Why UC Davis

Three years ago, I received acceptance letters from UCLA, UC Berkeley, and a few other universities. After visiting all of the university campuses, I decided to go to UC Davis. In retrospect, I am very glad that I made this decision.

As I grew up outside of the USA, many people were surprised that I chose to attend a school that is less well-known internationally. However, UC Davis stood out to me from other universities for several reasons. The first reason was its unique academic environment. I was particularly excited about UC Davis’ excellent biology and studio art programs. As a large research university located near several hospitals, I knew UC Davis would provide me with opportunities to explore my career interests in biomedical research and healthcare. UC Davis is generally known for providing a very high quality education, and this is reflected in its repeated appearance in the national Top Ten Public Schools lists https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/rankings/national-universities/top-public. Although UC Davis’ academics are high-quality and competitive, I was attracted by the fact that the learning environment is not cut-throat. This combination of a challenging but friendly learning environment was one of the main reasons I decided to attend UC Davis.

I was also very drawn to UC Davis’ location. I grew up in a big capital city, so I was specifically hoping to go to a college in a less urban environment. The beautiful campus is located in a tree-lined, small college city with a lot of quirky charm. Although the city is small, it is diverse and has a lively downtown. It is also within driving distance to both Sacramento and San Francisco. The city of Davis itself has a friendly and unique culture, with an unusually health conscious, eco-friendly lifestyle. For example, the main mode of transportation in the city is the bicycle, and the entire city is surrounded by a circle of jogging trails and parks, known as the Green Belt. Many locals enthusiastically spend their time buying organic produce, exercising and recycling. The safe city and charming campus collectively provide a very high quality of student life, and this was another reason why I chose UC Davis.

I also decided to attend UC Davis because of its diverse student population. As with most of the UC’s, UC Davis’ student body is very large and very socioeconomically and ethnically diverse. Therefore, the atmosphere is inclusive and the university provides many opportunities for an active, social life, as there are hundreds of student clubs and ways to get involved. https://www.ucdavis.edu/campus-life/clubs-organizations/

Overall, I believe UC Davis is a hidden gem of a university that provides a rich array of academic and social opportunities. Campus resources such as tutoring, internship opportunities and academic advising resources are excellent, although they have to be pro-actively pursued. http://success.ucdavis.edu/ http://icc.ucdavis.edu/ Due to its large size and sometimes overwhelming plethora of opportunities, UC Davis is particularly well-suited for students with go-getter personalities. I can whole-heartedly recommend UC Davis as an excellent place to enjoy your college experience.

Janis Kim
4th Year Biological Sciences Major
BASC Peer Adviser


Why UC Davis?

I didn’t have the most linear experience deciding where I wanted to go to college. Rewind to 3 years ago, I was absolutely set on going to a private school in Colorado so that I could be on their figure skating team. I was so certain of my college plans that when I found out that I was accepted to UC Davis, I shrugged off the accomplishment, not giving it much thought, while my friends around me who also got their acceptances were crying from happiness and celebrating.

So what happened? Obviously I’m not at a private school in Colorado. What initially changed my college trajectory was me and my family’s realization that an out-of-state, private school was not financially plausible. So suddenly, with only a few weeks before I had to commit to a school, I needed to find a plan B. At first, I was crushed and didn’t even want to look at other options, but finally, after moping around for a few days, I decided to seriously consider my other options.

My mom and I scheduled tours at four universities around California. First up was UC Berkeley, tempted by the university’s prestige, I really wanted to love it there. But, it just didn’t feel quite right. I couldn’t see myself going there. As cliche as it sounds, it just didn’t click. So, even more discouraged at this point, I moved on to the next school – our very own UC Davis.

I unfortunately don’t remember my tour guide’s name, but I do remember their avid and genuine enthusiasm for the school. And as we walked throughout campus, I was struck by how friendly everyone was. Students biking past yelled “Go UC Davis!” and various other exclamations. (It probably helped that I didn’t tour during midterms or finals.) It seemed as though, even though UC Davis is a large university, it was still a community – an observation that I still stand by today. Having grown up in a town of 7,000 people, this feeling of community and familiarity was and is very comforting to me.

Hearing from the tour guide about the various resources on campus also added to that feeling of community. It was apparent that UC Davis took student support very seriously. My interest was peaked when I heard about all the internship and research opportunities. Previously, I had pictured going to a UC like being a tiny fish in a huge pond, where opportunities like internships were elusive and hard to come by. Hearing that there were centers like the Internship and Career Center was both surprising and exciting.

