Assistant Vice Provost, Executive Director
Jim Lowe was appointed as Assistant Vice Provost, Executive Director for the Center for Career Development of the University of Connecticut in February of 2013. Prior to his appointment to the Provost Office, Lowe served as Assistant Dean, Executive Director, External Relations and Outreach, of UConn’s School of Business, overseeing the Undergraduate and MBA populations’ career development programs and initiatives, Veteran Affairs, Diversity Initiatives, Marketing/Communications, and External Relations Departments. Before joining UConn, Lowe spent 10 years with Lee Hecht Harrison, a human capital solutions firm, primarily in their Manhattan, NY offices. During that time he was a Senior Vice President and General Manager overseeing all operational, financial, HR and marketing/sales functions at the firm’s international headquarters practice office and was SVP, Regional Sales Manager where he developed and executed strategic sales initiatives for the firm’s professional services, focusing on Fortune 1000 and mid-tier companies.
Lowe held senior level executive positions at a number of international companies such as: Leslie’s Poolmart, controlling all sales and operational functions of $350 million national business; Warner Bros., where he was Director of Training and Organizational Development addressing the talent needs that came with an expansion from 26 domestic locations to over 100 domestic and 16 international locations; and Linens ‘N Things, where he created sales, leadership and management development programs.
Lowe has been a frequent guest lecturer at Fordham University’s Graduate School of Business Administration, New York University’s Stern School of Business, and Fairfield University, from which he received his BA degree. He is also a Certified Career Management Professional, and is certified in multiple individual and 360 organizational assessment tools.
Nancy Bilmes is currently the Director of the Center for Career Development. Some of her responsibilities include supervising staff, overseeing the day to day operations of the department and managing all departmental activities. Previous to being director Nancy was responsible for departmental programming, supervising the Peer Career Advisors, developing new programming initiatives, and overseeing experiential learning opportunities. She also works one-on-one with students and presents workshops and presentations on all career related topics. Some of Nancy’s previous roles in the Center for Career Development (formerly Career Services), included Associate Director, Assistant Director for Experiential Learning, Career Counselor and Cooperative Education Coordinator.
Prior to coming to UConn, Nancy received her Master of Arts Degree in Counseling with an emphasis in Higher Education from Central Connecticut State University where she worked as a Graduate Assistant in the Office of Alcohol and Other Drugs. She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Speech Communication from Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York where she was a Peer Career Counselor. Nancy developed her passion for Career Services while serving in this role as an undergraduate and has devoted her life’s work to helping students manager their careers and find their own passions.
Aaliyah (she/her/hers) is a Career Consultant and serves as a liaison to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) with a focus on the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Cultural and Ethnic Centers and Institutes. Aaliyah meets with students to discuss various career-related topics such as major and career exploration, career planning materials and resources, post-graduation opportunities and general career development. Aaliyah also develops relevant content related to career development and the Arts, Media and Communication Career Community.
Prior to joining the CCD team in June of 2020, Aaliyah earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with a minor in Community Engagement and a Master of Science in Counselor Education with a focus on Student Development in Higher Education from Central Connecticut State University.
Amelinda Vazquez Rossitto
Associate Director, Programming & Internal Relations
Amelinda Vazquez (she/her/hers) is the Associate Director, Programming & Internal Relations at the Center for Career Development. Amelinda leads the Center’s strategic vision for in-person and virtual career readiness programming for UConn Nation. In addition to career development programs, Amelinda oversees internal relations, which focuses on building and sustaining relationships with internal organizations within UConn’s community. Through internal relations, Amelinda manages communication, outreach, and partnership with over 70 internal university constituencies including academic departments, student organizations and activities, cultural centers, and student support departments.
Amelinda earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Eastern Connecticut State University and a Master of Science in Communication from Central Connecticut State University. Amelinda has worked in Higher Education in various capacities. Prior to her beginning at UConn, she worked at both Eastern Connecticut State University and Assumption College in Residential Life and served as the Communication Chair for the NASPA Region I Latino Knowledge Community.
Beth Settje has been working in higher education for close to 30 years and at UConn since 2001. She has held a few different roles in the department, currently serving as the Associate Director, College to Career Transitions and Alumni Engagement. Her efforts will focus on students finishing their experience in college or graduate school and preparing for what is next. She will also address transitioning into the first year of a graduate program or work. Lastly, her work will include reaching out to alumni regarding their career development needs as well as ways they want to support current students with mentoring, networking and general career support. Beth is the instructor for the department’s Senior Year Experience course, a one credit class open to graduating undergraduates; she also organizes and schedules small and large programming to prepare students for life after graduation.
