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CHASS Student of the Month – January 2009

Chel Douglass

Photo of Chel Douglass

  • Home Town: Asheville, NC
  • Class: Junior
  • Major(s):
    • Criminology
  • Sample Courses:
    • Formal Institutions of Social Control
    • Theories of Social Interaction
    • Experiencing Architecture
  • Activities:
    • Full-time Administrative Specialist; NCSU Industrial Extension Service. Has worked at NCSU for 19 years.
    • Volunteer; Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Raleigh
    • Volunteer; Rex Wellness Center in Garner
  • Honors:
    • Pride of the Wolfpack Award, 2006
    • Biltmore Who’s Who Among Executives and Professional Women, 2006
    • International Who’s Who of Professionals, inducted 2003
  • Postgraduate Plans: Continue working at NCSU. Complete necessary internship and licensure to become a private investigator.
  • Career Goals: Private investigator.

Why did you choose CHASS?

I actually started at NC State in 1974. Both my parents graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with Chemistry degrees in the 1940s, my mother being only one of a handful of females to do so at that time. I was the rebel in my family and decided to come to State. In my first year, I was in the very first class of females accepted in Air Force ROTC. I was also a drummer in the NCSU marching band and played that year in the Astro-Blue Bonnet Bowl. I had always been interested in joining the FBI, but met my former husband here and decided to take time off to raise a family. Fast forward 20 years, and I returned to school, more motivated than ever to complete my degree. I work full-time here and generally take one class a semester. I am the proud parent of two NC State grads. My daughter and I were even in the same class at one point.

What do you enjoy most about being a CHASS student?

Odd as it sounds, I really enjoy the other students. They are generally younger than me, and their perspectives are quite new and different to me. They keep me young. They are smart and “with it,” and they help me to view things in ways that I might not otherwise see. On the other hand, while I think some students do not initially know how to respond to my presence in the classroom, they come to appreciate that my knowledge and experience can add to class discussions and group projects.

Do you have any advice for incoming students?

For traditional-age students, I would suggest that they try to achieve a balance between work and extracurriculars. Stay focused on why you are in college and don’t party too much. This is a time of great exploration, but it goes by fast – don’t let it pass you by. For older, more non-traditional students, I would remind them that although it may be quite unnerving to return to school after a long absence, there is nothing that you can’t accomplish if you are motivated. And for all students, I would say it is crucial to be tolerant; don’t be quick to judge others because we all have something valuable to bring to the table.

Nominate a student for CHASS Student of the Month.