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Graduate Studies Cancels This Year's Grad Slam Campus Final Round

Grad Slam Logo
Tuesday, March 31, 2020 (All day)

Due to the shelter-in-place order and the ongoing Coronavirus situation, UC Davis Graduate Studies has decided to cancel the 2020 UC Davis Grad Slam final round event on April 7. 

“We’re truly saddened by the event’s cancellation,” said Jean-Pierre Deplanque, Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies. “This year’s participants have worked tirelessly to develop and refine their research presentations, but the rapidly changing situation made it impossible to proceed with an in-person event.” 

While alternative competition formats were explored, the planning committee ultimately decided to cancel this year’s competition due to a variety of factors, including scheduling challenges, resource and technology constraints, and general uncertainty about the evolving Coronavirus situation and its impact on academic and administrative operations.

Though the event’s cancellation draws this year’s competition to a close, Graduate Studies is eager to continue rewarding and recognizing the efforts of this year’s finalists. Graduate Studies, along with Grad Slam sponsors Public Scholarship and Engagement and Global Affairs, will be awarding each of the ten finalists a prize amount of $625. 

Graduate Studies will also be highlighting each of the finalists in web profiles and working with campus partners to identify alternative ways in which their contributions to society might be publicly recognized and celebrated over the course of the next year. This year's finalists include:

Lindsay Cameron, Ph.D. in Neuroscience
College of Biological Sciences
“Rethinking Psychedelics: Using Psychedelics and Non-Hallucinogenic Analogs to treat Neuropsychiatric Disorders”

Fatima Hussain, Ph.D. in Chemistry 
College of Letters and Science
“Waste Wise"

Paul Kasemsap, Ph.D. in Horticulture and Agronomy 
College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
“Mission N-Possible”

Ellen Lai, Ph.D. in Integrative Genetics and Genomics
College of Biological Sciences
“Why Are Cows So Lame?”

Kayce Mastrup, Ph.D. in Education
School of Education
“Storied Identities: The Journey of Eight Preservice Mathematics Teachers”

Morgan Matson, Ph.D. in Chemistry
College of Letters and Science
“Zap! Electrifying Bacteria for a Better Future”

Amelia Munson, Ph.D. in Animal Behavior
College of Biological Sciences
“Sesame Street Smarts:  Understanding the Effects of Developmental Stress on Later Behavior”

Kristina Rodriguez, M.S. in Nursing Science and Health-Care Leadership
Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing
“Resilience and Burnout Among Intensive Care Unit Nurses: The Development of a Debriefing Resource Tool”

Claire Shaw, Ph.D. in Animal Biology
College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
“Meet Your Microbiome”

Peter Torres, Ph.D. in Linguistics
College of Letters and Science
“We Can, We Should, We Must, We Shall, and We Will Fight the Opioid Crisis”

“This is undoubtedly a difficult time for everyone, but in the midst of the evolving challenges, we’re all developing and cultivating new outreach skills,” remarked Vice Provost and Dean Delplanque. “I hope that our graduate students emerge from this trying period with new tools in their professional development toolbox.”

For more information on Spring Quarter professional development opportunities, including Zoom-based workshops, visit the GradPathways Institute for Professional Development website.

If you have questions about Grad Slam, please email Kathryn Raley, program and event manager, at

About Graduate Studies

Graduate Studies at UC Davis includes over 100 dynamic degree programs and a diverse and interactive student body from around the world. Known for our state-of-the-art research facilities, productive laboratories and progressive spirit – UC Davis offers collaborative and interdisciplinary curricula through graduate groups and designated emphasis options, bringing students and faculty of different academic disciplines together to address real-world challenges.
UC Davis graduate students and postdoctoral scholars become leaders in their fields: researchers, teachers, politicians, mentors and entrepreneurs. They go on to guide, define and impact change within our global community.

For information on Graduate Studies’ current strategic initiatives, visit the Graduate Studies strategic plan page.