Sally Alcala

Former CAS administrative staff
Center for African Studies
Institute of International Studies

Shiferaw Assefa

African American Studies

September 2021

Along with colleagues, students and friends, we mourn the loss of Shiferaw Assefa, our Amharic instructor and valued member of the Africanist community at UC Berkeley, UC Los Angeles, Kansas University and beyond. Originally from Ethiopia, his first degrees were in Amharic, French and Economics from Addis Abba University. With wide ranging interests, he gained master's degrees in Linguistics and African Languages from the University of Nairobi, Linguistics from Michigan State and African Studies and Library Science from UCLA. He received his PhD at UCLA in History in...

G. Tucker Childs


G. Tucker Childs (1948-2021) received his PhD in Linguistics in 1988. His dissertation was The phonology and morphology of Kisi. Tucker helped to run the African language program in its early days while he was a student. From Portland State University, where he was a professor of Applied Linguistics, he continued to provide support and encouragement to the UC Berkeley Center for African Studies and the...

Elizabeth Colson

Remembering Elizabeth Colson, 1917-2016.

Elizabeth Florence Colson died on Wednesday August 3, 2016 while sitting quietly on her verandah in Monze, Zambia bird-watching. Dr. Thea Savory,

Photo of Elizabeth Colson

Elizabeth Colson’s good friend and on whose farm Elizabeth lived, wrote that the 4½ hour funeral...

Sam Dubal

The Sam Dubal Fellowship in Critical Cultural and Medical Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley

The Sam Dubal Fellowship in Critical Cultural and Medical Anthropology honors the legacy of Sam Dubal, M.D., Ph.D. ’15, as an anthropologist, activist, medical doctor, professor, and ardent contributor to many vibrant intellectual communities. Dubal’s family generously established a fellowship following his tragic disappearance...

Judith Geist

Judy Geist, a long time associate and friend of the Center for African Studies at UC Berkeley died in her home in Oakland, California on September 25, 2002 after a long and valiant battle against breast cancer. In life, Judy was a caring and compassionate woman. Judy's passions were split between her professional career researching political and economic systems of East Africa, and her love of the San Francisco Bay area. Judy was born in Chicago. Early on she excelled academically. She was a National Merit Scholar, and her high school class valedictorian. Judy earned her undergraduate...

John Letiche


1918-2017. Obituaries: Economics Department, New York Times. and Daily Cal...

Carl Rosberg

Political Science

Carl Gustav Rosberg was a pioneer in the study of African politics in the United States. He was particularly critical in establishing and maintaining African Studies at the University of California at Berkeley, and he led the Center for African Studies at Berkeley for many years. On the Berkeley faculty since 1958, Rosberg was also the director of the Institute of International Studies, 1973-89; and the Chair of the Department of Political Science, 1969-74. He also held positions at three African universities (Makerere, Nairobi and...

Kirk Smith

Professor, Director
Public Health
Collaborative Clean Air Policy Center

January 19, 1947 – June 15, 2020. Tributes