Student Success Stories

Student Spotlight: Logan Jager

Logan Jager wasn’t always a brewer. He actually started his career in finance. But desiring to do something new that would have a positive impact on his community, he heard the call of brewing and answered. He is a graduate of the Master Brewers Certificate Program and the founder and head brewer of Western Flyer Brewing.

Student Spotlight: Amanda Nobbe

Amanda Nobbe is a senior formulation scientist at Burt's Bees (Clorox). When she took on an expanded role leading and training a cross-functional sensory panel team she knew she needed a strong fundamental understanding of sensory science, so she turned to the Applied Sensory and Consumer Science Certificate Program to expand her knowledge.

Student Spotlight: Damariz Quezada

Despite having 14 years of construction industry experience under her belt, Damariz Quezada felt that in order to fully achieve her career goals, she needed a formal education in construction management. See how the Construction Management Certificate Program helped her achieve her full potential.

Student Spotlight: Jonathan Bobadilla

Jonathan Bobadilla is an energy commission specialist with the California Energy Commission in Sacramento. He recently received a promotion after completing the Land Use and Environmental Planning Certificate Program at UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education (CPE). Learn more about his experience in the program.

Advice from our alumni: How to become a winemaker

If you've been dreaming of a career in the wine industry, consider this advice from our alumni. Whether they were fulfilling a lifelong dream in retirement or changing careers, they all shared a passion for winemaking. See what they had to say about their journey and how the Winemaking Certificate Program helped them get there.

Student Spotlight: Perry Reyes

After a successful career in accounting, Perry Reyes decided to marry his love of wine with his experience in finance. He is currently the controller of accounting and finance at Korbel Winery. His experience in the OIV Wine Marketing Program gave him the foundation he needed to take the leap from CPA to wine business.

Student Spotlight: Batool Fatima

After 12 years of being a stay-at-home parent, Batool Fatima decided to build an entirely new career path for herself. She turned to UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education's Paralegal Studies Certificate Program to get the training she needed for a new start.

Student Spotlight: Noah Williams

Noah Williams began UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education’s Human Resource Management Certificate Program in 2020 to open the door for a new career path. Now, as a newly appointed human resources coordinator at Bain & Company in San Francisco, Noah Williams is a fresh face in the HR world.

Student Spotlight: Nathan Trauernicht

Nathan Trauernicht is an experienced leader who understands the importance of innovation when it comes to managing and inspiring teams. As a graduate of the UC Davis Executive Leadership Program and the chief of the UC Davis Fire Department, Trauernicht provides overall leadership and direction to a department serving a population of more than 40,000.

Student Spotlight: Dan Kruger

As the regional manager at Royal Electric, Dan Kruger has been in the construction industry for a long time. When he landed a few promotions, he decided to supplement his practical experience with UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education’s Construction Management Certificate Program. 

Student Spotlight: John Funderburg

As a principal planner with the San Joaquin County Community Development Department, John Funderburg enjoys the challenge of managing large-scale development projects. Having taken a number of environmental resources classes at UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education, he recently decided to further expand his skill set and pursue the Land Use and Environmental Planning Certificate Program.

Student Spotlight: Jenni Castro

With exposure to the construction business from so many different angles, Jenni Castro understood the nuances and niches within the industry. She chose Continuing and Professional’s Construction Management Program as a way to explore everything the industry has to offer and to supplement her degree in environmental science. 

Student Spotlight: Kelin Bradley

Kelin Bradley has always had a passion for food and an interest in science.The Applied Sensory and Consumer Science Certificate Program paved the way for Bradley, providing him with essential training and opening his eyes to a new field.

Student Spotlight: Vicky Udomvaranon

Despite earning an industrial hygiene degree in her home country of Thailand, Vicky Udomvaranon had never worked in health and safety—that is until six years later when she found herself stepping into the role of health, safety and environment specialist for her company. Her research for health and safety training courses led her to UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education’s Workplace Health and Safety Manager Certificate Program.

