Career Champion Roster


Jessica_AlbersJessica Albers, (she/her/hers)Associate Professor, Human Performance

What is the one piece of career advice you would share? Now is the time to say yes to opportunities. You never know where they can take you or when it will help in the future.

What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? I coached, waited tables and bartended all through college. I ended up cooking in a small cafe during grad school which was unexpected!

What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? I enjoy baking. Watching the British Baking Show makes me happy.


Michael Altomari, (he/him/his), Director, PSEO Offheadshot of stomper mascot professionally dressedce

What is one piece of career advice you would share? Find a career where you can use your skills and passion to make an impact on what matters the most to you. Remember, you're the one that will be doing the work, not your family or friends.

What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Maintenance for an apartment complex I lived in.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? I joined the Mankato Curling Club six years ago and I love it. I was completely out of my comfort zone but I've met so many great people and learned an appreciation for a new sport. 


Stomper_Professional_Headshot.pngLejla Alvarez, (she/her/hers) 
Academic Advisor, University, Advising Center
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Seek to develop versatile skills that make it easy to adapt to the changing needs and demands.
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Event Promoter.
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, organized citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has” - Margaret Mead

Allison_Anderson

 
Allison Anderson, (she/her/hers)
Academic Advisor, University Advising Center
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Never be afraid to make a change - it's never too late to evaluate what you are currently doing and determine if it is still in line with your goals and values.
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? I worked as a cashier at Home Depot.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? My current favorite hobby is photography! I bought a camera not too long ago, so I am very amateur and learning so many things!

JenJennifer_Andrashkonifer Andrashko, (she/her/hers)
Academic Advisor, University Advising Center
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Your professors, mentors on campus, peers, coworkers, supervisors, and friends can leverage their own social capital to help you get connected to a job, an industry, an informational interview, a job shadowing opportunity, a mentor, etc. All you have to do is ask. Social capital is powerful currency!
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? French Interpreter for an International Tool & Die Company.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? I am learning to surf this year!

headshot of stomper mascot professionally dressedLisa Baures, (she/her/hers)
Reference/Instruction Librarian, Library Services
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Be open-minded about what types of jobs could provide valuable experience.
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? The conversion of library card catalog records to machine readable records.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn't said.--Peter Drucker 


stomper_headshot_placeholder3.pngBenjamin Ardner, (he/him/his)
Program and Student Support Coordinator, Aviation
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Opportunities don't just happen-you create them!
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? This one!
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? My favorite hobby is reading.

Suzannah_ArmentroutSuzannah Armentrout, (she/her/hers)
Professor in Sport Management, Human Performance
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Start your career development now!
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? I made cold calls for the university's foundation.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? My hobbies are either driving my kids to their activities or trying to squeeze in my own time for sport and fitness.

stomper_headshot_placeholder.pngAbigail Bakke, (she/her/hers)
Associate Professor, English
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? You have more skills than you think you do. Connect them creatively to job requirements.
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Dish washer at a summer camp.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? My favorite hobby is playing piano and learning music theory.

headshot of stomper mascot professionally dressedJames Ball
Associate Director for Operations, Centennial Student Union and Student Activities

 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Learn to articulate your skills and experiences beyond the basics; everyone should be able to answer a phone, it's what you do to help the caller that makes a difference to a potential employer.
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Interim Ropes Course and Climbing Wall Coordinator.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? Cycling is my favorite hobby.

stomper_headshot_placeholder2.pngLaura Benesch, (she/her/hers)
BSSW Director of Field Education,  Social Work
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Continue to stay curious about the job market, you never know the potential you can reach.
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Vocational Advisor.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? It takes a village.

Scheduling Assistant, University Scheduling
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Find a balance with your personal life.
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Hotel Housekeeping.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? Life is tough but so are you.

headshot of stomper mascot professionally dressedShane Bowyer
Associate Professor, Director AgriBusiness, Management & Entrepreneurship
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? The need to be open to change - it will happen and you will be in a career you never planned on. In order help that process, you need to be curious and constantly learning.
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Sales - Development Director
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? I like to water ski - but it is taking a toll on my body!

