UC Davis Chancellor, Linda Katehi
Linda Katehi joined the UC Davis family just last month as chancellor after previously holding the position of provost at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champagne.
Born in Greece, Katehi studied electrical engineering throughout her academic career, going on to merit 16 U.S. patents for her research in electrical engineering and a chair in the National Academy of Engineering.
It is perhaps these accomplishments that got her the job at UC Davis. She describes her job not as the boss or CEO of the university, but just as another employee bringing new ideas to the table, drawing those ideas from her past experiences with engineering and other universities.
“If you’re a CEO of a company you just say things and everybody does them,” she said. “But you cannot do that as a chancellor. What I can do is to present ideas, present the arguments and then get people to agree or disagree or devise new ideas and eventually coordinate their actions and help them do the things they need to do.“
Katehi caused a splash of controversy before officially beginning her term as chancellor when reporting unveiled several administrators at the University of Illinois were involved in an admissions scandal that allowed admittance to applicants of wealthy or prominent individuals. As head of admissions, Katehi was linked to but not investigated for her role in the scandal.
“I was in an environment that allowed that to happen,” she said. “And it happened in a way that was totally outside my control. And so from that point of view I am very relieved that this organization has very robust policies in place to prevent unfairness.“
Bicycle Officer Ralph Nuño
If you’ve biked through campus, chances are you’ve seen the bike cop. Officer Ralph Nuño patrols the campus via bike to protect those on two wheels.
Employed by the UC Davis Police Department, Officer Nuño arrived to campus last April to monitor bike safety. He has completed over 20 years of service and is a retired officer from the Oakland Police Department.
Nuño works Mondays through Thursdays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., primarily in the core of the campus. He can mostly be seen by the library or the Memorial Union, but just because you see him, doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get a ticket, as he said to The Aggie in an April article.
Though Nuño only gave out two tickets last school year, he may give more this year, according to the campus police department.
“I think [cyclists] forget that [bikes] are considered a vehicle and that they do have to come to a complete stop at stop signs,” he said in the article.
The trait that sets Nuño apart from most other officers is that he sometimes gives out rewards, like gift certificates for the Silo, for those bicyclists who follow bike safety guidelines.
And yes, he can arrest you. But you probably won’t get taken in on his handlebars.
ASUCD President, Joe Chatham
ASUCD president and senior international relations major Joe Chatham is the face of ASUCD.
The Occidental, Calif. native represents students to the administration, making sure those in charge at a higher level are keeping the students‘ interests in mind.
This year, Chatham hopes to remind legislators, too, of students‘ interests with more advocacy at the capitol.
“[ASUCD] is going to spend as much time as we can in Sacramento talking to legislators about college issues,” he said. “There’s a huge value in having a voice at the capitol.“
His victory in last winter’s elections caused controversy when, during the three-day election period, students were unable to cast their votes. Voting was extended the next day, however Chatham and running mate Chris Dietrich won by just 13 votes.
Many students advocated for a re-election, taking the complaint to student court, which shot the case down in the end, determining Chatham and Dietrich’s election fair.
ASUCD Vice President, Chris Dietrich
Chris Dietrich is the man with the gavel. As vice president of ASUCD, he presides over senate meetings, keeping order over the legislative branch as well as assisting Chatham in executive duties.
Dietrich will be entering his fourth year, and is studying political science, international relations and religious studies.
One of Dietrich’s main platform issues addressed bike infrastructure – a fitting goal, considering he was raised in Davis. He also hopes to renew ties between the Aggie Pack and ASUCD and support lobbying in Sacramento for student issues.
A tangible change students can thank Dietrich for are testing material vending machines in Olson Hall, which he allocated funding for from the Bookstore last October.
“It will be helpful for students who forget their supplies on test days and will save them their valuable time during a test period,” he said in an Oct. 21 article in The Aggie.
CITY OF DAVIS
Mayor of Davis, Ruth Uy Asmundson
Dr. Ruth Uy Asmundson was elected to the City Council in 2002 and reelected in 2006.
