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

Brittany Leland

Brittany currently leads a team with the goal of providing equitable access to undergraduate students by specializing in supporting students from traditionally underserved backgrounds and those students who are unsure of their career paths. Prior to working at UT, she has experience working in both career education and employer engagement within university career services, serving as an adjunct faculty member in business and counselor education, and working in corporate human resources. Brittany particularly enjoys developing professional staff members and supporting students as they prepared for their future endeavors. She also specializes in career assessment facilitation and educating professional career coaches on industry best practices. She is a certified trainer for the NCDA Facilitating Career Development course and holds a GCDF certification.

What do you love most about your work?

Brittany loves supporting her team as they develop innovative ways to support students, particularly around diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.

brittany.leland@austin.utexas.edu

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

Jennifer Mullins

Jennifer Mullins is a certified Counselor with over 10 years of experience with mental health and college and career counseling. Jennifer earned her Master of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of San Francisco and her Bachelor of Arts Degree in English with an emphasis in Education from California State University in Chico. Jennifer has a diverse background in Business and Education. She began her career as a Corporate Recruiter for Fortune 100 and 500 companies in the San Francisco Bay area then made the intentional shift in becoming a Counselor working in K-12 public education. Jennifer’s dedication to the Counseling field and student’s success is seen through her ability to create a comfortable environment that allows an opportunity for open discussion, through a solutions-based lens, to develop an outcome that is aligned with the student’s expectations and career goals. Jennifer has worked with students in major exploration, career research, resume design and interview preparation.

What do you love most about your work?

Jennifer’s passion for education and student success is centered around her belief that all students should have equity and access to their education and to the university in which they are attending. She believes that students having the opportunity to work with Texas Career Engagement, allows students to connect with the support systems that will help them navigate their college experience and beyond.

jennifer.mullins@austin.utexas.edu

Jordan Rossi

Jordan Rossi is a counselor with nearly 3 years of experience in higher education. Jordan holds a Master of Arts in Professional Counseling from Texas State University, and has experience working one-on-one with students on career/major exploration, career assessments, resume/cover letter writing, interviewing, and internship and graduate school planning. He also has experience leading career counseling groups while at UT. Jordan is passionate about helping students of all backgrounds to help clarify their values, interests, personality, and skills. Before UT, he worked for over 8 years in the mental health field while at a psychiatric hospital, drug and alcohol center, group private practice, and at a non-profit focusing on underserved populations. Jordan’s goal is for students to feel supported, empowered, and more confident as they navigate career and major exploration.

What do you love most about your work?

Jordan recognizes every individual has their own lived experience and worldview. This is one of many reasons as to why he is especially drawn to working with people of various backgrounds. Specifically serving students who hold identities which are historically marginalized and collaborating with co-workers who may have different lived experiences. Through this, he finds fulfillment in the commitment to serving UT as a career counselor.

jordan.rossi@austin.utexas.edu

Brian Sanchez

Brian Sanchez is a Career Coach with over 2 years of experience in career services and with underrepresented populations. He received both his MS in Higher Education and BA in Psychology from Florida International University (FIU). Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) work is one of the core aspects that influences Brian’s interactions with students and colleagues. He likes to implement the intersectionality framework in order to help students understand that differences should be celebrated not discarded.

What do you love most about your work?

Part of Brian’s role focuses on supporting underrepresented populations through meaningful and direct engagement. The aspect he loves the most is researching these populations, such as the history within each group, statistical evidence to understand demographics, and anecdotal experiences to explain what numbers are not able to convey.

brian.sanchez@austin.utexas.edu

Christian Teague

Christian Teague is an emerging student affairs professional with 2 years of experience in the field. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Sam Houston State University and Master of Education Degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education from Texas State University. As a past agent of Texas State, Christian has experience working in academic affairs specifically with student athletes. He has conducted a research study in determining how Predominantly White institutions (PWI’s) can better support student athletes who hold marginalized identities. As a past NODA intern for the University of North Texas, Christian also has extensive experience in orientation and parent programming. Christian hopes to bridge the gap for marginalized students who may not have access to information or resources geared towards their success.

What do you love most about your work?

Christian loves being able to do career centered work for populations that he affiliates with. The mission of Texas Career Engagement is aligned with his personal philosophy of being a bridge and a resource for students who look like him.

christian.teague@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

Nong Xiong

Nong Xiong is a Career Education Specialist at Texas Career Engagement, where she supports the development of the Peer Career Mentor Program and provides equitable career education for historically marginalized communities. Nong has a Master’s of Education in Education and Leadership Policy from the University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Prior to TCE, Nong worked as the Gateway Scholars Program Coordinator and supported the efforts of the Monarch Student Program, both at the Longhorn Center for Academic Equity here at UT. She also served as a committee member to create Austin Community College’s first Asian and Asian American Center. Nong hopes to continue to expand equitable access and improve success outcomes for historically marginalized communities.

