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Alumni News & Notes

Email your news to ihalumni@berkeley.edu.Your note may be published in the next I-House Times newsletter as space allows. Photos are welcome!

Below are updates from the latest I-House Times Newsletter. View previous alumni updates in the News & Notes Archive.

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Ahmed Helal and Ahmed Khairat, two recent alumni of International House (2010-11), returned to their native country after Cal have established a website People4Egypt, as part of the social media explosion that occurred in Egypt in concert with the 2011 revolution. The site collects perspectives on economic stimulating and democracy-promoting strategies and activities and promotes awareness of Egypt's political reality and its peoples' perspectives since February 11, 2011 when Mubarak stepped down. "It is because of (the I-House) experience in a cosmopolitan dorm that challenged our understanding of life, friendship, home, and cultures that we were able to establish People4Egypt," said Khairat. A video that includes statements of solidarity from fellow IH Alumni (Egyptian and other nationalities) is at people4egypt.com.


Shahin Badkoubei (IH 05-06) writes "I am involved with Partnerships to Uplife Communities, where I focus on community outreach efforts by serving as a mentor and electives instructor to middle school students of low-income backgrounds. After undertaking intensive training in educating young children about art and creativity at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, I am now assisting the museum's curator of Islamic Art."

Momen El-Husseiny writes "Dear Beloved! I want to send you my best & warm greetings for the I-House 81st birthday. May it continue to be the light for many generations to come! May you remain the candle that brings hope to many students to come! May you see of giving continue to overflow with love, passion & sincerity! Sending you my regards from 'Free Egypt' as I am doing my research fieldwork! May peace & prosperity prevail in all nations worldwide!" Momen is a PhD Candidate in Global Metropolitan Studies & Anthropology UC Berkeley.

David Fanfan
David Fanfan (IH 99-00) left Cal with his Masters in Engineering and later completing a global MBA at Hult International Business School. This experience led him to Shanghai, China, and, among many related adventures, a visit to the "Great Wall." David says he "credits I-House as a motivator for me to become a better global citizen in my career as well as in my recreational life….planting the seeds that led me to continue to engage in the global community." David lives in NY and looks forward to staying in touch with fellow alumni!


Rima Shah

Rima Shah (IH 2004) paid a visit to the House in October from her home in Chicago and reconnected with friends from her days at I-House. Shown here dancing at an I-House Gala when she was a resident she recalled "Many fun memories and amazing friendships that wouldn't have been possible if not for I-House".


Sylvie Brieu writes "After two wonderful semesters at I-House (Fall 91 and Spring 92), I developed a stronger interest on cultural diversity issues and human rights. My work on these issues was recently published in a book: Quand s'elevent nos voix - Des Andes à l'Amazonie, une odyssée en terre indienne, supported by UNESCO and National Geographic Society's All Roads Film Project."

Graham Ford (from New Zealand, IH 1994) and Elena Rinaldi (from Italy) met in August 1994 in the dining hall of the I House on their first day at Berkeley. They were both enrolled in courses at the College of Environmental Design. They got married in Bologna (Italy) on the 5/25/2002, have two daughters and are currently living in London!

Ratnapala K. Gamage

Ratnapala K. Gamage (IH 1989-90) visited IH this fall for the first time in 21 years. An economics major, he is the Chairman of Crystal Leaf (Pvt) Ltd., a tea export company, in his native Sri Lanka. "Ratna" shared he would not have been able to complete his degree if not for the scholarship support he received from the House.


Michelle Khine (I-H 1997) received a NIH Director's New Innovator Award for 2010, the largest and most prestigious grant awarded to junior investigators by NIH, Khine is an assistant professor of biomedical engineering at UC Irvine.

Dungeon Kim
writes "I-House was my second home away from home country, and it still is in my heart. Seeing that, I still gravitate toward returning here once in awhile. The openness, hospitality, and friendship shown by I-House community then and now quietly tells me why I cherish I-House as a central piece of my experience at Berkeley."


Kathleen Mikulis

Kathleen Mikulis (IH 96-98) was a one-day winner on the game show Jeopardy!, which aired 10/21/10, and took home $27,201. An even better prize? She and her husband Mark Pilloff (IH 96-98) welcomed twins, James and Julia, born 12/9/09 or, as they call it - A Day That Will Live in Twinfamy.



