TRANSITIONS: New Leaders for Student Housing-Dining and Alumni Relations-CAAA

Mike Sheehan sits in front of Yosemite residence hall.
Mike Sheehan, new leader of Student Housing, in front of UC Davis’ newest residence hall, Yosemite, in the Cuarto area where Sheehan worked 30 years ago as a resident director. (Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis)

Quick Summary

  • Mike Sheehan started in Student Housing 30 years ago; now he’s the associate vice chancellor
  • Dana Allen: Assistant vice chancellor for Alumni and Affiliate Relations
  • She’s also the executive director of the Cal Aggie Alumni Association

Mike Sheehan’s career at UC Davis began 30 years ago when he went to work for Student Housing as resident director of Emerson Hall. Today, he runs Student Housing — and more — as a newly appointed associate vice chancellor in Student Affairs.

His official title is associate vice chancellor of Student Housing, Dining and Divisional Operations; the “operations” component involves Student Affairs facilities and events beyond Student Housing and Dining Services. He formerly served as director of Facilities Services in Student Housing and Dining, then as interim associate vice chancellor after Emily Galindo was appointed interim vice chancellor of Student Affairs.

The campus conducted a formal recruitment to fill the job on a permanent basis, and Sheehan won out.

“As director of Facilities Services, he literally ‘built’ Student Housing and Dining Services into what it is today, and we are so pleased he has this opportunity to serve as associate vice chancellor,” Galindo said. “Mike has devoted nearly his entire career to UC Davis, and we could not ask for a more committed individual in this important leadership role.”

Mike Sheehan looks at a clipboard, to assist a parent standing next to him on Move-In Weekend..
Sheehan, right, assists a parent on Move-In Weekend in September. (Karin Higgins/UC Davis)

Within a few months after Sheehan officially had the AVC job, a contractor demolished the 52-year-old Emerson Hall — where he began his UC Davis career in 1989. Emerson is being replaced by Shasta Hall (the site is next door to the newly opened Yosemite Hall, which replaced Webster Hall in the Cuarto Residence Area).

Beyond redevelopment projects like those in Cuarto, Sheehan has overseen construction, mostly in the Tercero Residence Area, that boosted the campus’s housing capacity by more than 3,500 beds. And Student Housing is gearing up to operate The Green at West Village, now under construction — an apartment project that will house some 3,300 students.

Sheehan graduated from Springfield College, Massachusetts, with a bachelor’s degree in biology, and earned a master’s degree in college student personal administration at Bowling Green State University, Ohio, two years later, before joining UC Davis.

As a resident director, he was a live-in employee in Emerson Hall, managing the daily operations of the 500-student hall, supervising the student staff, and managing educational programming and the student conduct process. Resident directors (the position is officially titled community development coordinator), after several years’ absence, are back in the residence halls in 2019-20 to help support student residents and student staff, Sheehan said.

He moved on to other campus jobs, as coordinator of the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Program, and interim coordinator of the Summer Advising Program, before returning to Student Housing in 1999. He worked in the Residential Education Office, as assistant director and interim associate director, until 2004 when he became director of Facilities Services.

Amid the growth of Student Housing, Sheehan said, there has been one constant: “Our focus on the student experience and our mission to have students be successful at UC Davis. We want our students to be comfortable, safe, supported and appropriately challenged as they journey through their path to degree.”

UC Davis has appointed a new leader of alumni relations: Dana Allen, who has more than 21 years of experience in the field.

She is due to begin work Jan. 2 as assistant vice chancellor of Alumni and Affiliate Relations, and executive director of the Cal Aggie Alumni Association, which, as of 2018, represented some 260,000 living alumni. She reports to Shaun Keister, vice chancellor of Development and Alumni Relations.

Dana Allen mugshot

“We are excited to have someone with such deep knowledge in alumni relations joining the Development and Alumni Relations team at UC Davis,” Keister said. “Dana is a proven leader and collaborator, and I am confident that, through her leadership, alumni relations work will be instrumental in the success of our comprehensive fundraising campaign.”

Allen will come to UC Davis from the University of New Mexico, where she has worked since 2016 as vice president of Alumni Relations and executive director of the 200,000-member alumni association. During her time at New Mexico, she has established metrics, new financial tracking models, strategy for increasing awareness of and revenue from alumni-managed facilities, and built strong relationships and partnerships with the university’s foundation. In addition, Allen has developed strategies for increasing engagement and giving with young alumni and key constituency groups.

Before joining the University of New Mexico, Allen served in alumni relations roles at Old Dominion University, Penn State University and Mary Baldwin College.  

She holds a bachelor’s degree in speech communication, with a concentration in alternative dispute resolution, from James Madison University.

As the assistant vice chancellor for Alumni and Affiliate Relations, Allen will provide overall leadership and management of a team that serves and promotes the interests of students, alumni, parents, retirees, emeriti and the community.

As executive director of the Cal Aggie Alumni Association, she will partner with the CAAA board to advance the interests and promote the welfare of the university and its alumni through alumni network and chapter development, student programs, scholarships and student recruitment, alumni career services, advocacy, and volunteer management.

“I want to thank Chancellor May and Vice Chancellor Keister for the opportunity to join such a dynamic and progressive team,” Allen said. “During my visit to campus, I was impressed by the collaborative approach to engagement and commitment to UC Davis displayed by everyone I met. I’m looking forward to getting to know as many Aggies as possible and exploring the beauty of campus and the surrounding area.”

Follow Dateline UC Davis on Twitter.

Media Resources

Dateline Staff, 530-752-6556,

Primary Category