Phuong Nguyen —
The Rambler: How did you enjoy your undergrad experience? What were your favorite parts of college?
Professor Chandler: Undergraduate was a rough time for me. I was still trying to figure out what I wanted to do and who I was, traditional things that people at the age of 18 and 22…it’s a very transformational time. Things that stuck out…I met my wife, so it was kind of a big event for me.
Professor Chandler: I think you have to try to find experiences, or seek examples of where you want to be in the future. Trying to gain a perspective of where you are going with your life is something people should be striving for, then fill in the blank of how to get there. When I was 20, I really didn’t have any ideas what I wanted to do or what the possibilities were in Chemistry. I knew I was very interested in it and I liked being engaged in it. But I didn’t know there were actually jobs out there for somebody of my type of skills. I think it’s important for people your age to try to figure out what’s going on out in the world and where you want to be or try to go after it…It’s easy to be pushed around in life and let somebody else’s dreams to precede what yours are.
The Rambler: What is your guiding principle?
Professor Chandler: I try to make it students first here. I asked myself whether or not my students are going to benefit from the things that I engage in. As faculty here, our times get split between a lot of different things and I’ve started to learn that it’s important to try to pick things to do that hit more than one thing at a time. So, teaching and scholarship, I try to do them hand in hand…
The Rambler: What’s your number one advice for graduating seniors?
Professor Chandler: I don’t know if I could give you a simple sentence that sums it up. Different seniors need to hear different things…I would encourage people to figure out what they are curious about and try to always maintain that curiosity and spark that curiosity as much as possible. Regardless of how much money you are making or what you are doing, if there’s something you are truly excited about, that’s something that would maintain happiness.