Panel descriptions 2016

Monday panels and panelists

From 1:30PM to 2:30PM, choose one of these panels to attend

Tuesday panels and panelists

From 1:30PM to 2:30PM, choose one of these panels to attend

Monday panels
From 1:30PM to 2:30PM

Research Beyond the Tenure Track (STEM)


Paula JohnsonPaula Johnson, Research Scientist and Lead at California Department of Public Health

Paula Johnson leads the California Safe Cosmetics Program at the Department of Public Health. The program investigates and informs the public about hazardous ingredients in cosmetics products sold in California. Her expertise includes exposure and epidemiological research on chemicals in consumer products and developing methods for synthesizing research for evaluating toxicity. Dr. Johnson holds a PhD in environmental health sciences from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in public health from San Diego State University. She was a postdoctoral research fellow with UC San Francisco’s Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment.

Nathan PierceNathan Pierce, Scientist at Verily

Nathan is a scientist on the cell biology team at Verily, which was formerly part of Google[x] and is focused on new tools and technologies that could help transform the detection, prevention, and management of disease. Nathan received his B.S. in biology from Stanford University and his Ph.D. in biology from the California Institute of Technology, where he studied the biochemical mechanism and regulation of ubiquitin ligases. Before joining Verily, he completed a postdoc at Stanford University School of Medicine exploring the cell biology of the Notch-Delta developmental signaling pathway.

Nicole FayNicole Fay, Research Scientist at Applied molecular transports

Nicole Fay has always been interested in cellular signaling systems, in particularly sensing and adaptation. This has led her to pursue research topics in immunology, microbiology, and epithelial biology. After graduating from UCB with a PhD in Molecular & Cell Biology in 2014, Nicole has applied her knowledge to various translational science and biotechnology endeavors. Nicole currently works as Research Scientist with a small start-up, Applied Molecular Transport, developing a pipeline of transformative, targeted oral biological therapeutics that promise to redefine the future of biopharmaceuticals.

Cathy_O'HareCathy O’Hare, Scientist at Medivation

Catherine received her undergraduate education at UC Berkeley in Molecular and Cell Biology with an emphasis in Neuroscience. She then went on to do her graduate work in Neuroscience at UCSF, studying drosophila models of neurodegeneration. After graduating, Catherine traveled to England to do a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Cambridge where she investigated nervous system development in zebrafish and xenopus. In 2013, she returned to UC Berkeley to continue her postdoctoral work, before deciding to make the transition to industry. She currently works as a Scientist in Predictive Diagnostics at the pharmaceutical company Medivation. Her job is to develop and validate biomarkers and diagnostics that can help us understand the drug’s mechanism of action and select the appropriate patient populations to ensure success of clinical trials. As Medivation outsources all of its bench work, she spends her day designing and managing studies at offsite labs and working with cross-functional teams across all areas of drug discovery and development.

JustinElstrottJustin Elstrott, Scientific Manager at Genentech

Justin Elstrott, PhD works as a Scientific Manager with Dr. Robby Weimer in the Biomedical Imaging Group at Genentech, where he uses in-vivo imaging and electrophysiology to study diseases such as Alzheimer’s and cancer in preclinical animal models. He received his PhD in Computational Neuroscience from UC San Diego in 2009, researching retinal development in the labs of Prof. Marla Feller and Prof. EJ Chichilnisky. As a postdoc in the lab of Prof. Daniel Feldman at UC Berkeley, he studied sensory cortex using electrophysiology and imaging. While a postdoc, he co-founded the Postdoc Industry Exploration Program (PIEP: and the Berkeley Postdoc Entrepreneur Program (BPEP:

Panel moderated by:

Roberto SessaRoberto Sessa, Post-doctorate at UC Berkeley

Roberto’s scientific background and working experience have been developed in the Biotechnology, Cancer Biology and Cardiovascular fields. After having obtained a Master’s Degree in Biotechnology at the University of Turin, he has worked at the Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment (Candiolo, Turin – Italy) in the Molecular Angiogenesis Division, where he received his PhD in Complex Systems Applied to Post-Genomic Biology. In his academic experience, he has acquired a strong background in vascular biology, oncology and immunology with strong technical skill in cell culture and in vitro cell based assays. Roberto is currently a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California, where he became well-versed with transgenic mice studying the lymphatic system and its involvement in inflammation and transplantation.

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Management Consulting


Els Van Der HelmEls Van Der Helm, Consultant at McKinsey & Co.

Els van der Helm was the founder and lead organizer of the Beyond Academia 2013 conference and now serves a member of the Beyond Academia advisory board. Els hopes Beyond Academia will continue to help fellow-PhD students and post-docs find their way in the non-academic world. She is a sleep adviser coaching businesses and leaders on how to improve effectiveness, health and engagement through better sleep management.For over 2.5 years she worked as a management consultant at McKinsey where she combined her passion for leadership development and sleep. As a Fulbright scholar she studied the effects of sleep on the brain during her PhD in Psychology (University of California Berkeley) resulting in peer-reviewed articles in Current Biology, PLoS One, Psychological Bulletin, SLEEP, PNAS and several book chapters. For more information, email at or visit her website

Ashley GibbAshley Gibb, Consultant at Bain & Co.

Ashley Gibb is currently a management consultant in the San Francisco office of Bain & Company. Her recent casework has mainly involved strategy and performance work with clients in tech and biotech. She completed her PhD in chemistry at UC Berkeley, where her doctoral research focused on the synthesis and atomic scale characterization of low dimensional nanomaterials including graphene and hexagonal boron nitride. While in graduate school, she also worked on various projects involving low-cost/off-grid medical devices, science education, and nanoscale physics in Guatemala, Kenya, Singapore, and Brazil. Prior to graduate school, Ashley completed her B.S. in chemistry at Penn State and then spent a year in Indonesia as a Fulbright fellow in Salatiga, Central Java. Outside of work she enjoys cycling, trying new foods, and scuba diving.

Arthur CombsArthur Combs, Consultant at Schaffer&Combs

Arthur began his career as a commodities broker and earned a doctorate from the London School of Economics. He has worked since 1984 in international development and global health, as both scholar and practitioner, with a focus on East Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Following his years as a broker, Arthur served as CEO of Source Healthcare Systems, LLC from 1998-2003. He has led a number of nonprofit organizations an executive and fiduciary. In 2008, he co-founded Schaffer&Combs, a consultancy serving purpose driven organizations from Fortune 500 companies to grassroots nonprofits. The firm helps organizations build capacity across four general functions: culture, strategy, execution, and performance management. Combs’s particular areas of expertise encompass economic development, global health, market based solutions for social impact, the U.S. Nonprofit sector, programming and management in low intensity conflict zones, and measuring non-financial outcomes and impacts.

Thomas YangThomas Yang, Principal at Deloitte

Thomas Yang is a Principal in Monitor Deloitte’s San Francisco office and is a co-lead of the pharmaceutical product launch practice. He has worked within the life sciences industry across a wide array of functions, including: Corporate Strategy, Marketing, Medical, HEOR, Market Access and Clinical Development.

Tom has worked with clients to bridge the divide between Commercial and R&D to deliver growth through improved clinical development and commercialization. Specifically, these projects have focused on a range of topics such as: corporate strategy, business development, product development and commercialization strategy, market access, and building organizational capabilities. Tom received his Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, where working with mouse models of breast cancer he characterized the role of a novel AMPK-family kinase in mammary tumorigenesis and metastasis. Tom graduated from Cornell University with a B.A. in Microbiology and Economics.

Panel moderated by:

Claire OldfieldClaire Oldfield, Future Consultant at Bain after PhD graduation (UC Berkeley)

Claire is a 6th year Neuroscience PhD student at UC Berkeley. Her research is focused on how experience changes behavior and neural activity in larval zebrafish. She was on the founding team of the first Beyond Academia conference and now serves as an adviser to the group. When she graduates, she is excited to start a career in management consulting at the SF office of Bain&Company.

