Resource Spotlight: Student Health and Counseling Services

At UC Davis there are many resources available to students that you may not be aware of. One resource that cannot go unnoticed is the Student Health and Counseling Services (SHCS). The SHCS offers two main services to UC Davis students: health services at the Student Health and Wellness Center and counseling services housed in North Hall.

Student Health and Wellness Center


The Student Health and Wellness Center offers two additional services: health and mental health services as well as urgent care services. These services are available to all registered students. Any health insurance is acceptable, though students may pay small fees or a co-payment for most services. To find more information on the type of fees that you may incur, take a look at Common Fees for Services.

  • Health services may be addressed by appointment . The appointment desk phone number can be found here, or you can schedule an appointment yourself by using Health-e-Messaging. Through Health-e-Messaging, you can email your physician, request tests, prescription refills, view lab results, print immunizations, view billing information, and more.
  • If your health concern is urgent, you have the option to call or walk in to urgent care so you can be connected with and advice nurse.
  • On the second floor of the Student Health and Wellness Center, there is an Optometry Clinic and shop that is also available for students. You can visit the Optometry Clinic for a scheduled eye exam or visit the shop for eyeglasses. For more information on the Optometry Clinic, visit their website.
  • On the third floor, massage therapy is available. There is a fee of $30 for a 30-minutes session and $40 for a 45-minute session. This service is great if you are looking to de-stress after a round of midterms. This service is appointment only. If you are interested in learning more about this service, take a look at their website.

Counseling Services


  • Individual counseling services are available in North Hall on campus. This is a free service to all students. Students may schedule appointments to meet with a counselor for therapy and potentially receive a referral for a community counselor if long-term counseling is needed.
  • Group counseling is also available in North Hall. These services function a bit differently than individual services, given the involvement of more people. For more information on how to request group counseling sessions, visit the website link above.

The Mind Spa

  • The Mind Spa is another great resource provided by the SHCS, and is available at two locations, at students’ convenience: the second floor of the Student Health and Wellness Center and 132 North Hall. The goal of the Mind Spa is to provide students with a no charge service for relaxation. Services available through the Mind Spa include the Biofeedback Program, Mindful Relaxation, massaging recliners, light therapy, peer support, and chair massages.
  • At the end of every quarter, the Mind Spa also puts together a Therapy Fluffies event where a variety of pups visit the UC Davis campus.
  • Yoga classes are offered through the Mind Spa, free of charge. Classes are offered on Wednesday at the Health and Wellness Center, and on Fridays at 325 North Hall from 4:00pm-5:00pm.

Don’t miss out on all the resources available to you on campus, they are at your fingertips! It is remarkable how many services one single resource center can provide; I encourage you to explore others.


Alejandra Villa
Fourth year
Genetics & Genomics
BASC peer adviser





Next Stop: Graduation. But What Comes After?

Hey there, soon-to-be grads! Finally, the time has come to graduate. Graduation is an exciting time accompanied by many emotions. It is the time to reflect on all you have accomplished in the last four, or more, years. It is also the time to execute your plans for your career aspirations. Surely, by now you have had the lovely experience of answering the ever so popular question about what your plans are after you graduate. Still have not mastered that answer? Do not worry; continue reading and I hope to provide you with great advice on how to answer this question and feel confident about it.

The Dreaded Question

“Sam! You’re graduating soon aren’t you? What are you doing after graduation?” -Uncle Tony

Let us take a step back to analyze this situation. Really, this question is not as frightening as it seems to be. After all, the reason for which anyone would ask this question is because they are excited for you, and they care to know about what great things lie ahead for you.

Still, transitioning away from the college world and into the “real” world can be a time of uncertainty. For a brief moment one may not know what the next step will be.

What Is The Next Step?

There are many options; do not worry.

Find your dream job:

Begin applying to jobs that interest you. Aim for positions that will allow you to continuously grow as a professional. Remember that it may take a few tries before finding your niche, so stay positive.

Continue your education:

If you are interested in attending law school, medical school, graduate school, you name it, then continue working toward that goal. If you have already been admitted, then congratulations! Go on and show your new program what an Aggie can do. You also have a great answer to the question above. Say it proudly!

