Review Category : Features

Starting up at UC Davis

If it weren’t for the Rapid Ramen Cooker, many UC Davis students might not immediately associate the university with student enterprise. Although the frequency of startup businesses in Davis might not match that of startups at other schools, there is a growing effort to change the culture of entrepreneurship as it is seen on campus. “What I tell my students is [this]: ‘Look at your idea and try to find out if there is a market for it, if people will want to use your idea and if people will want to pay for that,’” said Lucas Arzola, the director of the Engineering Student Startup Center (ESSC) at UC Davis. “‘If you can find that, then you have the possibility of having a business.’” The ESSC started up in October 2013 as a project by Arzola and his company, Betaversity, to encourage entrepreneurship at UC Davis. Since then, the center has served over 600 students. The group also offers workshops taught by student staff which cover topics such as design... ...

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A Work of Heart

Many design students were surprised to learn that heart disease kills one woman approximately every minute — more than all cancers do combined — through a fashion project, not a biology class. In the fall of 2009, Amparo Villablanca, cardiovascular medicine professor and director of the Women’s Cardiovascular Medicine Program (UCDWCMP) at the University’s Medical Center, contacted Design Museum curator and UC Davis professor Adele Zhang about creating a cross-disciplinary project combining fashion design with a campaign for heart health. For the past five years, UC Davis design students have presented their handmade red dresses every February at the Women’s Heart Care Education and Awareness Forum in Sacramento and at a live-model fashion show in the Mondavi Center. The “Red Dress” is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and serves as the theme of the annual project in honor of February as American Heart Month. This year, however, brings something new: for the first time, UC Davis students are showcasing 18 accumulated garments in... ...

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UC Davis students, administration work toward gaining HSI status

Video courtesy by AggieTV By the fall of 2019, UC Davis administration hopes to become a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI), making the university eligible to receive a federal grant to support a number of academic and student success programs. Though the title does not necessarily guarantee the funding, if given, UC Davis will apply for the grant in the following winter, in hopes of being awarded by the grant the next spring. Multiple community colleges within California have already been designated as HSIs, and UC Davis will host several of these schools at an upcoming conference discussing student success in February. Hispanics, defined by the U.S. Bureau of the Census as people of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South American, Central American or other Spanish culture or origin make up at least 40 percent of the student population at most of these community colleges and 52 percent of the K-12 at California public schools. “We want to look at how we could possibly accelerate the enrollment growth for this particular demographic at... ...

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UC Davis police department extends olive branch to student body

On Jan. 7, the Community Forum Series held its first meeting in the ARC Ballroom, initiated by a group of UC Davis students from a variety of on-campus organizations. The aim of the meeting was to provide a space where the local community and university police department could communicate about recent national police brutality demonstrations. Approximately 150 people attended the forum, mainly consisting of staff members, student leaders and police officers. Groups of about 10 attendees sat around several round tables, each with one police officer available to answer questions that arose and could partake in the discussions themselves. The forum lasted about two hours, partially going over its scheduled end time of 8 p.m. “The goal of it was to create a space where people can come back. We know everything can’t be solved in one time in a matter of two hours,” said second-year human development major, Tia Williams, who was also one of the people responsible for running the event. “We wanted this [event] to be…continuous…so we... ...

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Using accessible technology in the classroom, workplace at UC Davis

Improvement in accessibility in workplaces and classrooms is the product of both necessity and foresight as much as it is a product of technological innovation. While technology continues to improve, it is the role of the Center for Accessible Technology (CAT) at UC Davis to utilize what already exists as well as integrate new innovations to connect accessibility to necessity. “What sci-fi movie do you see where people are still using a mouse and keyboard?” asks Josh Hori, an assistive technology analyst at UC Davis. Hori works in the Student Disability Center (SDC) where he outfits students with learning and physical disabilities with technology that makes the classroom more accessible and easier to engage with. “Students go see a specialist, get documentation, then they get recommendations for accommodations that they have entitled to them,” Hori said. These accommodations vary from assistance in note taking and converting text to speech for the visually impaired, to converting textbooks to electronic format so [there is] more accessibility. In his office at the SDC,... ...