Student Spotlight: Luz Inés Nieto

As a sensory coordinator with Griffith Foods in Monterrey Nuevo Leon, Mexico, Nieto needed to better understand consumer testing to help her excel at her job. As part of her professional development, her supervisor suggested she apply for UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education’s Applied Sensory and Consumer Science Certificate Program to advance her skill set. “Talking with colleagues from other Griffith units, they highly recommended this certificate to me,” Nieto said.

Student Spotlight: Katie Metraux

“I learned skills that I can apply directly to my job, and there are very few classes that I can say that about,” said Katie Metraux, a land use planner with the California Department of State Parks and Recreation and a graduate of the Professional Concentration in Conflict Resolution.

Online Course Format Doesn’t Diminish Learning and Networking: One Student’s Perspective

Amy Shuman entered the Professional Coaching Certificate Program in February, excited to spend the next five months in a classroom, getting to know her peers and instructors. But that’s not exactly how things went for the students in the Winter 2020 program. After the group met in-person for a few classes in February, all face-to-face meetings were canceled, and Amy and her peers found themselves looking at each other through their computer screens.

Student Spotlight: Terence Kelley (Graduate Update)

We interviewed Terence Kelley, M.S., a research scientist and evaluation specialist 
with the California Department of Public Health’s Tobacco Control Program partway through the Healthcare Analytics Certificate Program a year ago and he was already applying his learnings. Now, after completing the certificate program, he has a new promotion under his belt.

Student Spotlight: Sanne Poulsen

Sanne Poulsen had been working in agribusiness management and marketing when she moved to Marlborough—New Zealand’s wine country. After relocating, Poulsen made friends with people in the wine industry and became intrigued by the profession. Looking to invest in her education to balance the practical and technical skills, she found the UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education Winemaking Certificate Program.

Student Spotlight: Paul Adams

Change and Growth on an Executive Level

Paul Adams is a leader. He’s also a lifelong learner who admits to relentless self-scrutiny. He’s constantly asking himself, “How can I do better? What can I do differently to be more successful?” For Adams, the UC Davis Executive Leadership Program provided the space, context and learning he wanted, allowing for self-reflection and growth.

Student Spotlight: Terence Kelley

Terence Kelley, M.S., is halfway through UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education’s Healthcare Analytics Certificate Program, yet he is already reaping the benefits. As a scientific lead and epidemiologist for the California Stroke Registry/California Coverdell Program at California Department of Public Health’s Chronic Disease Control Branch, Kelley has been applying what he’s learned to his current position.

Student Spotlight: Karen Mendoza

Karen Mendoza is Director of the Project Management Office at the California Chamber of Commerce and a graduate of the Executive Leadership Program.

What most stood out to you about this program?
The instructors were highly engaging and knowledgable about their subjects. My classmates were all great leaders in their fields, as well, and they added another level of enrichment to my learning experience.

Student Spotlight: Taruna Sanghi

Taruna Sanghi is a senior scientist in the Consumer Science Department with Mondelez India Foods Pvt Ltd in Mumbai, India. Sanghi worked in new product development for a decade before transitioning to consumer science. Inspired to expand her knowledge of sensory and consumer science, Sanghi decided to enroll in the Applied Sensory and Consumer Science Certificate Program. “This program offered exactly the kind of content I was looking for.”

How to Turn Your Passion for Brewing Into a Career

Are you a beer enthusiast or an avid homebrewer? Have you ever wondered what it would take to become a professional brewer and actually make a living doing something you love? We spoke with three professional brewers, all UC Davis graduates and alumni of the Master Brewers Certificate Program at UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education, and an industry expert to find out how they translated their love for brewing into a successful career.

Student Spotlight: Gavan Ambrosini

The Best of Both Worlds: 
UC Davis/UOP Partnership Gives Students an Expanded View of how Organizations Function

UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education has partnered with University of the Pacific (UOP) in Sacramento to offer students a unique opportunity. Graduates of the Human Resource Management Program or Professional Coaching Program can put their certificate credit toward a Master’s in Education with a concentration in Organizational Learning and Effectiveness (MAOLE) from UOP.

