Team

Leadership

Norma Guerra Gaier

Norma has worked in higher education for several decades at both public and private institutions. In addition to her extensive experience in university career services, she has led efforts in law school career services, alumni relations, adult education career development, civic engagement, leadership initiatives and service learning. She is a proud past president of the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) and serves as a faculty member for the NACE Executive Leadership Symposium and the Management Leadership Institute teaching ethics and strategic planning. She has also served as president of the Southern Association of Colleges and Employers, the Texas Association of Employment in Education and the San Antonio Colleges and Universities Career Centers Association. She enjoys mentoring rising career services professionals and is an active presenter at global and national conferences.

What do you love most about your work?

Norma believes that the only way we can grow as professionals is through our experiences and understanding of how diversity, equity and inclusivity shape our learning and our ability to be impactful contributors in our society. She feels privileged to work alongside incredible talent at UT to lead a comprehensive career center focused on advancing equitable access to career engagement for undergraduate and graduate students and connecting employers to diverse talent across the university.

norma.gaier@austin.utexas.edu

Robert Vega

Robert has 20 years of experience working in the field of college career engagement. In his current role, Robert provides strategic and operational leadership in support of our mission to remove barriers and increase access to career engagement by all UT Austin students, scholars and alumni, as well as our campus and employer community members.

What do you love most about your work?

Beyond my core interest in helping students explore their options and prepare for their futures, I love our office’s reimagination of career engagement as students and the career landscape evolve. I also love our focus on identity-based career engagement as we work to transcend majors and career interests for all students and alumni and spotlight the strengths that come from our diverse backgrounds.

r.vega@austin.utexas.edu

Undergraduate Career Education

Rob Morris

Rob Morris serves as the Assistant Director of Career Management on the Texas Career Engagement team, where he leads the career education specialists in creating and executing initiatives tied to empowering students of historically underserved or underrepresented backgrounds. The core team initiatives focus on strategic outreach, resource development, career coaching and education, programming, and peer mentoring/advising. Rob has over 10 years of experience in higher education with seven in career development. Rob has diverse experience in developing and leading efforts in: career/major exploration, industry/major specific career coaching, training and development, programming, peer career program management, supervision, assessment, and diversity, equity, and inclusion topics.

What do you love most about your work?

Rob believes that all individuals need to safely and authentically be themselves each day at work to find satisfaction and success in their careers. The ability to create diversity, equity, and inclusivity centric career resources, programming, and connections for the UT community and students is something that drives Rob. Society and the world of work are vast and diverse, Rob is thankful to have the opportunity to work on the Texas Career Engagement team advancing equitable access to career engagement across the university.

robert.morris@austin.utexas.edu

Emily Swanson

Emily Swanson is a licensed professional counselor with 5 years of experience in career counseling. She holds a Master’s in Arts in Counseling from St. Edward’s University, and is also an alumnus of the University of Texas at Austin with a BA in Psychology. Emily counsels all students from all backgrounds and majors, and specializes in working with exploratory and undecided students unsure of their path. She also teaches UGS 107D: Exploring Careers and Majors to first- and second-year students to help them learn more about themselves to make informed decisions about their futures. She strives to ensure a calm and warm environment to facilitate self-exploration and understanding of next possible steps. Emily is student-centered, strengths-based and collaborative to allow students to brainstorm possible majors and careers that fit them holistically.

What do you love most about your work?

Emily enjoys helping students learn more about their personal identities, values, interests, personality, and skills to make more informed decisions about their future major and careers. She also enjoys getting to know the stories of her students and using creativity to help students find unique ways to combine their interests into a fulfilling academic and career path.

emily.swanson@austin.utexas.edu

Erin Helmholz

Erin Helmholz is a Career Education Specialist at Texas Career Engagement, facilitating professional development workshops and coaching undergraduate students of all majors on career topics. Erin focuses on diversity, equity and inclusion in career education, creating programming and resources for underserved affinity groups at UT Austin, specializing in women and LGTBQIA+ students, students with disabilities, student employees and student veterans. Prior to joining TCE, she worked in Fine Arts Career Services at the College of Fine Arts at UT Austin and practiced public relations for arts organizations and nonprofits in D.C. and Seattle. She is a graduate of the Davidson Honors College at the University of Montana where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication with a focus on Organizational Communication and Minors in Theatre and Human and Family Development.

