Career Advocates of the Year Honored at the Career Everywhere Year-End Celebration

The career readiness journeys of UConn students happen in every facet of their college experiences. Faculty, advisors, student employment supervisors, coaches, employers, and alumna are all having conversations about post-graduation success with students, and they may not even realize it. The Career Everywhere Year-End Recognition and Celebration held by the Center for Career Development is a way for the UConn community to be acknowledged and commended for helping the next generation of Huskies.

The highlight of the Celebration was a keynote from Sumia Shaikh, ’15 Allied Health Science. Sumia is a leader at Visible Hands, a venture capital firm that offers accelerator programs to underrepresented, early-stage founders.

In her keynote, she shared her experiences as a first-generation student and how her time at UConn shaped who she is today. In addition, she called out the opportunities that led her to her interest in working at startups and members of the UConn community who guided her along the way. Sumia’s story is both inspiring and a testament to the work being done at UConn.

Throughout my academic endeavors and student leadership involvement, I worked with faculty and staff who helped me develop critical career readiness skills. My experiences at UConn prepared me for the successful career which I have now.

Sumia Shaikh

Nancy Bilmes, Director of the Center for Career Development, delivered a State of Career address highlighting the work being done to combat career inequities of marginalized student populations. Nancy sharted that alumni who agreed they received helpful career advice as a student were 20 times more likely to agree that their degree was worth their tuition and provided strategies to incorporate career competencies into various interactions with students.

And what would the Celebration be without the Career Advocate of the Year awards? This year’s winners exemplify what it means to be a Career Advocate.

  • Employer Career Advocate of the Year – Ann Galonska, Museum Director, Mansfield, CT Historical Society
  • Student Nominated Undergraduate Faculty Career Mentor of the Year – Bill Ryan, Assistant Professor-in-Residence & Director, Professional Sales Leadership Program, UConn School of Business
  • Student Nominated Graduate Faculty Career Mentor of the Year – Jamie Imitola, Associate Professor of Neurology, Genetics and Genome Sciences, and Neuroscience, UConn Health
  • Colleague Nominated Staff Career Advocate of the Year – Nick Delaney, Assistant Director of Student and Faculty Engagement, UConn School of Engineering
  • Colleague Nominated Faculty Career Advocate of the Year – Kim Gans, Professor, UConn Department of Human Development & Family Sciences
  • Student Nominated Staff Career Mentor of the Year – Caroline Larson, Post Doctoral Fellow, UConn Department of Psychological Sciences

Congratulations to all the award winners and nominees, and be on the lookout for the Career Everywhere Conference in November! 

By Evan McMunn
Evan McMunn Publicity and Marketing Administrator