When our former students visit, WHSAD staff and students enjoy both a sentimental and an inspirational experience. Especially for those students who graduated in 2020, their visits to our Friday Makerspace Meets provides a sense of closure that usually accompanies the pomp of senior events such as prom, senior trip, and graduation. Hearing from Chandler, all of us felt a bit more hopeful about what the future has to offer and how said future is within our own control. Recounting her experiences at WHSAD, discussing the rigorous curricula Temple University has to offer, and simply being her confident and articulate self, Chandler brought her positive energy to this week’s alumni session.
Below is the video of Chandler’s presentation and some student narratives about what they gained from the Chandler’s visit.
Being able to talk to alumni from WHSAD has been a great experience. We had a presentation with Chandler McLaurin who attends Temple University in Philadelphia. Chandler spoke about the architecture program at Temple where she currently has a Visual Literacy class where she learns from an architect and uses programs such as Rhino and Adobe Illustrator. Chandler expressed the challenge of her transition from high school to college because of how much she was sheltered. She further explained how COVID-19 impacted her senior year of high school because she didn’t receive the experience she thought she was going to. Now being in Temple she explains how she shares an apartment-style dorm with another student and attends classes both online and in person.
Chandler expressed the importance of setting personal goals in order to have a productive college year. Chandler told us that being involved was not something that was easy for her, but as she became more involved with extra curriculars, she was able to make more friends. Overall her presentation today was extremely helpful for me and hopefully for my peers as well.
-Mayra Gomez, Senior
The presentation from Chandler McLaurin really gave some insight on the college campus life and how Covid impacted her a lot. Chandler showed us two projects she has worked on since the start of her semester. One that really caught my eye was her project based on a pepper. I found it interesting how she had to take an actual yellow pepper and cut it open and take photos of the inside and then had to make a replica out of chipboard. I’ve never seen a project like that, especially for architecture, so I found it really engaging. During the middle of our Q&A session, someone mentioned safety on campus and what is it like. Chandler made me feel better about security measures & being welcomed on the college grounds. This really did pique my interest because I did plan on going away and living on campus for some time, but with Covid, my plans changed sadly. Our presenter also told us it does get stressful at times and the transition from high school architecture to college architecture is totally different than what is expected. The biggest point I got out of today’s presentation was to be ready to get thrown into college life & to be ready for some change. Chandler Mclaurin’s presentation was a great advantage to me because I had someone close to my age range to give me some reassurance and insight on the college life.
-Sonia Gonzalez, Senior
Chandler Mclaurin really opened my eyes during her presentation. Everything she said was information I have been longing to know. Temple University, where she attends, was my first choice for awhile until I heard about how unsafe it was. Every time I heard something negative, I did not receive anything positive due to lack of connections. She was the first person I have spoken to who attends the school for the same reason I want to. I would have never heard or seen the architecture program workload and how the school really does support you in finding which field in architecture you want if it wasn’t for her generosity today. It is a priority to feel supported and safe in a chosen college, and she seems very happy and pleased with her decision. Therefore she encouraged me to still apply to Temple since they have a lot to offer that intrigues me.
One thing she mentioned was how she wished she took advantage of everything WHSAD had to offer, such as learning Rhino. Being that I want to pursue architecture, I now know I should attend Saturday’s meetings where Mr. Codio and Mr. Rodriguez take time to teach these skills. I’m confident that when I leave high school, I will have enough tips and knowledge to advance further in college. I’m very thankful for this school and everything Chandler mentioned today; hearing someone so positive gives you a clearer headspace. I have gotten accepted to an out of state school but have been a little scared because of Covid and just the distance from my family, but she seems very self motivated and driven to achieve her degree so taking her advice and mindset I’m sure I will make the right decision and be happy in any school, experimenting in architecture until I decide what exact field I want to pursue.
-Maya Ortiz, Senior
Today’s presentation with Chandler was great. Being that I am a senior, I have received most of my acceptance letters and am waiting on just a few. For my number one choice, I may have to dorm if I don’t want to drive a long distance. Hearing Chandler’s experience on dorming really helped me and gave me some reassurance about living on campus. It was something I was nervous about, but seeing that Chandler was very happy about it and had positive feedback about it, it made me think about it more. She also gave great advice about networking and shared her experience with ACE, which is definitely something I will remember for the future.
