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Students Reflect on Job Shadow Experiences

By Cody Kitaura/Dateline on June 5, 2018 in University

Campus leaders recently opened their doors extra wide as they invited students to come along as they went about their days.

They accompanied Chancellor Gary S. May, vice chancellors and other leaders to meetings and other events, while also engaging in conversations that proved enlightening for the students (to learn the ins and outs of running a university) and the leaders (to hear students’ feedback).

“I can honestly say that this program changed my viewpoint on the UC Davis administration,” MaryAnn McNamara wrote in a blog post about her time with Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Ralph J. Hexter on May 9. “I can see how they are involved in virtually every area and aspect of UC Davis.”

Besides going to meetings with the provost, she attended a speech he gave and sat in on a First-Year Seminar he is teaching about Socrates.

“It reminded me that even though administration runs the UC Davis as a whole, administration is focused on the pursuit of knowledge,” McNamara wrote.

More than 130 students applied for the Leadership Job Shadow Program, and 37 received job shadowing appointments with 12 leaders.  Most of the shadowing appointments took place in May, and a few are planned for future dates.

Nadine Mansour shadows Cam Carter at UC Davis.
Nadine Mansour reviews paperwork during a meeting with her job shadow, Cam Carter, interim vice chancellor, Office of Research. (Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis)

Others spent time in the offices of Research, Strategic Communications, Intercollegiate Athletics and elsewhere.

“I had the opportunity to attend a team meeting, observe an interview presentation and learn about the complex collaboration between campus leaders to share the narrative of UC Davis to the world,” Amy Rong said about her time shadowing Dana Topousis, chief marketing and communications officer.

Davares Robinson sits with Chancellor Gary S. May and Jeanelle K. Hope.
Jeanelle K. Hope, left, a Ph.D. candidate in cultural studies, reacts to Chancellor Gary S. May as job shadow Davares Robinson listens Friday (June 1). (Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis)

Three students spent time with the chancellor, who said in his monthly Davis Enterprise column that he hopes students who participate will be able to come away from the program with “meaningful connections with campus leaders.”

Students who reflected on their experiences with the job shadow program came away with positive thoughts, and one looked back with levity (and secrecy). Brad Rousseau, a senior majoring in civil engineering, stayed mum about a meeting he attended with Shaun Keister, vice chancellor of Development and Alumni Relations. Read his Instagram post below to find out more (or not).

The leaders who participated in the job shadow program are: Kevin Blue, director of athletics; Cam Carter, interim vice chancellor, Office of Research; Karl Engelbach, associate chancellor and chief of staff to the chancellor; Emily Galindo, interim vice chancellor for Student Affairs; Ralph J. Hexter, provost; Shaun Keister, vice chancellor of Development and Alumni Relations; Gary S. May, chancellor; Tom Nesbitt, interim vice chancellor for Human Health Sciences; Kelly Ratliff, vice chancellor of Finance, Operations and Administration; Rahim Reed, associate executive vice chancellor for Campus Community Relations and interim vice chancellor of Campus Diversity; Mike Sweeney, chief campus counsel; and Dana Topousis, chief marketing and communications officer.

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