Linda Katehi is UC Davis’ sixth chancellor and first woman to hold the post. (Karin Higgins / UC Davis)
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May 24th, 2013 @ 11:56 am by Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi
Alexa Adams, a UC Davis biotechnology major with an emphasis on bioinformatics, signs the word “idea.” Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis photo
Nurturing ideas that improve quality of life are central to our vision at UC Davis. Breaking down barriers for the deaf is what Alexa Adams, a second-year biotechnology student from Modesto, is driven to do.
She was first exposed to the deaf community by her aunt, who works as an interpreter for hearing impaired students in Modesto City Schools. While interacting with these students, Alexa realized the communication gap that exists between the hearing and deaf worlds.
Alexa has been working at the UC Davis Genome Center as a lab intern since her freshman year. Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis photo
She saw her opportunity to make a difference when Google announced “Project Glass” —a futuristic computer in a device that resembles a pair of eyeglasses. That’s because Glass has the unique ability to display auditory commands on a visual interface.
Alexa submitted her idea to develop an application for Glass that helps the deaf respond to the same prompts that the hearing do — such as a crosswalk chirp. She believes that this app has the possibility of helping the deaf better interact with those who don’t know sign language.
May 10th, 2013 @ 3:07 pm by Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi
UC Davis students (l to r) Catherine Cox and Tonya Atkins share a laugh with professor Susan Kauzlarich in the chemistry lab. Cheng Saechao/UC Davis.
Chemistry professor Susan Kauzlarich is inspired by positive role models for young women.
She came to UC Davis 25 years ago knowing that she wanted to make a difference in research and teaching. She is especially interested in motivating young women and minorities to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). By encouraging them to pursue these types of careers, she believes it will help make the world a better and more equitable place.
Stephanie L. Brock, one of Susan’s former graduate students, is now a chemistry professor at Wayne State University in Detroit, Mich. She praises Susan for her willingness to give insight and advice to her students and her ability to lead by example.
I am proud to see our faculty recognized for the great work they do. But more importantly, it is gratifying to see that we have talented people like Susan training our future scientists, especially women.
She was recently recognized for this work when the American Chemical Society awarded her with the Francis P. Garvan-John M. Olin Medal, which is given to those in chemistry who are leaders in mentoring.
As an engineer, I know what it’s like to see so few women rising in my field. That is why positive role models like Susan – who help young people break down barriers and open doors – create better days ahead for us all.
Alum Cess Mercado says there is nothing more rewarding than working for a community like UC Davis. Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis photo
As a student, he served double duty — taking classes and being a member of the U.S. Army Reserve. Cess graduated in 2002 with a degree in exercise science. After graduation, he was hired as a full-time UC Davis firefighter, and then one day after five years on the job, he got called to duty. His destination — Iraq, where he was deployed as a medic for 18 months.
For Cess, Iraq was a life-changing experience in many ways, reaffirming his commitment to public service. Now back at UC Davis, he brings this perspective to his job as a firefighter.
Today as we celebrate our annual Thank Goodness for Staff, I want to thank Cess and the entire UC Davis Fire Department for their commitment to the safety and the well-being of our community.
I also want to thank every one of our staff members who makes our campus what it is – a good place to work, study and live.
The four women work on the museum models at the WORKac office in New York City.
Last September, Jana and fellow students Amie Patel, Hannah Levy and Toni Toscano met architect Dan Wood of WORKac at the American Society of Landscape Architects’ annual meeting. Jana, who is the UC Davis chapter president of that association, has always talked about creating beautiful public spaces. And WORKac gave her just that opportunity.
The firm — one of the finalists to compete for the art museum design of the future Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art — asked Jana and her friends to fly to New York City and discuss how students viewed the planned museum. The students spent two weeks giving feedback to professional architects, answering questions and offering their points of view.
That’s the kind of opportunity UC Davis provides to enterprising students like Jana. She took her vision of special public places and contributed a strong student perspective to the upcoming art museum. I am grateful for her dedication to giving back to her campus community.
April 26th, 2013 @ 1:22 pm by Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi
Picnic Day is a special time for many, including alumni who come back to UC Davis to relive the memories they enjoy about campus. But for Christopher Lewis and Adrianne Reiersen, this year’s event has a whole new meaning. The young couple got engaged during the opening ceremony and I, along with thousands of others, witnessed the surprise proposal.
Christopher came to UC Davis from Tracy (San Joaquin County) and Adrianne from Santee (San Diego County). Like many of our students, they both attended Picnic Day in 2008 where they met one another. Five years later, Christopher, who is proudly serving in the U.S. Navy, proposed to his longtime girlfriend Adrianne at the event that originally brought them both together.
It was a wonderful surprise not only for Adrianne, but for all of us who got the chance to see it. I was touched and honored that they chose to share it with the entire UC Davis community. I ask you to join me in congratulating Christopher and Adrianne and wishing them a happy future together.