Student Spotlights

Student Spotlight: Karen Mendoza

August 16, 2019

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: Marnie Norris

August 15, 2019

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

July 24, 2019

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

June 17, 2019
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

June 13, 2019

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: Martha Castaño

June 12, 2019
After more than 12 years of working in sensory and consumer science, Martha Castaño believes that she made the best decision of her life to pursue a career in the industry. “I bet on my passion,” she said.

Student Spotlight: Jessica Johnson

May 23, 2019

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

May 23, 2019

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

May 20, 2019

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

May 13, 2019
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

May 06, 2019
“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

May 02, 2019
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

May 02, 2019

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: Susan Boyland

May 02, 2019
As an accomplished systems engineer for Boeing, Susan 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: Dilhari Peiris

May 02, 2019
Dilhari Peiris is a recent graduate of UC Davis Extension’s Web Development Certificate Program and now she works as a web developer in Washington, D.C. We asked her to share her experience.