What do you love most about your work?

Erin enjoys meeting students where they are at and empowering them to find their next step towards realizing their vision for their life. She is passionate about social justice and wants students to feel supported in all elements of their identities as they explore their career interests. Erin enjoys tailoring programming and collaborating with passionate staff and campus partners to increase diversity, equity and inclusion at UT.

erin.helmholz@austin.utexas.edu

Adria Villarreal

Adria Villarreal has over 10 years of experience in higher education. She earned a PhD in Counseling Psychology from Texas Woman’s University and is a Licensed Psychologist. Her previous experience focused on providing mental health services to college students, coordinating clinical training for graduate psychology students, and facilitating diversity and mental health awareness programs for campus communities. In her role at Texas Career Engagement, Adria provides individual and group career counseling and support to undergraduates exploring majors and careers, planning for graduate school and internship, or preparing to enter the workforce. She is particularly interested in the impact of marginalized and intersecting identities on students’ career development. Adria also conducts career education workshops and serves as the Career Counseling Practicum Coordinator. Current professional interests and specializations include the intersection of career development and mental health, vocational psychology, multicultural career counseling, and graduate student training.

adria.villarreal@austin.utexas.edu

Hannah Zurko

Hannah Marie Zurko is a Senior Career Initiatives Coordinator for the Career Education team in Texas Career Engagement at The University of Texas at Austin. Hannah has three years of experience in higher education career services and seven years of prior experience as a program manager and educator in non-profit arts organizations – including leading nationally recognized teen arts education programs and contributing to Mindpop and Austin Independent School District’s Creative Learning Initiative. Hannah serves as a member of CREATED; a staff committee leading sustained and future efforts to weave DEI and anti-racism work into the portfolio of Enrollment Management and Students Success Initiatives. Hannah also serves as the President of the Texas Campus Career Council (TC3) and as a graduate student representative of the Student Advisory Committee to the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities. Particular areas of focus include utilizing creativity in career development, high impact career initiatives, career readiness competencies, building collaborative campus-wide partnerships, and developing targeted career education resources.

What do you love most about your work?

Hannah believes that career services work is social justice work. She enjoys most the opportunity to harness the power of education to create collaborations, provide tailored access to information and resources, and to build connections to create change; as everyone deserves to feel valued, realize their goals, and to define their own measure of success.

hzurko@austin.utexas.edu

Daphne Wolfe is a Career Counselor with four years of experience working within Higher Education. She earned her Master of Education from the University of Georgia and a Bachelor of Arts from Texas A&M University in Political Science. Daphne helps all students at the University of Texas at Austin explore career and major options while taking into consideration a student’s identities and how that connects to their career decisions. She strives to make a stressful decision-making process into an enjoyable one by helping students explore different options, learn more about themselves and make informed decisions. Daphne enjoys learning about a student’s story and helps them envision where that story could go in the future.

What do you love most about your work?

Daphne is an advocate for exploration through involvement and she helps students recognize, find, take or create opportunities where they can gain more experience in their areas of interest. She is passionate about students finding a community that makes them feel like they belong and where they can develop skills to grow into the next generation of leaders. Daphne believes that finding that sense of belonging, where you feel most like you, is one of the first steps in exploring what could come next.

Tylissa Frazier has over 9 years’ experience working with students in many different roles. Her previous experience was in non-profit where she managed a grant that assisted students with support and services needed to graduate. Tylissa has her Master’s in Arts in Mental Health Counseling from University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and a BA in Psychology from Texas A&M University – Central Texas. Tylissa proudly served in the United States Army for almost 4 years. As a Career Counselor in Texas Career Engagement, Tylissa is able to provide counseling services around career/major exploration and selection. She can also provide support in graduate school preparation, career assessments and entering the workforce.

What do you love most about your work?

Tylissa loves hearing students’ stories as well as getting to be a support for them in the decision-making process of selecting their major/career. She feels it is such a humbling experience to be able to assist and provide guidance to students in such capacity. She approaches students from a person-centered approach with unconditional positive regard. She feels that every student deserves a safe, non-judgmental space to explore their future selves.

