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Message from the Director

It’s been a busy 14th year for the Berger Institute! This year marks my third as director.

Thanks in large part to the efforts of Carl Patten, this year saw the birth of our Health Speaker Series at the Athenaeum. Our aim was to showcase a broad view of the major topics in health and health care while providing a comprehensive, intellectual and cogent view of these topics and encouraging the engagement of students majoring in life sciences. To read more about our guests, as well as an overview of everything that's happened at the Berger Institute this year, please continue reading here

"It's Possible..." Video Series Takes Flight

Our social media representatives, Danyon Anderson '18 and Larissa Chern '17, have been at the Berger Institute since last September. They work on a daily basis to keep the Berger website current and dynamic.Their latest project is the “It’s Possible...” video series, an idea that came from our board members at the last meeting in October. Our goal with the series is to show that you can achieve work/life balance, no matter what you are involved in or juggling. Together, we selected three CMC students who we felt stand out in our community because although they devote a significant amount of time to extracurricular activities and excel academically, they still have an active social life and always seem to be relaxed and happy. We plan on expanding the series to include board members as well as professors and other leaders in various fields. If you haven't already seen the video, you really should!

Alicia Frausto '17 Travels to DC

Over winter break, Alicia Frausto '17 applied for a Berger Institute Travel Grant so that she could attend the Public Leadership Education Network (PLEN) Women’s Leadership in Public Policy seminar in Washington D.C. in January. PLEN is a national organization that aims to prepare college women for leadership in public policy. Students from colleges and universities all across the country to learn more about the policy-making process and network with leaders in the field. Alicia relished the opportunity to pursue her interests in a space where she could feel empowered as a woman in politics. The seminar took place over four days and consisted of workshops, panels, speakers, and site visits. Please click here to learn more about her time there.

Monique Nguyen '15 Takes on Health in San Francisco

The steep health care costs and lack of quality care in the United States inspired me to attend the “Igniting Youth Tech Heath Innovation Conference” in San Francisco. At this conference, I had the opportunity to meet leaders in public health, product development, social media, and solving health care inequity.   I enjoyed every minute of my experience: gourmet breakfasts, breakout panels, discussions, and networking sessions.

A highlight of the breakout sessions was learning from Connected Health and program developers from Planned Parenthood: “My Media Life: Teens Using New Media to Navigate Digital Drama, Relationships, and Sexuality.”  As a partner of Planned Parenthood, Connected Health integrates new media into service delivery. Scare tactics do not work with health education. To find out was does work, and to learn more about Monique's experience, please click here.

Victor Lopez '17 Attends WPA

At the Western Psychological Association’s 95th annual convention in Las Vegas, Nevada, I presented research that I did with the Berger Institute of Work, Family, and Children. Last semester I began working with psychology professor, Tomoe Kanaya, on acculturation issues involving Spanish maintenance in the Latino community. This research sparked my own, leading me to wonder about names and their involvement in the Latino community. I am extremely interested in this area of research because of my Mexican background. My project, “Acculturation: Analyzing Latino Families’ Assimilation Through Their Children’s Names,” examined traditional versus non-traditional names in association with different generation of mothers. To read more about Victor's project, please click here.

Haley Alderete '17 at WPA

When I began working for the Berger Institute sophomore year I was excited to learn more about its mission and devotion to work, family and children studies, because I felt drawn to delve more into these issues to compliment my studies.  After my first meeting with Professor Kanaya, I was ecstatic to work with her on a comparative analysis between European American and Latino American mothers and their children. Coming from Chula Vista, a city just seven miles from the border, I felt very drawn to these issues because of its applicability in the experiences I have had and my desire to continue working in diverse communities. To continue reading, please click here.

Meet our Research Assistants

They come from as far away as Brazil and as close as Anaheim, from Hawaii and Pennsylvania. Our student research assistants this year have been nothing short of outstanding! Please click here to put faces to the names you've been hearing so much about. They've let their curiosity and hard work lead the way on some very impressive projects.

