Berkeley Engineering

Spring 2003


From the Dean

In the News


Chang-Lin Tien (1935-2002): a chancellor's extraordinary legacy


Myers joins College faculty following work on human genome

> Popular scientific press cites College faculty
> Engineering alum selected for Haas award

Cal stuns Stanford in Big Game


Let there be light: Berkeley library top ranked


Two Cal engineers stump "Gimpy" bot blocker



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Engineering alum selected for Haas award

Libertad image
Armando de la Libertad, B.S. CE ’93, won the 2002 Peter E. Haas Public Service Award for his service to low-income communities and small businesses in Southern California.

Not your typical banking professional, Armando de la Libertad (B.S. CE ’93) has other things on his mind than high finance or the global market. On any given day you might find him developing new housing construction for low-income families or working with non-profits to raise scholarship funds for young Hispanics.

His public service record earned him the 2002 Peter E. Haas Public Service Award, one of Berkeley’s most prestigious honors, to be presented at a ceremony on Cal Day April 12. The award recognizes a Cal alumnus "who has made a significant public contribution to the betterment of society," singling out grassroots efforts like de la Libertad’s.

A resident of Orange County, de la Libertad is a vice president for community development at Wells Fargo Bank specializing in lending and investment programs that finance affordable housing, serve small businesses, and revitalize low-income communities. He is also chair of the Orange County Hispanic Education Endowment Fund, a community-based organization providing scholarships for financially needy Hispanic students at all educational levels, and an active board member of the Southern California branch of the Engineering Alumni Society.

During his undergraduate years studying structural engineering, de la Libertad tutored students at Berkeley High, an experience that inspired a change in his career path.

"I enjoyed the math and science aspect of engineering, but I wanted to use my skills in a unique way to help impact public policy," he says. "The tutoring exposed me to the educational and economic needs of a diverse population and sparked my interest in working to open doors for others."

The Haas award carries a cash prize of $20,000 and a $20,000 donation to the recipient’s charity of choice. De la Libertad plans to use part of his award to start a scholarship fund to finance vocational or college training for victims of domestic violence.

A child of Mexican immigrants, he pursued a master’s in public policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School. During his first year working for Wells Fargo, he helped double the bank’s local economic development investment portfolio. His work with community lending and investment programs has brought needed cash flow and affordable housing to neighborhoods throughout Orange County.

FOREFRONT takes you into the labs, classrooms, and lives of professors, students, and alumni for an intimate look at the innovative research, teaching, and campus life that defines the College of Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley.

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