Heather Chan Swei

Heather Chan Swei (left) returned to I-House in October with her husband Tony, who was a co-presenter on a session entitled Conducting Business in China as part of I-House's Navigating Cultures class.




Anders Yang (IH 90-91) recently joined UCLA Anderson School of Management as Associate Dean. He previously held senior leadership roles at UCSF School of Medicine and UC Berkeley's Boalt Law School. While an undergraduate at Berkeley, he spent his junior year abroad at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. Anders is also a graduate of Harvard Law School.


Phyllis Chang and Riccardo Gusella

Phyllis Chang and Riccardo Gusella (IH 1982-84) met at I-House in the early 80s and after over 20 years of "dating", just married on August 17th 2011. After a civil service in San Francisco, they spent their wedding day visiting I-House and touring Berkeley along with jubilant family and friends. They currently live in Beijing, China.


Peter L. Reich
Peter L. Reich (IH 1982 – 84) stopped by in October. An author of numerous works on the legal history and environmental law of Latin America and the U.S. Southwest, he is Professor at Whittier Law School.



Kevin Renner, (IH 86 – 88) just completed his book, In Search of Fatherhood: A Mother Lode of Wisdom from the World of Daughterhood. In it, he interviewed 50 women from around the world on their life stories, and how they were shaped by their fathers. The book is the story of his journey, and the profoundly revealing stories of women young and old, rich and poor, famous and anonymous, from diverse nations and cultures.

Tony Robinson is Adjunct Professor in Environmental Sustainability at Southern Methodist University and sits on the Board of Advisors for the Energy & Resource Technology HUB North Texas. He is also president of Axis Design-Build, Inc. and his book, High Performance Buildings: A Guide for Owners & Managers, is forthcoming in 2011. He is co-editor and publisher of Transformation: A Journal of Literature, Ideas & the Arts and he recently published his first book of poetry, The Boundary Layer.


Marilyn Allen writes (Class of 1972)"Hi Everybody, To show everyone that us old folks still have some get up and go, I have written a musical ("Chicken Creek Diaries aka Alaska") which will be produced in Tillamook, Oregon this Summer by TAPA. You can view one of the songs on YouTube, "Revenge of the Mouse" under Marilyn Allen. Hope you enjoy it! My best wishes to everyone."

Leland Peterson

Leland Peterson (IH 1970-72) visited in August. Pictured here with his new I-House T-shirt, Lee retired as president and CEO of Sun Health Services in Arizona in 2009 after 37 years of service. He came to Arizona from California in 1972 after graduating from Cal with an M.P.H. and is eager to meet with I-House alumni in Arizona.


Yoshie Tanaka


Yoshie Tanaka (IH 1975)-pictured far right -who now lives in Hokkaido, Japan, brought together an intimate gathering of fellow 1973 alumni to celebrate friendship and shared memories over brunch. "We were so happy to find the reserved seat was the same table where we used to sit [and] to find the brick which one of my friends donated and placed [on the patio] outside of the I-House Café. I will never forget these wonderful days in I-House." said Yoshie. This was the first time that the lifelong friends from Algeria, Japan and the US rejoined as a group at I-House.


Arthur Azevedo

Arthur Azevedo participated in the June Road Scholar program (see article page 14) and received his original I-House residency application, which garnered a smile. Arthur is a partner at Green & Azevedo, a Sacramento-based law firm.

Gwenne (Bates) Hickman retired from thirty years of teaching - French and occasionally Spanish - in 2009. She and her husband, Joel, came to Berkeley in the Fall of 2009 for Gwenne's 40th class reunion; then in the Summer of 2010 they participated in their first Elderhostel/Road Scholar program the Berkeley Forum for the Middle East, held at I-House. Their next Road Scholar trip will be to Tahiti in December 2011.

Tom Sloss writes "The greatest thing about Cal is the kaleidoscope of people and ideas and opinions that it embraces and always has. The center of that whole process is the I-House. I first heard the sound of the Thai language there, I first met Thais there, tasted their food and was introduced to their music. Those glimpses encouraged me to tell the Peace Corps that I had one favored destination. I taught English for two years in a rural community in Northeast Thailand, formed friendships that have lasted almost half a century and met and married the woman who has been my partner for 44 years there (thank heavens our sons look like Mayuree and not me!). My love affair with a very, very different culture started at the I-House. So it is far more than an international student residence to me. Thank you and bask, on this anniversary, in the warmth of all the people who truly love the International House. It is Cal's greatest blessing….You are the fulcrum of diversity at UC."