Employer Engagement

Summer Salazar

Summer serves as Director of Employer Engagement and provides strategic direction to build relationships with campus partners, employers, and the community to expand internship and employment opportunities, locally and globally, for students and alumni. Summer is the incoming Director of Professional Development for the Southern Association of Colleges and Employers (SoACE), is an active member of the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), and past president of San Antonio Colleges and Universities Career Centers Association (SACUCCA) where she led efforts to help employers build their talent pipelines in the region.

Summer earned an M.S. degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Organization, Workforce, and Leadership Studies from Texas State University, and a B.A. degree in English and Communication Arts from St. Mary’s University. Summer is a certified etiquette consultant.

What do you love most about your work?

Summer believes that every student is just one opportunity away from great success, and she takes great pride in serving on a team that helps to create those opportunities every day for the diverse talent at UT.

summer.salazar@austin.utexas.edu

Megan Fortson

Megan Fortson is the Assistant Director of Employer Engagement and helps lead employer engagement strategies, communication and recruiting operations including the interview suites and HireUTexas powered by Handshake. Megan graduated from Purdue University Fort Wayne with a BA in Communications in 2006. She has worked at UT in Career Services in employer relations for over ten years, prior to Texas Career Engagement at Moody Career Center and McCombs Career Management. Before coming to UT, Megan worked in community relations at Creative Action, an Austin nonprofit, and in Student Life at Austin Community College.

What do you love most about your work?

I love connecting and collaborating with employer and campus partners. We have amazing student talent campus-wide and it’s exciting to create ways for students to connect with employers and opportunities to launch their careers!

RecruitUT@austin.utexas.edu

Diane Janda

Diane has a long association with higher education and UT Austin in particular. A native of Austin, she earned her bachelor’s degree at the Butler School of Music, and she still performs in choral music programs and enjoys supporting the students there. After receiving graduate degrees in wind conducting and flute performance from the College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati, she was a music professor for 12 years at Lycoming College in Pennsylvania, where she taught band, flute, music theory, music appreciation, chamber music, and conducting. Diane is enjoying her current role as job moderator for HireUTexas, learning from her wonderful colleagues at Texas Career Engagement, and she looks forward to forging new relationships across the UT campus.

B.M., Music Education, The University of Texas at Austin
M.M., Wind Conducting, College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati
D.M.A., Wind Conducting, College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati

What do you love most about your work?

Diane specializes in facilitating connections between employers, staff colleagues, and students as she works to assist access to the highest quality jobs and internship opportunities for our students and alumni.

HireUTexas@austin.utexas.edu

Katherine serves as the Recruiting Specialist for Employer Engagement and is dedicated to connecting students to equitable and diverse career opportunities. As an Austin area native, she has in depth knowledge over the current city growth and changes that impact both employers and students. She has a BA in English and Mass Communications and an MEd in Student Affairs in Higher Education from Texas State University. She started in Career Services as first-year student associate and loved it so much that she knew she needed to make a career from it.

What do you love most about your work?

I love the facilitating employer to student connections. Career choices and exploration is a big part of coming to college and in my role of supporting employer engagement, I genuinely feel like I am doing the best I can to support students in taking their steps towards becoming a career professional.

Erin Wike

Erin Wike serves as Campus Talent Specialist on the Employer Engagement team to help engage and support employers and connect them to the diverse student talent campus-wide. Erin has her B.S. in Advertising from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management. She worked in Advertising, Marketing and Recruiting in Chicago for about 14 years. Her passion for marketing, education and helping others really came together in 2014 and led her to explore Career Services in Higher Education where she was a Career Coach & Lecturer for McCombs School of Business for the last 7 years.

What do you love most about your work?

I love hearing people’s stories on how they chose their career paths as well as connecting people to find incredible opportunities and validate the difficulties of a job/career search.

Letty Tarin

Letty is one of the HireUTexas moderators with Employer Engagement where she works with an amazing team of people who are dedicated and passionate about helping Longhorns find diverse and equitable career opportunities and internships. Letty has an undergraduate background in Sociology and over ten years of experience in social services, as well as in social work research and social policy. She also holds a graduate degree from The Steve Hicks School of Social Work at The University of Texas at Austin.

