Prof Slam 2024

Thank you to all who joined us for this exciting event at the All Gaucho Reunion 2024. It is with great pleasure that we announce Nicole Alea Albada as the victor of Prof Slam 2024!

Don Lubach

2024 Prof Slam Emcee

Don Lubach, '86, Ph.D, '97

Associate Ombuds @ UC Santa Barbara


Don has two UCSB degrees: a BA in Communication and a Ph.D. in Education. He served as Associate Dean of Students and Director of First-Year and Graduate Student Initiatives from 2010 to 2019. He has also taught Education courses that focused on university success and was a founding faculty member for the Leadership in Social Justice and Public Policy Program with UCEAP - Mexico. Don served as a career counselor for 20 years and has held a range of UCSB jobs including Campus Tour Guide, Daily Nexus editorial writer, and dining commons plate washer. As an instructor for SBCC's Adult Education, Don created and led dozens of courses including "Human Solutions for Human Problems," "What Matters Most," and alternative transportation courses including one held on a rolling MTD bus.


2024 Professors

More Prof Slam professors will be added in the coming weeks.

Tania Israel

Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology | "Is Empathy the Answer to Political Polarization"

Tania Israel is a Professor in UCSB’s Department of Counseling, Clinical, & School Psychology and Associate Dean for DEI in the Gevirtz School of Education. She is the award-winning author of Beyond Your Bubble: How to Connect Across the Political Divide, Skills and Strategies for Conversations That Work and has shared her expertise on dialogue across political differences with the TODAY show, the New York Times, the Washington Post, NPR, and dozens of other media outlets. For over 25 years, Dr. Israel has conducted research on interventions to support the psychological health of LGBTQ individuals and communities. Her expertise has been solicited by the Institute of Medicine, the National Institutes of Health, and the White House. Dr. Israel has received honors for her research and advocacy from Congress, the American Psychological Association, the California Asian & Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus, and her local LGBT community. Her forthcoming book, Facing the Fracture: How to Navigate the Challenges of Living in a Divided Nation will be released in August. To learn more, visit or connect with her @drtaniaisrael on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.

Nicole Alea Albada

Nicole Alea Albada

Psychological and Brain Sciences | "Remembering the Personal Past"

Nicole Alea Albada is an Associate Teaching Professor at the University of California Santa Barbara. She received her PhD in 2004 in Developmental Psychology from the University of Florida, with an emphasis on adult development and aging, and graduate certificates in Gerontology and Social Science methodology. Nicole is the director of the TALE – Thinking About Life Experiences – Lab, which explores why and how people remember events from their life, and the links between remembering autobiographical events and psychosocial well-being in various age groups and across cultures. Nicole is also the Director for Education and Outreach for UCSB's Center for Aging & Longevity Studies (CALS). She primarily teaches research methods and statistics to undergraduate students in the Psychological and Brain Sciences Department, and sometimes teaches adult development and aging courses. Nicole is also the Faculty Advisor for the UCSB Chapter of Psi Chi, the International Honors Society in Psychology, and for the UCSB chapter of the Brain Exercise Initiative.

Matt Beane

Matt Beane 

Technology management | "Learning to Work with Intelligent Machines" 

Matt Beane does field research on work involving robots and AI to uncover systematic positive exceptions that we can use across the broader world of work. His award-winning research has been published in top management journals such as Administrative Science Quarterly and Harvard Business Review, and he has spoken on the TED stage. He also took a two-year hiatus from his PhD at MIT’s Sloan School of Management to help found and fund Humatics, a full-stack IoT startup. In 2012, he was selected as a Human Robot Interaction Pioneer, and in 2021 was named to the Thinkers50 Radar Class list. Beane is an assistant professor in the Technology Management program at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Digital Fellow with Stanford’s Digital Economy Lab and MIT’s Initiative on the Digital Economy. When he’s not studying the intersection of intelligent technologies and learning, he enjoys playing guitar; cooking with his wife, Kristen; and reading science fiction—a lot of science fiction.

Jigna Desai 

Feminist Studies and Asian American Studies | "Speculative Fiction and Feminist/Queer Futures"

​​Jigna Desai is a Professor in the Department of Feminist Studies and the Department of Asian American Studies at UC -- Santa Barbara. She is a promiscuous interdisciplinary and dis-disciplinary scholar with a background in astronomy, cognitive science, literature, and media studies. They are the Director of the Center for Feminist Futures and spend much of their time trying to help us all imagine more just and joyous futures for us all.

Dennis Clegg

Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology | "Sight for More Eyes: Treating Blindness with Stem Cells"

Dr. Clegg earned his BS degree in biochemistry at UC Davis and his PhD in biochemistry at UC Berkeley, where he used emerging methods in recombinant DNA to study the sensory transduction systems of bacteria. As a Jane Coffin Childs Postdoctoral Scholar at UCSF, he studied neural development and regeneration. He has continued this avenue of research since joining the UCSB faculty, with studies of extracellular matrix and integrin function in the developing eye. His current emphasis is on stem cell research, with a focus on developing therapies for ocular disease. Dr. Clegg is the recipient of the UCSB Distinguished Teaching Award in the Physical Sciences, the Pacific Coast Business Times Champions in Health Care Award, the National Eye Institute Audacious Goals award, and served as Chair of the Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology from 2004-2009. He has been a Frontiers of Vision Research Lecturer at the National Eye Institute, a Keynote Lecturer at the Stem Cells World Congress, and a TEDx speaker. He is the founder and Co-Director of the UCSB Center for Stem Cell Biology and Engineering and has served on advisory boards for the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine and the National Institutes of Health Center for Regenerative Medicine. He is a Co-Principal Investigator of The California Project to Cure Blindness, a multi-disciplinary effort to develop a stem cell therapy for Age-Related Macular Degeneration.

Anthony De Tomaso

Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology | "Immunology, Stem Cell Biology, Regeneration"

Dr. De Tomaso received his BS degree in Biology from Stanford University and his PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. His doctoral thesis focused on understanding the mechanisms of multi-subunit protein assembly and targeting, using the rodent Na, K-ATPase. Following completion of his PhD, Dr. De Tomaso was a NIH fellow in the laboratory of Irv Weissman at Stanford University, where he worked on both delineating the molecular mechanisms that underlie allorecognition in the primitive chordate, Botryllus schlosseri, as well as understanding the cellular and molecular basis of regeneration in this organism.

2023 Prof Slam Recording

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