July 16, 2014

Why Wheaton: Lawrence Chan '15

Written by KEVIN GIL
Sports Information Intern

(Editor's Note: The Why Wheaton series will aim to document many alumnae/i and current student-athletes' stories throughout each month in an attempt to share why our past and present student-athletes have chosen to attend Wheaton. The goal of this series, which will be a mix of in-depth articles, quick highlights, videos and feature stories, is to showcase the amount of opportunities we have here at Wheaton. Hope you enjoy the stories.)

Ever since Lawrence Chan '15 (Lincoln, R.I./Wheeler School) could hold a racquet on his own, he has used tennis as a tool of his own personal development. The game of tennis that has surrounded Chan his entire life has provided him with qualities that have enabled him to have an impact in any community he has been a part of. 

"Growing up around the game, tennis has taught me sacrifice, teamwork, communication, time management, honesty, diligence, work ethic and how to overcome adversity, to name a few," said Chan. "I have noticed these traits have subconsciously shaped how I function in society."

Chan, 21, is a psychology major heading into his final year at Wheaton and his final season as a member of the Wheaton College men's tennis program. During his summer break, a time that should be of rest and recovery from the taxing Wheaton school year and tennis season, Chan has been doing research for Rhode Island Hospital's Psychiatry department on developing a successful sexual assault intervention program through control and experimental trials with participants from a local northeastern school.

"The internship has been going well and I am learning a lot of useful skills that will help me pursue my future career as a clinical psychologist," said Chan. "I am interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in clinical psychology so I believe the research experience will be valuable in that a majority of the time in a Ph.D. program is spent on research."

Chan, a high school graduate of the Wheeler School in Providence, R.I. selected Wheaton for his college career because he believes it has an environment similar to the one he thrived in at Wheeler.

"The Wheeler School is a K-12 education system that prides itself on small classes and teachers who cater towards their students' academic needs," said Chan. "Naturally, during my college search I was looking for a similar environment."

"I found out about Wheaton from my college guidance counselor, Amy Singer, whose brother went to Wheaton. After going for a tour of the beautiful campus and meeting with coach Miller and some of the guys on the team I knew Wheaton was the right choice for me."

Chan really appreciates the availability of professors outside of class at Wheaton and says it is one of his favorite aspects of the college. "They genuinely want to help you learn and succeed and speaking with some of my friends at other colleges and universities, it is not the same for them," said Chan. 

Chan's tennis team has also had a major impact on his life at Wheaton and is a group that he considers to be his best friends. "The bond we have formed is something truly special and will always be a fond memory during my Wheaton career," said Chan. "We're a bunch of fun-loving guys who can buckle down when things get serious, both on and off the court."

The Wheaton men's tennis team finished the 2013-14 season with a 9-9 record and a berth in the NEWMAC Tournament quarterfinals under coach Lynn Miller. Coach Miller was recently inducted into the United States Tennis Association (USTA) of New England Hall of Fame in 2012, the Wheaton College Athletics Yowell Hall of Fame in 2013 and has been actively contributing to Wheaton for over 34 years.

"Larry is a very conscientious student-athlete," said coach Miller. "He was a good high school player and captain for the Wheeler School tennis team, but he has improved immensely over the past few years at Wheaton and has developed into a legitimate starter."

Larry's dangerous serve/volley and chip combined with a charge style of play has allowed him to shine and contest for a starting spot in both singles and doubles.

"What Larry brings to the team that is special is his perspective as a student-athlete since he has played in many different positions in the line-up and in singles and/or doubles," said Miller. "He is a team player and treats both his academics and his sport of tennis with due respect and commitment."

"Coach Miller and I have a good communicative relationship," said Chan. "Her practices are ran with intensity, but also she leaves room for fun. She is very straightforward and you will always get her honest opinion, even if it is not what you may want to hear."

Chan is a member of the Student Government Association and Psychology Club. He also enjoys running, playing classical piano and basketball. His decision to get into psychology derives from the satisfaction and sense of accomplishment he gets from seeing others overcome their problems.

Whether on the tennis court, in the classroom, or in the research lab, Chan is motivated to help others and enjoy the path to doing so.

(Lawrence received help obtaining his internship with the Rhode Island Hospital Department of Psychiatry & Human Behavior via Wheaton's Filene Center for Academic Advising and Career Services. The vision of the Filene Center for Academic Advising and Career Services is to enrich the Wheaton College educational experience by fostering successful academic, career and personal development. To find out more about the Filene Center click here: Filene Center Information.)

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