I desire to advance my career working with and advocating equity-oriented policies for underserved backgrounds, transforming institutional-, local- and state-wide higher education systems, procedures, and practices through data-informed research as a teacher-scholar, policy analyst, and innovator. I believe that equity-oriented policies and strategies which enable all students to succeed regardless of demographic characteristics or geographic factors are necessary for democratic education and critical pedagogy to thrive in our society.
Higher education provides an opportunity to experience the richest expressions of both mind and soul. It is capable of communicating the most profound thoughts and deepest emotions, granting access to the essence of what makes us human. As a scholar and scholar-practitioner in higher education and student affairs, I believe that it is essential that students be given an opportunity to experience this enrichment, regardless of socioeconomic status, background, or any other factors of the past. Priority must be given to not only preserving and encouraging students educational development but also maintaining a consistent level of excellence within education programs at all levels. Furthermore, I believe that education must always serve as a means to an end, the end being enriching and empowering others to succeed in life. I have a wonderful privilege and responsibility to pursue graduate school at Indiana University Bloomington, and I hope to utilize my knowledge and research experience gained to impact students' lives during and after their post-secondary experience.
As a higher education administrator and scholar, I believe that we must embrace diversity, equity, and the inclusion of all students enrolled in higher education. In our interconnected globalized world, I believe that teacher-scholars and advanced practitioners must have an obligation to help our undergraduate students understand their cognitive meaning-making and social construction in life while in college. Today, our students are changing daily to fit certain types of roles, norms, and environments. While Millennials and Gen Z often do not take time to reflect upon their attitudes or emotions in college, we as higher education and student affairs professionals must seek ways to combat this narrative or status quo by challenging individuals in both cognitive and non-cognitive domains during their four critical years in college. Practitioners must also provide growth-enhancing conditions that empower diverse students to develop a sense of self that is trusting and autonomous to which they can enter the “emerging adulthood” life (i.e., post-generation college students). Understanding the person is a long-term process that requires concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract conceptualization, and active experimentation. Furthermore, helping students to establish their identity involves reflection upon one’s family of origin and ethnic heritage as well as putting their self within a social and historical context. In other words, my goal as a scholar and scholar-practitioner is to help the academy recognize the value of the whole person concept in a more holistic and less linear matter.
As I meet new students through my work at Indiana University Bloomington, I often hear a variation of students’ desire to change the world after college: “I want to be a doctor (like Dr. George Huntington) and to combat Huntington’s disease.” “I want to be a nurse (like Margaret Sanger) and to provide access to birth control in Sub-Saharan Africa.” Although these are beautiful goals students should develop while in college, I believe that undergraduate students must spend more time trying to be like Dr. Huntington or Mrs. Sanger instead of wanting to do like Dr. Huntington or Mrs. Sanger.
Ever since freshman year, I have always believed that colleges and universities can change each student in both small and significant ways. My prior educational experiences, while at the University of California at Irvine and Boston College, have contributed to the shaping of my understanding on the importance of social justice and inclusion in American higher education. Unfortunately, due to the on-going tension between marketization and academization in higher education, I believe that many colleges and universities have now become an engine of inequality, often skewed into unrealistic goals and frequently misinterpreted as a singular act or event. What is more reluctant, however, is the stigma of mediocrity and sub-par expectations that higher education has created for marginalized working-class and needy families.
Instead of accepting the Darwinian exercise of the "survival of the fittest," I believe that many colleges and universities have overlooked the importance of holding students accountable for their learning and their success, particularly those in developing nations. Further, I believe that higher education providers in third world countries (e.g., Cambodia, Ecuador, Ghana) have failed to prepare students to compete for the global knowledge-based economy. I believe that leaders of higher education must establish innovative policies and programs that would improve the life chances of young people in marginalized communities. Reality dictates that these differences will never be entirely accommodated and that perfect equality is difficult, if not impossible. However, I believe that raising the bar of expectation within college learning while providing the means to clear that bar, is not out of the question but an entirely reasonable goal.
Professor Nicholas Wolterstorff of Yale University once stated: “Higher education institutions must not just teach about justice – though we must; I mean we must teach for justice. The graduates whom we seek to produce must be one who practices justice” (p. 24). Thus, I believe that if I want to enact change in the field of higher education and student affairs, I must be equipped; I must grow; I must learn how to change it. The difference that I might incur with this perspective is minute, or perhaps microscopic, likely to go entirely unnoticed. However, I believe that the change I might bear to a student who realizes his/her full potential in college is something I feel is worth investing as an educator or scholar.
This I believe – is good enough to say that I want to be a change in the world. To change the world requires knowledge, skills, and dedication, which is why my former school motto of Boston College is Ever to Excel.
"Mr. Chan is able to demonstrate to the class what is needed in college. He is also a fun person and very enjoyable. He loves the things he does. He is really passionate about the things he teaches."
"He is very friendly and outgoing and really interested in you as a person. He has a planned schedule of what to do during the discussion time, and is willing to mix it up or do something else if the students feel the time would be better used doing something else."
"I like how he wanted to create a connection for everyone by doing icebreakers every day."
"Mr. Chan is extremely personable and tries hard to make class interesting, in contrast with some of the lectures. He is also very intelligent and well spoken and I hoped that discussion would be a bit longer so that the students could get to know him more. He is very engaging as well and keeps the student's attention."
"He was good at sending out emails and responding to them. It was very easy to communicate with him. He knew the course material well, knew all of the students, and was friendly."
"Fair grader, made the class exciting by playing games while incorporating information."
"He was helpful and communicates well with students."
"Was always talkative and asked how I was doing - actually cared what the answers was."
"Very friendly, explains information really well."
"You are so upbeat and positive."
"Easily accessible and responsive to questions."
"I love running into you on campus. You have such a great attitude and outlook on life."
"Very enthusiastic and friendly to students."
"Very nice person. Great Guy!"
"Roy! You're always so full of life. I love being around with you."
"You are funny and silly."
"You're the man, Roy!"
"You are such a kind person and always have a warm smile on your face."
"I really enjoy Roy's initiation and optimism."
"You are so outgoing! That is awesome!"
"I like your positive attitude in life...it is very refreshing!"
"Roy...you are amazing, keep up the good work."
"Roy! I like your website!!"
"Roy's dedication to the study of ideas and the ideals of liberal arts forms an excellent foundation for whatever he plans to do in the future. He obviously has the talent and determination to make a success of whatever the future holds for you. Roy and his family should be very proud of the academic record he has completed here at UC Irvine." ~ Dr. Judy Shoemaker, Director of Division of Undergraduate Education Assessment and Research Studies