Shelly_BrandenburgerShelly Brandenburger, (she/her/hers)
Professor, Family Consumer Science
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Follow your passions! It's a lot easier to go to work every day when it's something that leaves you feeling satisfied at the day's end.
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? I've held a lot of interesting and challenging positions but probably the most unexpected was when I was asked to serve as a Graduate Teaching Assistant in graduate school for the OB/GYN lab course. I've learned from every opportunity in my long career!
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world" - Nelson Mandela

Heidi_Burns
Heidi Burns, (she/her/hers)
Academic Advisor, University Advising Center
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Your work doesn't have to be your passion. You should enjoy your work and be passionate about your hobbies.
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Tent installer for a party rental business.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? I love making things in my art studio, particularly things from fabric.

headshot of stomper mascot professionally dressedPaulina Camacho, (she/her/hers)
Assistant Director of Retention, Kearney International Center
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Networking is important throughout your college career.
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Nothing I can think of!
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours?  I like to read murder mystery books and thrillers, I love to walk my dogs - we like to walk far and explore new places.

Samantha_CampaSamantha Campa, (she/her/hers)
Internships & External Partnerships Coordinator, College of Business
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Ask people for help! Alumni and other professionals are often more willing to help with advice, making connections, or referring to jobs and internships than we think!
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? I was an AmeriCorps NCCC FEMA Corps team member and worked in disaster response and recovery
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours?  N/A

Kathryn_ClayKathryn Clay, (she/her/hers)
Maverick Success Program Advisor, Center for Academic Success
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Figure out what your values are and find a job that fits those. It may not be the job that makes the most money, but you'll find it rewarding in other ways.
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Children's book editor.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours?  Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans --John Lennon, "Beautiful Boy"

Kellian_ClinkKellian Clink, (she/her/hers)
Professor, Library
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Look early at job ads, see if while you're in school, you can pick up a piece of software, another language, a certificate.
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Plant Tender.
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? “I don't know what to do, and if I did know what to do I wouldn't tell you, because if I had to tell you today then I'd have to tell you tomorrow, and when I'm gone you'd have to get somebody else to tell you.” ― Myles Horton, We Make the Road by Walking: Conversations on Education and Social Change

Elizabeth_ColemanElizabeth Coleman, (she/her/hers)
Assistant Professor, Nursing
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Always do your best and seek to learn whether it is your dream job or not even close. You can grow wherever you are.
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Pig farmer.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? My favorite hobby is wood working projects.

stomper_headshot_placeholder.pngBrigette Cooper, (she/her/hers)
Professor and Chair, Dental Education
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Begin saving for retirement early
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Chair of the department.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, dream, discover." Mark Twain

Diane Coursol, (she/her/hers)
Professor, Counseling and Student Personnel
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Come to know yourself and allow that understanding to guide choices.
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? A maid at Holiday Inn.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? Who looks outside dreams; who looks inside awakens. Carl Jung

Nursing Department
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? You can do anything you set your mind to!
 

Tessa_DelaneyTessa Delaney, (she/her/hers)
Assistant Director of Student Success Services, Student Success
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Your undergraduate degree does not dictate your future plans and networking is essential.
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Lead Preschool Teacher.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? My hidden talent is singing.

stomper_headshot_placeholder3.pngJeff Dennis, (he/him/his)
Associate Professor, Criminal Justice
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Look for opportunities beyond your expected career path.
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Juvenile Probation Officer.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? I have studied 15 languages. I am able to hold conversations in only four.

Riley Devenport, (she/her)
Assistant Director for Communications and Testing Center
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Find mentorship in the people you surround yourself with and trust your instincts.
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? I co-owned a business selling wild caught Alaskan salmon for a few years prior to the pandemic! 
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? "I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship" - Louisa May Alcott 

a person with short hair wearing a black jacketKerry Diekmann, (she/they)
Associate Professor, Counseling & Student Personnel
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Career choices, colleagues, and the organizations you work for all are important--when you can, seek jobs where you look forward to working as well as those that respect your wellness and time away from work.
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Becoming a university professor!
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? "Until we get equality in education, we won't have an equal society" - Sonia Sotomayor

Danielle Duffey, (she/her/hers)
Associate Director of Alumni Relations, Alumni Relations
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Follow your curiosity.
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career?  Aflac Insurance Advisor.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? Playing volleyball.

Emily Ender, (she/her/hers)
Assistant Director for Residential Education, Residential Life
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Know what your boundaries and values are and look for a career that aligns with them.
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Administrative Assistant and Cleaning Staff for a lawncare service.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? Attempting home DIY projects anytime I'm able.