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Science Writing and Outreach (STEM)


Jyoti-MadhusoodananJyoti Madhusoodanan, Freelance Science Journalist

Jyoti Madhusoodanan is a Bay Area- based freelance science journalist. She is a graduate of the UC Santa Cruz Science Communication program and earned her PhD in microbiology from SUNY Buffalo, New York. She started writing about science in 2010 as the communications manager for a genomics start-up, then managed media outreach for the scientific journal PLOS ONE. She now freelances from her home in San Jose. Her work regularly appears in Nature, The Scientist, Chemical & Engineering News, and other outlets.

Brian_Wecht.jpgBrian Wecht, Co-founder of The Story Collider

Brian Wecht is a comedian, musician, and theoretical physicist. After holding research positions at Harvard University, the Center for Theoretical Physics at MIT, the Institute for Advanced Study, and the University of Michigan, Brian was a faculty member at Queen Mary, University of London, where he worked on string theory, supersymmetry, and quantum field theory. In 2015, Brian left academics for a career as a comedy musician and YouTube gamer. With his bands Ninja Sex Party and Starbomb, Brian has released three Billboard #1 comedy albums, and has had at least one album on the Billboard Top 10 Comedy Albums chart continuously since 2013. Brian is also a cast member on the popular YouTube video gaming channel Game Grumps, which has over 3 million subscribers. Finally, Brian is the co-founder of The Story Collider, a science-themed live storytelling show and podcast.

Nadia_DrakeNadia Drake, Science Writer for National Geographic

Nadia Drake received her A.B. in biology, psychology, and dance at Cornell University. She remained at Cornell to earn her Ph.D. in genetics and development. During the SciCom program, she was a reporting intern for the Santa Cruz Sentinel, San Jose Mercury News, and Nature. She moved to Washington D.C. for an internship at Science News, which turned into a job as the magazine’s astronomy reporter. Drake then returned to the Bay Area for a science reporting job at WIRED. She is now a freelance contributor to The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, WIRED, and other publications, in addition to her regular column at National Geographic.

Hilleary_Osheroff_headshotHilleary Osheroff, Staff Biologist at Teacher Institute at Exploratorium

Hilleary Osheroff is the staff biologist for the Exploratorium’s Teacher Institute, which provides professional development in science content and practices to middle and high school teachers. Prior to joining the Exploratorium, she was a program manager at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City leading a science research program for high school students, and has also worked as a consultant developing informal science curriculum and workshops for teachers and students. She earned a PhD in neurobiology and developmental biology at the Rockefeller University in 2008.

Photo: ED RITGERDavid Eagleman discusses his latest book Incognito.Kishore Hari, Director of the Bay Area Science Festival at UCSF

Kishore Hari is a science educator with more than a decade’s experience producing live science events. He’s the director of the Bay Area Science Festival based out of UC-San Francisco. Additional, he’s the host of the weekly science podcast Inquiring Minds and is the science correspondent for the technology site Follow his musings about science, hockey, and other nerdery @sciencequiche.

Panel moderated by:

SONY DSCAdam Becker, Freelancer, Astrophysicist for

Adam Becker is a freelance astrophysicist, helping people to understand the universe and other complicated things. He is currently writing a book about the sordid untold history of quantum physics, to be published in 2017 by Basic Books. He is also Managing Editor of the just-launched Open Journal of Astrophysics. Adam has a PhD in computational cosmology from the University of Michigan; after finishing his degree in 2012, he worked at New Scientist and PLOS before becoming a full-time freelancer and consultant. He has done science communication work in a variety of forms for the BBC, New Scientist, and several other media outlets. He also maintains a sporadically-updated blog at

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Non-profits & Social Sector


Sean CarsonSean Carson, Program Manager at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

Sean Carson received his bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley in 1992, and his PhD from NYU, in Music Theory and Composition, in 2003. Since 2009, he has been the Program Manager at the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, overseeing the performing arts series.

Shashi BuluswarShashi Buluswar, CEO of the Institute for Transformative Technologies: LBL

Shashi Buluswar is the CEO of Institute for Transformative Technologies. Launched in 2012, ITT’s mission is to develop breakthrough technological solutions for addressing global poverty. In its early years, ITT has developed a portable solar-powered vaccine refrigerator, an ultra-low-cost infant incubator, a sensor to detect the depth of underground water, and a vermifilter toilet. Shashi is the lead author of ITT’s recently released groundbreaking study, “The 50 most critical technology breakthroughs required to combat global poverty”.

Prior to ITT, he was a Partner at Dalberg Global Development Advisors, a mission-driven strategy consulting firm which serves NGOs, corporations, foundations, governments, social entrepreneurs, and international agencies like the UN. Prior to joining Dalberg, Shashi was an Associate Partner at McKinsey & Company and a Visiting Professor at Northwestern University. He holds a PhD from the Univ. of Massachusetts in Robotics, and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. Shashi spent a decade competing on the Indian national rowing team, and recently made a critically acclaimed documentary film about the India-Pakistan conflict. He also teaches international development at the Univ. of California at Berkeley, and his course has been recently launched as a “MOOC”, with over 50,000 students. Shashi was born and raised in India.

Roshni KasadRoshni Kasad, Senior Program Manager, Academic Initiatives at Anita Borg Institute

Roshni Kasad is Senior Program Manager at the Anita Borg Institute ( (ABI) where she oversees Academic Initiatives. At ABI, Roshni partners with universities across the country and leads programs for female students and faculty in computing in an effort to bring more women into tech and to ensure women stay in tech. Prior to ABI, Roshni worked on a number of K-12 STEM education initiatives nationwide as a Program Manager at Techbridge ( and in rural India as an Indicorps Fellow ( Roshni has a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cell Biology from UC Berkeley, where she characterized molecular mechanisms in meiosis.

Renato AlmanzorRenato Almanzor, Senior Director of Programs at Leader Spring

Renato P. Almanzor’s experience emerges from many years consulting leaders committed to multicultural organization development and social justice. His clients have included executive leaders from universities, non-profit organizations, medical clinics, and government agencies. His expertise ranges from executive coaching and strategic planning to change management and team development. He has delivered keynote addresses, conference workshops, and panel presentations on issues related to leadership for equity, cultural diversity, community development, and organizational change with a social justice agenda. Dr. Almanzor received his Ph.D. in organizational psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology, his M.S. in counseling from San Diego State University, and his B.A. in psychology from the University of California, Davis. He has also taught graduate courses at CSU East Bay, Alliant International University, University of San Francisco, and Argosy University.

Renato currently runs all of the programming for LeaderSpring, including their two year fellowship program for nonprofit executive directors and LeaderSpring Consulting Group ( In this capacity, he strengthens the leadership and management competencies of leaders, develops communities of leaders, and supports the transformation of the systems in which they work.

Michael ArnoldMichael Arnold, Senior Research Associate at Harder & Company

Michael Arnold, PhD, MPH, MSW, is a Senior Research Associate with Harder+Company (San Francisco). His work investigates and supports health promotion efforts among marginalized and under-resourced communities, and African American, LGBT, and other groups disproportionately affected by health risks. Michael has designed and conducted rigorous evaluations in the fields of HIV prevention, education, training, and employment, and health equity. At Harder+Company, he is working on a longitudinal impact evaluation of Genesys Works Bay Area’s educational and career advancement model for low-income high school students, and formative, outcome, and impact studies of mental health programs in San Francisco and Sonoma Counties. Prior to joining Harder+Company, Michael served in senior positions at the Center for Sexuality and Health Disparities (University of Michigan School of Public Health), Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and the San Francisco Department of Public Health. Michael holds a Ph.D. in Social Welfare and a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology from the University of California, Berkeley.

Panel moderated by:

ramiRami Arafah, Graduate Student at UC Berkeley

Rami Arafah is a 4th-year Ph.D. Candidate in the School of Social Welfare, and is currently working on a quantitatively focused dissertation aimed at identifying factors that predict economic success among newly-arrived refugees in the United States. His doctoral work is broadly centered on macro level social service policy and management, both in the nonprofit and public sectors. Rami is passionate about social change and development, and the application of research and evaluation methods towards those ends. Before coming to UC Berkeley, Rami held multiple positions in nonprofit management and planning.