Daniel Temam writes "I spent six weeks in the IH sometime ago. To be precise, it was during the summer of 1969, while I was working in the Lawrence Radiation Lab. I told this to my daughter and when she went to San Francisco this year, she visited Berkeley and IH. She sent me the last issue of IH times. I was very happy to read it. It reminded me of my stay, which I enjoyed a lot, especially because of the people from many different countries that I met and with whom I had lively discussions."


Helen and Raj Desai write "Danika Desai is our second granddaughter to stay at I House. She represents the 4th generation of UC graduates/students in our family. First were my parents Bertha Gollong and Ross E. Crane (class of '24). Second my two sisters Carolyn Crane and Barbara Crane their husbands Don Homer and Al Manrano, myself Helen and my husband Rajinkant T. Desai- All of us were in early 1950's classes. Third, two of our children Monica Desai and Chand Desai fourth generations Danika, in the junior year." Danika helped organize the new resident garden.

Mina Parsont writes "My life at the International House had a great impact on my adult life as a teacher, a wife who met her husband there and as a mother of two sons. Meeting people from all over the world, Sunday Suppers, coffee hours, discussions made this "house" very special."

Evelyne Rowe Rominger '50-'51 and husband Rich have 2 granddaughters at UCB - Sarah, just finishing freshman year (a math major) & Katherine (Political Economy & Dance) graduates this (May). Rich - UC Davis '49 and Evelyne will celebrate their 60th anniversary in August.

Hugh and Lois Warren write "We live in assisted living and enjoy being close to our daughter, Carrie and her husband, John and their two children, Drew (16) and Grace (9). Son Wayne lives with his wife, Ana in San Antonio. Daughter Anne lives near Durham, NC. I fill my time with reading, watching TV and movies and time at my computer. Greetings to all that were at I-House when Lois and I were there."


Edward Harbert was an I-House guest from 7/1/43 until commissioned as an Ensign, USNR in February 1944. He remembers, "We had to line up by platoons out front each morning at the crack of a California dawn to hustle up around the Campanile. I came to Cal from Piedmont High over the hill and kept my car on the lawn of the Pi Beta Phi sorority house down the street where my girlfriend Marna Reagor was a member. We've been married since October 1944. NROTC "midshipmen" with a B+ average could leave the I-House evenings to study in the library or make better use of the time on the heights of Tightwad Hill or other shady spots."

Clive Justice writes "Wanda and I celebrated our 63rd wedding anniversary on 6/21/11. We don't know how many share with us the fact that we were married in Claremont and had our reception in I-House, Berkeley. I was a resident there from '47-'50 ie: before the 'fair sex' got 'deharemized' from the third floor. I have recently gifted my rhododendron library to UCB Botanical Gardens along with my town planning books to the UCB Community Regional Planning Faculty and my extensive collection of landscape architectural books to the UCB library rare books."

James Likowski writes "My understanding of the "oneness" of mankind was much improved by becoming friends with my roommate, an Arab Christian from Bethlehem. And I met my wife in the dining room; we have been happily married for 63 years."

Irving Tragen
Ambassador Irving Tragen was profiled in Boalt's Transcript Magazine Spring 2011. This article, Our Man in Latin America, is a follow-up to the Citation Award given him last year in recognition of distinguished diplomatic service and 55 years of leadership in Inter-American Affairs. Irving met his late wife, Eleanor, at I-House, with whom he shared more than 58 years. He writes "I am very touched by the article" To read the article please visit the News section of the I-House website.


Tito Moruza

Tito Moruza (left) , visited this fall with Shanti. Born in Santander, Spain in 1921, he survived crash landing a glider in France on D-Day and later recovered Nazi files used as critical evidence in the Nuremburg trials. Fluent in four languages, he met his late wife Margaret at IH and held her hand for the first time on the patio.

Warren Unna recalls "I suspect my I-House exposure started me on my exposure to becoming a foreign correspondent. I was one of the first undergrads to gain residence because World War II had interfered with foreign students coming. But those already there opened my eyes and mind to events abroad and inspired my desire to travel and see how the rest of the world lived."