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Sacramento program helps UC students build policy careers

Did you know that UC has a dedicated program that helps students land jobs like district director for California Congressman John Garamendi, or legislative advocate for the California Department of Education? Other graduates have gone on to become reporters for major dailies like the Los Angeles Times and producers for Al-Jazeera America.

It’s the UC Center Sacramento (UCCS), a systemwide program operated by UC Davis and located one block from the State Capitol Building. UCCS gives UC undergraduates an entrée into the world of policymaking in and around the state Capitol and helps them build careers as policy and government leaders.

Since its inception in 2004, UCCS has offered year-round seminars and internships in journalism and public policy to more than 650 UC students, many of whom now work in policymaking at a variety of levels. Students enroll through UC Davis and, if they’re resident at another campus, credits earned are transferred to their home campus.

“The UC Center Sacramento plays an integral role in the university’s land grant mission,” said outgoing director Robert Huckfeldt. “It connects UC research and students to governance and problem solving in the state and provides the Sacramento policy community with a window into the university.” Huckfeldt, who has served as UCCS director since 2009, will return to full-time teaching and research in the UC Davis Department of Political Science.

He will be succeeded by Richard L. Kravitz, M.D., a physician and professor of internal medicine at UC Davis with extensive experience in administration and health policy. Kravitz will serve as interim director for one year, during which UC will reexamine the center’s mission through a strategic planning process to help identify a permanent director. Kravitz will report jointly to UC Provost Aimée Dorr and UC Davis Provost Ralph J. Hexter.

UCCS also supports systemwide policy research and public service, channeling UC expertise from all 10 campuses to decision-makers in the executive and legislative branches of government. It offers more than 40 public programs each year, inviting legislators, policy leaders and other stakeholders to share their research.

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