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Monday Panels
From 3PM to 4PM

Recruiter’s Perspective (STEM)

Melisa Medrano_Melisa Medrano, Senior Recruiter, Talent Acquisition at Gilead Sciences

Melisa graduated in 2008 with a PhD in Molecular Microbiology from the Tufts University Sackler School of Biomedical Sciences in Boston in 2008, for which she was supported by an NIH grant. With the economy at a low point, little NIH postdoctoral funding available, and few roles for recent PhD grads looking to move into industry, she began seeking roles away from the bench. Melisa joined Kelly Scientific Resources, supporting hiring for Boston-area Biotech and Pharmaceutical clients. In 2010, she transferred to the Pleasanton, CA branch, and supported scientific hiring throughout the Bay Area, and across various scientific industries. In 2013, Gilead Sciences advertised on Linked In that they were seeking a Scientific Recruiter to support Biologics hiring. Since joining GIlead, she has had the wonderful opportunity to drive the expansion of the Biologics Clinical Development and Production site in Oceanside, CA. Melisa truly enjoy being part of Gilead’s team, and feels extremely fortunate to have been at Gilead during these unique and exciting past several years!

Nicole_NehringNicole Nehring, Staffing Consultant at Genentech

Nikki joined Genentech in April 2013 and has been supporting Research and Development throughout her tenure. She has recruited for Genentech’s Postdoc program and now is the primary recruiter for Scientific Researcher roles in gRED as well as Project Management and Quality positions within Product Development.

Mareike MuffMareike Muff, Senior Technical Recruiter at Datameer

Mareike Muff is a German transplant living in the USA since 2005. Coming from a background in Hospitality, she left the industry to follow her goal to become an Recruiter. Working now for a US start-up tech company with German roots, she is the only Senior Technical Recruiter on staff and the roles she fills are not limited to the technical field only. She recruits in EMEA, DACH and all of the US

Panel moderated by:

Jennifer IrwinJenny Irwin, University Recruiting Manager at Exponent

Jenny is the University Recruiting Manager in the Human Resources Department at Exponent, a leading engineering and scientific consulting firm. In her role, she has worked with thousands of Ph.D. students and Postdocs over the past eight years. The engineers and scientists she has recruited have become some of the top performing consultants in various disciplines at Exponent. Jenny also has a leading role in people and career development projects within the firm.

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Policy Making and Analysis


John LawrenceJohn Lawrence, Former Chief of Staff, Office of Nancy Pelosi, at the US House of Representatives

John A. Lawrence served for 38 years as a staff member in the U.S. House of Representatives, the last 8 as Chief of Staff to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

Upon his retirement in February, 2013, Speakers John A. Boehner and Pelosi conferred on him the John W. McCormack Award for Excellence, for dedication to the House and bipartisanship.

Dr. Lawrence also served as Democratic Staff Director of both the Committee on Education and the Workforce (2001-2005), and the Committee on Natural Resources (1993-2001), and Chief of Staff and Legislative Director to Congressman George Miller (D-CA) (1975-1993).  He played a major role in legislation involving health, education, labor, budget, national parks, energy and child policy.

He serves on several boards including the Advisory Committee on the Records of Congress, by appointment of Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.

He teaches at the University of California campus in Washington, and writes and speaks on public policy and politics. He has also taught at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy, and lectured widely on U.S. government and politics at such institutions as Columbia, Oberlin, the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton, and the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, the Atlantic, Politico Magazine, and he has often appeared on NPR, PRI International and Pidgin Podcast (Australia). He blogs at DOMEocracy (

Dr. Lawrence was born and raised in Paterson, N.J., and holds a Ph.D. in American History from the University of California (Berkeley), where his dissertation looked at the development of class consciousness and the labor movement in late-nineteenth century San Francisco. He graduated from Oberlin College with high honors in history.  He and his wife, Deborah Phillips, Ph.D., professor of psychology at Georgetown University, have two sons.

denavallanoDena Vallano, Physical Scientist at U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Dena is a Physical Scientist in the Air Quality Analysis Office within the U.S. EPA Region 9 Air Division in San Francisco, CA where she works on regional air quality technical issues, next-generation air quality sensors, and community air monitoring. Prior to her current position, Dena was an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology Policy Fellow at EPA’s Office of Research and Development headquarters in Washington, D.C. and an Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) Research Fellow, where she worked across EPA program offices and regions to advance federal government partnerships related to air sensor technological innovation, water reuse and conservation, and community sustainability. Dena conducted her postdoctoral work at the University of California Santa Cruz on the environmental and policy impacts of nitrogen pollution on California grassland biodiversity. She holds a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Cornell University and is a recipient of the Ecological Society of America’s Graduate Student Policy Award, an opportunity that inspired her to work at the interface of science and policy.

Helen_Lee_largeHelen Lee, Senior Research Associate at MDRC

Helen is a Senior Research Associate at MDRC, a nonprofit, nonpartisan education and social policy research organization dedicated to learning what works to improve programs and policies that affect the poor. Lee’s research focuses on the social and economic determinants of health, and on the role of public policy in improving population health and reducing disparities in health among social and economic groups. She is currently involved in the national evaluation of the federal Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program, where she is working on both the implementation and impact analyses of the study. Before joining MDRC in 2012, Lee was a research fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California, a nonpartisan, nonprofit think tank based in San Francisco, CA. She holds a PhD in sociology, a master’s degree in demography, and a BA in sociology, all from the University of Pennsylvania.

Michael KiparskyMichael Kiparsky, Associate Director of the Wheeler Institute for Water Law and Policy at UC Berkeley, Center for Law, Energy and the Environment

Michael Kiparsky is Associate Director of the Wheeler Institute for Water Law & Policy at the UC Berkeley School of Law, where he conducts research and engagement on a wide range of issues related to California water. Dr. Kiparsky has worked on technical and policy aspects of water resources management, and his overarching professional interest lies at the intersection between the two. He has published on governance and policy of complex water systems, risk analysis, climate change impacts and adaptation, innovation in urban water, science integration, and other topics. He was previously on the faculty at the University of Idaho, and has water-related experience in consulting, non-profit, and agency settings. Dr. Kiparsky earned a Ph.D. from U.C. Berkeley’s Energy and Resources Group, where he was an NSF Graduate Research Fellow, a Udall Scholar, a CALFED Science Scholar, and the first ACWA Steve Hall Water Law & Policy Scholar. He also holds an A.B. in Biology from Brown University.

Panel moderated by:

Daniel_lowDaniel Gergely Szabo, Post-doctorate at UC Berkeley

Daniel Szabo is a 2nd year postdoc at the Energy Bioscience Institute of UC Berkeley visiting from the Department of Law, Aarhus University, Denmark. He is specialized in business law and sustainability issues. His postdoctoral research project is investigating the business and trade law aspects of the renewable energy policies of California and of the EU. He defended his PhD thesis investigating the viability of regulating corporate non-financial reporting in the EU in 2013. Before his graduate studies Daniel earned degrees both in law and economics. He is a co-founder of the CSR Legal Research Network and an active participant and organizer at the UC Berkeley PhD Consulting Club. Daniel is a fan of 20th century history and the automotive industry, and enjoys traveling.

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Transitioning into Tech


John OlmstedJohn Olmsted, Software Engineer at Credit Karma

John is a software engineer based in San Francisco, but he was first trained as a historian of medieval Europe. He earned a master’s degree in medieval studies at the University of Toronto in 2011 and came to the Berkeley history department to study for his doctorate. After he earned his second master’s degree in 2013, he decided to leave history behind and turn his longstanding interest in computer science into a career.

John is currently a back end engineer at Credit Karma where he helps lead development of the company’s recommendation system. In his free time he continues to read history and philosophy, translate Latin, and play the drums.

Nathan BrahmsNathan Brahms, Engineer at Cisco Cloud Networking Group

A native of the Bay Area, Nathan received his Ph.D. from Harvard in atomic physics, working in low-temperature trapping of atomic gasses and cold chemistry. He was a post-doc in the Stamper-Kurn lab at Berkeley, working on the quantum mechanics of macroscopic objects. After, he went to industry as a software engineer, working for Arrayent, an Internet-of-Things startup based in Redwood City, before moving into cloud-managed networking with Cisco Systems. His current areas of focus include data visualization and backend services scalability.

