Graduate Alumni Honored, 2016-17

April 10, 2017


The UC Santa Cruz Division of Graduate Studies and the divisions of the Arts, Engineering, Humanities, Physical Sciences, and Social Sciences will honor five distinguished graduate student alumni representing each division at an award luncheon on April 29, 2017, during UCSC's Alumni Weekend.

The first annual Distinguished Graduate Student Alumni Awardees are:

Dan HellerArts Division: Dan Heller, M.F.A. '13, digital arts and new media; CEO of Two Pore Guys, Inc., in Santa Cruz

Dan Heller co-founded and serves as CEO of Two Pore Guys, Inc., in Santa Cruz, a life sciences technology company that makes hand-held medical diagnostic devices for point-of-use applications. He is an established technology veteran, dating back to his first startup in the 1980s, where he created the first commercially available email system for the Internet. His career has focused on starting or working with companies that commercialize original inventions that have broad and transformative utility. In 2010, he founded the Center for Entrepreneurship (C4E) at UC Santa Cruz, where he created an academic degree program for students who would study and collaborate with professors to advance publicly funded research and bring them to market. Two Pore Guys was one of six companies created through that program; in 2013, he left UCSC to work at 2PG full time as its CEO. Mr. Heller has a degree in computer science and a master’s degree in digital media, both from UC Santa Cruz.

Engineering Division: Adam Siepel, Ph.D. Computer Science 2005

Adam SeipelDr. Adam Siepel is a professor in the Watson School of Biological Sciences and Chair of the Simons Center for Quantitative Biology in the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in Cold Spring Harbor, New York. Originally trained as a computer scientist, Siepel has done influential work in molecular evolution, comparative genomics, human population genetics, and transcriptional regulation. He was a member of the faculty of the department of Biological Statistics and Computational Biology at Cornell University from 2006 to 2014 and has been at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory since 2014. Siepel is a winner of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Microsoft Research Faculty Fellowship, a Packard Fellowship, a National Science Foundation CAREER Award, and a Sloan Research Fellowship.

Humanities Division: Emily Sloan-Pace, Ph.D. Literature 2012

Emily Sloan-PaceDr. Emily Sloan-Pace is Professor in Residence at Zoho Corporation, a cloud computing company based out of Chennai, India, and with a base in Pleasanton, California. Dr. Sloan-Pace's dissertation looked at the role of women in Shakespeare's English history plays. In her salad days, Emily used to sing and dance for a living. More recent theatrical pursuits include serving as a dramaturg for Santa Cruz Shakespeare, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, and Shakespeare in San Quentin. She also founded a flash mob Shakespeare troupe that performs reduced productions of the plays in locations ranging from private homes to public bars. After finishing her Ph.D. in 2012, Emily stayed on at UCSC to teach courses for the Literature Department, as well as for Cowell and Stevenson Colleges. Now Emily's work involves designing and teaching curriculum aimed at helping Zoho's employees improve their written and spoken communication. In her capacity as chief learning officer, Emily regularly travels to India to lead workshops and seminars on topics ranging from customer support to marketing to (surprise!) Shakespeare.

Physical and Biological Sciences Division: Claudio Campagna, Ph.D. Biology 1987

Claudio CampagnaDr. Claudio Campagna is a marine conservationist in the Argentina and Marine Programs, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), and adjunct professor and research associate at UC Santa Cruz in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. In addition to his Ph.D. in biology from UCSC, Dr. Campagna has an M.D. from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. He has been a field conservationist and animal behaviorist working in coastal Patagonia, Argentina, since the 1980s. Recognizing the urgent need to promote conservation using creative communication tools, Claudio publishes widely in both the scientific and popular literature. Lately, he has been reflecting on the viability of changing the vision of the conservation movement by applying concepts developed by language philosophers. He started a project with philosopher Daniel Guevara on the Language of Conservation. It bridges biology and ethics and is inscribed in the Center for Public Philosophy at UCSC.

Social Sciences Division: Betsy Herbert, Ph.D. Environmental Studies 2004

Betsy HerbertDr. Betsy Herbert is an international newspaper columnist for the Santa Cruz Sentinel, traveling the world and writing articles about ecological conservation efforts for her Earth Matters column. She formerly served as environmental programs director for the San Lorenzo Valley Water District. She currently serves as chair of the Science Advisory Panel on the board of the Sempervirens Fund. She also serves on the boards of the Santa Cruz Mountains Bioregional Council and Center for Farmworker Families.

These five graduate student alumni honorees have also agreed to participate on panels at other events happening during Alumni Weekend on April 29th:

Careers and Entrepreneurship for Graduate Students, Focus on Santa Cruz Region, San Francisco to Monterey, but extending globally; 1:00–2:15 p.m., Humanities and Social Sciences Building, Room 259.

  • J Guevara, Ph.D. Literature 2012; Economic Development Manager, Santa Cruz Economic Development Office, and Municipal Broadband and Right-of-Way Manager, City of Santa Cruz
  • Adam Siepel, Ph.D. Computer Science 2005; Professor, Watson School of Biological Sciences, and Chair, Simons Center for Quantitative Biology, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, NY
  • Emily Sloan-Pace, Ph.D. Literature 2012; Professor in Residence, Zoho Corp., Pleasanton, CA, and Chennai, India

Coffee and Light Refreshments between panels, 2:15–2:30.

Leadership Opportunities for Graduate Students, Focus on Santa Cruz Region, San Francisco to Monterey, but extending globally; 2:30–3:45 p.m., Humanities and Social Sciences Building, Room 259.

  • Claudio Campagna, Ph.D. Biology 1987; Marine Conservationist, Argentina and Marine Programs, Wildlife Conservation Society, and Adjunct Professor and Research Associate, UC Santa Cruz
  • Dan Heller, M.F.A. Digital Arts and New Media 2013; CEO, Two Pore Guys, Inc., Santa Cruz
  • Betsy Herbert, Ph.D. Environmental Studies 2004; Earth Matters international columnist, Santa Cruz Sentinel, and Chair, Science Advisory Panel, Sempervirens Fund
  • Adam Siepel (see bio info above)
  • Emily Sloan-Pace (see bio info above)

Immediately following the second panel discussion on leadership, please join the panelists and other visiting graduate student alumni at:

Networking Mixer, April 29, 4:00–6:00 p.m., Cafe Iveta

Please join the Division of Graduate Studies and administrative and faculty representatives from the five academic divisions in welcoming back to campus our five distinguished graduate student alumni honorees, panelists, and other returning graduate student alumni at this social gathering to celebrate our fantastic graduate programs and network with other graduate students from UCSC.

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