Meet Dr. Luis Enrique Bazán
Dr. Luis Enrique Bazán, a graduate of USF’s doctorate in organization and leadership program, currently works in USF’s Office of International Initiatives facilitating immersion programs for USF students. We recently talked to Dr. Bazán about his path to USF and the work he’s doing now. Check out our conversation below.
Where did you grow up?
“I grew up in Peru - Lima and South of Lima. I grew up during a time of internal conflict in Peru. The message at that time was ‘study as much as you can so you can get out of here.’ But I didn’t want to ‘get out’ to abandon the country. I wanted to get out to carry the story of where I came from, and to connect with my country from the outside. I wanted to participate in conversations, conversations that we couldn’t have because of the tensions.”
What brought you to the field of education?
“My parents have always worked on human rights. My mother worked with homeless children in Peru. These children were the real victims of the violence in the country. Their parents had been killed or displaced. For my mother, it was a 24/7 job. So I would go to the plazas with my mother to spend time with her, and to work with the children.
“There was a moment in the early 1990s when the military groups came to the plaza and they were shooting the children. For me, that’s when I knew I wanted two things. First, I wanted to be educated so more people could hear these stories. Second, I wanted to be in a place where dialogue was important and valued. I wanted to find a place to think on my own and dialogue with people about how to build a better world for all - not based on how I think the world should be run, but have all voices participate in the conversation.”
What brought you to the University of San Francisco?
“I came to Half Moon Bay, California to participate in an exchange teacher program. I visited USF to do a presentation on my work in Peru. I found USF to be a place where people from different backgrounds were willing to come together to talk about social justice - really talk about it! First I did a master’s degree in religious studies at USF, but I felt like I didn’t know enough. I went into the organization and leadership program to extend my learning.”
How did your doctoral work inform the work you do now?
“I discovered in the organization and leadership program that I want to be in the place where there are social tensions - not on the right or on the left - l want to be in the place where there aren’t clear margins. Social justice, reconciliation, forgiveness...these things happen in that place. The organization and leadership program was a place for this dialogue, it promoted this dialogue. And I realized that these are the places that I like to be. But in order to be there, I need to recognize my values and where I stand. Faith is an important aspect - the principle of life, dignity of every person, all are children of God - principles I can’t compromise.”
What is one of your favorite parts about being part of the USF community?
“I work for the Office of International Initiatives. I help to enable short term immersion programs that create educational experiences for our students around the world. I work with USF leadership, professors and deans to figure out what kinds of experiences our students need to be ready to read the context of the world, reflect about what it means for their careers and the world, and to act - to make a decision about how they want to live their vocation through their careers.”
What is something you’re currently working on that excites you?
“Connecting our students with the world is part of it, but what our students learn outside and how that knowledge filters back to the university - that’s the most exciting part!”