By Sonya Newlyn
The UC Santa Cruz Division of Graduate Studies and the divisions of the Arts, Engineering, Humanities, Physical Sciences, and Social Sciences will honor five distinguished graduate student alumni representing each division at an award luncheon on April 29, 2017, during UCSC’s Alumni Weekend.
The first annual Distinguished Graduate Student Alumni Awardees are:
Arts Division: Dan Heller, M.F.A. ’13, digital arts and new media; CEO of Two Pore Guys, Inc., in Santa Cruz
Dan Heller co-founded and serves as CEO of Two Pore Guys, Inc., in Santa Cruz, a life sciences technology company that makes hand-held medical diagnostic devices for point-of-use applications. He is an established technology veteran, dating back to his first startup in the 1980s, where he created the first commercially available email system for the Internet. His career has focused on starting or working with companies that commercialize original inventions that have broad and transformative utility. In 2010, he founded the Center for Entrepreneurship (C4E) at UC Santa Cruz, where he created an academic degree program for students who would study and collaborate with professors to advance publicly funded research and bring them to market. Two Pore Guys was one of six companies created through that program; in 2013, he left UCSC to work at 2PG full time as its CEO. Mr. Heller has a degree in computer science and a master’s degree in digital media, both from UC Santa Cruz.
Engineering Division: Adam Siepel, Ph.D. Computer Science 2005
Dr. Adam Siepel is a professor in the Watson School of Biological Sciences and Chair of the Simons Center for Quantitative Biology in the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in Cold Spring Harbor, New York. Originally trained as a computer scientist, Siepel has done influential work in molecular evolution, comparative genomics, human population genetics, and transcriptional regulation. He was a member of the faculty of the department of Biological Statistics and Computational Biology at Cornell University from 2006 to 2014 and has been at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory since 2014. Siepel is a winner of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Microsoft Research Faculty Fellowship, a Packard Fellowship, a National Science Foundation CAREER Award, and a Sloan Research Fellowship.