Graduate Student

Bedlam Oak's research focuses on understanding the challenges to effective community and labor organizing, particularly as it pertains to attracting and engaging members. As an activist and qualitative researcher, Bedlam works with fellow organizers to understand communication and community in labor actions.


Bedlam has a background in engineering, receiving their B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and working in semiconductor manufacturing research at IBM before coming to UCSB to study Electrical and Computer Engineering in the Fall of 2020. While studying protein engineering in the Theogarajan lab, they became enmeshed in graduate student community, organizing and activism, helping them realize their passion for community organizing. Bedlam is so excited to be switching into the Communication Department, and looks forward to researching the role played by narratives and professional identities in the 2022 UAW Academic Worker Strike. In their free time, Bedlam enjoys rock climbing, running, pottery, gardening and baking teeny little cupcakes.


B.S. 2018, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Chemical Engineering