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Davis, California

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Who’s who in Davis

Editor’s note: With the school year just beginning, the California Aggie wanted to introduce you to some important people on campus and in the City of Davis.


UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi

UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi joined the UC Davis family last year after holding the position of provost at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Originally from Salamis, Greece, she graduated from the National Technical University of Athens in 1977 with a degree in electrical engineering. Throughout her career, she has merited 16 U.S. patents for her research and has been a chair in the National Academy of Engineering.

Katehi’s first year as chancellor was full of difficult decisions and problems, including a large tuition increase, hate crimes against the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Resource Center and the elimination of four sports from UC Davis Athletics.

ASUCD President Jack Zwald

ASUCD President Jack Zwald is the man with the plan.

The Oakdale, Calif. native ran for his position with the L.E.A.D. slate with ASUCD Vice President Previn Witana. He decided to run because he feels he brings the right set of skills necessary for ASUCD at this time. “ASUCD needed someone who can keep [it] financially afloat in these uncertain economic times and achieve specific changes to benefit student life,” Zwald said in an e-mail interview.

Zwald has had success with those goals. ASUCD has cut thousands of dollars of waste in the budget from unused telephone lines, expanded the Entertainment Council’s staff to plan more events and has worked with Campus Unions to keep the Memorial Union Games Area open during the remodeling process, he said.

But the senior international relations major does not want to stop there. For the rest of his term, he plans on reinvesting in the Learning Skills Center to give students the academic help that they need as well as secure better opportunities for UC Davis students to talk directly with the UC Regents.

“I campaigned as someone who can deliver common sense change and make real strides to improve student quality of life,” Zwald said. “I think my record reflects a real commitment to those promises.”

ASUCD Vice President Previn Witana

A former ASUCD senator, Previn Witana ran with the Leadership, Empowerment, Activism and Determination (L.E.A.D.) slate with ASUCD President Jack Zwald.

Witana has many platform issues he wishes to see accomplished during his time as vice president. They include problems with wireless Internet in the dorms, as well as the inclusion of dead days, which have disappeared in recent years.

Witana, a senior biological science major, hopes to become a doctor after his time at UC Davis.

UC President Mark Yudof

UC President Mark G. Yudof took office in 2008 after he was the chancellor of the University of Texas system for six years.

Due to California’s budget crisis and the massive cuts to higher education, Yudof has been fighting to prove that we need to protect and enhance the UC’s role to help the state in difficult economic times.

“I am honored to lead the University of California, an institution that on a daily basis pushes the frontiers of discovery, expands opportunity for our state’s young people and contributes to the health and quality of life of all Californians,” said Yudof on the University of California website.


Davis Mayor Don Saylor

Don Saylor has been the Mayor of Davis since June. Previously the Mayor Pro Tem, Saylor has been on city council since 2004. He will be leaving the post in Jan. 2011, however, at which time he will start his position on the Yolo County Board of Supervisors.

Saylor grew up in Wyoming and has lived in Davis since 1987. His goals for the board of supervisors include: creating local jobs, advocating health and vitality through statewide reforms and supporting sustainable-agriculture communities.

California Representative Mariko Yamada

Mariko Yamada is the Democratic state-assembly representative for District 8 in California, a district that includes Davis and the rest of Yolo and Solano counties. She will be running for re-election in November. Yamada is from Davis and previously represented the city on the Yolo County Board of Supervisors. Her campaign goals for re-election to the state assembly include leading by example in forgoing allowances for things such as gasoline and improving state services for senior citizens. “As a social worker for over 35 years, I have never shied away from tough problems,” Yamada said on her website. “As a county supervisor, I learned the value of local government services.

“As your Assembly representative, I have worked hard to keep your tax dollars local and have opposed State raids.”

BECKY PETERSON and NICK MARKWITH can be reached at features@theaggie.org.


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