Derek Smith ’07 is committed to the next generation of college students.
Derek Smith’s interest in political science began during dinner table and car ride conversations with his “political junkie” father. At UC Davis, Smith’s love of political science only grew.
“My first poli sci class freshman year gave me a forum to conduct research and brought out my desire to learn more about political science,” said Smith, a native of Marin County, Calif. “I’m fascinated by how a simple issue can cause people to have such different opinions.”
During his junior year he enrolled in the UC Davis Washington Program, which allows students to intern at the nation’s capital, take an elective course and participate in a research seminar. Smith had such a transformative experience in the program that he moved to Washington, D.C. after graduating from UC Davis and earned a master’s degree in public policy from American University.
Despite living 3,000 miles away, Smith wanted to remain connected to UC Davis and so decided to join the UC Davis Chancellor’s Club (DCC). The DCC recognizes donors making a gift of $1,000 or more to the UC Davis Annual Fund in support of the university overall. As a recent college graduate, Smith is one of the group’s youngest members.
“Where I am today and a lot of what I’ve accomplished is because I went to UC Davis,” said Smith, who recently relocated back to northern California and works at Cisco Systems, Inc. “Personally, it makes me feel good that I can give to the next generation of UC Davis students.”