Assistant Director for Planning, Marketing, & Administration, Residential Life
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Keep an open mind in your job search. 
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? 
Unloading freight off UPS planes.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? 
I love organizing and decorating!

Jill_FischerJill Fischer, (she/her/hers) 
Assistant Director of Student Success, Student Success
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Find a mentor(s); cultivate authentic relationships.
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Production Coordinator for special makeup effects company in California.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? I love editing videos and creating compelling narratives!

Sr. IT Solutions Center Analyst
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Don't be afraid to take risks
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? I never thought I would be working IT but here I am.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? Don't be afraid to stand up even if it means standing alone.

Michelle_Forliti
Michelle Forliti, (she/her/hers)
Student Support Coordinator, Title IV-E, Social Work
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Adventure outside your initial thought of work/career path - you may be surprised by all the opportunities out there!
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Made fishing lures by hand amongst a small team of the first-ever online fishing lure sales sites.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? I love the outdoors - rocks, water, trees, hammocks, geocaching, and the sky!

Assistant Professor, Management and Entrepreneurship
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Whatever career you are in, get know as much as you can what everyone else does within your company.
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Chair of recruitment.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? Tennis.

Forsyth_Emily
Emily Forsyth, (she/her/hers)
Associate Professor, Applied Health Science Undergraduate Coordinator, Applied Health Science Internship Coordinator, Health Science
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Be open to trying new opportunities, you never know what you will learn through the opportunity and about yourself.
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Sales Associate in a Bridal and Tuxedo Shop.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? Traveling - especially on a motorcycle.

Jacy_FryJacy Fry, (she/her/hers)
Director, Kearney International Center

What is one piece of career advice you would share? Don't be afraid to try something new.

What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Study abroad advisor.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? I can juggle.

Carol_GlasserCarol Glasser, (she/her/hers)
Associate Professor, Sociology

What is one piece of career advice you would share? Be flexible, you never know where unexpected opportunities might lead you.
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Research Director of the Humane Research Council (now Faunalytics).
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? “If we want to see change in our lives, we have to change things ourselves.” ― Grace Lee Boggs 

Collections Librarian, COB Liaison, Library Services

What is one piece of career advice you would share? If you can find the right information, synthesize it without bias, and speak articulately, you can do just about anything. 
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? 
Chief Financial Officer for a smallish software company of about 100 or so. (My actual title was Treasurer. When given my choice of titles, I thought Treasurer sounded like a nicer person.)
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? I like music. 

Director of Library Operations & Access Services, Library Services
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Don't be afraid to try something new.

What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Jewelry maker.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? Cooking is my favorite hobby, especially trying new recipes.

 
cherishCherish Hagen-Swanson, (she/her/hers)
Interim Technology and Data Specialist, Career Development Center
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Consider yourself a lifelong learner. Learning new skills will make you flexible and adaptable as you navigate your career journey.

What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Forklift driver.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours?  Photography, travel, kayaking and reading.

Andrew_HalburAndrew Halbur, (he/him/his)
Academic Advisor, College of Business
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? It's okay to not have every step of your life and career planned out. Do your best to meet new people and find opportunities to learn and grow.
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Mail Carrier at USPS.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? Since around 2020, I've been challenging myself to try woodworking. I've made plenty of mistakes and had some complete fails, but I've really enjoyed creating small and large projects for my family and friends.

Judy_HammerschmidtJudy Hammerschmidt, (she/her/hers)
Front Office Coordinator, Career Development Center
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? If you excel at something, and that something is what you love, don't give up. That "something" may just find you when you least expect it!

What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Administrative Assistant at Minnesota Valley Action Council.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? Guitar. Started playing when I was 8. Was offered a spot in an established band at age 16. Played a 12-string almost my entire life, and just bought my first 6-string three years ago.

Michelle_HarveyMichelle Harvey (she/her/hers)
Assistant Director for RSOs, Leadership, & Non-Traditional Students, Student Activities

What is one piece of career advice you would share? Dream big, explore new ideas, and learn how to learn! 

What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? My first job was tele-recruiting for my college admission office as a first-year student.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? One of my favorite quotes is, "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams," Eleanor Roosevelt

Stomper_headshot3Corrin Helget, (she/her/hers)
Academic Advisor, Humanities and Social Sciences Advising 

What is one piece of career advice you would share? A lot of majors are versatile and can connect to many different careers. So, major or minor in something you are passionate about then work with advisors and faculty to figure out how you can make a career out of it!

