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February 5th, 2013
What is your name? Justin Chi Where are you from? Corvallis, OR What school do you go to? What year are you? Oregon State University, 5th year Do you hold any positions in your AIChE chapter or with AIChE nationally? Senior Representative and International Ambassador for OSU Chapter and Pacific NW Regional Liaison with the Executive Student Committee. Describe an event in your chapter that you are most proud to have been involved with. Last year my two co-presidents and I put together an outstanding advisor nomination for Dr. Skip Rochefort, without his knowing. After being awarded the honor, his first surprised e-mail and stealing the mic at nationals were definitely highlights. What are your plans after graduation? In what field are you most interested in having an impact? After graduation, I plan to work before looking to pursue a graduate degree. I am interested in working with water, whether through wastewater engineering, remediation, or another field, to work towards reducing the world’s water crisis. How do you blow off steam and keep your sanity between classes, homework and projects? Besides visiting home and seeing the family, my friends and I enjoy a wide assortment of activities more common to adolescents, be it scootering around town, playing board games, or glow in the dark sports (glow in the dark volleyball is as hard as it sounds). I do a lot of photography and videography on the side, which is a good contrast to all the engineering and allows my creative side to run free. Also, when time permits, sleep always seems to help. Which of your undergraduate classes have you most enjoyed? My favorite class so far has been a class called “Systems Thinking and Practice,” where our professor helped us seemingly rewire our brains to think differently and openly about mindsets, problems, and pathways to solutions. I came away being a lot more cognizant of whole systems and seeing things with broader connective eyes. Interesting stuff to say the least. How did you decide to pursue a degree in ChE? I am actually an environmental engineer, which I decided on partly because it sounded like good hard work, and also because of an eye-opening environmental high school class and my sister’s environmental justice work. What are you most looking forward to after graduation? I am excited to meet new people and experience new work, places, and cultures. While I appreciate consistency and simplicity, I also love change. I grew up in the town I went to college in so I am also looking forward to life on my own and, unfortunately, to no more going home all the time for delicious meals. What will you be most saddened to leave behind at school when you move on? I will miss the sense of community that I experienced at all levels; from Oregon State University, to the College of Engineering, down to our family of chemical, biological and environmental engineering, and lastly the crew of friends who were always there for me. College was a fun learning environment with great and familiar people all around me and I will be sad to leave that behind. Do you have any advice to incoming students and underclassmen ChEs around the world? Get Chenected! In all honesty, establishing connections with professors early is important and beneficial, as well as making an effort to meet and maintain contact with professionals in industry. You can never have too many friends and connections if you want to be successful. Also, get involved while making those connections, whether volunteering or working in a lab or get leadership roles in organizations. What's your first thought when you wake up in the morning? I think about what my goal of the day is – meet five new people, learn a new word in a different language, stand on my left foot as much as possible, overpopulate my vocabulary at lunch with words that start with a certain letter, the more creative, the better (I usually don't remember halfway through the day). If your initials (first/last or first/middle/last) stood for something other than your name, what would it be? J.L.C. Jolly Little Conundrum. If you say it with a British accent it sounds cooler. It’s what I feel like I am sometimes. And no, Jamie Lee Curtis doesn't quite capture who I am. How would you like to be involved with AIChE after graduation? I'm looking to become and stay involved with the Young Professionals program; it's a great bridge between graduation and becoming a professional. If you'd like to contact Justin, you can reach Justin here.