Alumni Spotlight

Alumni Spotlight: Linda Finley '81

Linda Finley ’81, mechanical engineering, has paved the way for countless women in engineering. When Linda came to UC Davis in 1979 to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering, she quickly joined the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). At the time, SWE was struggling. It was important to Linda that the student chapter thrive, and she served as president for two years. Some of the events established under her leadership, including the popular “Night with Industry,” still happen today.

Alumni Spotlight: Christopher Pribilo

Christopher Pribilo ’20, aerospace engineering, knew he wanted to study aviation from a young age. His grandfather was a pilot, and Chris was always fascinated by the controls and buttons in his small Cessna plane. Following an internship at United Airlines, Chris got a job at Boeing, where he currently works as a multi-discipline engineer doing stress analysis and service engineering for the 737 Max.

Alumni Spotlight: Shason Briscoe

Growing up in Houston, Shason Briscoe ’19, computer engineering, always had an affinity for the tech field. He watched the annual Apple Worldwide Developers Conferences and tech-related YouTube videos in high school. He even toured several startup headquarters in and around the Bay area during a trip with his parents to San Francisco.

Leading the Lab

When Kim Budil, Ph.D. ’94, first joined the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory as a graduate student in 1987, she never anticipated that she would become its first female director 34 years later. She began her new role on March 2.

From Pantries to Professions: Alumni Couple Give $8M for Holistic Student Support

Joelle and Michael Hurlston want all students at the University of California, Davis, to have every opportunity for a successful future. The alumni and longtime donors are giving $8 million to support Aggies along every step of their college paths, from meeting basic needs to offering the very best career development, innovation opportunities and graduate school experiences.

Alumni Spotlight: Valerie Gibson ’86, ‘00

Valerie Gibson ’86, ‘00 has forged a successful career in the aerospace industry through her passion and experience with materials science and engineering she acquired at UC Davis.

Gibson is a principal propulsion engineer in the engine group at Blue Origin, a private aerospace manufacturing company founded by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. The company is a leader in the private spaceflight industry and made headlines in summer 2021 with its first crewed suborbital flight.

Alumni Spotlight: Stephen McCord, '95, '99

Stephen McCord received his M.S and Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering at UC Davis. He says the educational experience he received from UC Davis gave him a clearer understanding of what he didn’t know, the humility to accept that he will never know everything, an appreciation for the variety of technical expertise that can tackle environmental problems synergistically and the value of collaboration.

Alumni Spotlight: Claude Laguë, '89

Claude Laguë received his B.S. and M.S. from Université Laval in Canada in 1982 and 1986, respectively and his Ph.D. from UC Davis, all in agricultural engineering. Laguë is professor of agricultural engineering at the University of Ottawa and is well respected for his teaching and innovation in machine design, soil mechanics and environmental engineering. He has held many leadership roles at different universities throughout his career including the dean of engineering at the University of Ottawa.

Alumni Spotlight: Prem Jain, '77

Prem Jain received his B.S. from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science in 1973 and his M.S. from UC Davis in 1977, both in electrical and computer engineering.

Alumni Spotlight: Connie Chang-Hasnain, '82

Connie Chang-Hasnain received her B.S. from UC Davis in 1982 and her M.S. and Ph.D from UC Berkeley in 1984 and 1987, respectively, all in electrical engineering. Since 2014, she has been the associate dean for strategic alliances at the UC Berkeley College of Engineering.