Adriana ValenciaAdriana Valencia, Program Manager, International Products at Lumosity

After an Arabic-language Fulbright in Egypt, Adriana started a PhD program in Near Eastern Studies at UC Berkeley. Four years later, she transferred to the PhD program in Architecture. She conducted her dissertation research on urban change in seventeenth-century Granada (Spain), Rabat, and Tetouan (contemporary Morocco) with funding from Fulbright-Hays and Social Science Research Council fellowships.

While she initially intended to go into academia, the lack of job postings relevant to her skills and research, coupled with the realization that her personality is given more towards spending time with people than alone in archives and libraries, she spent time first as an administrator for a small undergraduate scholarship on the Berkeley campus and then found a position on the international product team at Twitter. She landed the Twitter job as a result of luck and good timing: they were looking for someone with expertise in a right-to-left language, and she had studied Arabic for nine years. She left Twitter after sixteen months to join a smaller company where she could learn more. She has now been on the international team at Lumos for almost two years, where she is the program manager focused primarily on product localization.

Joshua KleinJosh Klein, Engineer at Verily

After earning a bachelor’s degree at UC Berkeley in Molecular and Cell Biology, Joshua Klein moved to Caltech to complete a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics. During his time in the laboratory of Pamela Bjorkman, he discovered a fundamental structural limitation of naturally occurring antibodies that prohibits an effective response to HIV infection. Newly engineered anti-HIV antibodies that overcome this limitation have since been shown to exhibit an increased potency of 100- to 1000-fold. In 2012, Josh decided to transition from academia to industry to build the biochemistry research program for Hampton Creek, a food technology company with $120M in total investment that develops plant-based alternatives to the energy intensive factory animal farming industry. In 2014, Josh joined Google [x] Life Sciences (now Verily) where he currently leads a team focused on developing bio-molecular nanotechnology for precision diagnostics and therapeutic delivery.


Jessica Collier, Narrative & UX Lead at

Jessica Collier leads narrative and user experience at in San Francisco. Previously, she worked on the product design team at Evernote as that company’s first UX writer. She’s also wrangled words at Medium and Delicious Monster. An academic in a former life, Jessica holds a PhD in English and continues to write about and obsess over narrative. She conquers writer’s block by riding bikes.

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Teaching and Corporate Learning


Kate Garrett - EducationKate Garrett, Dean of San Francisco University High School

Kate is the Academic Dean and an Instructor of English at San Francisco University High School, where she has worked for 18 years. She graduated magna cum laude from Brown University with a bachelor’s degree in women’s studies and spent eight years at Cal pursuing a Ph.D. in English before a serendipitous call from the chair of UHS’s English Department sent her career down an unexpected and rewarding new path. In her time at UHS, Kate has designed and taught upper division English electives in topics such as the literature of World War I and gender identity in fiction. She served on the committee that wrote the school’s mission statement, a vision that still guides the institution’s direction more than 10 years later. As an administrator, she led the school’s implementation of a 1:1 iPad program, redesigned the daily schedule, and participated in the creation of the mentoring program, a cutting edge approach to student support currently being studied by researchers at Stanford and Boston University. Kate is looking forward to coming back to Cal to discuss the joys and challenges of independent school work.

Elizabeth BabcockElizabeth Babcock, Chief Public Engagement Officer and Roberts-Wilson Dean of Education at California Academy of Science

Elizabeth C. Babcock, Ph.D., educator, anthropologist and experience designer, seeks to inspire audiences young and old with the wonder of science and nature through innovative public programming, education programs, and online learning. The Chief Public Engagement Officer and Roberts-Wilson Dean of Education at the California Academy of Sciences, Elizabeth leads a team of 500+ educators, docents, and designers who deliver science and environmental learning experiences for visitors and audiences worldwide. Elizabeth has been honored by the Obama Administration and the Institute for Museum and Library Services as a Champion of Change in 2013 and in 2011 by the San Francisco Business Times as one of the Bay Area’s 150 Most Influential Women.

Amy JamgochianAmy Jamgochian, Academic Director of the Prison University Project

Amy Jamgochian is the Academic Program Director at the Prison University Project, which runs a college program out of San Quentin State Prison. She is responsible for the academic team, which recruits, trains, and supervises the volunteer instructors. She also oversees the curriculum and is working to develop the academic program to be more robust, systematized, and replicable, as well as to address the specific needs of the student population more thoroughly.   Prior to joining the Prison University Project, Amy was a lecturer in the Rhetoric Department at UC Berkeley, where she earned her Ph.D. Her early research was on 19th century novels, ethics, and queer theory; more recent interests include hermeneutics, David Foster Wallace, Emmanuel Levinas, and pedagogical theory. At Berkeley she also ran the pedagogy seminar for graduate students in the Rhetoric Department and mentored graduate students in best practices in teaching.

jodidavenportJodi Davenport, Consultant at WestED STEM Education

Jodi L. Davenport is the Director of Research for the National Center on Cognition and Mathematics Instruction and a Senior Project Director in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Program at WestEd. Davenport’s innovative work includes collaborations with leading scientists and educators to develop educational interventions based on cognitive science research. She is the PI on multiple grants, funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute for Education Sciences and the National Science Foundation, that total four million dollars. Prior to joining WestEd, Davenport was a postdoctoral fellow at Carnegie Mellon University in the Pittsburgh Science of Learning Center. She has a PhD in Cognitive Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a BS in Cognitive Science from the University of California, Los Angeles. Davenport has published in the areas of education, learning science, and cognitive psychology. Her work in visual cognition has been cited over 100 times.

Michael ColemanMichael Coleman, Senior Learning and Development Consultant at Wells Fargo

Michael Coleman attended Berkeley for his undergrad thinking he might become an engineer.

Instead, he decided instead to major in Comparative Literature and eventually focused on Swedish and English lit and minored in Geography. He received his PhD in Scandinavian Literatures at UC Berkeley, where he taught Freshman Comp & Swedish language and intended to become a professor in that field. But after many years of championing Scandinavian culture, he switched from academic teaching to corporate training. During his time as a corporate trainer, Michael honed his skills as an instructional designer and eventually began doing this full-time, working under the title of Learning and Development Consultant. His current position with a major bank provides him considerable workday flexibility and (thankfully) the ability to travel far and wide.

Panel moderated by:

Paul Bulakowski bio picPaul Bulakowski, Co-Founder of Mind My Education

Paul Bulakowski went beyond academia to co­found Mind My Education, LLC after serving as a professor at a small liberal arts college and postdoc at Cal. Through this education startup, he’s been channeling his passion for mind and brain science to help cultivate a more thoughtful K­12 school experience that inspires young learners to seek and creatively explore their own educational paths. He also continues his work with the local visually impaired community and actively researches best practices in teaching and learning. Paul is looking forward to actionable conversations about how to make our education, and beyond, more purposeful.

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Tuesday Panels
From 1:30PM to 2:30PM

Media & Communications (HSS)

Lynn Langmade, Lynn LangmadeDirector of Communication at Certain, Inc.

Lynn Langmade is currently the Director of Marketing Communications and Content Marketing at Certain where she develops content strategy and manages the corporate brand, company editorial calendar, as well as PR and analyst relations. Lynn is also the creative director of the corporate blog and Certain’s six social media channels. As an early adopter of social media, Lynn has almost 30k followers on Social Media and has been featured on Tumblr’s exclusive “Radar.” In 2014, Lynn was the recipient of the Marketo “Revvie” Award in the Socializer category. She has a PhD in English and over 12 years B2B high-tech marketing experience.

Katie Kanagawa

Katie Kanagawa, Communications and Public Relations Manager at Stanford

Katie received her Ph.D. in Literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2009 and worked as a lecturer and adjunct faculty member in the Department of Women and Gender Studies (WGS) and the Department of Broadcast and Electronic Communications Arts (BECA) at San Francisco State University.

