Sally Chapman's interest in science was fostered both by her "tinkerer" father and by the nationwide interest in innovative science education that occurred after Sputnik. She attended Smith College and worked for the Quaker Chemical Corporation, where she assisted technicians and experienced basic, day-to-day activities in a lab. Realizing she was not ready for graduate school as she completed undergraduate work at Smith, Chapman became a computer programmer at Metropolitan Life Insurance Company in New York. After her stint in New York, she pursued graduate school, choosing Yale University, where she worked with Raymond Suplinskas on Hot Atom Chemistry. After two postdoctoral positions, Chapman accepted a position at Barnard College. During the interview Chapman talked about her work in the community of women in chemistry, which has included the Committee on the Advancement of Women Chemists (COACh), advising and mentoring students, and various other activities.