David Wineland ’65

Controlling particles in a quantum world was previously thought impossible, but Wineland invented ways to measure and manipulate individual particles without destroying them  — a feat that won him the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physics. Single particles lose their enigmatic properties the minute they interact with the outside world, making it difficult to observe many seemingly absurd events. Wineland’s ingenious methods involve trapping electrically charged atoms, or ions, and controlling and measuring them with light, or photons. A physicist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the University of Colorado in Boulder, he shares the prize with French physicist Serge Haroche. Their research is giving shape to the dream of building a super computer based on quantum physics.

Honors and Awards, Science

Eric Coleman M.P.H. ’91

It’s not uncommon for elderly patients to get stuck in a quagmire of miscommunications and mistakes when transferring from one care facility to another. Coleman, head of the University of Colorado at Denver’s health care policy and research division, is pioneering practical methods that could smooth that transition — and radically reduce readmissions, prescription blunders, and other deficiencies that harm vulnerable patients. Through his Care Transitions Program, nurses and social workers arm older adults and their caregivers with key information — such as complete health records, a timeline for follow-up visits, and signs of declining health — that empowers them to play a more active role in their care. Coleman received the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship in 2012 for his efforts to bridge innovation and practice and substantially improve the health care and results of millions of older adults.

Health, Honors and Awards

Maurice Lim Miller ’68, M.A. ’77

After running social service programs for 20 years — and painfully realizing that most of them don’t work — Lim Miller founded the Family Independence Initiative (FII) in Oakland in 2001 to help low-income working families get themselves out of poverty. Instead of forcing participants through job training and other conventional programs, FII encourages families to form small support groups and track their progress toward economic independence. It also pays them a small stipend for each achievement. FII has expanded to San Francisco, Oahu, and Boston and is seeing debts go down and incomes go up, among other promising successes. Lim Miller was one of 23 Americans to receive the coveted MacArthur Fellowship in 2012. Raised by a poor Mexican immigrant, he said of the fellowship, “I do this work to honor my mother’s struggle.” Follow FII on Twitter @FIInational or Facebook.

Honors and Awards, Innovators, Public Service and Activism

Chiefs of Staff

One of the highest-ranking Latinas to have served in the White House, Maria Echaveste J.D. ’80 (left) is a former U.S. presidential advisor to Bill Clinton and deputy chief of staff under the second Clinton administration. Today she is a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and a faculty member at Berkeley Law. C.J. Cregg (right) is a fictional character played by Allison Janney on the political drama “West Wing” who advances from White House press secretary to chief of staff. A National Merit Scholar, Cregg received her master’s degree in political science from Berkeley.


Paul Rice M.B.A. ’96

Life is very hard — and not very safe — for most agricultural workers around the world, but Rice is trying to change that. Founder of Fair Trade USA, the leading third-party certifier of fair trade products, he gives consumers an easy way to make a difference with their dollars. Buying fair trade products, whether it’s a cup of coffee, bar of chocolate, or bunch of bananas, improves the wages, working conditions, environment, and development efforts for farming communities worldwide. What consumers gain in taste, millions of workers gain in hope and pride for solving their own problems — what Rice calls the “the invisible dividend.” Though corporate skeptics once scoffed at the idea, Rice has gotten hundreds of companies to rework their supply networks. He is frequently recognized as one of the world’s top social entrepreneurs. Follow the company on Facebook or Twitter @FairTradeUSA.

Business and Economics, Innovators, Public Service and Activism

Steve Wozniak ’86

You’d think the co-founder of Apple Computer would get first dibs on the company’s latest gadgets, but just like everyone else, Wozniak queued up early for his iPhone 5. Part geek, part icon, “The Woz” helped birth the PC revolution when he and the late Steve Jobs started Apple in 1976 and quickly turned out the first Apple I and II products. He received the National Medal of Technology in 1985, the highest honor for America’s leading tech innovators. A prolific philanthropist, Wozniak has poured sizable resources into education — even teaching children himself. In an interview with the College of Engineering’s Forefront magazine, Wozniak said, “Some people are so endeared to the Macintosh that it’s almost as gripping as a religion. I honestly believe that it’s about ‘thinking differently.'” Follow him on Twitter @stevewoz, or visit his website.

Education, Honors and Awards, Innovators, Technology and Engineering

Margo Alexander ’68

After pursuing a business degree amid turbulent campus protests in the 1960s, Alexander went on to blaze new paths for women on Wall Street. Throughout her career, she climbed from stock analyst to senior executive at Paine Webber and accumulated many “firsts” along the way, including the first woman to head a top-ranked research department and the first woman to run a major trading floor. She later chaired the Acumen Fund, a nonprofit that invests in small enterprises, emerging leaders, and breakthrough ideas to address global poverty. Alexander says, “Berkeley taught me that business can and should benefit society.”


Business and Economics, Public Service and Activism

John Christopher Stevens ’82

After studying history at Berkeley, Stevens, like so many graduates, joined the Peace Corps and taught English in Morocco. This experience sparked an enduring affection for the Middle East that led to a long-term successful career in the foreign service with postings in several countries. As the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, he strongly supported the revolution to unseat Moammar Gaddafi and was a champion for the country’s emerging democracy. He was killed in an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012. In a tribute, President Obama said of Stevens, “He was a role model to all who worked with him and to the young diplomats who aspire to walk in his footsteps.”

Public Service and Activism


Dedicated to conserving America’s precious natural resources, Horace Albright 1912 (left) helped create the National Park Service in 1916 and served as its second director. Many policies he initiated, such as historic preservation, are still practiced today, and he was personally involved in creating the Zion and Grand Teton National Parks. Often considered the father of the modern environmental movement, David Brower (right) was the first executive director of the Sierra Club and fought to protect the redwoods, stop the building of dams in national parks, and gain passage of the Wilderness Act of 1964, among other crusades. He later founded Friends of the Earth and Earth Islands Institute.


Kirsten Tobey M.B.A. ’06 and Kristin Richmond M.B.A. ’06

As the name suggests, Revolution Foods, co-founded by Tobey and Richmond, wants to change the way kids eat in school. Aimed at fighting childhood obesity, Revolution Foods serves fresh, healthy meals to more than 800 lunchrooms and over 200,000 kids daily and was named the second fastest growing inner-city business by Michael Porter’s Initiative for a Competitive Inner City in 2012. The kids receive one item each month that they may not have eaten before. “There is a glimmer in a kid’s eye when he realizes, ‘Hey, I like brown rice!’ that shows us he is getting engaged with food,” says Richmond. With more than 48 million meals served to date, that glimmer is the spark of a revolution. Follow the company on Facebook or Twitter @RevolutionFoods.

Business and Economics, Health, Innovators