When he’s not working at Chapman University as a digital artist for Panther Productions,
Alex Struppa
, BFA digital arts ’11, is taking to the sky. He has a passion for skydiving, both participating in competitions and helping others learn the sport. In a recent jump, Alex filmed the experience using Google Glass.

Alex (along with his team, Perris Impulse) is currently preparing for the United States Parachute Association (USPA) national skydiving championship in September in Chicago. Read on to learn more about Alex and find out how he got interested in skydiving.

How did you originally get interested and involved in skydiving?

When I was 15 my dad asked me if I wanted to jump. I said yes. That was my first skydive. After going tandem he said to me: If you like, I’ll get you going for your AFF (training to get certified). At the age of 16 I was in the sky by myself and fell in love with the sport.

Tell us about your job taking groups of people skydiving.

If I’m not training during the weekend, you’ll find me load organizing. It’s great. The goal is to help fellow jumpers learn new skills while keeping it safe. Briefing first, then the jump and then a short debrief. No matter the level of expertise, every jump is fun. The satisfaction of knowing that you are contributing to the growth of the community feels amazing.

Tell us about your upcoming national competition.

We’ll be in Chicago September 10-23 for the United States Parachute Association (USPA) national championship. We’ll be competing (Perris Impulse) in an event called 2-way VFS, which consists of creating the greatest number of vertical (head-up or head-down) formations within a limited time. It will be very challenging and an incredible experience.

What is your most memorable jump or experience with skydiving?

My very first solo jump. After my AFF I finally exited the plane by myself. Amazing! You can’t describe what it is like to be able to move freely in the sky. I knew that day I wasn’t going to live my life too far away from the sky.

What advice do you have for current students who want to make the most out of their time at Chapman?

Keep busy and learn as much as you can. Don’t be afraid of sharing ideas and be always open to criticism. Don’t forget to have fun and do what you love.

From your time at Chapman, which faculty member(s) made the greatest impact on you and why?

Adam Rote
. Best guy ever. Great teacher and mentor. There is a lot to learn from this guy. His skills, attitude and passion! He is the perfect example of what it looks like to love your job.

How has your Chapman degree helped you in your professional and personal life?

Chapman University literally changed my life. It was the best thing that could have happened to me. It is the very reason why I am now able to go to nationals.

What is your favorite Chapman memory?

Lots of great memories! All those nights spent in the labs working on endless projects at the film school with my good friend, Victor. Once we worked until 3 a.m. and then left directly from the labs and he dropped me at LAX since I was leaving for Europe. One week later he picked me up and we drove back to the labs.

What was your favorite spot on campus as a student?

Attallah Piazza. Chilling on the grass between lectures. If I was still a student I would probably say the pool next to the dorms.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with the Chapman Family?

I am working on creating a new program for the athletics department to have a skydiving class, a way to introduce this amazing sport to our students. The plan is to have wind tunnel sessions and a skydive. My goal is to raise awareness about the sport I love and possibly get a team going for the nationals collegiate competition. Anyone interested in flying?

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Interested in learning more about skydiving?
Get in touch with Alex by emailing him at astruppa@chapman.edu.