Erin Reed is the student services assistant at the American Language and Culture Institute (ALCI), and she is the perfect fit for the job. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Journalism with a concentration in Public Relations and Advertising from California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo (otherwise known as Cal Poly San Luis Obispo), so is a graduate of the CSU-system. Shortly after graduation, Erin answered a classified job advertisement in a local newspaper and soon found herself working at a small, growing computer company called Apple Computer—ever heard of it?
Having worked at Apple for many years in the marketing department as a Field Marketing Manager, Erin is always looking for ways that the ALCI can improve its services to students and leave them with the best experience at California State University San Marcos (CSUSM). For example, Erin was instrumental in organizing and planning the logistics for the ambitious new Mexico-United States Scholarship program Proyecta 100,000 that brought 45 Mexican students to study at CSUSM. This took careful coordination with the Mexican government, the US Student Exchange and Visitor Program (SEVP), and the Mexican scholarship students. Due to the success of Proyecta 100,000 and the positive feedback ALCI received from its previous students, this program will continue in 2015.
Erin’s introduction to working in education began when she started volunteering at her children’s school. It was not long after that she was hired as an Attendance Specialist. It was here that she became highly trained in attendance tracking, a skill that is valuable in Intensive English Programs (IEPs) due to student visa rules and regulations. Erin has a keen interest in US immigration as it relates to international education and has spent much time and energy learning about this complex aspect of her job.
When asked what she likes about her position at ALCI, she responded, “The diversity of international students. It opens your mind working here at CSUSM where you learn about cultures and dispel misconceptions. People here come from so many different backgrounds, so we are always learning from each other. It is wonderful to work for a learning institution.”
From marketing to attendance tracking to immigration advising, Erin’s combination of skills makes her a valued member of the ALCI team. She can often be found on her lunch in the University Student Union (USU) where she is commonly conversing with CSUSM students and listening to their stories.