Voices from the Past

After her impressive tenure as Trustee Professor of Psychology and George Roberts Fellow at CMC, as well as being the first director of the Berger Institute from 2001-2008, Professor Diane Halpern has retired. An award-winning scholar and past president of the American Psychological Association, Halpern is one of the most famous cognitive psychologists of her generation. Her recent books include Thought and Knowledge: An Introduction to Critical Thinking, and Women at the Top: Powerful Leaders Tell Us How to Combine Work and Family. Congratulations, Professor Halpern!

The work-family research conducted by Professor Heather Antecol while she was director of the Berger Institute has culminated in a paper that has been accepted for publication by Demography. This is the flagship journal of the Population Association of America, published bimonthly and reaching the membership of one of the largest professional demographic associations in the world. The paper, titled "Career and Family Choices Among Elite Liberal Arts Graduates," is forthcoming. Congratulations, Professo Antecol!

What do you want to be when you grow up?

This past semester, the Berger Institute's Work-Life Research Team has made strides on a new project: Professional and Personal Goals at Various Life Stages. We assembled our research team early in the semester: Professor Kanaya, LillyBelle Deer '15, Julia Keinan '15, Adrienne Johnson '16, Kelsey Gohn '16, Tyler West '16, and Esther Hwang '17. Julia, Tyler, and Esther had done work in the fall laying the groundwork for what would come this semester. When we convened in the spring, we had four main questions that we were interested in answering: 1) What do college students consider when thinking about their future? 2) How anxious are college students? 3) What work place values hold greatest importance for people in the work force? 4) What should recruiters know about work place values? Please click here to read more about their project.

Health Speaker Series

The Berger Institute's Health Speaker Series has been a great success so far. With the help and guidance of board member Carl Patten, we hosted Dr. Robert Ross of The California Endowment, Dr. Susan Wood of George Washington University, and Congressman Jason Altmire, currently with Florida Blue. Stay tuned for more speakers in the coming year!

6th Annual Women & Leadership Workshop

In February, the Berger Institute once again co-hosted a very successful Women & Leadership Workshop with the Kravis Leadership Institute and the Robert Day School of Economics. Spoken word artist Azure Antoinette gave the keynote address, and some of our impressive board members (Elizabeth Dean, Susan Bade Hull, Faye Sahai, Suzanne Segal) were on hand to give career advice. This was a fantastic opportunity for students to network with female leaders in the fields of law, education, government, media, science, and more, and those who were able to attend (there was a waitlist!) gave the workshop solid ratings.

Professor Audrey Bilger

As a result of Berger Institute funding, Professor Audrey Bilger presented a paper, entitled, "An Audience of Her Own: Frances Burney's The Wanderer and the Rise of Modern Feminism," at the North American Society on the Study of Romanticism (NASSR) in Washington, DC. last summer. This paper focused on the 200th anniversary of Frances Burney’s last novel, The Wanderer, a work that raises the question of how a woman can find “self-dependence” in a world that does not offer her the opportunities to do an honest day’s work. Burnley was a major influence on Jane Austen as a writer and a feminist thinker. Professor Bilger was also on a panel at the National Women's Studies Association in Puerto Rico in November. The panel focused on feminist writing for a popular audience, and she provided both a historical and contemporary perspective. She continues to work on her upcoming book, A Jane Austen Guide to Feminism.

Professor Albert Park Examines Utopia

Professor Albert Park has been hard at work, with help from research assistant Julie Kim '17, on his upcoming book: Designing Utopia: Culturally Reconstructing Democracy in Contemporary South Korea through Architecture, Design and Food. The book aims to explore the intersection between political economy, democracy and culture in the country from 1988 to the present. In particular, it will focus on how particular constructions of space influence gender relations and norms, and how those developments are related to new forms of democracy in South Korea today.

Professor Kristin Fabbe

Professor Kristin Fabbe has been busy at work completing revisions for her book Disciples of the State? Varieties of Secularism in the Former Ottoman World, which she plans to send to publishers in June. The book marks an effort to better understand the varieties of secularism that have actually emerged and endured in the states carved out of the Ottoman Empire. It offers a typology of various religion-state arrangements in the region and explains why such divergent trajectories developed. Congratulations, Professor Fabbe!