Penn Grad Talks (formerly known as Grad Ben Talks) features TED Talk-style presentations by Penn Arts & Sciences graduate students representing the Humanities, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, and Professional Master’s programs. Penn Grad Talks is going virtual this year!

Talks and voting information will be released the week of March 1 on this page and on Penn Arts & Sciences' FacebookTwitter, and Instagram accounts. Check back and vote for your favorite.


Join us for a live winner's announcement on Friday, March 5 at 4 p.m. EST on Penn Arts & Sciences' Facebook page. 



Penn Grad Talks - Humanities Play Button


Vote for your favorite Humanities talk from Noon EST on Wednesday, March 3 until Noon EST on Thursday, March 4. You can only vote once in each category. The talk with the most votes in the four combined categories will be awarded the $500 Audience Choice Award.

(Ir)Responsibility and Globalization: Anonymous Victims, Consumption, and Transnational Crime in the Novel 2666 by Roberto Bolaño
Andrés García-Londoño, Hispanic Studies

Pursue and Avoid: The Power of Anecdote
Scotland Long, Hispanic Studies

Family Ties to Penn and Slavery: Exploring Intergenerational Wealth and Educational Attainments
Breanna Moore, History

Medically Unexplained Symptoms (MUS): Challenges to Identity, Agency, and Belonging
Sara Purinton, Philosophy

The Devil Is in the Rooster: The Supernatural in Medieval Preaching
Mario Sassi, Italian Studies


Penn Grad Talks - Social Sciences Play Button

Voting is now closed for this category. 

The New Girls' Club: Political Party Culture and the Women Changing the Face of Politics
Sarah Carson, Anthropology

The Macroeconomy As a Random Forest
Philippe Goulet Coulombe, Economics

Fertile Ground: Sexuality, Science, and Fertility Tracking Apps
Caroline Hodge, Anthropology

Forced Parental Absence and Child Wellbeing: A Collective and Comparative Look at Incarceration and Deportation
Anneliese Luck, Demography

The Effects of Zoning Regulations on Crime: Evidence From Philadelphia
David Mitre Becerril, Criminology


Penn Grad Talks - Professional Master's Play Button

Voting is now closed for this category.

From Queen Latifah to Queen Bee: The Evolution of the Feminist Emcee 
Jacquelyn Jordan, Liberal Arts

The Drum Major Instinct and Beyond: Motivations for National Service 
Dana Kayser, Public Administration

Future Farming: The Rise of Big Data in Advancing Sustainable Agriculture and the Role of Public Policy 
Justin Maroccia, Environmental Studies

My Soul Is Anchored: How African American Women Have Carried Elections and the Political Movement Forward, and How We Can Take Our Power Back 
Ashley Session, Public Administration

Why We Sit So Much and What We Can Do About it 
Allison Wishner, Behavioral and Decision Sciences


Optical Brain Monitoring: Probing Blood Flow and Oxygenation Without an Incision
Emilie Benson, Physics and Astronomy

The Age of our Universe: Early Dark Energy As a Solution to Hubble Tension
Qiuyue Liang, Physics and Astronomy

Sub-Cellular Submarines: Exploring Biology With Ultrasound-Powered Nanorobots
Jeffrey McNeill, Chemistry

The Most Important Elements You Have Probably Never Heard Of
Kevin Ruoff, Chemistry

Goo Goo Ga Ga: Can Baby Sounds Help Improve Early Detection of Autism?
Lisa Yankowitz, Psychology

Videos for this category will be released at 12 p.m. EST on Thursday, March 4. Voting for the Audience Choice Award* will be open from 12 p.m. EST on Thursday, March 4 until 12 p.m. EST on Friday, March 5.

*The Audience Choice Award will be presented to the talk that receives the most online votes. There will be one Audience Choice winner across the four categories above. The winning talk will receive $500. You can only vote once per category.


Group Presentations
Cameo Hazlewood and Justin Thompson, Behavioral and Decision Sciences
Leveraging Behavioral Economics to Increase Concussion Symptom Reporting Among High School Athletes (video)

Professional Mater's 
Darlene Marshall, Master of Applied Positive Psychology
Building the Self So You Can Give It Away - The Upward Cycle of Self-Improvement (video)

Social Sciences
Nicole Welk-Joerger, History and Sociology of Science
It's Not Easy Eating Green (video)

Johanna Kaiser, Classical Studies
Making Scents of Ancient Rome in the Epigrams of Martial (video)

Natural Sciences
Michael O'Shea, Earth & Environmental Science
Urban Road Dust: Investigating Philly's Street Gunk as Both Source and Sink for Pollutants (video)

Audience Choice
Darlene Marshall, Master of Applied Positive Psychology
Building the Self So You Can Give It Away - The Upward Cycle of Self-Improvement (video)


Professional Master's
Connor Joyce, Behavioral and Decision Sciences
To Fear or Not To Fear Automation: A Review of Research Covering Artificial Intelligence's Effect on Work (video)

Social Sciences 
Yun Cha, Sociology
Who Do Graduate Degree Holders Marry? How the Separation of Advanced Degrees Affects Our Understanding of Trends in Educational Homogamy (video)

Gregory Callaghan
, Ancient History
If You Can't Walk the Walk, Then Talk the Talk: Status and International Relations in the Hellenistic World (video)

Natural Sciences
Paul Masih Das, 
Physics and Astronomy
Quantum Materials: Making Smartphones "Cool" Again (video)

Audience Choice
Lorena Levano,
Behavioral and Decision Sciences
Sexual Harassment in High Schools From a Social Norms Perspective (video)




Professional Master's 
Patrick Osei, Master of Applied Geosciences
Groundwater Contamination on Obuasi, Ghana (video)

Social Sciences 
Rebecca Umbach, Criminology
Aggression and Sleep: A Daylight Saving Time Quasi-Experiment  (video)

Kendra Grimmett, History of Art
Looking at Art with Your Body in Mind  (video)

Natural Sciences
Kieran Dunne
Mud and the Shape of Rivers (video)

Audience Choice
Garrett Meccariello and Tobias Nasgarde, Master of Behavioral and Decision Sciences
The Marketer's Antagonist: Leveraging Behavioral Science to Reduce Unnecessary Spending Behavior in Cashless Environments  (video)




Mary Zaborkis
 Age Drag  (video)

Natural Sciences
Jonathan Johnnidis
 Stem Cells Lead the Way to More Graceful Aging (video)

Professional Master's/Other Category
Bryan Currinder
 Conserving Freshwater Systems in Bangladesh and Bhutan through Biomonitoring  (video)

Social Sciences and Audience Choice Award
Haley Pilgrim
Accidentally Passing: The Identity Choices of Phenotypically White-Black Multiracials  (video)