FST student wins spot in the Grad Slam Top 10

Mackenzie Batali

Mackenzie Batali is a 2nd year graduate student in FST.  She recently learned that she won a spot in the Grad Slam Top 10. The Grad Slam is an annual contest in which master’s and Ph.D. students across UC campuses – in disciplines ranging from hard sciences to humanities – compete to sum up their research for a general audience. Students should present the significance and fundamental points of their work at UC Davis in a clear, direct, and interesting manner.

Mackenzie writes: "I actually was introduced to Grad Slam because Dr. Carl Winter showed us example videos and had us do it in class as an exercise in FST 290, so I've been intending to compete ever since then. I really enjoy giving talks and presentations about material I'm passionate about - I was active in school and community theater, as well as improv comedy, for over a decade from elementary school until the end of undergrad, including competing all over the West Coast in improv competitions with the Lewis & Clark college improv team. That has played a huge role in my excitement for science communication."

Broadly, Mackenzie's research investigates how coffee brewing extraction parameters impact the sensory and chemical properties of the brewed coffee.  She's had the opportunity to present at several industry conferences and she says, "I really enjoy talking about research that can impact nearly anyone and making science accessible for coffee enthusiasts. I presented at ASIC Portland and the 2019 Sensory Summit, and based on extremely positive feedback on those talks, particularly on my presentation skills, I've been motivated to seek out any science communication opportunities."

She adds, "I'm super excited to get accepted and get the chance to compete in the campus finals!  As one of the first graduate students doing research with the UC Davis Coffee Center, it's an honor to get the chance to publicize the up and coming work we're doing."

Join us in cheering Mackenzie on at the Grad Slam Final Round on Wednesday, March 13th from 1pm-2:30pm at the UC Davis Conference Center. RSVP early to reserve your seat - https://gradslam2019.eventbrite.com