In 2012, she decided to pursue a career in communications and gained related experience volunteering with a number of non-profit organizations in the Bay Area, including Girls for a Change in Santa Cruz, the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media in Hollywood, Media Watch: Challenging Racism and Sexism in Violence in the Media (Santa Cruz), and Breast Cancer Action in San Francisco.

In April 2014, she joined Stanford University’s School of Medicine as an Administrative Associate and immediately assumed the role of Communications and Public Relations Manager of the Center for Computational, Evolutionary and Human Genomics (CEHG) and the new Department of Biomedical Data Science (DBDS). She appreciates the opportunity this role provides her to combine her passion for educational programs with her talent for tackling creative and challenging communications-based projects.

Carlton EvansCarlton Evans, Executive Director/Co-Founder of The Disposable Film Festival

Carlton Evans is the Co-Founder and Director of The Disposable Film Festival, currently in its 9th season, which celebrates achievements in new media filmmaking internationally. Carlton is also the Co-Founder of PROJECTOR, a creative shop that crafts signature video and engagement campaigns for great brands and causes. As an independent film producer, Carlton has screened his work at top festivals worldwide, including Sundance, Tribeca, and Rotterdam. Carlton’s documentary work includes CONNECTED (Sundance 2011), DEATH METAL ANGOLA, and ALL EYES AND EARS (Tribeca 2015). He also worked on the narrative feature THE WOODS (Sundance 2011), and is currently producing Joseph Talbot’s THE LAST BLACK MAN IN SAN FRANCISCO, to be completed in 2017. Carlton produced the shorts YELP (Sundance 2011), and THE TRIBE (Sundance 2006) and executive produced CHINA IN THREE WORDS (Palm Springs 2013). Carlton was awarded two Kenneth Rainin Foundation grants for TERROR TUESDAY, a narrative feature written and directed by Matthew Lessner, currently in development. Carlton holds a PhD in Art History and Film Theory from Stanford University.

 Jenn NIchols (1)Jennifer Nichols, Senior Associate at Framework Institute

Jennifer Nichols is a senior associate in the FrameWorks Institute. Prior to joining FrameWorks, she worked as a higher education policy specialist and union organizer at the American Association of University Professors. In that role, she developed policy guidelines to protect academic freedom and taught faculty members how to create grassroots campaigns to build institutional support for the adoption of sound academic procedural standards. She also won representation and fair-share campaigns for both public- and private-sector employees. A literary studies scholar by training, she has taught courses in literature, women’s studies, and interdisciplinary humanities. Her past research has analyzed the influence of migration narratives in American literature and film on U.S. public discourse about economic mobility, immigration, sex trafficking, and the labor movement. She holds a B.A. from Boston University, an M.A. from Syracuse University, and a Ph.D. in English from Michigan State University.

Panel moderated by:

Erica LeeErica Lee Co-Director, Beyond Academia

Erica Lee is currently at work on a dissertation on post-catastrophic cities in the UC Berkeley Department of History. While at Berkeley she co-founded the Urban History Working Group, worked at the Social Science Matrix, and conducted research in San Francisco, Manila, Chicago, San Diego, and Tijuana to understand how cities have coped with the demands of immigration, social welfare, and infrastructural development. Before beginning her doctoral program she studied Rhetoric at UC Berkeley and Architecture at The Cooper Union.  

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Research Beyond the Tenure Track (HSS)

John BoydJohn Boyd, Director of Research, Facebook

John Boyd is the Director of Research for the Facebook Engagement team. His team conducts research focused on inspiring new products and ensuring that current products are useful, usable, and delightful. He was previously Manager of User Experience Research at Google, Director of User experience at Yahoo!, and Director of Scientific Affairs at Alertness Solutions (a small, international boutique human factors consulting firm). John is also the coauthor of the award-winning book, The Time Paradox, which investigates how the psychology of time influences our lives. He has a BA in economics from UCLA and a PhD in social psychology from Stanford University.

Katy SosnakKaty Sosnak, Researcher at Sagy Law Associates

Katy Sosnak received her Ph.D. in Slavic Languages and Literatures from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2013, where she focused on the literature of the Russo-Japanese War. Since completing her degree, she has worked as a tutor, an administrative assistant and, most recently, as a legal researcher at Sagy Law, a small boutique law firm in San Francisco. Katy has discovered that, despite not having legal training, the skills required of legal professionals do not differ that dramatically from those required of students pursuing advanced degrees in literature: the need to pay close attention to detail, the ability to construct a compelling narrative and the patience to wade through endless pages of research. Even in her new line of work, it has been suggested that some of her legal theories resemble Russian novels, proving that old habits do die hard.

Eric-Blind-webEric Blind, Director of Heritage Programs at The Presidio Trust

Eric Blind is the Director of Heritage Programs and Sites for the Presidio Trust. As an archaeologist at the Presidio since 1998, Blind established the Presidio’s state-of-the-art Archaeology Lab and authored the plan for public archaeology at the Spanish Colonial site of El Presidio. He directed the development of the public programs and exhibition galleries in the Officers’ Club, which opened in 2014 and combines cutting edge exhibits and a full calendar of concerts, discussions, film screenings, and more that connect visitors to their heritage. Eric also directs all the educational staff of the Presidio Trust who serve school age children in a variety of experiences from curriculum based field trips to overnight camping experiences. He serves on the executive team of the Park Youth Collaborative, which aims to broaden and deepen the impact national parks can have in the lives of young people.

Eric earned a Ph.D. from U.C. Berkeley and has performed archaeological fieldwork in California, New Mexico, Florida, Spain, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. His work has been featured in the SF Chronicle, Bay Area Backroads, KQED’s Spark, PBS series America’s History in the Making, the History Detectives website, and the Travel Channel series Metropolis. He was the recipient of the California Governor’s Award in 2004. Eric and his wife are raising two beautiful children, a dog he found in Alaska, and six chickens.

Alex PangAlex Pang, Senior Consultant at Strategic Business Insights

Alex Pang studies people, technology, and the worlds they make. His last book “The Distraction Addiction,” was about contemplative computing, strategies to use information technologies in ways that aren’t distracting and self-defeating, but help us focus and be more mindful. His new book, “Rest: How Working Less Gets More Done” argues for the importance of what he calls “deliberate rest” in the success of super-creative and -productive people like Thomas Jefferson, Charles Darwin, and Stefan Sagmeister. Alex has a Ph.D. in history of science from the University of Pennsylvania, held postdoctoral fellowships at Stanford and UC Berkeley, and was a visiting fellow at Microsoft Research Cambridge. He is a visiting scholar at Stanford and a consultant at Strategic Business Insights, a consultancy with offices in Silicon Valley and London.

Julie RemoldJulie Remold, Research Social Scientist

Julie Remold, Ph.D., is a research social scientist in SRI International’s Center for Technology in Learning. Remold is an anthropologist with experience in design, research, and evaluation projects and expertise in both qualitative and quantitative methods. She applies a variety of approaches to her work and is interested in synthesizing analyses from multiple research methods, such as ethnography and social network analysis.

Remold’s current research focuses on STEM learning, informal learning, and professional development for educators. She is a core staff member on the evaluation of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Informal Science Education program and the evaluation of the NSF Academies for Young Scientists. Remold also works on projects related to formative assessment in STEM teaching and teacher professional development promoting agile teaching. Remold’s prior work addressed the relationship between technology use and inequality in Brazilian public schooling. She worked on the design and evaluation of mathematics distance learning programs and physics education research emphasizing student engagement among preservice science teachers.

Panel moderated by:

CChristopher Caseyhris Casey, JD and PhD Candidate at UC Berkeley

Christopher Casey is a J.D. candidate in Law and a Ph.D. candidate in History where he studies the relationship between States and their nationals abroad in the 19th and 20th centuries.

