Session 1: 9:45AM to 10:45AM, choose one to attend

Seminar: How to Network
Seminar: Finding the Right Job for You
Panel: Media & Communication (Humanities & Social Sciences)
Panel: Research in Industry (STEM)

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Seminar: How to Network

Networking. In the minds of most PhDs the word conjures up images of forced and uncomfortable introductions, awkward conversations, and tedious hours spent passing out business cards. Dr. Peter Fiske feels your pain. As a graduate student he too dreaded the “networking event” and was at a total loss as to how to “network” without feeling like a phony. Over the years, however, Fiske has found that his own fears about networking were misplaced. Networking, when done effectively, can actually be enjoyable, empowering and a highly effective means of finding great career opportunities beyond academia. In this lively and funny workshop, Dr. Fiske will unpack the stereotypes that surround networking and discuss how PhD students and graduates can enjoy building a powerful professional network.
Peter Fiske
Director of Water-Energy Resilience Research Institute
Dr. Peter S. Fiske is the Director of the Water-Energy Resilience Research Institute (WERRI) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. WERRI’s goal is to orient and align the water-related research programs at LBNL to address critical gaps in the reliability, efficiency and sustainability of water-energy systems in California and the nation. Fiske was the Chief Executive Officer of PAX Water Technologies, Inc. from 2008 until January, 2017 when it was acquired by UGSI Inc. in an all-cash transaction. PAX Water pioneered the use of biomimicry to develop innovative and energy efficient technologies for the water industry. He is also a frequent writer and lecturer on the subject of career strategy, entrepreneurship and leadership for scientists and engineers. He has been a keynote speaker or guest lecturer at some of the leading research universities in the United States including MIT, Harvard, Stanford, Northwestern, Princeton and the University of California at Berkeley (where he teaches at the Haas School of Business). He is a founding faculty member of the Department of Energy’s I-Corps Program. He is the author of Put Your Science to WORK!, numerous articles for the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s career website, and presently writes an occasional column in the journal Nature. Prior to joining PAX Water, Fiske was co-founder of RAPT Industries, Inc., a pioneer in the field of plasma processing of optics and semiconductors. Fiske led negotiations to license a portion of the technology to a major semiconductor equipment manufacturer, and led the first sales of products. Fiske was CEO of the Company from May, 2001 to April, 2004. Fiske spun the company out of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory where he was a staff scientist. Prior to starting RAPT, Fiske led a research team in condensed matter physics at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory with applications to materials science, energy storage and weapons. He is the author of 24 technical articles, most in international peer-reviewed journals including SCIENCE. He received his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1994 and an M.B.A. from the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley in 2002. In 1996, Fiske was one of 18 young professionals selected nationally for the White House Fellowship. He served his fellowship year as Special Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Special Projects where he led a major personnel policy reform initiative for the Pentagon.

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Seminar: Finding The Right Job For You

As a graduate student or post-doc, when should you start looking for a job? Answer: Today! No, you don’t need to start interviewing immediately, but whether you are looking for an academic or non-academic job you should begin building your network, acquiring the appropriate technical and non-technical skills and recording your accomplishments as soon as possible. Doug Kalish, entrepreneur and educator, will present a multiyear plan for gaining the skills, qualifications, and contacts it takes to find a job outside of academia when you’re ready. He'll start by introducing you to the ways businesses are organized and talk about the kinds of business cultures you might encounter, how to recognize them, and how to find one that fits your temperament. We'll end by discussing the dozen items you need to have in place before beginning your nonacademic job search, along with a list of resources and a timeline for fulfilling those requirements. Before the workshop, go to, take the personality assessment and bring the results with you.
Doug Kalish Founder at dougsguides - PhD in Molecular Biology Doug was a Visiting Scholar at UC-Berkeley, and consultant and serial entrepreneur who has founded or been an early executive in four companies. He was the first graduate in Neurobiology at the University of Michigan, and after receiving his PhD from Harvard in Biology, he pursued a non-academic career. He's held a variety of interesting titles and roles including Managing Partner of the Price Waterhouse World Technology Centre, and Chief Knowledge Officer at Scient. In the Summer of 2011 he started a website to help college students at all levels (freshmen to postdocs) make the transition from academia to the business world. He now devotes most of his time touring college campuses delivering career guidance workshops.

