TRANSITIONS: Advising and Olive Center Directors




  • Kayton Carter, Academic Advising Enrichment
  • Javier Fernandez-Salvador, Olive Center

Kayton Carter headshot

Kayton Carter on Monday (March 1) moved into his new position as the executive director of Academic Advising Enrichment.

Undergraduate Education established the position in 2014 to provide centralized, campuswide leadership and advocacy for academic advising. Carter succeeds the founding director, Brett MacFarlane, who stepped down in 2019.

Carter has served as executive director of UC Davis’ three retention centers and four retention initiatives, which support African diaspora, Asian Pacific Islander, Chicanx and Latinx, and Native American students. He directed the African American Strategic Retention Initiative, the campus’ first retention initiative targeting underrepresented student populations, and was founding director of the Center for African Diaspora Student Success, UC Davis’ first Black student retention center.

One of his goals in his new role is to create an advising philosophy the entire campus can align with. Carter expanded on that idea in an interview, stating, “We can seek alignment across campus despite our diverse positionalities so that the advisors in athletics speak the same language as the advisors in bio sci and the advisors in Student Affairs. And all of that [will be] aligned with an overall university objective for advising.”

Cynthia Ching, interim vice provost and dean of Undergraduate Education, emphasized the importance of that goal. “Advising takes place in a variety of places and spaces at UC Davis — in majors and colleges, in retention and success centers, in special programs and so on,” she said. “One of our goals was to hire someone who could provide a comprehensive and inclusive vision for that diversity of advising, to move us forward as a campus and as an advising community, in our quest toward greater equity of student outcomes. We’re so happy to have Kayton joining us. His background and experience are an excellent fit for that goal, and we look forward to building great things together.”

“Being That Light: Building a Career Helping Others Succeed,” Carter’s First-Generation essay.

— Sharon Knox, director of communications, Undergraduate Education

Javier Fernandez-Salvador headshot

Javier Fernandez-Salvador has been named the director of the UC Davis Olive Center at the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, effective June 1.

He brings five years of experience as an assistant professor in the Oregon State University Extension Service, where at this time he is leading a multidisciplinary team investigating olive propagation, cold-hardiness and fruit production in Oregon climate zones, among the research strategies he has developed in collaboration with growers and processors. He is in the final stages of receiving a Ph.D. from OSU.

Helene Dillard, dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, made the appointment. “Having also served as an extension specialist earlier in my career, I know that Javier will understand how to work closely with growers and be responsive to their needs,” the dean said. “I am confident that he will continue to advance the excellence of the UC Davis Olive Center.”

UC Davis established the self-supporting center in 2008, with Dan Flynn as the founding director. He announced his retirement last year but is staying on until the new director arrives.

The center, the only one of its kind in North America, has collaborated with more than 100 faculty members at UC Davis and beyond, and become internationally recognized for excellence in olive research and education. In a recent strategic planning process, the following vision emerged: “Olives are California’s crop of the future.”

Dean Dillard thanked Flynn for his success in founding the Olive Center and the tremendous impact it has had on the California olive industry. “Dan’s efforts put California olives and olive oil on the culinary map. He encouraged the industry to make quality its top priority. and its products are now in the best restaurants and kitchens across the United States. Fernandez-Salvador has a great foundation to work with thanks to Dan’s success.”

— College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

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Media Resources

Dateline Staff: Dave Jones, editor, 530-752-6556,; Cody Kitaura, News and Media Relations specialist, 530-752-1932,

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