Mentoring Inside and Outside the Classroom
Not only is Southwest Louisiana home to various oil and gas industries but this region also offers an expanse of marsh and green lands that truly make it a sportsman’s paradise. McNeese State University chemistry graduate, Lance Chapman, is enjoying the best of both worlds.
Chapman works full time as a technical sales representative in the Lake area for the world’s leading provider of water treatment and process improvements, Nalco Water.
He credits his professional success to the mentoring environment of McNeese.
“The mindfulness of the professors and the real-world experiences they brought to the classroom made learning enjoyable and practical for my career goals,” he said.
For example, Chapman remembers the energetic teaching styles and unconventional testing methods of Dr. Mark Merchant, professor of chemistry, and to this day Chapman credits Dr. Merchant as being an instrumental mentor that groomed him into the industrial professional he is today.
“At McNeese, students and professors work one-on-one, which is something that rarely happens at larger institutions,” Chapman said. “The friends I made here as a student and the lasting relationships with my professors have been invaluable to me in my professional and personal life.”
Chapman is also the owner of Reclamation Game Calls, a business he has operated out of his home for the last five years. “Making game calls started out as a hobby,” he said. “I made a few game calls as gifts for my family and friends and posted a few photos on my Facebook page. Almost immediately orders started coming in.”
Chapman’s business is named after his family’s farm – Lake Arthur Reclamation Company – where three generations learned to hunt waterfowl. He receives 10-15 requests per week for custom-made calls and produces over 250 calls per year.
“I create hunting calls and collectable calls for display. No matter what the purpose is the final product is a custom order come to life,” explains Chapman.
Just like his time at McNeese, Chapman also had a mentor who helped him learn how to make duck calls. “I met a duck caller in Shreveport and he showed me a few tricks and explained the creation process to me,” said Chapman. “His guidance has been crucial to my progression as a call maker.”
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