About Elif Balin


(415) 338-6415


Associate Professor


CounselingCollege of Health and Social Sciences


Burk Hall (BH)


Office Hours (Additional Info): 

Dr. Balin is on a professional development leave for a research project throughout the Fall 2019 semester and will return to the department in Spring 2020.


At SF State Since:

August 2016


Elif Balin is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Counseling at San Francisco State University in the Career Counseling and College Counseling specializations. She is also the Coordinator of the Career Counseling specialization. Dr. Balin received a B.A. from Bogaziçi University and an M.S. from Middle East Technical University in Turkey in the field of Psychological Counseling and Guidance. Before moving to the U.S., she worked as a Professional School Counselor in private and international K-12 schools in Turkey. While in Turkey, Dr. Balin also had professional certification training (GCDF) and experience in the career counseling field. 

Dr. Balin moved to the U.S. as an international student in 2008 and pursued her doctoral studies in the Counselor Education and Supervision field (with a graduate minor in Women’s Studies) at the Pennsylvania State University. Following the completion of her comprehensive doctoral exams, Dr. Balin worked as a full-time career counselor at Penn State Career Services. While at Penn State, she also taught several courses such as Effective Career Decision Making, Counseling Skills and Process, and Introduction to Women’s Studies. 

Dr. Balin’s career priority is to train professional counselors who understand and apply Career Counseling and College Counseling through systemic and culturally competent practices in various service and advocacy areas in the higher education, community mental health settings, and beyond. Additionally, Dr. Balin is interested in the ways that recent immigrants and international students navigate their career development; especially in the context of cultural transition, mobility, and sociopolitical influences. For her research, service, and counseling practice, she integrates transnational feminist, narrative, and strengths-based approaches to support the critical connection between mental health and work experiences. She believes in the transformative value of participatory action research and collaboration with practitioners, administrators, and policymakers. Thus, she’s dedicated to building bridges between her roles and activities as a counselor educator, supervisor, researcher, and community member in two related professional organization committees. Dr. Balin chaired the International Student Services Committee (ISSC) of the National Career Development Association (NCDA), a division of the American Counseling Association (ACA]) for two years. She currently leads the Research and Writing Team under this committee. She also chairs the International Student and Faculty Interest Network of Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES) which is another ACA division.