TBSI-Berkeley Retreat

Community Building Event

April 29-30, 2017

All Day

The Lodge At Tiburon


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

TBSI Visiting Student Researchers pose for a photo during lunch

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

Visiting Student Researcher Martin Huang giving introductions to the group

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 Scott Moura (TBSI Lab 1C) 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