In honor of Veteran’s Day which passed this last weekend, I spoke to Landen Chau, one of the several military veterans who attend Sierra Nevada College.
Landen will be graduating next month. He served in the Air force as an intelligence analyst providing information to pilots, and men on the ground for four years and is now only 23 years old. Landen took an active role in Veteran’s Affairs, attending a previous research study conducted at Sierra Nevada College which looked into the political aspect of drone warfare, conducted by alums Laura Baker and Sephoia Crystal two years ago. The two studied veteran disenfranchisement through recording and analyzing responses at public forums. Not only did Landen attend both public forums, when it was his turn to conduct research last year, he also choose a research question that specialized in veteran affairs.
“What has your experience of undergraduate research at Sierra Nevada College been like and how has your own research had an impact on your life?”
Landen (near exact quotes) – I gained a lot of respect for the program, because I didn’t know research was a part of graduating. Picking my own topic made it easier and worth it, because I was able to pick a topic that I was interested in. I presented my data at UCLA, UNR, and the student symposium here at SNC. I studied the use of water as a co-therapist by using measures that monitored stress and mood. (Not only did Landen use undergrad participants from SNC, but he included actual veteran data that he collected himself outside of campus). The experience of presenting and studying something I was passionate about made it much more applicable to my life and helpful to me.
“How has your experience as an intern prepared you for your future?”
Landen – I’ve become more diplomatic when talking with others. Haha, but seriously it has taught me to work better with people I do not have the best outlook on, and to have a more positive outlook towards others who I may not always understand at times.
“Plans for after graduation?”
Landen – I’m going to take a break from school for a while so no Grad school at this time. I plan on finding employment as an outdoor therapy recreation guide or kayaking guide.
“Last one, the people who have made the biggest impact on your education and life at Sierra Nevada College?
Landen – When I first got here Rosie was my adviser and she helped me out a lot. She helped me feel comfortable when I first got here since I didn’t know anybody yet. Christina has also has had a major impact on me, because she is always willing to help and actually goes out of her way to help all of us. Also the outdoor adventure trips, where I guided for the school, and the student symposiums, where I presented and saw student presentations, all had an impact on me.
Landen is only one of the veteran’s that I have personally had class with here at Sierra Nevada College. Independent research conducted by the Psychology Department here at SNC has provided important contributions to Veteran affairs. Landen’s research found a significant difference in the water group for distress levels and mood regardless of veteran status. This highlights the importance of nature therapy and indicates water as a co-therapist may be valuable in therapy settings.
So in honor of Veteran’s Day, Thank you to all who have served at Sierra Nevada College and across the United States! We are so grateful to you for your service.
Author: Ryan Knuppenburg (Senior Intern)