Alumni News

Young Alums Reflect and Look Forward

September 21, 2019
In June 2019, we caught up with seven soon-to-be graduates (now our newest alumni) to ask them about what they love most about UC Davis and how well their time in and out of the classroom prepared them for their next chapter. Here are their answers.

2004 - Ben Wang

July 15, 2019

A movie directed by Ben Wang (B.A., Asian American studies, '04) is streaming on The World Channel during July 2019. Breathin': The Eddy Zheng Story tells about a Chinese immigrant teenager tried as an adult. The documentary follows Eddy Zheng as immigrant, son, prisoner and activist on his journey to freedom and rehabilitation. Wang is co-director of the Asian Prisoner Support Committee. Read more about Wang. 

2013 – Austin Ray

June 06, 2019

Following graduation, Austin Ray (B.S., applied mathematics, ’13) founded an education finance policy nonprofit, EdBuild. The nonprofit helped governors and legislators make sure more money went to public schools serving low-income students. Ray is now returning to school to earn an MBA at Duke University.

1986 - Todd Calvin

June 04, 2019

Todd Calvin (B.A., political science, ’86) was recently elected vice president of the Opera League of Los Angeles board of directors. He has served on the board for nine years. Calvin has been vice president for business and legal affairs for Viacom Media Networks (Nickelodeon and TV Land) for nearly eight years. He worked for the Walt Disney Company in business and legal affairs for seven years and also held jobs at the San Francisco Opera and Showtime.

Alumnus Robert Oden Was on the Front Lines of Change

May 20, 2019
When UC Davis students were calling for more student and faculty diversity and culturally inclusive programs, Robert Stanley Oden was on the front lines. One of only 40 African American students on campus in 1967, he was a founder of the Black Student Union, the first such group on campus, and wrote a column for The California Aggie called “The Dark Side.”

2007 - Hasan Minhaj

May 01, 2019

Comedian Hasan Minhaj (B.A., political science, '07) has been named to Time magazine's list of the 100 most influential people of 2019.  He came to prominence as senior correspondent on The Daily Show starting in 2014 and in 2018 began hosting Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj on Netflix. His first stand-up comedy special, 2017’s Homecoming King won a Peabody Award. 

1996 - Christopher Markus

May 01, 2019

Christopher Markus (M.A., English, ’96) was co-writer, with Stephen McFeely (M.A. English,’96), of the just-released movie "Avengers: Endgame.” The two met at UC Davis in the creative writing program. They've written scripts for the "Captain America" films, the "Chronicles of Narnia" movie franchise, and won an Emmy for their screenplay of HBO movie, "The Life and Death of Peter Sellers."

1996 - Stephen McFeely

May 01, 2019

Stephen McFeely (M.A. English, ’96) was co-writer, with Christopher Markus (M.A., English, ’96), of the just-released movie "Avengers: Endgame.” The two met at UC Davis in the creative writing program. They've written scripts for the "Captain America" films, the "Chronicles of Narnia" movie franchise, and won an Emmy for their screenplay of HBO movie, "The Life and Death of Peter Sellers."

2017 - Jamil Jan Kochai

April 09, 2019

Jamil Jan Kochai (M.A., English, ’17) is receiving widespread acclaim for his debut novel, 99 Nights in Logar. Published in early 2019 by Penguin/Random House, it has received positive and extensive reviews by Harper’s, National Review, Time and others.

2011 - Maria Kuznetsova

April 08, 2019

The debut novel by Maria Kuznetsova (M.A., English, '11) was published in March 2019 by Spiegel & Grau/Random House. OKSANA, BEHAVE! is a coming-of-age story about a young woman whose family has emigrated from Ukraine to Florida. Kuznetsova, a native of Ukraine, also received an M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Her writing has been published in The Threepenny Review, The Normal School, The Bennington Review, The Iowa Review and Indiana Review.