What do you love most about your work?

As a former first-generation college student, Nong is able to give back to her community by centering Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in her work. She is grateful for the opportunity to practice and focus on bringing equitable access to career education, which she believes is a step to changing the landscape of gainful employment.

Nong.Xiong@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

Cassandra Gearhart

Cassandra holds a Master’s degree in Psychological Research from California State University, Long Beach. She is currently a doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology program here at UT. Cassandra strives to bring humor and compassion to her work with students since she knows first-hand how stressful career decisions can be. In addition to providing individual career counseling, Cassandra teaches an introductory course on career planning that nurtures a design approach to career construction. Her work draws from positive psychological and social justice perspectives. She unwinds by hiking, baking, and watching documentary films.

cassandra.gearhart@utexas.edu

Ashley Wasserman

Ashley believes that strong mentors can positively impact one’s success and future career endeavors. She is passionate about helping people on their leadership and career journeys. As Peer Advising Program Manager for Texas Career Engagement, Ashley oversees our Career Peer Mentor program. She is currently a second-year student in the Program for Higher Education Leadership and also serves as a Graduate Assistant with the McCombs School of Business Leadership Program.

What I love about my job:

Ashley loves working directly with the Career Peer Mentors and supporting their career knowledge development with interactive trainings and activities.

Femitan is a sophomore at UT Austin studying Health and Society with a Spanish for Healthcare Professions certificate. She is a pre-medical student who plans to go to medical school right after undergrad to become a doctor who mainly treats underrepresented patients who are in need of better healthcare resources. She is currently a member of Dell Medical School Pre-Health and Diversity Scholars and Black Health Professions Organization. She is also part of the UT Austin COVID-19 Modeling Consortium where she researches different demographic factors that have influenced outcomes due to COVID-19. Femitan joined TCE as a Career Associate in February of 2019 and just recently became a Career Peer Mentor.

What do you love most about your work?

Femitan never knew about the Texas Career Engagement Center until she applied to be a Career Associate. She was surprised by all the services TCE offered. As a Career Associate/Career Peer Mentor, Femitan loves that she is helping her fellow classmates in one way or another to achieve career success. She now informs many students of the endless resources TCE has to offer so every student can

Sydney is a fourth-year student at the McCombs School of Business studying International Business with a focus in Spanish and Latin America. She has always loved traveling, learning languages, having conversations with people from an array of backgrounds. She currently serves as the Parliamentarian of Texas HBSA (Hispanic Business Student Association) where she hosts many events to promote women and BIPOC in business.

Sydney prides herself on being a positive, forward thinker toward anything she puts her mind to and creating long-lasting memories wherever she goes.

Dalia Vazquez is a rising sophomore majoring in Geography with a concentration in Geographical Information Systems at the College of Liberal Arts at The University of Texas at Austin. Dalia is currently a career associate and career peer mentor for Texas Career Engagement. She is eager to gain exposure in the field of GIS and in remote sensing to facilitate geographical data in urban communities. She hopes to use her Geography degree to create projects that will increase awareness on climate change using GIS to distribute and facilitate data to our citizens. Her interests outside of school include playing the accordion, nature documentaries, and painting murals!

Dalia is passionate about helping other students succeed in the professional world. She is very ecstatic to help students transition their resumes throughout their undergraduate careers. Dalia feels very honored to be able to assist a myriad of students across UT to compile their experiences as they prepare for graduate school or the work industry. She is grateful to be part of the Texas Career Engagement team that is helping 1st Gen students and all undergraduates bridge the gap between academia and the professional workforce.

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

Jacy ones

Jacy Jones is a multidimensional communications strategist with extensive experience in public relations, advertising, project management and student professional development. She is a two-time graduate from the University of Texas at Austin, holding a B.S. in Public Relations and a M.A. in Advertising. After obtaining her master’s degree, Jacy served two years with the Peace Corps in Benin, West Africa, where she worked collaboratively at the grassroots level to create and implement community-based projects, including the development of a student professional development internship program for financially disadvantaged youth. Jacy’s combined international experiences and academic background has taught her to think critically to solve diverse problems, establish and maintain effective working relationships and adapt to fast-paced work environments with high demand- all skills that she now brings to the employer engagement team as the Campus Talent Specialist. In her free time, Jacy enjoys exploring innovative ways to make eating healthy more exciting and affordable.

What do you love most about your work?

