Meet the Staff

Staff

Jen Butler

Jen Butler

  • Executive Director

As executive director of Student Affairs Marketing and Communications (SAMC), Jen oversees communications strategy and marketing for the Division of Student Affairs and its nearly 30 departments. Her responsibilities include translating university- and systemwide policy priorities into communications and brand strategy, taking a leading role in crisis communications and collaborating with departments within the division to ensure they are maximizing reach with their audience and effectively communicating their services and story.

Prior to her 2019 start at UC Davis, Jen spent 15 successful years at the senior management level directing branding, marketing, sales and admissions efforts in corporate, non-profit and educational environments. A creative yet analytical strategic leader, she has a unique combination of big picture vision and tactical execution skills and the proven ability to develop programs from scratch and lead complex turnarounds. A consensus builder, she is adept at rallying teams and facilitating change.

Away from work, Jen enjoys her daily adventures with her husband and very active twin daughters. 

Justin Ling

Justin Ling

  • Associate Director

As associate director of web and analytics for SAMC, Justin is responsible for developing divisional websites. Creating accessible, usable and easy-to-navigate websites is Justin's top priority and guiding principle. As a one-time undergraduate student at UC Davis, Justin understands the challenges students face in finding current and relevant information and is focused on making websites for the Division of Student Affairs easy for students to navigate.

Justin was born and raised in the Central Valley and is a first-generation college graduate. He attended UC Davis in the early 90s and went on to get his MBA from CSU Sacramento. Justin is a lifelong UC Davis employee and got his start working at the Memorial Union Games Area as a customer service rep during his sophomore year. He spent a very short time working at E-Trade only to discover that he really needed to get back to UC Davis.

In his free time, Justin is raising three children with his wife, playing golf or playing video games online.

 

Andrew McDaniel

Andrew McDaniel

  • Associate Director

Andrew is an award-winning marketing and communications professional with a penchant for storytelling across multiple channels and platforms. Currently serving as associate marketing and communications director for SAMC, he co-led the launch of UC Davis’ first Sexual Violence Education and Awareness campaign and the UC Davis NOW mobile app.

Andrew has worked in journalism, marketing, public relations and communications. He has written more than 600 articles, produced 23 nationally-syndicated radio documentaries and has written advertising copy for international companies, including Chiquita and Ocean Spray. He has a B.A. in Communications from Flagler College and certificates in Journalism and Management from Georgetown University and the University of California, Davis.

 

Jenn Vaughn

Jennifer Vaughn

  • Creative Director

Jenn Vaughn worked for boutique design agencies, tech startups and Fortune 500 companies before pursuing her dream job in higher education. As SAMC's creative director, she leads brand strategy across all divisional departments, channels and segments. A first-generation college student, Jenn earned a B.A. in Public Communication from American University.

For over 20 years, Jenn has art-directed award-winning marketing campaigns across print, digital and social, as well as led rebranding and design efforts for large-scale, corporate identity systems. With over 100 logos to her credit, her work also includes designing the logo, identity system and branding standards for Howard University and Washington and Lee University, designing the UI/UX for a cloud storage app for Western Digital and redesigning the website for Ronald McDonald House of San Francisco.

After living 10 years in Washington, D.C., Jenn is delighted to be back in her native Northern California. Away from work, Jenn enjoys propagating succulents, refashioning sewing projects and exploring hiking trails and good eats with her husband and son.

Learn more about Jenn

Elizabeth Cooley

Elizabeth Cooley

  • Marketing Communications Specialist
Elizabeth Cooley is a dynamic marketing communications specialist who assists SAMC with various Student Affairs newsletters, content strategy, writing and editing. With a diverse professional background that spans politics, law and non-profit sectors, she brings a unique perspective to her role. Her previous experience includes successfully spearheading marketing campaigns targeted at rural voters and collaborating on a California statewide initiative with the ACLU focused on students’ rights.
 
