»Taren James

Associate Director of Admission and International Admission Officer

Biography in Brief

Taren joined the Chapman team in spring of 2013 and comes to the Office of Admissions as the associate director of admissions—international admissions coordinator. Taren is originally from Long Beach, but moved to the midwest to attend Michigan State University where she ran track and earned both her degrees. Upon graduating with a bachelor’s degree in journalism, she attended graduate school at MSU and earned a master’s degree in public relations and advertising. After 11 years in "the mitten" as a student and employee, Taren returned back to Southern California for this amazing professional and personal opportunity. Taren is a very passionate person in general, but is especially energized about the opportunities to change student’s lives when the find the right fit and enroll in the university. She has traveled extensively both across the country and across the world. She loves working with both domestic and international students, yet is really excited to cultivate the relationship with international students because of their specific tenacity to work so hard to attend university abroad.

One of Taren’s favorite things to do is travel around the planet, making this job a dream for her, and experience the nuances of the variety of cultures in the countries around the world. When she’s not traveling, she enjoys spending time with her friends and family and being active outside!

Admission Advice

Despite what anyone may tell you, keep at the front of your mind what my old boss told me that has really resonated with me, “…there is no such thing as the perfect college, there is only the perfect college for you!” This process is very overwhelming at times, but if you keep an open mind, stay organized, and use the resources provided, admission into the university will be a pivotal moment in your life and will propel you to the next level, if you let it.

Favorite Spot on Campus

My first time on campus was when I interviewed for my current position and the thing I saw was the Schmid Gate. It was so beautiful and welcoming, I instantly felt calm and invited. Since then every time I bring someone on campus for the first time, I always take them there to show them the beauty of campus.

Best Admission Memory

That moment when you get that “good feeling” in the pit of your stomach and you know, you just know, that you picked the right place for you! After months of filling in applications, writing essays, taking exams, requesting letters of recommendations, evaluating the offers, and getting anxious about the decision…then you are finally settled on campus and that sense of calm when you know it was all worth it. I remember that moment and that was the best feeling for me.

From Our Application – Fast Facts

Favorite Musical Performer/Band/Composer: Celine Dion—I’ve been a fan since I was in third grade.

Most Prized Possession: A pen—I believe in the essence of communication and thrive on writing things down and absorbing information, so for me, when I have a pen in my hand, I feel like I’m in my element and I’m ready.

Book you would read again: Most John Grishman books, he’s my favorite author.

Favorite Summer Activity: Putting on my shades and doing something fun in the warm (humid-free sun!)

Best Movie of All Time: Dumb and Dumber (all-time favorite, can and will quote the entire movie!)

Favorite Quote (and by whom):
“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation. Character is what you really are; reputation is merely what you are perceived to be.” –John Wooden

“Virtually all limitations are self-imposed.” –Dad

“All we want is all you’ve got!” –MSU Spartan Football t-shirt

“You can’t measure the heart of CHAMPION.”

Dream Job: It’s a not a dream, it’s my future reality to have my own TV show called, #TheTarenJamesShow!

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Taren James