Incredibly relieved that I had liked the campus, I spent the hour and a half drive home glued to my phone, doing research about the different academic programs at UC Davis. All I knew at this point in my life was that I wanted to major in something science-y, but I knew nothing beyond that. Reading about majors like Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior (my future major), Biomedical Engineering, and Genetics, among many others, made me realize that going to a big university like UCD would give me so many more options than if I went to a small private school. As a very indecisive, stereotypical Pisces, having so many options to choose from was a huge factor in my ultimate decision to attend Davis.

So, after realizing that I could easily see myself biking around the campus for the next four years and learning about the different academic programs offered, my mind was basically made up. I ended up cancelling my tours at the last two schools I was considering attending and submitted my intent to register that next week. And, here I am, 3 years later, incredibly grateful for my winding journey that led me to become an Aggie.

Katie Galsterer
3rd Year Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior, Class of 2018
BASC Peer Advisor

Deals, Deals, Deals! – Ways to Save Money as a College Student

Everyone knows college can be difficult, but it doesn’t need to be expensive! Here is a list of tips and tricks that many UC Davis students use to save money on food, clothes, textbooks, recreation, and more!

  1. UC Davis Textbook Exchange and Textbook Marketplace on Facebook
    Don’t pay full price for textbooks! Buy your textbooks from other students at a huge discounted price. Add your UC Davis email to your Facebook account to join the Davis Community. Once you join the Davis Community, you will have access to both textbook exchange groups listed above. Buy, sell, or rent books and save!
  2. Pocket Points
    Pocket Points is an awesome FREE app that rewards students for not using their phones during class. Simply open the app on campus, lock your phone, and start gaining points. It’s that simple!
    Points can be redeemed for discounts/coupons at many local businesses in Davis including: Plutos, Dot Island Grill, CREAM, Jamba Juice, Wingstop, and more!
  3. UNiDAYS
    It’s a no-brainer. FREE to join and easy to use, UNiDAYS gives you access to the best student discount online and in-store with all the leading brands and retailers. Sign up for a free account with your UCD email and obtain coupon codes at your favorite stores like: Urban Outfitters, Express, Forever21, etc.
  4. Fruit and Veggie Up!
    This UC Davis program provides students with FREE fresh produce. Two locations for your convenience: Student Health and Wellness Center and The Pantry located at Lower Freeborn.
    *Produce will be given out on a first come first serve basis. This program is made possible by donations from UC Davis Student Farms and Nugget Markets.

    Image may contain: textA) The ASUCD Pantry
    Located in the basement of Freeborn Hall, The Pantry was established to help students offset the expensive costs of college by providing free meals and personal items. The Pantry also carries fresh produce donated by the UC Davis Student Farm in the Fresh Focus Program!
    All students are eligible with an Aggie ID Card. Check the Pantry’s Facebook page for updated dates and times and more information.B) Student Health and Wellness Center
    The SHWC distributes free fresh produce and peer to peer nutrition tips. They also have fun cooking demonstrations and food budget tips:
                                                                  Tuesdays & Wednesdays
                                                    March 1st – April 2nd, 2017: 2-3:30PM
                                   New Times Beginning April 4th, 2017:  11AM-12:30PM)
  5. CalFresh
    Have questions about Image may contain: foodCalFresh? Come stop by the CalFresh table to speak with a CalFresh rep. Many students qualify for CalFresh, a program that can assist with money to buy groceries monthly, by being granted financial aid or working over 20 hours a week. For more information, be sure to speak with the CalFresh rep while at Fruit and Veggie Up!

Although I’ve only listed 5 tips above, there are many other resources online and on campus to help students save time and money. Try these out and let us know what other things you do to save those extra dollars!

Victoria Nugent
4th year, Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior Major
Sociology Minor
BASC Peer Advisor

Career Spotlight: Military Medicine

Are you interested in medicine, but would rather spend more time with your patients than with your paperwork? Does one part of you want to travel the world, but the other part just wants to start your medical career as soon as possible? Then military medicine may be the ideal path for you to have it all and more. Two popular ways of entering military medicine are through the Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP) and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS) School of Medicine.

Image result for usns comfort and mercy            Image result for military medicine

Major Differences Between HPSP & USUHS:

Finance: Both the HPSP and USUHS cover the full cost of medical school including tuition and other associated mandatory fees. Beyond that, each has additional financial perks. (see websites below)

HPSP: Apply for either a 3 or 4 year scholarship (through the Navy, Army, or Air Force) independent of medical school applications. The scholarship covers tuition and required fees at any accredited medical school in the United States or Puerto Rico. This option offers more flexibility in terms of choosing where you want to spend the next four years.