-Hailey Brizuela, Senior
Chandler McLaurin, who graduated from WHSAD in 2020 and is currently enrolled at Temple Unversity as a freshman student majoring in architecture, presented today in the WHSAD Makerspace Studio. In her presentation, she introduced three different projects she worked on last semester in college. One project she worked on was taking one of her overlay models to make three reiterations into a 3D model using Rhino to create a section view with elevations. During the process of this project, it was difficult for her to use Rhino; therefore, she recommended students to learn to use Rhino before entering college. Another project Chandler presented was a slideshow about using peppers to show section views. Her next step was recreating the pepper out of chipboard, and her final step was making abstract views where she chose to describe how bad a pepper smells. Finally, Chandler illustrated the vertical, horizontal section views and sketched out how the whole pepper looks. In presenting her final project, Chandler showed us a slideshow based on her poetry pavilion she chose to create. Before Chandler began creating the poetry pavilion, she planned on making the poetry pavilion a peaceful place so she and her cousin could hang out together and read poetry, an activity Chandler enjoys. She then found inspiration using patterns and sketches she drew, bringing her ideas together and creating her poetry pavilion using chipboard next. Her last step was now finalizing everything of her poetry pavilion using Rhino.
-Emely Patino, Senior
Chandler McLaurin, being a very active member of WHSAD from the graduating class of 2020, happens to have one of the closest and most relatable experiences for me at a time such as this. Chandler began her presentation by describing what she’s had to do during her classes at the Tyler School of Architecture at Temple University. Her projects show her time at WHSAD coming back to assist her future as she explains that some of the computer programs she used at WHSAD, are continuously used at her current university. As Chandler transitions through her presentations from her previous and current semesters, we who are hopeful of being in her position, get insight into some of the possible materials and unique curricula that will be discussed in an architecture classroom. She describes her creative process on her pavilion project and the in-depth thoughts of how it will be used and who it is meant to use it. As Chandler guided us through her presentation on the project in question I learned a lot.
As far as her presentations go, they are eye-catching and have little apparent as far as words on the slides themselves however, Chandler spoke for most of what she was presenting, showing serious presentation skills and a next level understanding of what she has done for her projects. She then takes the time out to answer a few of our questions both about the general college experience and the architectural aspects that we haven’t discovered yet but intend to. One of the interesting aspects which Chandler touches on is the study abroad programs which Temple University offers , one in particular that she is interested in is Italy. She also talked about how her university offers classes on the language and culture before the students do study abroad. Overall, each alumni college experience is greatly appreciated and vastly different from the others that we hear. Chandler’s experience has been the most unique being that she is attending college on campus, something that many of us hope to do as well. Chandler’s freshman college reflection has helped to open my eyes and offer much needed advice for my future, and I am more than grateful for being able to hear her perspective.
-Gilver Bueno, Senior
On 2/12/2021, WHSAD alum Chandler McLaurin gave Makerspace participants a presentation about her college experiences, including her projects. Despite being in a time of online learning, Chandler was able to stay on top of her assignments and preserve a nice GPA. She talked about how the area of Philadelphia in which Temple is located may not be the safest, but Temple University’s security guards were beneficial in escorting students on and off-campus. Besides the topic of safety, Chandler spoke about the accessibility of professors and how she has been able to meet up with her architecture professor when she needs insight for her projects since her professor is an actual architect. On top of Temple providing for its students in both safety and academic support, the school offers a lot such as financial aid especially considering Chandler’s participation in the ACE Mentorship program, which she attended for all four years of high school. Because of her participation in ACE, Chandler has been making connections early and often and has set herself up for potential internship and job opportunities at architecture firms in Pennsylvania. She emphasized the importance of networking and consistency.
When the presentation came to the Q&A stage, she answered my questions about her experience during COVID and the reason behind the consideration of minoring in horticulture. She explained that at the beginning of the lockdown, she wasn’t doing well, to the point that she wanted to throw her computer out of the window. But she got used to the work and began to knock everything down her way. For my other question, she wants to minor in horticulture since she is interested in flowers and plants so she can incorporate those factors when it comes to landscape design. I found her presentation and answers very inspiring, especially when she said, “everything happens for a reason”. I have been believing that since sophomore year and Chandler saying that refreshed my mind. In the end, I am very thankful for Chandler giving everyone in Makerspace insight into her college life.
-Yu Feng Zhou, Senior