The Distinguished Fellows Video Contest is a highlight of an annual celebration honoring graduate students who receive prestigious fellowships and their supporters. This year, nearly 200 fellows, donors, faculty, and staff will view the winning entries at an evening gala on March 15, 2018.

Winners received research-travel grants in the amounts of $1,500, $1,000, and $750 respectively. All of this year’s videos are well worth viewing!

First Place: Ryan Gourley

Recipient of the Chancellor’s Fellowship for Graduate Study

Ryan Gourley is a first-year graduate student in Ethnomusicology in the Department of Music. Originally from San Antonio, Texas, he completed his undergraduate studies in music at Brown University in 2016. His research interests include Soviet jazz, music as a means of protest, post-Soviet aesthetics, cultural ideology, and propaganda.  He is a published photographer, poet, composer, and the founder of

Second Place: Ignacio Escalante Meza

Recipient of the Berkeley Connect Fellowship

Ignacio Escalante is a PhD candidate in the Department of Environmental Sciences, Policy and Management. He studies the behavior and ecology of daddy long-legs from the tropical rainforests of Central America and here in California. He earned a undergraduate and Master’s degree in Biology at the University of Costa Rica. While conducting research on the ways animals have evolved adaptations to the pressures in their environments, he has been able to engage with the public through numerous outreach and teaching activities in Latin America and in California. His experiences as a mentee and a mentor continuously influence his career as a teacher and a researcher.

Third Place: Bernardo Sarmiento Hinojosa

Recipient of the Mellon-Berkeley Fellowship

Bernardo Sarmiento Hinojosa is a second-year PhD Student in the Department of English and the Program in Medieval Studies. He received a BA from Columbia and a MPhil from Cambridge. At Berkeley, he studies late medieval literature, the history of science and technology, and the digital humanities.