Last week was Chapman’s semi-annual Lunch with a Professor event, where students and professors can meet and talk over a free lunch at Randall Dining Commons. Students and faculty from across campus congregated in the Commons to discuss everything from class to future career goals, research to life advice. All around the Commons, students and professors were getting to know each other and fostering mentorships that are nearly impossible to create in the traditional classroom environment.

In one corner, Dr. Uri Maoz met with some of his students from the Institute for Interdisciplinary Brain and Behavioral Sciences. They discussed everything from the Institute’s research to the student’s classes to the chance of rain later that week. A few tables over, Dr. Virginia Warren talked with her student Athena. The pair had attended the event last semester and loved it so much that they decided to come back. Dr. Warren enjoys taking the time to get to know Athena better as a person, outside the classroom experience. Together they discussed life strategies for after graduation, how to gain contacts, and make the most of the opportunities presented to you.

A few tables over, Dr. Laura Cook talks to some of her pharmacy students, a group that had ventured all the way from the Rinker campus. Together, they discussed class, alternative methods of instruction besides typical classrooms, and overall life goals. They joked that, while they loved the event, they would love it even more if Chapman hosted such lunches once a month instead of once a semester.

Dr. Marie Nubia-Feliciano and her student Colette engaged in intense conversation over the course of lunch about Colette’s thesis. Though Colette has been in class with Dr. Nubia-Feliciano for three semesters now, this lunch gave them a chance to better get to know each other outside the classroom. Dr. Nubia-Feliciano is now able to better assess her role in Colette’s life and understand what kind of help she can give as thesis deadlines loom nearer. They heard about the event and thought it sounded like an interesting opportunity, but they had no idea how much they would learn from each other until they sat down and started talking. Over the course of the conversation, both said they are very thankful for finding the program and having the opportunity to foster student-professor mentorships outside the classroom.

Students and faculty from all of the schools at Chapman enjoyed eating lunch together last week. Students took advantage of the opportunity to talk to professors across all fields, from discussing chemistry with Dr. Elaine Schwartz to discussing Wall Street with Dr. Terry Burnham. Professors from Dodge and Wilkinson sat down to talk life paths and advice with students they normally would not have the opportunity to engage with on this level.

This semester’s Lunch with a Professor was a resounding success. Stay tuned for more information on the next Lunch with a Professor event in the spring, April 8-12!

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