Get Ready for the Grad Slam Semi-Finals!

By Laura McGeehan |

It’s that time of the year again…Grad Slam is here! The annual competition, in which UCR graduate students present their research or creative project in only three minutes for a chance to win cash prizes, is now entering the semi-finals stage. From a pool of initial video submissions, 16 semi-finalists have been selected to move forward to the next in-person rounds.

The semi-finals will take place in Room 367 in the HUB on:

  • Wednesday, February 22nd 1-2pm
  • Thursday, February 23rd 11am-12pm

Come view the presentations and VOTE in the audience choice category for who you think should advance!

And now… drum roll please….


[Image Description: A close up of a person pounding on a drum with drumsticks to build anticipation.]

Pictured: The suspense is terrible. I hope it'll last.

Our Semi-Finalists!

The 16 semi finalists, along with the titles of their presentations, are listed below (in alphabetical order):

  • Shannon Brady | “There's No One Way To Do Emotions!”
  • Ryan Bruellman | “Take a Stand Against Sitting: Health Implications of Prolonged Sitting”
  • Jasmine Castellanos | “Uncovering Viruses' Preference to Attack Specific Species”
  • Alisha Conover | “Looking in the TV: How Media Characters Help us Emotionally Regulate”
  • Marina Dunn | A Long Time Ago, In a Galaxy Far, Far Away: Using Machine Learning to Classify Galaxy Morphologies”
  • Yilun Fan | “Why does China Ban Time Travel?”
  • Utitofon Inyang | “Towards Visuospatiality, or How to See the Universe in a Grain of Sand''
  • Jacob Kemner | “Fire - Not Always Environmental "Treeson"”
  • Elissa Monteiro | “Are they READY: Ratings of Executive functioning and Associated Development in Youth, A Pilot Study Investigating the Utility of Screening Students’ Executive Functioning Prior to Middle School”
  • Sanika Nishandar | “Systematic Exploration of Wildfire Ignition”
  • Nick Robertson | “Artificial Photosynthesis and the Future of Food”
  • Samantha Robinson |  “Microfluidic Automation for Peptide Drug Discovery and Analysis”
  • Aya Shhub | “Phrasing and its Relation to Fluency and Comprehension for 4th-6th Students with ASD”
  • Samiksha Singh | “Are We Drinking Microplastics?”
  • Jordan Steinhauser | “The Underlying Neural Networks of PTSD”
  • Zariah Tolman | “Positivity Outward: an Emotion Regulation Intervention for Hard-to-reach Youth”


[Image Description: Jennifer Lopez stands up to applaud excellent work.]

Pictured: Way to go Semi-Finalists!

The Grad Slam competition culminates with the UCR Grad Slam Final on March 9, 2023 at 3:00 PM at the UCR Alumni Center. We hope that you will support your fellow grad students who'll be showcasing their public speaking skills for a chance to win the top prize of $5,000! Join us in person or watch via live stream.

Can’t get enough? Don't worry - the excitement continues! Our UCR Grad Slam winner will ultimately compete against the Grad Slam winners from the other nine UC campuses for the grand prize at the UC Office of the President's Grad Slam Final Competition. The winner will take home $7000!


[Image Description: A young fan passionately cheers during a sporting event.]

Pictured: Whoever our UCR Grad Slam Champion is, we are already rooting for them to bring it home!