Aggie Voices

Aggie Voices: Michael Petris

January 04, 2020
  • Hometown: Oxnard, CA
  • Major: Music
  • Minor: Education and Chicana/Chicano Studies
  • Class of 2021

When Michael Petris is conducting, he is focused on making sure the musicians in front of him understand what he is trying to communicate with each gesture and facial expression. “Our job as conductors isn’t just to be a leader,” he says. “Our job is to be accommodating and useful to musicians—to understand a group and work with the group to make good music.”

Aggie Voices: Tia Settanni

October 30, 2019
  • Hometown: Sacramento, CA
  • Major: Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning
  • Class of 2022

As a lifelong Sacramentan, Tia has always known about UC Davis. She took Chinese dance classes in Davis growing up and, at age 8, even performed at Picnic Day. So, she wasn’t expecting any surprises on her initial tour of campus. “I had toured so many other schools, and when I got to UC Davis, I was expecting it to have a similar energy, but there was just something different about it,” she says.

Aggie Voices: Dani Contreras

October 11, 2019
  • Hometown: Glendora, CA
  • Major: ACS Chemistry
  • Class of 2021

Second-year chemistry major Dani Contreras has always been taken with numbers—at 3 years old, they were already reading out price tags in stores—but Dani's decision to come to UC Davis wasn’t guided by math. It was guided by intuition. “It was a UC that I hadn’t heard a lot about when I was first looking at transferring,” they recall. Visiting campus in 2014 for the first time, Dani headed home to Southern California with the feeling that they needed to do whatever it took to get here.

Aggie Voices: Nicole Arteaga '19, Design

May 29, 2019
  • Hometown: Manteca, CA
  • Major: Design
  • Class of 2019

“I remember thinking, wow, that’s a lot of people,” says Nicole about her first day at UC Davis. Coming from Manteca, California, where “everyone knows everybody’s business,” the hustle and bustle of campus was a bit overwhelming.

She also realized fairly quickly that the major she’d originally chosen wasn’t what she wanted to spend her college career studying. As much as she liked science, she decided she wanted to study something that allowed her to tap into and explore her creative side.

Aggie Voices: Jeremy Dang '19, Design

May 29, 2019
  • Hometown: San Diego, CA
  • Major: Design
  • Minor: Communication
  • Class of 2019

“Marvin and the Magic Squirrel” is the name of the children’s book Jeremy wrote and illustrated for his senior project in high school. The story, about a boy and a wish-granting squirrel, had a moral—value your family and friends and try not to be materialistic. It was also a big hit with the kids at his old elementary school when he visited and gave a reading.