NEWS: UC design visionaries connect to share views – watch the recap

Design event recap

The UC Tech News team recently hosted an engaging speaker panel and networking event which brought together several 2023 UC Tech Awards Design nominees The event featured notable individuals in the UC tech industry, who have made significant contributions to their respective fields. Among the highlighted speakers were Ernesto Carrasco, Kelsey Couzzo, Oliver Kreylos, Robert Krumm, and Harold Shin. 

Event highlights

The networking event provided a platform for design professionals from across the UC system and beyond to connect. The 60-minute session was marked by insightful presentations and discussions led by distinguished speakers. Each speaker presented a visual about their work which helped viewers understand and engage with their respective projects. 

Who’s Who – the designer panelists

  • Ernesto Carrasco: Director Governance Risk & Compliance, UCLA
  • Kelsey Couzzo: Senior Software Engineer – Analytics and Data Visualization Quantivly 
  • Oliver Kreylos: Virtual Reality Research Specialist, UC Davis
  • Robert Krumm: Senior Database Developer, UCSF
  • Harold Shin: Senior IT Risk Analyst, UCLA
Kelsey Couzzo discusses the consequences of “data-driven” decisions on data that you cannot interpret because of the lack of clarity to all audiences (i.e. accessibility).
Watch Oliver Kreylos present during the networking event on the technology that helped him win the UC Tech Larry L. Sautter 2023 Award for Innovation in Information Technology.

Question and answer session

Question: Regarding your work on design and system improvement within the UC, what do you believe is the most influential factor that enabled success in each of your respective areas?

Highlighted Responses: 

Cuozzo “I was at UCSF for about a year and a half before I was recruited by the startup. During my time, our accessibility work was very well received. I think having supportive leadership is what helped the most. I came in one day saying how it is a problem that these dashboards aren’t accessible. And I had all the support in the world to go ahead and teach other developers, create materials, and fix the dashboards. Having supportive leadership was really what enabled progress to be made. 

Carrasco: “I’m very fortunate that my boss at UCLA allowed me full flexibility and technical support. He believed in me, and he let me do what I needed to do. That flexibility and that ability to do what I need to do without any constraints was essential for me to improve systems.”

Question: Are there any specific data science visualization tools that you recommend for learning and research? 

Highlighted responses 

Cuozzo: “I did a data science fellowship about two years ago. And I have to say, I’m very impressed with the Python libraries. When it comes to data science. I loved working with sai pi and working with Plotly for visualization. It’s all very neat and clean. I highly encourage learning Python.”

Kreylos: “R programming is very widely used among my data science colleagues here at the lab. It’s a widely used alternative that I see being very powerful in our day-to-day work in data analysis, data presentation, data preparation, data processing, and so forth.”

About the panelists and additional insights 

Robert Krumm

Robert Krumm won the Golden UC Tech Design award with the Urology Oncology Research Database and Biobank Project Teams. Despite huge advances in both open-source (R-studio) and commercially available analytics (Tableau), the use of analytics in medical research is impeded by the shortage of “analyzable” data. On the call, Krumm shared UCSF’s need to streamline patient data into a folder where doctors can determine the course of treatment based on a qualitative review of lab results, pathology reports, and physician notes. The Urology Oncology Database and Biobanking (UODB) project is designed to extract, transform, and connect unstructured sources into data with a suite of web-based apps compatible with any analytics suite.

Krumm kicked off the presentations by showing his innovative approach to medical record-keeping. With his model, patient information can be stored in a streamlined way with visual form applications. This model prioritizes the needs of both patients and practitioners. Read more from UC Tech News about Krumm’s background and his UC Tech application.

