Chas Culverwell

Class of 2012

Chas Culverwell was raised as the oldest of nine children on a farm in the small town of Caliente, Nevada. His father was a high school teacher and his mother is a full-time homemaker. He grew up working on the farm, exploring the mountains around his house, and reading everything he could get his hands on. In high school, he was involved in Future Farmers of America, drama, Academic Olympics (team-based quiz bowl competitions), student government, and wrestling; he became a Nevada 2A Wrestling State Championship in 2000 and graduated as valedictorian in 2002.

After studying for one semester at Brigham Young University (BYU), Chas served as a volunteer missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Taiwan for two years, from 2003 to 2005. Learning Mandarin Chinese and serving among the Taiwanese people changed the course of his life. After returning from his mission, Chas majored in International Relations and minored in Mandarin Chinese. During his undergraduate studies, he completed the NSEP-funded Chinese Flagship Program, which included a semester of direct enrollment at Nanjing University in Nanjing, China and an internship at a private Chinese law firm. He also worked as a Mandarin teacher and Mandarin Curriculum Developer while attending BYU, and he graduated magna cum laude in 2010.

Chas is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree at UCSD’s School of International Relations and Pacific Studies with a focus on comparative public policy.