In celebration of International Women's Month, Cal alum Sonita Lontoh '99 is challenging the Berkeley IEOR community for Big Give 2024. Sonita will donate an amazing $15,000 if we can secure 100 gifts to Berkeley IEOR during Big Give. Every gift matters and will help us reach our 150 goals to support the people, programs, and activities of Berkeley IEOR.

Alumni donors like Sonita embody the spirit of excellence and collaboration that define UC Berkeley! Join us in making an impact and securing a bright future for the department.

My Cal Story

Sonita Lontoh '99 shares why she chooses to give back to Berkeley

Sonita Lontoh updated

Why give?

When I was an international student at Cal, my parents had the resources to support my out-of-state tuition fully. As an alum, I see just how high costs have soared over the years. This means more financial challenges faced by current and prospective students. I am so fortunate to have pursued my education without financial hurdles, and I want to do my part to help future students access quality education. Making a donation is one small way I can contribute.


How has Berkeley helped you shine brighter?

I have so many fond memories from my time at Berkeley. From the friendships I forged to the inspiring classes led by our dedicated professors. One invaluable lesson Cal taught me was the power of a growth mindset—embracing challenges and valuing diverse viewpoints. This mindset has been a key driver in my journey, sparking innovation, fostering teamwork, and building resilience.


Who is one of your Berkeley shining stars?

What's truly exciting about being a Cal alum is the ongoing journey of discovery and growth. For instance, my involvement as an advisory board member at Berkeley Engineering's Jacobs Institute alongside Dean Tsu-Jae King Liu has been enlightening. Dean Liu, with her empathetic leadership and commitment to diversity, is truly an inspiration, particularly in championing the roles of women and underrepresented groups in STEM fields.


It's a privilege to continue learning and growing with the Cal community, and I'm thrilled to do my part and give back during Big Give!