If you have decided to take a break before applying to your desired program, or if you are still unsure of what career you would like to pursue, then this is your time to explore new places and career options.


Now as a graduate, the responsibilities of school no longer anchor you to Davis, CA.  Take advantage of this and visit new places. What better time can there be to travel than after graduating college? You deserve a vacation after all the hard work. You never know what exciting opportunities you may encounter in these new places.

Stay productive:

If  you are planning to continue your education, remember that schools want to see that you did not lose interest in pursuing your intended career. Find a job where you are working as closely as possible with professionals in your desired field. Doing this proves that you have not given up on your goals, and at the same time you gain greater insight on what to expect in your career of choice. This experience may serve as an affirmation that you have made the right choice; or on the other hand, you may decide that, after all, this particular field is not for you. Do not let these revelations discourage you, it is a great time to realize this because you have the opportunity and the flexibility to try something different.

Job shadowing is a great way to get to know different careers. It is a way to expose yourself to the field and to build networks and transferable skills that will prove beneficial in the future. Community service is always great, especially if it is something you enjoy doing and deeply care about. Also, it is not against the rules to take a class here and there during your gap year. This is a great way to keep your routine as a student alive, so there is no trouble adjusting when the time comes to enroll as a full time student once again.

Find a balance:

While it is important to stay productive, it is also equally important to rest. Make it a priority to incorporate some time to relax during your time off. You may want to visit home and spend time with your family. Recharge your energies so you can start fresh at your new school, job, or whatever it is you decide to pursue after graduation.


I hope to have helped you gain confidence in answering the question above. There are many opportunities to take advantage of, it is only a matter of looking for them. In the meantime, enjoy your last few weeks as a UC Davis undergraduate. See you at commencement!Graduation-hats-flying11-e1400072955867


Alejandra Villa
Fourth year
Genetics & Genomics, Education Minor
BASC Peer Adviser



Career Spotlight: Epidemiologist

Ever dream of making a discovery that will impact the world? As an Epidemiologist you may come closer to realizing this dream.

What are Epidemiologists?:22216

Epidemiologists are the detectives of disease outbreaks and other health concerns. These public health professionals investigate diseases and injury and their patterns and impact on humans in order to implement preventative measures.

Duties of Epidemiologists:

Data collected of disease outbreaks is presented in maps such as this one.

Most duties of an Epidemiologist involve conducting research. Epidemiologists direct studies of public health problems in order to find ways to prevent and treat diseases or other health problems. Data must be collected and analyzed; examples of data include interviews, observations, surveys, polls, blood samples, etc. After all research is complete, an Epidemiologist must communicate his or her findings to the public and other health practitioners they work closely with.


The main goal of en Epidemiologist is to investigate health issues to diminish their risks to the public. However, there are numerous types of health issues, so Epidemiologists usually specialize in one or more public health areas. Taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here is a list of specializations:

  • Infectious disease
  • Bioterrorism or emergency response
  • Maternal and child health
  • Chronic disease
  • Environmental disease
  • Injury
  • Occupational health
  • Substance abuse
  • Oral health

Where do Epidemiologists work?:

Since there are many options to choose from for a specialization, the work environment for an Epidemiologist varies depending on specialization. Epidemiologists are known to work in laboratories, offices, hospitals, and universities. Epidemiologists who primarily work to educate the public may do quite a bit of traveling. Working for the government and the state are also possibilities as an Epidemiologist. Work environment is versatile, which makes Epidemiology a great field. It is easy to match any personality with this field.

How do you become and Epidemiologist?:

In order to become an Epidemiologist, at least a master’s degree must be completed. The most common degree completed is Public Health with an emphasis in Epidemiology, but any master’s degree in a related field or specialization is acceptable. Typical coursework in this field includes Public Health, Physical Sciences, Biology, and Statistics. One great way to get first-hand experience while studying is through internships. Most graduate programs require internship experience, which is helpful in preparing individuals for when they themselves are employed Epidemiologists.

Salary and job outlook:

  • Employment is expected to change by 6% from 2014-2024.

