hake is majoring in computer science
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Being a scholar-athlete at Florida Tech takes an incredible amount of hard work and dedication to excel both in the classroom and on the field.
Being a scholar-athlete at Florida Tech takes an incredible amount of hard work and dedication to excel both in the classroom and on the field.
In this Scholar-Athlete Spotlight, we are featuring Panther men’s lacrosse player Chandler Hake, a junior who is majoring in computer science.
An attacker from York, Pennsylvania, Hake has been a steady contributor to the Panther offense throughout his career, having provided 32 goals, 13 assists and 45 ground balls in 28 career games.
Chandler has been named to the Sunshine State Conference Commissioner’s and Florida Tech Athletic Director’s Honor Roll in each of his first three years at Tech, doing so with a 4.0 GPA this past year.
He’s also been a member of ROTC throughout his time at Florida Tech.
Given the wide array of activities on his calendar, we sat down with Chandler to ask him about how he handles it all and his detailed plans for life after graduation.
What’s your major at Florida Tech and why did you choose this? Is it something that you’ve always wanted to do?
My major is computer science with a cyber operations concentration.
I chose computer science because I’ve always loved computers, always had an interest in them and after looking at all the opportunities, I felt like computer science just offered the most robust and upcoming experiences in the in the job market in general.
Growing up in Pennsylvania, what was it about Florida Tech that drew you here?
With Florida Tech, it had the big three for me, which was computer science, with academics, lacrosse of course, and ROTC because I’m in that as well.
How do you plan to use your degree after graduation?
So, for at least the first four years, I’ll be in the army. So hopefully, I get the cyber branch for that but after the army, I plan to go into the cybersecurity field, especially around here in Melbourne. There’s a couple of really good companies around here that I’m looking to get into.
What are some of the exciting projects that you’ve been able to work on in classes here?
Dr. (TJ) O’Connor is the professor that’s in charge of cyber concentration and he does just a fantastic job of getting us a lot more hands-on stuff than you would in a regular university.
We get to code a bunch of really cool tools and essentially do a bunch of, people would see it as hacking [but] in a controlled environment, of course. But that’s some really cool hands-on stuff.
How do you keep everything balanced once the season starts? You mentioned ROTC, you’ve had competitions come up during the season before and I know lacrosse practices can be very early in the morning, how do you make it all work for you?
Honestly, every year is kind of like a whirlwind. Obviously, you know, the normal answer is just time management and keeping track of things.
But at the end of the day, you kind of have to take things day by day, especially when most days you’ve got to get up at five. So, you kind of have to balance everything out with a schedule, lists, and anything that works, but taking it day by day is usually what works best.
How has being a collegiate athlete prepared you for what you’re doing now and what do you take from the field that you apply to your studies?
Honestly, just being a team player with things is always just super helpful, that I’ve noticed, at least. Not just with the classroom too, but with ROTC as well.
Being cooperative with other people and having really good communication skills is always helpful and I feel like that’s something that I learned from sports in general, just because being a part of a team, you learn how to cooperate with other people and communicate.
What advice would you give to an athlete coming to Florida Tech that has an interest in computer science and/or ROTC?
Some advice that I would give them is, you know, don’t be scared of the grind and definitely start with the basics.
So, at least on the computer science side, you just got to learn from the basics. You have to really hunker down and just do your work. On the lacrosse side, you know, it’s the day-in and day-out tasks that you have to get done.
And you start as a freshman, but you work your way up always and you know you’re going to get playing time as long as you’re working hard.
The Panthers went 10-6 this past year and returned to the SSC Tournament for the first time since 2018, what are you looking forward to the most in the 2023 season?
I’m looking forward to seeing how this new team dynamic works out with the new season. With our coaching change, this is the first fall that we’ve had with Coach McArthur.
So, it’s going to be really interesting to see how that evolves into the season and see if our team chemistry kind of has differentiated a little bit and see if it’s a good thing.
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