  • A monthly stipend of approximately $2,200/month for cost of living on top of an initial $20,000 sign-on bonus.

USUHS: Applying to USUHS is like applying to any other medical school through AMCAS, but there is no fee for secondary applications and no tuition costs. The school is located in Bethesda, Maryland.

  • While enrolled, students are paid the equivalent of a Second Lieutenant (approximately $63,000/year).

Service Obligation: Upon graduation, students earn an officer rank of O-3.

HPSP: Service obligation is year-for-year depending on how long you receive the scholarship, in addition to one 45 day Active Duty Tour per academic year, one of which is a 5 week Officer Development School (details vary depending on branch).

USUHS: Service obligation is a minimum of 7 years. All incoming students attend a 4 to 6 week, branch-specific officer orientation program to learn about officer responsibilities and military customs, prior to matriculation.

Major Benefits of Military Medicine:

See the World: A common piece of advice given to pre-med students is to take time to travel before enrolling into medical school because there won’t be time for a long time afterwards. As a military physician, you can travel the world as part of your job and participate in international humanitarian missions. Even during vacations, military physicians have access to low-cost, on-base lodging around the world.

Residency: More and more seats in medical schools are opening, but additional residency spots are not opening at the same rate. As a result, many newly-graduated medical students struggle to get a residency spot in their top choice specialty (Robeznieks). Each of the military branches offer a wide variety of specialties in addition to the option of completing a civilian residency, thus increasing the available residency opportunities for military physicians.

Logistics/Patient Care: Civilian medicine is not simply patient-doctor interactions. It comes with a long list of logistics relating to business and finance including equipment and office management, malpractice insurance, endless stacks of paperwork, and more. Military medicine minimizes these miscellaneous responsibilities in order to maximize time spent with working with patients in order to provide the best possible care available. (see websites below)

Intrinsic Reward: In my opinion, working with military families on a military base last summer was one of the most rewarding experiences I have had so far in my college career and has shifted the direction of my own career goals. There is definitely a unique feeling of pride and respect that comes from helping the people who serve our country and their families who sacrifice a lot in their own way.

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Military healthcare is not limited to Medical Corps. There are also programs for Nurse Corps, Dental Corps, and more. Each branch has minor differences in the programs and work environments, so I encourage you to look further into the Navy, Army, and Air Force to explore which branch or program might work for you.

For more information, contact your local recruiter and check out the respective websites below:

Navy: https://www.navy.com/careers/healthcare/medicine.html#ft-specialties-subspecialties

Army: http://www.goarmy.com/amedd.html

Air Force: http://www.airforcemedicine.af.mil/Media-Center/Fact-Sheets/Display/Article/425437/hpsp-fact-sheet/


Works Cited:

Robeznieks, Andis. “Match Day nears, with worries there still aren’t enough residency slots.” Modern Healthcare. 18 March 2015. Web. <http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20150318/NEWS/150319897>.

Amanda Dao
3rd Year Neurobiology, Physiology & Behavior Major; Art History Minor
BASC Peer Advisor

Career Spotlight: EMT/Paramedic

Just turning on your favorite TV shows and movies, you’ve probably seen men and women in uniform rushing to the scene of an accident or disaster. They are usually one of the first to respond and are in charge of keeping patients alive and deciding the best course of action for their care. If you’re interested in applying your biology knowledge into a fast-paced, clinical environment, then being an EMT/paramedic may be a wonderful option for you.

What is the difference between an EMT and a paramedic? There are multiple levels of certification in emergency medical services (EMS). The most common type are Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs), sometimes referred to as EMT-Basics. They learn essential life-saving skills that make up the foundation for all other levels of providers. The responsibilities of EMT-Basics vary within each state, but general skills include CPR, treating wounds, delivering babies, providing oxygen, performing patient assessments, administering glucose for diabetics, and helping treat asthma attacks or allergic reactions. Many people use their EMT education/experience as a stepping stone for careers as paramedics, doctors, nurses and firefighters.

A paramedic is the highest level of EMT certification. They provide more advanced emergency medical care and have higher knowledge in topics such as anatomy and physiology, cardiology, medications, and medical procedures. They are trained to perform skills such as administering medications, providing IV fluids, providing advanced airway management for patients, and learning to resuscitate and support patients with significant problems such as heart attacks and traumas.

Paramedics are often in charge of a rescue team and have the most decision making power. As a result, paramedics need strong leadership skills and critical decision making skills, as well as the ability to perform complex-life saving actions in stressful and time-sensitive situations.