What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Librarian.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? My favorite hobbies include reading and crocheting!

Sharon_HendrixSharon Hendrix, (she/her/hers)
Adjunct Professor, Education

What is one piece of career advice you would share? Enjoy what you're doing.

What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Working at Super America after high school.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? I enjoy gardening.

Margaret_HesserMargaret Hesser, (she/her/hers)
Director, TRIO Student Support Services

What is one piece of career advice you would share? Take opportunities to talk with people about their careers -- learn all you can about what they enjoy, what they see as challenging, what advice they'd have to those entering the field.

What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Renaissance Festival employee.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? My favorite hobby is hiking.

Katie_HodgdenKatie Hodgden, (she/her/hers)
Assistant Director, Campus Career Liaison

What is one piece of career advice you would share? If you are little scared and a little excited, you're headed to a beautiful destination.

What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Website Consultant.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? Tennis.

Kristopher_HollingsworthKristopher Hollingsworth, (he/they)
Assistant Professor, Mathematics and Statistics
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Be open to unexpected opportunities. Don't get so focused on one target job that you miss opportunities which arise from what you're currently doing.

What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Freelance photographer.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? "Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better." -- Maya Angelou

Aaron_hoyAaron Hoy, (he/him/his)
Assistant Professor, Sociology
What is one piece of career advice you would share? The strength of weak ties: Never underestimate how important even a tiny connection to someone can be.
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Expert burrito roller at Chipotle.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? Baking, especially cakes and pies.

Catherine_HughesCatherine Hughes, (she/her/hers)
Assistant CIO for Solutions Delivery, IT Solutions

What is one piece of career advice you would share? Don't decide to not apply for positions because you don't think you meet the qualifications--let THEM decide whether or not they want to interview you. You just might end up being the MOST qualified applicant!

What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? My job as a project coordinator at a software development company.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? Scuba diving.

Ebru_IlhanEbru Ilhan, (she/her/hers)
Academic Advisor, University Advising Center

What is one piece of career advice you would share? Don't give up on your dream career because it's required education is challenging. Know your potential and the resources! 

What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Administrative assistant in an international non-profit organization.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? I enjoy baking and cooking!

Stephen_JenkinsStephen Jenkins, (he/him/his)
Psychologist, Counseling Center
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Money is good; purpose is better.
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Sandwich Artist.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? Board games.

headshot of stomper mascot professionally dressedJoel Jensen
Associate Director, Security

What is one piece of career advice you would share? Keep your resume current.

What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Security.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? Ham radio.

Jessica_JonesJessica M. Jones, (she/her/hers)
Clinical/Academic Educator, SHRS

What is one piece of career advice you would share? Practice interviewing!
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Early Childhood Special Education Teacher.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? I love to cook!

Karge_Jacqueline.pngJacqueline Karge, (she/her/hers)
Academic Advisor, College of Business Student Center

What is one piece of career advice you would share? Never be afraid to ask questions. It can make a difference in doing a task, or job, correctly the first time.

What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? I have been a carpenter's assistant.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? My favorite hobby is singing.

Samantha_Katner
Dr. Samantha Katner, (she/her/hers)
Assistant Professor, Biochemistry, Chemistry, and Geology
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Be open to trying different opportunities to build your CV.

What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Research Specialist.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? Scuba diving.

Stomper_Professional_Headshot.pngJason A. Kaufman, (he/him/his)
Professor, Educational Leadership
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Seek mentors.
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Helping to lead the Institutional Review Board.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? I co-host a podcast. 

headshot of stomper mascot professionally dressedAnne Kerber, (she/her/hers)
Associate Professor, Communication & Media
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Don't be afraid to ask for informational interviews! People love to give advice and talk about what they do. 

What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Selling glow-in-the-dark necklaces at the Taste of Minnesota.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? Mountain biking. 

Andi Lassiter, (she/her/hers)Andi_Lassiter
Professor, Psychology
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? You have lots of skills, now just need to match those to the right job.

What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Accountant at a truckstop.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? My favorite hobby is live concerts.

headshot of stomper mascot professionally dressedPakou Lee, (she/her/hers)
Director of Asian American & Multicultural Affairs, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion - Multicultural Center
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? The career you have after graduation may not be the same career you'll be in down the road. Don't be afraid to start the path to a new career.

