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Student Advisory Board

Dean Carolyn Thomas with members of her Student Advisory Board

The Student Advisory Board (SAB) provides a bridge to connect the gap between student and administrator communication. The board consists of ten or more undergraduate students who meet regularly with Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education Carolyn Thomas. Each student represents their school and major, which results in an array of experiences and skills for the board. The SAB helps host different events on campus that provide opportunities for undergraduate students to communicate with administrators. One such event is the Mid-Quarter Check-Ins where campus administrators serve on panels for students to attend and ask questions about improvements and issues. The SAB meets once a month to plan their events.

Meet the 2019-20 Team:

Co-Chairs:
  • Eyra Gutierrez-Vergara
  • Major(s): Sociology, Psychology, Communications
    Year: Senior
    E-mail: ejgutierrezv@ucdavis.edu

    What do you do on campus? What are you apart of, or are you passionate about at Davis?
    I am apart of the UC Davis Cheer & Stunt Team, as well as the Davis Athlete Ally club, and of course SAB.

    Why did you join SAB? What is your favorite part?
    I joined SAB because I felt like, for the first time on this campus, students’ opinions actually mattered and were going to be taken more seriously. My favorite part about SAB is having Dean of Undergraduate Education Carolyn as our director/advisor. Having faculty, especially Dean Carolyn, makes me feel like we’re actually being heard and that the faculty do in fact care.
  • Liliana Wilf
  • Major(s): Human Development
    Minor(s): Education and Asian American Studies
    Year: Junior
    E-mail: lewilf@ucdavis.edu

    What do you do on campus? What are you apart of, or are you passionate about at Davis
    I am very involved on campus as I am the lead program assistant for the Guardian Scholars Program. I am also the secretary for California Youth Connection and Student California Teacher Association. And lastly, I am a member of Circle K and Best Buddies.

    Why did you join SAB? What is your favorite part?
    I love having deep discussions about education with a diverse group of students who are all passionate about UC Davis. This group lets me speak my mind, I have made so many connections and I love having my voice being heard.

 

  • Annoushqa Bobde 
  • Major(s): Applied Mathematics 
    Year: Sophomore 
    E-mail: asbobde@ucdavis.edu

    What do you do on campus? What are you apart of, or are you passionate about at Davis?
    I am very passionate about student welfare and representation. Through my involvement on campus, I strive to better represent my community and work towards improving the undergraduate experience of the students. Along with SAB, I am currently involved on campus as Student Representative for the Academic Senate, External Affairs commissioner, and an undergraduate member of the Council on Student Affairs and Fees. I also served as the Exhibits Director for Picnic Day 2020.

    Why did you join SAB? 
    To better represent the international student community. I believe open dialogue about pertinent issues and concerns of the community will definitely help improve campus life.

  • Kymberley (Kym) Chu 
  • Major(s): Anthropology and International Relations 
    Year: Senior
    E-mail: kymchu@ucdavis.edu 

    What do you do on campus? What are you apart of, or are you passionate about at Davis?
    I am involved in the UC Student Association, Davis Political Review, the OEOES Research Fellowship, UCD School of Education Research, and currently writing my honors thesis for the anthropology department. My current honors thesis focuses on the different forms of political activism in decolonized places such as Malaysia and Hong Kong. I am strongly passionate about first-generation college student retention, migration, resource equity, and international political activism. In my spare time, I enjoy rock climbing, hiking, reading, and listening to podcasts on history/politics. 

    Why did you join SAB? 
    Through the culmination of living in different cultures and encountering barriers as a first-generation student, I decided to be part of the SAB. I wanted to provide my insight on academic policies and address resource inequities that affect non-traditional students (e.g. food insecurity, academic struggles). 
  • Shreya Deshpande
  • Major(s): Cognitive Science & Sociology
    Year: Junior
    E-mail: sdeshpande@ucdavis.edu

    What do you do on campus? What are you apart of, or are you passionate about at Davis?

    I am extremely passionate about students wellbeing. Involving myself in the various organizations on this campus has shed light on how much goes into being an active student, and what we need. I am a part of our student government, I work at the Cross Cultural Center, and I have increasingly centered the work that I do on uplifting and representing student voices. I do all that I do with passion.

    Why did you join SAB? What is your favorite part?
    The SAB is a cultivated space of ideas, community, and growth. It directly allows students to make decisions to better campus life for current students, and those to come. The SAB represents me, and I am proud to be part of something that is dedicated consistently to improving student life.