Work Setting: There is a wide variety of career opportunities for EMTs and paramedics including:

  • Ambulance services
  • Fire departments
  • Rural/wilderness teams
  • Urban/industrial settings
  • Volunteering

Training and certification: Training to become an EMT-Basic usually takes about six months, completing about 120-150 hours of training. They usually consist of lectures, hands-on skills training, and clinical/field internships. After training, you must pass the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) EMT certification exam or state licensing exam. The UC Davis Fire Department offers a 14-week EMT-Basic training course. You may also find other training courses at your local community college or through private companies, such as OnSite Medical Service.

You must be an EMT to be eligible to become a paramedic. Most programs require you to have worked at least 6 months as an EMT. Additional training to be a paramedic usually takes about 2-2.5 years for a total of 1,200-1,800 hours. After training, you must pass the NREMT Paramedic certification exam. Many community colleges and state schools offer two-year paramedic courses.

Work hours and Salary: Most EMTs and paramedics work full time, some with 12- or 24-hour shifts. They may work overnight and on weekends because they must be available for emergencies. The average salary in California is $18 per hour or $37,410 per year. (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Training and working as an EMT takes hard work, dedication, leadership skills, and time management. One of our own peers, Brenda Garibay, trained as an EMT as an undergrad. According to her, “It was very intense and took up a lot of my time, but the amount of clinical experience I gained was all worth it. The material and training gave me a clearer perspective on how my coursework applies to the real world.”

For more information on how to become a paramedic, visit: http://www.paramedicedu.org/

Shiela Angulo
4th Year Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Class of 2017
BASC Peer Advisor

Differences Between The Two Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior Majors

n          p            b

Have you heard students saying they are part of the new Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior (NPB) major? Did you know there was a new NPB major? As of Fall 2016, the College of Biological Sciences introduced a new NPB major, which has significant differences from the old NPB major. Therefore, it is very important that a student knows which requirements they are to expected to follow because you cannot combine the requirements from both majors. Some students have the choice of choosing between the two majors while other students must complete requirements for the new major. A student that has been enrolled in UC Davis prior to Fall 2016 has the option of choosing which major they would like to pursue. However, a student that started UC Davis Fall 2016 or later must follow the new NPB requirements, unless they are a transfer student. If the student is a transfer student they have the option of choosing between the two majors if they started college prior to Fall 2016. This blog will further explain the differences between the two majors and provide suggestions to students who are deciding which requirements to follow.

Pre-Fall 2016- “Old” NPB Major

We will start with first going over the old NPB major. The first two years are exactly the same in both majors because students are taking their major prscreen-shot-2017-02-27-at-5-23-49-pmerequisites courses (BIS 2ABC, CHE 2ABC, MAT 17ABC/MAT 21AB, CHE 118 ABC/CHE 8AB, and PHY 7ABC). Other courses that both majors require are STA 100, BIS 101, and either BIS 102 and 103 or BIS 105. After these courses, these two majors have differences in the courses required. For the Pre-Fall 2016 major, a student would need to take BIS 104, NPB 100, 101, 102, NPB lab, and an evolution course (ANT 151, GEL 107, EVE 100). Then, the student has to take at least 12 units from the depth courses list. The depth courses list has many different classes, which allows students to explore and create a unique schedule that would best fit them.

Fall 2016-“NEW” NPB Major

As mentioned before, this major also requires the major prerequisites courses (BIS 2ABC, CHE 2ABC, MAT 17ABC/MAT 21AB, CHE 118 ABC/CHE 8AB, and PHY 7ABC) and STA 100, BIS 101, and either BIS 102 and 103 oscreen-shot-2017-02-27-at-5-24-17-pmr Bis 105. The main difference for this major is that it has a new series (NPB 110ABC) and you get to choose a track: Physio, Neuro, or Organism-Environmental Interactions (OEI).  This major no longer requires BIS 104 or an evolution course because curriculum from these courses are already included in NPB 110ABC with a focus on how it connects to behavior. Each track has its own set of requirements, such as taking a certain NPB lab and then having to take at least 12 units from the approved list of classes provided. Finally, you have to take at least 3 units from the “Extra Elective” column and that completes the major. This new major allows you to have a more in depth knowledge of either Physio, Neuro, or Organism-Environmental Interactions by taking classes that are more specific to that field, while also allowing you to create your own unique schedule because of the many courses you have to choose from.

