Three Years of Writing for Aggies, by an Aggie

Hey Aggies! My name is Robin Dewis, and I’ve been the editorial and content creation assistant here at Student Affairs Marketing and Communications (SAMC) for the past 3 years. That basically means that I write some of the stuff in the emails you get from the school. More specifically, it means that I’ve been drafting and compiling content for the UC Davis Life email newsletter, interviewing students for Aggie Voices, and probably my most frequent and consistent task, updating the Updater tile on your myucdavis portal. I’m graduating this June, which means that when I leave UC Davis, I’ll be leaving this role behind as well. I wanted to write this goodbye both to reflect on my time with SAMC and to encourage aspiring writers to apply for my soon-to-be-open position, so let’s get into it!

My SAMC journey started in the fall quarter of my sophomore year after I was hired onto the team by our former content specialist, Nathaniel Sellman. I was fresh-faced and eager to learn, and Nat made sure I did just that. Between brainstorming content ideas, writing articles, and hunting for events to keep Updater stocked, I became comfortable and experienced with my role here at Student Affairs. My coworkers are creative and kind, and the work always aims to help students the best we can. We’re always striving to learn from each other and our audience, so our processes are flexible and student-focused. Any student hoping to apply for my role should be interested in creating content, compiling resources, and brainstorming new ideas, all for your fellow Aggies.

A lot has changed over the past three years, not only in the world and at UC Davis, but also within SAMC. Nat graciously transitioned out of SAMC and Elizabeth Cooley secured the role of marketing communications specialist. Our design team completely revamped Updater to pop better in the portal. My position has expanded to explore the current responsibilities of editorial, marketing and communications roles throughout the industry. This looks like an increased emphasis on exploring the possibilities of marketing copy, pitching content ideas from the student perspective and focusing more on writing than tasks like posting on Updater.


Landscape of Campus drawing

Through the UC Davis Life (UCDL) email newsletter and Updater, I learned a lot about my fellow students, including likes, dislikes and what you’re really, actually interested in. For a sneak peek behind the UCDL newsletter metrics curtain, the most clicked piece of content this year was April’s feature advertising Picnic Day Palooza. Netting 1,647 clicks, which was 41.8% of the total clicks, this simple link captured the most Aggies this year! A close second was November’s feature, announcing the available $6.5 million in undergraduate scholarships (which will be available again this upcoming academic year), which secured 1,541 clicks (73.8% of the total clicks). Our reoccuring page featuring extended hours for study spots around campus during finals was another popular item with 1,302 clicks (35.6%) at the end of fall quarter and 970 clicks (54.4%) at the end of winter quarter; check out the spring hours now! And finally, one of my favorite SAMC projects to work on, the February UC Davis Valentines. Where else would your primary task be to write a metric ton of UC Davis-related puns? These downloadable cards netted 837 clicks this year, 51.2% of the total newsletter. It’s not surprising that some of your favorite pieces of content this year were also some of my favorites to work on!


An illustrated duck and duckings

Brainstorming is a huge part of my role, since although much of our content is time-tested and reliable in its interest to students, we’re always looking for new ways to connect. We put a lot of work in behind the scenes to create content that is not only interesting but also useful. Our goal is to find exciting events and share announcements that will enhance your time at UC Davis. Seeing over 25,000 students open the newsletter every month makes it so fulfilling. 

My time with SAMC was invaluable for so many reasons, including the people I met, the creativity I got to express and the growth I experienced, both personally and in my writing. Being chosen to work with this team was a huge privilege, and I am forever grateful to Nat, Andrew, Elizabeth and everyone else I worked with who made it a reality. I wish good luck to the fortunate person who will grow into my role starting this next academic year. It’s been a pleasure writing for you all, and onto the next!

If you think you’d be interested in doing what I do, please apply to the job posting on Handshake by June 17 at 11 PM! Get ready to write, learn about and support UC Davis and all of its students. 

I may be moving on, but Student Affairs is not! Follow on Instagram for more student opportunities and events, and keep an eye out for our monthly UC Davis Life email newsletter. And, if you feel so inclined, check out Updater on the myucdavis portal every once in awhile!


Black and white illustration of a cow on a bike

About the author

Robin Dewis, a fourth-year English and Medieval Studies double major, is the editorial and content creation assistant at Student Affairs Marketing and Communications.