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Technical Consulting

will_storkWilliam Stork, Life Science Specialist at L.E.K. Consulting

Will is a Life Sciences Specialist in L.E.K. Consulting’s San Francisco office. At L.E.K., Will has completed a broad range of casework across the life sciences, working with biopharma, healthcare, MedTech, life sciences tools, and private equity clients on corporate strategy, product & franchise strategy, and transaction decisions. Prior to L.E.K., Will completed his undergraduate studies in biology and history at Dartmouth College. After college, he performed independent research in Germany at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology and then assisted with research of crop plant genetics at DuPont Pioneer. Will received his Ph.D. from Stanford University, where his doctoral research focused on the biochemistry and function of type III secretion proteins, used by pathogenic bacteria to infect their hosts.

Christina Glazier (1)Christina Glazier, Associate Consultant at IMS Consulting Group

Christina Glazier is a management consultant in the life sciences industry. She received her B.S. in biology from MIT and her Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in molecular and cell biology. As a consultant, Christina works with biotech and healthcare companies to solve business problems related to pricing, commercialization, and business development. Christina encourages everyone to devote time to career exploration and is passionate about helping others find fulfilling careers within and beyond academia.

Steven ScrogginsSteven ScrogginsPrincipal at Applied Predictive Technologies

Steve is a Principal for Applied Predictive Technologies (APT) in their San Francisco Office. He received a B.A. from Williams College, an M.Phil. from Cambridge University, and a Ph.D. from Berkeley, all in Chemistry. In graduate school, Steve’s primary research focus was on the development of functional polymers for applications in photovoltaics and catalysis. At APT, Steve has worked with clients including top ten international Restaurant, Retail and Apparel companies. Steve has also helped lead APT’s entry into the Pharmaceutical and Technology sectors and organizes the annual San Francisco “Hackathon” to develop innovative software products. Outside of work, Steve played third base for the Fréchet group’s 2008 College of Chemistry League Softball championship team at Berkeley and is APT’s reining San Francisco office foosball champion (singles and doubles).

Marc HebertMarc Hébert, Design Anthropologist at San Francisco Human Services Agency

Marc Hébert is a design anthropologist in the San Francisco Human Services Agency, which leads the fight against poverty and abuse in an amazingly compassionate City and County. Marc gets to manage the Agency’s Innovation Office with the aim of improving how clients and employees experience service delivery. He trains and leads teams of coworkers to use service design to reduce or remove the pain-points that they, clients and community partners experience. His practice of service design continually evolves by blending Human-Centered Design, user experience (UX) and social science research, visual facilitation, design strategy, Lean Process Improvement, and Results-Based Accountability. He learns much from those working in this space both domestically and internationally. Marc is also championing the Agency’s emergent digital strategy to better its website design, content and services. He also leads workshops on using service design and UX in complex organizations, including government agencies. He is a former Code for America fellow, and holds a Ph.D. in Applied Anthropology from the University of South Florida, an M.A. from American University that focused on International Economic Policy and a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Florida.

Sanjay HukkuHukku Sanjay

A semiotician by training, Sanjay P Hukku, PhD, helps brands articulate and innovate themselves. He does this by bringing his doctoral work spanning Film & Media, Cultural Studies, Gender & Sexuality, and Narratology from Berkeley’s department of Film & Rhetoric to bear upon every aspect of every interaction a brand has with its consumers. In his time as a Strategist + Cultural Theorist at BBDO, Sanjay has traversed markets (CPG, health, NPO), disciplines (anthro, semiotics, cultural studies), & research methods (qual/quant, focus groups, in-market) to achieve insights for pitches, campaigns, rebrands, & new product launches.

Panel moderated by:

Mariana Garcia, Scientist at Exponent

Mariana is a scientist in the Biomedical Engineering practice at Exponent, a scientific and engineering consulting company. She has a B.S. in bioengineering from the Pennsylvania State University and a Ph.D in vision science from UC Berkeley. Her doctoral research was an interdisciplinary collaboration between bioengineering and vision science, investigating nearsightedness control by promoting regeneration of the sclera (white outer shell of the eye) through injectable degradable polymers. Mariana was part of the Beyond Academia founding team and is thrilled to return as moderator of the Technical Consulting panel!

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Jon SuJonathan Su, CEO of Pilot AI Labs

Jon was the Director of Engineering at eBay in the Innovation & New Ventures Group, working on integrating technology into the retail experience, both online and in store. Previously, he was the CEO and co-founder of Phisix Fashion Labs, a Bay Area technology company helping apparel e-tailers increase sales and reduce returns through the application of innovative 3D modeling and physical simulation technologies. eBay acquired PhiSix in 2014.

He was previously a Research Scientist in the Parallel Computing Lab at Intel Corporation, with primary interests in graphics, particularly physically-based simulations. He graduated with a Ph.D. from Ron Fedkiw’s group at Stanford University in 2011 and B.S. in Computer Engineering from the University of Washington in June 2006.

Christy K. SheehyChristy Sheehy, Post-doctorate at UCSF, Co-founder of Light Technologies

Christy K. Sheehy is a postdoctoral fellow at UCSF Medical Center in the Department of Neurology, where she studies eye motion in patients with multiple sclerosis. Prior, she got her Ph.D in Vision Science at the University of California, Berkeley. Her interests lie in the fields of high resolution retinal imaging, optical engineering, and eye-tracking. Additionally, Christy is the co-founder of a start-up, C. Light Technologies, whose mission is to commercialize the eye-tracking technology she designed and built for her Ph.D. to use as a future neuro-diagnostic. When she’s not writing her thesis or doing start-up activities, Christy loves to salsa dance, paddleboard, and try new cooking recipes.

Jeffrey SmithJeffrey Smith, CEO & Co-Founder of Smule, Assistant Professor at Stanford

Jeff started his career as a software engineer at IBM’s Scientific Research Center in Palo Alto, and after writing software for several companies, eventually cofounded a consumer business in electronic publishing that he sold to Novell/WordPerfect. Jeff took his second company public on the Nasdaq (‘TMWD’), which he grew from inception to several thousand enterprise customers. Jeff’s third company, which he cofounded and where he assumed a non-operating role as a board member, was acquired by Google/Android. Jeff co-founded Smule while pursuing a Ph.D in Computer Music at Stanford and serves as the CEO and Chairman of the Board. He recently completed his Ph.D., “Correlation analyses of encoded music performance”, where he documented cultural differences of music performance interpretation. Jeff previously received a B.S. in Computer Science at Stanford University. He has co-authored twenty-seven patents. You can learn more about Jeff’s music on his blog.

Anna SchneiderAnna Schneider

Dr. Anna Schneider is the co-founder and CTO of WattTime, a cleantech nonprofit that connects people and smart devices to cleaner electricity. Anna is passionate about addressing climate change by using data, software, and computational research to promote the effective use of clean energy resources. Before leading software development at WattTime, her work ranged from analyzing weather patterns at wind farm sites at 3TIER, to simulating how plants harvest solar energy at UC Berkeley. Anna has been named an Echoing Green Climate Fellow, Forbes 30 under 30 in Energy, and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. She holds a PhD in Biophysics from UC Berkeley and BS degrees from the University of Washington.

Ari NaveAri Nave

A design and innovation strategist, Ari is trained in anthropology – focused on evolutionary psychology and behavioral economics. He works to help design brands, experiences, products, platforms, and communications. A practitioner who works to fit ethnographic sensibilities into a lean startup lab environment, Ari fuses ethnography with the empathy approaches found in design-thinking frameworks – bringing an insider’s perspective to designers that is coherent, contextual, and comprehensive – while applied. His interests lie at the intersection of evolutionary mechanics, cognition, and social relationships.

Ari has worked on global businesses across sectors including technology, financial services, fashion CPG, and B2B. Clients have included Applied Invention, SRI International, Capital One Labs, Microsoft, American Express, JPMorgan, Chase, PNC Financial Services, WellPoint, Nokia, AutoDesk, SanDisk, McAfee, Levi’s, Dockers, Hellmann’s, Outward Bound, Stanford Hospital, JCP, Cisco WebEx and more.

