Christopher Fernandez is an alumnus of Fullerton College and currently works as a chemistry professor in our chemistry department. He encourages his students to keep at it, especially as classes get tougher!
Chris’s original plan for a career was architectural drafting, but he needed to find another path once the Great Recession hit in 2008. After high school, he transferred to Fullerton College and explored a few career paths in an effort to find something he was good at. He took Chemistry and earned a “C” and thought that meant he “wouldn’t be good at it”. How untrue that was!
He avoided science for a time, pursuing a Liberal Arts degree, dropping out for a year-and-a-half to work “dead end jobs”, and came back to Fullerton College as an Interior Design major. After taking one class and mentioning that he “didn’t like a set of curtains in a video” and receiving dirty looks from the instructor and class members, he dropped the Interior Design major.
His reason for deciding on the major of Biology was that he “liked nature”, and he followed the Biology AA path, transferring to Cal State University Fullerton (CSUF) after two years. A recommendation from a friend for Chris to take an Analytical Chemistry class (not even required for his major) is what finally brought Chris to the subject he loves so dearly. While he still enjoys Biology, he even more so enjoys the in-depth understanding of Biology that Chemistry can uncover for you.
After receiving his BS degree from CSUF, Chris went on to receive a Master’s degree in Chemistry with a concentration in Analytical Chemistry. While pursuing his Master’s, he taught Chemistry courses and received two teaching awards.
Chris worked both part-time and full-time positions at two Biotech companies, but teaching called to him still, and he wished to share his knowledge about the industry with students. In 2011, Chris began teaching part-time at Fullerton College, Cal State Fullerton, and Mount Sac for almost five years before he was hired as a full-time professor at Fullerton College. He says that he “loves it”, which is very apparent to all of his students!
Professor Fernandez says that community college is, “...a place where you find yourself, a place where you get the background knowledge in the courses that you take that can springboard you toward the classes that you will take in the future once you transfer”. He also tells students to pursue science activities that are out there- if you don’t know what they are, your professors are very willing to help you find them, so ask!