Elizabeth is a proud Cyclone and alum of Iowa State University, where she was awarded a BA in Criminal Justice studies along with minors in English and Political Science. In addition to her undergraduate degree, Elizabeth has numerous professional certificates in law, digital marketing and graphic design. Beyond her professional endeavors, Elizabeth finds joy in outdoor pursuits like hiking, indulging her culinary creativity in the kitchen and immersing herself in a good book during her leisure time.
Justin Lok

Justin Lok

  • Web and Multimedia Marketing Specialist

Justin is part of the SAMC web team. Having earned his degree in design from UC Davis, he uses design thinking along with systems thinking to ensure Student Affairs departments are mindful of the user’s overall in-person and web-based experience, as well as coming up with ways to align web content strategy in a sustainable, manageable way.

In his work across Student Affairs, Justin has developed an interest in the many ways that departments are interconnected and looks for opportunities to highlight these synergies. With the shift to a centralized campus web content management system, he has identified many similarities and been able to leverage his knowledge of site features and technology across the division.

 

Ashley Tongol

Ashley Tongol

  • Social Media Coordinator

As the social media coordinator for SAMC, Ashley manages our social media platforms and collaborates on all aspects of content creation. When it comes to strategy and capturing media, Ashley prioritizes authentic storytelling and looks for ways that SAMC’s resources can bring our UC Davis student community closer together.

She graduated from UC Davis in summer of 2021 where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Cinema & Digital Media, as well as a minor in English and a minor in Global Studies with an emphasis in “Asian Culture Portrayed Through Artistic Mediums.” Following graduation, she worked with UC Davis Athletics as a Digital Media Fellow for two years.

In her free time, she enjoys thrifting, conversations with friends, swimming and trying new matcha drinks. She will also get involved in small crew roles for film productions and indulge in various creative outlets like photography or videography.

Student Assistants

Leila Adatto

Leila Adatto

  • Social Media Intern

Leila (Class of 2024) is a third-year Design and Psychology double major. She works as a social media intern for SAMC, creating and posting engaging content for the UC Davis Life social media platforms. Leila’s interest in social media began when she worked as the communications intern for Hillel at Davis and Sacramento (the Jewish organization on campus) where she managed and created content for Hillel’s social media platforms. She was also the social media coordinator for Nazun (a baking philanthropy club on campus) before she became president of the club. 

Leila is originally from Redondo Beach in Southern California, but she loves the NorCal college town vibe and the beautiful campus of Davis. In her free time, Leila enjoys playing soccer, cooking and baking, watching TV and hanging out with friends. 

Where is somewhere you've always wanted to travel to?

I’ve always wanted to travel to Italy to experience its rich culture, history and beauty, and to try authentic Italian food.

What's your favorite spot on campus and why?

My favorite spot on campus is the Arboretum because I love being surrounded by beautiful nature. I feel very calm and relaxed whenever I’m there. 

Rafael Bertacini

Rafael Bertacini

  • Student Designer

Rafael is a Design graduate student from Brazil. He works as a graphic designer for SAMC, creating visual communication, logos and digital and printed media. As a multidisciplinary designer and photographer, Rafael achieved significant success working with big brands such as Heinz, Monster and Budweiser, as well as with various celebrities in Brazil. His Bachelor’s degree is in Industrial and Graphic Design, and he has a Master of Arts degree in Material Culture and Textile Studies from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He received a Provost’s First-Year Fellowship in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences to pursue his second Master’s degree, this time at UC Davis. You can find more of his work by visiting: https://brtcn.co.

In his free time, Rafael loves spending time with his family, dog and friends. He also enjoys working on handcrafts, furniture refinishing and studying astrology (he is a Capricorn, by the way).

Describe your musical taste.

It is more diverse and random than a playlist made by a cat walking on a keyboard. It swings from Brazilian funk to pop hits, then drifts into indie and folk. For example, I love listening to Miley Cyrus, Vance Joy and Anitta with the same intensity.

Do you have a favorite quote?

One of my favorite quotes, from Michel Foucault, was also part of my M.A. exhibition: “If you knew when you began a book what you would say at the end, do you think that you would have the courage to write it?”

