Grad Alum in Spotlight: Museum curator Michael Darling is Chicago ‘rock star’

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Michael Darling believes that graduate students should take control of their destinies and “make things happen rather than waiting for an opportunity to fall into their lap.” Throughout his life, this UCSB Art and Architectural History M.A. and Ph.D. alum has adhered to this philosophy, doing what he could to make himself stand out. And stand out he has. Dr. Darling, 47, is the James W. Alsdorf Chief Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago.

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Alum Véronique LaCapra: Public radio journalist is a science storyteller

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Whether she’s in a field, a zoo, or an operating room, Dr. Véronique LaCapra – a 1992 Towbes fellow who earned her Ph.D. in Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology from UCSB in 2000 – gets to tell compelling stories in her “never boring” career as a science, environment, and health reporter for a local NPR affiliate station in St. Louis.

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Spotlight on Rick Bacon: CEO and non-traditional Ph.D. student

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"Non-traditional" doesn’t begin to describe Ph.D. Education student Rick Bacon. While most of us are getting a Ph.D. to get a better job, Rick Bacon already has a job he loves as CEO of Aqua Metrology Systems, a start-up with Goleta as a client. Instead, he’s earning his Ph.D. to help understand how to widen access of underserved populations to learning and employment opportunities.

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The Top 15 GradPost Stories of 2015

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Each year, the GradPost reports on various lists and rankings for UC Santa Barbara. We examined the analytics for the GradPost from January 1 to December 15, 2015, to find out what clicked with our readers. Once again, such articles as graduate student profiles; student awards and achievements; the Grad Slam; and prestigious annual rankings reports, topped our list.

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Ph.D. student Mario Galicia reflects on beloved tragedy-stricken San Bernardino

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A week ago tragedy struck my hometown of San Bernardino. I wish to first send out my condolences to the families, loved ones, and all affected by the disaster out of San Bernardino. Losing someone we know and love is never easy. Having lost several family members and friends to gun violence, I am sensitive to what those who are grieving are going through.

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Graduate Student Spotlight: Tanya Das finds success by starting small

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It’s probably no coincidence that Tanya Das, a fifth-year Ph.D. candidate in Electrical and Computer Engineering, is studying nano-optics. She’s been finding success by starting small for a long time. This strategy has allowed her to attempt new things as diverse as hip-hop dancing and science writing, while working her way toward her degree.

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Graduate Student in the Spotlight: Jessica Perkins wields a ballpoint pen for the environment

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What is the secret to second-year Ph.D. student Jessica Perkins’ success? At first, you might think it comes from her growing up in a large, extended family in Rhode Island and learning to appreciate the value of active involvement in a community. Later, you might think it’s her time management skills. She earned a combined B.S./M.S. in Environmental Engineering at Tufts University while playing field hockey. Finally, you might consider her secret is that she only needs six hours of sleep a night.

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