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Fall Convocation: Tradition inside, food and health fair outside

By Dave Jones on September 17, 2013 in University News


The start of the new academic year also brings the third annual New Student Celebration, Tuesday, Sept. 24, in The Pavilion at the ARC, followed by dinner on the Hutchinson Intramural Field next door. The celebration and dinner are invitation-only, for incoming freshmen and transfer students.

And, Thursday, Sept. 26, Undergraduate Admissions will officially open its new Welcome Center, on the first floor of the Conference Center at the campus’s south entry.

Fall Convocation next week will have all the ceremony, tradition and significance of the past, plus an outdoor fair to complement the 2013 convocation’s theme: “Innovating Together to Advance Food and Health.”

“Whether you work in Davis, Bodega Bay, Sacramento or other locations, our campus is united by this theme,” Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi said in an email invitation to students, faculty, staff and retirees. “We are one team working to provide sustainable food systems, healthy life choices and ensure a better quality of life for all."

This year’s theme highlights one of the campus’s biggest initiatives ever: the World Food Center, established in June as an interdisciplinary home for education, research and scholarship on all aspects of food — and especially the nexus between food and health.

Inside the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, the chancellor and two other faculty members — one of them a pediatrician, the other a plant scientist — will address the convocation. The state secretary of food and agriculture also will give a talk.

Outside, the chancellor will join the campus community at the first-ever convocation fair, where “we will begin our year well by living our theme,” she wrote in her email.

The health and food fair will feature units from the Davis and Sacramento campuses, more than 20 booths in all, including the Agricultural Sustainability Institute and the Western Health Nutrition Research Center, Children’s Hospital and Living Fit Forever, WorkLife and Wellness, and the Institute for Population Health Improvement.

The World Food Center will be there, too, handing out packets of tomato seeds. The Häagen-Dazs ice cream company, which funded the university’s bee-friendly garden, Honey Bee Haven, will give out bee garden seed packets.

And, no UC Davis fair like this one would be complete without farm-fresh treats: samples from the Student Farm, and apples, almonds and Asian pears from the Davis Farmers Market. The UC Davis Farmers Market will promote its fall season: 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. every Wednesday, Oct. 2-Nov. 13, on the Silo Patio.

The convocation is scheduled from 10 to 11 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25, in the Mondavi Center’s Jackson Hall. The fair will be across the street, on the Vanderhoef Quad, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The entire campus community is invited; release time is appropriate with supervisory approval. Can’t attend? The inside portion of the program will be streamed live; look for the link on the UC Davis home page that day of the convocation.

“As we kick off a new academic year, we celebrate the strengths and the unity of our many locations, our many talents, our many opportunities,” the chancellor wrote in her email

Shuttle buses will be provided for colleagues on the Sacramento campus. Buses will depart at 9 a.m. from the Transit Center at the main hospital. Please contact Kate Goodnight, (916) 734-9419 or to register for a ride.

“Convocation is a time to celebrate our commitment to UC Davis, to our new and returning students, and to our research and scholarly work in the sciences and humanities,” Katehi told Dateline UC Davis. “With every new academic year, we aspire to even greater heights in service to the people of California, our nation and our world.”

The program

Students will see an alumna-turned-lecturer as master of ceremonies — and many of them are likely to see her in class as well, if they haven’t already. She is Liz Applegate, who has been teaching Nutrition 10 for 28 years — turning it into the most popular course on campus.

The speakers:

  • Linda P.B. Katehi, chancellor
  • Karen Ross, secretary, California Department of Food and Agriculture
  • Ulfat Shaikh, associate professor, Department of Pediatrics, and director, Healthcare Quality Integration, whose recent projects have focused on nutrition, obesity, asthma and preventable readmissions, as well as patient satisfaction
  • Jorge Dubcovsky, professor, Department of Plant Sciences, internationally acclaimed wheat geneticist, recently elected to the National Academy of Sciences

Brian Chiang, a senior in biological sciences, will sing the national anthem and the alma mater, <em>Hail to California</em>, backed by the UC Davis Saxophone Quartet, the lineup of which has changed since tfirst being announced. The new lineup: Jacob Hendrix, senior, alto saxophone; Christine Richers, junior, tenor saxophone; Kevin Stewart, faculty affiliate, baritone saxophone; and Mike McMullen, soprano saxophone, former Jazz Band director.

Follow Dateline UC Davis on Twitter.

Media contact(s)

Dave Jones, Dateline, 530-752-6556,