What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? I used to pierce ears at Claire's!
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? Favorite hobby: building legos!

a person in a black suitSarah Lee, (she/her/hers)
Director of Development, University Advancement
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Get involved in your community and your workplace. 

What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? N/A
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? I love to read, spend time at the lake, and family time. 

Pat LienemannPat Lienemann, (he/him/his)
eAccess & Discovery Librarian, Library Services
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Tailor your learning experiences to the future career you want.
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Public Library Director.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? Learning about & raising grass-fed beef.

Blake_LitzauBlake Litzau, (he/him/his)
Office Coordinator, Kearney International Center
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Treat every person you meet with respect and kindness, because it is the right thing to do and you never know if you will meet them again in a future job.
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Apartment leasing/management.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? Snowmobiling.

Chao_Liu.pngChao Liu, (he/him/his)
Assistant Professor, Sociology
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Discover your unique skill set. Build your social networks.
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Marketing Analyst.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? No one is an island. (a revised quote).

Matthew_LoeslieMatthew Loeslie, (he/him/his)
Assistant Professor, Criminal Justice
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Work hard, do what you love but do not put too much of your identity in your job.
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? DVS Drivers Examiner.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? "You don't have to be the best, you just have to try the best"

Diane_LochnerDiane Lochner, (she/her/hers)
Librarian, Library Services
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Be curious.

What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Airline operations manager.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? I am a wood turner.

Alex_LucierAlex Lucier, (he/they)
Academic Advisor, University Advising Center
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? The career market is constantly in flux -- be prepared to be flexible and know there are lots of paths to get what you want out of fulfilling careers!
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Community Advisor in ResLife.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? I'm fluent in four languages and can spend hours talking about random facts about each one.

Contracts Coordinator, Research and Sponsored Programs
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Seek opportunities to meet people, and try new things - you may find doors to open that you never knew existed.

What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Commercial Composting Policy Director.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin. Mother Theresa

Rachel_MaccabeeRachel Maccabee, (she/her/hers)
Student Success Coordinator & Conduct Hearing Officer, Residential Life
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? There are many, many paths to success. And many ways to be happy, both within and outside of work and career.

What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? I was a singing telegram!
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? I make my own soap, bake my own bread, and mend & sew much of my own clothing.

stomper_headshot_placeholder3.pngJodi Malecha, (she/her/hers)
Director, The Children's House
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Find the joy in every job that you do.

What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Cook for a center with 120 children.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? Favorite quote: Play is the Highest Form of Research -- Albert Einstein

stomper_headshot_placeholder2.pngAbigail Malterer, (she/her/hers)
MSW Director of Field Education, Social Work
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Use all situations as a learning opportunity.

What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Working at the State Fair Grand Stands.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? Traveling.

headshot of stomper mascot professionally dressedLinda Meidl, (she/her/hers)
Student Advising Director, College of Business
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? 
Your first job will likely not be your last job. Don’t spend time looking for the perfect job. Find a job you like and can learn and grow in and see where it leads.
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career?  Admissions counselor.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” Walt Disney

Jacqui_Menke
Jaqui Menke, (she/her/hers)
Communications & Events Coordinator, Career Development Center
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Be the type of person who people enjoy working with - be kind, communicative, and cultivate your relationships.

What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Paraprofessional at West High School.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul. - William Ernest Henley

Carrie_MillerCarrie Miller, (she/her/hers)
Instructional Designer, IT Solutions
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Don't be afraid to step outside your job description.

What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Easter Bunny.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? "Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can't practice any other virtue consistently." ― Maya Angelou

Daardi_MixonDaardi Mixon, (she/her/hers)
University Archivist, Library Services
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Seek out internships and/or volunteer to get experience.
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Popcorn maker.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? Reading.

headshot of stomper mascot professionally dressedAmy Moore, (she/her/hers)Administrative Assistant, Counseling and Student Personnel

What is one piece of career advice you would share? It's never too late to find the career you love.

What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Restaurant Manager.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? Reading.

