Alumni Profiles

Viral UC Davis video launches artist alum onto world stage

UC Davis alum Jesse “Lxttle Boy Blue” Williams skyrocketed to fame after a viral video of their commencement walk garnered over 24 million views and led to a record deal. Known for their unique “new nostalgia” music style, Williams is set to release their debut album, “Feeling Blue” this fall.

Alum uses oak like a ‘spice rack’ to innovate wine industry

From Spain to California: David Llodra ’01, Ph.D. ’13, ventured halfway around the world to pursue his passion for winemaking at UC Davis. His innovative research about using oak to flavor and finish wines revolutionized the wine and spirits industry and set new standards across the globe. Today, he stays connected to UC Davis by managing annual donations of French and American oak barrels to the university and visiting campus to share his expertise as a guest lecturer.

UC Davis to honor stellar alumni and friends at 51st Alumni Awards gala

The University of California, Davis, Cal Aggie Alumni Association has announced the recipients of its 2024 Alumni Awards, an annual program that recognizes remarkable impacts made by alumni and friends of the university.

This year’s winners are leaders in technology, health care, civil advocacy and higher education. All have dedicated their time and resources to create life-changing opportunities for students at UC Davis and around the world.  

The Cal Aggie Alumni Association, or CAAA, which serves more than 314,000 UC Davis graduates, has chosen to honor:

U.S. Ambassador champions health and human rights in Africa

U.S. Ambassador Kathleen FitzGibbon, M.A. ’88, has spent the past 20 years serving as a senior diplomat in Africa, where she has led efforts to negotiate the safe transport of Sudanese refugees from Darfur and quell the spread of infectious diseases such as HIV and Ebola. FitzGibbon has also worked extensively to reduce incidents of human trafficking and create opportunities for women and girls.

Artist alum returns to campus for book launch

Creator of famous “The Joggers” sculpture in downtown Davis, Tony Natsoulas ’82, M.F.A ’85 studied under famous UC Davis artists like Robert Arneson and Wayne Thiebaud before embarking on a 40-year career as a distinguished artist of the region.

Alum’s bagel business is booming

UC Davis alum Emily Winston, M.S. ’04, has turned a favorite childhood memory into a thriving enterprise that is giving the East Coast bagel scene a run for its money. Winston is the founder of Boichik Bagels, a New York–style bagelry based in Berkeley, Calif.

Recent graduate wins UC President’s Award

Abiel Malepeai is guided by an old Samoan proverb that translates to English as “The pathway to leadership is service.” The recent UC Davis graduate has advocated for Pacific Islander students, served as a student EMT with the UC Davis Fire Department and helped meet the basic needs of students.

Serving the community

With more than two decades as a prosecutor under his belt, Thien Ho ’95 is no stranger to putting people behind bars — in fact, he was the lead prosecutor on the case that sent Joseph DeAngelo, the “Golden State Killer,” to prison for life in 2020 for more than a dozen murders and kidnappings. But as Sacramento County’s newest district attorney, he said he hopes to focus on building relationships with the community.