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A day in the life of a confused, undeclared student

ATTENTION ALL UNDECLARED STUDENTS! This is a reminder: You are not alone. I entered college absolutely certain of one thing: I had positively no idea what to major in. It’s pretty common: coming in with an undeclared major and thinking that one day you’ll have that “A-ha!” moment where you realize what you want to do. Those were my thoughts exactly, and now you can find me, a year and a half later, still waiting for that moment to come. Although it might seem easy, being undeclared is a lot more stressful than it sounds. Here are a few points that every undeclared student can relate to. The dreaded “what’s your major?” question. It’s the first day of classes. Sitting down in a room full of strangers, your friendly neighbor decides to make an introduction to you. You strike up a conversation, and get to know each other on a first-name basis. Things are going well, and you think for a second that you’re going to get away with it.... ...

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Intercollegiate Athletes collaborates with UC Davis nutrition department

Over a course of more than 20 years, a collaboration between UC Davis’ athletic teams and what has become the Sports Nutrition program has evolved in order to enhance student athletes performance. Director of Sports Nutrition and nutrition senior lecturer Liz Applegate works with every Intercollegiate Athletics team at UC Davis, giving presentations and doing one-on-one counseling. Her program looks for ways to try to improve the athletes’ nutrition knowledge and help them realize what is best for their body and performance. Some of the things Applegate and her student interns do include giving athletes tours of the Dining Commons, telling them what food they should eat more of and giving them handouts about pre-workout meals. This past summer, Applegate’s team created cooking videos that are available to the athletes via SmartSite. “To me, one of the best recovery meals is an egg/veggie combination, and a lot of people don’t like to cook so we created a simple, fun video,” Applegate said. The video led to the idea of the... ...

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Memorial Union showcases student artwork

With the help of ASUCD’s Aggie Public Arts Committee (APAC), the Memorial Union (MU) is showcasing several UC Davis students’ original art pieces this winter quarter with the hope of promoting art within the campus community. APAC choses various students’ artwork quarterly to be displayed on the walls of the Memorial Union, specifically above the booth tables following the flagpole entrance adjacent to the Coffee House. A total of six pieces, including two from graduated students, were chosen this winter quarter. “I think it’s important, especially for art and design students, to be able to show everyone what they can do,” said APAC Chairwoman and fourth-year design and dramatic arts double major Crystal Sojeong Han. “They don’t get enough acknowledgement in my opinion.” “The only artwork I could really find in the time I had was in the design department,” Han said. “I felt that they were good quality and they were what people needed to see in Davis, because a lot of the artwork is placed either in the... ...

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New campus club raises awareness on body image

For years, the Association of Body Image and Disordered Eating (ABIDE) has rallied to bring awareness of body image and eating disorders to UC Davis. This fall, the campus departments involved in ABIDE created the official student branch of the organization, allowing students to get involved with the club’s cause. With 15 members so far, ABIDE’s student club is part of a larger campus-wide committee responsible for awareness events, including Celebrate Your Body week in February. The primary committee is comprised of different representatives from a number of departments like the UC Davis Dining Services, Cross Cultural Center, Women’s Resources and Research Center and Student Health and Counseling Services. Off-campus organizations, like the Sierra Treatment Center in Sacramento, are also involved. “It’s amazing how much people have opened up to me when I mention that I’m involved in such a body-positive movement,” said Enya Meng, president of the student ABIDE, in an email interview. “I always knew that body-negativity was an issue but I didn’t know how prevalent the societal... ...

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Gamers unite in academia

When trying out an early version of her “Play the Knave” video game project, UC Davis English professor Gina Bloom noted that when using the Kinect, it was difficult to make the avatars in the game appear as if they were holding hands. This relationship between gamers and games is a common theme in the ongoing video game-focused work at UC Davis, which includes research into both the social and technological aspects of games, classes in multiple departments, and even projects to develop new game software. Working with others from the UC Davis ModLab, Bloom is currently developing a game based on Shakespearean theater. Using the Kinect, a video game camera system, players will be able to design, act out and record scenes from Shakespeare plays. “For me, the game is about helping to educate a generation of gamers about theater — fusing some gaming back into theater, and theater into gaming,” Bloom said. “There’s a long history of theaters using games to educate their audiences about playgoing. Now that... ...

