| May 19, 2015
When UCSB Linguistics Ph.D. student Daniel Hieber heard his name called as the second-place finisher in the inaugural UC Grad Slam in Oakland, he was ecstatic. But “at the same time,” he said, “it felt a bit like icing on the cake" as he stepped onto the stage to accept a $3,000 check and shake the hand of UC President Janet Napolitano. “I was already so happy to have represented my department, my school, and my field of study in the competition and done as well as I had,” Danny told the GradPost. “So it was all just fun and celebration from there!”
Danny was among the 10 champions, one from each of the University of California campuses, to present in the UC Grad Slam, a competition for the best three-minute research talk for a general audience by a graduate student from the UC system. In UCSB's competition, Danny had triumphed through a preliminary round, a semifinal round, and the Finals to become UC Santa Barbara's Champion. The UC-wide event was held in Oakland, and live-streamed at this website, which features a video recording.
Danny’s talk, “Renaissance on the Bayou: Reviving the Chitimacha Language,” focused on his work in helping to revive a language in the Louisiana bayou, Chitimacha, whose last native speakers died in the 1930s. He has reconstructed the language, even creating a Rosetta Stone audiotape that tribal members now listen to in their cars. Danny was the only competitor in the UC Grad Slam not in a science, technology, or engineering field.
We spoke with Danny about the experience of preparing and competing in the historic UC Grad Slam.
Read the full article on the GradPost.