**This data was taken in May 2014**

  • Median annual wage: $67,420
  • Lowest 10%: < $43,530
  • Top 10%: > $112,360
  • Median annual wage of the top industries employing Epidemiologists (Data taken from Occupational Outlook Handbook):
Research and development in the physical, engineering, and life sciences $89,360
General medical and surgical hospitals; private $79,750
Colleges, universities, and professional schools; state, local, and private $64,650
Local government, excluding education and hospitals $63,600
State government, excluding education and hospitals $63,200

Epidemiologists are of great importance. They hold the power to prevent serious health concerns and they maintain the overall health of the world. Help keep our people healthy by pursuing a career in Epidemiology.

If you are interested in this field, I encourage you to do more research. The more you know the better! One great way to get started is by taking a class. This Spring 2016, Introduction to Human Epidemiology (SPH 102) will be offered as a 3 unit, graded class. Check out the flyer below for more information on this class. Good luck!

Spring 2016 Introduction to Human Epidemiology
SPH 102: 3 units (undergrad) CRN: 64024
GE Science & Engineering Credit

IOR: Lorena Garcia, DrPH, MPH
Epidemiology is the study of the distribution and determinants of disease and injury in
populations. In this course students will learn and understand the practice of epidemiology as it relates to human populations. The content of this introductory course is fundamental to the Public Health minor and a required core course.
Its major objective is to familiarize the student with how epidemiology contributes to:

1. The understanding of the causes and natural history of diseases of all kinds,
2. The control of disease in human populations, and
3. Scientific judgement and inquiry in public health problems.

cholera1 smallpox-warning-sign


Monday & Wednesdays 2:30-4:00 PM
Med Sci 180

Alejandra Villa
Fourth year, Genetics and Genomics
Biology Academic Success Center Peer Adviser

Thanksgiving Break: Don’t Forget About Your Classes!


Thanksgiving Break!

One great thing about the quarter system is that vacation breaks are always at the end of each quarter after finals are over. Well, all breaks except for Thanksgiving break. You may be in agreement that those glorious two days of break at the end of November are very much needed, however it is not quite the time to completely turn off “school mode.” This year, Thanksgiving break lands at the end of week nine, so after this break students return to week ten of the quarter and FINALS.

Thanksgiving break, for students, can be considered an appropriate time to recharge before finals; while at the same time Thanksgiving break, for instructors, can also be considered a great time to assign a final essay, final project, or any type of additional assignment. Some instructors tend to schedule any additional due dates on the Monday after Thanksgiving break. So it is especially important to keep focused on school-work during the Thanksgiving break if one falls into this situation. “What can I do to make sure I stay on top of my school-work?” you may ask. Below are a few tips to help you stay on track, so simply continue reading!

Make a list

Many students take advantage of the four-day weekend of Thanksgiving break to pay a visit to their families. Before you take off, it is helpful to gather a list of tasks that must be completed before returning to UC Davis the following Monday. Making a list is a simple first step, but actually following and completing the tasks that are written on the list is the actual challenge. One great way to make sure the tasks on the list are completed is to place the list somewhere where that it is visible every single day and frequently throughout the day. This may be in your room, on the kitchen refrigerator, or maybe even on the bathroom mirror. Constantly seeing the list will serve as a reminder that you are not yet done with fall quarter and that you still have some things to take care of.

Pace yourself

Since many students return home for the Thanksgiving break, consider the time that it will take to travel from UC Davis to one’s hometown and then back to UC Davis. For some students it may take quite a few hours to get home from UC Davis and vice versa, and because of this, a full day of productivity is lost. If you know that you will be losing a large amount of homework time due to traveling, then start drafting a list of assignments early so you have time to begin working on your assignments before you go home for Thanksgiving break. Start planning for completion of assignments a week prior to Thanksgiving break and begin to work on assignments ahead of time. This way, you have a head start on assignments and are not overwhelmed with the numerous tasks that need to be completed in a short amount of time.

Think ahead

What better motivation can there be other than knowing that in two weeks fall quarter will be complete? The final stretch of the quarter is here and it is important to finish strong, so there is no time to lose- even during Thanksgiving break. Overall, Thanksgiving break is wonderful since it allows students to rest before finals, visit family, and also get a little bit of extra time to work on final assignments or get a head start on studying for finals. One last point to keep in mind during Thanksgiving break is that although Thanksgiving break is very short, once finals are over, winter break begins and so does a more extensive break!