She was born in the Philippines and ultimately earned a Ph.D in agricultural chemistry from UCD in 1972.
Her husband was former Davis Mayor Vigfus A. Asmundson, who passed away from Parkinson’s Disease in 2003.
Overcoming social hurdles of being an ethnic woman with a science background, Asmundson is the first female immigrant mayor in California.
This year, she said she hopes to resolve two key issues – improved water quality and waste water treatment, specifically well-planned slow growth.
“Pro-growth has a negative connotation. I believe in well-planned slow growth that you can control and absorb,” Asmundson said.
Asmundson supports two students in the Philippines each year with tuition and books. She also developed the Adamson University Diamond Jubilee Foundation to provide scholarships for students, professors and help athletic programs.
During her time in Davis City Council, Asmundson has established four sister cities – two in the Philippines, one in China and one in Korea.
Through all of her accomplishments, she said she maintains the belief, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.“
Davis Police Chief, Landy Black
Landy Black supervises 60 sworn police officers, 45 support professionals, volunteers and two police patrol dogs, along with a budget of $16 million.
After a racially-charged debate in 1996 and the resignation of former chief Jim Hyde, Black was hired in 2007.
The biggest challenge for Black upon his Davis arrival was to rebuild trust between the community and the city police.
His philosophy is based on collaboration with community members and other organizations.
“We focus on policing with the community, not to the community, in such a way that the community can [stand] behind us,” he said.
Black upholds his tradition of Thursday “walkabouts” downtown to get to know the city’s people.
Black served 30 years of active duty and in the reserves for the U.S. Army Military Police Corps. He joined the Seattle Police department in 1983 and spent two years prior to coming to Davis as the precinct commander.
Davis Farmers Market Manager, Randii Macnear
Randii Macnear came to California with dreams of going into nursing or nutrition. That changed when she became the Davis Farmers Market manager in 1978 and continued to this day.
“The market has really improved quality of life in Davis,” she said. “[It] has made Davis a healthy community emotionally, socially and physically.”
Macnear was the statewide coordinator and co-founder of the California Federation of Certified Farmers‘ Markets and belongs to the National Farmer’s Market Coalition.
She won the 2008 Outstanding Leadership Award from the North American Farmers‘ Direct Marketing Conference and was named the 2002 NAFDMA Farmers Market Manager of the Year. Macnear does consulting work and speaks at conferences.
Davis Farmers Market recently won the American Farmland Trust contest for best big market.
California State Senator, Lois Wolk
Davis resident Lois Wolk fills a senate seat in the California Senate’s Fifth District, which includes Davis.
Her primary issues include political reform, water management, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta crisis, healthcare, mortgage reform, education, public safety and transportation.
In 2007, she was honored for her contributions to a Highway 12 safety package that created a double fine area on a particularly dangerous portion of Highway 12.
Wolk currently serves as Chair of the Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee and was the first woman to chair the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee.
In 2009, Wolk received The California State Parks Foundation Legacy Award while the Aging Services of California named her Legislator of the Year.
Wolk was on the Davis City Council from 1990 to 1998, serving two terms as mayor, and the Yolo County Board of Supervisors from 1998 to 2002. She served three terms with the California State Assembly, Eighth District, from 2002 to 2008 where she authored over 50 laws.
California State Representative, Mariko Yamada
Also a Davis resident, Mariko Yamada succeeded Lois Wolk’s position in the California State Assembly, Eighth District. She previously served on the Yolo County Board of Supervisors.
Yamada focuses on the protection of civil rights and the preservation of open space and agricultural land. Yamada said he believes it is important to include underserved communities in the educational and political processes.
Yamada holds a long history in social work. She earned a Masters in social work at the University of Southern California. She also worked at the San Diego County Department of Social Services from 1989 to 1994. Her experience also includes a decade of federal service in Washington, D.C.
Yamada authored “Taneka’s Law,” which passed the Senate floor this year. The law clarifies vague language in workers‘ compensation legislation.
LAUREN STUESSY and POOJA KUMAR can be reached at email@example.com.