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Arthur Gensler: Building a Global Architecture and Design Firm


Fifty years ago Art Gensler founded in San Francisco what is now the largest architecture and design firm in the U.S. ? and one of the largest in the world. Today we help Gensler celebrate that milestone by releasing our new life history interview with its founder. This wide-ranging interview covers Gensler?s family background, upbringing, and education; his early jobs as an architect; and the founding and subsequent expansion of his own firm.


The interview delves into topics such as the transformation of architectural practice and technologies, the development of green building standards, and the globalization of professional services firms, among dozens of other topics.


Jun 25, 2015 | Categories: ROHO Articles | ddunham

The Transporter: Dr. Les Benet and the Evolution of the Biopharmaceutical Sciences at UCSF, 1965-2015.


Conducted by Paul Burnett in 2014, Regional Oral History Office, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 2015.

Dr. Leslie Benet is Professor and former Chair of the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, in the Schools of Pharmacy and Medicine, University of California San Francisco. Over his 50-year career, he has published over five hundred articles and six books, has written eleven patents, and founded four companies.  He has served as a board member, adviser and consultant for numerous government agencies, corporations, professional associations, and scientific societies, and has received dozens of honors and awards from many universities and professional associations.


See related oral histories in Medicine and Public Health and University of California History.

Apr 03, 2015 | Categories: ROHO Articles | ddunham

Dick Teets: The New Steel Industry in the United States 1975-2010

New to our Global Mining and Materials Research Oral History Project, Dick Teets: The New Steel Industry in the United States 1975-2010

Conducted by Paul Burnett in 2014, Regional Oral History Office, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 2015.

Dick Teets, Jr. is Executive Vice President of Steel Dynamics, Inc. and Chief Operating Officer for all of the company?s steelmaking divisions.  He began his career in the late 1970s as a mechanical engineer for J&L Steel, which later became LTV. In the late 1980s, he joined Nucor, where he supervised the construction of the first thin-cast slab steel plant, which was one of the first large-scale mini-mill plants in the United States. He was a participant in early experiments in partnerships with Japanese steelmakers in the US, and was a witness to the accelerating encroachment of the newer mini-mills on the markets of the traditional ?Big Steel? companies.  In the early 1990s, Mr. Teets co-founded his own company with former executives at Nucor, called Steel Dynamics, Inc. He helped lead the company through a long period of rapid growth, helping to build and manage the capacity for manufacturing numerous different types of steel products. Today, Steel Dynamics is the fifth largest steel company in the United States.

For over twenty years, the Regional Oral History Office (ROHO) produced in-depth oral histories of members of the mining community, under a project called "Western Mining in the Twentieth Century," which was overseen by Eleanor ?Lee? and Langan ?Lang? Swent, Doug Fuerstenau, and others. The 104 interviews in the project covered the history of mining in the American Southwest, Mexico, South America, and Australia from the 1940s until the 1990s.

ROHO has recently changed its name to the Oral History Center of the Bancroft Library, and with that change we proudly announce a new project entitled ?Global Mining and Materials Research,? which will focus on key transitions in technology, policy, and geopolitics that have brought mining to its current state worldwide.

Mar 26, 2015 | Categories: ROHO Articles | ddunham

Oral History Workshop -- March 13-14, 2015


We are pleased to launch a new 2-day oral history workshop that is designed for the person who is interested in learning the practice from ground-up. This workshop is conceived of as a companion initiative to the more in-depth Advanced Oral History Summer Institute, which typically attracts scholars and professionals with specific research projects in mind.

The new Spring Workshop will focus on the "nuts-and-bolts" of oral history interviewing, including project planning, interviewing techniques, transcription, recording equipment, and preservation. The workshop will include instruction from our seasoned oral historians but also plenty of hands-on practice exercises.

Although space is strictly limited, everyone is welcome to attend the workshop, including community-based historians, teachers, genealogists, public historians, and students in college or grad school.

The two-day workshop will be held on Friday March 13th and Saturday March 14th, 2015 on the UC Berkeley campus. The cost is $225, which includes a take-home oral history manual. Apply now!

Photo of OHC Workshop setting

Jan 09, 2015 | Categories: ROHO Articles | ddunham

Portuguese in California Oral Histories

Check out three new oral histories by Don Warrin in our Portuguese in California Oral History Project.

Sharon Mendoza Doughty
Sharon Mendoza Doughty is owner and proprietor, along with her husband Steve, of Pt. Reyes Vineyard Inn and Winery. In her oral history she discusses her family?s Portuguese roots, the history of Portuguese dairies in Marin, and in particular the history of women running dairies. Sharon and Don Warrin begin their conversation discussing the current activities of her and her husband, operating both a winery and a B&B. She then reminisces about her family?s long history in West Marin, beginning with her grandfather who arrived at the end of the 19th century and was soon involved in the dairy industry. We learn of his early interest in education and the establishment of an elementary school on his dairy. We learn details of the local dairy industry and the significant Portuguese involvement. She talks about the Bivalve dairy, now being operated by her daughter, as well as the Federal takeover of ranch land for the Point Reyes National Seashore, including her mother?s testimony in front of a Senate committee in Washington, DC. Finally, we learn something of her family?s involvement in local Portuguese social activities, as well as some of her other ethnic heritage.

Albert S. Dutra, Jr.
This interview with Al Dutra was conducted in two sessions in January, 2014. He begins by discussing his Azorean roots and the family?s later settlement in New Bedford, Massachusetts. We learn of his childhood spent there and then the move to the Bay Area. Al discusses his education through college, his service in the Air Force and his career at IBM. Soon after retiring he became increasingly engaged in the local Portuguese community, leading tours with his wife Ginny to the Azores, and taking an active role in several local Portuguese organizations. Particular detail is given to the many books published by Portuguese Heritage Publications of San Jose.

Marilia Coquim Wiget
Marilia Coquim Wiget is very active in Portuguese community and was president of the the Sacramento-based Portuguese Historical and Cultural Society for many years. She lives in Sacramento. Don Warring interviewed Marilia in her Sacramento home in November of 2013. She discussed at length her maternal grandfather?s background in northern Portugal and his moves to Lisbon, Hawaii and Sacramento. She talked as well of her father?s origins and the occupations of family members in the Sacramento area. Although she spoke the language as a youngster and was raised with a sense of the significance of the history of Portugal, her family did not generally participate in Portuguese community activities. It was only as an adult that she became committed to this, especially after starting work at the California Department of Education, under the education consultant Julia Gonsalves. Much of the interview deals with her adult activities with the Portuguese community, especially the Sacramento-based Portuguese Historical and Cultural Society, of which she was president for several years, and her work as editor of the society?s periodical, O Progresso.

Jan 05, 2015 | Categories: ROHO Articles | ddunham

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