What do you love most about your work?

It’s exciting to see the diversity of employers who are looking to connect with our talented students and alumni. I love being on a team that works to provide students with meaningful opportunities so they can begin their careers with promise.

Graduate Student Career & Professional Development

Annie Maxfield

Annie Maxfield has been helping graduate students and postdocs pursue their career of choice for more than a decade. Nationally, she is the president-elect of the Graduate Career Consortium, a professional organization dedicated to career and professional development for PhDs. She is also one of the lead creators of ImaginePhD, and grew national employer education and recruitment for doctoral students by establishing the Virtual Master’s & PhD Career Fair. Her work with Connected Academics and the American Historical Association has supported initiatives such as Faculty Training, Humanists@work, and the MLA Doctoral Student Career Planning Guide. Annie has a strong foundation in working across industries and disciplines and approaches this work systemically, by working with faculty, employers and students to help transform graduate education.

What do you love most about your work?

I get to work with and learn from the most intellectually creative people in the world, every single day.

Annie.Maxfield@austin.utexas.edu

Olga Koutseridi

Olga Koutseridi has 12 years of experience in higher education as an instructor, advisor, PhD, and global professional at multiple institutions across the US. She earned her MA degree from the Classics Department and draws from her first-hand experience navigating the process of immigration during her time as a humanities PhD at UT. Olga is an advocate and leader of international graduate career education, and is working daily on enhancing the experience of international graduate students. She leads the design of international career and professional development programming, advising, and resources that directly address the needs and challenges of international advanced degree students pursuing careers in industry, non-profit, and academia in the US and the world.

What do you love most about your work?

Olga is passionate about helping doctoral and international graduate students feel empowered and gain a greater sense of agency over their career and professional development during their time at UT. She especially enjoys helping graduate students recognize and translate their unique value to employers in and beyond the academy. Her goal is to help as many graduate students as she can in identifying and achieving their careers of choice.

o.koutseridi@austin.utexas.edu

Chirag Kothari

Chirag Kothari is pursuing a Ph.D. in Construction Engineering and Project Management (Civil Engineering) at the University of Texas at Austin. Additionally, he is employed as a Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) with the Centre of Transportation Research at UT Austin. As part of his GRA work, he develops tools and procedures to assist integrated planning of highway assets at the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT).

Chirag holds a master of technology degree in Construction Technology and Management from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi, India. Before pursuing his masters, he worked with Larsen and Toubro Construction as a planning engineer for two years. L&T Construction is India’s largest construction organization and is ranked among the world’s top 30 contractor firms.

Post his doctoral program, he envisions being a professor at an esteemed university. Along with technical education, he actively wants to guide students to identify their potential career paths depending on their skills and interest. Moreover, he is inclined towards helping economically and socially deprived communities through his knowledge and expertise.

What do you love most about your work?

The pleasure of assisting students in realizing their potential and interests and helping them choose an appropriate career path where they can thrive is the most enjoyable part of the job at Texas career engagement. Chirag is motivated about helping graduate students translate their academic skills to experiences that help them develop as a professional. Additionally, he enjoys working as part of the motivated and diverse team that helps him grow as a student mentor and career consultant.

Stephanie Duhem holds an MA in Higher Education Administration from Stony Brook University and is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing (Poetry) at UT Austin. Prior to joining UT, Stephanie worked in advising and administration at several universities in New York and Boston.

What do you love most about your work?

She loves to connect students with the information and resources they need to achieve their unique career goals!

Patrick Aaron

Patrick Aaron Harris is an English PhD candidate at The University of Texas at Austin, studying Shakespeare, adaptation, and critical race studies. His dissertation research examines African diasporic identity and questions of place and belonging in adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays.

