Chewie has been officiating roller derby and supporting BAD in various other volunteer roles since 2010. Her teaching experience in her professional life has brought her a generous helping of both patience and poise to the derby track, along with a studious understanding of the rules. While she is hanging up her stripes for the time being and will be sorely missed at game time, BAD is thankful for Chewie's continued contributions to the league with the Events and PR committees and super proud of her work with the Prison University Project.
Photo credit: Michael Dunn
Name: Big League Chew
If you have a derby name, what is it & what’s the story behind it?
I’ve been called “Chewie” since I was in middle school due to my last name and first initial (Chu, E.) When I joined roller derby, I wanted a more “formal” derby name since I figured Chewie was a common nickname. My housemate at the time liked making new puns on my name and “Big League Chew” stuck.
How long have you been with Bay Area Derby? What brought you to BAD?
I officiated with BAD for five years as both a skating referee and non-skating official (NSO). I just retired, but I am staying around to help out with tasks and projects to keep the league running.
I came to BAD after I went to a bout in 2010, decided to give this roller derby thing a shot, sent a few emails to BAD and showed up.
When you’re not supporting our league – what else do you enjoy doing?
My paying occupation is teaching general chemistry at local universities and colleges as an adjunct instructor. Despite how tiring it is, I really enjoy it and I hope to one day be a full-time instructor.
The main reason I retired from officiating recently was to devote more time to teaching math and biology at San Quentin Prison as a volunteer instructor for the Prison University Project. It’s one of the few programs in the US in which incarcerated individuals have opportunities to take in-person college credit classes. Many go on to earn their Associate Degrees, even while still in incarcerated.
Outside of teaching, I take yoga classes, I’ve started running and I have a subscription to the San Francisco Ballet. I’m really excited for Swan Lake and Coppelia this season.
What do you love about roller derby?
The community! That’s why I’m staying around to help out, even with my crazy schedule.
Share your favorite derby memory/moment from 2015.
I decided to step up and take on new and challenging tasks for the league. I’ve learned to be more effective at communication and organization.
Share one of your favorite motivational quotes with us.
I’m not really into motivational quotes. Currently, “Live in the Present” is in my head, but I blame yoga for that.