  • ​​​​​Justin Hurst
  • Major(s): Microbiology & International Relations
    Year: Senior
    E-mail: jthurst@ucdavis.edu


    What do you do on campus? What are you apart of, or are you passionate about at Davis?
    ASUCD President; Co-Curator of TEDxUCDavis

    Why did you join SAB? What is your favorite part?
    To work on improving academics on campus - in particular, to work on my passion project of rolling out a DegreeMap template to all majors on campus! It's also great to be well connected to better do my job as the ASUCD President.

  • Christal Juarez
  • Major(s): Anthropology & International Relations
    Minor(s): Human Rights
    Year: Junior
    E-mail: cijuarez@ucdavis.edu

    What do you do on campus? What are you apart of, or are you passionate about at Davis?
    Joining Prytanean Women's Honor Society as a second year truly propelled me into roles of responsibility after becoming an officer, and I truly really liked being so involved. Since then, I've joined Student Advisory Board with Dean Thomas, have helped the UC Davis Mental Health Initiative, and have just recently joined the Diversity Leadership Development Program through the Center for Leadership Learning. SAB actually influenced my decision to help in Mental Health Initiative, as through SAB i saw that there was and continues to be a need to have better mental health services on campus.

    Why did you join SAB? What is your favorite part?
    I joined SAB initially by recommendation of a close friend. I attended the first meeting with very little knowledge of what to expect, and I was astonished by what backgrounds everyone came from, and the concerns that fellow SAB members brought up. Immediately we were talking about the need for better mental health services, a need to reorganize the orientation process, and so much more! My favorite part about SAB is that Dean Thomas truly listens and cares for everything we have to say. Dean Thomas also usually starts our meetings with updates about concerns we talked about that have had changes since we last met. It makes me feel like im a representative of the student body and that what we say actually makes an impact.

  • Francois-Xavier Kaeppelin
  • Major(s): Political Science
    Year: Sophomore
    E-mail: fkaeppelin@ucdavis.edu

  • Marcelo Lopez
  • Major(s): Sociology & Chicano/Chicana Studies
    Year: Senior
    E-mail: mrlopez@ucdavis.edu

    What do you do on campus? What are you apart of, or are you passionate about at Davis?
    I believe that we all make a distinctive contribution to this UC Davis Campus culture and community in addition to our academic contributions, because of our unique backgrounds, personal experiences, and our extracurricular and volunteer activities: which inform our interests and direction within higher education. As a Latinx, first-generation, re-entry, and former foster youth student, I have many identities that define my experiences. As a CUAB, SAB, OWL's Officer, and/or Facilitator of Beyond the Stats, I work with several Orgs and resources on campus to improve my undergraduate experience and I am always excited and happy to meet new students in order to support student success for all.

    Why did you join SAB? What is your favorite part?
    The open conversations about important topics on campus as well as the collaboration and support we find among each other.

  • Jose Macias
  • Major(s): Political Science & International Relations
    Minor(s): AA in Political Science from Fullerton Junior College
    Year: Senior
    E-mail: jmmac@ucdavis.edu

    What do you do on campus? What are you apart of, or are you passionate about at Davis?
    I am a proud First Generation, Transfer, EOP and Chicano student at UC Davis studying Political Science and International Relations. Studying abroad in Mexico City has been the defining experience of my Undergrad, it was through this experience that I discovered what I wanted to focus my intellectual drive-in; Conflict and the effects on Social Equity. My personal life experience is one that is mirrored by many First Generation Latino/as, I was attracted to studying poverty and inequality because of how visible it is throughout our communities. While abroad, I was intrigued to find, at times, worse poverty and inequality conditions. As a 5th year, it took me a while to figure out what and how to decide which experiences I should sign up for. I believe there are ways that we can improve the undergraduate experience through our input.

    Why did you join SAB? What is your favorite part?
    Being a part of SAB is special for me because this is one way, I can help shape the path for future generations of aggies. I believe that the transfer of knowledge is also the transfer of wealth, in this capacity, I am a part of the intergenerational transfer of wealth for future students. As a First Generation student, I am very happy and excited to work alongside my fellow board members because we all share a common goal and contribute innovatively due to our unique experiences. I am also very happy to serve under the direction of Dean and Vice Provost Thomas in her mission to serve and improve our student’s undergraduate experiences. I believe Dean Thomas’s status as a First Generation college graduate provides her a strong context to fully understand and analyze board member's experiences, suggestions and feedback to address current issues.

  • Izac Parra
  • Major(s): Psychology
    Minor(s): Music
    Year: Senior
    E-mail: iparra@ucdavis.edu

    What do you do on campus? What are you apart of, or are you passionate about at Davis?
    Other than being a part of SAB, I work with the Davis Upward Bound Program as a tutor/advisor to high school students in the Vallejo and Sacramento area. We work primarily with low-income students that aspire to go to college. Being in a role where I can guide them and potentially make their lives easier is something that I feel fortunate to be a part of. I am also part of Video Game Orchestra (VGO) which hosts a concert every quarter to feature the amazing music video games have to offer.

