Berkeley Changemaker Banners

In early April 2023, UC Berkeley's campus will be decorated with banners profiling some of our Berkeley Changemakers. Find out more about them below. Have a Berkeley Changemaker to nominate? We're eager to hear from you at

Headshot of Jennifer Doudna

Jennifer Doudna

Biochemist at UC Berkeley, Founder of the Innovative Genomics Institute, and co-inventor of CRISPR technology.

Dr. Jennifer A. Doudna is the Li Ka Shing Chancellor’s Chair and a Professor in the Departments of Chemistry and of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California, Berkeley. Her groundbreaking development of CRISPR-Cas9 as a genome engineering technology, with collaborator Emmanuelle Charpentier, earned the two the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry and forever changed the course of human and agricultural genomics research.

This powerful technology enables scientists to change DNA — the code of life — with a precision only dreamed of just a few years ago. Labs worldwide have re-directed the course of their research programs to incorporate this new tool, creating a CRISPR revolution with huge implications across biology and medicine.

In addition to her scientific achievements, Doudna is also a leader in public discussion of the ethical implications of genome editing for human biology and societies, and advocates for thoughtful approaches to the development of policies around the safe use of CRISPR technology.

Doudna is an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, senior investigator at Gladstone Institutes, and the President of the Innovative Genomics Institute. She co-founded and serves on the advisory panel of several companies that use CRISPR technology in unique ways.

She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Inventors, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Doudna is also a Foreign Member of the Royal Society and has received numerous other honors including the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences (2015), the Japan Prize (2016), Kavli Prize (2018), the LUI Che Woo Welfare Betterment Prize (2019), and the Wolf Prize in Medicine (2020). Doudna’s work led TIME to recognize her as one of the “100 Most Influential People” in 2015 and a runner-up for “Person of the Year” in 2016. She is the co-author of “A Crack in Creation,” a personal account of her research and the societal and ethical implications of gene editing

Headshot of Ken Goldberg

Ken Goldberg

William S. Floyd Distinguished Chair in Engineering at UC Berkeley

Ken has been interested in robots, rockets, and rebels since he was a kid. He’s skeptical about claims that humans are on the verge of being replaced by Superintelligent machines yet optimistic about the potential of technology to improve the human condition. Ken developed the first provably complete algorithm for part feeding and the first robot on the Internet. In 1995 he was awarded the Presidential Faculty Fellowship and in 2005 was elected IEEE Fellow: "For contributions to networked telerobotics and geometric algorithms for automation." Ken founded UC Berkeley's Art, Technology, and Culture public lecture series in 1997 serves on the Advisory Board of the RoboGlobal Exchange Traded Fund. Ken is Chief Scientist at Ambidextrous Robotics and on the Editorial Board of the journal Science Robotics. He served as Chair of the Industrial Engineering and Operations Research Department and co-founded the IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering. Short documentary films he co-wrote were selected for Sundance and one was nominated for an Emmy Award. He lives in the Bay Area and is madly in love with his wife, filmmaker and Webby Awards founder Tiffany Shlain, and their two daughters.

Visit Ken Goldberg's Website

Headshot of Nassirah Nelson

Nassirah Nelson

Human Centered Design Research + IEOR at Fung Institute for Engineering Leadership

Nassirah Nelson is a multidisciplinary designer and STEM educator whose research explores ways to recontextualize and teach STEM science through the arts, specifically music production and creative music technologies. Her class Sample Mode offers students the space to explore and develop their STEM identities through the art of sampling, music production, design thinking and digital fabrication.

Headshot of Rigel Robinson

Rigel Robinson

City of Berkeley Councilmember, District 7

Berkeley City Councilmember Rigel Robinson represents District 7, which encompasses the UC Berkeley campus, Telegraph Avenue commercial district, and Southside neighborhood. When elected at 22 in 2018, Robinson became the youngest person to ever serve on the Berkeley City Council.

