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Hillyer Honors Young Alum with a Penchant for Giving Back
Elsa Chin (third from left) displays the citation she received as the recipient of Hillyer's Outstanding Young Alumnus Award. The citation was read by Sherice Forde (far left), a first-year Hillyer College student who took part in a week-long women's leadership program on campus this summer. Also joining Chin are Hillyer College Dean David Goldenberg and Provost Sharon L. Vasquez.
Hillyer College on Wednesday presented its eighth annual Outstanding Young Alumnus Award to a recent graduate whose commitment to making a difference led her to a leadership position with Newman's Own Foundation.
Hillyer’s 2012 Outstanding Young Alumnus Award was presented to Elsa Chin '07, '09, who currently serves as associate director of Newman's Own Foundation. In that role, Chin works with a variety of nonprofit organizations and government agencies, and she has been particularly engaged in the Foundation’s work with veterans and military families.
Chin earned an associate's degree from Hillyer College in 2007, and continued in the College of Arts and Sciences, where she earned a bachelor's degree in international studies with a concentration in economics. As an undergraduate, Chin took on a tremendous number of leadership roles. Among other things, she served as a student member of the Board of Regents, editor of The Informer, a resident assistant, and a preceptor.
After graduating in 2009, Chin accepted a position at The Hartford as a senior investment analyst. She continued to give back through her involvement with the University of Hartford Alumni Association, youth sports, and the Hole-in-the-Wall-Gang Camp. Chin's interest in government and finance and her volunteer work with the Hole-in-the-Wall-Gang Camp led to her position with Newman's Own Foundation.
“As we look to the future and the needs of a complex society, we require leaders who demonstrate sound judgment, character, integrity, and passion,” Provost Sharon L. Vasquez said in presenting the award to Chin. “You have found that blend of liberal arts intellect with a mind for business and a passion for helping those who need it most.”
Among those who attended Wednesday’s award ceremony in Wilde Auditorium were a number of Chin’s former professors, several regents, and many Hillyer College students who peppered Chin with questions about her University of Hartford experience and the journey that led to her current position.
Chin said that she had many different ideas about what kind of work she wanted to do, and she tried many different paths in order to find the career that was right for her. She pursued a variety of internships and campus activities, and most importantly, she said, she sought guidance from her professors. The personal and supportive environment at Hillyer College enabled Chin to talk with her professors one-on-one, and she frequently consulted them for advice about careers, classes, and internships, she said.
“It was the encouragement that I got that made me want to try things,” she said. “I was able to take the time to learn and understand what I wanted to do.
“I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up,” Chin said jokingly, “but now I know what I am good at and what I like.”