HD&FS Alumni

 AndiMy undergrad experience at UC Davis was nothing short of insightful, fun, and challenging (in the best way possible). I was admitted my freshman year as a Psychology major, although I realized after two quarters that was not the major for me. During the latter half of my freshman year, I switched into Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior and again, found that major was not for me. Although both majors are fantastic and had components that I quickly fell in love with, I did not feel fully supported in my academic career. I made an appointment with Human Development advising simply because I was on a mission to find what truly felt right for me. At that appointment I finally found it! The Human Development Program at UC Davis is filled with supportive and knowledgeable advisors and provides both opportunity and flexibility to tailor your college experience to you. I was able to complete my Human Development degree and nursing prerequisites at the same time! In taking HDE 140/L, which is an early childhood lecture and lab, I learned that my passion for children goes beyond spending time with them, it lies in research and application of theory to provide children with environments that allow them to thrive. It lies in providing them with a foundation to grow upon, much like the Human Development Program provided for my career. I took one year off following graduation and have been teaching kindergarten as well as assisting with first through sixth grade in after school programs. I have recently been accepted to the University of Southern California’s Master in Social Work Program and intend on pursing a social work career in Child Welfare Services or Clinical Social Work in Pediatrics. I am forever thankful to the Human Development Program for giving me the tools to succeed! - Andi Vilaboy
Tooka Zokaie is currently a UC Davis Public Health graduate student and is working with Gerald Kayingo, an assistant clinical professor at the Betty Irene School of Nursing at UC Davis. She won first place in the UC Davis final round of Grad Slam, an annual contest in which master’s and Ph.D. students compete to sum up their research for a general audience. See the Dateline news article about Tooka here

Lauren One of the biggest pieces of advice I have for you during your time at UC Davis is to utilize any and all ways you can to get involved with the career you are hoping to pursue, as quickly as you can. When I first came to UC Davis I thought I wanted to be a pharmacist. I threw myself in to the pre-pharmacy club, attended events, interned at a pharmacy, became a pharm tech, and studied all of the hardcore sciences - all of which helped me realize that I did not want to pursue pharmacy. 

I am so glad that I majored in HDE because it was foundational to all of my future pursuits from getting an MA in clinical psychology, to leaving that PhD program to get an MS in nutritional science to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist specializing in eating disorders, to now developing programs for The Life Coach School.  -Lauren Cash
ScottScott Naab graduated in 2015 from UC Davis with a degree in HDE. He is currently serving as the Executive Director of The Kids Co-op Inc., a nonprofit elementary after school program and summer camp located in San Francisco’s Mission District. Scott moved to the Northern California after his sophomore year of college. During his sabbatical from undergraduate studies, Scott found his passion for working with youth during after school hours. While working at an after school program he built relationships with his students and their families. This experience made him recognized the importance of understanding the process of human development from womb to tomb, as it provides insight into the developmental stages of the whole family. Scott’s advice to new students is to gain as much hands on experience with as many organizations as possible. Do not limit yourself to a certain age range or type of organization. In his opinion, a broad base of experience is the best way to identify your career aspirations. Best of luck as you embark on this exciting new adventure! 
Rebekah Upon entering UC Davis as a Human Development major, I knew that I wanted to eventually pursue a career in Speech-Language Pathology. This major was a great fit for my future goals and allowed me to have a wide range of experiences during my time in undergrad, including working in the HDE advising office and spending a semester abroad. My HDE courses, as well as electives I was able to take in Psych and Linguistics, offered me a solid academic background in development across the lifespan. I absolutely love the breadth of this major and how flexible it is in catering to your personal interests. Additionally, I was able to get HDE credit for doing language development research with a Psychology professor and I interned with a school speech pathologist during my HDE 141 internship. Not only did HDE offer me preparation for my future career, but it provided me with valuable information about children and their cognitive, social, and emotional development that I was able to apply during my time teaching English in Spain with the William J. Fulbright Program and currently as an elementary reading intervention paraprofessional. In the fall, I will finally be pursuing my Master’s in Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Texas, Austin. I would not be where I am now without this incredible major! My advice to new students is to reach out to other majors with similar interests and take advantage of all the advising office has to offer. I found out about my research assistantship through a fellow HDE major who was working in the lab at the time and that experience was one of the highlights of my undergrad experience. My time as part of the HDE advising staff allowed me to help so many HDE students figure out their schedules and how to use this major to reach their unique goals, so it is an incredible resource for all students in the major. Another recommendation is to be proactive - if you want to do research or internships or a double major, it is definitely possible with HDE, you just need to seek out those opportunities. – Rebekah Solomon