Ernesto Carrasco and Harold Shin

Ernesto Carrasco and Harold Shin were part of the “Managing Vendor Risk One Triage at a Time” project team. This team won the Design UC Tech Silver Award in 2023. The UCLA Third Party Risk Management (TPRM) program supports over 40,000 students and staff. The project “Managing Vendor Risk One Triage at a Time,” aimed to automate the TPRM process using ServiceNow (SNOW). The project’s success was measured by its operational impact on UCLA, IS-3 security requirements, and its expansion for use at UCLA Mednet. By leveraging ServiceNow, the UCLA team successfully converted a complex process into a simple, repeatable solution, facilitating proactive vendor risk management. The project was executed over two years and achieved rapid success with the release of version 1.0. In early 2023, version 2 was launched to address user feedback and challenges.

During the networking event, Shin and Carrasco presented a video demonstration of the risk management portal. Carrasco explained, “Our platform streamlines processes for renewals, forms tracking, and ticket management.” This solution allowed for greater efficiency and a centralized hub for risk management activities. Read more about Carrasco and Shin’s project through this UC Tech News interview and project write-up. 

Oliver Kreylos

Kreylos won the Golden UC Tech award for Innovation in Information Technology. At UC Davis, Kreylos has been at the forefront of advancing augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) software, specifically designed for research, teaching, and outreach purposes. His recent enhancements to the open-source AR sandbox and VR user interface platforms, coupled with their innovative integration into the UC Davis DataLab, are breaking down barriers to equity. These advancements offer researchers and students the chance to actively engage with 3D data visualizations, fostering real-time collaboration and immersive interaction opportunities.

Kreylos demonstrated various applications of VR technology. He explained how his team is trying to avoid projecting data onto two-dimensional displays. For example, using VR can guide medical interventions such as a patient’s CT scan, “I can interact with the scan in 3D to understand exactly what happened and to then guide a surgeon.” This pioneering work showcases the future of data visualization innovations. 

Kelsey Couzzo

With a foundation in media arts and animation from art school, Couzzo’s career shifted when she discovered the world of data and visualization. Her first job was as a data architect, before leaving to work in dashboard development and design in Photoshop and Illustrator. Five years ago, she led data visualization functions at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, before becoming a senior Tableau developer at UCSF. Her past projects include creating a tool where people with accessibility issues can find cities that can accommodate their needs. After leaving UCSF in July 2023, Cuozzo is currently working as a senior software engineer for data visualization at Quantivly.

Cuozzo’s presentation emphasized the importance of designing regarding inclusivity needs. Although green and red are typically used in graphics, Cuozzo explained how colorblindness is very common and these colors can be difficult to perceive. Healthcare providers at UCSF need to have accessible colors because there are huge potential consequences of making data-driven decisions on data that someone cannot properly interpret. Through UCSF’s Digital Accessibility Advisory Committee, Cuozzo implemented adequate color contrast and color blindness strategies to promote a user-friendly interface.

Read more about Cuozzo’s work at UCSF in an interview with the UC Tech News team. 

About the UC Tech Awards Program

The UC Tech Awards program will open shortly for the 2024 season. The season, including applications and judging, will culminate with an awards ceremony to be held at the UC Tech Conference between October 27 – 29, 2024. Learn more about the UC Tech Awards program.

Upcoming networking events

The UC Tech networking event presented a valuable opportunity for professionals to connect and share insights. The UC Tech News team looks forward to hosting more successful events that foster collaboration and innovation within the UC community. Later this month,  the UC Tech News team will be hosting an event showcasing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives with the UC Tech Award winners. 


Robert Krumm 
Senior Database Developer 
Ernesto Carrasco
Director Governance Risk & Compliance
Harold Shin
Senior IT Risk Analyst
Oliver Kreylos 
Virtual Reality Research Specialist
UC Davis
Kelsey Couzzo 
Senior Software Engineer – Analytics and Data Visualization 

Author/Event Host

Jackie Brown
Jackie Brown
Marketing Intern
UC Office of the President


Laurel Skurko, Marketing & Communications, IT Services, UC Office of the President
Laurel Skurko 
Marketing & Communications
UC Office of the President