The Beyond Academia team is comprised entirely of graduate students and post-docs at UC Berkeley. They volunteer their efforts and time outside of doing research, writing articles, teaching classes, and mentoring students.
Co-Director, Speakers, Media
Alicia Roy is a 5th year PhD candidate in the Department of German with a Designated Emphasis in Film and Media. Her research focuses on the legal and social history of intellectual property and copyright in Germany, with particular attention to copyright disputes concerning film adaptations in the early 20th Century. She has taught German language courses at UC Berkeley at every level, as well as English language courses on German literature. She also works at the German School of the East Bay in Oakland, and in her free time loves to bake, play guitar, and practice yoga.
Co-Director, Outreach Lead, Media Lead, Speakers
Cécile is a 5th-year PhD student in the Vision Science Graduate Program. Her thesis work focuses on gene therapy for inherited retinal diseases.
Co-director, Careers Reception Lead, Finance Lead
Judy Jinn is a 5th year PhD candidate in the Department of Psychology. Her research explores how decisions during spatial navigation are subject to change based on information gained over time. Two types of dynamic information are of interest: 1) motor skills related to moving to a goal and 2) sensory information from olfactory cues. These questions are addressed by studying wild fox squirrel movements, humans in virtual environments, and theoretical modeling. Beyond the lab, Judy navigates her way around the dance floor with the Cal Ballroom team. Linkedin Profile
Former Co-director, Development, Logistics
Diya Das is a sixth year PhD student in the Department of Molecular & Cell Biology and a Data Science Fellow at the Berkeley Institute for Data Science. Her PhD research focuses on regeneration in the olfactory epithelium, the tissue responsible for our sense of smell, which she studies using single-cell RNA sequencing and other genomics techniques. Outside of lab, she's very active in improving the academic and social environment on campus and in the community: most recently, she organized the 2017 CDIPS Data Science Workshop and has taught for The Hacker Within, a scientific computing working group Linkedin Profile, Website
Speakers Lead, Finance
Monica is a 5th year PhD student in the department of Plant and Microbial Biology where she studies the bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas syringae B728a which causes brown spot disease in bean leaves. Outside of the lab, Monica has served on a committee to organize UC Berkeley’s first Plant Genome Engineering Symposium featuring scientists talking about their research involving the CRISPR-Cas9 system which is a gene editing system that was declared the “Breakthrough of the Year” in 2015 by the journal Science. Monica is also interested in increasing involvement of historically underrepresented ethnic groups in the sciences and has spoken twice at UC Berkeley’s Graduate Student Diversity Day. In her free time, Monica enjoys crocheting, hiking, playing the flute, and exploring Berkeley and San Francisco.
Stephanie is a 4th year PhD Candidate in the Vision Science Program. Her research focuses on determining how the healthy cornea, unlike all other exposed tissues, prevents a bacterial microbiome. She is particularly interested in uncovering how the innate immune receptor, IL-1R, constitutively inhibits bacterial colonization on the eye. Outside of the lab Stephanie volunteers in elementary classrooms through Bay Area Scientists in Schools (BASIS) and enjoys cooking, hiking and traveling.
Natalie is a 4th year PhD Candidate in the Vision Science Program. Her research focuses on education and accessibility issues related to visual impairment and blindness. It also investigates how blind, visually-impaired, and sighted individuals process haptic (touch) information. Outside of the lab, Natalie enjoys hiking, traveling, baking, and kickboxing.
Logistics, Careers Reception
José is a research specialist at the HHMI - UC Berkeley laboratory of Prof. Kris Niyogi in the department of Plant and Microbial Biology. He investigates the dynamic processes of photosynthetic membrane biogenesis, regulation and repair in the green microalgae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. He obtained his PhD from the Umeå University biochemistry department in Sweden, studying the protein composition of the oxygen evolving protein complex of photosynthesis. He received postdoctoral training at the University of California, Berkeley studying strain optimization and biofuel production in prokaryotic and eukaryotic photosynthetic microalgae. He is actively involved in mentoring undergraduate and graduate students and when outside the lab, enjoys climbing, biking, soccer and gardening.
Samantha is a Post-doctoral fellow at UC Berkeley studying the molecular pathways underlying pain and itch sensation. She received her PhD in Molecular and Cell Biology at UC Berkeley in 2016 studying the neuroscience of feeding behavior. During her graduate studies, she characterized neurons that promote feeding behavior using molecular genetic tools and calcium imaging. In her spare time, Samantha enjoys drawing, painting and swimming.
Logistics Head, Career Reception
Rachel Kjolby is a 6th year PhD candidate in Molecular and Cell Biology. Her thesis involves studying how differential gene expression is achieved to coordinate specification of the head to tail axis of the frog, Xenopus laevis. She is involved in outreach programs such as Bay Area Scientists in Schools (BASIS), bringing science to young minds as well as mentoring undergraduates in laboratory research. In her free time, Rachel likes to play soccer, knit, kickbox, and read for fun!
Media, Blog Writer
Monica Gates is a second year PhD student in neuroscience. Her research focuses on formalizing social interactions, working at the intersection of psychology and computer science. More specifically, she enjoys working on projects like developing computational models of how people make guesses about other people's goals after observing their actions. Outside the lab, Monica likes working on science outreach (outreach website), blogging about non-science musings, exercise, and talking with people.
Joe Papp is a third year PhD student in the Department of Chemical & Molecular Engineering and is a member of the McCloskey Lab. His PhD research is centered on cathode materials for lithium ion and lithium air batteries. Outside of research, Joe also volunteers in elementary schools with BASIS and is a delegate on the graduate assembly. In his spare time, Joe enjoys hiking/backpacking, following college basketball, and visiting local breweries.
Arathi Govind is a 5th year PhD candidate in Ethnomusicology. Her research concerns several South Asian American musicians and their work in social justice advocacy and activism. Her work aims to address how racial hierarchies for South Asians have shifted in a post-9/11 context in the United States, forming and strengthening interracial coalitions. She is also an accomplished vocalist, singing with Resound Ensemble in San Francisco and the indie rock band Bright Red Universe. For fun, Arathi enjoys hiking, camping, studying birds, cooking, and running.
David is a PhD candidate in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at UC Berkeley, where he researches debates about the teacher-student relationship in early Chinese intellectual history. Aside from his teaching and research at Cal, David serves as a graduate student representative on Berkeley's University Partnership Program. He is also involved in a campus-wide initiative to promote discovery learning in the undergraduate curriculum as part of the Graduate Student Assessment Fellows program.