UC Davis Grad Slam Winners and Finalists

Grad Slam Winners

  • 2023
  • First Place:
    Julia Mouat, Ph.D. candidate, Integrative Genetics and Genomics Graduate Group
    “Grandmas, Ghosts and Genes”

    Second Place:
    Nalina Aiempichitkijarn, Ph.D. candidate, Animal Behavior Graduate Group
    “Social Connection as a Double-Edged Sword: Lessons From Monkey Disease Transmission”

    Third Place:
    Hans Oberschelp, Ph.D. candidate, Mathematics
    “Securing Data by Shuffling Cards”

    People's Choice:
    Brandon Cutler, Ph.D. candidate, Chemistry
    "Food of the Future: Rethinking How We Look at Plant Waste and Processing Using Magnetic Resonance"

    Public Engagement: 
    Yasmin Mendoza, Ph.D. student, English
    “Don't Say --- : An Exploration of the Censorship of Literature in the United States”
  • 2022
  • First Place and Public Impact Prize:
    Alice Dien, Ph.D. Candidate in Biological Systems Engineering

    “Cooling down with the new hot air: the future of drying in agriculture”
    Global Education for All Recipient*

    Second Place:
    Savannah Free, Ph.D. Candidate in Integrative Genetics and Genomics
    “Partners in Crime: Tumor Cells and Platelets”

    Third Place:
    Paige Kouba, Ph.D. Candidate in Ecology

    “Climate Change Time Machine: Sending Trees 50 Years into the Future”
    Global Education for All Recipient*

    People’s Choice:
    Andrea Guggenbickler, M.P.H, Ph.D. Candidate in Public Health
    “Let's Talk About Sex... Education”

  • 2021
  • First Place: 
    Amelia Munson, Ph.D. Candidate in Animal Behavior
    “Fact or Fiction: What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger” 

    ​Second Place:
    Paul Kasemsap, Ph.D. Candidate in Horticulture and Agronomy
    "Mission N Possible: Let There Be (Nutritious) Bread”   

    Third Place: 
    Alea Skwara, Ph.D. Candidate in Psychology
    “Compassion is a Skill that Can Be Learned”     

    People's Choice $500 Award:
    Chelsea Kelland, Ph.D. Candidate in Immunology
    “The Impact of Inflammation on Bone-Eaters in Arthritis”   

    Public Scholarship & Engagement $500 Award:
    Paul Kasemsap, Ph.D. Candidate in Horticulture and Agronomy
    "Mission N Possible: Let There Be (Nutritious) Bread”  

    Global Education For All Recipients:     
    Paul Kasemsap, Ph.D. Candidate in Horticulture and Agronomy, College of Agricultural and Environmental Science for “Mission N Possible: Let there be (nutritious) bread”
    “Paul Kasemsap not only engages a critical global challenge—United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 2: Zero Hunger—but also reminds us of the human side of food and why research on sustainable practices is critical. ”
    Lizette Navarette, Ed.D. Candidate in Educational Leadership (CANDEL), School of Education for“Time To Begin Adulting”
    “Lizette Navarette helps us delve into a key global challenge—United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 4: Quality Education—exploring it from the perspective of the adult learner, engaging us to consider the power imbalances that exist in the university classroom and how to address them.” 
    Alea Skwara, Ph.D. Candidate in Psychology, College of Letters and Science for “Compassion is a skill that can be learned”
    “One of the key UC Davis Global Learning Outcomes concerns helping students explore global diversity and collaborate equitably across cultural and geographic boundaries.  Doing so requires cultural humility, which is built upon critical self-reflection to build empathy.  Alea Skwara presentation is unique in providing a deeper rationale for how such practices lead to fundamental change at the level of our brains.”                                            

  • 2020
  • Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Grad Slam was canceled in 2020. 
  • 2019
  • First Place: 
    Katie Murphy, Plant Biology
    "Call the Plant Doctor"    

    ​Second Place:
    Riley Hughes, Nutritional Biology
    "Getting Personal with Nutrition" 

    Third Place & People's Choice: 
    Nahrain Rasho, Political Science
    "Regional Autonomy and Local Conflict" 

    Other UC Davis Finalists: 
    Misara Bambao, Nursing Science and Health-Care Leadership
    Mackenzie Batali, Food Science
    Fatima Hussain, Chemistry
    Diana Lizarraga, Educational Leadership
    Stacy McCarthy, Nursing Science and Health-Care Leadership
    Stela Petkova, Neuroscience
    Lauren Rountree, Nursing Science and Health-Care Leadership                                           

  • 2018
  • First Place: 
    Tooka Zokaie, Public Health
    "At the Mouth of Health Access"

    ​Second Place:
    Rachel Wigginton, Ecology
    "Road to Recovery: Plant Invasion and Wetland Restoration on the California Coast"

    Third Place: 
    Divya Kernik, Biomedical Engineering
    "An Electric Symphony: Understanding Variability in Heart Cells" 

    People's Choice:
    Mayowa Adegboyega, Anthropology
    "Reconstructing Human Evolution: A 3-D Jigsaw Puzzle"

    Other UC Davis Finalists: 
    Hanjiro Ambrose, Civil and Environmental Engineering
    Emery Anderson-Merritt, Geology
    Riley Hughes, Nutritional Biology
    Maci Mueller, Animal Biology 
    Augustina Mushale, Nursing Science and Health-Care Leadership
    Stela Petkova, Neuroscience

  • 2017
  • First Place: 
    Sam Westreich, Integrative Genetics & Genomics
    "A Better Understanding of the Gut Microbiome through Metatranscriptomics"

    ​Second Place:
    Maci Mueller, Animal Biology
    "Mess With the Bull - Don't Get the Horns: Gene-Editing to Improve Animal Welfare"

    Third Place: 
    Carina Fish, Geology
    "Surface-Deep Connections: Ocean Acidification"

    Other UC Davis Finalists: 
    Donald Gibson, Integrative Genetics & Genomics 
    Omar Hafez, Civil Engineering
    Mike Huh, Geology
    Marc Pollack, Microbiology
    ​Telha Rehman, Horticulture & Agronomy
    Alex Schmidt, Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering                                                    Youyou Zhang, Civil Engineering

  • 2016

  • First Place: 
    Matthew Savoca, Ecology
    "Smell explains why marine animals eat plastic debris"   

    Second Place:
    Eric Walters, Microbiology
    "Fungal-bacterial coculture for biofuel production"

    Third Place:
    Kevin Campbell, Biomedical Engineering
    "Promoting Lymphatic Vessels to treat Cardiovascular Disease"