We welcome 1,400 new engineering leaders

Remember your first week at college? Chances are you’re still in touch with the friends you made during that time.

Mindful of how formative those early days can be – not to mention the entire college experience – we put a lot of thought and effort into welcoming more than 900 incoming first-year and transfer students to Berkeley Engineering for 2011–12.

We recruited a record 40 participants for our Pre-Engineering Program (PREP), an 11-day immersion in the rigors of the engineering curriculum. Held before the start of the fall semester, PREP is open to all incoming freshmen, with a focus on students who are underrepresented in engineering. Fully half of this year’s PREP participants are the first in their family to attend college.

According to Dale Masterson, Engineering Student Services director and the coordinator of PREP, students learn how to combine “what at first might seem like two opposing strategies: competing academically while also learning collaboratively.”

In addition, graduate students Floraine Berthouzoz and Colleen Lewis recruited 24 first-year Cal students to take part in CS KickStart, a pre-semester intensive program for women who are curious about computer science. In one week, the women learned how to program in Python, visited Google and heard from faculty, students and alumnae about opportunities in computer science.

We are also delighted to welcome an exceptional cohort of more than 500 master’s and Ph.D. students, including 82 students in our new Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) program. Like all engineers, our M.Eng. students want to create innovative technologies; they also want the business and management skills to lead new ventures or entire companies. Toward this end, they will complete an industry capstone project and other leadership courses in the one-year program.

The M.Eng. Class of 2012 is our very first. Their pioneering and risk-taking spirit is an exemplar of the entire Berkeley Engineering community.

We welcome your thoughts and ideas.

S. Shankar Sastry
Dean and Roy W. Carlson Professor of Engineering
Director, Blum Center for Developing Economies
Email Dean Sastry