Current PACE Fellows!

Loraine Sandoval Ascencio

I am a second year graduate student studying extragalactic astrophysics using observed data. My hobbies include running, listening to music, and doing nail art. I joined PACE to help smoothen the transition process for incoming graduate students.

Work-life Balance, Advisor Selection / Relationship, General TA advice

Abby Bault (she/her)

Abby is a 5th year grad student working in the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) Collaboration where she works on both instrumentation and science. She is studying how to improve the performance of DESI's robotic fiber positioners, and uses the Lyman-alpha forest (and quasars) to study systematics like quasar redshift errors. Abby is also the president of Underrepresented Genders in Physics and Astronomy (UNITY) and is a chair in the Physics Graduate Caucus (PGC). Outside of physics she enjoys building puzzles, watching hockey games, snuggling her cat, and hanging out with friends.

Work-life Balance, Advisor Selection / Relationship, Time Management

Matt Dowicz

I'm a 3rd year Astrophysics student working on applying machine learning algorithms for observational cosmology. In my free time I like to read, hike, and rock climb. I joined PACE because of how helpful it was for me in my first year. I want to give incoming grads the same awesome support network I had when I came to UCI.

Work-life Balance, Advisor Selection / Relationship, Advisor Selection / Relationship

Helena Garcia Escudero

Helena Garcia Escudero is a second year astrophysics Ph.D. student who works on cosmology and astroparticle physics. Her research includes the analysis of current cosmological tensions, the study of theoretical models which could alleviate them and neutrino physics. Helena is super energetic, she is the athletic chair of the department and loves doing sport on her free time. For example, she loves running and biking around the beautiful trails in the area.

Work-life Balance, Time Management, Stress Strategies

Mark Hayward

I am working on a PhD in Condensed Matter Physics. I joined PACE because graduate school is touch, and I want to help incoming students succesfully navigate their first year.

Qualification Exam Preparation, Advisor Selection / Relationship, General TA advice

Carmen Al Masri

I am a 3rd year graduate student in biophysics studying protein-DNA interactions in prof. Jin Yu's lab. I enjoy playing piano, surfing and watching anime!

Advisor Selection / Relationship, Time Management, Stress Strategies

Victor Knapp Perez

I'm a second year PhD physics student with research interests in neutrino physics and dark matter. My research focuses on the use of modular symmetries to propose new models in high energy physics. I like playing the guitar, reading and hanging out with my friends. I joined PACE because I think mentorship it's an important skill to develop and because I like helping people.

Work-life Balance, Time Management, General TA advice

Hana Schiff

Hi! I'm a 2nd year in condensed matter theory, using (often neglected) symmetries to find topologically non-trivial materials. In my free time I like to hang out with friends and talk to people, play piano, and draw. I joined PACE because community-building is hard when one works in relative isolation! I love getting to know my colleagues, hearing their experiences, and working together to combat the hardships of pursuing a PhD.

Qualification Exam Preparation, Advisor Selection / Relationship, Time Management

Maya Silverman

Maya Silverman is a Ph.D. candidate studying dark matter at the intersection of particle and astrophysics. She compares simulations of Milky Way-like galaxies to observations of the Milky Way to constrain the dark force in self-interacting dark matter. Alongside her research, Maya works as program administrator for Rising Stargirls, an astronomy outreach program geared towards middle school girls of color, and she’d love to chat about how you can get involved! Maya has experience applying to high-stakes fellowships, scholarships, and grants and mentoring students through the high-stakes writing process. In her free time, Maya enjoys playing volleyball, rock climbing, and hiking.

Work-life Balance, General TA advice, Fellowship Writing