College of Letters and Science

I Got My Dream Job as an Urban Planner

September 18, 2020
Irving Huerta '20 - Sustainable Environmental Design and Political Science - Public Service

By Irving Huerta with Hailey Chatterton '20

I graduated in the middle of a pandemic with two degrees in hand, and my dream job as an urban planner.  I could not be more proud of how far I have come.... If I made it this far, I know that you can too!

My Name is Wilbert: A Thank You Letter

September 04, 2020
Wilbert De Leon '20  B.A. Communication, B.A. Economics - Behavior and Strategy Emphasis

This stole is a symbol of my perseverance, grit, and determination to meet my goals — an artifact to display on my wall for years to look at and tell myself, "I did that." 

My first-gen story does not start with me. It starts with my parents.

Researching Workers' Rights in Vietnam: My Past and Future Come Together

July 30, 2020
Eric Thai '20 discovers his academic pathway and his family history converge in research. 

“What is a Ph.D.?” My immigrant father asked.

He was understandably concerned about my plans to spend another 4-5 years pursuing another degree.

“A Ph.D. is a degree that prepares me to ask questions and contribute knowledge to the world.”

Seeing how stumped my dad was, I pulled out a pen and paper and started drawing concentric circles representing expanding bands of knowledge, with a Ph.D. as a mountain rising on the outer layer – and at its peak, an academic career.

From Nothing to Everything

February 13, 2020
Layla Al Asadi '20 Psychology and Human Development

By Layla Al Asadi with Hailey Chatterton

A New Path - Stefany Guzman

May 28, 2019
Stefany grew up in Sacramento, California where she is the oldest of three and the daughter of Mexican and Guatemalan immigrants. Stefany decided she wanted to pursue a career in the medical field when her brother was diagnosed with Leukemia shortly after she started community college. When she found out about the affiliation UC Davis has with the hospital and the student-run clinics, she realized she couldn’t wait to be an Aggie!

Living my Family’s Dreams - Jenny Hoang

May 17, 2019
Jenny Hoang  Psychology '21

My ancestors originated from China, but during the Japanese invasion, my family moved to Vietnam hoping to live a better life. To avoid the Vietnam war, they sought refuge in Hong Kong before finally taking a boat to San Francisco, where my family settled. After the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, my family split. Half of them stayed in SF, and others migrated to Oakland, where I grew up.

Blossoming from my Roots - Diana Laura Arana

May 10, 2019
Diana is a first-year transfer, first generation student studying Communication at UC Davis. She is the first in her family to attend a four-year university. She wants to make her family proud and is grateful to her parents for all of their sacrifices. She celebrates her education as not just hers but rather the efforts made by her parents, and she dedicates her hard work to them.

A Welcoming Smile Is All It Takes - Joyce Zamorano

April 30, 2019
In search of a better life in the United States, Joyce and her family immigrated from Mexico when she was almost two years old. Her background has helped her stay motivated and achieve many accomplishments in college. After she graduates, she hope to inspire many and provide other first-generation students support.

Voicing My Dreams - Divine Otico

April 23, 2019
Divine Otico '19 Cognitive Science

I was born in the Philippines and migrated to the U.S. when I was 11 years old to meet my parents for the first time. At 16 years old, my parents divorced. After the divorce, my dad lost his job and we lost our home too. By 18 I was homeless, so my best friend’s family took me in. I lived with friends or other relatives until my dad got back on his feet again.

Fire in the Belly - Shiang-Wan Chin

January 17, 2019
Shiang-Wan Chin '17 Managerial Economics & Communication

My parents immigrated to the United States from Taiwan, and they did it without speaking English. My siblings and I grew up in San Francisco. When applying for college, I knew I had to stay close to home so I could visit my family easily, so I applied only to UC Berkeley and UC Davis.

UC Davis was always my top school. I first became interested because of its world-renowned agriculture economics program.