Emily Williams ’08 is racing to success
January 21, 2015
, B.A. psychology ’08, is a chameleon. During the week, she puts her education and passion into action as the director of education for a mental health agency in Boise, Idaho. But when the weekend rolls around, Emily transforms into a Super Comp driver, racing on the NHRA circuit nine months out of the year.
In addition to her Chapman degree, Emily holds an M.A. in human development from Washington State University. She attributes a large portion of her success, both on and off the track, to her time at Chapman where she learned to take risks and reach for new experiences. She also honed her leadership skills during her Chapman days as president of Phi Sigma Sigma and was named Chapter President of the Year in 2008.
Today, Emily focuses most of her energy on her career, improving her racing skills and continuing her love of learning.
Tell us about your career – what do you do on a day to day basis?
My day job is director of education for a mental health agency in Boise, Idaho. I am passionate about offering individuals the opportunity to become healthy and happy. Many of these clients are low-income and our services are there when they have nowhere else to turn. I love answering those phone calls and offering help. I also find great joy in mentoring others to offer compassionate and caring services to those in need.
As much as I love my day job, I live for the weekends. I love staying busy and I love learning. This is most evident by my drag racing hobby. Nine months out of the year, my dad and I race a Super Comp Dragster all around the Pacific Northwest. Our team name is
– a nickname I was given while at Chapman.
During my tenure at Chapman, I also began running – a sport that has helped me through many difficult times. In 2013, I challenged myself to run every day of the year – a minimum of one mile. I have stayed committed to that challenge and just celebrated two years of daily running without breaking my streak. I completed my first marathon in 2014 and hope to complete my first ultra-marathon in 2015.
Tell us about EMDUB Racing – how did you get involved in racing?
While I was at Chapman, I attended many of the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) races in Pomona with my dad. I love the adrenaline that came from watching the cars speed down the track. At one race we decided we couldn’t be just spectators anymore.
I signed up for a licensing class in 2008, took a few days off classes and dedicated myself to learning how to drive a racecar.
I loved the experience and was determined to make this dream a reality. We bought a car and trailer and spent the next few years learning how to do everything from buckle me in to changing the oil. It was a blast! Now my dad and I take turns racing, depending on our schedules. We enjoy sharing that time together and challenging our racing skills.
What insight would you give to current students and alumni who are searching for employment?
Employment doesn’t have to be a job with a desk that you sit at 40 hours a week. Employment can be anything you want it to be. My biggest recommendation is to find a job in your field and work toward making it your dream job. Ask for projects, work hard and put yourself out there. If you view your employment as a job, that’s what it will be. If you view it as a chance to challenge yourself, the opportunities are endless!
What advice do you have for current students who want to make the most out of their time at Chapman?
I recommend taking as many chances as possible. As life moves on, it gets harder and harder to take those chances. College is the perfect time to try a new hobby, take a fun class and dream big. I’m so grateful for the chances I took while I was at Chapman.
How has your Chapman degree helped you in your professional and personal life?
Having a college degree is so important today, but I’m a firm believer that the experiences I had during my time at Chapman have made a larger impact on my life than the degree I obtained. Chapman taught me patience and perseverance, while helping me realize my passions.
What is your favorite Chapman memory?
My favorite Chapman memories are the wonderful times I spent with my sorority, Phi Sigma Sigma. Being in a sorority was such a fun experience, while teaching me many life lessons I still use to this day. Not to mention, the amazing friends I made. I highly recommend Greek life!
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