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Panel: Media & Communication (HSS)

Passionate about writing and media? Learn about how humanities and social science PhDs transitioned to careers as diverse as marketing, technical writing, and translation.
Andrea Horbinski Bilingual Product Writer at Netflix - PhD in History and New Media Andrea Horbinski holds a PhD in modern Japanese history with a designated emphasis in new media from the University of California, Berkeley. Her book manuscript, “Manga’s Global Century,” is a history of Japanese comics from 1905-1989. She has discussed anime, manga, fandom, and Japanese history at conventions and conferences on five continents, and her articles have appeared in Transformative Works and Cultures, Convergence, and Mechademia. Her extensive experience in non-profit oversight includes a stint on the Board of Directors of the Organization for Transformative Works, a non-profit advocating for transformative works and the fans who create them; she was elected in 2012 and served as Secretary of the Board from 2014-15. Simultaneously, she served as an advisor to the Ada Initiative, a non-profit supporting the participation of women in technology and open culture, and was elected to the Board of Directors as Secretary in 2015. She has also served as a historical consultant to the UC Berkeley History-Social Science Project and the Education Department of the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. Before leaving Cal, she was a PhD candidate member of the NEH-funded committee on “The Future of the Humanities and Humanistic Social Sciences PhD at Berkeley” from 2016-17. In her spare time, she edits video for fun and can be found tweeting as @horbinski.
Rebecca Bodenheimer Freelance writer & independent scholar - PhD in Ethnomusicology Rebecca Bodenheimer is a freelance writer and independent scholar. She holds a PhD from UC Berkeley and is the author of Geographies of Cubanidad: Place, Race, and Musical Performance in Contemporary Cuba (University Press of Mississippi, 2015).
M.S. Farzan Author and Digital Marketing Manager at Maximum Games - PhD in Cultural & Historical Studies of Religions M. S. Farzan was born in London, UK and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has a B.A. in Integrative Biology, M.A. in Religious Leadership for Social Change, and Ph.D. in Cultural and Historical Studies of Religions. He has written and worked for high-profile video game companies and editorial websites such as Electronic Arts, Perfect World Entertainment, and, and is currently a Digital Marketing Manager at Maximum Games. His first cyberpunk novel, Entromancy: Book One of the Nightpath Trilogy, was published in 2015.
Lauren M. Kaplan Technical Writer at University of California, San Francisco - PhD in Sociology Lauren M. Kaplan, PhD is originally from Miami, FL. Passionate about new cultures and methodologies, she went on to earn her doctorate in Sociology at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Since then, she has worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Oxford University in the Department of Social Policy and Intervention and at the University of California, Berkeley in the School of Public Health. Lauren has published in peer-reviewed journals including The Journal of Pediatrics, AIDS Care and The Journal of Infectious Diseases. Her dissertation work, a comparative study of biographical experiences among people living with HIV in the US and Germany, was published with Springer VS. As an editor with Oxford University Press, Lauren has provided academic and language editing to scientists globally. She deeply enjoys collaborative projects that bring diverse ideas, cultures, and communities together and is passionate about health research. More recently, Lauren has explored the role of technology in health and violence, working with a digital health startup and a Silicon Valley security company. In her free time she enjoys reading, art, film, hiking, yoga and cooking – all of which she is looking forward to doing back in the Bay Area.
Martin Rock Associate Director of Communications at the Exploratorium - PhD Candidate in Creative Writing and Literature Martin Rock is the author of Residuum (Editor's Choice for the 2015 CSU Poetry Center's First Book Prize) and the chapbook Dear Mark (Brooklyn Arts Press, 2013). With Martha Collins and Kevin Prufer he co-edited the Unsung Masters Volume Catherine Breese Davis: On the Life and Work of an American Master (2016). His poems have appeared widely in publications such as Best American Experimental Writing 2018, Best New Poets 2012, American Literary Review, and other journals. A recipient of writing and teaching fellowships from New York University and the University of Houston, he is now Associate Director of Communications at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, where he works to cultivate the institution's vision of "a world where people think for themselves and can confidently ask questions, question answers, and understand the world around them." His website is
Marina Romani Academic Specialist at UC Berkeley - PhD in Italian Studies, Music, Film Marina Romani (PhD, UC Berkeley) is a film and music researcher, educator, performer, and localization specialist. She is co-founder and principal of Cultura et alia, a humanities-driven consulting firm committed to fostering a humanistic worldview in order to promote cultural literacy among individuals and companies alike. She also currently holds academic and advising positions in the departments of Italian Studies and Sociology at UC Berkeley, and she serves as a contributing writer for the San Francisco Opera. A native of a tiny rural village in Abruzzo, Italy, Marina pursued her Laurea Triennale (BA) in Language and Cultures at Università Roma Tre (Rome, Italy) and later moved to the UK to pursue her MA in Comparative Literature at King’s College London. Marina’s areas of research include the phenomenology and politics of live performance, the racial politics of sound, Mediterranean and Caribbean folk music, film melodrama, and media seriality. She has presented her original work at Yale, UCLA, NYU, and the Royal Musical Association in London, among other institutions. As an educator, she has taught courses on Italian cinema and music at UC Berkeley, and has developed original curricula that integrate language teaching with music and theater performance. As a culture consultant, she collaborated with the peer-reviewed academic journal Film Quarterly and served as a member of the viewing committee and the jury for the first UN Women’s Global Voices Film Festival at (Lucasfilm, San Francisco). As a music critic, Marina was the North America Editor of the London-based from 2007 to 2015, reviewing operas in Europe and in the United States and interviewing international artists. Marina also acted as a localization specialist, managing editor, and music expert at a Fortune-100 technology company in Cupertino, CA. With a background in both classical Western music and Afro-Caribbean music, Marina has performed extensively as a solo singer in both Europe and the US. She is currently part of Bay Area-based performance and education group Aguacero.

