Nicole Chapman: Blue Chip Workhorse

Oct. 19, 2015

The setting sun plunges the Tucson Mountains into silhouette and casts a golden glow on the fields and stables of the University of Arizona Equine Center. UA student Nicole Chapman is just starting her shift caring for the thoroughbreds and quarter horses that are used in classes such as horsemanship, equitation workshop, and weanling and yearling management.

Chapman's busy schedule includes participatiion in the Blue Chip program, a four-year leadership experience at the University that offers a variety of programs and workshops in professional development and career readiness. This year alone, the program doubled in size to 400 students, making it one of the largest student-engagement experiences on campus.

Chapman is a peer leader for Blue Chip, overseeing team leaders and first year Blue Chip students. She helps the others learn personal skills and develop their professional acumen. In addition, she works with first-year students to aid the transition from high school to college.

Chapman also volunteers at the Humane Society of Southern Arizona and Guide Dogs for the Blind as a puppy raiser. She works as an administrative assistant in the College of Engineering and as a sales associate at PetSmart. 

She's all about making a difference.

"Blue Chip allowed me to learn about important leadership and professional skills and gives me the opportunity to practice them," Chapman says. "It’s not just about learning. It’s about effective application and preparing students by keeping them engaged in learning."

After graduation, she plans to pursue a master’s degree in public administration.

"I don’t want to be the best, I just want to be the best that I can be," she says.