UCSB alum, part-time Montecito resident, and world famous singer/songwriter Jack Johnson and his wife, Kim, donated $50,000 this week to help UCSB students suffering from serious illnesses. Given to the school’s Disabled Students Program, the contribution was made in the name of the Johnsons’ cousin and fellow Gaucho Danny Riley, who passed away from lung cancer during his time at the school. The Danny Riley Fund will provide disabled and ill undergraduates with everything from financial aid, medication, and housing to home care, transportation, and family visits.


UCSB Engineering Professor Shuji Nakamura has been awarded the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology’s 2010 Harvey Prize — with a $75,000 cash stipend — for advancements in science and technology. Known for his development of blue, green, and white light-emitting diodes (LEDs), Nakamura and his team also developed the world’s first nonpolar blue-violet laser diodes. Nakamura’s research is expected to help create a more energy-efficient alternative to current light bulb technology.


Professor Benjamin Monreal recently won an Early Career Research Program award, worth $904,000, from the Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Physics. More than 1,750 applicants applied for the grant, but the UCSB physics professor’s project, “New Experiments to Measure the Neutrino Scale,” stole the spotlight.


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