class where I was the only freshman and one of very few women."
Manfred Wolf
Visiting professor, Dutch Studies
"Along with teaching an interesting class and sharing his personal stories, he was extremely supportive of our presentation ideas and papers. He always brought lectures and scholarship opportunities to our attention and encouraged us to become more involved in the Dutch studies program."
Claudia Ostertag
Associate professor, Civil Engineering/CEE
Claudia Ostertag"She provided guidance throughout my research experiences and has been very supportive in life outside of school/research. She made me feel more than just her student but a friend."
Andrew Packard
Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Andrew Packard"I received a C- in his course but he taught it so well. He made class fun and entertaining and is just one of the BEST professors I have ever had at Berkeley. He truly amazes me with how much knowledge he has and how much he loves what he does."
Shelley Claridge
GSI, Chemistry
Shelley Claridge"She likes to relate what we're learning to everyday things such as sunburn, tanning or microwave/ cell phone radiation effects. She also uses many different teaching techniques, from group work, problem solving, hands-on experiments, or model-making in class."
Jeffrey Perloff
Professor, Agricultural & Resource Economics
Jeffrey Perloff"He has spent countless hours of his personal time making sure that students like myself understand both the theory and practice of whatever issues he is approached about (even while eating dinner!)"
Robert Beatty
Assistant adjunct professor, Molecular & Cell Biology
Robert Beatty"Great mentor and advisor! His lectures are well-explained. He is nice to students, and always there to help. He made me feel the first time that I belong to Cal."
Zachary Nagel
GSI, Chemistry
"Knowledgeable, friendly, professional, able to teach and explain, never talked down to freshmen, got the students to care about the class and the subject beyond the text and assignments. During office hours, he would stay as long as students showed up, teaching all these freshmen not only the subject but how to survive."
Darren Zook
Lecturer, Political Science
Darren Zook"He really brings up provoking issues that make a person more open, thoughtful, and understanding. His classes left an emotional impact rather than the rote memorization or conceptualization of theories and speculations that I get from my other professors."
Rosemary Joyce
Professor, Anthropology
Rosemary Joyce"She goes out of her way to make sure you are doing well not just academically, but emotionally as well. She really wants you to learn and absorb things, not just memorize them for a test."
Ben Tran
GSI, Comparative Literature
"It is important to him that we understand the material, and he will not rest until we do (he performed an award-winning dramatic act to illustrate various points of view a writer can adopt). Ben made it a priority of the first week to know each of our names and got each of us to get to know each other, so that we would feel comfortable discussing issues and ideas together."
Ted Moore
Acting director, Jazz Ensemble
Ted Moore"Ted is only supposed to be in the office from 9-5, but he often stays until the late hours of the night making sure that rehearsals run smoothly and that students and instructors are both happy and satisfied. The amount of work that he takes on is staggering. He always stresses for us students the importance of personal contribution to the making of good music, and he himself is the prime example of this."
Robert Knight
Professor, Psychology
Robert Knight"In class he does a wonderful job conveying information to students. He tells memorable, interesting, or amusing stories about his own experiences working with patients, in medical school, or general experiences in his field, which really gives us a flavor as to what this area is like."
Khalilah Beal
GSI, Mathematics
"She spent more than six hours each week to help me out since I did not understand the concept much. She even helped out when I took a different class in her own personal time. I really appreciated her help."
Stephen Booth
Professor, English
"When I was having some difficulties settling some matters with the Financial Aid office and they were threatening to 'cut me off,' he offered to pay my tuition for school. I thought this went way beyond the call of duty and I will never forget it!"
Stephen Miller
Professor emeritus, Classical Archaeology
Stephen Miller"He was an amazing instructor. He took us to a warehouse in Emeryville to look at plaster casts of sculpture we were studying, and he was always available to discuss topics out of class at the Bear's Lair."
Junichi Semitsu
Visiting lecturer, African American Studies
Junichi Semitsu"He has fought tirelessly to keep the Poetry for the People class funded every year, to give as many students as possible a chance to voice their opinions, and in many cases, actually find their voice. The class has been an incredible gift for so many students, helping each person — myself included — understand who they are, where they are coming from, and how to stand up for what they believe in this world."
Herman Van Halbeek
Director of NMR Science and Technology, Chemistry
Herman Van Halbeek"Herman knew all of the students in his class by name after the first day of lecture, and he frequently talked to students one-on-one to make sure they were doing well in the course. It is not uncommon for him to work into the wee hours of the morning or over the weekend to solve a particular problem a student has encountered. I have been continually impressed with his dedication and genuine love for teaching."
Sarah Tasker
Assistant adjunct professor, Haas School of Business
"More than just the research experience was the invaluable support from a faculty member to a freshman who felt somewhat lost in college, in the direction I want to take for my career, and in what sparks my interest. I can honestly say that without all her help and support (despite her extremely busy schedule!) I would not have achieved or been accepted into many things I have applied for."
Carlo Arreglo
GSI, English
"He has told me that he is trying to teach the class he would have enjoyed taking, and really wants to enrich the lives of the people around him. I have no doubt that several other undergrads are as indebted to him as I am for his generosity and general positive attitude."
Chip Sullivan
Professor, Landscape Architecture
"Chip has gone out of his way to ensure a social network for his students with out-of-class lunches and assisting students in their career goals. Overall, he has made me want to make a change in this world and has provided me the tools to do so."
Crawford Greenewalt
Professor, Classics
"I asked him a question after class concerning what caused Mycaenean Greece to slip into a dark age. Without asking, the next class he brought me a photocopied excerpt from a journal which laid out several reasons. I thought that it was remarkable that he remembered our conversation and then went out of his way to do this for me."
John Gray
Professor, Mass Communications
"He has gone above and beyond to improve the mass comm major. While here he has worked to establish the major on the same level as History and English. By making it more competitive, he truly has made it a more valuable major to have at school."
William Di Napoli
Senior lecturer, Architecture
"He speaks to you and your designs at a personal level rather than just advancing his own ideology. Working overtime is an understatement for Bill; he has on a number of occasions stayed from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on regular studio days and even come in on Friday evenings from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m.!"
Christopher Vulpe
Associate professor, Nutritional Sciences & Toxicology
Christopher Vulpe"He invited us to his house and we went on a hike where he showed us the different plants and animals living in the area. This day, by far, was one of the most educational days in my life — far more than any spent in a classroom. He has been a breath of fresh air here at Cal."
Yury Kolomensky
Associate professor, Physics
Yury Kolomensky"It's truly inspiring (particularly in the sciences) to see a professor who is involved in ground-breaking research but still cares so much about teaching. He serves as someone that I still look up to in the realm of physics and education as a whole."