Robin Dewis posing for a portrait in her home

Robin Dewis

  • Editorial and Content Creation Assistant

Robin (Class of 2024) is an English and Medieval Studies double major. She works as an Editorial and Content Creation Assistant at SAMC, developing written content for various UC Davis platforms to support Student Affairs and promote school resources. Robin’s love for writing and editing was first realized in her role as her high school yearbook’s copy editor, and she currently reads submissions for the UC Davis literary magazine Open Ceilings. 

When she’s not working or in class, Robin enjoys reading, baking for her friends and family and listening to music. She can also be found back at home in San Jose, annoying her cats and practicing piano. In the future, Robin hopes to work in the book publishing industry.

What's your favorite dish? Favorite to cook?

It’s impossible to choose, so a few of my favorite dishes include udon, beef stew and anything in a bread bowl. I usually cook pretty simple dishes that are comforting or nostalgic to me, like fried spam with rice and grilled mochi in broth. These dishes are super easy and quick to make, yet still delicious!

Describe your musical taste. 

My musical taste is extremely varied; I often say it depends more on the song than the artist. I listen to a lot of pop and have a soft spot for musicals, with a bit of everything else sprinkled in. But, when I have to pick a favorite artist, it’s always Taylor Swift. Her Reputation concert will always be one of the best I’ve attended, and her albums never disappoint.

Carmen Flores

Carmen Flores

  • Student Designer

Carmen (Class of 2024) is a third-year Design major. She works as a student designer at SAMC, producing content like logos and flyers for several organizations on campus. Her interest in graphic design started in middle school, where she used to spend hours crafting the perfect presentations on PowerPoint.

In her free time, she likes breadmaking, taking care of her houseplants and learning about different cultures!

What is your favorite part of being a UC Davis student?

I love the sense of community here! Everyone is genuinely so kind here. As a transfer student, I was a bit worried about fitting in, but everyone has been so welcoming!

Where is somewhere you've always wanted to travel to?

I’d love to travel to Sweden. Seeing the Northern Lights is a bucket list item for me, plus I’d be able to try Swedish meatballs.

Megan Hooper

Megan Hooper

  • Student Designer

Meg (Class of 2024) is a third-year Design major and works as a student designer at SAMC, where she assists the team in creating graphic elements and other deliverables for different organizations across campus. Prior to joining SAMC, Meg worked for wildlife protection service Bushlife Conservancy and led the organization’s website redesign initiative. She also participates as a graphics lead for the Design Careers Club, an on-campus student organization dedicated to supporting the professional development of design majors in all fields.

When away from her work, Meg most enjoys spending time in Photoshop as an aspiring concept artist, where she draws imaginative characters and environments from her imagination. Native to the Bay Area, she also likes to take the occasional weekend drive back to Marin County to spend time with family (and her three cats).

What brought you to UC Davis?

The walking tour I took my junior year of high school. Beforehand, I’d been anxious about college to the point where I refused to talk about it with parents, counselors—practically anybody. Yet the moment I stepped foot on campus and experienced the warmth not only of the weather, but also the student body, staff and relaxing scenery, I knew Davis was the school for me.

Desert album, movie and book?

I’d definitely have to go with Hot Fuss (The Killers), Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and The Amber Spyglass, respectively.

Sofia Trujillo

Sofia Trujillo

  • Social Media Intern

Sofia (Class of 2027) is a Cognitive Science and Design double major. She works for the SAMC as a social media intern, where she creates video series and interactive posts for the UC Davis Life social media account. Sofia's interest in content creation began in middle school when she started making silly skits and mini short films with her classmates. Ever since then, she's involved herself in all sorts of digital media-related endeavors where she is able to take pictures and videos of her own.

In her free time, she loves trying out new baking projects, doing something crafty, going on hikes with friends, exploring the world around her or holding movie marathons.

What’s your favorite dish? Favorite to cook?

I absolutely adore pasta. It is delicious, easy to make and can be so incredibly versatile since you can make it in so many different ways. I really love pesto pasta or anything with a creamy tomato base. I hope to try making my own pasta one day!

What’s somewhere you’ve always wanted to travel? 

I've always wanted to go to Europe and explore each country's diverse cuisine, culture, customs and landscape. I would love to go backpacking through the Dolomites or the Alps, as well as visit lots of museums and interesting architectural landmarks throughout the continent.