Jacy is passionate about providing marginalized and underrepresented students with access to student professional development opportunities, regardless of their major or program. As the Campus Talent Specialist, she’s able to leverage a myriad of strategic communications to align employers with highly unique and talented students across campus.

jacy.jones@austin.utexas.edu

Logan Thomas

Logan Thomas is the Student Employment Coordinator on the Employer Engagement team. He helps to increase opportunities for students by moderating jobs and employer accounts in HireUTexas powered by Handshake, and assists campus partners recruiting for student positions. Logan graduated from the University of Texas with a BS in Radio-Television-Film in 2019. He has worked at UT since graduation, and has been a part of TCE since March of 2020.

What do you love most about your work?

I love helping students gain access to opportunities as they start their careers. It’s an extremely rewarding experience to help our talented students get connected to employers and experiences that will take them to the next step in their professional journeys.

logan.thomas@austin.utexas.edu

Jess Villalobos

Jessica Villalobos is the Recruiting Specialist for Employer Engagement where she oversees the operations and logistics of on-campus recruiting. Jess is a proud first-generation college graduate from Texas State University. She currently serves as the Chair for the Leadership/Professional Development Committee for the Hispanic Faculty/Staff Association.

What do you love most about your work?

I enjoy collaborating with other offices on different DEI initiatives and advocating for historically underrepresented students in career services.

HireUTexas@austin.utexas.edu

Jenn Swindle

Jenn began her career at Walt Disney World as a supervisor for Entertainment. She coordinated entertainment offerings for a variety of special events (including marathons, conventions, and weddings), but focused especially on managing the long-term career development of performers. Jenn studied Advertising and Business Management at Brigham Young University and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Human Dimensions of Organizations at UT Austin. During her career Jenn has also participated in leading summer camps both domestically and abroad for teenagers seeking to volunteer in humanitarian aid. Her trips have taken her most recently to Mexico and Tonga (the Polynesian Islands) where she led the building of homes and schools. Jenn spent a year and a half learning Spanish in Peru while she completed a church mission, and a year in Japan debuting Tokyo Disney’s 30th anniversary entertainment offerings. She hopes to continue her life as an expat in the future, bringing the world together through education and quality talent management. She enjoys reading, dancing, and taste-testing all the taco and ramen joints in Austin.

What do you love most about your work?

I believe investing in students and higher education is the most important priority we can have while looking towards the future. There is so much potential to be discovered and developed while pursuing continual education, and I have the opportunity on the Employment Engagement Team to aid employers in their continual education as well. I love developing and providing access to resources for all those our office serves, and working with a team that is dedicated to supporting the students today for tomorrow.

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

Melanie Pearce Hooper

Melanie Pearce Hooper is a career specialist with nearly 10 years’ experience in collaborating with employers, employer relations teams, career staff, and diverse student populations on career development and employment services. Melanie holds a Master of Arts in Professional Counseling from Texas State University and as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), she has experience in working one-on-one with graduate students on career development topics, including career research, resume/cover letter writing, interviewing, and offer/salary negotiation. As the Associate Director for Graduate Employer Education and Experiences with Texas Career Engagement, Melanie is passionate about assisting graduate students in making employer connections, networking, identifying experiential learning opportunities and increasing self-branding/marketing. She previously served as a Senior Career Advisor within the Internship and Career Center at the University of California, Davis where she led employer development within the field of Biotechnology and delivered career advising services for students and scholars within the areas of Health and Biological Sciences. Prior to that, Melanie worked at The University of Texas at Austin as a Lead Career Coach and Senior Program Coordinator for Career Services within the College of Natural Sciences.

What do you love most about your work?

Melanie is passionate about and motivated by assisting students in making career connections. Whether a student is just beginning career exploration or is preparing for an interview, she is excited to watch students develop and engage in career experiences that are meaningful and fulfilling. She is also driven to partner with employers and alumni, elevating awareness to the incredible talent of UT Austin graduate students and scholars. Seeing someone land that job or internship is what she ultimately loves the most!

melanie.hooper@austin.utexas.edu

Anita Husen

Anita has enjoyed over a decade of experience in higher education, teaching of faculties of the Ivy League and at Minority Serving Institutions. She leads graduate career development as it intersects with identity. In order to advance the career and professional excellence of UT graduate students from historically underrepresented and marginalized communities, she collaborates on program and resource development, including doctoral mentorship and diversity specific employer recruitment. Her advising aims to elevate lived and shared experience in order to reframe self-disclosure as an asset and ultimately redefine identity development as career development.

Anita is a Longhorn with an MA in Arabic Studies. Prior to joining UT Austin, she directed a resource center for engagement with the cultures and peoples of the Muslim world at Stanford University.

What do you love most about your work?

