Hawk’s Eye View: Micah Chandler ’20, ’21M

 

front of Veterans Hall on UNCW campus

Micah Chandler ’20, ’21M joined the U.S. Marine Corps at age 17, beginning a two-decade career that took him around the world to Afghanistan, Turkey, Spain and Norway. But it was one of his last posts, at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, Calif., that introduced him to what would eventually become his post-service path: teaching.

“The content (of the class) wasn’t the part that I loved, the teaching part was what I fell in love with,” says Micah, who taught electronic theory to young Marines in the role. “Every teacher will say they teach because they love hearing that sound a student makes when they finally understand something.”

An alumnus and current master of arts in teaching student, Micah shares a bit about how his mentors and classmates in the Watson College have influenced his UNCW experience in this Hawk’s Eye View.

I think that a lot of people sacrifice incredible amounts in order to finish their education, and UNCW students aren’t an exception to that. Supporting people who need help to do that, and who can eventually give back to society someday, is a great return on your investment.

— Micah Chandler ’20, ’21M; education major

What made you decide to transition into teaching for a career?

When I got out, I knew I didn’t want to do anything else with the military. I didn’t want to be a contractor, I didn’t want to be a civilian instructor. My first career was going to be in business management, and I started at UNCW studying business. But I had a job while I was in school and realized that, in order to be in business management, I’d have to deal with a lot of customers, and that didn’t seem like something I was going to be happy with. I changed to get a history degree but also took classes in the education school to get my teacher licensure.

Who are one or two UNCW faculty or staff members who’ve made a big impact on you?

I actually have four: Dr. (Denise) Ousley is one of my favorite people on earth. I’ve never, other than family, had someone so supportive as she has been in helping me do what I wanted to do. Dr. (Cara) Ward was another person who, anytime I asked her a question, she gave me an answer. She didn’t give me the “kumbaya” version but was honest about the challenges of teaching, and I appreciated that. Dr. (Candice) Bredbrenner in history changed the way I look at everything I read. And Dr. (Venkat) Dhulipala has had a great impact on me as an aspiring historian.

What makes UNCW and the Watson College a good place for military veterans seeking to prepare for post-service careers?

A few months back, I had a death in my family. I had to put all my education situation on pause for a while. But it was one of the few times that I felt as supported as I did when I was in the Marine Corps. In the Marines, we do all we can to take care of our guys, when they’re at work and in their family lives. When I lost my sister, I had the same level of support from those people in my education program. It felt a lot like being in the military. Even after the memorial service and ceremony, when all of that was done, it wasn’t as easy as just sitting down and getting back to work. Everyone was very understanding of the entire process, and I felt very supported.

Micah Chandler during his Marine Corp service
Micah during one of his overseas tours with the Marine Corps.
Why is it important for donors to continue supporting students like you at UNCW through scholarships and applied learning opportunities?

I think that a lot of people sacrifice incredible amounts in order to finish their education, and UNCW students aren’t an exception to that. Supporting people who need help to do that, and who can eventually give back to society someday, is a great return on your investment.

Increasing support for scholarships and applied learning opportunities is a top priority of Like No Other: The Campaign for UNCW. Learn how you can get involved or make a gift today.

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