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05 March 2003

Eugene Myers
Eugene Myers, professor of computer science and a prominent researcher involved in the sequencing of the human genome, has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering. The election is considered one of the highest professional honors for an American engineer.

Myers is the 87th faculty member at Berkeley to receive the honor. Among academic institutions, Berkeley maintains one of the highest representations in the academy, which named 77 new members and nine foreign associates this year — bringing the total U.S. membership to 2,138 and the number of foreign associates to 165.

Helaine Kaplan Prentice
A lecturer in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning, Helaine Kaplan Prentice, has been given a Partners in Preservation Lifetime Achievement Award by the Oakland Heritage Alliance Partners in Preservation.

In its award citation, the alliance cited Prentice’s 28 years of service to the City of Oakland Planning Division and the “profound effect” of her work on the urban fabric and landscape of Oakland.

“As the first woman planner in the city,” it said, “she has covered every possible design issue from buildings, trees, and views to helping the city recover from the earthquake....As Secretary to the Landmarks Preservation Advisory Board, her skilled advice directly or indirectly influenced a wide variety of projects.” The dozens of landmark preservation and design projects in which she has been involved include Frank Ogawa Plaza, Preservation Park, Old Oakland, Tribune Tower, Oakland Museum of California, Paramount Theater, Fox Theater, Lakeside Park, and many others.

Prentice accepted the honor at an awards dinner in December. “The best part of the ceremony,” she says, “was that following a short impromptu speech in acknowledgment....I was congratulated by a journalist in the audience for being ‘both poetic and practical.’ That is what every landscape architect wants to hear.”

Steven Segal
Professor of Social Welfare Steven Segal has received the 2003 Distinguished Achievement Award from the Society for Social Work and Research. Segal was recognized “for exceptional contributions to the development of the knowledge base of social work, for upholding the highest standards of scholarly inquiry, and for leadership in advancing the integration of practice and research.”

Segal directs the Mental Health and Social Welfare Research Group at Berkeley’s School of Social Welfare and the Center for Self-Help Research of the Public Health Institute, based in the city of Berkeley; he co-directs a pre- and post-doctoral training program related to the organization and financing of mental-health services. Segal’s research focuses on residential and psychiatric emergency-room care, psychoactive-medication prescription practices, services to the homeless, and self-help mental-health services.

In a congratulatory letter, a Columbia University public health professor said the following of Segal’s research: “As someone who works in the field of mental health services research, I’ve been an avid consumer of your work for many years and have constantly been impressed with its relevance, methodological rigor, and focus on the needs of the most disadvantaged.”

Segal accepted the award at the society’s annual conference in Washington, D.C. last month.

Nine faculty win Sloan Research Fellowships
The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has named 117 scientists and scholars as recipients of its 2003 Sloan Research Fellowships. Among them are nine members of the Berkeley faculty: George Necula, Ion Stoica, and David Wagner in computer sicence; Steven Brenner and Lior Pachter in molecular biology; Tom Graber and Michael Hutchings in mathematics; Emmanuel Saez in economics; and Kristin Scott in neuroscience.

Sloan Awards are among the most competitive awards given to junior faculty. More than 25 past Sloan Fellows have gone on to become Nobel Laureates.