Francisco Gomez

Francisco Gomez is the inaugural student assistant to the vice chancellor of Student Affairs.

Francisco Gomez is the inaugural student assistant to the vice chancellor of Student Affairs.

A fourth-year animal science and management major, Francisco Gomez is the inaugural student assistant to the vice chancellor of Student Affairs.

Though he eventually plans to become a veterinarian, Gomez discovered a passion for student affairs through his involvement on campus, including an internship that he created within the vice chancellor's office.

Gomez says, during his freshman year, a friend from his dorm introduced him to the Student Recruitment and Retention Center (SRRC), where he found a welcoming community. "At first the SRRC was a place to study and then it became home," he says.

During his sophomore year, Gomez was going through some difficulties with his living situation and students in the SRRC's Yik'al Kuyum program provided much-needed support. "They held me tight," says Gomez, "and were true friends who made me laugh." In addition, the African American community also included Gomez in events and helped him through a tough year during which he experienced the loss of a family member for the first time.

Through the SRRC, Gomez interned with Aggie Senior Weekend and later became co-chair of the program, which brings several hundred admitted high school seniors to campus to learn about life at UC Davis. He says it's exciting to meet the students on Friday and watch them grow in confidence and enthusiasm over the weekend. "A lot of the students cry at the end because they don't want to leave," says Gomez. "About 70-80 percent of students who attend the weekend end up coming to Davis."

Gomez started as an intern with the vice chancellor's office fall quarter, 2013, and he is excited about the possibilities for his new position.

His plans for the 2014–15 academic year include creating a student advisory board to the vice chancellor and funding student events through a grant application process. Gomez will chair the advisory board and is looking for a diversity of voices, from Greek life representatives to students in different majors.

"It's exciting to have the opportunity to sculpt a position as I'm getting to do," says Gomez.

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