Beth is a strong advocate for students figuring out their academic and career paths, understanding the route is not always clearly marked and that detours often lead to new, unexpected discoveries. Her favorite career theory is Planned Happenstance, which emphasizes creating or taking advantage of the different opportunities that present themselves each day. She encourages students to trust and believe in themselves, as they figure out their choices.
Beth earned her Bachelor of Science in Business (Marketing major/English minor) from Beaver College (now Arcadia University) and her Masters of Education in College Student Personnel from the University of Maryland, College Park. Her favorite undergraduate course was Business Writing and she uses elements of that course in her daily work at the CCD. She is also a proud mom to a UConn student and wife to a UConn alum.
Assistant Director, Corporate Partner Relations, NYC
With focus on the New York Metropolitan Area, Christina connects employers with UConn talent. Her experience includes partnering with employers across diverse industries to develop an on-campus presence and recruitment strategy through employer engagement initiatives including career fairs, workshops, and networking events at Teachers College, Columbia University. Prior to working in higher education, Christina was a school counselor in the Stamford Public Schools where she helped high school students achieve their academic, college, and career goals. In addition, she worked with first generation college bound students through college access programs to help them be successful in higher education. Christina also has more than five years of experience in international staffing, recruitment fairs, and cultural exchange. Her extensive experience in working with students in transitions helps provide employers insight on expanding access to full-time and internship roles to talented candidates. Christina has a BA in Psychology and Italian from Binghamton University and a MA in School Counseling from Fairfield University.
Assistant Director, Corporate Partner Relations, Fairfield County
With a focus on Fairfield and New Haven Counties, Chrys is committed to creating effective engagement opportunities between employers and the diverse, work-force ready UConn-Stamford and Storrs based students. From her professional experience as a Director at several Fortune 1000 companies overseeing global brands like Dannon, Nabisco and Playtex and Save the Children (nonprofit), Chrys has extensive first-hand experience in business management and leadership of global, culturally diverse teams. With this insider’s understanding, she is able to guide employers to recruit their teams for today and tomorrow. Chrys also taps into her longstanding volunteerism with education, arts and service organizations to develop internship opportunities for nonprofits.
Assessment & Technology Coordinator
Darlene Reynolds works on Assessment & Technology, this includes being the main administrator for multiple Center for Career Development technologies such as HuskyCareerLink and the Husky Mentor Network. She assists students, employers and alumni in utilizing these platforms effectively.
Darlene came to the university in 2000 and began as the front desk receptionist in the Center for Career Development. Then worked with many of the department programs such as Co-op program, and Human Services Career Fair now known as the Careers for the Common Good Career Fair.
Desirée Martino (she/her/hers) is a part-time Career Coach at the Center for Career Development. Desirée meets with students and alumni in one-on-one consultations to discuss various career-related topics such as major and career exploration, career planning resources, document review, post-graduation opportunities, and she provides general career development advice.
Desirée performs practice interviews; reviews LinkedIn profiles; moderates panel discussions related to job searches; and presents sessions on internship searches, elevator pitches, applicant tracking systems, networking, virtual interviews, and mentoring.
Desirée works closely with the International Student and Scholar Services department to provide programming and resources to meet the career-related needs of undergraduate international students. She also writes blogs and develops relevant content related to career development for the International Student Affinity Page.
Desirée has a Master’s Degree from Providence College. Before joining UConn’s Center for Career Development, Desirée was a Career Manager for a professional association in Washington DC, and she is a consultant to the State of Connecticut’s Department of Rehabilitation Services for résumé development for individuals with disabilities. Desirée is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer (CPRW) through the Professional Association of Résumé Writers and Career Coaches (PARWCC).
Assistant Director, Career Coaching and Counseling
Eran Peterson joined the department in 2013 and has held roles as a Career Consultant, the Career Consultant for the School of Engineering, and now oversees Career Coaching and Counseling. Eran holds his Master of Science in Counselor Education and is a military veteran who deployed to Iraq in 2006. Additionally, Eran regularly presents on networking, LinkedIn, and the job search and meets regularly with students, alums, and career-changers for one-on-one consultations.
Eran is the proud recipient of the Student Support Services Faculty (SSS) Faculty Recognition Award in 2020, as well as the Center for Career Development’s coveted “Ice Cube Award” which recognizes the “most chill staff member”.
