Literacy coach encourages students to follow their passions

by Thalia Bernal , Contributor

Christopher Brum may be new to San Diego, but he had no problem fitting in with the outdoor lifestyle that comes with it.

Born and raised in Boston, Brum ventured to San Diego State where he has been a lecturer for the past three years.

As a literacy coach and site coordinator for the Center on Secondary Education for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Brum focuses on deaf blindness, literacy, autism and communication.

Brum always knew he wanted to commit his time to providing close attention to students with special needs, which is where becoming a special needs teacher comes into play.

Brum received his undergraduate degree in psychology from Northeastern University, before aligning his passions at Boston College, where he received his master’s in severe disabilities and deaf blindness.

“I knew that this field was for me,” Brum said. “I was able to not only give back, but work with true impact.”

Brum continued on to earn his doctorate of philosophy, curriculum and instruction in severe disabilities and deaf blindness at Boston College. After earning the majority of his degrees in Boston, Brum decided that it was time to try something new and relocate.

Brum said he knew he was meant to make a difference after he took a one-week service trip to Haiti. Although set on his career, Brum said this experience truly changed not only his view on his career path, but overall life.

“I served as a volunteer and did lots of community service,” Brum said. “It was truly a life changing experience and I would definitely recommend it to anyone, regardless of their studies.”

After his experience, Brum took a leap of faith and moved to San Diego.

Brum wasted no time in San Diego, taking advantage of the weather, surfing, yoga and meditation.

Brum also considers himself a food fanatic and thanks San Diego for his new newly found empanada addiction. He said he enjoys foods from all cultures, especially Ethiopian food where one can guiltily eat everything with their hands.

In addition to these activities that keep him grounded, he lives by a simple, yet inspiring quote:

“Do good,” he said. “ It is simple but so relevant. We all want to do good and it is very important to live by this.”

Passionate about his career and his research, Brum said he encourages students to follow their passions.

Brum said his office door is always open to anyone who wants to learn more about his career, or even talk about the next food craze.