As a Davis-area native — her hometown of Woodland, California, is just 20 minutes down the road — Amanda Houston grew up with an appreciation for UC and the array of opportunities the university offers. In 2017, she began a job in UC Davis Facilities Management: Building Maintenance Services where she really enjoyed working with people who worked with their hands, as it reminded her of working with her father on construction and woodworking projects while renovating their home.

Over the next few years, Amanda took positions in other offices on campus, expanding her knowledge,  skills and understanding of the multifaceted UC Davis community while getting a taste for diverse career paths, like research and student affairs. But when her current position as project coordinator with the Design and Construction Management (DCM)  team became available, she was eager to return to her first passion — helping the UC Davis campus flourish while enhancing sustainability for those who study, live and work there.

“I really missed the environment and people the construction field captures,” says Amanda. “l absolutely love our community at DCM — we enjoy working together, are very collaborative and support each other inside and out of the office; I couldn’t ask for a better team!”

Construction remains a predominantly male-dominated field; according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 10.9% of construction-industry jobs are held by women. But Amanda is no stranger to paving her own way. She is also a skilled PC gamer who has sparred against professional gamers and gaming industry veterans throughout California.

Amanda’s passion for gaming was bolstered by Pandora’s Mighty Soldiers, aka PMS, an all-female clan of gamers who connected over their passion for playing “Call of Duty.”  In 2008, when Amanda joined PMS, female representation in gaming was low and finding women who were talented gamers — or even groups who encouraged female gamers — was difficult. “Through PMS, I became part of an awesome community of men and women who accepted everyone from all skill levels and who further paved the way for a strong female presence within a male-dominated environment,” Amanda says.

Today, Amanda does console gaming for fun, but the lessons she learned through PMS about the importance of representation and support have continued to resonate throughout her personal life and career.

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UC Davis Project Coordinator Amanda Houston is a skilled PC gamer who has sparred against professionals throughout California.

Meet Amanda

Name: Amanda Houston

Title: Project Coordinator

Department/unit: Design and Construction Management

Location: UC Davis

When did you start working for UC? April 2017

Describe what you do for UC in five words or less: Contract administration and checks/balances

Why do you love working for UC? I love the many people I work with, the freedom to nourish work/life balance and the never-ending doors of opportunity.

What’s something people don’t know about you? Back in my college days I was in PMS — an all-female clan for PC gaming.

Who’s your dream dinner guest (living or dead) and why? Former NFL player J.J. Watt. What an amazing human example of incredible strength and talent paired with a great heart and sense of humor!

What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received? Never stop learning and always be who you are. Even if you need to tone yourself down sometimes, your personality makes you, you.

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