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Panel: Research in Industry (STEM)

Do you love doing research, but are interested in research opportunities outside of academia? Come to this panel to hear from STEM PhDs who have made the transition doing research from academia to industry.
Jarod Grossman
Application Scientist at Agilent Technologies - PhD in Chemistry
Jarod Grossman is an Application Scientist at Agilent Technologies where he utilizes his extensive experience/knowledge in small molecules analysis, environmental applications, and workflow development to provide wholesome detection solutions to mass spectrometry customers and scientists around the world. He considers himself a problem solver at heart and this can be seen in his implementation of novel workflows for Extractable and Leachable analysis in industry and beyond, an important and booming new field. He has previously worked at the US EPA, where he developed workflows for non-targeted analysis and suspected screening to map the chemical space of common media and environments, leading to novel exposure forensics and exposure classification. He has also worked with thought leaders in the field computational toxicology to further our understanding of exposure and chemical detection without the need for in vivo testing. Previous to all this he completed a PhD in Chemistry at Syracuse University and a BA in both Chemistry and Environmental Science at Drew University.
Allison Schwartz
Molecular Biologist at Phylagen - PhD in Plant Biology
Allison Schwartz, Ph.D. is a molecular biologist interested in how microbes interact with people, plants, and the environment. Allison joined Phylagen in March 2017 and has led R&D laboratory efforts that explore the connection between the indoor microbiome and environmental therapeutics. Allison received her Ph.D. in Plant Biology from the University of California, Berkeley and her B.S. in Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology from UCLA. Between graduate school and undergrad, Allison worked as a laboratory technician at UCLA in a microarray and sequencing core facility.
Jochen Brumm
Statistician at Genentech - PhD in Statistics
Jochen has his first degree in mathematics from the University of Bonn in Germany. An exchange year took him to beautiful British Columbia in Canada where he eventually did his MSc in statistics at the University of British Columbia. He worked for a couple of years at a research lab on microarrays, then decided to go back to school and completed a PhD in statistics at UBC. After that, he joined the pharmaceutical company Roche in Basel, Switzerland as a biostatistician for 6 years before transferring to Genentech in 2014. At Roche/Genentech he worked in early and late-stage drug development in immunology, cardiovascular disease, and oncology. Currently, he is working as a non-clinical biostatistician supporting pathology/toxicology and assay development.
Jessica Walter
Scientist at Amyris Inc - PhD in Physics and Biophysics
Jessica Walter attended Princeton University, earning her A.B. in Physics (2000) and then attended the University of California, Berkeley, earning her Ph.D. in Physics (2008). Her graduate work focused on elucidating the function of proteorhodopsin, a light-activated proton pump, using a combination of microscopy and mathematical modeling and was funded in part by a National Science Foundation Research Fellowship. Jessica then underwent postdoctoral training in Wendell Lim’s lab at the University of California, San Francisco where she studied the molecular basis of polarization using a synthetic biology system in yeast together with a colleague’s expertise in computational modeling. Jessica became a Scientist at Amyris in 2013 and has worked on a variety of Research and Development projects, ranging from molecular biology and genetic engineering tool development to strain construction for specialty chemical production at the million liter fermentation scale. Prior to graduate school, she lived in Singapore teaching Electrical Engineering and the United Kingdom working at a Medical Research Council lab in London. She now lives in the East Bay with her family and enjoys hiking, traveling, and delicious food.
