Meet Caleb Chandler, student alumni ambassador
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Anchorage, Alaska, so the rain was nothing new to me when I first arrived. However, Alaska is much colder.
Initially, I wanted to be an engineer. But after remembering that I can’t do math or science, I realized it might not be the best fit. All the colleges I applied to were mostly engineering schools, but when I toured OSU for the first time, I was exposed to Orange Media Network. My first year was when they just moved to the Student Experience Center and after taking one step onto the floor, I instantly knew I wanted to come to OSU.
How close are you to graduating, and what’s next after that?
I am beginning my fourth and final year at OSU and will be graduating in the spring of 2019. Afterwards, I am hoping to stay on the West Coast and work in film production for a studio. However, working with the school news and becoming more aware of the world, I have started to enjoy bringing the stories of underrepresented people into the light. If I can use media platforms to let their journeys be heard and show they are not ignored, then I could use my knowledge of media to hopefully change someone’s life for the better.
What has been your favorite class at OSU?
There are a couple of pretty awesome classes I have taken with great teachers, but one that really stands out was an astronomy class my second year. We spent two hours a week looking at the stars. Our teacher didn’t worry about us knowing the fundamentals of dark matter or the theory of relativity. Instead, he allowed us to explore the universe and really get to experience what’s out there by observing it in real life and not in a PowerPoint.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned outside classes?
OSU is a very large campus and can be intimidating when walking the streets for the first time. I had to learn to really put myself out there to get out of my comfort zone and make things happen, rather than sit back and expect things to come to me.
What’s your favorite place to hang out on campus?
I have always loved the Student Experience Center. It is one of the newer buildings on campus and is the central hub for student life. When you walk into the front doors, you really feel a sense of community as many departments share the area.
What kind of support do you get from scholarships?
I have a couple grants based on academic performance, but I actually get most of my support from financial aid. Growing up, it was always a fear about money, as I knew we didn’t really have the money for out-of-state tuition. If OSU hadn’t given me scholarships and aid, I wouldn’t be able to attend here, so I am truly blessed for that.
Of all the things you could choose to get involved in on campus, why the Student Alumni Ambassadors?
I actually got anonymously nominated to join SAA. I wasn’t too sure about what the club was, but they did give away a lot of free food, so I thought it was worth hanging around for a little bit. After learning the goal of SAA, and the idea of bridging Beavers from past, present and future, I knew it was something I wanted to do.
What’s one thing you think would surprise alumni from 10 or 20 years ago about what it’s like to be an OSU student today?
Technology has increased the rate at which we get information immensely. I actually don’t know if I have ever checked a book out from the library, since I can get everything off the internet from my computer.
Is there anything else you’d like to say to a potential readership of 210,000 Beaver alumni and friends?
I never understood just how big Beaver Nation was until some random person in the middle of Maine saw my OSU shirt and ran up to me and yelled, “Go Beavs!” I originally thought of OSU as being in the middle of a farm in Oregon; the campus was the school. But OSU’s reach is worldwide with alumni all over the globe. There is a sense of pride when you are out of Oregon and you see someone showing off the orange and black OSU logo.
Student Alumni Ambassadors (SAA) is associated with the OSU Alumni Association and is dedicated to enhancing the connection among students past, present and future. SAA members coordinate a variety of events and initiatives that integrate students and alumni across Beaver Nation. For more info, visit osualum.com/saainterest.