photo of student leader David ChenYear in School: 4th

Hometown: San Jose, CA

Major(s): Economics and International Relations

On-campus leadership roles/positions/organizations: 
Student Representative to the UCOP SVSA Task Force Work Group

Member of Campus Judicial Board

Member of Club Finance Council

Coordinated Community Response Team

Phi Alpha Delta- Past Professional Chair of Law 

Why do you choose to be involved as a student leader?
I joined Phi Alpha Delta my fall quarter freshmen year. It did a lot for me. The people that I was close to happened to be some of the most active members at the time. Seeing them shape our fraternity made me want to do the same. I saw how much the fraternity had done for my personal, professional, and intellectual development. I chose to be involved because I wanted to ensure that other students could benefit from these same resources. My first leadership role on campus made me see what I could do and made me want to take on more positions. 

What have you learned about leadership through your work with others on campus?
One thing I say is “You don’t have to have a leadership position to be a leader.” All it takes is to be active and push others to be active. I did not have a formal leadership role until my junior year, but I was always one of the more active members of my organizations. 

What is your most memorable experience at UC, Davis?
This quarter is by far one of the more memorable. This quarter I was mentoring 20 new members in my fraternity along with my housemate on top or our other co-circulars. I was all over the place, but it was rewarding to see how I made an impact by introducing the new members to how we run things in our fraternity. Setting the ground works for the next generation.  

What is your favorite UC Davis tradition?
Picnic Day. Some people like to go crazy. I usually just like to take a relaxed day with my friends. Wake up and have a huge break with waffles and bacon. The Doxie Derby is pretty cool too

What advice would you give to a student thinking about getting involved?
I am very much a believer in leading by example. A common interview question I like is “Is it more important to lead or follow.” I think you cannot be a great leader unless you first know how to follow. Start out by being active in whatever co-circulars you pursue and take advantage of very opportunity you are given so you can show you want to be there. While being a follower you learn how to lead. 

How does getting involved complement your studies?
Just having many time commitments forces you to be better at managing your time and being more diligent in your studies. You have to be on top of your work. 

Future plans
I am applying for law school now. I have been going on this pre-law track so I joined Phi Alpha Delta to learn more about what law school entails and how to apply. Being a leader in my fraternity helped solidify my desire to go into law. Just being involved in all these co-circulars has given me the confidence to pursue my professional aspirations. 

Fun Facts

  • Role Model: I’ve taken inspiration from many people. My dad for being a hard working. My aunts for their work ethic and generosity. Also, a historical figure would be Andrew Carnegie.
  • Favorite Quote/Motto: “No man becomes rich unless he enriches others.” – Andrew Carnegie
  • Hobbies: Gaming, watching TV, hanging out with friends, and cooking.