Chauncy Sapien is a software engineering major in the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS). He is gaining experience during his senior year by working part time as a software engineer at Raytheon. However, before Chauncy took the job at Raytheon, he was a peer advisor and webmaster for UCI’s Veteran Services Center (VSC), which provides veterans with the “world-class benefits and services they have earned.” Chauncy himself earned those benefits while serving in the United States Marine Corps (USMC). He is one of 23 veterans in the School of ICS and 167 veterans (including both active duty and reservists) at UCI, and he is president of the Anteater Veteran Association (AVA). Here, the devoted veteran, student, software engineer and father to five-year-old son, Ryan, talks about his service in the Marines and future career plans.
Can you tell us a bit about your service?
I served in the United States Marine Corps for four and a half years as an assault amphibian vehicle crewmen. While I was serving, I deployed with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit. I was also a Marine Corps Martial Arts instructor in charge of teaching Marines hand-to-hand combat as well as combat fighting with various equipment.
How do you usually spend your Veterans Day?
I typically take the time to reflect on my experiences by attending a ceremony or having a BBQ with fellow veterans. It usually falls the day after the USMC’s birthday (Nov. 10), so I celebrate the USMC birthday with all of my fellow Marines, and then the following day, I celebrate Veterans Day with the other veterans.
What brought you to UCI?
After the military, I knew I wanted to go back to school, but I didn’t really have a direction, so I started off in community college to figure out a path. I knew I wanted to attend a UC, but I wasn’t really sure which one. After some research, I found out that UCI has excellent computer science/software engineering programs — and it’s relatively close to home — so it was the best fit for me.
What are your future plans?
My future plans are, first and foremost, to graduate, but more importantly, I want to continue working and supporting the military by using my degree to assist the government in creating software to help our military.
If you’d like to learn more about Chauncy Sapien and other veterans here at UCI, head over to the VSC, located on the third floor of the Student Center.
— Shani Murray