Student Spotlight: Raul Carlos

Raul S. Carlos enrolled in Mountain Horsemanship: Veterinary Care and Horsepacking in the Wilderness as part of his continuing education. Carlos was considering a career in guiding or packing when he found UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education’s courses in Horsepacking Adventures. He currently works for Rock Creek Pack Station, where he is able to apply what he learned in the class.

Student Spotlight: Marnie Norris

Marnie Norris was working for a computer hardware company as a principal business operations analyst when her office was suddenly closed. Her unemployment was covered by a federal program that helps pay for training for dislocated workers, so Norris decided to enroll in the Business Analysis Certificate Program from UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education. “I enrolled in the program to put structure and context around what I already knew,” said Norris.

Student Spotlight: Carmel Gacho

Moving across an ocean is daunting enough, but starting a new career in a new country was a task Carmel Gacho was more than capable of undertaking. Gacho used to work for a government research institute in Manila, Philippines as a Supervising Science Research Specialist and Environmental Committee Chair, focusing on hazardous material management and environmental compliance. “My job exposed me to the complex health and safety issues in an R&D [research and development] environment and perked up my interest to learn more on the science of safety,” said Gacho.

Student Spotlight: David Wood

As an already experienced healthcare professional, David Wood realized he needed more focused training to keep up with the trends of the healthcare industry. As assistant director of quality management at Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, Wood didn’t have time in his busy schedule to commit to a full-time degree program in healthcare analytics.

Employer Spotlight: Julia Tyrpin, Griffith Foods

With a focus of “bringing science to the food industry,” Griffith Foods has been serving the field for 100 years as a creative partner specialized in developing unique and innovative culinary concepts and products through a collaborative innovative process that combines sensory and food science with culinary and marketing insights.

Student Spotlight: Jessica Johnson

Juggling a variety of tasks at the same time was never an issue for Jessica Johnson, a facilities and housing specialist for a community services organization in Northern California. From writing grant applications to working with contractors to build homeless shelters, Johnson was always involved in a variety of projects. "When you work for a non-profit you wear many hats," Johnson said. But when she wanted to become a project manager, her CEO suggested she enroll in UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education’s Project Management Certificate Program.

Student Spotlight: Karen Meistas

Construction is an inherently dangerous profession. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the construction industry saw 971 workplace fatalities in 2017 (OSHA, 2019).

Having worked in the construction industry for 25 years, Karen Meistas was no stranger to workplace accidents. “I’ve seen firsthand the effects of an injury to an employee, their family and the company,” Meistas said.

Student Spotlight: Ben Campbell

When Ben Campbell’s job brought him to Sacramento, he decided he liked it enough to make it his permanent home. However, he was working in the tech industry, and he wanted a position in the environmental sciences.

Employer Spotlight: Marcia Young, Mondelez International

Mondelez International is one of the world’s largest snacks companies with more than 70 brands and approximately 80,000 employees. Marcia Young, the company’s senior director of consumer science, has been sending people annually to UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education’s Applied Sensory and Consumer Science Certificate Program since its inception.

Student Spotlight: Richard McClellan

“It’s a landscaping project that got completely out of control,” says Richard McClellan, owner of Highland Hills Vineyard and Winery in Ramona, Calif., when asked about how he got into the wine industry. His “project” is a family affair that has grown into a successful boutique winery that produces 500-750 cases of estate wine each year.

Student Spotlight: Terri Taylor

Wanting an accounting program that would work with her schedule, teach practical skills and provide a good return on her investment, Terri Taylor found what she was looking for in UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education’s Accounting CPA Exam Track Certificate Program.

Student Spotlight: Juan Viña

Like many employees today, Juan Viña was accustomed to taking on extra responsibilities at work. But when his supervisor asked him to assume the role of safety manager for his job site, he felt he needed help getting up to speed on his new position. So he enrolled in UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education's Workplace Health and Safety Manage Certificate Program.

