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BESAC Digest 7/15/21

BESAC President's Message

Greetings BESAC Members and Friends!

I am excited to report that our plans for the Summer Welcome Events and for a Homecoming event on campus in the Fall are progressing well. This year, for BESAC's Summer Welcome Events there is an amazing list of over 150 incoming Black students in a range of STEM fields for us to invite and meet. Regarding the Homecoming event, today, in the CAA monthly town hall forum for member chapters, we learned about the other upcoming campus plans for Homecoming and details around COVID-19 safety protocols for on-campus events. So, now I'll say that I'm looking forward to seeing folks in person in a safe and compliant manner. Also, if you can join us on campus, check out the other events throughout the day that will be hosted by the University Development and Alumni Relations (UDAR) office. Registration for the UDAR hosted Homecoming events lasts through 9/17. I hope everyone is enjoying their summer, getting vaccinated, and staying vigilant with respect to the delta variant. Take Care!

Miller Allen Ph.D.

BESAC President

Cal Alumni Association Update

Cal Black Alumni Leaders Update

Here is a snippet from the the latest update from the Black Alumni Leaders group shared by Cheryl Wright.

"We're actively synthesizing themes around Black alumni and student data so that we may better understand what is immediately available and what requires additional research and coordination from outside the alumni office. We also want to honor the Chancellor’s request that as a next step, we arrange a meeting this summer with the new Vice Chancellor for Equity & Inclusion to discuss the multiple ways Black alumni leaders can continue to partner with staff to advance the African American Initiative. "

Please email for more information about this initiative or information on how to join the black alumni planning group.

Some of the positive highlights that will impact UC Berkeley students students are:

Financial aid

An estimated 133,000 additional community college students would become newly eligible for Cal Grants, the main source of state-funded financial aid. That’s because the agreement would eliminate age and time out of high school requirements for those awards, a rule that prevents many students from accessing them. To be guaranteed a Cal Grant under the existing system, incoming first-year students must be one year or less removed from graduating from high school and transfer students must be under the age of 28. The budget deal does away with those barriers.

Additionally, there is $515 million, beginning in 2022-23, to expand the state’s Middle-Class Scholarship to more middle-income, as well as low-income students. Under this expansion, those awards would be available to Cal Grant recipients and help them cover nontuition costs. Lawmakers say the expansion would eventually make it possible for low- and middle-income students at the University of California and California State University to attend debt-free.


UC would receive $68 million to increase enrollment of California residents by 6,230 students.

UC would also get $31 million to begin a five-year process to trim the number of out-of-state and international students who enroll at UC Berkeley, UCLA and UC San Diego to 18% at each campus. Currently, those students account for between 22.1% and 23.5% of undergraduate enrollment at those campuses.

Student housing

There is $2 billion in one-time funding to create the “Capacity and Affordable Student Housing Fund.” The fund would be used over a four-year period to build new campus facilities or expand existing ones across the UC and CSU systems. It would also support the development of affordable student housing at the two systems.

BESAC Highlights

BESAC Alumni Highlight

Chancellor Gary S. May

Gary Stephen May is the chancellor of the University of California, Davis. From May 2005 to June 2011, he was the Steve W. Chaddick School Chair of the School of Electrical & Computer Engineering at Georgia Tech. He served as the Dean of the Georgia Tech College of Engineering from July 2011 until June 2017. May was born in St. Louis, Missouri. He attended the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he was a member of the ANAK Society. May graduated in 1985 with a B.E.E. degree in electrical engineering. He then attended the University of California, Berkeley, where he earned an M.S. (1987) and Ph.D. (1991), both in electrical engineering and computer science. May joined the Georgia Tech ECE faculty in 1991 as a member of the School's microelectronics group. His research is in the field of computer-aided manufacturing of integrated circuits. He was a National Science Foundation "National Young Investigator" (1993–98) and was Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Transactions on Semiconductor Manufacturing (1997–2001). He has authored over 200 articles and technical presentations in the area of IC computer-aided manufacturing. In 2001, he was named Motorola Foundation Professor, and was appointed associate chair for Faculty Development.

May is the founder of Georgia Tech's Summer Undergraduate Research in Engineering/Science (SURE) program, a summer research program designed to attract talented minority students into graduate school. He also is the founder and director of Facilitating Academic Careers in Engineering and Science program (FACES), a program designed to encourage minority engagement in engineering and science careers in academia. May was a National Science Foundation and an AT&T Bell Laboratories graduate fellow, and has worked as a member of the technical staff at AT&T Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, New Jersey. He is a member of the National Advisory Board of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE).

Read About Dr. May in the California Magazine

BGESS Highlights

Go to the Berkeley Black Graduate Engineering and Science Students Facebook page for highlights and updates.

BESSA Highlights

Go to the Black Engineering and Science Student Association website for highlights and updates.

BESF Highlights

In this recent Radical Imagination podcast, BIDS Faculty Affiliate Rediet Abebe, Black in AI co-founder and Assistant Professor of Computer Science at UC Berkeley, talked with host Angela Glover Blackwell to discuss how artificial intelligence and the algorithms that are used to make important decisions in areas such as policing, lending, hiring, renting, health care (and many others), are receiving increased scrutiny for encoding and intensifying racial bias. The broadcast also features Terrence Wilkerson, who was unjustly trapped in the criminal legal system by questionable AI technology.

Black Engineering and Science Faculty (BESF)

There is currently a historic number of Black Engineering and Science Faculty at Cal. Learn more about Black STEM faculty by checking out the Black Engineering and Science Faculty slides

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