2006 Recipients

Alice Agogino

Alice Agogino is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering. Professor Agogino is widely recognized as a preeminent researcher and scholar within her field of mechanical engineering, as exemplified by her selection as the Roscoe and Elizabeth Hughes Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and her election to the National Academy of Engineering. She is currently Chair of the Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate. As a CAAIE review committee member noted – “promoting diversity and equal opportunity is in her bones.” Professor Agogino is unquestionably one of Berkeley’s leaders in creating an equitable and diverse learning and research environment. Her work is an extraordinary blend of research in mechanical engineering, inquiry into issues of gender and minority access and equity, and the building of programs, resources, and curricula to advance both causes. The sheer volume of her contributions is amazing and her ability to sustain them even more impressive.

Gibor Basri

Gibor Basri is a Professor of Astronomy. Professor Basri is internationally recognized for his research in astronomy. With an impressive list of technical publications, he is probably best known for his research on "brown dwarfs" or "failed stars". These stars emit so little light that they were not detected until 1995 when the team Professor Basri headed helped to confirm their existence. He serves as co-investigator on a major NASA mission to be launched in 2008. As noted by several reviewers, Professor Basri is a steady, consistent, and solid presence in promoting equity and inclusion. His greatest effort has been in truly extraordinary community service that has, and is, establishing policies, processes, and procedures that will advance diversity at UC. He is often prevailed upon, and always willing to step forward as a speaker, advisor, and advocate. Professor Basri has created a web of influence predicated upon calling attention to the role of diversity as fundamental to institutional excellence.

William A. Lester

William A. Lester is a Professor of Chemistry. Professor Lester’s distinguished career in chemistry has focused on theoretical studies of the electronic structure of molecules. With more than 200 technical papers, his efforts have extended the powerful quantum Monte Carlo method to a wider range of chemical problems. For many years, Professor Lester has been a strong supporter of underrepresented students in the sciences with his heartfelt personal advising, very candid keynote addresses, and long-term commitment to the institutionalization of programs to support diversity and academic excellence. He was the energy, motivation, and fund-raising force behind the College of Chemistry’s Scholars Program, which assists students from disadvantaged backgrounds. At the departmental, community, university, and national levels, Professor Lester is a tireless advocate and participant in activities that promote diversity and excellence among students.

Rhona Weinstein

Rhona Weinstein is a Professor of Psychology. Professor Weinstein specializes in community psychology. She has an impressive list of articles and books, including her recent award-winning book Reaching Higher: the Power of Expectations in Schooling. This powerful book scrupulously documents how schools create inequality for socially less favored children. Professor Weinstein currently serves as Director of Research and Development at Cal Prep, a new charter school collaborative established by UC Berkeley and Aspire Public Schools. At Cal Prep, she is applying empirical models based on her research to design new interventions that promote and support high expectations. Profession Weinstein provides an exemplary model of how to unite one’s research, teaching, and service as a thoroughly complementary set of activities that squarely address the needs of California’s diverse population. She models collaborative, inclusive behavior at every turn as she inspires her colleagues and students with her compassion, perseverance, and sustained commitment.