May 22, 2024

Cameisha Chin: A New Page

Cameisha Chin, the UMW Barnes and Noble bookstore's new manager, has worked for B&N for nearly two decades. Photo by Suzanne Rossi.

Cameisha Chin, the UMW Barnes & Noble bookstore’s new manager, has worked for B&N for nearly two decades. Photo by Suzanne Rossi.

Cameisha Chin hasn’t had much time to read a novel lately. But she has an excuse. As manager of UMW’s new Barnes & Noble bookstore, she spent her summer getting things running smoothly so everyone else can get their books and course materials in time for the new school year.

In her new job –  the bookstore will host a grand opening Thursday, Oct. 3 – Chin orders merchandise, trains employees and provides students, faculty, staff, alumni and guests with exceptional customer service. She also ensures that the Mary Washington and Barnes & Noble brands go hand-in-hand.

“We’re not a traditional retailer that comes in and takes over without input from the campus community,” said Chin, who began working at Mary Washington in July. “We are very much aligned with the University, and our social media and marketing efforts will still promote the UMW bookstore.”

A more robust website and new My College Bookstore smartphone app – which highlights sales and provides notifications for orders and rentals – have already earned compliments from customers.

Chin began working for B&N nearly two decades ago as a student at Northern Virginia Community College, where she now teaches business. Since then, she’s helped launch stores at universities throughout the region. But there was something special about Mary Washington.

“My son and I toured UMW when he was looking at colleges,” said Chin, who found the campus beautiful and welcoming. “When the University signed the contract with B&N, I applied because I wanted to work in an environment that resembled a family.”


Cameisha Chin, the bookstore's new manager, was thrilled to come to UMW, because she wanted to work in "an environment that resembled a family." Photo by Suzanne Rossi.

Cameisha Chin, the bookstore’s new manager, was thrilled to come to UMW, because she wanted to work in “an environment that resembled a family.” Photo by Suzanne Rossi.

Q: Why are so many universities relinquishing bookstore management to larger entities like B&N?
A: The nature of this business is changing, and B&N has adapted with the times. We’re developing innovative programs that align with campus initiatives, such as open education resources, a digital platform, study solutions and inclusive access services.

Q: What are some of the bookstore must-haves this fall?
A: There were many requests for grandparent items during Move-In Day, so we’ve ordered more gear for families. Hydro flasks and Squishable toys are also popular items.

Q: What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
A: When students receive the materials they need to succeed and everything goes smoothly.

Q: The most challenging?
A: When things don’t go as planned and students don’t get their course materials in a timely fashion.

Q: How do you spend your free time?
A: Going to the movies. I tried golf recently and look forward to getting back on the course. Teaching my business class each semester also gives me the opportunity to interact with students in a different setting.

Q: What books are you enjoying right now?
A: I recently met Angie Thomas, who wrote The Hate You Give, and she signed my book.

Q: What are people surprised to learn about you?
A: People are always amazed that I have three teenagers.

Q: What’s your motto?
A: Treat people how you’d like to be treated.

Barnes & Noble Bookstore Grand Opening

Barnes & Noble and University of Mary Washington invite you to celebrate the grand opening of the campus bookstore! On October 3, 2019, from 12-2 PM, join us in a variety of activities and chances to win prizes, and welcome bookstore manager Cameisha Chin. There will be:

  • A scavenger hunt
  • Prize drawings every half hour
  • Learning stations for textbook ordering through Faculty Enlight

Ms. Chin can be reached at