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Local groups host weekly game sessions around town

“Unai” is defined as a relatively small and fast-moving sloth, and in the world of Scrabble, it is an example of a vowel dump. Without a legitimate interest in sloths, knowledge of the word seems only relevant in the context of Scrabble. The city of Davis is home to a number of people interested in playing various board games, and there are several official and unofficial channels through which board games are being played in groups, on and off-campus. One of these groups is the Unofficial Davis Scrabble Club, where a knowledge of sloth names and other normally trivial words might come in handy. “I was an English major, and I knew a few English major words that don’t get you that far,” said Charlie Walter, a regular at the Scrabble Club. “You need to learn all the Scrabble words which no one actually uses in either conversation or expository writing.” Walter is an avid internet Scrabble player who said he was encouraged to play in a real-life setting. At... ...

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The Hidden Treasures of the UC Davis Library

Although most UC Davis students use the Peter J. Shields Library as a place for studying or to pick up books relevant to their courses, the library has much more to offer. Delve into its special collections of art, wine literature, maps and rare books and you’ll be sure to find something that will pique your interest. Below you’ll find a sample of just some the things that often go undiscovered by students. The Special Collections The first pages of an 1847 Charles Dickens novel are faded, blue and covered in advertisements of that time (Nunn’s Made Mustard, Sovereign Life Insurance and a soon to be published autobiography – Jane Eyre.) The Dickens novel is just one of many curious things held in the Special Collections, situated on the first floor of the library. Although there are a wide variety of items available for use in the collection, most of its content focuses on California’s Central Valley and provides information about local history. “Students should come in here to learn... ...

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Peer Education And Community Empowerment (PEACE) continues to tackle social issues

With the recently heightened level of student activism on-campus, the Peer Education And Community Empowerment (PEACE) program plans to help educate students about controversy surrounding racism, sexism and homophobia through upcoming instructional workshops. “We’re basically a peer-to-peer education group,” said fourth-year community and regional development major and PEACE coordinator Kriti Garg. “We provide workshops and trainings for various student groups around campus and occasionally off-campus on issues of identity and anti-oppression, and how to work in solidarity with people.” PEACE is housed in the Cross Cultural Center within the on-campus Student Community Center, and offers workshops in a variety of topics, including social justice, religion, and gender and sexuality. “[There are] two ‘PEACE-ers’ at each workshop and every one has to do two or three workshops a quarter. We’re really flexible with it because some folks get involved in other things,” said third-year community and regional development and Spanish double major and PEACE coordinator Joanna Jaroszewska. “We usually offer workshops to people our age, [so] students. We want to offer... ...

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UC Davis professor gets seat on Davis School Board

On Nov. 4 at local restaurant Tucos, over 40 people attended Madhavi Sunder’s election night party, celebrating the final day of her campaign for a seat on the Davis School Board. Attendees mingled with one another while watching the results roll in on a wall projection, and many thought it was obvious that Sunder was the winner. On Nov. 12, at 12:22 p.m., the Yolo Elections Office officially announced that Sunder won the seat for the school board, with 11,030 votes in her favor. A professor at the UC Davis School of Law, author and active community member, Sunder felt she was an ideal candidate for the school board. Since her campaign kicked off on March 19, Sunder has organized a large number of events and visited each school in the Davis Joint Unified School District (DJUSD). Orange lawn signs labeled “Sunder for Schools” were ubiquitous in Davis. “Some people are clueless and they don’t really know how to get things done, and [Sunder] did,” said former Davis Senior High... ...

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UC Davis student leads therapeutic riding program “Answered Prayers”

Hoping to inspire and help people from all walks of life, third-year animal science major Katherine Griffin has started her own nonprofit therapeutic horse riding program in Sacramento called Answered Prayers. “I started volunteering my freshman year at a barn in Vacaville, so I got to see a lot of different disabilities and how therapeutic horsemanship works with people with disabilities,” Griffin said. “When I was in high school I was going through a really rough time and horses were really therapeutic for me — that’s when I first realized the therapeutic power that they have.” After getting instructor-certified, Griffin created Answered Prayers and opened her student-run program to people of all ages and ability levels in April 2014. Having worked with therapeutic riding in the past, Griffin designed her program especially to give each rider individual, rather than group-based, lessons in order to help her students progress at their own level. “I think about it as a dream come true — this is something that changed my life,” Griffin... ...

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