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Davis, California

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Fourth-year Arpa Boghozian on choosing Davis, viticulture, freshmen advice

This spring, seniors reflect on their time at UC Davis and share their post-graduate plans

By JALAN TEHRANIFAR — features@theaggie.org


This is the first story in The California Aggie’s five part series profiling seniors graduating from UC Davis this spring. Throughout the quarter, The Aggie will be speaking with seniors about their UC Davis experiences, favorite memories and plans for after graduation. 


Arpa Boghozian is a fourth-year viticulture and enology major graduating this spring quarter. Growing up in Orange County, she actually was not introduced to her future college major until a Picnic Day at Davis, which she said makes graduating from the university feel like a full circle moment for her.

“I chose to come here because of the [viticulture and enology] program initially,” Boghozian said. “I was kind of introduced to the idea of winemaking by my mom. We were here for the 100th annual Picnic Day, and I saw the UC Davis viticulture and enology float, and my mom said ‘You can study winemaking here, and its chemistry and biology but with winemaking so it’s fun.’ I was 13 or 14 at the time.” 

Boghozian found that her mother’s description of the major was not the entirety of the area of study, but a lot of it still rings true to her. She feels that viticulture and enology allows her the perfect mix of science and creativity.

“I chose the major because it’s a great intersection of science but also the outdoors, and if you go into winemaking you have the option of being a creative and making the wine that you imagine people would love,” Boghozian said. “The plant science side is also really cool, because you get to be out with nature all day and observe the seasons as a part of something bigger.”

Although she said that she feels like she lost many college experiences due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Boghozian said the time she spent here during her freshman and senior years has been really special.

“I think freshman year, the community that existed in Davis was super fun,” Boghozian said. “There was Sunset Fest and Picnic Day and I wouldn’t trade those two events for anything. Everyone was out, everyone was having a good time on campus exploring and making new friends […] There was nothing like it.”

Boghozian said that one piece of advice she has for younger students is to take advantage of the many opportunities Davis has to offer for undergraduates.

“I started off doing a pruning internship for mostly orchard crops at the Student Farm [during] my freshman year, and that kind of fed into another program that was through the farm called SCOPE, which is an organic plant breeding program,” she said. “I had another lab opportunity that was more about spinach, alfa-alfa and barley breeding. That kind of brought those two internships together, where I did more of the lab side, and I also did a lot of field work, like cross pollination.”

Along with her research, internships and field work, Boghozian has also worked a viticulture job at the Student Farm during her time at UC Davis. 

“I managed the small vineyard on the Student Farm, it’s a table group vineyard,” Boghozian said. “The first year you’re under someone’s wing, and the second year you choose your mentee and work through the vineyard with them and apply the skills you learned in class.” 

During her junior year, Boghozian began working on a laboratory project that studies smoke tank analyses of grapes that she plans to continue after graduation, while she pursues a Ph.D. at Davis. 

“I will be joining the horticulture and agronomy graduate group,” Boghozian said. “My research will be focused on viticulture, specifically in grapevine red blotch virus and the enzymatic effects of the virus on cellulose.”

Boghozian said that the advice she would give her freshman self and any underclassmen just arriving in Davis is to get involved in on-campus activities.

“I always think about doing more,” she said. “I think as a freshman I would’ve joined clubs that didn’t particularly pertain to my major. I joined the wine club and that was super fun, I met a lot of people, […] but I sometimes wish I had joined other things that have interested me or clubs for things I didn’t know how to do and wanted to learn.” 

Boghozian also urged younger students to say yes, within reason, when new and unexpected opportunities do arise. 

“You never know where it might take you,” Boghozian said. “Internships, clubs, friend groups, literally anything. This is your time to grow as a person — it’s not all about academics. Enjoy your time here and have fun — also study — but have fun.”


Written by: Jalan Tehranifar — features@theaggie.org




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