Rachel Brown, assistant director of study abroad, will leave the Center for International Education after six years to take a job at Wheaton College in Illinois.
Brown will leave Sept. 10 to become the learning community coordinator for the “Wheaton in Chicago” program. She will live at the Wheaton Center located in downtown Chicago. The program allows students majoring or minoring in urban studies to study city life while immersed in it.
“Students will go there for a semester and do internships and take classes on urban issues,” Brown said.
She will have numerous responsibilities such as organizing community dinners and helping with service opportunities.
Brown said while the job offer came out of the blue, it wasn’t unexpected, as she had actually applied for a very similar position at Wheaton about two years ago. She said she turned it down at the time because she knew she and her husband, Derek, director of jazz studies, were taking a Study Abroad group to Germany last spring.
She said when they emailed her about an opening in July, she decided to take the job, though it was a difficult decision.
“I love my job, and I love the people here,” Brown said.
Brown said her new job at Wheaton College has some of the same aspects as her job at ACU.
“There will be similar aspects to what we did in Germany this spring,” Brown said. “I loved getting to know the students on a deeper level and helping them kind of walk through a life-changing experience, and I think I’ll be able to do some of that in Chicago as well.”
Stephen Shewmaker, executive director for international education, said Brown’s departure from the university is bittersweet.
“I am happy for her and Derek but sad that she’s going to be gone,” he said. “She’s been great to work with and has become a very valuable asset for the university in that role.”
Shewmaker said the Study Abroad office began searching for a new replacement a month ago. He was unable to give a name but said Brown was working closely with the new recruit.
“We had to do it pretty quickly so that person could spend about a week crossover training with her,” Shewmaker said.
Shewmaker said replacing Brown might be difficult, but he had high hopes for the new staff member.
“The hope and the intention is that things will continue to run along as they have,” Shewmaker said. “There will be some challenges as we train a new person to step in and take her role, but we’ve hired somebody who I think will be good and learn quickly.”