Panel moderated by:

Mark GodwinMark Godwin, Product Manager at Uber

Dr. Mark Godwin has been working with drones, self-driving cars and fleet automation since 2004. His experience includes a 5+ year project with drones for the Office of Naval Research and a team member at a startup acquired by Google’s self driving car project. Since graduating from UC Berkeley with his PhD he started Automa Systems. The Berkeley based startup built machine learning algorithms to fully automate dispatch and maximize vehicle utilization. This technology was applied to on demand bus systems for the US Department of Transportation, taxi and limo fleets and trucking fleets. This experience has led to a deep understanding of the technology that will transform our transportation systems. Mark now works at Uber where he is helping build new products and technology for logistics.

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Tuesday Panels
From 1:30PM to 2:30PM

Public Sector


Steven CliffSteven Cliff, Assistant Director, for Sustainability at California Department of Transportation

Steven Cliff is Assistant Director for Sustainability at the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans). Governor Brown appointed Dr. Cliff to this position to make California a better place through a sustainable transportation system:  sanitary, livable, accessible, and prosperous. Prior to his appointment at Caltrans, Dr. Cliff was Assistant Chief of the Stationary Source Division (SSD) at the California Air Resources Board (ARB). As assistant chief in SSD, Dr. Cliff was responsible for development and implementation of the climate change program pursuant to the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32).  In this role, Dr. Cliff oversaw the California Greenhouse Gas Cap-and-Trade Program and led the adoption of the Climate change Scoping Plan. Dr. Cliff has more than 20 years experience in global climate and air quality research and is a recognized expert on global air pollution transport.  Specifically, his research on air pollution carried by winds across the Pacific Ocean has been the subject of numerous research and news articles.  He earned his B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Chemistry from the University of California, San Diego.  Dr. Cliff continues his work as a Research Professor in the Air Quality Research Center/Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Davis.

Catherine VuCatherine Vu, Director of Research and Outcome Measurement at the Santa Clara County Social Services Agency

Catherine Vu is the Director of Research for the Office of Research and Evaluation (ORE) in the Santa Clara County Social Services Agency (SSA). Her team is responsible for evaluating programs and services provided by SSA as well as to work with departments to create research agendas that address issues relevant to the populations served. In addition, ORE provides support and consultation to departments to develop tools that analyze, track, and link data to practice in order to inform decision-making at the policy level. Catherine holds a BS degree in Economics/Management Science from UC San Diego, an MPA from Cornell University, and an MSW and Ph.D. from UC Berkeley.

Michael Sanchez, Presidential Management Fellow at VA Northern California Health Care System

Sanchez is a 2014 Cal graduate in MCB with a recent appointment as a Presidential Management Fellow (in STEM) through the Office of Personnel Management in Washington DC. He is currently working with the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), where he functions as a Health Systems Specialist directly from the offices of the Director and Associate Director in the Northern California Health Care System. He assists the VA with strategic direction, mission, and goals, as well as helps implement national policy in providing and improving health to the nation’s veterans. He also happens to be a veteran, having served five years with the 1st Marine Division as an infantry sergeant and instructor.

John CabecaJohn Cabeca, 
Director of USPTO

As the Director of the Silicon Valley United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), John Cabeca carries out the strategic direction of the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO, and is responsible for establishing and leading the USPTO’s west coast regional office in Silicon Valley. Focusing on the region and actively engaging with the community, Mr. Cabeca ensures the USPTO’s initiatives and programs are tailored to the region’s unique ecosystem of industries and stakeholders. A veteran of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for over 26 years, Mr. Cabeca previously served as the Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO. In this role, he worked closely across the Agency’s leadership to implement the policies and priorities for the USPTO. He began his career at the USPTO as a patent examiner after graduating from Widener University with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. Mr. Cabeca became a Supervisory Patent Examiner in 1997 and joined the Senior Executive Service in 2008 serving as a Patent Technology Center Director over the semiconductor and electrical systems technologies.

Panel moderated by:

Patricia A SolerPatricia Soler, Presidential Management Fellow at U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Dr. Patricia A. Soler is a Presidential Management Fellow at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in the Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) in Washington, DC. Within that office, she is currently working in the Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) and is tasked with the design and implementation of an Enterprise Risk Management program for PIH. She also recently completed a rotation with HUD’s Office of Native American Programs (ONAP).

Dr. Soler is an elected member of the Presidential Management Fellow Council at HUD and is actively involved with the Latino Network and Veterans Affinity Network. She defended her dissertation “Art Deco and Brazilian Modernism” in January of 2014 at Georgetown University within the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. For more information on Dr. Soler’s work and project history, please see her LinkedIn at

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University Beyond the Professoriate


Elizabeth VasileElizabeth Vasile, Executive Director of the Center on Demographics & Economics of Aging

Vasile is a human geographer with expertise in international field-based research, organizational program management, and teaching from the field. Following years of consulting in the private sector, to clients in business and philanthropy, in 2014 she returned to work in higher education. Vasile serves as executive director of the Center on the Economics and Demography of Aging, an NIH-funded interdisciplinary social science research center at the University of California, Berkeley.

Annette AngusAnnette A Angus, Academic Director of The California Alliance

Angus is a California native from both Los Angeles and the East Bay. She earned her BS in Microbiology from Cal State Northridge. While there, she started as a research scientist upon participating in the NIH funded Minority Access to Research Careers Program. This experience inspired her to dedicate her life to both science and the mentorship of underrepresented minorities in STEM fields, as she is a first-generation American and the first in her family to graduate college. Annette then earned her PhD in Microbiology from UC Berkeley. Concurrent with her PhD research at Berkeley, Annette championed underrepresented minority students in STEM, becoming a leader within various programs and working at a local non-profit, the Level Playing Field Institute. After finishing her studies in the Bay Area, Annette completed a postdoc as a UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow at UCLA. She studied the interactions between beneficial symbiotic soil bacteria and legume plants. After completing her postdoc, Annette started a career in industry at the Procter & Gamble Company as a Scientist in the Global Microbiology Capability Organization, in Mason, OH. Ultimately she decided to return to her home state and alma mater to pursue her career passions as the Academic Director of the California Alliance, a new initiative funded by the NSF to advance the careers of underrepresented scientist in STEM.

Robin MarshRobin Marsh, Senior Researcher at the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues (ISSI)

Marsh joined the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues (ISSI) as a Senior Researcher in July 2014. She is a socio-economist with over 25 years of experience in international agriculture and rural development. Marsh received her PhD from the Food Research Institute, Stanford University. She worked for the World Vegetable Center on socio-economic and nutritional benefits of home/community gardening, and for the Food and Agriculture Organization on local institution strengthening for food security and sustainable rural livelihoods. Marsh joined UC Berkeley in 2000 as the Academic Coordinator of the Center for Sustainable Resource Development and Co-Director of the Beahrs Environmental Leadership Program. She has been a lecturer at UC Berkeley’s College of Natural Resources since 2003, teaching in the field of Population, Environment & Development, and also is Affiliate Faculty with the Blum Center for Developing Economies and the Berkeley Food Institute. Since 2013, Marsh is a lead researcher on the multi-university study, “Career and Life Trajectories of African Alumni of International Universities” ( In 2014/15, Marsh served as Academic Partner with the Global Fund for Women’s Initiative: Rural Women Striding Forward. She is also a fellow with the non-profit organization EcoAgriculture Partners, and associated global initiative, Landscapes for People, Food and Nature (

Leora LawtonLeora Lawton, Executive Director at the UC Berkeley Population Center

Leora Lawton holds several positions at UC Berkeley. Since 2008 she has been Executive Director of the Berkeley Population Center. Since 2013 she has been Project Scientist on an NIA grant to study social networks over time with Prof Claude Fischer, and is now also Principal Investigator on Cal-ADAR: Advancing diversity in aging research – an undergraduate training program in demography. She also is an occasional lecturer in demography and sociology. Her academic expertise is in family demography, particularly intergenerational relationships. Prior to coming to Berkeley, she started a research and design survey at a consulting company following a successful career in the private sector as Director of Research in research and consulting firms. As such she has a deep knowledge of how businesses function both from her own employers as well as her clients. In 1997 she founded a small consulting firm, TechSociety Research, in order to provide survey research design and analysis. She has an AB in economics from Cal, an MA in Demography from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a PhD in Sociology from Brown University.

