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Fiat Vox

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Fiat Vox is a podcast that gives you an inside look at why people around the world are talking about UC Berkeley. It's produced and hosted by Anne Brice, a reporter for Berkeley News in the Office of Communications and Public Affairs.

Fiat Vox is a podcast that gives you an inside look at why people around the world are talking about UC Berkeley. It's produced and hosted by Anne Brice, a reporter for Berkeley News in the Office of Communications and Public Affairs.
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Fiat Vox is a podcast that gives you an inside look at why people around the world are talking about UC Berkeley. It's produced and hosted by Anne Brice, a reporter for Berkeley News in the Office of Communications and Public Affairs.




54: How a botched train robbery led to the birth of modern American criminology

On October 11, 1923, three brothers — Hugh, Ray and Roy DeAutremont — boarded a Southern Pacific Railroad train called the Gold Special near the Siskiyou Mountains in Oregon. The trio planned to rob the mail car. But instead of making off with their fortune, they killed four people and blew up the mail car and the valuables inside. A huge manhunt followed and authorities called in an up-and-coming forensic scientist and UC Berkeley lecturer and alumnus Edward Oscar Heinrich to help solve...


53: Chancellor Carol Christ and Professor Emerita Carol Clover on women in the academy, then and now

In 1970, when Chancellor Carol Christ joined UC Berkeley's English department as an assistant professor, only 3% of the faculty on campus were women. “I always felt like a pioneer, in part, because I’m of the generation of the feminist revolution,” says Christ. In this Fiat Vox podcast episode, Christ and her longtime friend and colleague Carol Clover, a professor emerita in Scandinavian studies and film studies, discuss what it was like for women in the academy 50 years ago and how it’s...


52: 'Mouthpiece' says what many women never say

When Amy Nostbakken and Nora Sadava started writing Mouthpiece six years ago, they revealed their deepest secrets to each other with the prompt: “Tell me something that you would never want anyone ever to know.” From that, they created a raw, one-hour confessional that reflects what it feels like in one woman’s head after she finds out her mother has died and that she has to deliver the eulogy the next day. Mouthpiece premiered in 2015, and four years later, Amy and Nora, who make up the...


51: For Malika Imhotep, devotion to black feminist study is a life practice

Malika Imhotep grew up in West Atlanta, rooted in a community that she calls an "Afrocentric bubble," in a family of artisans, entrepreneurs and community organizers. Now, as a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of African American Studies at UC Berkeley, she's studying how black women and femmes make sense of themselves in a society designed, in many ways, to keep them out. "I’m interested in how people create new possibilities for themselves, either inside of mainstream society or outside...


50: In campus records 49 years and still loving it

When Karen Denton got a job in UC Berkeley's registrar's office at 20, she had one job: to remove incompletes. "I did that all day every day," she says. Her tools of the trade? A fountain pen, an inkwell, an eraser, a razor blade and a marble. At 71, Karen has been the assistant registrar for two decades and has worked in records for 49 years. And she has no plans to retire anytime soon. "Why would I retire?" she asks. "I love working here. I love the students. I love the challenge." But she...


49: Black history cemetery tour: Abraham Holland and the Sweet Vengeance Mine

In 1849, a man named Abraham Holland packed up his things and left his life on the East Coast for California, in hopes that he’d strike it rich. The year before, gold had been discovered in the Sierra Nevada foothills, and people were coming from across the U.S. — and the world — to seek their fortune. It became known as the California Gold Rush. It marked a new set of opportunities for African American migration to California. On Saturday, Feb. 23, Berkeley staffer Gia White, who...


48: Cal alumni leader gives hope to students who need it most

For Black History Month, we are resharing Fiat Vox episode #23, first published in 2018, about Clothilde Hewlett, the executive director of the Cal Alumni Association: Some people move to San Francisco for its jobs. Or its nightlife. Or its natural beauty. But Clothilde Hewlett moved for Rice-A-Roni. Hewlett was 14 years old waiting at the Canadian border with her mom and two younger sisters. They’d been there for two weeks, but things weren’t looking promising. “And at one point, my...


47: For international relations staffer, ballet kept her family’s Ukrainian culture alive

When Erika Johnson was 7, her Ukrainian mom put her in ballet class. Although Erika didn’t have the body that most principal dancers were known for, she had the work ethic that it took to be successful. "It was never like, ‘I must handpick you and cultivate you like a rose,’ says Erika. "You know it was like, ‘If you work hard, you might get a job.’ And I was like, ‘Okay, well I’m going to work hard.’” Shaped by her ballet career, Erika is now a development associate at Berkeley. Not only...


46: Berkeley Haas Chief of Staff Marco Lindsey lives like his 80-year-old self is watching

Every morning, Marco Lindsey wakes up in East Oakland, where he was born and raised. He puts on a suit and tie, packs his briefcase, chats with his neighbors and drives to work at Berkeley Haas. It's a typical morning routine, but to Marco, it’s a lot more than that. It’s a way to show boys and young men in his community that they have possibilities. He didn't have that growing up. But his drive — and mentors who helped steer him — propelled him forward, and now he's helping others to...


