UC Davis graduate student Diana Lizarraga with Intro to Data Science Coding Bootcamp students

UC Davis Grad Slam Finalist: Diana Lizarraga

Meet Diana Lizarraga,
Educational Leadership Graduate Student and Grad Slam Finalist

Diana Lizarraga

​Program and Degree
Educational Leadership, Ed.D., 3rd year

Research Interests
Techno inclusion, Latinx/diversity STEM college students, & data science

Previous Degree(s) and College(s)
Associate of Arts in Science and Engineering, Sacramento City Community College
Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Systems & Environment with a minor in Agricultural Education, UC Davis
Master of Science in Human Resources & Organizational Development, University of San Francisco

Grad Slam Presentation Title
Techno Inclusion: amplifying digital landscapes through equity and inclusion

Describe your presentation style in three words.
Personal, passionate, and visual

What did you do to prepare for Grad Slam?
I asked some of my role models for tips. I then blended those tips with a variety of resources to help me get from eight minutes down to a three minute talk. This included practicing with my SOE Faculty Advisor Dr. Megan Welsh and the Co-Chair of SOE’s Educational Leadership program Dr. Kevin Gee. In addition, I watched Grad Slam archive videos, TEDX talks, & AAAS Career Development videos. My family was key in helping me practice. Lastly, I had one session with our campus Center for Educational Effectiveness Presentation Consultant Carlyn Peterson who is also an Animal Science Graduate Student.

What initially attracted you to your field of study?
My college and graduate school communities (transfer, EOP, McNair, MURALS, minority, EdGSA, student parent, etc.) and the students that I have worked with have inspired me to become an educational justice advocate. My School of Education Faculty told me to embrace my passion for technology and the various new theories they exposed me to. This encouragement to be innovative led me to blend all of those areas to develop a potential new sub-field of study - Techno Inclusion.

What do you like to do in your free time?
Favorite thing to do is to spend time with my family, friends, and our German Shepherd rescue dog. Outreach is also very important to me and this quarter I am going give a couple of talks about undergraduate research opportunities. In addition, I am also organizing a group of 50+ graduate students to be part of “team graduate school”. This group will provide encouragement and create a welcoming campus climate for 1,000 visiting first-gen, low-income, and underrepresented undergraduate students who will be visiting UC Davis in April for a graduate school forum that is being led by staff directors. When I have a moment to myself, I like to bead and watch sci-fi.

If you could invite one person (from any point in history) to sit in the audience and view your presentation at the March 13 Final Round, who would it be and why?
Fun question. I would go into the future and bring back the first United States female president so that we could...

1. Showcase the City of Davis (my hometown)
2. Highlight our UC Davis research talent,
3. Inspire more females to take on leadership roles, and
4. Secure funding for the continuance of an annual international Techno Inclusion research conference.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
1. Enjoying (along with my family and friends) my son’s college graduation
2. An author of a book on Techno Inclusion and Diversity Ecosystems
3. Vice Chancellor in Higher Education

Are you #TeamDiana?

Cheer on Diana and the other nine finalists at the UC Davis Grad Slam Final Round on March 13.

Sign up via Eventbrite and like and follow the UC Davis Graduate Studies Facebook page to tune into the live stream.

About Grad Slam

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 should present the significance and fundamental points of their work at UC Davis in a clear, direct, and interesting manner.

Presentations should be no longer than three minutes in length and prepared for a diverse audience comprised of students, faculty, and community members. Judges will strongly consider clarity and effectiveness of the presentation by a general university audience. 

Learn more by visiting the Grad Slam webpage.

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.

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