Carol Liu ’82

From the classroom to the senate chambers, Liu has remained steadfast in her commitment to education. After two decades as a history teacher and school administrator in Richmond, Cali., Liu transitioned into politics and completed three terms with the California State Assembly, where she authored legislation on promoting career and technical education, cleaning up groundwater, and deterring gang activity. The first Asian American woman elected to the California State Senate, she has built upon her agenda to strengthen community college access, advance environmental initiatives, and champion services for children and seniors. A 2013 recipient of the Cal Alumni Association’s Excellence in Achievement Award, Liu said of her lifelong calling to care for others, “That’s just part of how I see the world.” Visit her website for more information.


Education, Public Service and Activism

Pema Chodron ’63, C.MULT. ’65

Divorce. An accident. Illness. Death. While such life events leave many of us feeling great loss, to Chodron, an American Buddhist nun, they are opportunities to learn how to face fear with a smile. One of the most influential spiritual leaders in the West today, Chodron primarily teaches in the United States and Canada and directs Gampo Abbey in Nova Scotia, the first Tibetan monastery in North America established for Westerners. Her deepest desire is to share  teachings and meditation practices that lead to peace and kindness within ourselves, our families, and our communities. Her earthy, insightful books include bestsellers When Things Fall Apart and Don’t Bite the Hook, and she is frequently featured in the magazine Shambhala Sun. Learn more about her work through the Pema Chodron Foundation or a student-led fan page on Facebook.


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

Ida Jackson ’22, M.A. ’23

Ida JacksonThe daughter of a former slave, Jackson (1902–1996) was one of only 17 African-American students at Berkeley when she started in 1920. During her freshman year, she and a few friends co-founded the Rho chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority to help make the campus more hospitable to young African-American women. Jackson went on to become the first African-American woman certified to teach in California and the first black teacher in the Oakland public schools.

Education, Public Service and Activism