At the inaugural UC systemwide Grad Slam tournament, to be held on May 4 in Oakland, 10 graduate students will compete to explain their research in terms that will interest, excite, and engage the public – and do so before the clock runs out.
The spirited contest will offer participants an opportunity to see these talented scholars in action, and offer a unique window into the breadth and impact of graduate research taking place across UC campuses. The first-place winners from each of the 10 participating UC campuses will compete to capture the systemwide prize, including a total of $10,000 in award money for the top three participants.
UC President Janet Napolitano will lead the event. A distinguished panel of judges representing industry, government, and higher education will select the winner, who will be named immediately following the lunch reception.
The event is invitation-only, but UCSB's Graduate Division will be live-streaming the contest on May 4 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Student Resource Building Multipurpose Room. Come cheer on UCSB's Grad Slam Champion Daniel Hieber as he competes to win the grand prize and bring the coveted trophy to its rightful home in Cheadle Hall.
The contestants will be (in order of appearance):
- Davis: Ryan Dowdy, Food Science, "Powering California with Food Waste"
- Berkeley: Alexis Shusterman, Chemistry, "CO2 Monitoring in HD"
- San Diego: Alex Phan, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, "Fight for Sight"
- San Francisco: Sama Ahmed, Neuroscience, "Choosing Mates: How to Know Your Species"
- Irvine: Ashley Fong, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, "Stem Cells: How to Mend a Broken Heart"
- Riverside: Jeanette Rapicavoli, Plant Pathology, "Primed for Battle: Utilizing Microbial Patterns to Strengthen the Plant Immune System"
- Santa Cruz: Justine Smith, Environmental Studies, "Humans as Top Dog: Ecological Effects of Carnivore Fear"
- Santa Barbara: Daniel Hieber, Linguistics, "Renaissance on the Bayou: Reviving the Chitimacha Language"
- Los Angeles: Jean Paul Santos, Electrical Engineering, "How to Talk to Mars"
- Merced: Nathaniel Bogie, Environmental Systems, "Drinking from the Same Straw: Battling Drought Stress in the African Sahel"