Remember, you are almost at the finish line. Before you know it you will be taking your last Fall quarter final, ready to begin your winter break. Just a couple more weeks, you can do it!

Have a great Thanksgiving break and happy studying!

Alejandra Villa
Class of 2016
B.S Genetics and Genomics
BASC Peer Adviser


Staying On Top Of Things-A Guide To First Year Living Off Campus

With the current academic year coming to a close and move-in day to your new apartment getting closer, it is time to prepare for the big move. Moving to an off-campus apartment is such an exciting time; you are living on your own! But…you are living on your own, which means new responsibilities.

Moving away from home into the dorms is a big step, however, highly convenient.  Living in the dorms you are on campus, you are living right next to the wonderful Dining Commons, and you do not have to do any chores! All of this changes once you move to an off-campus apartment: You are no longer on campus, the Dining Commons is not within convenient reach, and yes, you guessed it, you will have chores to take care of. Although moving into your own apartment comes with extra responsibilities, it is easy to make the best out of it by being prepared for what is to come.

Think about time. Living off campus requires extra planning with respect to time. It is important to give extra consideration to travel time when living off-campus; how will you get to campus? Bus, walk, bike, drive? If you prefer taking the bus, begin familiarizing yourself with the bus schedule. It is nice to already know the bus schedule so you do not miss the bus and are late to class. There is also a great UC Davis Mobile App that has the Unitrans schedule for reference. One thing that may be helpful at the beginning of each quarter is to review your class schedule and plan which bus to take so you get to campus with plenty of time to get to class on time. Unitrans is free to all UC Davis students as long as they show a student ID. Similarly, if you choose to walk, bike, or drive (parking permit is required) to campus, leave with enough time so you are not late.
A lot of the time this means waking up extra early!

What happens when you are on campus and have a break between your classes? Do you go home? Do you stay on campus? It is much more time costly to go home between breaks. Going home decreases productivity levels. Chances are you will go home and by the time you get home there is no time to get some good studying done before you have to go back to campus (unless you have a 3+ hour gap). It is encouraged to stay on campus and use this time to study. Begin looking for a favorite study spot on campus, somewhere you are comfortable and can concentrate.

What about food? No more Dining Commons? Well, not necessarily. Even if you are not living in the Residence Halls one can still purchase meal plans and you can do so by following these directions online. If you wish to not purchase a meal plan and plan to prepare your own meals by cooking at home then great! Cooking your own meals has some great advantages: you can cook whatever you wish, staying healthy is easier, and this is a great way to improve cooking skills (I encourage you to also read our “A Healthy Balanced Diet” blog for tips on ways to stay healthy). On campus there is also the Silo and Memorial Union with a variety of food choices.

Do I hear you asking about resources outside of the residence halls? There are a plethora of campus resources available to you scattered throughout our campus. Once you no longer live in the residence halls, the Academic Advising Centers may not be the most convenient place for you. Your first, and most important academic advising resource should be your Dean’s Office. Each college has their own Dean’s Office:

College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences
150 Mrak Hall

College of Biological Sciences
Biology Academic Success Center
1023 Sciences Laboratory Building

College of Engineering
1050 Kemper Hall

College of Letters and Science
200 Social Sciences and Humanities Building

Aside from your respective Dean’s Office, there are plenty other resources available to you. For a bit of information on a few resources available I encourage you to read our Resource Highlight blogs on Health Professions Advising, the Student Community Center, and the Student Academic Success Center. The Center For student Involvement is also a great resources to use to stay connected on campus, get involved in a club, or join an intramural sport; there is plenty to choose from.  Fear not, there are even more resources available to you, do not be afraid to do a little research!

Best of luck!

Alejandra Villa
3rd year Genetics and Genomics major
Biology Academic Success Center Peer Adviser

Decision Day: Why UC Davis?

As I transition into my senior year at UC Davis, I realize that I could not have made a better college choice. As a freshman I was ecstatic to be here. The trees, the animals, and new people were all so exciting. Now, I have experiences to add to my growing love for UC Davis.

