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Chancellor makes lattes for a lotta scholarship cash

2.3.2014

By Dateline staff

Photo: Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi at work behind the counter at Swirlz, with crewmates Andrew Stump, Lucy Avalos, Ryan Little and Lauren Woods.

Caffeine and smiles: Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi at work at Swirlz on Feb. 3, with crewmates, from left, Andrew Stump, barista supervisor; Lucy Avalos and Ryan Little, baristas; and Lauren Woods (foreground), the front-of-house manager. (Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis)

Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi took a whirl today (Feb. 3) at Swirlz, the CoHo's coffee bar and bakery, working behind the counter in fulfillment of one of her two UC Promises for Education.

In the systemwide fundraising campaign last fall, Katehi said she would work at the Coffee House in return for $5,000 in contributions to UC Davis scholarships.

She achieved that goal (and more) — and, so, there she was for training this morning and a shift that started at noon. Wearing a signature CoHo apron, she got right to work fixing lattes and filling other coffee orders.

In becoming a Coffee House employee for the day, she landed what is traditionally considered one of the best student jobs on campus.

Katehi supported herself during her undergraduate years in Greece by tutoring high school students, before moving on to graduate studies and a career in academia. So, working in a café was a new experience — one that she relished.

“The best part was interacting with the students," she said. "The Promise for Education campaign was really all about supporting our students, and it was such an honor to be able to participate.”

Counter traffic picked up significantly during the noon hour, but Katehi’s background as an engineer ensured that efficiency would be the order of the day. “Andrew (Stump, barista supervisor) and the rest of the crew were incredibly helpful and made the whole experience enjoyable," the chancellor said.

Hers was among hundreds of promises in the fundraising drive, conducted largely through social media, Sept. 18 to Oct. 31. The systemwide campaign brought in more than $1.3 million, including about $28,000 specifically earmarked for UC Davis scholarships.

Katehi made two promises: serve coffee at the CoHo for $5,000 and throw a VIP Greek Gala for $10,000. At campaign’s end, she had raised $10,555, thus her work shift at the CoHo and the forthcoming Greek Gala.

Another administrator raised $1,410 by promising to dress as Bossy the Cow for an Aggie football game — and letting the whole world see him do it, via a YouTube video. “Anything for the students,” said Rich Engel, assistant vice chancellor of Alumni Relations and the executive director of the Cal Aggie Alumni Association.

Still to come: Michael Lairmore, dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine, racing the winning dog in the 2014 Doxie Derby (on Picnic Day, April 12), and doing it while wearing a dachshund costume “to make it interesting.” Lairmore set a goal of $1,000 and raised $1,315.

And the Donor Relations Team, a group of five in the Office of Development, is making plans to “shake its moneymaker” in a choreographed dance, in public. The team set a $1,000 goal and raised $1,046.

Earlier coverage

“$28,637 worth of promises, including Bossy the Cow!” Dateline UC Davis (Nov. 8, 2013)

“Promises: Tap, tap, tap for UC scholarships,” Dateline UC Davis (Oct. 1, 2013)

“Students, alums, administrators make ‘Promises for Education,’” Dateline UC Davis (Sept. 18, 2013)

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