2014 Guest Speakers

School of Engineering and School of Natural Sciences

Saturday, May 17, 2014
9:00 a.m.

Kristina M. Johnson

Kristina M. Johnson—CEO, Enduring Hydro LLC

Kristina Johnson served as undersecretary at the Department of Energy in Washington, D.C., from May 2009 until October 2010. Prior to her appointment, Johnson was provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs at the Johns Hopkins University, and dean of the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University.

Johnson co-founded several companies, including SouthEast Techinventures and ColorLink Inc., which was sold to RealD, and is responsible for 3D effects in movies such as “Avatar,” “Monster House,” and many others.

Johnson received her bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in electrical engineering from Stanford University. After a NATO post-doctoral fellowship at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, she joined the University of Colorado-Boulder’s faculty in 1985 as an assistant professor and was promoted to full professor in 1994. From 1994 to 1999, she directed the NSF/ERC for Optoelectronics Computing Systems Center at the University of Colorado and Colorado State University.

Named a NSF Presidential Young Investigator in 1985 and a Fulbright Faculty Scholar in 1991, Johnson’s academic awards include the Dennis Gabor Prize for creativity and innovation in modern optics (1993) and the John Fritz Medal (2008), widely considered the highest award in the engineering profession. Previous recipients of the Fritz Medal include Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison and Orville Wright. Johnson was inducted into the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame (2003), and received the Society of Women Engineers Lifetime Achievement Award (2004), the ARCS Foundation Eagle Award for science and education (2009), and the Women of Vision Award for Leadership by the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology (2010).

Johnson has published 142 refereed papers and proceedings and holds 45 U.S. patents (129 U.S. and international patents) and patents pending, and has received honorary degrees from University of Alabama at Huntsville, Tufts University and Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland.

Recognized for her work in technology transfer and entrepreneurship by the States of Colorado and North Carolina (1997, 2001); she received the 2010 Milton Steward Award from the Small Business Technology Council (SBTC), and is a fellow of the Optical Society of America, International Electronics and Electrical Engineering (IEEE), SPIE, the International Society for Optical Engineering (former board member) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Johnson also serves on the board of directors of Boston Scientific Corporation, American Wildlife Foundation, Rocky Mountain Institute, AES Corporation and Cisco Systems.


School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts

Sunday, May 18, 2014
9:00 a.m.

Paul Lo

Paul C. Lo – Superior Court Judge

Paul Lo, originally from Laos, was appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown to a judgeship in the Merced County Superior Court in 2013. He is thought to be the first Hmong-American judge in U.S. history.

He received a bachelor’s degree from UC Davis and a juris doctorate from UCLA School of Law. He was admitted to the California State Bar in 1994. He is a former partner and managing partner of the Law Firm of Allen, Polgar, Proietti and Fagalde. Prior to taking his spot on the bench, Lo owned the Law Offices of Paul C. Lo in Merced and practiced in the areas of personal injury, employment law, business transaction and litigation, and general civil litigation.

He is a Rotarian, a former elected member of the Merced City School District Board of Trustees, a member of the UC Merced Foundation Board of Trustees, a member of the Merced Mercy Hospital Community Board of Trustees, the founder and former president of the Southeast Asian-American Professionals Association (SEA-APA), a former board member of the Greater Merced Chamber of Commerce, and the former president of the Hmong National Development Inc.