Wednesday, April 4, 2018
3 – 5:30 pm
309 Sproul Hall (Graduate Professional Development Center)
FREE and open to the public
Event will be livestreamed at

Everyone is invited to cheer on the ten graduate student Grad Slam semi-finalists as they present their three-minute research talks! Here are three great reasons to attend

  1. Your support could make the difference: If you have a friend, lab mate, or colleague competing in Grad Slam, your presence as their personal cheering squad could help propel them to the top prize.
  2. Your vote will be counted: While a panel of distinguished judges select the top two winners, audience members will have the opportunity to vote for a “people’s choice” winner. This means you can help decide which talks are most well-executed and represent the best research our campus has to offer!
  3. You could be the next champion! Have you considered applying to Grad Slam yourself? There’s no better way to prepare than to see this year’s semifinalists in action!

The top winner will represent Berkeley and compete in the ten-campus UC-wide Grad Slam

The UC-wide event will be hosted by President Janet Napolitano at LinkedIn headquarters in San Francisco on May 3, 2018.

Grad Slam is a UC-sponsored competitive speaking event designed to showcase graduate student research in three-minute talks pitched to a general audience. This is a unique opportunity for graduate students who are engaged in substantive original research projects to develop skills communicating their academic research — while making their work visible to academic, media, and private and public sector leaders from across the state.

UC Berkeley Semi-finalists

Lilith AcadiaLilith Acadia, Rhetoric
“The Power of Pretext”

A fifth-year Ph.D. student from California, Lilith aims to work in higher education, kindling critical thinking through teaching and writing.



Kelsae Adame, Nuclear Engineering
“An Overdue Change for Medical Radioisotope Production”

A first-year Master’s student from Los Lunas, New Mexico, Kelsae plans to work for a clean energy startup, as a means of contributing to the move away from fossil fuels and addressing the threat of climate change.


Joe CharbonnetJoe Charbonnet, Environmental Engineering
“A Stormwater Solution”

A fifth-year Ph.D. student from Gainesville, Florida, Joe plans to work in private or public industry to develop a broad range of novel treatment processes and to diversify water portfolios.


Daniel DrewDaniel Drew, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
“A Swarm in Every Pocket: Autonomous Microrobots as the Future of Tools”

A fifth-year Ph.D. student from Virginia, Daniel hopes to mentor the next generation of scientists and engineers as a faculty member at a research institution.



Tomas LeonTomás León, Environmental Health Sciences
“The Ecology of Liver Fluke Disease Transmission”

A fourth-year Ph.D. student from Atlanta, Georgia, Tomás plans to work toward the prevention and control of infectious diseases around the world, through partnerships among academia, government, NGOs, and industry.


Sylvia LewinSylvia Lewin, Physics
“Using Vibrations to Understand High-Temperature Superconductors”

A sixth-year Ph.D. student from Delaware, Sylvia plans to continue her research on unusual materials that test the bounds of theoretical knowledge, while also conducting outreach that engages younger students in science.


Andrea PickelAndrea Pickel, Mechanical Engineering
“Getting the Green Light on Nanothermometry”

A fourth-year Ph.D. student from Mill Valley, CA, Andrea plans to continue developing new thermal metrology tools that will address pressing concerns in the areas of electronic and magnetic device performance, energy conversion technologies, and understanding of biological processes.


Alberto Sanchez SanchezAlberto Sanchez-Sanchez, Architecture
“(almost) no one lives here: a genealogy of extreme depopulation in rural Spain”

A first-year Ph.D. student from Spain, Alberto aims to better understand and alleviate extreme rural depopulation in his home country by bridging the gaps among research, architecture practice, and public policy.


Maria SimanovskaiaMaria Simanovskaia, Nuclear Engineering
“Searching for New Particles to Improve our Understanding of the Universe”

A fourth-year Ph.D. student who moved from St. Petersburg to the Bay Area in elementary school, Maria hopes to one day discover the nature of dark matter.



Dave WheelerDavid Wheeler, Ancient History and Mediterranean Archaeology
“Greek Visibility in Ancient Egypt”

A fourth-year Ph.D. student from Minnesota, David aims to become a professor specializing in cultural contact between Egypt and the Aegean from the Bronze Age to the Ptolemaic period.