Jonathan_MooreJonathan Moore, (he/him/his)
Criminal Justice Academic Advisor, Department of Criminal Justice
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Perseverance/ you can do anything that you want to do!!!
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Student Success Coach.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? Exercise, Art , Listening to jazz, bike riding.

stomper_headshot_placeholder3.pngKimberly Musser, (she/her/hers)
Associate Director, Water Resources Center
 

What is one piece of career advice you would share? Get out there and volunteer, meet people, do informational interviews with working professionals who have jobs that align with your interests and talents. Find what you are really curious about, dive in and start learning about it and talking to people. Love the quote: “Try to learn something about everything and everything about something.”

What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Cleaning house and babysitting for professional musicians (famous rock stars actually). It was a great learning experience and glimpse into a fascinating slice of life. I learned so much from them about creating a life you love, following your passions, and balancing and work-family.

What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? Success is not the key to happiness, happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful. – Albert Schweitzer

I love hiking and backpacking and exploring the wilderness and local wild spaces with family and friends.

stomper_headshot_placeholder2.pngCarolyn Nelson, (she/her/hers)
Director of Scholarships, Admissions/Scholarships
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Make your best career plan but don't be afraid to change it!

What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Floral designer.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? Quote: Life happens. Coffee helps.

Pat_NelsonPat Nelson, (she/her/hers)
Professor, Criminal Justice
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Start gathering all of your information for background packets now, it will take a while.

What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Construction worker.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? Fostering German Shorthair Pointers.

stomper_headshot_placeholder.pngKristin Odland, (she/her/hers)  
Retention Specialist, Kearney Int'l Center, Global Ed
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Be proactive! Take initiative to pursue personal and professional development opportunities, don't wait for someone to approach you and ask.

What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? I worked for two summers in college as an administrative assistant at an animal feed plant - I didn't expect to work in that sector!
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? I love running and drinking coffee (not at the same time).

Kristi_OedingKristi Oeding, (she/her/hers)
Assistant Professor/Audiologist, Speech, Hearing, and Rehabilitation Services
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Be yourself, trust yourself, and find a career you will be excited to do. There will be ups and downs in any career, but you know you have found something you are meant to do when you get joy out of doing it. When you find something you love to do, you can be yourself and there is nothing better than being your true self.
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? I've done some interesting side jobs such as being a tree matter, but I didn't see myself as being a professor. I knew I'd be a clinician audiologist, but my life changed when I had the pleasure of having true mentors. They inspired me to be my best self and that led me to exploring and performing research studies in a large hospital in addition to clinic. Now here I am in a university teaching, doing clinic, and research. I never saw my introverted personality in my current role, but my mentors helped me believe in myself and find my path. I am forever grateful to them for there generous time and encouragement and I hope to help others find their paths as well.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? A hidden talent that I have is that I can make balloon animals. I also love to fish, travel, and try new food.

Alyssa_OlsonAlyssa Olson, (she/her/hers)  
Assistant Professor, Department of Dental Education
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Never stop learning!

What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? I was a dental hygienist on a mobile dental bus at one point!
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? I love being outdoors— running, hiking, golfing, waterskiing, camping, canoeing, snowboarding, as long as I am outside, I am happy!

stomper_headshot_placeholder.pngDeepa Oommen,(she/her/hers)
Associate Professor, Communication Studies
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Identify your key selling point.

What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? N/A
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? Reading.

stomper_headshot_placeholder.pngEmmanuela Opoku, (she/her/hers)
Assistant Professor, Philosophy
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Hard work and consistency pays!
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Mentoring.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? Reading.

Alexis Persons (she/her/hers)
Assistant Director, Career Development Center
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Focus on gaining experiences while you are in college that you can transfer to the work field later. 
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? I worked at a petting zoo! 
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? "A good day is a good day. A bad day is a good story. In the end, it's all good"-Unknown 

headshot of stomper mascot professionally dressedFelicia Pineda, (she/her/hers)
Admissions Officer + Event Coordinator, Office of Admissions
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Always work hard and always be nice to everyone - you never know when someone might be watching.
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Bartender.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? Golfing, crafting, traveling, and going on adventures.

Mandy Quist, (she/her/hers)
Academic and Tutor Coordinator, Student Support Services
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Network! Relationships are key to any profession. Connect and grow your professional network.
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Dislocated Worker Representative, the medical field was not in my area of expertise, however there are many transferable skills that I learned from the job. 
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? I love to be outdoors and staying active, especially if it involves water! 

stomper_headshot_placeholder.pngMelissa Ridler, (she/her/hers)
Office Coordinator, Athletics
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Find a job that makes you happy as it can affect your health and well-being.
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Casino Pit Boss.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? I love doing casino events for fun (holiday parties or other events).

