PhD Pathways: Career Planning and Preparation, Fall Series- Meet the Panelists!

Meet the panelists for our upcoming PhD Pathways–Career Planning and Preparation workshops!

STEM Careers:

Faculty, industry professional and a postdoc, share their career paths and offer advice for PhDs pursuing careers in STEM fields.

Murali Annavaram

Associate Professor, Ming-Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering, USC

Murali Annavaram has been a faculty member in the Ming-Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Southern California from 2007.  His research focuses on distributed edge computing, processing near storage and graph analytics. Murali received NSF CAREER award in 2010 and an IBM Faculty Partnership award in 2009. He is also passionate about his teaching. He received the Stevens Institute’s Innovation Inside curriculum award for jointly developing a mobile systems design course. Prior to his appointment at USC, he was a senior research scientist at the Intel Microprocessor Research Labs from 2001 to 2007.

Melike Sirlanci

Postdoctoral Researcher, California Institute of Technology

Melike is a mathematician working on the projects motivated from the problems in the areas of mathematical biology and biomedicine.  She received her doctorate degree in Mathematics from the University of Southern California under the supervision of Prof. Gary Rosen. Currently, Melike is a postdoctoral researcher at the California Institute of Technology.

  1. Dalton Combs

CEO and CoFounder, Boundless Mind
Dalton got his PhD from the USC Neuroscience Graduate Program, and is now the CEO and CoFounder of Boundless Mind.   He’s a huge nerd who always thought he’d be a professor until he got a close up look at what trying to do science in the state funded science machine is really like.  Boundless Mind uses AI and computational neuroscience to achieve big changes in user behavior.

Humanities and Social Science Careers:

Join faculty, industry professional and postdocs, as we discuss PhD careers in humanities and social sciences.

William Thalmann

Professor of Classics and Comparative Literature, USC

William Thalmann, Professor of Classics and Comparative Literature, at USC since 2001.  His special interests are Greek epic and drama. In particular, using anthropological and other theories, he studies the ways in which performances of ancient texts were the occasion for the convergence of class and gender discourses and the role of these texts within contemporary social and political processes, especially at times of great social change

Laurel Felt

Project Curriculum and Learning Designer, Mattel

Adjunct Lecturer, USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism

As a Project Curriculum & Learning Designer at Mattel, Laurel supports the Child Development & Learning team in establishing world-class learning content and curriculum and activating child development and learning expertise across Mattel, all in the pursuit of helping children and families to optimally and joyfully learn through play.

As a Lecturer in business communication at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, Laurel helps students to develop versatile skills and optimize professional experiences that will prepare them for bright, dynamic futures.

Monica Solomon

Postdoctoral Fellow, Philosophy, USC

Monica Solomon received her Ph.D. in History and Philosophy of Science from the Reilly Center and the Department of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame. Her main research is at the intersection between the philosophy of science, metaphysics, and the philosophy of mathematical practice. She is interested in topics in the history of the philosophy of space, time, and gravity research, early modern philosophy, and the ethical and political dimensions of the scientific practice.

Viola Lasmana

Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of American Studies and Ethnicity, USC

Viola Lasmana is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California, and received her PhD from USC’s Department of English. Beyond USC, Lasmana currently serves as Fembot Collective’s International Consultant on the Fembot Advisory Board. Her research interests include transpacific studies, digital humanities, digital pedagogy, and video remix. Viola’s work can be found in The Cine-Files, Visual Anthropology, make/shift: feminisms in motion, Computers and Composition Online, and Interdisciplinary Humanities.

Please forward questions or comments to Ashley Brooks at

PhD Pathways Career Series Fall 2018

Published on September 20th, 2018

Last updated on October 14th, 2021