Why UC Davis?

Community.To me, that is the word that best encompasses my choice of coming to UC Davis. To be completely honest, when I was completing the UC applications, I selected Davis as an option before I even knew where Davis was! However, when I got my acceptance offer, I did lots of research and became extremely interested in its programs and recognized status and knew that I wanted to learn more about Davis.


When notifications came out with information on Decision UC Davis, I had narrowed my options down to two schools. My family and I decided that traveling from Southern California to Northern California would be a lovely little trip, so we RSVP’d our way into Decision Day 2016.


Apart from the realization that UC Davis was a giant university, Decision Day provided me with an overwhelming feeling of calm. It was a beautiful April day, there were constant tours with enthusiastic guides, tents for the different colleges, presentations, and a multitude of welcoming individuals that I am sure you are all anxious to meet!


Being able to have direct contact with my peers, administrators, and other current students, I was able to have so many important questions answered, and it just put me (and my mom) at ease. I learned about student housing, downtown Davis, campus traditions, as well as the different programs available to students in my major and college. By the end of all the tours, events, and visiting time, I was ready to sign the SIR!


The distance of the school to my hometown was perfect, everybody seemed so nice, and I knew that there would be an endless amount of resources available to help me succeed. I hope all you prospective students reading this feel the same way!



After three years of being in the College of Biological Sciences, I am so happy with my decision to come to Davis. I made so many friends Freshman year and learned so much about myself. I continue to be challenged every quarter but through campus organizations, faculty support, and different resources on campus like Biology Academic Success Center, I have felt at home here. I hope you all get to share the same experience at Davis and come visit Decision Day to see Davis in all its glory.


Sandra McAteer
BASC Peer Advisor
Third Year, Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior major




Undergraduate Research Conference – Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Undergraduate Research Conference?
The Undergraduate Research Conference is an annual conference where UC Davis students present their individual research projects under the supervision of faculty sponsors or law/medical professionals. Students in all academic fields, including STEM majors, social science majors, and art majors who conducted independent research are welcome to show their work. The goal of the conference is to encourage undergraduate students to pursue higher degrees after undergraduate and to conduct research in their discipline.

When and where is the Undergraduate Research Conference?
The Undergraduate Research Conference usually happens towards the end of April every school year. This year, the 29th Undergraduate Research Conference of 2018, will be on Friday April 27th from 3-7 PM (ARC Pavilion) and Saturday April 28th from 1-4:30 PM (Wellman Hall). The poster session and art exhibition are at the ARC Pavilion, and the oral presentations are at Wellman Hall.

How can I show my work at the Undergraduate Research Conference?
If you are interested in participating as a presenter, make sure to talk to your faculty research supervisor early and submit your abstract in February. There are three types of presentation.
1. Poster Presentation: a 60 minute poster session will be assigned to each presenter. The posters will be shown at the ARC Pavilion, while presenters stand next to them to give short talks and answer questions. UC Davis Undergraduate Research Center provides free poster printing before the conference.
2. Oral Session: each presenter will have a 15 minute oral session to introduce the research, including their research interest, hypothesis, methods, and results. PowerPoint slides are often used.
3. Art exhibition: The art exhibits are in the same area as the poster presentations. The exhibition allows students to showcase their research results in the form of studio art, design and multimedia.

Do I have to present in the conference by myself? Can I do it with my research partner?
Most students did their own independent projects and thus presented by themselves. If you happen to have a research partner collaborating on the same project, you will be able to present with them. Both students will have to sign up for the conference and submit the same abstract. Usually the group is not larger than 2 or 3, since the main focus of the conference is independent research.

Why should I go to the Undergraduate Research Conference? I am not doing research now.
First of all, the Undergraduate Research Conference is free for everyone! Second, it is a great chance to see what other students are doing and ask questions. If you have never done research before but interested, it is a good chance to ask how the students doing independent research find faculty supervisors, decide on research topics, etc. Also, since this is the largest research conference for undergraduates in UC Davis, you will be able to see more than 500 groups presenting on campus all in two days.

How can I get involved in research?
UC Davis is a research university, and according to a 2016 report, more than 40% of undergraduate students have participated in some kind of research. Speaking from my own experience, I will say that it is never too early, yet never too late (of course, not on the last day of your last quarter) to get involve in research as an undergraduate student in UC Davis. For first year students, many professors are willing to train younger students because they can stay in the research lab for longer. For upperclassmen, you already have background knowledge in the field and maybe know some laboratory techniques, so make use of that knowledge. You will be able to ask more in depth questions and get the grasp more quickly in research labs.
I advise that students interested in research can start by looking at profiles of UC Davis professors, and email the professors who do research topics that you are interested in. Express your interest towards the field, and ask if they have undergraduate researcher openings in their labs.
You can also looking for laboratory jobs and opportunities on Aggie Job Link, the Undergraduate Research Center (URC), and the Internship and Career Center (ICC). Sign up for the listserve of URC and ICC to receive weekly emails about new position openings. Read more about getting involved in research in “What Undergraduate Research Can Do For You“.

Wide photo of poster sessions on the floor of the ARC Pavilion showing many presenters, posters and participants with art exhibits in the backA picture of the Undergraduate Research Conference. (https://urc.ucdavis.edu/conference/)

Linya Hu
BASC Peer Advisor
3rd year, Genetics & Genomics Major

8 Fun Things to Do in Spring Quarter

As soon as spring quarter starts, you can immediately tell that it is very different than winter quarter. Campus seems to be filled with twice as many people (and ducks and squirrels), the winter blues are gone, and everyone seems to be in a better mood. This fresh sense of excitement is peaked by all of the events that are happening around campus. But with so much going on, it can be easy to miss out on some of the fun events, so here’s a list of 8 fun things (1 for each week left in the quarter) you simply must do before the start of summer.


