Congratulations to Alexandra Polasko (pictured left) on her 3rd place win at the UCLA GrandSlam competition. Alexandra’s presentation, “A Hero for Water: Finding and Growing Bacteria to Clean our Water” earned top marks among the group of 70 competitors representing 38 areas of study.

The annual UCLA GrandSlam is a campus-wide competition that showcases and awards the best 3-minute research presentations by graduate students. The competition not only helps foster the important career development skill of articulating graduate research in an understandable and engaging way to those inside and outside the academic community, but it also highlights the excellence, importance and relevance of UCLA graduate students and their research.

Alexandra Polasko is a PhD student in the Environmental Engineering research group under Dr. Shaily Mahendra. Alexandra also received the New England Biolabs Passion in Science 2016 award for Environmental Stewardship and the Women in Leadership Fellowship from Brown and Caldwell. She is the recipient of the Cota Robles Fellowship, Len Assante Scholarship, Malcom R. Stacey Memorial Scholarship, and the National Science Foundation honorable mention.