Michael Manga is still adjusting to the glare of the spotlight. The UC Berkeley professor was recently awarded a prestigious MacArthur Foundation Fellowship—worth $500,000 over five years—and was subsequently named one of People magazine’s sexiest men of 2005.
Manga isn’t entirely comfortable with the last distinction. Hot is a word he uses to describe the volcanoes he researches, never himself. The 37-year-old Berkeley resident and father of two young sons was surprised to receive the e-mail from People.
“It will be the only time in my life that I ever share a magazine page with Bono,” Manga says. Both Manga and the U2 singer were highlighted in People’s Smart and Sexy category.
Despite some teasing from students and colleagues, life hasn’t changed much for Manga. He continues to teach classes in geodynamics and physical volcanology, and says that most of his students tend to read textbooks rather than People, so he’s been able to keep a low profile.
His wife, Susan Storch, hasn’t been as fortunate.
“At our last staff meeting at work, my coworkers winked and smiled and suggested that I bring a hot dish to our next potluck,” she says.