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Meet the Grad Slam Finalists: Telha Rehman

Tehla in a rice field
Sunday, April 2, 2017 - 5:00pm

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Tehla Rehman

Program, Degree & Year of Study:  
Horticulture and Agronomy, M.S., first year

Previous Degree(s) & College(s): 
B.S. in Cellular and Molecular Biology, CSU Chico

Research Interest: 
Sustainable nutrient management of rice

Title of Grad Slam Presentation: 
Improving Nitrogen Use in California Rice

What initially attracted you to your field of study?
Being a fourth generation California rice grower, choosing the field of study was an easy and natural choice. I knew if I wanted to pursue graduate studies, then there's only one person that I wanted to work with, and that was Dr. Bruce Linquist, the UC Cooperative Extension Rice Specialist, at UC Davis.

What did you do to prepare for Grad Slam? 
I set a 3 minute timer on my phone, and practiced my talk until I felt confident that I had formed a complete and straightforward presentation.

Did you encounter any obstacles while preparing for Grad Slam? How did you overcome them? 
The main obstacle was making sure that my language was adequate for a scientific presentation, yet at the same time simple enough for a general audience to easily understand.

What do you think sets you and your presentation apart from the other contestants? 
Overall, I feel the main thing that sets my presentation apart from others is that it strikes the right balance of being interesting and informative, yet at the same time, clear and easy to follow. Another thing I guess is that during the qualifying round, I was the only person in my session who did not use any powerpoint slides.

What are your other passions/hobbies? 
I've had one main hobby in my entire life and that has been to laugh, and make others laugh as well.

UC Grad Slam is an annual contest in which master’s and Ph.D. students across UC campuses – in disciplines ranging from hard sciences to humanities – compete to sum up their research for a general audience. Students present the significance and fundamental points of their work at UC Davis in a clear, direct and interesting manner.

Over 80 master's and doctoral students from across UC Davis' 99 graduate programs submitted proposals for this year's competition, which kicked off with a qualifying round on February 28 at the ARC. Faculty and staff from across UC Davis volunteered to serve on the judging panels.

The finalists will compete against each other at the UC Davis Final Round at the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art on April 14 from 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm. The event is free and open to the public, and is co-sponsored by the Manetti Shrem Museum of Art. Registration is now open at

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