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

Nathan Langfitt has worked in career services at both the University of Texas at Austin and Indiana University Bloomington. Prior to joining TCE, he was the director of career services for the College of Fine Arts at UT. He is a licensed professional counselor, and currently completing his doctorate in higher education and student affairs at Indiana University Bloomington. Nathan oversees the career counseling and career management teams, and loves being a part of building programs and opportunities that make career education more approachable and equitable for all students.

What do you love most about your work? As a a first-generation college student, Nathan loves being a part of anything that takes the guesswork out of navigating higher education. He also loves working at the intersection of career development and mental health, helping students to approach their careers with empathy and self-compassion.

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 the Assistant Director, Career Management 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.

Hannah Cecilia Garcia is a Career Education Specialist at Texas Career Engagement at The University of Texas at Austin, providing identity-centered, accessible professional development and coaching to undergraduate students. A Texas Ex herself, Hannah graduated from UT’s own College of Liberal Arts with a double major in Government and Education Policy, and strives to promote well-rounded, interdisciplinary student candidates using her humanities education. She previously served in the Office of Admissions at UT Austin, advising prospective Longhorns throughout the college application process. She also worked in other educational spaces, including The Texas American Federation of Teachers, where she developed her skills in professional development, audience engagement, and student advocacy.

What do you love most about your work?
Hannah finds fulfillment in helping students find their way in academia, discover their potential, and build confidence in themselves. She knows how overwhelming navigating college and career exploration can feel and is committed to helping students visualize their own success through self-motivation. Hannah enjoys the interdisciplinary approach to TCE’s services because it reframes the linear path to career success and fosters diversity in career exploration, where the student is empowered to take command of their education.

Allie Robbins is a Career Education Specialist at Texas Career Engagement. She offers individual career coaching appointments, manages career communities, and connects with other groups on campus to support equitable access to career education. Prior to joining Texas Career Engagement, she served as a college adviser to assist high school students across the country on their journey to higher education. She graduated from The University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Science in Family and Consumer Sciences. As an undergraduate, she coached her peers in career development-related topics during an internship with the university’s career center.

 

What do you love most about your work? Allie values Texas Career Engagement’s unique mission of providing equitable access to career engagement while focusing on the intersection of career and identity. She enjoys using that framework to learn each student’s story and help them access information to support their success. It is important to her that all students feel encouraged, empowered, and informed to make the best decisions for themselves.

 

 

Kyra Duffey is currently a Career Education Specialist at Texas Career Engagement and has 5 years of experience working in higher education. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Stephen F. Austin State University with a Minor in Marketing, and a Master of Education degree in Counselor Education with a concentration in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Texas Tech University and is currently a National Certified Counselor (NCC). In Kyra’s role as a Career Education Specialist, she provides career coaching to undergraduate students on various aspects of their career development journey, and she also oversees the Longhorn Career Peers program who provide peer-to-peer career education to UT students.

What do you love most about your work? Kyra enjoys working in higher education in career services where she is able to get multiple opportunities to advise and counsel students in their career development needs. She finds it a joy helping students along their career development journeys, and helping them arrive at what success looks like for them not just as a college student, but overall, as an individual as well.

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.

Alex Kraus serves as the Employment Outlook Specialist on the Employer Engagement team and engages in benchmarking employment trends to identify potential areas of engagement for new and existing partnerships, and to inform the future of recruiting. Alex is a Texas Ex, graduating with an M.S. in Exercise Science in 2014. He graduated with a B.S. in Biology from the University of Portland in 2010. Prior to joining Texas Career Engagement, Alex served as the Director of Soccer Operations with the women’s soccer team at the University of Texas at Austin.

What do you love most about your work?
I love delving into the data to help paint pictures of current trends in the marketplace and to support our innovative team in connecting employers and students!

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

Colleen Gleeson has over 10 years of university career services experience working with students at all academic levels. She spent three years working with graduate students studying public policy at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, where she also worked with employer partners across sector, industry, and policy area to engage with graduate students across campus. Prior to her time at UT, she served as director of career development at the University of Houston Conrad N. Hilton College of Global Hospitality Leadership. Colleen enjoys working with graduate students and postdocs to identify new and exciting career paths, internships, and other experiential opportunities. Areas of expertise include graduate career exploration and industry job search prep, including resume and cover letter support, mock interviews and navigating federal job applications.