Martin Sehr
Research Scientist, R&D Product Manager at Siemens Corporate Technology - PhD in Dynamic Systems and Control
Dr. Martin Sehr is a research scientist and R&D project manager specialized in machine intelligence with Siemens Corporate Technology. He has received his PhD in Dynamic Systems and Control from UC San Diego in Summer 2017, advised by Dr. Robert R. Bitmead. His dissertation with title Healthcare Decision Making and Stochastic Model Predictive Control: Output-Feedback, Optimality, and Duality was awarded with the Robert E. Skelton Systems and Control Dissertation Award. Throughout his career, Dr. Sehr has received several scholarships, fellowships, and academic awards, including a best paper award for one of his 20+ peer-reviewed publications. He holds an MS degree in Mechanical and Process Engineering with honors from TU Darmstadt, Germany, as well as an MA degree in Applied Mathematics with focus on numerical optimization and stochastic processes from UC San Diego. Dr. Sehr has technical expertise in controls, artificial intelligence, and optimization. He has been a regular reviewer for these subjects with a variety of academic journals and conferences. Beside his research and development activities, Dr. Sehr has taught and mentored over 1,000 undergraduate and graduate students at UC San Diego and TU Darmstadt.
Annette Angus
Microbiology R&D Scientist at the Clorox Company - PhD in Medical Microbiology and Bacteriology
Annette Angus attended California State University, Northridge, earning her B.S. in Microbiology (2004) and then attended the University of California, Berkeley, earning her Ph.D. in Microbiology (2009). Her graduate work focused on the intracellular bacterial pathogenesis of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in epithelial cells and was funded by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program. Annette then moved on to a postdoctoral position with a UC President's Postdoctoral Fellowship at UCLA where she studied the symbiosis between beneficial Burkholderia species and legumes. Her work was also awarded the prestigious Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship. After completing her postdoc, Annette started a career in industry at the Procter & Gamble Company as a Scientist in the Global Microbiology Capability Organization, based in Mason, OH. Ultimately, she decided to her home state and alma mater to pursue other career passions as the Academic Director of the California Alliance, a new statewide initiative to increase diversity in STEM education lead by UC Berkeley. After her time with the California Alliance ended (2016), Annette joined the Clorox Company as a Scientist in the Microbiology Group of the Advanced Measurement Sciences Department, based in Pleasanton, CA. In her current role, Annette supports the business by providing Microbiological guidance on new and existing product formulations as well as innovative method development to support new business ventures. Annette is a First-Generation American and the first in her family to earn college degrees. She is passionate about social justice, education reform, good food and travel to new places. She lives in San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and travels to Southern California to visit family on a regular basis.

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