Daryl Fitzgerald Photo

Staff Spotlight: Daryl Fitzgerald

Daryl Fitzgerald joined the College of Engineering as the director of corporate relations and development in July. His role focuses on forging connections that create philanthropic opportunities and align the strategic priorities of the college with the interests and goals of corporate partners and other donors. Daryl brings over 15 years of experience from prior roles at Chico State’s College of Engineering, Fresno State's College of Engineering and UC Merced.

In this edition of the College of Engineering’s Staff Spotlight, we get to know more about Daryl.

Tell us about your path to UC Davis.

In my senior year of college, I had the opportunity to work for the retention services office as a para-professional advisor to incoming engineering students. Fortunately, when I graduated, I secured a position as the assistant director for the Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) engineering program at Chico State's College of Engineering. I had the opportunity to assist in advising, admissions, outreach, industry advisory boards, tutoring, internships, career job placement and established many cross-campus partnerships.

I took a new position with Fresno State and worked as a career counselor and employer relations manager. I spent nearly a decade helping students and alumni find internships and jobs. I also helped fundraise for events and office needs. It was brought to my attention that UC Merced hired a director from Colorado who was very employer-engaged and an outside-the-box thinker. At that point in my career, I welcomed the chance to work and learn under such leadership. Working for the Center for Career and Professional Advancement, I never envisioned the small and growing new UC campus would lead to me taking on the newly created position of associate director for corporate relations and career. I had the golden opportunity to take the University of California brand and UC Merced on the road to employers, startups, medical and government employers.

Fresno State's director of corporate and foundation relations retired, and the campus redesigned the position seeking a proactive hire that would pursue the corporations and foundations. This position was in the Central Development Office and interacted with over 14 different departments and divisions on its campus. When the pandemic came, we had a vacancy in the Lyles College of Engineering. I became its development director, and it brought back to remembrance the humble beginnings in the College of Engineering. UC Davis had a new position post for a director of corporate relations and development in the College of Engineering and at this point in my career, I welcomed the opportunity to join another great university and help contribute.

What is your current position at UC Davis?

Director of corporate relations and development for the College of Engineering.

What are your major job functions and responsibilities?

The director of development forges connections that create philanthropic opportunities and align the strategic priorities of the college with the interests and goals of corporate partners and other donors.

What skill is most important in your job?

Being strategic.

What are you enjoying and looking forward to in this role?

Building upon and starting new philanthropic partnerships.

What is your favorite thing about working at UC Davis/in your department (so far)?

The staff and its passion for helping the campus succeed. When I come to work, I see the excellent skills in the action of my boss, team, faculty, COE staff and UC Davis community. When working with other campus department contacts, their attitude is positive and helpful. I like that!

Tell us something most people don’t know about you.

I grew up in Compton, California and it was a scary time to be a youth. I grew up around drugs, gangs, domestic violence and many lawless acts. Fortunately, some people three doors down from my house at a local church mentored me to look for better. I became the first in my family to graduate from college, and despite all the crazy stories I could share from my childhood, education became a way out for me. I feel blessed to be here.

If you could do any job in the world, what would it be?

Educational and trades recruiter.

What are your hobbies/interests outside of work?

Traveling, community events, church, spending time with my spouse, family and friends, events and sports.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

Thank you for welcoming me to the UC Davis Aggie community!

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