    Why did you join SAB? What is your favorite part?
    I joined SAB after I took a first year seminar with Carolyn during my first Spring quarter here. She reached out to me after the class was over and asked if I could help out with the SAB and so I did. I liked that as a part of SAB I could have my opinions and concerns heard by Carolyn, who always listens with careful intent, regardless of what I had to say, even if it wasn't totally informative or relevant. My favorite part of SAB is being able to spread that level of communication directly, through our Check-In's, and indirectly, through Carolyn herself.

  • Naomi Reeley
  • Major(s): Human Development & Political Science
    Year: Senior
    E-mail: nmreeley@ucdavis.edu

    What do you do on campus? What are you apart of, or are you passionate about at Davis?
    I am very passionate about working with students in the communities I am a part of and my surrounding communities to help improve their academic experience. My time as chair for the Academic Affairs Commission, Student Representative for the Academic Senate, and my time on SAB has helped me do this and I hope to continue to help make a change on this campus for all students. I have also received this experience as an intern for the California department of education and hope to continue to learn how to help improve and make a difference in our academic system.

    Why did you join SAB? What is your favorite part?
    Being able to reach out to students and talk to them about concerns and questions. While being able to see direct conversations about these concerns to occur and begin discussing how to problem solve in order to be able to improve these students success and experience.

  • Eric Roman
  • Major(s): Neurology, Phisiology, and Behavior
    Year: Senior
    E-mail: earoman@ucdavis.edu

  • Randall Whiteman
  • Major(s): Economics &Communication
    Minor(s): Associates in Business
    Year: Senior
    E-mail: rwhiteman@ucdavis.edu

    What do you do on campus? What are you apart of, or are you passionate about at Davis?
    Where I’ve Been:
    Little did I know that my college plans would soon be put on hold the week of my 19th birthday. Fresh out of high school and recently engaged, I was proudly the first in my family to attend college. Yet that weekend, my fiance and I found out we were having a baby years sooner than we planned. In the middle of the quarter, with a freshly inked student loan and an empty checking account, my college plans were left behind in the rearview mirror. The rest of my teenage nights were spent unloading trucks till sunrise, followed by the diaper duty dayshift. We struggled to make rent, to keep the car running, and to keep the dishes from spilling over the sink. We had another baby, and by the time the kids were 1 and 2, my wife decided it was too difficult for her, and she moved out of state, leaving the kids behind with me. My purpose became being the best father and mother those two could ask for, and I spent years achieving that success. Now that the kids are older, I am back in school, finishing that dream from years ago.
    Where I’m Heading: After working up to managing a staff of 45 people, I found a passion for improving systems and empowering others. I took the risk and left my well paying career going back to school to increase the amount of impact I can make in this world with my one short and precious life. I plan to start a Master’s in Organizational Development in the fall, giving me the mastery I need to empower non-profits to systematically increase their impact in the world effecting change that will last long after I am gone.
    Relatable Uniqueness: There is no typical college student as each of us has a unique perspective, unique contribution, and comes to this campus from very different places. My own experience often relates to students who are reentry, transfer, native, first-gen, rural, commuting, double majoring, entrepreneurial, high achieving, an older and wiser learner, and to students who are full time and solo parents.

    Why did you join SAB? What is your favorite part?
    The Student Advisory Board is a small way that we can help improve the world around us. As current students, we can either accept our educational experience the way it is, or instead, we can ask why, challenge the status quo, and strive to enhance this system making an improved experience and more equitable outcomes for all of us.
    I like to think of us as the Undergraduate Education Gardening Club. While we do sometimes agitate the soil, we only do it to fertilize the trouble spots. We keep an eye on our educational garden and look out for any weeds that need pulling, giving us all a better harvest from our undergraduate education here at UC Davis.

  • Susanna Zheng
  • Major(s): Psychology 
    Year: Senior
    E-mail: suszheng@ucdavis.edu

    What do you do on campus? What are you apart of, or are you passionate about at Davis?
    I am passionate about psychology, education, technology, and social justice. I am a peer educator at the Center for Leadership, where I run workshops and teach undergraduates about leadership. I also love conducting research, so I'm currently involved in different research projects in psychology and education. I'm also a first-generation college student.

    Why did you join SAB? What is your favorite part?
    The Student Advisory Board is a precious way to participate in creating change and improving the undergraduate education experience with Carolyn Thomas.