Brian Fonken collaborates with partners across campus to support career and professional development opportunities for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars. He has worked in higher education administration and faculty roles, developing curriculum, managing programs, teaching, and mentoring graduate students. Prior to joining career education teams at UT in the College of Liberal Arts and then Texas Career Engagement, he taught writing and humanities courses at the University of California, Irvine and helped lead its Composition program. He holds a PhD in English from UC Irvine and a BA in Plan II Honors and English from UT Austin.

What do you love most about your work? I love meeting with our amazing, accomplished graduate students and postdocs—learning about the fascinating work they are doing at UT, exploring the possibilities for their future careers in academia and beyond.

fonken@austin.utexas.edu

Trey received her PhD in Microbiology from UT Austin resulting in a highly diverse skillset ranging from molecular biology wet lab techniques to entrepreneurial product development and management. She gained extensive experience in addressing the needs and concerns of graduate students and developing programs and initiatives to improve graduate student life while serving as President of the Interdisciplinary Life Science Graduate Program Graduate Student Assembly. Her current position as Program Manager of Advanced Degree Career Education with Texas Career Engagement enables her to utilize the technical skills she obtained as a scientist and the soft skills she developed as a leader to help advanced degree students plan and achieve their career goals.

What do you love most about your work? I greatly enjoy empowering advanced degree students and postdocs through helping them identify and convey their unique value to future employers. I love getting to learn about their fascinating work and backgrounds while exploring their future careers.

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.

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

Piper is a Student Career Associate at UT Austin’s Texas Career Engagement Center and freshman Psychology major from Denton, Texas. In her career, Piper hopes to work with businesses on implementing mental health focuses for employees. A few things Piper loves is nature, running, Taylor Swift, and quality time spent with loved ones. Piper loves supporting her school and attending UT events.

What do you love most about your work? 

I love having the opportunity to be a friendly face right before someone’s interview. I also enjoy being a part of the process of helping people maximize their full potential.

Stephanie is a second year student at UT, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems and a certificate in computer science. She is really interested in information technology, computer programming, and digital media, and hopes to work in data analytics in the future. In her free time, she enjoys drawing, painting, and taking cool photos!

What do you love most about your work? 

What I love most about my work is that I get to help make information regarding career development more accessible to students at UT. Through events, workshops, and other resources, I get the ability to help empower other students so that they can reach their own goals!

Hareem is a sophomore Economics major from Houston, TX. In his free time, he enjoys reading books, watching movies, and eating his favorite food, pizza. During his time at UT, Hareem is most excited about exploring Austin with his friends.

What do you love most about your work?

I love the people I work with here at TCE! Everyone is very kind, welcoming, and always ready to help. TCE puts students at its core and that is very visible in their programs, initiatives and efforts. It is the perfect place for me to not only work on my professional skills but to also grow as an individual.

Felisitasis a Student Career Associate at UT Austin’s Texas Career Engagement Center who goes by Feli for short. She loves playing sports, cooking, and spending time with her friends, family and pets.

What do you love most about your work?

I love how friendly each of the staff members are!

Melody. is a 3rd year MIS major at the McCombs School of Business. She is also completing a certificate in Design Strategies because she is interested in emerging human-centered technologies. In her free time, she loves to stay active with yoga, kickboxing, and walks along Lady Bird Lake. She is an  avid investor in experiences – festivals, concerts, travel, adrenaline boosts – over tangible purchases.

What do you love most about your work?

My work excites me because I love inspiring and supporting my peers around me. My position is more than just being the liaison or point of contact for our guests at TCE, it is about connecting and supporting student candidates toward their future career goals.

Sam is an Economics major from the Dallas area (McKinney Tx) and a current sophomore student. His goal is to minor in business and complete a CS certificate. Outside of school, he enjoys outdoor activities and sports such as ultimate frisbee, IM flag football, and IM volleyball. He is 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.