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THE DOWNLOAD: Fetal Surgery, Alumna Spotlight, Miss Idaho

By Cody Kitaura/Dateline on February 26, 2019 in University

Alex's Story: Fetal Surgery at UC Davis Improves Spina Bifida Outcome

Estella Mendoza of Dixon was 15 weeks pregnant in September 2016 when a routine blood test and an ultrasound examination detected a serious abnormality: Her fetus had myelomeningocele, a form of spina bifida.

Later that year, Mendoza's baby, Alexander, became the first patient at UC Davis Children's Hospital to undergo potentially life-changing open-fetal surgery for spina bifida.

See an update on Alexander's progress in the above video, and read more in this 2017 article on the UC Davis Health website.

From opera to computer chips

Michelle Leyden Li, JD ’93, MBA ’95, can thank a happy coincidence for landing at the UC Davis Graduate School of Management. A former opera singer who married an opera singer, Leyden Li enrolled at the UC Davis School of Law because she wanted to gain the skills to better manage her husband’s career.

Soon after arriving on campus, she discovered the joint MBA program. She received her law degree and passed the bar, and then fell in love with business and marketing. After earning her MBA in 1995, she did a short stint in public relations for classical music in New York.

A chance phone call with a fellow GSM alumna working at Intel led to Leyden Li applying for an opportunity there, even though she lacked a tech background. It was the beginning of a meteoric rise in the marketing ranks in the ultracompetitive global chip industry.

She is one of the Graduate School of Management's 2018-19 alumni award recipients.

Read more about her in this 2016 profile.

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