» Alumni in Action
Major: MFA English and Creative Writing
Since my graduation with my MFA in Creative Writing from Chapman in 2007 (I did the MA in English in 2006), I moved to the North Shore of Boston, settling in the Hamilton-Wenham township. Just down the road is a private liberal arts college, Gordon College, where I am now teaching part time (this is in addition to my full-time work as managing editor of a theological magazine called "Modern Reformation").
At Gordon, I am teaching a course (which I was asked to design) called "Aesthetic Aspects in Literature," along with a thematic writing course called "The Great Conversation." Through both classes, I realize I can have an impact on close to one hundred undergraduate students each year--a daunting responsibility. It's not only my job to teach them something about literature and writing, but it's also my job to help them think for themselves and seriously consider what it means to be human and even "present" (that is, living life to the fullest as much as possible in the ever-fleeting "moment" of "now")--especially today in the fast-paced technology/entertainment-glutted 21st century.
In our community, I'm involved with our local Congregational church and am on two committees: one to raise funds for renovations/improvements of the old church building, and one to help plan the yearlong celebration of the church's upcoming 300th anniversary in 2013/14. I'm also working with the resident church historian on writing a history of the church, which will be published in time for the anniversary. Through this, I believe I am having an impact on my community (in whatever small part I may play).
I'm also about to publish my novel "A Winter's Blooming," which was my MFA master's thesis, and have already started on a second novel. Hopefully that will have some impact (and perhaps even a few copies will sell!). Although these are some specific examples of how I at least hope I'm having a positive impact/influence on the world around me, I know that each of us impacts someone on a daily basis--oftentimes never knowing that we did so. A kind word or a smile can do wonders in just one person's life. In this way, I believe all of us impact our immediate sphere of influence--hopefully always for the good.
Major: BA History with a concentration in European History
After graduating from the History Department at Chapman University, my award winning senior thesis, Worship Industry or Starve: The Improvement Policy on the Sutherland Estate in Scotland, 1812-1820, was published in the Sutherland Collection, the single most important archive collection on the history of Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent in Scotland.
Since graduation I have been volunteering for California State Parks where I began working at the Crystal Cove Historic District and contributed ideas for the historic dance vignettes interpreting the 1935-1955 periods. At San Clemente State Beach I researched period-appropriate furnishings, assisted in the development of a cell phone audio tour, and helped to create a Civilian Conservation Corps Exhibit for the Visitors Center.
This fall I will be applying to the M.A Public History Program at UC Riverside. My ultimate goal is to preserve the history of California by conserving historic buildings and structures and use them to demonstrate the intrigue and the relevance of history for future generations.
Major: BA Political Science with a focus in International Relations/ Comparative Politics Minor Economics University Honors 2005
René Bennett is the Los Angeles HIV FOCUS Regional Lead for Gilead Sciences, Inc. In her position, René works with large hospitals, clinics, government agencies, and community leaders to implement and support routine HIV screening programs in health care settings. Prior to joining Gilead Sciences, René was the Managing Attorney of the Center for HIV Law and Policy in New York. She received her law degree from Tulane University School of Law (2008) and was Chapman University's Cheverton Award Recipient (2005).
Larry and Dulcie Kugelman
Majors: (Larry) BA Dual Degree in English Literature and Philosophy; (Duclie) BA Peace Studies
Larry and Dulcie Kugelman have a long history contributing to the advancement of people and their communities. Based on their own experiences, the Chapman couple created the Peace Builders Fund. Through the Peace Builders Fund, they support the Peace Studies program at Chapman University and fund peace-building awards that support student travel.
The Kugelmans provide the peace-building fellowships because they want students to learn and share with others the many possible ways to contribute to peace. Recipients of the peace-builders award have traveled to conferences around the world to present original research related to peace studies and issues surrounding inequality, as well as offering possible solutions.
Since the establishment of The Kugelman Family Peace-Builders Fellowship Endowment in 2007, nine students have received the award and have been provided with travel funds to study conflict analysis and resolution, conflict transformation, peace building, the general promotion of global understanding, as well as attend and present research at international conferences.
Major: BFA Creative Producing Minor: Sociology
Currently alumnus Sarah Dawson (’14, BFA Creative Producing, Minor in Sociology) is teaching English in Aranyaprathet, Thailand - three hours from Bangkok and six kilometers from the Cambodian border. She is teaching at a large government school of about 2,500 students, and her classes consist of students ages 12-16. After her contract is up, she plans on traveling Southeast Asia. Her sociology courses at Chapman - specifically Global Family Systems with Professor Pat See - are what initially inspired her to take this step post-grad. Before she left, Dawson said this, “I could not be more excited and definitely have Chapman to thank for encouraging me to embrace my global citizenship!”