A person plays Frisbee while surrounded by turkey on the UC Davis campus.

A Message From the Dean - January 2024

Welcome to winter quarter! We hope you had a warm and relaxing holiday break. That quiet period between Christmas and New Year’s is always a nice time to slow down and think about the new beginnings, new projects and preparation for the second half of the school year. I appreciate this time because it gives me the opportunity to clear out the cobwebs, both figuratively and literally, as we prepare for the new year and all it has to offer.

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Brian McEligot as our new Executive Assistant Dean of Finance and Administration, effective January 28, 2024.

Brian’s 17-year tenure at our college, including his role as chief administrative officer for the CA&ES Dean’s Office, has prepared him well for this position. As executive assistant dean, Brian will continue to drive our college’s administrative excellence, aligning with our academic, research, outreach and public engagement missions. In his new role, Brian will bring his extensive experience and deep institutional knowledge to further enhance our administrative capabilities and support our college’s academic and research missions. We are very excited to welcome him into this new position. He replaces Penny Herbert who retired in December 2023 after a tenure of exemplary leadership.

This month also brings engaging events for our community. Faculty are invited to attend our winter quarter Inclusive Teaching Coffee Chats. This quarter the team is focusing on the inclusive teaching and rethinking learning assessments. The next chat is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 6, from 4:10-5:00 p.m., and the topic is on student reflections. Visit our Inclusive Teaching Coffee Chats web page for additional details about upcoming chats and topics. 

Slice of Advising is another great event scheduled for the end of this month. This is a fun opportunity for students to connect with advisors, ask questions, learn about resources and enjoy some pizza. We hold this event quarterly and always have a great time talking with students.  

We also have several stories and awards to highlight. Two potential new species of lamprey fish have been discovered in California waters. The African Orphan Crops Consortium, or AOCC, recently released a report on their efforts to help local scientists develop more nutritious, productive and resilient varieties of commonly used but rarely studied crops to improve public health. Burnie the Bobcat is gracing a billboard in the Sacramento region as part of Pyro Futures, a new exhibit at Manetti Shrem Museum, which explores the ways fire and fire stewardship can change California’s landscapes. Also, read about Associate Professor Fran Moore’s year serving as a senior economist with the Council of Economic Advisers in Washington, D.C., and Professor Rachael Goodhue’s recent honor as a 2024 fellow in the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

There is so much incredible and innovative work coming out of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, and we are feeling especially invigorated by all the possibilities for new ideas and projects for this new year!

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