DDennis_Rogalsky.pngennis Rogalsky, (he/him/his)
Assistant Professor, Integrated Engineering
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? You need to always manage your own career; within your current company and beyond.
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? At one point, I was hired back into a group lead position about 4 years after having resigned from that same position.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? Will Rogers - "Everyone is ignorant, only on different subjects."

Stomper_Professional_Headshot.png
Joseph Rodgers, (he/him/his)
Associate Professor of Music
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Persevere! 
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Assistant Mechanic, Quail Creek, Bonita Springs, FL.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? Saya suka belajar bahasa-bahasa lain.

Rebekah Russell, (she/they)
Student Success Coordinator & Conduct Officer, Residential Life 
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Find something that gets you excited every day. Your daily quality of life is more important than anything else.
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Neurodivergent Coach.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? Attending concerts, festivals, and conventions.

Anders Rydholm, (he/him/his)
Assistant Director, Admissions
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Claim your education and skills as a lifelong learner. They will go a long way toward advancing your career.
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Rock Sample Lab Technician.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? Building podcast websites.

stomper_headshot_placeholder2.pngEmily Sauter, (she/her/hers)
Basic Course Director, Communication Studies
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Practice your interview answers! There are a lot of generic questions that you can really knock out of the park with practice.

What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Mentoring Iraqi students at a summer leadership camp.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? I play women's hockey and my team just won the league championship!

headshot of stomper mascot professionally dressedNatalie Schuette, (she/her/hers)
Health Educator, Student Health Services
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? It's ok to change your mind and take a completely different job than you had originally wanted.

What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Working as a case manager during a global pandemic!
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? One of my favorite hobbies is camping with my family & friends during the summer.

Wendy_SchuhWendy Schuh, (she/her/hers)
Faculty, Health Science
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Use your strengths rather than trying to change who you are.

What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Teacher.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? "When you get, give, when you learn, teach." - Maya Angelou

Ben Schwamberger, (he/him/his)
Associate Professor - Health, Physical Education and DAPE, Human Performance 
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Don't be afraid to try something new and/or get involved. 
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? I taught internationally in the Middle East, specifically in the United Arab Emirates for three years.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? A favorite hobby of mine is being active with my family in the outdoors whether it is camping, mountain biking, fishing, etc... This is where I destress. 

Corey_SellandCorey Selland, (he/him/his)
Associate Professor, Human Performance 
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Learn and value every person and experience. 
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Server.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? "Happiness and optimism fuel performance and achievement" Shawn Achor 
 
Academic Advisor, College of Business Student Center
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Start early.

What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Tutor.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? "There is only one way to eat an elephant: a bite at a time." -- Desmond Tutu

Ashley Singleton, (she/her/hers)
Associate Director, Honors Program
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? One of the most valuable skills is being open to feedback about your work, and willing to keep asking questions and learning new things - this will be applicable to anywhere you go and any stage of your career.
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Child-Care Catering Chef.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? I really enjoy vegetable gardening and cooking.

Graduate Teacher, English/Composition
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Be confident in your ability and necessity at the job.

What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? ESL teacher in the Czech Parliament.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? Mushroom hunting on a bike.

Stomper_Professional_Headshot.pngNancy Sprengeler, (she/her/hers)
Educational Talent Search Director, TRIO-ETS
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Venture outside of your comfort zone, and never forget people are your greatest resource--treat them well.
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Community Education Instructor.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? "I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions." — Stephen Covey

Emily_StarkEmily Stark, (she/her/hers)
Professor, Psychology
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Think about the skills you are getting from your classes and activities, and use these skills to help you find jobs that are a good fit!

What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Lab research supervisor, also an intern for the Minnesota State Arts Board.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? Dancing.

Campus Communications Systems Monitor, Security
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Listen to your gut when it comes to finding the right fit. If a specific career makes you excited, it is worth exploring! If you are able to shadow someone with your intended career, this is a great way to help you see if you can envision yourself in this space.
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? I terms of unexpected jobs, I was a volleyball referee and umpire for several years. In terms of unexpected tasks within my current role, I would say presenting to classrooms and working directly with faculty was something more unexpected that I currently do in my role as an advisor.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? One of my favorite hobbies is to take long podcast walks on new trails with my two dogs Emmy Lou and Cooper James.

