Staff Spotlight: Charles Basden Jr.
Charles Basden Jr., Senior Academic Program Coordinator, comes to the GSE from the Graduate School of Newark’s Dean’s Office where he served as its Coordinator of Recruitment and Outreach. At the GSE, he is responsible for recruitment operations for the GSE’s academic and professional program offerings. About 90% of his job is between on campus events and external events traveling around the state and country attracting high caliber change agents to the Rutgers-New Brunswick campus. Prior to his tenure at Rutgers University, Basden was the Coordinator of Special Projects at The George Washington University (GWU) in Washington DC. Basden also earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in American Studies and Master of Arts in Public Administration from GWU.
His interpersonal skills, candor, and ability to easily interact with others are what drew him to his most recent jobs in higher education. Basden spent a significant amount of time during his undergraduate experience at GWU being involved in student life. As a young professional, he spent his free time serving as a mentor to younger students— a passion which led to his career in student affairs.
What led him to Rutgers GSE is his love and respect for the field of higher education. In August 2016, he took up an opportunity with Rutgers-Newark and returned to Newark, NJ, where he was born and raised. Basden asserts that while reading Dale Russakoff’s book “The Prize,” a text providing a critical spotlight on the rapidly changing social, political, and economic landscape of urban education in Newark, NJ that he, “…knew I wanted to come back to my home state to see if I could make a difference and become part of the change I wanted to see. As a recruiter of teachers and other professional within the field of education, it is so rewarding to help students and professionals alike who will be impacting students who will become the future leaders in society.”
His favorite part about the job is meeting new people who through educational advancement and professional development are dedicated to creating change. “I love learning about students’ stories and their motivations for wanting to go to school to become a teacher, or to become a researcher, policy maker, or advocate. Hearing those life stories that have led them along that path is a powerful thing,” said Basden. “I get to help guide them in the right direction!”
“You play the role of a brother, mentor, and coach.” Basden elaborates, “You have to be able to shift roles depending on the situation. Some know exactly what they want to do, and some have no clue. But I have to be prepared to dispatch the proper tool belt to the situation. I appreciate flexibility and being able to sharpen my people skills across the country. The key is first listening and eventually learning about what considerations students weigh that actually affect their decision-making processes to attend one institution versus another.”
Outside of work, Basden spends his free time with his wife. They have been married for five years and have a small puppy, Faith. They love to travel, as well as try different foods and restaurants. They also enjoy listening to good music, hanging with friends and family and fitness activities. He is also an avid collector of watches—his favorite brand being Movado.