Simon Grad Photo What experiences as an undergrad were most valuable?
My time as a student worker on campus provided me with an incredibly diverse skillset that has prepared me for “anything imaginable” post-grad. Working as a Tour Guide & Visit Experience Coordinator for the Office of Admission not only gave me the most supportive working environment I have ever experienced, but it also allowed me to do what I do best every day: yap about how much I love Chapman!
I also loved being able to hold multiple different leadership positions in various clubs and organizations! My 2 year run as the Vice President of the ChapTones A Cappella is connected to so many of my most treasured memories, and serving as a committee member for the University Program Board allowed me to give back to the community that gave me so much.
Did you work closely with a faculty/staff member?
I attribute all of my success during my time at Chapman, to my professors. Coming from a small private school in New Jersey, I was looking for an environment in college where my professors would be accessible; I’d much rather be 1 of 30 in a class than being 1 of 300. I became super close with my 2 research faculty mentors: Dr. David Frederick and Dr. Amy Moors. I have been able work with them in their labs since freshman year, conducting my own research that later allowed me the opportunity to present at four international research conferences. I have also had some of the best laughs with Dr. Frederick and Professor Ashley Weller as an Undergraduate Instructional Assistant for their Human Sexuality classes. I am so grateful for my faculty mentors and all of the wisdom they have bestowed upon me the last four years.
Any advice for incoming students?
Whenever I give campus tours to prospective and admitted students, my first piece of advice to them is to get involved with the community! There have been so many studies that show students do better academically when students are invested in clubs and organizations on their campus. I have made my best friends through the activities I joined, and I know my Chapman Experience would not have been the same without them.
Simon Smiling
What are your future plans?
I want to go to grad school! I am taking time off of school to work and get more experience (and sleep), but I see myself back in the classroom in the upcoming years. I fell in love with academia during my time in the psychology department, and I am forever thankful to Crean College & Chapman University for fostering an environment where I could explore my passions freely.
Congratulations Valentyna!! We wish you the best!