Head of BestSemester Joins Wheaton College

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WASHINGTON – Deborah Kim, interim vice president and director for student programs at the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities, has accepted a position at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, as the director of study abroad. Kim will assume her new role in January 2015.

“Since I started with the CCCU in 2006, I’ve felt a deep and strong connection to BestSemester and the overall mission of the CCCU,” Kim said. “I’ve always strongly believed that the BestSemester programs are most closely aligned with the mission of Christian colleges and universities.”

Kim first joined the CCCU in 2006 from Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, where she served as the coordinator of off-campus programs there. In addition to working for a CCCU institution, Kim also had experience as a CCCU student: she earned her bachelor’s at Wheaton and her master’s at Nyack College in Nyack, New York.

“Deb’s expertise, wisdom and interpersonal skills have made her an integral part of BestSemester and the CCCU,” said CCCU President Shirley V. Hoogstra. “Deb will be truly missed; it is hard to imagine the CCCU without her.  However, we are excited that Deb will be able to join her alma mater.  She will be just right in this new role.  When people are attentive to God’s call on their lives, we celebrate with them.  She will not only be a great asset to Wheaton, but we feel we will have another good connection at Wheaton in the joint work of getting our students ready for a global world.”

Throughout her time at the CCCU, Kim filled many roles within student programs, culminating in the role of interim vice president and director for student programs. In that time, Kim aided in the development and growth of BestSemester’s programs, including the creation of the India Studies Program and the social work emphasis of the Uganda Studies Program, as well as the development of internship opportunities within many of the BestSemester programs.

“While I’m excited to be closer to family and back to my alma mater, both contributing factors to my decision, I’m sad over the thought of leaving an organization that has become such a close connection to who I am and staff who’ve become like extended family,” Kim said. “However, I feel called to my new position, and I feel confident in Shirley’s leadership to locate a replacement who will continue to move the programs forward.”  

“Deb has laid a strong, solid foundation for BestSemester that will continue without interruption,” Hoogstra said. “She has prepared a staff that is eager to continue to serve our member institutions. Our program directors, who hate to see her leave, wish her the best. Our programs have been blessed by her contribution, and the biggest compliment to a prior leader is that the programs they invested in continue to thrive.”

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About BestSemester: The Council for Christian Colleges & Universities offers 12 off-campus study programs, collectively branded BestSemester®, which expand learning opportunities for students from CCCU campuses and are designated as culture-shaping or culture-crossing programs. Culture-shaping BestSemester programs are: American Studies Program (Washington, D.C.), Contemporary Music Center (Nashville), Los Angeles Film Studies Center (Los Angeles) and Washington Journalism Center (Washington, D.C.). Culture-crossing BestSemester programs are: Australia Studies Centre, China Studies Program, India Studies Program, Latin American Studies Program, Middle East Studies Program, Oxford Summer Programme, Scholars’ Semester in Oxford and Uganda Studies Program. Visit www.bestsemester.com for program details.

About the CCCU: The Council for Christian Colleges & Universities is a higher education association of 176 intentionally Christ-centered institutions around the world. The 120 member campuses in North America are all fully accredited, comprehensive colleges and universities with curricula rooted in the arts and sciences. In addition, 56 affiliate campuses from 19 countries are part of the CCCU. The Council’s mission is to advance the cause of Christ-centered higher education and to help our institutions transform lives by faithfully relating scholarship and service to biblical truth. Visit www.cccu.org.