Eberhardt CEOs of Color in Residence provide on-campus impact
The challenge is clear to Eberhardt School of Business Associate Professor Sacha Joseph-Mathews: introduce students to more leaders of color as part of their education at University of the Pacific.
Her answer is to have CEOs of color move to Stockton—and on campus—for the better part of a month.
Joseph-Mathews created a program called CEOs of Color in Residence, where business and entrepreneurial leaders are assimilated into the Eberhardt School of Business. Over four weeks, they branch out and share their expertise with students, faculty and staff from Eberhardt and other schools and departments, as well as the community.
“One challenge we have had across campus is attracting diverse faculty,” Joseph-Mathews said. “I started thinking about people I have known in a variety of fields over the years—professionals who are doing amazing work.
“Then it came to me. ‘Why don’t we take this to another level?’ We can have them join us here on campus, so that we share their expertise in person,” she said.
Nicole Joseph-Chin, a highly respected social entrepreneur and impact strategist from Trinidad and Tobago, is the inaugural CEO of Color in Residence. She has made a significant impact in her short stay—while enjoying all that Pacific has to offer.
“I am taken by the beauty of the (Burns) Tower. I was able to experience the splendor of a presidential inauguration. And the students. Oh, my, the students. I cannot say enough about them and the time we spend together,” she said.
Much of her business and social work has been about body image for women and girls. In a talk on Nov. 2 at the Vereschagin Alumni House titled “Women’s Advocacy in a Changing World,” she shared the taunting and bullying she faced when beginning puberty pre-maturely at age 9.
“This was happening to me, and I knew it was happening to so many other girls around the world,” she said.
Her experiences and desire to be an advocate have led to more than two decades focusing on breast health, mastectomy care, body image and empowerment of women. Her business in Trinidad and Tobago named Ms. Brafit is dedicated to breast health, positive body image and dignity for those who have faced mastectomies and other health challenges.
“The impact that Nicole has had on these issues is immense. And it is global,” Joseph-Mathews said. “What she has done and the way she has done it can be applied to so many other areas.”
Joseph-Chin said her work and advocacy is guided by the acronym CLUE:
• Changes lives
• Leverages leadership
• Underscores innovation
• Enables impact
While at Pacific, she has spoken to multiple business classes as well as French and Spanish classes (she is fluent in both languages) and many more disciplines. She made a visit to the Sacramento Campus to speak and also addressed leadership of the Greater Stockton Chamber of Commerce.
“I feel like every presentation I have attended has been different and empowering,” said Izzy Gomez ’23, a third-year business student. “She is very passionate about all of her work. I think it is incredible that she started her own company to serve others after she dealt with her own challenges. That is inspirational.”
“This is my second talk that I have attended with Nicole. She really empowers you to speak up and use your voice for the betterment of all,” said Sahila Shah ’23, a third-year marketing student. “We all are college students, but she guides us in a way where we feel comfortable expressing our opinions and exploring our options.”
Shah and Gomez are among those who have started a student Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council within the Eberhardt School of Business.
The next CEO of Color in Residence will be Darrell Teat, the CEO of the Sacramento-based Safety Center, which focuses on overall community safety measures. He will spend several weeks on campus in November and December. Joseph-Mathews is busy recruiting CEOs of Color for February, March and April.
Among the sponsors of the CEOs of Color in Residence are Eberhardt School of Business, College of the Pacific, Pacific Gender Studies and the University Committee for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.