Engineering’s 2019 commencement speakers
Elizabeth Hausler (M.S.’98, Ph.D’02 CEE) will be the keynote speaker at the graduate student commencement ceremony. Hausler is the founder and CEO for Build Change, a nonprofit that builds resilient homes for communities impacted by disaster.
Her organization has built over 50,000 houses, schools and other buildings in the Philippines, China, Haiti, Colombia, Guatemala and Nepal, as well as trained over 25,000 local engineers to build sustainable homes in areas with a high risk of disaster. She also helps communities in seismically active areas get subsidies for disaster-resistant development. She has received numerous honors and accolades for her work.
Ikennah Browne (M.T.M.’19 BIOE) will be this year’s graduate student commencement speaker. Browne was a practicing general surgeon in Calgary, Canada before coming to Berkeley. His passion for research and innovation inspired him to continue his education and join the Master of Translational Medicine program.
After graduation, he plans to continue his surgical career in Calgary while working to develop innovative healthcare delivery devices, especially for surgery.
Jack McCauley (B.S.’86 EECS) is the keynote speaker for this year’s undergraduate commencement ceremony. He is a co-founder and former chief engineer of Oculus VR, where he was also chief developer of the Oculus DK1 and DK2 virtual reality headsets.
After graduating from Berkeley, McCauley worked at a number of technology and gaming companies, including Electronic Arts, Activision, Atari, Nintendo and Microsoft. He is known for designing the guitars and drums for the Guitar Hero video game and the first scrolling feature for the computer mouse. He also played an important role in developing USB drivers, kernel mode drivers, arcade machines and video game accessories. He is currently innovator in residence at the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation.
Gracielita Mendoza-Beginez (B.S.’19 ME) will be this year’s undergraduate commencement speaker. A first-generation college student, Mendoza-Beginez initially came to Berkeley to pursue a degree in environmental science from the College of Natural Resources. But midway through her freshman year, she realized that she had an interest and talent for engineering and worked hard to transfer into the college.
After graduation, Mendoza-Beginez plans to tutor students from her old high school and apply to graduate school. Ultimately, she hopes to become a mechanical engineering professor.