Mahiri Comeaux leaps in the air with arms outstretched wearing a commencement robe and Chicanx/Latinx stole

Creating Meaningful Impact Within the UC Davis Community and Abroad

Comeaux seated on a fire truck with a blue UC Davis fire department jacket and hat.
Comeaux in 2021, when the UC Davis Fire Department first hired him.  (Photo: UC Davis Fire Chief Nathan Trauernicht).

In college, it can be challenging to balance school, work, extracurriculars, and a social life. With rigorous academics and a wide range of work and extracurricular opportunities, UC Davis students are well-accustomed to the balancing act. Mahiri Comeaux is one of these multi-talented students who did not waste a single moment during his years at Davis.

Comeaux’s list of accomplishments is impressive: STREAM Social Media Intern to the UC Davis Fire Department, pioneer for the launch of Health 34, Gilman Scholarship recipient, Fund for Education Abroad recipient, and founder of Moore Truth More Change. The list goes on and on. As an Aggie, Comeaux’s experiences took him many places, including Barcelona, Spain. 

Adapting to Change

Interested in the 2023 UC Education Abroad (UCEAP) program in Barcelona, Comeaux researched scholarship opportunities and applied for the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship, a federal program that enables students of limited financial means to study or intern abroad. Undergoing a rigorous application process, Comeaux walked away with not only the Gilman Scholarship but also a Fund for Education Abroad Scholarship.

“As a Global Aggie, you have to be a go-getter. It’s important to take time to sit down and look at the logistics of it. Adapt, plan, and move forward with your goals,” said Comeaux.

Comeaux stands in front of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain.
Comeaux in front of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain.

Fluent in Spanish, while in Barcelona, Comeaux took classes focused on population health and demographics, global justice and sustainability, and laws specialized in art. Covering a wide range of topics in just four weeks, his time abroad was enriching and allowed him to fulfill the requirements for his sociology minor. Streaming into their lifestyle, as Comeaux describes it, he highlighted the importance of adapting to other cultures to establish mutual respect between yourself and locals. Leveraging the intercultural communication skills he cultivated in Davis, Comeaux embraced a broad-minded approach to his study abroad in Spain, effectively optimizing his limited time there.

“Open yourself to adapt to whatever environment you’re going to. If I’m going to Barcelona, I have to adapt to their culture. Although you’re different and distinctive, stream into their lifestyle,” shared Comeaux.

Cultivating Connections

Upon returning from study abroad, Comeaux remained busy with his plethora of jobs and other activities. As a member of STREAM, UC Davis’ Strategic Communications intern crew for social media, Comeaux created culturally conscious and identity-based social media content for the UC Davis Fire Department (UCDFD) and Health 34. He suited up and jumped on calls for three and a half years. Comeaux documented the action first-hand, allowing the public insight into the realities of life as a firefighter, student firefighter, EMT, student EMT, Health 34 provider, and more. On top of this, he was also an assistant to Chancellor May’s Instagram. 

Entering Davis as a freshman, Comeaux caught Chancellor May's attention with his non-profit organization, Moore Truth More Change. His program, aimed at serving underrepresented youth, uses podcasts, community clean-ups, and book giveaways to make a tangible impact. As one of Comeaux’s first guests on the podcast, Chancellor May and Comeaux quickly bonded, leading to a close connection that continues to this day. Assuming the position of a podcast guest himself, Comeaux sat down for an episode of Face-to-Face with Chancellor May to discuss how Moore Truth More Change engages Black and Latinx youth. After explaining the initial process of reaching out to the chancellor, Comeaux remarked, “Chancellor May wants to make himself accessible. He really does care for the students of UC Davis.”

Looking Towards the Future

Comeaux and Chancellor May stand side by side in front of Mrak Hall.
Comeaux and Chancellor May standing in front of Mrak Hall on May 13, 2024, Comeaux’s first day as the Executive Social Media Specialist for the Strategic Communications Department.

Comeaux graduated in 2024. As he transitions into the next stage of his life, Comeaux reflects on how his experiences through Davis, both globally and locally, have shaped him for a brighter future. 

Through his academics, Comeaux feels that the fast-paced nature of the quarter system prepares an individual well for the career world. Forced to exercise the characteristics of a go-getter, Comeaux explained how UC Davis prompts an individual to communicate and make meaningful connections. With so many helpful individuals who looked out for him, Comeaux is grateful for the open doors of opportunity that evolved between himself and others. Comeaux believes that using proper interpersonal skills in a close-knit community like Davis can go a long way. 

Comeaux recently assumed a full-time position as an executive social media specialist for UC Davis Strategic Communications. Continuing to make an impact in the local community, he is excited for the future and the next step in his career. A well-rounded individual with an open mind, Comeaux demonstrates the qualities of a “Global Aggie” not only abroad but within Davis itself. Describing himself as an “extroverted introvert,” Comeaux’s positive demeanor and attitude on life prompts him to be highly regarded by students and faculty alike. A valuable asset to the UC Davis community, Comeaux will continue to spread his influence on rising Aggies as he assumes his new role within Strategic Communications.


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