Sixteen years after receiving a lifetime achievement award from the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival, the iconoclastic kumu (hula master) picked up a second such honor, this time from the Hawaii Chamber of Commerce of Northern California at its 20th anniversary gala in May. “That just means I’m old,” jokes Makuakāne, who founded dance company Nā Lei Hulu I Ka Wēkiu in 1985, a year after moving to San Francisco from his hometown of Honolulu. Still abuzz from presenting hula at his sixth Burning Man, Makuakāne says he’s also invigorated by the collaborators for his troupe’s annual Palace of Fine Arts performances, October 22 and 23. Called Mahu, the Hawaiian term for “third gender” or transgender, the show features mahu trio Kuini, kumu Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu and singer-songwriter Kaumakaiwa Kanaka‘ole, “who are over the top because that’s who they are,” Makuakāne notes. “As a teacher, you pray to get those kinds of musicians to inspire your students to dance their ass off. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth overdoing.”
Dr. Joyce Sackey
Stanford Medicine’s inaugural chief diversity and inclusion officer, who started work last month after 14 years as a dean and administrator at Tufts University, says she learned about inequity in health care while growing up in Ghana. “Even in my youth it was clear to me that good health and medical care are not always evenly distributed,” Sackey told Stanford Medicine News Center. After training at Dartmouth and Harvard, Sackey practiced internal medicine at Harvard Medical School and its Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center for 20 years before moving to Tufts. “To me, the mark of an institution that embraces inclusive excellence is a richness in diverse perspectives and backgrounds. Everyone feels welcome, empowered and a sense of belonging,” Sackey said. “And when you cultivate an environment in which people feel a sense of belonging, everybody is able to operate at their maximum capacities, their maximum potential, because their voices and ideas matter.”
One of Governor Gavin Newsom’s four new appointees to the UC Board of Regents in July — also among them was San Francisco City Administrator Carmen Chu — the Centerview Partners investment banker has already shown a deep appreciation for UC Berkeley, from which he graduated in 1988. He and wife Stephanie, class of ’89, who met at the 1994 Big Game, helped found the university’s Life Sciences Entrepreneurship Center in 2021. Now the former chair of the board of the College of Letters & Science says, “I look forward to learning about how the other nine campuses do their valuable work in their unique ways.” Robinson has time, though. “When I tell people that a regent’s term is 12 years, it takes people aback. I’m humbled by the chance to serve and am guessing it will be over before I know it,” he notes. One bonus for the college football fan: “I’m excited to now have more than one team to root for on any given Saturday, and particularly to be able to root against both USC and Stanford twice as often.”
Diana Milena Ojeda Castellanos
The Colombian filmmaker, now a third-year MFA student in San Francisco State University’s School of Cinema, will travel to New York City next month to receive a Princess Grace Award, a $10,000 grant given to “extraordinary emerging artists working in theater, dance and film,” according to the Princess Grace Foundation. Her recent documentary, Las Bravas, “has the potential to touch many hearts and minds,” says Elizabeth Ramirez-Soto, an assistant professor in the SFSU school, which nominated Ojeda Castellanos for the award. Focused on a group of Colombian women fighting for official status as supporters of the men’s soccer team in Bucaramanga, the director’s hometown, the film “starts tapping into a universal field of women’s struggle for equity and liberation,” according to Ojeda Castellanos. She says a “prophecy of the re-encounter of North and South Native Americans” inspired her next project, The Eagle and the Condor, which will bring together Lakota elders and Colombian shamans.
The 19-year-old outfielder from Palo Alto High School, who led the state in home runs last year, is now slugging away for the Oakland A’s Single-A team in Stockton, tallying seven hits in his first 11 games. Bolte had been expected to join the University of Texas before the A’s signed him for a reported $2 million in the second round of the Major League Baseball draft in July, making him the top pick of Bay Area prospects at No. 56 overall. “I’ve always been an A’s fan,” Bolte told MLB.com, citing former stars Rickey Henderson, Coco Crisp and Matt Chapman as inspirations. “Playing in the big leagues has always been my dream. Getting the chance to play for the hometown team and my favorite team growing up — can’t really pass up on that opportunity.”