UC Davis graduate student Mackenzie Batali

UC Davis Grad Slam Finalist: Mackenzie Batali

Meet Mackenzie Batali,
Food Science Graduate Student and Grad Slam Finalist

Mackenzie Batali

​Program and Degree
Food Science, Ph.D, 3rd year

Research Interests
Sensory and chemical analysis of coffee

Previous Degree(s) and College(s)
Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, Lewis & Clark College

Grad Slam Presentation Title
Sensory Science and the "Perfect" Cup of Coffee

Describe your presentation style in three words.
Caffeinated, enthusiastic, and accessible.

What did you do to prepare for Grad Slam?
I think most of my preparation was 15 years of theatre and improv comedy background in elementary, high school, and undergrad.

What initially attracted you to your field of study?
I wanted a way to make chemistry more connected and applicable to peoples' day to day life, and ended up working in the flavor & fragrance industry as a chemist which is where I first had the opportunity to do sensory science.

What do you like to do in your free time?
Rock climbing at Rocknasium, hiking, karaoke, dancing, travel.

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?
Dr. Casey Jones, my undergraduate research advisor from Lewis & Clark College.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I would love to be in an educational and research role for a nonprofit in the coffee industry, allowing me to connect with and support coffee people all through the chain from farm to cup.

Are you #TeamMackenzie?

Cheer on Mackenzie 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.

Secondary Categories

General News Graduate Student Success Grad Slam