Week 3 (4/21): PICNIC DAY!

Image result for picnic day uc davis

Whether you’re living on or off campus, you won’t be able to miss all the picnic day activities. Just a few of the fun events are the parade, the Doxie Derby, the chemistry show, and Davis Dance Revolution. For a comprehensive list of ALL the many things you can do on picnic day, check out this link: https://picnicday.ucdavis.edu/calendar/ On this website, you can also download the picnic day app so you can stay up to date with all the goings-on.

Week 4 and 6 (4/23 & 5/7): Go to a campus concert

Image result for khalid concerts

This spring, we have three exciting musical artists coming to our very own UC Davis. On April 23rd, alt-J and Borns are coming to Freeborn Hall to perform and on May 7th, Khalid will be stopping by the UC Davis ARC Pavilion on his “The Roxy Tour.” Don’t miss out on the opportunity to see these iconic artists.

Week 5 (4/29): Run in the Stride for Aggie Pride 5k

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The Stride for Aggie Pride 5k begins at 9am on Sunday 4/29 at the Memorial Union. It is a great way to improve your physical fitness and it benefits the ASUCD Awards Endowment and We Are Aggie Pride which both aim to support student’s holistic health.


Week 7 (5/19): Eat at the Street Food Rodeo

Head out to West Davis from 5-9pm on 5/19 for an event completely dedicated to food. (My favorite kind of event.) Admission to the Rodeo is free, but you certainly will spend some money getting amazing food from the 13 different food trucks. There also will be live music and a beer garden (if you are of age).




Week 8 (5/23 or 5/26): Hang out at the Farmer’s Market

Image result for davis farmers market

Stop by the Davis Farmer’s Market from 8am-1pm Saturdays or from 4:30pm-sunset Wednesdays. Bring a blanket and you can picnic in the grass while eating some of the market’s delicious foods and listening to the fun live music.



Week 9 (5/29-6/1): Snag a hammock in the quad

Image result for hammock quad uc davis

As I’m sure most of you know, this is harder than it sounds. I recommend waiting nearby the hammocks right before peak class times like at 11:50, 12:50, and 1:50 to see if you can swoop in and grab one from a student leaving for class. Once you have secured your hammock, pull out a book or take a nap in the sun and be sure to post your hammock success to your Instagram story.

Week 10 (6/4-6/8): Go on a walk in the arboretum

Image result for arboretum uc davis

The flowers are blooming, the sun is out, and the green algae covering the water is almost all gone! At this point, the finals’ study crunch is in full swing and there’s no better place than the arboretum to take a quick study break.


Hope you enjoy this list of spring events and activities!

Katie Galsterer
4th Year Biopsychology Major
BASC Peer Advisor

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

Picnic Day


Complementing the sunnier days, campus events are abundant during spring quarter. Already, the most heavily attended campus event is coming up on Saturday, April 12 – our 100th annual Picnic Day!

Why Picnic Day?

Historically,  Picnic Day began as an actual picnic. In 1909, the University Farm provided, coffee, cream, and sugar to the community while presenting their new dairy barn. About 2,000 people attended the event, bringing picnics along with them to complement the coffee they would be receiving. Now, this event is student-run and is a great way to showcase the diversity of the achievements, staff, students, and faculty here on our campus. Over 50,000 people from our campus, the community, and other campuses attend.

What Happens on Picnic Day?

There are over 200 events Picnic Day goers can choose to participate in. There is a complete schedule of those events on the Picnic Day website, but a few of those include:

  • Hand Cow Milking at the Cole Facility from 10 AM – 3 PM. This event is just what it sounds like: you get to milk a cow and learn about dairy!
  • Goat Milking at the Cole Facility from 10 AM – 3 PM. Similar to the cow milking, this one involves goats.
  • Petting Zoo at the Cole Facility from 10 AM – 3 PM. This involves calves, lambs, and goats for petting.
  • Optical Illusions and the Human Brain at the Sciences Laboratory Building from 10 AM – 3 PM. Hosted by the NPB department, during this time you can trick your brain and learn why that’s possible.
  • Chemistry Magic Show from 10 AM – 2:30 PM at Rock Hall. This show involves explosions and usually has a long line throughout the day. Be sure to show up early if you want to see it!
  • Biomedical House of Horrors from 12 PM – 2:30 PM at Kemper Hall. Hosted by Biomedical Engineering, the ticket distribution for these health horrors begins at 11 AM.
  • Cockroach Races from 9:30 AM – 4 PM at Briggs Hall. You’ve probably never seen cockroaches race before. Here’s your chance to do so!

Personally, one my favorite events is Exotic Food Tasting at the Plant and Environmental Sciences courtyard, where I was introduced to starfruit and soursop. In addition, I was able to give durian another chance and have mango to look forward to if it didn’t pan out. In the nearby vicinity is another one of my favorites: a plant giveaway! In the past these seedlings have run out quickly, so if you’re interested be sure to show up early!

One of my fellow advisers here at the Biology Academic Success Center has stated that her favorite event is the Doxie Derby, where dachshunds race at the ARC Pavilion.

Whichever events you choose to attend, keep in mind that lines may be long and be sure to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated! Represent our campus by attending Picnic Day and remember: Go Ags!