Patrick holds MLitt and MFA degrees in Shakespeare & Performance from Mary Baldwin University in Staunton, VA. While there, Patrick was also employed as an education artist with The American Shakespeare Center at the Blackfriars Playhouse, the only recreation of Shakespeare’s indoor playhouse in the world. Before grad school, Patrick earned a BA in Anthropology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Outside of the academy, Patrick works as a freelance dramaturg, actor, and teaching artist in Austin. Some recent credits include serving as production dramaturg for Austin Shakespeare’s 2019 productions of The Merchant of Venice and As You Like It, and performing as one-fifth of Rosedale Shakespeare’s small-scale production of Cymbeline, also in 2019.

What do you love most about your work?

Patrick enjoys the aspects of his work that allow him to connect with and learn from people from diverse personal and professional backgrounds.

Blaire Porter

Blaire received her B.A. in Psychology from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas in 2018. She later went on to work as a Research Specialist in a developmental lab at Emory University for two years before beginning her PhD program at University of Texas at Austin. Blaire is currently a second year PhD student in the Psychology Department, with a concentration in Cognitive Neuroscience. She works with Dr. Jessica Church in the Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Lab. Blaire is interested in understanding the relationship between mental health, cognitive skills, and academic success across development, and more specifically is interested in the association between ADHD and executive functions.

What do you love most about your work

Blaire is most looking forward to assisting students in the STEM career exploration course, and facilitating conversations that aid students in finding a career path that they are passionate about.

Myya Singletary

Myya was born and raised in Baltimore and received a BS from Towson University in Psychology and Sociology-Anthropology. She later obtained an MA in Counseling Psychology from TU and is currently pursuing a PhD in Counseling Psychology. Outside of academics, Myya enjoys traveling, reading, and trying new restaurants.

What do you love most about your work?

Myya is most looking forward to being able to connect with other grad students and being able to provide a mental wellness aspect to the intersection of culture and career exploration!

Internships and Career Experiences

Dustin Harris

Dustin has worked in higher education for more than a decade at universities in Nebraska, North Carolina, Washington, D.C., and of course, Texas! Throughout his career, Dustin has held various roles related to admissions, housing, and teaching. He fully realized his passion for career services while managing federal internship programs in D.C. from 2015 to 2018. Dustin was excited to join Texas Career Engagement in Fall 2020, and he has worked on projects related to career competencies, internship courses, and UT’s Home to Texas program, which allows first-year students to return to their hometowns for a summer internship and research experience. He also serves as the campus coordinator for the undergraduate Archer Fellowship Program, in which selected juniors and seniors live, learn, and work in Washington, D.C. for a semester.

What do you love most about your work?

As a first-generation college student, Dustin experienced many unknowns while earning his bachelor’s degree, but he quickly learned the value of participating in career experiences. He finds meaning in building connections between students, employers, faculty, staff, and alumni to make career experiences more accessible for all Longhorns. Dustin loves the people he gets to work with while contributing to this mission, and he especially appreciates the energy and creativity of UT students.

dustin.harris@austin.utexas.edu

Operations

Julia Aguilar

Julia is a UT Austin alumna originally from San Antonio. She worked at local nonprofits for 15 years, focused on administrative support, event planning, community engagement, and supporting public humanities programs. She was thrilled to return to UT in the fall of 2018 to serve as executive assistant for Texas Career Engagement

What do you love most about your work?

Working with the vibrant UT community gives Julia so much energy. Supporting students to access programs and resources which will benefit them as they continue grow and develop in their career journey, including post-graduation, is especially rewarding.

jaguilar@austin.utexas.edu

Strategic Outcomes

Troy Autin

Troy has worked in higher education and consulting for the last decade. His career services experience includes assessment, data management, and reporting for large public institutions. He has led efforts to standardized first destination reporting, build assessment culture, and develop processes to deliver and report data insights to stakeholders. Troy works with a variety of departments across the university to help support the career data collection and insights. He is a member of NACE, SoACE and SIOP. He enjoys learning and introducing new technology and insights to better serve our students and employers.

What do you love most about your work?

Troy’s strengths are strategic and storytelling. He enjoys researching and gathering data that will assist his colleagues make informed decisions in a timely fashion. One of his work hobbies is creating dashboards to display insights that are not only engaging but enhances the users experience with the data. He is happiest when he is creating a user interfacing dashboard that tells the story of the UT student’s career outcomes.

troy.autin@austin.utexas.edu

Career Associates

Alexis is a Student Career Associate at UT Austin’s Texas Career Engagement Center. Alexis assists TCE in helping audit, review and further organize career resources tools that are offered within the department, as well as helping TCE with planning and research for career events such as career fairs.

