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Take A Chance

Tuesday, May 16, 2017 - 14:18


Photo Credit: 

Bret Rodriguez


Originally from Arroyo Grande, California, Chance Adkins is a nationally ranked fencer and a psychology major heading to Yale to earn his Ph.D. He was first introduced to fencing at UC Santa Barbara’s annual Spring Insight event prior to his freshman year. But it wasn’t until the spring quarter of his sophomore year that he became involved in the sport. After taking an exercise course at UCSB, he met the team coach and was instantly hooked.

He quickly learned the basics and eventually specialized in sabre, one of three types of fencing. Within a year, he earned national recognition. During his senior year, he helped lead UCSB to a first-place finish in his conference and a third-place finish nationally. “I think helping UCSB win the conference became one of my favorite memories during my time here,” he said.

Chance has also worked for two years as a lead desk assistant at Anacapa Residence Hall and he worked two summer seasons as a guest services manager for UCSB. On the academic side, he will be graduating as a UCSB regent scholar in psychology, and he’ll be pursuing a Ph.D. in social psychology at Yale. “I came in as a psychology major because I always had a general interest in it,” he said. “My spring quarter of freshman year, I took a social psychology class and found a particular interest around that.” Early in that freshman year, Chance sought out research opportunities on campus. That same summer, he was offered a lab position that is typically reserved for upper-class students. He has stayed on with professor Shelly Gable’s EMBeR Lab for three years of research. Now he is completing his honors thesis on interpersonal emotional regulation, which examines the process influencing the way another person or other people feel.

His favorite class? “A grad class during my second year in the religious studies department,” he said. “There were four of us total and we just thoroughly discussed books and their meanings. It really developed my critical thinking and personal development. It’s the best class I’ve ever taken.”

Looking back on his years at UCSB, Chance concluded: “Honestly, the opportunities I’ve had here I don’t think I would have had anywhere else. I think what I’ll miss the most is the people, friends, professors and grad students who have helped me along the way. It’s the people that really made UCSB a great place for me.”

Written by Bret Rodriguez