When Brett Chin— California Lutheran University’s new interim director of the office of education abroad— first arrived at Cal Lutheran, he was in search of the passion he once had for higher education.
“I really wanted to get back to working with students again in higher education. So that was why I left my last company,” Chin said. He was previously director of programs for Linden Education Services in Costa Mesa, California.
“I just wasn’t happy there because I didn’t get to work with students directly. I got to work with international students, but not as directly as I get to work with [them] here,” Chin said.
In his new position, Chin is responsible for providing access to students and faculty as they engage in education abroad.
“His work is to engage with our team in the Office of Education Abroad and to strengthen how we are guiding students and supporting them,” said Christina Sanchez, the associate provost for global engagement.
Chin earned his Master of Education at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration-Marketing at California State University Northridge. Chin has experience working in higher education at institutions including the University of Minnesota, Babson College, and California State University, Northridge. His past positions include the senior community direct
or at California State University, Northridge and education abroad advisor at Babson College.
“I believe that Mr. Chin is bringing in some fresh energy and perspective as well as experience to our education abroad office,” Sanchez said. “Through his background work, both in international education as well as in student development areas, he brings a new lens to strengthen our engagement with students and ways to support them through the education abroad journey.”
Chin said the community, values and acceptance that comes with working for Cal Lutheran were the biggest influences on his decision to work in the Center for Global Engagement.
“Everybody that I get to work with and meet is a part of my community, and I feel like Cal Lutheran is a community school. So, you really get to know students, staff and faculty and I really wanted to come back to a smaller institution that had similar values to what I believe in as well,” Chin said.
Chin also knows some familiar faces among the Cal Lutheran community, including Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Residence Life Chris Paul. Chin and Paul had met when Chin served as residence director at Semester At Sea in the fall of 2012.
“We’re very close, so I was really excited for him to get a job here since it’s like having a best friend on campus, which is different but really great,” Paul said. “Brett’s amazing…he is one of the most dynamic and inclusive people and knowing Brett and knowing Cal Lutheran for 18 years, I knew it was going to be a good match.”
What ultimately drives Chin is the fact that he takes part in the process of sending students abroad. In his new position, he hopes to build relationships within the Cal Lutheran community while helping students and faculty become more globally engaged.
“I get to be a part of that journey and I get to help students figure it out,” Chin said.