Alexis enjoys the welcoming environment of TCE and the various opportunities for career information she is exposed to while working on career projects done in both group and individual settings. She uses the information and skills learned within her work to help develop her own professional development skills and spread resources within her community.

I’m an international student from China! I major in psychology and minor in business. Though this is my third year at UT, I’m already a senior.

Fun facts about me: 1. My favorite color is pink and I have so many pinky stuffs! 2. I’ve been to 20 countries! My favorite country for travel is Belgium and I definitely recommend the city Brugge.

What do you love most about your work?

I love answering questions from students because it makes me feel like I help them to get closer to their dream career! I love the vibe in TCE, and I just realize there are so many helpful resources for students after I started my work here.

Erik is a Student Career Associate at Texas Career Engagement. He is currently attending the University of Texas at Austin pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Economics while also exploring other fields of study. He hopes to one day work at technology company, whether in a technical role or not, as he has always been intrigued by new technologies and the way that they change our everyday lives. Within UT, he is also involved in multiple organizations, including Texas Hispanic Business Student Association and the Longhorn Hellraisers. He enjoys helping people and working with others to solve complex problems/issues. In his free time, he enjoys playing volleyball, hanging out with friends, or catching up on tv shows.

My name is Felisitas, but I go by Feli for short. I love playing sports and cooking. I also love spending time with my friends, family and pets.

What do you love most about your work?

I love how friendly each of the staff members are!

I am 21 years old. I was born and grew up in Dallas, Texas. I love to cook (especially with my mom), fish (especially with my dad), read the Bible in my spare time, take long nature walks accompanied with good conversation, and generally spend time with loved ones. My career goal is to become a School Counselor so that I can equip young people with the tools to make the most of their abilities and to prosper in their lives and communities. My life goal is to eventually have my own close-knit family and leave this Earth with a legacy as a woman that loved God, loved people, and made the world just a little bit better.

What do you love most about your work?

The people. Everyone here always greets me with a warm smile or wave and it always makes me feel so comfortable and at home. Even though I am only a student worker, everyone treats me with as much respect as if I were any other coworker. I also love seeing my fellow classmates come into the office for interviews and being proud of how I know that they will represent UT.

I’m a freshman at UT and I’m from Dallas, TX. I have 3 younger siblings and I enjoy reading, traveling, & trying new restaurants in my spare time. I also love watching movies with friends and family. A fun fact about me is that I am originally from Miami, Florida!

What do you love most about your work?

I love working at TCE because of the many opportunities to help other students and employees in the office. Even though I’ve only been here for a few months, working here has been a smooth and enjoyable learning process for me. I think this is my favorite part about working at TCE.

I am a second-year Radio-Television-Film major at UT! I wish to pursue a career in the film industry, and become a professional editor and cinematographer for feature films and television works. I am a member of Texas Student Television (TSTV) where I work as an editor for “Sneak Peak” and “Redacted.” Currently in my free time, I enjoy spending time with my friends, who are also all for the most part film majors as well, and we enjoy making short films, eating, exploring, and watching bad movies together. I love connecting with people, especially those with shared interests, and I love working with others on creative endeavors!

What do you love most about your work?

What I love most about working for Texas Career Engagement is being able to learn about valuable career and networking tips and lessons. In addition to the office work, we take courses that help us further understand the aspects that contribute to an effective and successful workplace collaboration, and we also have access to valuable career resources that help us gain insight into how to navigate career pathways, and how to make yourself stand out compared to the competition.

I am from the Dallas area (McKinney Tx) and am a current sophomore. I am looking to minor in business and complete a CS certificate. I enjoy outdoor activities and sports such as ultimate frisbee, IM flag football, and IM volleyball. I am also a big foodie who loves trying different cuisines.

What do you love most about your work?

My job allows me to be actively part of campus, as it works as a bridge connecting students to employers and spread the awareness of such resources to other students on campus. The TCE student associate job also allows me to work on my professional and developmental skills needed for the workplace.