On September 17, our esteemed Judges will decide the first and second place winners from our Top 12 Finalists.

Julia Hatton

Julia Hatton is the Chief Executive Officer at Rising Sun Center for Opportunity, a greater Bay Area nonprofit working at the intersection of economy, environment, and equity, with a focus on job training and workforce development.

Over the past fifteen years, Julia has worked across the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, focusing on workforce and economic development and environmental justice. Immediately prior to Rising Sun, she designed and implemented the Connecticut Efficient Healthy Homes Initiative, which provided energy, health, and safety upgrades to low-income families statewide, while creating green jobs. Julia grew up in Chicago and is an alumna of the Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs in St. Louis. Today, Julia lives with her family in the East Bay.

Leti Light

Leti Light is a leader in higher education fundraising for transformational philanthropic partnerships, often in the form of cross-cutting, multidisciplinary initiatives.

As Executive Director, Principal Gifts & Strategic Initiatives at UC Berkeley, Leti and her team partner with a wide range of academic and program leaders and work with the world’s leading philanthropists to achieve their vision through partnerships with the university designed to make Berkeley’s highest aspirations possible. Over the last 20 years, Leti has led philanthropic development efforts at Cornell University, UCLA, and now UC Berkeley.

Don Medley

Don Medley is Head of the Government and Community Relations Office at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, a role in which he serves as the Lab’s senior advisor on government and political issues, and as its chief liaison to the U.S. Congress.

Prior to joining the Berkeley Lab team in 2003, Don practiced government relations within the high-tech industry and was a Legislative Assistant and Legislative Director for senior Members of the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee. Don earned his B.A. in Political Science from the University of Alabama and received an M.A. in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

Gabriela Monsalve, Ph.D.

Gabriela Monsalve was appointed as assistant dean for postdoctoral scholars in July 2019. She also holds an adjunct appointment as assistant professor in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences. She oversees the development and execution of strategic initiatives, programming, and policies aimed at improving the postdoctoral experience at UCSF. She also liaises with various regional, national, and international organizations on behalf of UCSF postdocs.

Gabriela is a UCSF postdoc alumna (2013-16), earned her PhD in biological chemistry from UCLA, and her bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. During her research training, she earned multiple awards, including extramural funding from the Damon Runyon Foundation, University of California Office of the President, National Science Foundation, and National Academy of Sciences Ford Foundation.

Horst Simon, Ph.d.

Horst Simon is an internationally recognized expert in computer science and applied mathematics and Berkeley Lab’s Deputy Director for Research. Simon joined Berkeley Lab in early 1996 as director of the newly formed National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), and was one of the key architects in establishing NERSC at its new location in Berkeley.

His algorithm research efforts were honored with the 1988 and the 2009 Gordon Bell Prize for parallel processing research. He is co-editor of the biannual TOP500 list that tracks the most powerful supercomputers worldwide, as well as related architecture and technology trends.

He holds an undergraduate degree in mathematics from the Technische Universität, in Berlin, Germany, and a Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of California at Berkeley.

Lynn Yarris

Lynn Yarris was a science writer at Berkeley Lab from 1984-2016, during which time he wrote about every field of research on the hill.

He covered three Nobel Prize events (Y.T. Lee, George Smoot and Saul Perlmutter), and worked with all of Berkeley Lab’s other Nobel laureates except Ernest Lawrence and Edwin McMillan. He is currently writing a science fiction trilogy entitled Chromeleon. Part One, A Greater Good, will be published later this year.

Thank you to our panel screening Judges !

We had so many great entries (44 in total), which made the judging very difficult. Thank you to our panel judges who diligently reviewed all entries!

Alan Poon, Ann Almgren, Anubhav Jain, Archana Raja, Daniel Martin,Hang Deng, Hugo Destailats, Russell Carrington, Ryan Miyakawa, Massie Ballon, Peter Nugent , Peter Therkelsen, Pouya Vahmani, Valentine Trotter