Panel moderated by:

Arne BakkerArne Bakker, Assistant Director of Career Communities for PhDs & Postdocs at BEAM, Stanford Career Education

At BEAM, Arne Bakker is Assistant Director of Career Communities for PhDs & Postdocs at BEAM, Stanford Career Education. At BEAM, Arne helps Stanford PhD students and postdocs with their career and professional development through career coaching, community building, career education, and program development. He believes there is a wide variety of career options for PhDs in academia as well as beyond, and he is passionate to help PhDs be successful in all their career choices. Arne received his PhD in Tumor Immunology from the Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam. As a postdoc he worked at UC Berkeley in the Shastri Lab (MCB department) before transitioning to Career Education. Besides research, Arne was Director of the Discovery Festival in Amsterdam, co-organized Beyond Academia at UC Berkeley, and has worked as a consultant and visiting scholar for the UC Berkeley Visiting Scholar and Postdoc Affairs (VSPA) program. Earlier this year he organized PhD Pathways, a career education conference like Beyond Academia, at Stanford University.

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Finance and Management


Josh RoweJosh Rowe, Senior Analyst at Orinda Asset Management

Josh received his PhD in 2011 from Princeton studying the history of computer automation. During and after the financial crisis of 2008, he began a serious self-study of the workings of the financial system and discovered a love of markets and macroeconomic forecasting. He began moonlighting as an equity analyst while he worked on his thesis. After graduation, he started with a small investment shop where he still works (with a brief stop at a large one) and pursued the cfa charter which patched up crevices in his financial education. He focuses on fixed income and credit and still retains an interest in the histories of finance, trade, and markets.

Linda KreitzmanLinda Kreitzman, Executive Director & Assistant Dean of Haas School of Business

Linda Kreitzman, Executive Director of The Berkeley MFE, helped design and launch the top tier Master of Financial Engineering Program at the University of California, Berkeley in 2000. Kreitzman has single-handedly placed hundreds of students and alumni in investment banks and other financial institutions, as well as Fintech and start ups; she is currently designing programs in data science for the Haas School of Business. Outside of her work at Berkeley, Kreitzman is Chief Strategist and Advisor to several startups in the Bay Area, New York, and France in the field of technology, education, and text analytics. Kreitzman has vast experience in helping position career changers graduate students and PhDs in any industry.

Jessica WeareJessica Weare, Manager, Philanthropy and Civic Engagement at Microsoft

Jessica Weare received her B.A. in English from Yale in 2002, and completed her Ph.D. in English at Stanford in 2011. Her dissertation, Competing Narratives: British Memoirs and Fictions of the First World War, used the novels and memoirs of five British writers who lived through the First World War to delineate the boundaries of genre, authenticity, and fictionality in modernist literature. In 2003 she was awarded an Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship in Humanistic Studies by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. In 2007 she received a Centennial Teaching Award from Stanford’s English department, and in 2009-2010 she was named a Mellon Fellow by the Stanford Humanities Center. Since joining Microsoft in early 2012, Jessica has granted over $6 million in cash and software, managed the company’s Bay Area employee engagement program to an 87% participation rate, and helped launch the first-ever online giving event in Silicon Valley, which raised over $8 million for local non-profits in a single day. In her current role as Philanthropy and Civic Engagement Manager, she works closely with the city of San José on civic innovation projects involving open data, transportation, crowdfunding, and participatory budgeting.

Lane_Weaver_headshotLane Weaver, Manager, Market Analysis & Strategy at Genentech

Lane is currently a manager in the Market Analysis and Strategy group at Genentech, where he supports several commercial and developmental-stage products within the U.S. Prior to Genentech, Lane was a Life Sciences Specialist (LSS) Consultant in L.E.K.’s San Francisco office, where he completed ~15 strategic engagements in the life sciences sector for biotech, pharmaceutical, life science tools, provider, venture capital, and PE clients. Before L.E.K., Lane was a graduate student in the Joint Bioengineering Program at Berkeley / UCSF, where he developed metabolic engineering methods for the production of renewable biofuels, biochemicals, and pharmaceuticals in Jay Keasling’s lab.  In his spare time, he enjoys sailing, soccer, and cruising around the city on his Triumph Bonneville.

Brandon Headshots, Black and WhiteBrandon Basso, VP Software Engineering at 3D robotics

Brandon Basso serves as the VP of Software Engineering at 3D Robotics. Brandon graduated from UC Berkeley with a PhD in Mechanical Engineering, specializing in control theory. While at Berkeley, he was a member of the Center for Collaborative Control of Unmanned Vehicles (C3UV). His research involved controlling teams of small UAVs performing collaborative search/track tasks.

At 3DR, Brandon started as a senior research and development engineer and is now the VP of Software Engineering. He shipped one of the first mass consumer drones, the 3DR Solo, which is the first drone to focus on simplifying aerial video capture. Brandon is working now on building the team to support drone applications beyond consumer.

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Data Analytics


Mark GreavesMark Greaves, Technical Director, Analytics at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Mark Greaves is currently Technical Director for Analytics in the National Security Directorate of the US Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, providing scientific, programmatic, and business development leadership in all aspects of data science and analytics. Previously, Mark was Director of Knowledge Systems at Vulcan Inc., the private asset management company for Paul Allen, where he led global research teams in question-answering textbooks, large knowledge bases, semantic web, semantic wikis, and data-intensive artificial intelligence technologies. Prior to Vulcan, Mark was Director of DARPA’s Joint Logistics Technology Office, and Program Manager in DARPA’s Information Exploitation Office. At DARPA, he directed national research programs in semantic web technology, formal ontology specification, logistics and supply chain control technologies, and the application of software agent technology to problems of distributed control of complex systems-of-systems. Prior to coming to DARPA, Mark worked on advanced programs in software agent technology at the Mathematics and Computing Technology group of Boeing. In May of 2005, Mark was awarded the Office of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service for his contributions to US national security while serving at DARPA. Mark is a Fellow of the Semantic Technology Institute and serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Web Semantics. He holds a PhD from Stanford University.

Allison RyanAllison Ryan, Director, Statistics R&D at Natera

Dr. Ryan works on statistical algorithms used in genetic testing, with a focus on reproductive screening. Her PhD focused on control systems in the mechanical engineering department and her research was on collaborative control of unmanned aerial vehicle teams. She then moved into genetic testing because she wanted to impact humanity more. In addition, there was a copious amount of math in common with her PhD research. She believes that biology and genetics are promising fields for application of mathematical methods.

Patrick Callier

Patrick Callier, Data Scientist at Lab41

Patrick received his PhD in Linguistics in 2013, and made the leap into industry as a data scientist in 2015. He currently works for Lab41 in Menlo Park, learning as much as possible about natural language processing and deep learning.


Krystal St. JulienKrystal St. Julien, Operations Analyst at Facebook

Krystal St. Julien is an Operations Analyst at Facebook. Krystal is responsible for manipulating data, automating reporting, and deriving predictive models to help Facebook’s Small and Medium Business team function in an optimized and efficient manner. Before switching industries, she completed her Ph.D. in biochemistry from Stanford University. In order to smooth her transition, Krystal joined the Insight Data Science program, which helped bridge the gap between academic science and industry analytics. Krystal spent her first year in the tech industry as a Data Analyst for ModCloth, an online women’s fashion e-tailer, where she focused on projects to aid the growth and efficiency of the business, from testing effectiveness of marketing efforts to predicting higher value merchandise selection and more.

Panel moderated by:

Jake KlamkaJake Klamka, Founder & CEO of Insight Data Science

Jake Klamka is the founder of the Insight Data Science Fellows Program, a post-doctoral fellowship that helps quantitative PhDs transition from academia to careers in data science. Over 200 Insight Fellow alumni are now data scientists at top tech companies like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Apple, Yelp and many others. Jake was an entrepreneur in the Y Combinator winter 2011 session and prior to that was a particle physicist at the University of Toronto, working on the Large Hadron Collider experiment.

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