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Gaucho Grown Showcase

  • Mosher Alumni House UC Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, CA 93106 (map)
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Join us for an engaging morning of professional development through the Gaucho Professional Network. The showcase will feature breakout sessions highlighting different industry groups and campus experts and will conclude with an engaging fireside chat with Co-Founder and Chief Purpose Officer from the Honest Company, Christopher Gavigan '97.

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9:00AM - 10:15AM Playing with Fire

What is the impact of Wildfire on our Ecology and Economy?
Presented by Professor Dr. Andrew Plantinga & Postdoctoral Scholar Dr. Erin Hanan

Land managers are facing extraordinary challenges as people continue to settle in areas at high risk for wildfire. These challenges will intensify in the future as a consequence of population growth and climate change.  Over the last year, California experienced exceptionally dry conditions throughout the State, leading to two unprecedented wildfires: the Tubbs fire in Northern California, and the Thomas Fire in Southern California. These fires had devastating effects on local communities. Join us as we answer important questions about how wildfire should be managed and whether we should revise public policies affecting homebuilding decisions in vulnerable areas. 


Dr. Andrew Plantinga received a PhD in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of California-Berkeley in 1995. Dr. Plantinga’s research focuses on the economics of land use, climate change, and forests, with emphasis on empirical modeling of land markets and the analysis of environmental policies that affect private land-use decisions. 

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Dr. Erin Hanan is a postdoctoral scholar in the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Washington State University, and a visiting researcher in the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at UC Santa Barbara. She studies how plant, soil, and hydrologic processes interact in terrestrial ecosystems. Disturbances such as wildfire, insect outbreaks, and forest clearing play an important role in these processes, and in many systems, disturbance events are becoming more frequent and severe in response to climate change and growing human populations. 

9:00AM - 10:15AM Building a Community of Women in Tech

Join us for an interactive panel discussion on building a supportive community of women in tech. We’ll cover a variety of topics: how to find and be a mentor in the field, strategies for success in the workplace, and we’ll take an inside look into one company’s recruiting process. Speakers will share volunteer and professional development opportunities they are involved in that contribute to the female tech community.

After graduating from UCSB in 2015 with a B.A. in Communication and a certificate from the Technology Management program, Brianna Koch began working as a User Experience (UX) Designer at AppFolio. As a UX Designer, she continuously pursues a deep understanding of customer problems and collaborates with engineers and product managers to design easy-to-use and effective solutions.


Ivana Andjelkovic is a software engineer and researcher with interdisciplinary experience in data visualization, music and audio signal processing. She graduated with a PhD in Media Arts and Technology from UC Santa Barbara in 2016, and holds bachelor's and master's degrees in Computer Science. Some of her recent projects include development of embedded audio processing software and development of interface for music recommendation. 

As Talent Project Manager, Alex Platt supports recruiting operations for Procore Technologies in Carpinteria, CA. Alex is a data junkie and uses this passion to support company leaders in developing strong hiring strategies to grow their teams. Alex facilitates recruiting excellence through data analytics, developing scalable processes, and training hiring teams on recruiting best practices. A 2012 graduate of UCSB, Alex holds a B.A. in Communication and Global Studies and a M.A. in Global Studies from the Erasmus Mundus Program.

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9:00AM - 11:00AM Wilcox New Venture Incubator Open House

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Get an exclusive peek at the Wilcox New Venture Incubator, the new dedicated space that will provide UCSB students, faculty, alumni and affiliates a variety of resources to help them launch their new ventures.  Programming in the Incubator is provided by TMP's Entrepreneurship Programs and will include a summer launchpad accelerator, alumni and mentor support, and access to angel investors.  

The Incubator initiative is part of a larger University of California effort backed by the State of California through Assembly Bill 2664, the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Expansion. With $22 million in funding distributed evenly among the 10 UC campuses, the bill represents an investment by the state in infrastructure, incubators and education endeavors focused on innovation. 

9:00AM - 10:30AM EOP Reception & Mixer

Come celebrate the past, present, and future of EOP! Connect with other Alumni and Allies of EOP while we celebrate more than 50 years of service to the UCSB community. Light appetizers and refreshments will be served. Register here

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10:30AM - 11:30AM Navigating First- Gen Success

In partnership with the Educational Opportunity Program, this panel discussion, moderated by EOP Director Aaron Jones, will feature successful first-gen alumni sharing their personal and professional experiences during and after UCSB. What advice do our panelists wish they had gotten while they were here? Panelists will discuss support systems they utilized while on campus and how to translate that to success in the workplace. A question and answer session will follow. 

10:30 AM - 11:30 AM WTF: Watching the Fed and Other Things

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Professor Rupert will discuss recent and expected moves by the Fed along with trends in housing and real estate. In addition he will talk about how to make sense of the current economic policy. 

Peter Rupert is Director of the UCSB Economic Forecast Project. He is a Professor of Economics and is also the Associate Director of the Laboratory of Aggregate Economics and Finance at UCSB with Nobel laureate Finn Kydland. Before joining the Economics faculty he was a Senior Research Advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland for 13 years. His areas of specialization include macroeconomics, monetary economics, and labor and family economics. Prior to joining the Cleveland Fed, he held a variety of teaching positions, including professorships at the University of Western Ontario, the SUNY Buffalo, and West Virginia University. He has also had visiting professorships at the University of Southern California and University of London. Professor Rupert earned his B.S. at Santa Clara University, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Rochester. Dr. Rupert is an avid cyclist, and volunteers as the chief economist for the Santa Barbara Zoo.  He hosts and presents at the annual UCSB Economic Summit each May in Santa Barbara, which draws more than 1,000 attendees.

10:30AM - 11:30AM Building Strong Teams

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Research-Based Tools that Really Work
Kyle Lewis, Chair and Professor, Technology Management Program

How organizations leverage individual and collective knowledge. She examines the performance of teams, especially those teams engaged in knowledge work such as professional services, new product development, and project-based tasks.

Professor Kyle Lewis is the Chair and Professor of Technology Management at UC Santa Barbara.  Prior to joining UC Santa Barbara, Lewis was an Associate Professor of Management and Faculty Director of the Master of Science in Technology Commercialization (MSTC) in the McCombs School of Business, at the University of Texas at Austin.

Lewis received her early training at Duke University, where she earned degrees in both Computer Science and Mathematics. Later she attended Carnegie-Mellon University, where she completed her M.S. in Industrial Administration, followed by her Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior and Human Resources Management from the University of Maryland.

12:00PM - 1:15PM - Fireside Chat: Christopher Gavigan '97

Co-Founder & Chief Purpose Officer, The Honest Company
Moderated by Dr. Paul Leonardi, Professor, Technology Management Program

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Join us for a fireside chat with Christopher Gavigan, as he shares his journey from UCSB to the co-founding of The Honest Company in 2012.

Christopher Gavigan graduated from UCSB in 1997 with a degree in Environmental Science, and also holds an M.A. in Behavioral Psychology from UCLA. While at UCSB, he won multiple national championships as a member of the Ultimate Frisbee team. 

He is a social entrepreneur, the past CEO of the non-profit Health Child Healthy World and the author of "Healthy Child Healthy World: Creating a Cleaner Greener Safer Home." Christopher also sits on a number of advisory boards and councils across the country . He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and 4 children. 

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Earlier Event: April 28
36th Annual Alumni Softball Tournament
Later Event: April 28
EOP Alumni Reception