A Message From the Dean - June 2020

Helene Dillard at commencement ceremonies.

Graduating class of 2020 will make a difference in the world

Congratulations to the class of 2020! The hard work and perseverance of these students, whether they joined us as freshmen or as transfer students, has been a wise investment in the future for them individually and collectively for society as a whole. Their UC Davis bachelor’s degrees will open the doors of opportunity throughout their lives, and we expect they will make the most of those opportunities because of the values and skills they cultivated here.

This Friday, June 12, we celebrate with the 1,309 undergraduate students from the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CA&ES) who signed up to participate in a virtual commencement ceremony that will honor all of our UC Davis graduating students. We salute their accomplishments, and while we can’t celebrate in person at this time, that does not change the fact that our graduates deserve to be honored by friends, professors, families and loved ones. We want them to make the most of this special time in their lives. They will forever be part of the proud Aggie family.

Each year, we acknowledge eight graduating students who have been selected by the CA&ES community for special achievements. These student award recipients (and their majors) are:

College Medal for scholastic excellence

  • Amanda Nguyen (global disease biology)

 Mary Regan Meyer Award for serving humanity

  • Hana Minsky (global disease biology)
  • Julia Nguyen (global disease biology)

Charles Hess Community Service Award for public service

  • Haley Adel (clinical nutrition)
  • Timothy Crowell (sustainable environmental design)

Dean’s Circle Award for outstanding academics and community service

  • Amanda Burns (environmental toxicology)
  • Chloe Celniker (environmental science and management)
  • Sara Shin (animal science)

Read more about these students in our story, 2020 Commencement award recipients. 

We also want to congratulate the many students from individual majors in our college who have received departmental recognition for significant contributions to our campus. These students have distinguished themselves through academic excellence, leadership in classroom discussions and student groups, and/or involvement in research or creative work.

Every major is important in its own right, regardless of the number of students. Our undergrads are called to a path of learning, and our faculty have worked hard to give each student the academic training and experiences to make their dreams a reality. Some of the perennially most popular majors, reflected in our online commencement participants, include animal science (195), human development (200) and managerial economics (289). Other popular majors include animal biology (35), biotechnology (34), clinical nutrition (69), community and regional development (23), environmental policy analysis and planning (45), environmental science and management (80), food science (49), global disease biology (73), landscape architecture (27), nutrition science (30), viticulture and enology (22) and wildlife, fish and conservation biology (45). We will also be graduating students in a range of other majors representing the full spectrum of agricultural, environmental and human sciences, including agricultural and environmental education, animal science and management, atmospheric science, ecological management and restoration, entomology, environmental horticulture and urban forestry, environmental toxicology, fiber and polymer science, hydrology, international agricultural development, marine and coastal science, plant sciences, sustainable agriculture and food systems, sustainable environmental design, and textiles and clothing.

We have full confidence in the futures of our graduates because we know how tenaciously they worked to earn their UC Davis degree. And we are grateful for their contributions to the culture of this campus, one that is widely respected throughout the world. We especially want to acknowledge the support and encouragement of the families and friends who helped our students on their journey through higher education.

Our graduates bring vision, enthusiasm, talent and intellect to the challenges and opportunities that await them. We hope they carry many fond memories of their time spent at UC Davis and stay connected with us as proud alumni. The Aggie family spans many generations with a common experience—and that’s what bonds us. We look forward to watching our graduates go out and make a difference in the world. We have no doubt that they will. Go Aggies!