Publicity and Marketing Administrator
Evan McMunn is the Publicity and Marketing Administrator for the UConn Center for Career Development. In this role, he oversees the development and delivery of communication supporting the Center’s events, programming, and services to UConn students, as well as outreach to faculty and staff regarding department initiatives.
Before joining the Center for Career Development in 2019, Evan worked in the community banking space, developing digital strategies and content to help smaller institutions compete with larger financial service providers in a highly competitive industry. He received his Bachelor of Science degree with a concentration in Marketing from Eastern Connecticut State University. In his free time, Evan likes to play and watch soccer, kayaking, paddleboarding and attempting to grow vegetables.
Francesca Crivello is the Operations Coordinator for the Center for Career Development. Francesca manages and assists in the performance of programs and events; evaluates supplemental resources; supervises student employees; assists in the preparation of budgets and monitors expenses; and directs departmental workflow. Prior to her role at the Center for Career Development, Francesca worked for the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, compiling application materials and processing them through the online system. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish, Linguistics, and Psychology and a Minor in Business Administration from UConn.
Corporate Partner Relations Coordinator
Gabrielle Comella is the Corporate Partner Relations Coordinator at the Center for Career Development. As the coordinator, Gabrielle manages activities and programs supporting the Center’s employer engagement strategies and Corporate Partner Relations team. Additionally, Gabrielle supports day-to-day administrative duties of the team, and manages large-scale programs & events, including the annual career fairs. Prior to joining UConn in December 2019, Gabrielle received her bachelor’s degree in Hospitality & Tourism Management and worked in various customer service roles, focusing on sales and operations.
Jess Buller (she/her/hers) is a Career Consultant working with students in the College of Agriculture, Health, and Natural Resources. Jess meets with students to discuss and explore all aspects of their career development. Additionally, Jess serves as a coordinator for the Career Champion Program, working to create relationships with faculty and staff to further career readiness knowledge across campus.
Jess graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Sport and Event Management from Elon University and a Master of Education in Higher Education in Student Affairs from the University of South Carolina. Prior to her current role, Jess served as a Graduate Assistant in the University of South Carolina Career Center for two years, where she met with students to assist with choosing a major and career, graduate school searches, interview preparation, the job search, and resume and cover letter reviews.
Kay Kimball Gruder
Assistant Director of Graduate Student Career Programs and Services
Kay Kimball Gruder (she|her|hers) joined the Center for Career Development in 2014 and has over 30 years of experience in career development. Kay leads career programs and services for graduate students, postdocs, and alumni of graduate programs, and she works with faculty, department leadership, and colleagues within and beyond UConn to support graduate student and postdoctoral scholar success. Within UConn Kay serves on the Graduate Student and Postdoc Affairs team at The Graduate School, is a member of the University Senate Student Welfare Committee, and partners on a variety of initiatives with International Student & Scholar Services. Kay meets with graduate students and postdocs as they explore and prepare for careers, engage in job searches, and consider options and opportunities to apply their skills, knowledge, and training.
Prior to working at UConn, Kay worked at both private and technical institutions and has additional experience in admissions, parent relations, and whole-student advising. Kay has a M.Ed. from Lesley College and a B.A. from Bennington College.
Kristen (she/her/hers) is a Career Consultant and one of two liaisons to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS). With a primary focus on the Humanities and Social Sciences, as well as the Cultural and Ethnic Centers and Institutes, Kristen partners with faculty, staff, and the CLAS Alumni Association to develop and coordinate career-related programming and events that help CLAS students explore career options and feel confident in the unique skillsets they develop in their academic coursework. In addition, Kristen is a Certified Professional Resume Writer through the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches and meets one-on-one with students for coaching on various topics including, resumes, cover letters, career/major exploration, interviewing, and general career development.
As a UConn CLAS alumnus (Journalism, ’04), Kristen particularly enjoys assisting this population of students in their career exploration process, as well as, helping all students recognize the power of networking as it relates to finding and growing their career. Kristen also managers the Center for Career Development’s Practice Interview program and is consistently looking for innovative ways to help students prepare to make their best first impression on an employer. Before returning to UConn, Kristen worked in many different industries but spent the majority of her career working in Human Resources/Talent Acquisition in the insurance industry.
Associate Director, Operations
Lee Hameroff is the Associate Director of Operations at the Center for Career Development. Lee joined the Center team in August of 2014, his primary areas of focus are Assessment and Technology, Marketing & Communications, and Front Desk Operations. This includes responsibility for managing all aspects of department technology as well as assessment of internal services and programs, and outcomes data.