As Councilmember, Rigel Robinson is committed to making progress on the most pressing challenges in our city, including housing and homelessness, public safety, economic vitality, safe and sustainable transportation, and our pandemic response. He has introduced legislation to accelerate the development of new affordable housing, reform the affordable housing mitigation fee, fund street repairs and build new pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, minimize the practice of pretextual traffic stops, prevent evictions and support small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, improve street lighting around campus, incentivize the creation of new R&D jobs, and more.

Prior to serving on the City Council, Rigel Robinson was a student leader at UC Berkeley, where he was elected vice president of the campus student government and appointed university affairs chair for the systemwide University of California Student Association. On campus, Robinson was a leader in student efforts to support the development of more affordable housing and student housing, divest the University of California from fossil fuels, and secure additional state funding for the UC and the first tuition decrease in 20 years. Robinson previously worked for U.S. Secretary of Education John King Jr., Governor Jerry Brown’s press office, and the Peet’s on 4th Street.

Councilmember Robinson holds a BA from UC Berkeley and is currently pursuing his Masters at the Goldman School of Public Policy. On weekends when he is sufficiently up to speed on Council readings, Rigel can be found sailing and windsurfing at the Berkeley Marina.

Visit Rigel Robinson's Website

Headshot of Ana Arias

Ana Arias

Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, UC Berkeley

Ana Claudia Arias received her PhD in Physics from the University of Cambridge, UK in 2001. Prior to that, she received her master and bachelor degrees in Physics from the Federal University of Paraná in Curitiba, Brazil in 1997 and 1995 respectively.

She joined the University of California, Berkeley in January of 2011. Prof. Arias was the Manager of the Printed Electronic Devices Area and a Member of Research Staff at PARC, a Xerox Company. She went to PARC, in 2003, from Plastic Logic in Cambridge, UK where she led the semiconductor group.

Her research focuses on the use of electronic materials processed from solution in flexible electronic systems. She uses printing techniques to fabricate flexible large area electronic devices and sensors.

Headshot of Sadia Khan

Sadia Khan

Legal Studies, Class of 2021

Sadia works as a Campaign Coordinator for the Domestic Violence and Gun Violence campaign at the Family Violence Law Center. Outside of her role at Family Violence Law Center Sadia has spent the past 10 years working on policy issues ranging from higher education, food and housing justice, Title IX support for parenting students and environmental justice work. Some of the past campaigns she has worked on include Fund the UC campaign, Prop 16, Students for Imam Jamil and Rise’s camping for tuition free college. Additionally Sadia serves as a Trustee on the Albany Unified School District Board of Education and a board member of the New Leaders Council Oakland Chapter.

Samhita Nagubandi

Political Economy, Class of 2025

Bio coming soon.

Mia Rauer

Data Science, Class of 2025

Mia works as the student assistant to the Chief Innovation & Entrepreneurship Officer at UC Berkeley. In this role, she supports the campus-wide Berkeley Changemaker initiative as well as the I&E Council. She is also a founding member of the Berkeley Changemaker registered student organization: Changemakers at Berkeley. Prior to attending Berkeley, she worked with the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights to promote human rights education across Idaho. She is interested in the intersection of data science and social good, and hopes to use her degree to act as a Berkeley Changemaker in the real world. In her free time, she enjoys weightlifting, reading romance novels, and experimenting with new vegetarian recipes.

Anish Dhanashekar

Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, Class of 2025

Anish serves as the Lead Ambassador of Berkeley Changemaker. In this role, he worked to form an official student organization, "Changemakers at Berkeley," in partnership with Berkeley Changemaker and UC Berkeley's Leadership, Engagement, Advising, & Development (LEAD) Center. He also led tabling efforts at major campus events, such as Cal Day and Golden Bear Orientation, to drive Changemaker course enrollment and integrated Berkeley Changemaker merchandise into the official Cal Student Store to build awareness of the program. Before attending Berkeley, he served on the Mayor's Youth Leadership Council for the City of Tampa, organizing and leading forums on important social topics, working at a soup kitchen to help combat food insecurity, and tutoring inner-city students. He is also very passionate about teaching and serves as a Head Undergraduate Student Instructor for the introductory Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences (EECS) course here at Berkeley. In his free time, he enjoys hiking around Berkeley's beautiful campus, listening to music, and traveling.