Alumni Spotlight: Jack Chaillet (’12)

“Maybe by the time I’m a senior I’ll make the B team,” Jack Challiet (’12) joked, describing the rigor of the University of Chicago’s Quiz Bowl club, the most victorious team in the academic competition. After graduating from Winchester Thurston as a Quiz Bowl All-Star and Hometown High-Q contestant, Jack will be traveling to the Midwest to attend University of Chicago. Now a national level Quiz Bowl competitor, Jack reflected on his experience in academic contests, beginning with his state-level participation in the Geography Bee as a middle school student at St. Edmund’s Academy. He joined Winchester’s Quiz Bowl team as a way to meet like-minded friends, and his competitive success has taken him to Harrisburg, Dallas, and, most recently, Lexington, Kentucky.

For Jack, the esteem of U Chicago’s Quiz Bowl team was but one of many draws to the school. “Everyone seems to take their studies seriously,” Jack explained, adding that students are encouraged to explore various departments. “I’m between creative writing, physics, and ecology.” Having played soccer, clarinet, served as a volunteer for Powdermill Nature Reserve and the National Aviary, U Chicago satisfies Jack’s diverse interests, particularly in the natural sciences. While growing up, Jack began studying and researching the exotic birds he encountered when on family vacations. Before long, his interest expanded to local and regional birds, leading him to participate in local and regional bird initiatives. As a volunteer for the National Aviary, Jack was a part of a team which banded and studied birds, collecting data on local populations. His study also included the testing of various glasses, experimenting to see which glass would be most effective at preventing bird collisions, introducing him to the thoughtful integration of natural sciences.

In Pittsburgh, Jack has seen the Pittsburgh community of amateur birders and conservationists flourish in a matter of years; he is hopeful that he will be embraced by another active community of ecological conscious innovators in Chicago.