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My Manchester Story

Brandi Chauncey

by Lauren Hughes | Jun 06, 2019
Brandi Chauncey

Brandi Chauncey ’01, Director of Admissions

“What brought you to Manchester?”
“I have an older brother who attended Manchester so I became familiar with the university through him. He was on the football team, and was very connected and became an RA. He was very successful, [and] he was in the accounting program. I think when he moved in as a freshman football player, the coaching staff treated us like we were already a part of the family, and I think that was a huge part. I remember walking into a room and meeting the coach at one point who stopped in to say hi to us. He knew my mom by name and it was great to feel like we were part of something. He’s three years older than I am, so by the time I decided to go to college he was a senior, was well-established at Manchester, and had done many things, so that was a big part of why I chose to come here as a student.”

“Why did you decide to major in Psychology?”
“I started as Political Science, because I thought I wanted to be a lawyer, or just something with law. Then I started taking classes and I was a little bored, so I took a psychology class and I realized I loved that class. Even though it was ‘Intro to Pysch’ and sometimes that’s not people’s favorite Psych class. I remember all of the different avenues that we learned about. It wasn’t even necessarily what I learned in that class, it was hearing what I would learn if I continued in Psychology. And then you start relating things to Psychology, so then my interests starting changing, where I realized I’m more of a helping-people, interacting with people, engaging with people, and there’s so many different avenues that you can do that with a Psychology degree. I was also attracted to the Criminal Justice side; I took a lot of Criminal Justice courses here. Ultimately, when I left Manchester to get my graduate degree, I was actually going to get my Master’s in Criminal Justice, but that did not work out. So I didn’t know what I wanted to do, so I ended up doing organizational leadership, which is very much tied into Psychology, like all of the courses I took, it wasn’t that I had taken them as Psychology, but it was very relatable to something I did with my Psychology degree.”

“What is your favorite memory from your time as a student?”
“If I think about it from a student perspective, being in the classroom, I remember being in ‘Research Methods’ with Rusty Coulter-Kern and doing his sucker licking research project. I remember at the time thinking, ‘I don’t understand.’ I just thought it was goofy, but now I look back at it and I remember it was something we talked about. We had to do it every day, he’d bring in suckers and we would do it. Not everybody participated, but it was just like this little, common thing that you drew your class in, it was another way to relate to other students. I don’t think that was his intention; he was probably doing some social research project. I just spent the weekend with two of my girlfriends that I met at Manchester and we were talking about going to Walmart in the middle of the night or having dance parties, or the people we encountered here and all the things we were involved with. All the little things add up. So when I think of my favorite things as a student, I don’t know if I have just one, but it’s all of them added together.”

“What are your hobbies and interests?”
“I teach fitness classes. I’ve always been into fitness, so when I decided to get certified and actually teach Zumba and do some other classes that’s driven my passion for fitness more. Outside of that, I read a lot. That’s probably my go-to whenever I have time, I like to read. Spending time with family.”

“What is something most people don’t know about you?”
“Most people wouldn’t know that I grew up in rural Indiana as a farmer, and ten-year 4H member, and that’s very much about who I am. When I think about community, fellowship, and work ethic, it all comes back to that experience.”

“What did you do in 4H?”
“I showed pigs and cattle, so that’s probably something people would be shocked to know. And I sew, so I did ten years of sewing projects, and baking. I was part of Junior Leaders, the leadership component of 4H, and I participated in the 4H pageant. I was Miss Congeniality.”

“What is your favorite memory from your time working here?”
“I think when I’m working to recruit a student to Manchester and I’m working with different departments to get that student here. So it’s either a music student or an athlete, maybe sometimes it’s somebody who wants to study abroad, but collaborating and working with other offices to come and see that student enroll at Manchester, and then ultimately seeing the students graduate. That’s my favorite new thing is to go to graduation and actually see these students walk across the stage that I helped enroll and help them find Manchester, so I think a combination of all that, just seeing the student from the beginning to the end.”

“I don’t know if they still do this, but when I was an RA we took students to Les Hively’s farm, he was my co-RA, and they got to learn how to milk cows, and pet calves and learn about the farming. I’m pretty sure we were the first ones to ever do that, so I’m pretty proud of that. We did it another year when I was a hall director, we went to a different [farm], but I don’t know if anybody’s ever done it since. But I thought it was great, people loved it, people who are from the city and have never been on a farm.”