Meet Fatima Hussain, Chemistry Graduate Student and Grad Slam Finalist

Fatima Hussain

Fatima Hussain, a graduate student in chemistry and a 2019 UC Davis Grad Slam finalist, researched aerosol particles as an undergraduate student, but chose to focus on water remediation in grad school. 

Fatima Hussain

​Program and Degree
Chemistry, Ph.D, 3rd year

Research Interests
Sustainable mesoporous materials for water remediation

Previous Degree(s) and College(s)
Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, San Jose State University

Grad Slam Presentation Title
Responding to Oil Spills Effectively

Describe your presentation style in three words.
Enthusiastic, informative, and relatable!

What did you do to prepare for Grad Slam?
I started by going through one of my previous speech outlines to create a template of my talk. I thought of key points that I wanted to share in order to tell a complete story, and used visuals in my slide to give the audience an overview of my topic. I also watched videos of finalists from previous years and used other resources on the UC Davis Graduate Studies website. Finally, practice makes perfect!

What initially attracted you to your field of study?
I was always curious about how things work, especially how what we do can impact our environment. I pursued this passion in my undergraduate career as I researched aerosol particles in the atmosphere. In graduate school, I decided to focus on water remediation as water is essential not only for human life but for the entire ecosystem. It's shocking that 70% of the planet is covered in water but only a small fraction of it is accessible.

What do you like to do in your free time?
I love exploring: this includes traveling to different places, trying new foods, or reading a good book from the comfort of my home. I love going for boba, playing board games with my friends, and cooking new recipes and sharing them. I also enjoy participating in chemistry outreach events.

If you could invite one person (from any point in history) to sit in the audience and view your presentation at the March 13 Final Round, who would it be and why?
I would invite Katherine Johnson, the mathematician whose work at NASA facilitated the first U.S. manned spaceflight. As a minority in STEM, she is a true inspiration and I would want her to see how her efforts have fueled a new generation of passionate scientists.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I see myself leading a group of people to solve the world's pressing issues that impact the environment and human health. I want to be able to inspire people and help them achieve their dreams through my knowledge and experience.

Cheer on Fatima and the other nine finalists at the UC Davis Grad Slam Final Round on March 13. Sign up via Eventbrite and like and follow the UC Davis Graduate Studies Facebook page to tune into the live stream.

— Elizabeth Lambert, Director of Marketing and Communications for UC Davis Graduate Studies