Photo portrait of UC Davis tour guide Joe Sweeny

Tell us a little about you.

Family is very important to me and was a major reason I chose to come to UC Davis. Being from the East Bay, I wanted someplace just far enough that I had my own space but also close enough to come home to see my family. I am the youngest of four, and am a proud uncle to two nieces and two nephews, so it was very important to me to still be able to spend time with them even while I was at college.

Why did you choose UC Davis?

I chose UC Davis because I wanted someplace that held the same values as me. I wanted a place that valued diversity and inclusion as much as I did and created a safe learning environment for everyone.

What do you enjoy doing for fun here?

Whether it's a day spent swimming at the creek with friends or going birding in the morning at the Yolo Bypass, my perfect day in Davis is pretty much any day spent outside.

What activities have you been involved in here?

I have been involved in a few things on campus since I got to UC Davis as a freshman. For about a year, I wrote for our newspaper, The Aggie, as an environmental opinion columnist. My favorite part of that was getting to interview people in the field and hearing about their passions. I've done a few internships on campus as well, including working for the biomonitoring program along the Putah Creek Nestbox Highway and also being a OneCreek Intern for the Putah Creek Council. Finally, I also have been the LEAD Chairman of the Sigma Nu Fraternity chapter since Winter 2022, where I facilitate workshops and sessions for members on developing ethical leadership skills.

What do you like about academics and student life here?

The biggest advantage of the quarter system is the wide variety of classes that Davis is able to offer. I love this because I've been able to go in depth in a lot of different fields and classes throughout my first two years here. For example, I took a first year seminar as a freshman on Toni Morrison's novel Jazz where we got to go really in depth into every aspect of the novel.

Where have you found community and support on campus?

I have found community in pretty much every aspect of campus I have been involved in. Whether it's going to club meetings or spending time in the classroom, I feel like I am always meeting new people with shared interests and goals.

How do you feel UC Davis is preparing you for success?

There are so many ways to get out of the classroom and get real world experience at UC Davis no matter what field you are in. It's been really helpful for me to try a lot of different internships and see the many options for what I can do with my degree.

What do you hope/plan to do after you graduate?

I plan to look at rocks, chase bugs and climb trees.

What has surprised you about UC Davis?

The biggest thing that surprised me about UC Davis when I first got here was how friendly and small the community actually feels. Even though it is such a large university, I feel like I am always running into friends or classmates anywhere I go!

What would you tell prospective students about UC Davis?

I would say to definitely carefully consider your options for college and what you want out of a college experience. Academics are important, but there are many other aspects to think about before deciding where to go.