Stomper_Professional_HeadshotDarcy Strode, (they/them)
Public Access & Engagement Technician, Library Services
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? 
Whenever possible, don't bring your work home with you. Having a clear distinction between personal and profession time can do wonders for your mental health.
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? One of my first jobs was working on a rabbit farm.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? My favorite hobby is collecting and reading manga. 

Megan_SvirMegan Svir, (she/her/hers)
Academic Advisor, College of Education
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Listen to your gut when it comes to finding the right fit. If a specific career makes you excited, it is worth exploring! If you are able to shadow someone with your intended career, this is a great way to help you see if you can envision yourself in this space.
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? I terms of unexpected jobs, I was a volleyball referee and umpire for several years. In terms of unexpected tasks within my current role, I would say presenting to classrooms and working directly with faculty was something more unexpected that I currently do in my role as an advisor.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? One of my favorite hobbies is to take long podcast walks on new trails with my two dogs Emmy Lou and Cooper James.

stomper_headshot_placeholder.pngBeth Teigen, (she/her/hers)
Academic Coordinator, Student Support Services
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Enjoy your journey! You never know where it will lead you! 
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career?  N/A-everything has led me to where I am. :)
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? "Why fit in, when you were born to stand out"~ Dr. Seuss

stomper_headshot_placeholder3.pngCheryl Trahms, (she/her/hers)
Associate Professor, Management
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Do enough exploring in College to figure out what you DON'T want to do for a career.

What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? I have power washed barns.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough. - Mae West

Sherrise_TruesdaleSherrise Truesdale, (she/her/hers) 
Professor, Department of Criminal Justice
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Chase the love of the job, not money. You will be successful at what you love doing and the money will come because you will be good at what you love doing.
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? U.S. Attorney's Office.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? Singing and traveling.

stomper_headshot_placeholder2.pngBobbi Urban
MAcc & MBA Programs Coordinator, College of Business 
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Know your worth and insist on being valued for your skills.

What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Film producer.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? I am passionate about mountain biking so a favorite quote of mine is "Of all the paths you take in life, be sure some of them are dirt". John Muir

headshot of stomper mascot professionally dressedMitchell Wallerstedt
IT Solutions Chief Operations Officer & Maverick Esports Program Director
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Embrace opportunities as they come, from whatever role you're in.

What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? General Maintenance at City of Mankato Wastewater Treatment Plant.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? "People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they've gotten lost." -Dalai Lama

Lina_WangLina Wang, (she/her/hers)
Academic Advisor, University Advising
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Networking and being open to changes/opportunities may land you a job that you never thought you'd enjoy! 

What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Being an Academic Advisor! 
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? "Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others." —Jack Welch 

Mandy_WeisterAmanda Weister, (she/her/hers)
Associate Director, Career Development Center
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Say yes and do your best.

What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Riverboat Summer Guide.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? My favorite hobby is kickboxing!

Elizabeth_WhitcombElizabeth Whitcomb,(she/her/hers)
Director, Student Financial Services
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Attitude and effort make the difference. 

What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Teen Safe Driver Coach.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? Believe good things are going to happen.

stomper_headshot_placeholder3.pngMadeline Wildeson, (she/her/hers)
Retention & Outreach Coordinator, Kearney International Center
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Pay special attention to how the organization/company stores, processes and organizes information. Analyze the features and explore how other organizations do so. Look for ways to borrow ideas to implement in your area. Collaboration is key.

What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Supplemental Instruction Coordinator.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours? I play 3 instruments and speak 4 languages!

Marie_WorrellMarie Worrell, (she/her/hers)
Director of College Operations, College of Allied Health & Nursing
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? Become a lifelong learner.
 
What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Running a call center.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours?  “Whether you think you can, or you think you can't – you're right." - Henry Ford

Antonia_YenserAntonia Yenser, (she/her/hers)
Alcohol and Drug Sanction Education Coordinator, Student Health Services
 
What is one piece of career advice you would share? It's ok if your career path isn't linear. Every experience will help you in your career.

What was your first job or an unexpected job you have held in your career? Working in a liquor store.
 
What is a hobby, talent, or favorite quote of yours?  I love reading when I have the time.