Additional Considerations:

  1. How far along are you on the old vs. the new requirements? Would it be a smooth transition?
    • If you are a first or second year, the transition would be very smooth. However, if you are in your third or fourth year you should consider which classes you have already taken.
  2. Can the classes you have already completed for the old major be used to satisfy requirements for the new major?
    • For example, if you already took NPB 100, NPB 101, and BIS 104 it would be best to stick with the old major instead of re-taking the NPB 110 series and receiving limited units. Since the courses (NPB 100 & 101) are very similar to to NPB 110B & C, you will only receive 2 units per course instead of the 5 units.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. I’m a first year/second year student, and I could easily do either major. Which set of major requirements do you recommend? Which one is better?
    • Neither is better, and each has its own advantages. For example, the core classes (100, 101, 102) for the old major can be taken out of order, allowing for some more flexibility (NPB 110 ABC must be taken in order).
  2. Will NPB 110C satisfy requirements for health professions such as PT, RN, or PA school?
    • Yes, both NPB 101 and NPB 110C would satisfy the requirement because graduate schools that require a physiology course should accept any upper division physiology course intended for science majors.
  3. Can I mix and match the old and new major requirements?
    • No, and that is why it is very important to figure out which major you want to pursue and stick with it.

The new NPB Major was created because faculty members decided to update the major requirements because of science advantages. However, both majors provide students with a broad NPB education and a rewarding academic experience. If you have any other questions or still having a hard time choosing between the to majors, please do not hesitate to visit the BASC website or a peer/staff advisor at the Biology Academic Success Center!

Rufa Pazyuk
BASC Peer Advisor
Fourth Year, Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior and Religious Studies Double Major

Different Note-Taking Strategies

Recently, I attended a Noteschool supplies on yellow background-taking strategy workshop hosted by the Student Academic Success Center (SASC). Because I found the information helpful, I wanted to share some of it! The speaker explained some of the most popular note-taking strategies, while also explaining the positive and negatives of each. What I really enjoyed about this workshop was the overall theme, which was that every person learns differently. Therefore, it is important to try out many different styles of note-taking, in order to find the one that works best for you. Let’s now go through some popular strategies.

  • Cornell Notes: Cornell note-takingNotes is a popular note-taking strategy. This strategy has probably been mentioned several times throughout your academic career. The structure of Cornell Notes can be found to the left. Typically these types of notes are hand written during lecture. The paper is sectioned into 3 parts: the left side is for questions and key points, the right side is for the the bulk of the notes, and the bottom portion is for a summary. The advantage of Cornell Notes is that as a student writes their notes in class, they are also making a study guide that can be used for exam preparation. All you have to do is is fold over the left column to test yourself! Also, Cornell Notes offer the option to write a quick summary, which is a great way to review your notes regularly at the enotesoutlinend of the day.
  • Outlines: Another common way to write your notes in class is the typical outline. The advantage of using this note-taking strategy is that as a student writes their notes, they are nicely organized and easily readable for later studying. These notes can be either typed on a laptop or hand written.
  • PowerPoint: The final note taking strategy is using PowerPoint slides that the professor, typically, provides before class. Students can take notes directly on the slides during class either using their computer or writing directly on a printed version. The biggest advantage to using PowerPoint is its ability to allow a student a faster way to take notes. Most of the information is already on the slides provided. Therefore, students have the time to write the extra information the professor says in class.

There are disadvantages to each type of strategy, but those disadvantages depend on the structure of the class. For example, Cornell Notes would be difficult to use in a class that moves quickly and has a lot of detail that the professor expects you to know. Therefore, typing or using the PowerPoint slides might be more beneficial. Of course, it is important to gauge the class and see which style will be the most effective. However, there are some general tips you can use to help you be a more effective note-taker.

  • Writing a summary at the end of your notes is a great way to review. Also, reading that summary frequently allows you to review all the content from that lecture more quickly and aids in retention of the material.
  • Based on a study published in Psychological Science, hand writing has been shown to be more effective in retaining the information the student takes notes of. Students who type their notes tend to write everything the professor says, but students who write their notes have to be more selective on what they chose to write down. Having to be selective makes students think about the content while writing. Computers, also, can lead to distractions during lecture. However, I do understand that some classes are so detailed that a faster way to write your notes is more effective.
  • However, there are ways to combine some of these strategies. For example, you can take handwritten notes during lecture and listen to the podcast after class to fill in the information you may have missed in class. This would allow you to hand-write your notes, but also have all the detail provided by PowerPoint slides.

Writing perfect notes for each class is a tricky thing, but just try to find ones that work best for you. If you want to know more about note-taking, time-management, or other academic resources, check out the Student Academic Success Center’s many workshops at http://success.ucdavis.edu/academic/index.html.

Brenda Garibay
5th year, Biological Science Major, CMN minor
BASC Peer Adviser