TBSI held a retreat at Berkeley

May 19 2017

TBSI-Berkeley held a retreat at The Lodge in Tiburon on April 29-30, 2017. Surrounded by the beautiful  scenery of the San Francisco Bay and Angel Island, the retreat provided a forum  for dialog and community building among TBSI faculty, students, and staff.

The retreat kicked off with lunch on the  Spinaker Patio, where participants got a chance to enjoy their meal and  socialize. Three special guests were in attendance at the retreat: Professor  Roberto Horowitz, Chair of the Mechanical Engineering Department, Professor  Costas Grigoropoulos, Vice Chair of Instruction in the Mechanical Engineering  Department, and Professor Sanjay Kumar, Associate Chair of the Bioengineering  Department.

TBSI faculty, students and department  leadership enjoying lunch on the Spinnaker Patio at the Lodge in Tiburon

Lunch was followed by an institute update  from Professor Connie Chang-Hasnain, TBSI Co-Director at UC Berkeley and  Professor Lin Zhang, TBSI Co-Deputy Director at Tsinghua University. Professor  Chang-Hasnain provided an overview of TBSI to the guests and gave a progress  update on Visiting Student Researchers, Dual-Degree Master of Engineering  Program, and upcoming community building and academic development events.  Professor Zhang presented information on the new research facilities  development and faculty recruitment taking place at the TBSI-Shenzhen campus.

TBSI-Berkeley Director, Professor Constance  Chang-Hasnain, giving an update during the retreat

TBSI Co-Associate Director, Professor Lin  Zhang from Tsinghua University giving an update on TBSI-Shenzhen

After the update, TBSI faculty met together  to discuss TBSI recruitment, academics, and the Shenzhen retreat. TBSI students met with Shuk Chan, TBSI-Berkeley Program Manager, to brainstorm ideas for  future TBSI events in the areas of academic development, community building,  and outreach. An "Ask Me Anything" Panel, featuring Professor Xiaohua  Gong (Lab 3C), Professor Slav Hermanowicz (Lab 1B), Professor Gerard Marriott (Lab 3B), Professor Scott Moura (Lab 1C), and Professor Shmuel Oren (Lab 1C) was held after the faculty and student meetings. "Ask Me Anything"  gave faculty an opportunity to share their personal stories and allowed  students to get a rare glimpse of the faculty's academic journey, hobbies and  interests, work-life balance, and challenges they have overcome. Each faculty  member left students with a thoughtful piece of advice at the end of the panel.  The evening ended with an exciting karaoke session filled with singing and  dancing.

Professor Slav. (TBSI Lab 1b)  speaking at the Ask Me Anything Panel

On the morning of Sunday, April 30, the  group boarded the ferry at Tiburon and sailed to Angel Island. Angel Island was  used as an immigration inspection point in California from 1910-1940. Today,  Angel Island has been converted to a State Park and a historical landmark in  the Bay Area. Angel Island docents, Ben Lee and Jane Lee, led the TBSI group on  an insightful tour through the Immigration Station, which was the main entry  point for approximately 175,000 Chinese immigrants. The group was led though  historical sites that provided a rich history of immigration in California and  a reflection of the lives of Chinese immigrant detainees. The retreat ended  with a picnic lunch on the island under the warm California sunshine.

From the participant's feedback, many  thoroughly enjoyed the offsite retreat and felt that they have a deeper  understanding of TBSI and an opportunity to get to know the TBSI community.  Professor Slav Hermanowicz (Lab 1B), felt that "a great feeling of  community being developed [at TBSI]".

TBSI students and faculty listening to Ben  Lee, docent at Angel Island, on the history of Chinese immigration on Angel Island

TBSI graduate students on board the ferry  to Angel Island

TBSI faculty and students hiking on Angel  Island

Writer: Shuk Chan