Macon State College MVPs is a web feature that profiles notable students, alumni, faculty and staff.
Full name: Winson Chen.
High School: Stratford Academy, where he participated in Key Club, Junior Beta Club, math team and varsity soccer.
Family: “My support team and constant source of inspiration comes from family - mom, Yulin, pops, Chien Toa, brother, Hampton (known as “Hambone,”) and sister, Elaine, and my friends (the elite of the elite).”
Employment: “I’m a full-time student, son, brother, friend, survivor and competitor.”
Degree Objective: Bachelor of Science in business with a major in management, and ultimately an MBA.
Class Rank: Senior.
Macon State/Community Activities: Circle K, SGA, Business Senate, Honors Society, Middle Georgia Adult Soccer League, volunteer counselor at a GFBF (Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation) hosted camp for burned children, motivational speaker at GFBF’s young adult retreat, participant of the Phoenix Society’s World Burn Congress.
Career Goals: “After I graduate, I’d like to go to China to teach English and gain work experience as well as make networking connections. I would like to later on continue my progress toward higher education (MBA), but ultimately I would like to be involved with international transactions between the U.S. and China.”
He chose Macon State because … “It was the most accommodating to my current situation. It is convenient, affordable and familiar. Being born and raised in Macon, I’ve always kind of thought that “Macstate” was just a community college that served as a steppingstone to bigger, better opportunities. So I went away to Oxford College. After a major life-changing accident, I returned home and Macon State was the most expedient choice. Macon State has really exceeded my expectations and successfully fulfilled my academic desires.”
What surprised him most about Macon State was … “How much I actually enjoy the experience. Everything in life you receive is directly proportionate to what you put in. Macon State has a PCP (parking lot-class room-parking lot) syndrome, where some students come, sit in class and then leave with very little interaction with others. I’ve overcome this by meeting the professors and other students and engaging them in conversation, spending time in the library and/or wellness center, participating in group fitness classes and intramurals, visiting the career counseling center and just simply hanging around campus for longer than the class period. The friends that I’ve gained are well worth the extra effort applied.”
His favorite professor is … “Choosing my favorite professor will undoubtedly be my hardest question to answer because I have genuinely enjoyed all the professors I’ve had, give or take an IT class or two. When I first attended Macon State in 2005 my favorite teachers were my literature professors, Kevin Cantwell and Gerald Lucas. I enjoyed them because I was freshly burned (from an accident) and extremely self-conscious, and yet these professors allowed me see that my mind was still strong. They never looked or talked down to me, but pushed me to learn and perform. Since I’ve made it to the upper-level business classes, I have had many excellent professors. To name a few: Clyde Conine, a good ol’ boy with a Fortune 500 managerial mind; Anthony Patti and Nick DeBonis, who challenge their students to move away from cut-‘n-dried facts toward application; Greg George, who puts on a show when he teaches so that students are entertained as they are educated; and Patti Impink.”
His favorite place to study is … “The living room of my house. There, I can control the noise, the temperature, I can snack, I can wear whatever I want (usually boxers, t-shirt optional). I can thrive in this environment. I can avoid most distractions, breaks can be taken at my own accord and I’m on my pace -- neither limited nor rushed by no one. If I get tired, I can always take a nap or hop in the shower.”
One thing people don’t know about him is … “My friends would say I’m weird, in a good way. I’m Chinese (my dad’s from Hong Kong and my mom’s from Taiwan), but I love fried chicken. I went to private, public and military school, and truly believe I excelled in each. I’ve been privileged to have been able to travel: Mexico, China (Shanghai, Bejing, Guanzhou), Thailand, Singapore, Europe (Paris, London, Amsterdam), the Caribbean Islands and Canada. I skydive and snowboard. I was injured in a car accident with an 18-wheeler in 2002 and burned severely as a result. However, my life is not over and I fight everyday to overcome presumptions and a handicapped mentality of perceived beauty.”
His friends make fun of him because … “I lost my original nose in the accident. Two years later I had a prosthetic nose created from silicone. I told the man creating the prosthesis that I wanted the most ‘normal-looking’ nose possible. Thinking ‘normality’, he created my nose using a mold of his own nose. Seemed practical; however, he had a large nose. My friends now make fun of my nose” in a good-natured way.
The one person he’d most like to meet is … “I can’t name just one. I’d like to meet Salvador Dali, because they say genius borders insanity. I would like to meet Ken Kesey because I admire his literary contributions as well as his portrayal in Tom Wolfe’s ‘Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.’ I would also like to meet Kurt Cobain, Dave Chappelle and just about all of the female American Gladiators.”
Five years from now he sees himself … “I’d like to think that I’d be well on my way to the peak of Maslow’s hierarchy. I would not only like to achieve self-actualization, but with it, I’d like to know who I am as well as where I’m going. I’d like to either be in grad school or be involved with international business transactions. Disney is expanding to China in a couple of years, and I’d love to hop on that train. Five years from now, I want to be more mature, more experienced, wiser, wealthier and healthier than I am today.”