NEWS BRIEFS: ‘Adventure Awaits’ at Picnic Day 105

Quick Summary

  • Picnic Day board selects space explorer Sarah Stewart as parade marshal
  • Applications welcome for UC Davis Group Mentoring Program and ProShare networking opportunity
  • ‘Connect’ with our students in First-Year Aggie Connections
  • ‘Transitioning to Retirement’ sign-ups underway, for staff and faculty within 5 years of retirement
  • Hispanic Serving Institution forum on Sacramento campus

The Picnic Day board of directors last week announced the theme of the 105th event as “Adventure Awaits,” which, according to Chair Elise Pohlhammer, “captures both that Picnic Day itself is a day of adventure, exploration and opportunity, and that coming to Davis for school is an adventure in its own right.”

The board further emphasized the adventure theme by choosing as parade marshal a planetary scientist: Sarah Stewart, professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences who recently received a MacArthur “Genius” Fellows grant.

Professor Sarah Stewart wears paper dinosaur hat.
Stewart wears a paper-dinosaur hat, her department's signature giveaway on Picnic Day.

“Sarah Stewart’s passion for discovering the unknown and her recognition via the MacArthur Fellowship parallel going on an adventure,” said Nicole Deacon, Picnic Day vice chair.

The board announced the Picnic Day ’19 theme, logo and marshal during a kickoff luncheon Nov. 30 in the Student Community Center’s multipurpose room.

In her remarks after being announced as the parade marshal, Stewart said her career is an adventure every day. “I have the most amazing job: studying planet formation and teaching the world about planets.

“Over the past few years, I developed a new idea for the origin of the moon — where the moon forms within the large vaporized body after a giant impact. Making the moon out of the Earth vapor explains the unique chemical relationship between our planet and our moon.

“Partly because of our discoveries in Earth’s formation, I am thrilled to begin a new adventure as a MacArthur Fellow,” Stewart said. “What adventures await me next?”

Her Picnic Day adventure will be Saturday, April 13, when UC Davis again presents one of the largest student-run events in the nation.

Picnic Day 105 logo, a drawing of barn and cow, tree and water tower, and a squirrel driving a tractor.

“This hallmark event has been designed to showcase and celebrate the richness of campus life, the diverse achievements of UC Davis students, staff and faculty, and to provide a day of education, information and entertainment for all who attend,” the board declared in a news release.

Picnic Day ’19 will feature more than 200 events and is expected to draw 75,000-plus visitors.

Mentoring and networking

Applications are being accepted for the UC Davis Group Mentoring Program and ProShare, a networking opportunity. Each program has an application deadline later this month.

• Group Mentoring Program — This six-month program, held on the Davis and Sacramento campuses, is for mentors with classifications up to PSS Grade 5 and mentors with classifications of PSS Grade 5 or higher; all participants must have career status and at least one year of service at UC Davis.

The program, designed to promote a culture of leading by example and supporting professional development, comprises approximately 32 hours, inclusive of professional development activities and estimated travel time. The schedule comprises orientation for mentors, March 27; six monthly meetings in small groups, starting in April (dates, times and locations to be set by the groups); and large group meetings April 25, July 9 and Oct. 3.

Links to each application — mentee and mentor — are on the program website (near the bottom of the page). The deadline is Dec. 21 and applicants will be notified of their status Feb. 28.

More information is available from Judy Isaman of UC Davis Health Training and Development; contact her by email or phone, 916-734-2542.

• ProShare — For managers, aspiring managers and staff at all levels, on the Davis and Sacramento campuses, to develop and build connections with their colleagues across campus and across the causeway, for mutual guidance and support. Sponsored by the Administrative Management Group, or ADMAN, and Staff Assembly introduced the program in 2016 and continue to sponsor it.

Starting in January and running through July, participants will be assigned to small cohorts that will meet monthly for about 90 minutes. Within each cohort, each member will take a turn as the monthly host for programs that could include department tours, presentations to the group and discussions of key management issues.

The program also includes three plenary meetings, with the kickoff event on Jan. 22 in Davis.

Registration can be arranged online. The deadline to register is Dec. 14.

Additional questions? Contact Ellen Jordan by email.

‘Connect’ with our 1st-years

Staff, faculty and graduate students are invited to assist our first-year Aggies in connecting to their new world of academia, to campus, to new people and new ideas — and so much more.

The way to help is through First-Year Aggie Connections, whereby volunteer facilitators are matched with groups of students — 25 or so — for a quarter. Each group is called a “connection” and each one is different; some are associated with for-credit seminars, others are affiliated with on-campus groups and others are based on a common academic or co-curricular interests. Look here for information on past connections.

Prospective volunteers from the ranks of staff, faculty and graduate students are invited to submit proposals for connections they would like to lead. Because of the campus closure last month, First-Year Aggie Connections is flexible on the deadline for proposals for winter quarter — so, if you are interested, please get in touch.

The “Become a Facilitator” page on the First-Year Aggie Connections website includes complete information as well as a link to the proposal form. To renew a past connection, send an email to the program.

‘Transitioning to Retirement’ sign-ups underway

Registration is open for the UC Davis Retiree Center’s four-part “Transitioning to Retirement” series for 2019, beginning Jan. 11 on the Davis campus and Feb. 8 on the Sacramento campus.

“The life changes that accompany retirement can be unexpectedly challenging,” said Becky Heard, Retiree Center director, explaining why UC Davis presents this annual program.

It is meant for staff, faculty, physicians and other academics who are considering retirement within five years. The early you register, the better your chance at getting in, because space is limited.

“Transitioning to Retirement” has one track for staff and one for faculty/physicians/academics. Each track will meet for three hours in the morning or afternoon, on four consecutive Fridays. In each series — Davis campus and Sacramento campus — both tracks will meet the same days in the same locations. The staff meetings will be from 9 a.m. to noon, while the faculty/physicians/academics will meet from 1 to 4 p.m.

Each track is divided as follows: Part 1 — Introduction and UC Retirement Plan, Part 2 — Retiree Health Benefits and Social Security, Part 3 — Financial Planning in Retirement and Part 4 — Work-Life Transitions.

Here are the dates and locations:

When registering, you can enroll in one, two, three or four parts, although the organizers recommend you complete the entire series. Look for the links (and more information) on the following pages:

Be sure to select the correct desired location. For assistance with registration, contact Staff Development and Professional Services, 530-752-1766. Note: Your supervisor will not be automatically notified when you register for this series.

If you cannot attend the series, or if you are more than five years from retirement, online presentations and other resources are available on the Retiree Center’s retirement planning webpage.

Questions? Contact the Retiree Center by email or phone, 530-752-5182.

HSI forum on Sacramento campus

A recent forum on the Davis campus asked, “What does it mean for UC Davis to be Hispanic-Serving?” — in regard to the university’s application to be designated by the federal government as a Hispanic Serving Institution. Now this same question will be asked in a forum on the Sacramento campus: 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday (Dec. 6) in 2310 Administrative Support Building. RSVPs are requested and can be arranged online. Seating is limited.

The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and the Hispanic Serving Institution Task Force organized the forums for faculty, staff, students and alumni as well as members of the public — inviting them to help the university outline a broader vision for serving students in the Hispanic/Chicanx/Latinx community and beyond, to empower them to thrive.

Unable to attend? Your input is welcome via this online form.

Read more about UC Davis’ having been declared eligible for the HSI designation and applying for it.

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