45: Native American 'Antigone' explores universal values of honoring the dead

In the summer of 1996, Will Thomas and Dave Deacy were wading in the Columbia River in Kennewick, Washington, watching the annual hydroplane races. Will kicked something with his foot, bent down and pulled something up. It was a human skull. Turns out, it was a really old skull — 9,000 years old, one of the oldest human remains found in North America. It’s a discovery that would fuel an ongoing debate between scientists and Native Americans about how ancestral remains should be treated. It...


44: Academic counselor Quamé on standing out, dreaming big—and letting go

When John Patton was in high school, he changed his name to Quamé. When he got to UC Berkeley as a student, "it stuck, instantly," he says. At Berkeley, Quamé's world opened up: "African American studies changed my life." After graduating, getting a master's degree, trying to make it as a DJ, hitting rock bottom, then coming back to his alma mater to teach hip hop, Quamé is still Quamé. And he's an academic counselor, helping students unlock their potential and follow their hearts. See...


43: 'White voice' and hearing whiteness as difference, not the standard

In the 1940s and 50s, actors in major American films, like Katharine Hepburn and Jimmy Stewart, spoke with a kind of faux British accent as a way to sound “upper class.” This pronunciation spread across the country as a kind of standard to imitate. The problem was, this way of talking left out nearly all actual American voices, says Tom McEnaney, a UC Berkeley professor who teaches a class called “Sounding American.” While the class talks about the generational differences of sound — no one...


42: The history of why some say women sound shrill, immature

Professor Tom McEnaney, who teaches a class called “Sounding American,” says the U.S. has a long history of men criticizing the way women speak. Sound technologies, starting with the gramophone and phonograph, he says, were developed for men's voices — and distort women’s. Read the story on Berkeley News.


41: At Berkeley, nobody stuffs a bird like Carla Cicero

After Lux — one of the peregrine falcons born on the Campanile — died last year after striking a window of Evans Hall, the campus community was heartbroken. But Carla Cicero, the staff curator of birds at UC Berkeley's Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, has given the peregrine a new purpose. Lux is now one of 750,000 specimens — birds, amphibians, reptiles and mammals — at the museum used for research at Berkeley and across the world. Lux is the 4,287th specimen that Carla has prepped for the...


40: From the archive: On Berkeley time? He keeps Campanile's clocks ticking

Last week, Berkeley students noticed that one of the Campanile’s four clocks stopped. While the north-facing clock was at a standstill, the other three kept going. How could that happen? Turns out each of the clocks has its own motor and runs independently from one another. But because the bell tower’s clocks are so old — the Campanile was built more than 100 years ago — its parts can’t just be replaced. The campus has to send them away to be repaired or find another way to keep the clocks...


39: AileyCamp — so much more than a dance camp

As a kid, Makayla Bozeman could not stop dancing. She'd go to bed late because she was dancing. She'd wake up in the middle of the night to dance. When she was 13, she applied to AileyCamp — a six-week summer program run by Cal Performances at UC Berkeley where 11- to 14-year-olds from the East Bay learn dance from professional choreographers. She soon realized that AileyCamp was so much more than a dance camp — it was a chance to discover who she was and learn how to navigate her complex...


38: Margaret Atwood: 'Things can change a lot faster than you think'

Canadian author Margaret Atwood doesn't like being called a soothsayer. "Anyone who says they can predict the future is... not telling the truth," she says. But like it or not, it's a label she's been given since the revival of her 33-year-old dystopian novel "The Handmaid's Tale" was made into a popular Hulu TV series that aired just months after the election of Donald Trump as president. The story is set in near-future New England in a totalitarian and theocratic state that has overthrown...


37: Bringing people together, one puppet at a time

After seeing Handspring Puppet Company — the creators of the puppets in Broadway's " War Horse" — at UC Berkeley in 2015, Glynn Bartlett knew he wanted to work with them. So he packed his bags and traveled to South Africa, where he built puppets for an annual parade and play performed on the Day of Reconciliation. Bartlett, a scenic artist for the Department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies, says the experience reminded him just how powerful puppets can be in bringing people...


36: For disability advocate, helping students navigate campus is personal

When Derek Coates was 10, he found out he had a degenerative eye disease and was going to gradually lose his eyesight. Over the next 30 years, his visual world shrunk until he became completely blind at 41. Now, as a disability compliance officer at UC Berkeley, it’s his job to make sure students with disabilities are getting the accommodations they need to be academically successful. Read the transcript, see photos and find more disability resources on Berkeley News.


35: Peregrine falcons, zipping through campus at top speeds, are here to stay

The peregrine falcons that first made a home on UC Berkeley's Campanile last year get a lot of attention every spring when their babies hatch. But it's also amazing to watch the adults in action. At speeds of more than 200 miles per hour, peregrines are the fastest animal in the world — three times faster than a cheetah. Mary Malec, a volunteer raptor nest monitor for the East Bay Regional Park District, describes a time when the mama peregrine chased a pigeon through unknowing crowds on...