Each morning, sometimes before he opens his eyes, the first thing UC Davis biotechnology student Ryan Moore ’19 does is ask himself, 'What do I want to get from this day?” He says his answer is typically to experience something new and leave a positive impact on every person he meets.
“Since coming to UC Davis, I’ve been trying to get as many new experiences as I can,” said Moore, a current Cal Aggie Alumni Association (CAAA) Blue and Gold Scholar. “That went from me supplementing my own lifestyle by learning to cook a new dish or trying a new hike or walk through the arboretum—to doing things that positively affect other people such as showing gratitude in a new way or sharing a new ability or passion with other people.”
Moore said UC Davis’ culture cultivated his desire to positively impact the world. He describes the university as a place that encourages students to engage in personal reflection, focus on their passions and develop the courage and skill to solve the world’s problems. But the seed, he said, was planted by his parents and older brother, the latter of whom has overcome a learning disorder and is finishing his bachelor’s in behavioral sciences at Cal Baptist University.
“The Blue and Gold Scholarship introduced me to the alumni presence at UC Davis, demonstrating the strength of a steadfast support system.”
— Ryan Moore
“My family made me realize that if you have a gift and you have the ability to do something to make someone else’s life better, you must always do it,” he said. “I really didn’t realize my potential to do that until I got to UC Davis, but it started by growing up and seeing my family’s unwavering discipline every day, willingness to push boundaries and commitment to excellence in every aspect of life.
A blue and gold leader
Moore said that receiving the Blue and Gold Scholarship has strongly influenced his experience at UC Davis. He is in his second year as a recipient of the merit scholarship, which recognizes student leaders by awarding them $10,000 over two years.
“The Blue and Gold Scholarship introduced me to the alumni presence at UC Davis, demonstrating the strength of a steadfast support system,” said Moore, also a member of the Student Alumni Association (SAA). “From then on, I felt the spirit of having your roots somewhere, and I also began to realize my leadership potential because it was seen in me by others.”
The scholarship also helped Moore fill in the gaps when student loans were not enough to cover expenses.
“My family had taken out just enough loans to cover tuition and housing and so I could go home at certain times like the holidays,” he said. “But my family was experiencing an emergency during last winter quarter, and I wouldn’t have been able to be there for them if I hadn’t received the funds from CAAA. And of course, being able to go home allowed me to come back more focused on school than I would have been if I hadn’t been able to take the family time I needed.”
Even better tomorrows
When Moore arrived at UC Davis, he hadn’t expected to become a science major. But his interest in biotechnology peaked in spring quarter of his freshman year when he took Biotech 1Y.
“During that class, I went to office hours with professors Abhaya Dandekar and Jim Yoder, and their passion for the subject piqued my interest,” he said. “And throughout that quarter, I asked myself, ‘Wow, this is really hard. Is this something I can do?’ It was definitely what I wanted to do because I loved it, but was it something I could successfully do and see through to completion?”
Eventually, it was Dandekar and Yoder’s passion for the subject that motivated Moore to take on the challenge.
“Their attitude towards their work was an attitude I see everywhere at UC Davis,” Moore said. “At UC Davis, it is a very rare day where something is declining. I believe that here there won’t be a bad day unless you submit to one, and each day is better than the last. Of course, there’s always room for improvement. Like, ‘Oh, I didn’t do well on this test, but on the next one I will’ because there is this incredible support system around me—the other students, the professors and the alumni.”