Lee earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. Previous to UConn, Lee worked as Director of Career Services at Goodwin College in East Hartford, CT helping to establish and grow all functions of the department. Prior to beginning his career in higher education, Lee worked in various roles for an education management firm in the Washington DC area.
Lisa Famularo (she/her/hers) is a Career Consultant with a focus on the physical, life, and behavioral sciences within the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences (CLAS). Lisa works closely with many CLAS offices and departments to provide programming and resources to meet the career-related needs of CLAS students, including those who are pre-med or pre-health. Lisa also meets one-on-one with students to discuss many career-related topics, including major and career exploration, career planning materials and resources, post-graduation opportunities, and general career development.
Lisa currently serves as the chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) Committee within the Center for Career Development, where she is leading efforts to create more inclusive resources for the entire UConn community. She is working with the Committee to collect information about the career development experiences of students of color, highlight more Black-owned and minority-owned employers and alumni, and build web content for the Center’s various affinity communities. She also serves as a liaison between the Committee and the Women’s Center and the Center for Students with Disabilities.
Lisa earned her Master of Arts in Higher Education and Student Affairs in 2018 from the Neag School of Education at UConn. She graduated from Ithaca College in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, concentrating in Management.
Assistant Director for Corporate Partner Relations
Lisa McGuire is the assistant director responsible for corporate partner relations, connecting employers to UConn students and alumni. She manages the external relations and corporate functions and is responsible for maintaining and expanding the hiring of UConn students and alumni; and supports fundraising efforts for career-related events and programs. She recruits and consults with employers on best strategies for establishing and developing effective recruitment programs for both full and part-time employees.
She joined UConn after spending more than 25 years with the business community in Connecticut. Most recently, she was with the Ct. Business & Industry Association (CBIA), working with large and small businesses on public policy, communications, and community relations. Prior to joining CBIA she was with People’s Bank, managing their community relations and public policy programs, which included working extensively with small businesses and other lenders to maximize business potential in the state. Lisa has also been active in the UConn Alumni Association, serving on the Board of Directors for 2 terms and she is currently the Vice President of the Greater Hartford Chapter. She lives in South Windsor with her husband and daughter, and is also the proud parent of their son, a recent UConn grad living on his own.
Assistant Director, Corporate Partner Relations
As Assistant Director for Corporate Partner Relations, Mary is dedicated to connecting employers to UConn students and alumni. She partners with employers to facilitate opportunities for recruiting UConn talent through posting internships/jobs in Handshake, attending our career fairs and participating in events.
Mary has worked in several non-profit and higher education roles dedicated to supporting academic and career success. Prior to coming to UConn, Mary worked with the U.S. Air Force overseas providing career services to military members and their families. Mary has also worked with the University of Arizona and Wentworth Institute of Technology in student recruitment and advising positions. Mary earned a Master of Education Degree in Human Relations from Northern Arizona University and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from Emmanuel College (Boston, MA).
Administrative Services Specialist
Pamela Zagami is the Administrative Services Specialist to James R. Lowe, Assistant Vice Provost / Executive Director of the Center for Career Development and Fiscal Officer for the department. She focuses on budgetary, personnel, and business operations and is the department’s Security Liaison for Human Capital Management and a Readiness Council Member for new university initiatives and programs / platforms / processes. Pam provides department-wide support including project development and management, event planning, and travel. As Fiscal Officer, Pam is responsible for budget management, procurement, annual budget construction, as well as annual GUF submissions. She is a departmental liaison to the Provost Office, Human Resources, Labor Relations, Contracts, Procurement, Budget, Accounting, Cash Operations, UConn Foundation, among others.
Prior to joining UConn, Pam was a Senior Manager with Deloitte’s Office of National Immigration, overseeing the Tax Practice’s immigration program and was the Firm’s I-9 Specialist for Human Resources in the United States. She received her Bachelor of Music degree from New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, MA.
Assistant Director (Hartford Campus)
A Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and student advocate who has worked in higher education for over 30 years, and at UConn since 2010. Robin transitioned from the UConn Hartford Counseling & Wellness Center to the UConn Center for Career Development on the Hartford campus in 2017. Currently, she manages the CCD-Hartford office, providing comprehensive career services/workshop programs to a diverse population of undergraduate and graduate students. Robin also supports CCD programs/events at the Storrs campus and encourages Hartford students to attend these career opportunities through the ‘Take the Bus’ campaign. In addition, Robin supports the CCD Corporate Partner Relationship team as she welcomes employers to the Hartford campus to meet students and inform them about current/future internship, co-op and employment opportunities. Robin develops and maintains connections with colleagues from diverse Hartford campus academic departments in an effort to promote CCD services/programs and events.
