chris moore in afghanistan

Chris Moore ’20 (right) in Afghanistan

Born and raised in Orange County, Chris Moore, left his friends and family to join the 82nd Airborne Division of the U.S. Army. Stationed in North Carolina, he served a total of four years. For nine months of his term, he was sent to Afghanistan to be a combat medic.

After hanging up his uniform, Chris attended Orange Coast College. From there, he transferred to Chapman to study Chemistry.

We wanted to thank Chris for his service to our country and learn a little bit more about his experience in Schmid College. Read on to hear about how Chris decided to pursue Chemistry and what he plans to do following graduation this spring.  

Q & A:

Q: What initially brought you to Chapman?

CM: “I went to community college first, but when I was looking for places to transfer, it just seemed like a natural fit. I grew up in Orange County, so I always had a ton of friends that went here, and I love the area. When I was initially considering going here, I met Dr. Schwartz, and she said it’s really intimate. And you get more personalized service, which I don’t think you’ll get that anywhere else. Dr. Kim got me into applying for fellowships. I honestly didn’t know anything about going to grad school, and he helped me prepare my applications. He made me feel prepared for that.”

Q: Why did you decide to major in chemistry?

CM: “Since I was a combat medic in the army, when I got out, I wanted to be a doctor and continue working in field surgery. But then, as I was going through chemistry, I started realizing I wanted to go more into inorganic chemistry. I like the material science aspect of chemistry rather than the life science aspect of it.

Q: What has been your favorite class so far?

CM: “I love all my chemistry classes. With the very small class sizes, it’s like we’re a family, and all the professors are really cool! But probably Analytical Chemistry with Dr. Gartner is my favorite. The whole semester was one big project that we could design and work on ourselves. It was very fulfilling.”

Q: What are your career goals and aspirations?

CM: “My ultimate goal is to start my own company. I want to do something with nanostructured materials and the fabrication of them. Hopefully, it will be some kind of aerospace company.”

Q: You graduate this spring – what are your plans following graduation?

CM: “I plan to apply to the Ph.D. program in Engineering with a concentration in materials and manufacturing technology at UCI. I also just applied for the GRFP Fellowship (NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program). My PI, Dr. Alon Gorodetsky, at UCI keeps bugging me to turn in my application for UCI early. He really wants me to do the program, and I like the team there.”

Q: Share with us about your research experience at UCI.

CM: “Since this past summer, I have been working at UCI in their materials engineering department. I started doing it for my capstone and then stayed because I enjoyed it. We are working on creating a smart material that can change color and specifically change its infrared band. The purpose being for camouflage so you could be invisible. I spent most of the summer researching different materials. Now I’m writing proposals and doing a lot more.”

Q: How did you discover this research opportunity?

CM: “I literally saw a YouTube video of Dr. Gorodetsky’s work and thought it was really cool. His website said ‘Caltech students only’ for undergrad research programs, but I contacted him anyway to see if I could get it. It started out as a summer spot, and then Dr. Gorodetsky asked me to stay. Currently, I work there three days a week for 10 hours. Then I have classes at Chapman two days a week.”

Q: How do you like the Keck Center? Any favorite study spots?

CM: “I love it! Spots fill up quickly, though. It has a lot of valuable real estate. When I first started at Chapman, I was in the basement of Hashinger. Every year it has become exponentially better. My favorite spot I’d say is under the McCardle Steps because it has big tables.”