I met my best friend in Chemistry lab! It is Fall quarter of my second year and I am enrolled in CHE 2C. I find myself performing the infamous first-day-of-lab routine: walk in, set your backpack on the shelves, put on your gloves, and find a seat…and a partner.  I quickly scope the room to find the friendliest face I can, and I spot Trinidad in the leftmost corner of the room. I think to myself: “hmm, she doesn’t look that bad.” So I sit next to her. At first we are both a bit quiet, well behaved, and reserved, you know how it goes. Soon, however, all this well-behaved business goes down the drain and we begin to act ourselves. We clicked immediately. Since then we have taken all our Chemistry labs together as lab partners and now even though our chemistry days are over we continue to be best friends. Working together as lab partners allowed us to bond and grow to become very good friends. Trinidad is not the only best friend I have made during my time here at Davis. I met one of my housemates, Vickie, the summer before starting at UC Davis on the first day of our orientation, and we plan to continue living together until we graduate. I do not know what I would have done if I did not run into Vickie at orientation, I would have missed out on such a wonderfully bubbly individual.

Our last Organic Chemistry (118C) lab. (Me on the left; Trinidad to the right; Ben; and our wonderful TA, Juri, on the far right)

Internship experience! So far I have interned in two locations: the UC Davis Medical Center (UCDMC) and Harper Junior High School. Each internship has taught me a great deal of what there is to know in each respective professional field. The experience I have gained from both of these internships has not only benefited me on a professional level, but also on a personal level. Completing these internships has proven to me that I can thrive in diverse fields because of my desire to help others, work ethic, and acquired skills.

At the UCDMC I was an intern at the OB/GYN clinic in the Fetal Testing room. Patients that are considered to be high risk pregnancy (e.g. patients with diabetes, pregnancy induced hypertension, lupus, etc.) are seen in this room twice a week for 15-20 minute intervals of fetal testing. These fetal tests are conduced with a monitor that records fetal movement/ heart rate, which is a great indicator of the health of the fetus. During my time in the Fetal Testing room I saw many patients, each with her own unique case. I learned many things such as how to conduct an ultrasound and how to read it, how to deal with emergency situations, and the appropriate manner in which to advise patients.

At Harper Junior High I interned for a 9th grade Biology  and 8th grade Science teacher, Mr. McKim. Interning at a school was a complete 180 degree switch from my previous clinic internship, but nonetheless fulfilling.  Mr. McKim did an outstanding job of mentoring me on what it is to be a teacher. I was exposed to instructing, grading, and the extracurricular activities that a teacher is responsible for outside of the classroom. For example, Mr. McKim is head of the gardening club and has to keep up with the garden and trees on campus- I experienced some gardening myself as an intern at Harper. At Harper I learned what it means to be an educator and also how difficult it can be. A teacher’s work does not end when the bell rings. There is grading, lesson planning, lab preparations, extracurricular activity duties, etc. that still need to be completed. I have come to appreciate the service teachers give to their students.

*Both internships I found through the Internship and Career Center website, so if you are interested in internship positions I encourage you to pay the website a visit!

Working as a peer adviser. One of the most fulfilling experiences I have had at UC Davis has been working as a peer adviser at the Biology Academic Success Center. Coming to UC Davis as a first-generation college student I was so inspired to help high school seniors prepare for college. I wanted to help everyone, so I began with students at my high school. When I found out about the peer adviser position openings for the College of Biological Sciences I was sure I would be perfect for the job. I applied and was hired! Helping students (any year student) is so rewarding for me mainly because I love to help others, but also because I have already experienced the transition into college. Having already gone through the transition from high school to college, and knowing how difficult it may be to cope with changes happening all at once, I want to make myself useful for those who need a little extra help or even those who want to get ahead. After meeting with a student it is nice to see him/her leave reassured that they are on the right track to fulfilling their academic goals.

I have had many great experiences at UC Davis, but I have also been continuously challenged and every challenge has allowed for personal growth in one way or another. I have achieved many things I did not imagine myself completing or did not know I was capable of and I have UC Davis to thank.