As a Career Consultant, Steve (he/him/his) supports students through a variety of career-related topics including career and major exploration, interview preparation, and post-graduation opportunities. He also collaborates with members of campus to coordinate educational programs and presentations for the Center for Career Development that students can utilize for their own professional development and personal branding.
Steve graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies from Westfield State University and a Master of Education degree in Higher Education with a concentration in Student Affairs from Merrimack College. Before joining UConn in December of 2020, Steve was the Associate Director of Admissions and a Professional Development Seminar Instructor at Nichols College. His experience consists of assisting students with resume and cover letter writing, the job search process, and developing post-graduation life skills.
Career Consultant (Stamford Campus)
Susan O’Connor has over 20 years of corporate experience working for various companies such as Gartner and Cengage Learning (formerly Thomson Learning) holding leadership roles within Talent Management. She has held global responsibility for designing and implementing many programs such as Performance Management, Succession Management, Learning & Development, e-Learning, Leadership & Management Programs, Career Development, 360 Feedback instruments and best in class talent technology solutions and systems over the years.
After a successful corporate career focusing on enterprise solutions, Susan returned to graduate school, reinventing herself by securing her Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and becoming a Licensed Professional Counselor-Associate. She also holds a Master’s in Industrial Organization Psychology from Fairfield University and a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Sacred Heart University. She currently serves as a Career Consultant for the Center for Career Development on the Stamford Campus providing comprehensive career services, workshop and programs for undergraduate students and alumni.
Interim Associate Director, Regional Campuses
As a Nationally Certified and State Licensed Counselor, Tara brings close to 20 years of experience in career development and higher education with a passion for working with diverse populations. Prior to coming to UConn, Tara began her career in the Federal TRIO programs, supporting first generation college students in achieving their academic and career goals. Throughout her career, she coached numerous college students in their professional development, initiated innovative career programming, and developed impactful opportunities for experiential learning. Tara has made meaningful contributions to the career development field through conference presentations on best practices and lectures at colleges, universities and community organizations. She is the recipient of the Guiding Light Award for Student Services, the Eastern Association of Colleges & Employer Diversity Advancement Award, and Alva C. Cooper Award for Best Practices in Career Development. Tara holds a Bachelor of Science in Speech Communication with a concentration in Advertising from Emerson College and a Master of Arts in Community Counseling from Fairfield University.
Wiley Dawson (he/him/his) is a career coach and liaison to the School of Engineering. Wiley collaborates with faculty, staff, student groups, alumni, and employers to coordinate career-related programming and events to assist students with career exploration and decision making. With expertise in career development, job and internship search strategies, application development, and interview preparation, Wiley is prepared to help students pursue their professional aspirations.
Prior to coming to UConn, Wiley worked in the Office of Career and Professional Development at Albertus Magnus College for over four years. Wiley received a Master of Science in Counseling with an emphasis in Higher Education from Central Connecticut State University, where he worked as a graduate assistant in The Learning Center. Wiley received his Bachelor of Arts in History and Social Science from Eastern Connecticut State University, where he developed his passion for career development and education.
Assistant Director of Corporate Partner Relations
As Assistant Director for Corporate Partner Relations, Zac Macinnes is dedicated to connecting employers with UConn Nation. With a focus on Greater Hartford and Central Connecticut, he is responsible for expanding and maintaining industry partnerships and is committed to helping organizations build creative capacity to engage and recruit diverse and workforce-ready UConn talent.
Zac joined the Center for Career Development in April 2021. He has over a dozen years’ experience in higher education, sales and partnership development roles. His most recent position prior to joining UConn was with the Hartford Business Journal, where he was dedicated to helping executives throughout Connecticut realize business goals through innovative marketing and advertising campaigns. He has also held various roles in the field of study abroad, both on university campuses and at private organizations. A native of Austin, Texas, Zac has a Master of Arts in Public Policy from Trinity College in Hartford, and a Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs and Spanish from Emmanuel College in Boston. Zac lives in Hartford with his husband and in his free time, he enjoys travel (both near and far), kayaking, cooking, and gardening.