Student Spotlight: Susie Boyland

As an accomplished systems engineer for Boeing, Susie Boyland hadn’t planned on switching careers. But a work assignment involving creating a website for her team changed all of that. She discovered a talent and interest in website development and decided to take her self-taught skills to the next level. Boyland enrolled in the online Web Development Certificate Program and completed the coursework while juggling a busy professional and personal life.

Student Spotlight: Zeena Bhakta

Meet Zeena Bhakta—she’s an analyst at the federal government in Washington, D.C. and a new graduate of the Web Development Certificate Program at UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education. While coding and web development are not part of her day job, Bhakta says she has always been interested in web development and wanted to prepare herself in the event her job may require these skills in the future. “With society’s increased dependence on technology such as web applications, I recognize there is a strong potential for a nexus between any job and the web/IT industry,” said Bhakta.

Student Spotlight: Anne Worthington

After a successful career as a pharmaceutical salesperson and eight years as a stay-at-home mom, Anne Worthington is now the alumni and student giving officer for the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School. She’s also a student in the Fundraising and Development Professional Concentration at UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education. When re-entering the workforce, Worthington felt her sales skills made her a great fit for the field of development.

Student Spotlight: Sam Hartwell

Following a successful 30-year active duty and reserve career in the Army—which included time served in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as intelligence support for special ops—Sam Hartwell retired as a colonel and was ready for a different kind of “action” in his life.

Member Spotlight: Gail Yokote

“Since I’ve been introduced to OLLI it’s been great,” says Gail Yokote. A member of OLLI at UC Davis for only a year, she is already volunteering as the interim secretary for the OLLI Board of Directors.

Student Spotlight: Richard Krumwiede

As a landscape architect, Richard Krumwiede, now winemaker/viticulturist at Sycamore Ranch Vineyard & Winery, always enjoyed visiting the grounds of the many wineries he worked on. In 2007, he decided to plant a zinfandel vineyard on his own property after a beetle infestation killed off the native pines. As the vineyard developed, he began making wine, further cultivating his interest in viticulture and winemaking.

Student Spotlight: Amy LaBelle

4,083 days. That’s how long it took for Amy LaBelle to realize her dream of making wine full-time. She began her career as a corporate attorney, but five years into practicing law, she realized she had missed her calling. From that moment, until the day she opened the doors of her winery, she did something every day to move her dream forward, and now she is the founder and winemaker of the award-winning LaBelle Winery in Amherst, NH.

Student Spotlight: Kennedy Taylor

Kennedy Taylor is just beginning a new career in health care. She recently accepted a research data specialist position with the California Department of Healthcare Services in Sacramento and credits UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education’s Healthcare Analytics Certificate Program with helping her land the job.

Student Spotlight: Lauren Woods Salazar

Meet Lauren Woods Salazar, New Belgium’s wood cellar director and blender, otherwise known as the company’s chief curator. Salazar is also a graduate of UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education’s world-renowned Applied Sensory and Consumer Science Certificate Program.

Student Spotlight: Kristin Seidl

Kristin Seidl, Ph.D., RN, had been working in health care for more than 24 years, when she decided on a career change. As the healthcare industry shifted to a more data-dependent environment, she knew that her understanding of clinical operations and the regulatory environment could be an invaluable asset in an analytics role. So she embraced her love of working with data and transitioned from clinical operations to data analytics.

Student Spotlight: Lance Rodgers

William Lance Rodgers is a senior analyst for the Air Force Medical Service at the Defense Health Headquarters. He has spent close to a decade working with data, including nearly three years of experience in healthcare analytics. Being able to creatively solve problems and provide better information is what he enjoys most about his work.

Student Spotlight: Lori Roberts Smith and Tim Zindorf

Lori Roberts Smith and Tim Zindorf completed the Professional Coaching for Life and Work Certificate in December 2018. Longtime friends, Smith and Zindorf live near Washington, D.C. with their families. While traveling cross-country every other week to attend the five-month program initially seemed liked a challenge, it soon turned into an adventure. Prior to enrolling, Smith did extensive research to find the best coaching program to meet their needs.