Dominican CD16 delegate had unique view of world politics

After studying abroad at Oxford University for a semester and volunteering to assist Syrian refugees afterward, Victor Chan ’17 brought a unique, timely, and generational view of the world to College Debate 2016 as a delegate.

“I want to motivate my friends to start thinking about political topics on a larger scale,” said Victor, now attending medical school at the University of Queensland Ochsner Clinical School. “Young people can change things. We are the future of this nation."

College Debate 2016 was a first-of-its-kind initiative created by Dominican to provide college students from throughout the United States a platform to discuss and debate the complex issues facing our country. Dominican was a Voter Education Partner for the Commission on Presidential Debates.

During the summer of 2015, Victor, a chemistry major, worked as an intern on federally-funded research at the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine. This past spring, as part of the inaugural Dominican-Oxford Global Scholars Program, Victor spent the semester studying systems physiology and neuroscience and sociology and social change at Oxford, only to discover that the most of the students he engaged were philosophy majors who talked deeply and passionately about politics.

It was a magical time for Victor. He met new friends and found new ideas. He thrived on choosing topics to research and discuss.

After Oxford Victor, a food connoisseur, set course to visit France, Italy, and Greece and get a taste of their cultures. Victor arrived in Greece at the height of the Syrian refugee crisis; weeks earlier he had volunteered to join Lighthouse Relief, a Swedish organization operating with skilled volunteers from all over the world to provide relief and protect the most vulnerable groups such as children, women, and the elderly.

In Greece, Victor participated in protests when he wasn’t helping refugees out of boats from Turkey and leading them toward dry clothes, hot food and medical help. He witnessed horrible conditions in overcrowded refugee camps.

Victor was prepared for some of it.

“Going to Oxford really expanded my perspective,” Victor says. “Volunteering in Greece put into perspective how much a person can do.”

It was Victor’s view of volunteers from all walks of life around him making a difference that validated his decision to be a delegate a College Debate 2016. Whereas he was involved with hands-on laboratory research at Penn State in 2015, in the summer of 2016 Victor committed to understanding and discussing civil discourse and digital citizenry.

“It is part of the growing experience,” Victor says. “The whole Oxford experience and the traveling throughout Europe solidified my foundation to where I want to be, which is going into medicine because it really matters … I’m glad I expanded my perspectives.”


June 1, 2016