I love UCD










Alejandra Villa
Third year, Genetics and Genomics major
Biology Academic Success Center Peer Adviser

Resource Spotlight: Student Community Center


The UC Davis campus has a vast variety of campus resources readily available to students. One such resource is the Student Community Center (SCC) which provides academic services and other diverse organizations that create an all-inclusive environment for our students. Located in the center of the main UCD campus, the SCC is home to organizations such as: the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual Resource Center (LGBTQIARC), Student Recruitment and Retention Center (SRRC), Cross Cultural Center (CCC), McNair Scholars Program, Women’s Resources and Research Center (WRRC), AB540 and Undocumented Student Center, and Undergraduate Research Center (URC). The SCC also has a few meeting and study rooms available for reservations.

A little on what each of these centers is about:

LGBTQIA Resource Center– The LQBTQIA Resource Center is open to all students. One of the center’s main focuses is to provide students with resources in the areas of programming, advising, and education. There are many resources and programs available for student involvement as well as events throughout the year that anyone can attend. For example: LGBTQIARC hosts Wii Wednesdays and Crafternoons so stop by for some fun! The center is open Monday – Thursday, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM and Fridays 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM; drop by for questions or if you simply need a place to study.


Student Recruitment and Retention Center- The SRCC is a student resource center that stands for educational equity. Some services include peer mentoring, academic support, transfer student support, leadership development, and more. The SRCC also has great opportunities for students to get involved whether through their programs, events, volunteer and internship programs, or jobs. For example, are you a transfer student? If so you may wish to attend the SRRC’s weekly Transfer Hour every Wednesday from 2-4pm in their SCC conference room.

lounge srrc

Cross Cultural Center- Interested in learning about people? How about cultures other than your own? If so, pay a visit to the CCC. Like all other centers the CCC has programs and volunteer and job opportunities for students to get involved. The CCC has a goal of creating a campus community in which all individuals share a harmonious environment free of sexism, racism, xenophobia, or any other form of oppression. One unique aspect of the CCC is the Culture Days that it puts together for communities within our campus. This is a time for students to express their culture to others and in turn learn about others’ culture as well.

Office_Panorama_banner ccc

McNair Scholars Program- The McNair Scholar Program serves to encourage students in graduate programs from underrepresented backgrounds to pursue doctoral degrees. For more information visit the McNair Scholar Program website.

Women’s Resources and Research Center- The WRRC works to promote gender equality through intersectional feminist approaches. This center welcomes people of all genders and provides all with a variety of involvement opportunities ranging from leadership program positions to gender research. The WRRC also provides students with an extensive list of resources that are essential for any situation in need of advise or involving distress.  One unique aspect of the WRRC is their Joy Fergoda Library. Located in North Hall, the Joy Fergoda Library houses over 12,000 books and films promoting feminist research and scholarship at UC Davis; a Forum on Disabilities Collection is also available.

NorthHall wrrc
The WRRC extends to both North Hall and the SCC. Available at the SCC is the WRRC Community Office

AB540 and Undocumented Student Center-  This center seeks to help students reach their academic goals while helping students overcome any legal and financial obstacles. The goal of this center is to create a safe and welcoming environment in which resources like mentoring are available, and also academic guidance and financial opportunities.

Undergraduate Research Center- Looking for research experience but do not know where to begin? Visiting the Undergraduate Research Center may be a good start. The URC works to help students develop skills necessary for research positions. It also provides students with resources needed to find research opportunities. Every year, the URC hosts an annual Undergraduate Research Conference where students are given the opportunity for present their research. For more information about programs, their Genius 5K run/walk, conference, and awards visit the Undergraduate Research Center website or visit the center on the second floor of the SCC.

With its bright colors, murals, and lively environment, the SCC is an inviting place for students. Even studying becomes appealing with the comfortable chairs in the study lounge. The SCC is a convenient center which hosts what seems to be a plethora of resources located all in one area. Connected to the SCC there is also the CoHo South Cafe. Coffee + Resources + Study Area = Happy Students. Pay the SCC a visit; it is a great campus resource!

SCC study loungeAlejandra Villa
Academic Peer Adviser
3rd Year Genetics and Genomics Major