"Cornell students dream bigger dreams."

--Frank H.T. Rhodes, Cornell University Commencement, May 28, 1995

Monday, June 9, 2014

51. Gilbert and Mara Chan

Rochester, New York · Engineering and College of Human Ecology

Names at Cornell
Gilbert Chan and Mara Cooper

Email: gac2@cornell.edu and mlc10@cornell.edu  
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gilbert.chan.9 and https://www.facebook.com/marachan

Tell us about what you're doing with your life.
We live in Rochester, NY. We have been married for nearly 17 years. We have two daughters, Julia (11) and Jenna (8). They keep us busy with school and other activities they are involved in.

Gilbert has been working as a mechanical engineer in the plastics industry since graduating Cornell. I work for a company that designs and builds plastic injection molds: "I wear many hats: designer, customer support, IT support and process development of our new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. In my free time, I enjoy cooking, playing volleyball and baseball (especially following the Baltimore Orioles)."

Mara has been working in fundraising: "I work at a nursing home and am responsible for gift processing. I am fortunate to have found flexibility in my work that allows me to also be with our kids. In my free time, I enjoy scrapbooking and reading."

What is your favorite memory of your time at Cornell?
Gilbert: My favorite memories of my time at Cornell involved my time in the marching band. There were great memories from night practices, band parties, road trips, and of course, marching on the field during football games. My first date with Mara was during a band semi-formal sophomore year.

Mara: My favorite memory of my time at Cornell was working at Olin Library. The job was locating books for barcoding in the vast stacks. When I started the job sophomore year, Gilbert trained me. We worked together for 2 years.

What advice would you give to a student starting at Cornell this year?

Our advice for a student starting Cornell this year is to take a break and have fun! Take time to explore all the different things you can do at Cornell, there is something for everyone. Take a walk and explore the campus, find your favorite place. Explore Ithaca, it's a great town and there is so much to do away from campus. Attend a hockey game, especially the big game against Harvard. Order a PMP at the Hot Truck and the fries at Louie's Lunch Truck. Take some classes outside of your comfort zone.

What extracurricular activity or hobby from your time at Cornell was the most meaningful?
Gilbert: Being in the Big Red Marching Band was the most meaningful activity I was involved in at Cornell. I've made a lot of friends being a member of these groups and met people that I wouldn't have otherwise. This also allowed me to get back into performing music after taking a break from music in high school.

Mara: I spent a semester in Washington, D.C. through the Cornell in Washington program. I liked living and exploring a big city, walking and taking public transportation and going to my internship.

What are you most looking forward to at Reunion 2015?
We are looking forward to reconnecting with our friends and classmates that we don't get to see very often. It will be exciting to be there during the Sesquicentennial Celebration. It will be fun to show our girls some of our favorite places around Cornell, including the re-opened Dairy Bar and the spot where we got engaged. It's too bad the U-Halls are no longer there.