A biweekly publication for faculty and staff

Ten Finalists Named in GradSLAM! Competition

March 10, 2015
The finalists have been chosen from 32 UC Merced graduate students who competed in the qualifying rounds of the campus’s first-ever GradSLAM! event, held March 3. 
Participating students were challenged to create three-minute presentations that showcased their research interests in engaging, accessible ways. The fast-paced presentations demonstrated the varied research projects taking place on campus. 
Topics included the impact of microbes upon their ecosystems; agroforestry in the drought-ridden Sahel desert in Africa; the relationship between rhythm and reading readiness in young children; data privacy; and the relationship between social media and depression.
“Listening to our students’ research presentations was an absolute delight,” Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Education Marjorie Zatz said. “The excitement in the room was palpable, and everyone enjoyed learning about their colleagues’ projects.”
The top 10 presenters, as scored by faculty judges, were:
  • Nate Bogie, environmental systems;
  • Katie Coburn, psychological sciences;
  • Jason Davis, applied mathematics;
  • Jennifer Mendiola, psychological sciences;
  • Portia Mira, quantitative and systems biology;
  • Jessica Ross, cognitive and information sciences;
  • Holly Rus, psychological sciences;
  • Michael Stobb, applied mathematics;
  • Maryam Tabatabaeian, cognitive and information sciences; and
  • Joannee Zumkehr, quantitative and systems biology
Each of the 10 finalists will receive a $25 gift certificate to the campus store and the opportunity to attend a luncheon with Zatz on March 19. They will also move on to present in the GradSLAM! finals April 7. 
Prizes at the finals include a grand prize of $2,000 and two runner-up prizes of $1,000. The grand-prize winner will also compete in the UC systemwide GradSLAM! competition to be hosted by UC President Janet Napolitano in Oakland and streamed live at UC Merced (location to be announced) on May 4.