Anita is dedicated to deepening an abiding sense of belonging, not only as a pillar of academic and professional success, but also as the crux of our identity as humans. She loves puzzles, so her work fills in gaps by asking; Who is not represented? What may increase equitable access to the career advising, exploration and experiences that can translate to meaningful work?

anita.husen@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

Tina Solvik

Tina Solvik has over 5 years of experience working in higher education. She leads curriculum design and delivery of graduate courses, workshops, and programs on professional skills, career exploration, and job preparation for careers in industry, non-profit, government, and academia. She is dedicated to translating principles of pedagogy and evidence-based teaching to career education. Prior to coming to UT, Tina worked at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Office of Career and Professional Development, creating career and professional development programming and advising PhDs and postdocs on navigating graduate school and career exploration. She is devoted to supporting graduate students’ career development, drawing from her own experience as a PhD student in Biomedical Sciences at UCSF exploring the meaning and value of her degree beyond academia.

What do you love most about your work?

Tina is passionate about making an impact on students’ lives every day, whether through one-on-one advising, teaching, or developing career and professional development resources. She enjoys helping graduate students in self-reflecting, exploring their options, and creating actionable plans to translate their graduate experience into a unique professional identity and fulfilling career.

tina.solvik@austin.utexas.edu

Kelsey is a doctoral student in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, where she researches spoken language and gestures in bilingual contexts and teaches as an Assistant Instructor. Before coming to UT, she taught for 5 years in public and independent schools as a teacher and mentor to middle school students. She also has extensive experience living, studying, and working abroad in Spain, Ecuador, and Argentina. Kelsey currently serves as a Graduate Media Consultant for the Alumni@Work project at Texas Career Engagement.

What do you love most about your work?
The Alumni@Work project has given me the opportunity to meet some incredible professionals from a wide range of industries. I love hearing from people who are passionate about what they do and learning about the impressive projects that UT alumni are working on.

Brett is a PhD Candidate and Assistant Instructor in Media Studies in the Department of Radio-Television (RTF) at the University of Texas-Austin Moody College of Communication. He received his MA in Critical Studies from the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts and his MLIS from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Information Studies. His research focuses on power, ideology, and identity in American sports and sports media. He has published articles in the Journal of Sport and Social Issues, The International Journal of the History of Sport, and the Journal of Emerging Sport Studies, and he has a book chapter forthcoming in the Handbook of Communication and Sport. He is currently the graduate representative for the Society of Cinema and Media Studies Sports Media Special Interest group and has served as an elected representative of RTF’s Graduate Student Organization, an article shepherd for The Velvet Light Trap journal, and a column editor for Flow: A Critical Forum on Media and Culture. He currently works as a Graduate Media Consultant for Texas Career Engagement’s Alumni@Work project.

What do you love most about your work?
I love learning about the different career paths that advanced degree alumni have taken and connecting alumni with current students who are interested in exploring similar opportunities. I believe that it’s vital for graduate students to see a wide range of career possibilities beyond traditional faculty positions and I enjoy providing an outlet for alumni to share their experiences and career trajectories.

Nikhith is a 2nd year PhD student in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. His work focuses on increasing the maturation of induced pluripotent stem cell derived cardiomyocytes using biophysical cues like anisotropy.

What do you love most about your work?
Nikhith believes it is important to develop as a professional and as a scholar within graduate programs. In this vein, he enjoys producing programming that helps his peers discover non-academic career options that exist for advanced degree holders. He enjoys working on an incredible team with a diverse set of experiences that help him to grow professionally and personally.

Internships and Career Experiences

Laine Blazevich

Laine Blazevich’s higher education experience spans across undergraduate admissions and recruitment, student affairs, alumni engagement, and career services. As the Assistant Director of Internships and Career Experiences, Laine focuses on increasing student access to internships and developing resources and programs for UT Austin students, employers, faculty, and staff. Laine holds a master’s degree in higher education and has held leadership positions with the Louisiana Association of Colleges and Employers, the Texas Campus Career Council, and the UT Austin Staff Council.

What do you love most about your work?

Laine enjoys facilitating opportunities for students to develop skills through career experiences outside of their academic coursework. He values the personal and professional development that students experience through participating in internships, part-time jobs, research, student organizations, and other career experiences.

laine.blazevich@austin.utexas.edu

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 provides opportunities for first-year students to return to their hometowns for summer internships.

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

Heather Halstead

Heather has worked in higher education for over 10 years, both as an administrator and an educator. She has served as logistical support for student, faculty, and staff groups across campus, including the Longhorn Band, the Radio-TV-Film department, and most recently, Texas Career Engagement, where she supervisors Career Associate undergraduate student staff and provides support for TCE events, programming, and travel. In addition to her experience with administration, she holds a Master of Fine Arts in Film Production and is an active member of the Texas Film Industry.

What Do you Love Most About your work?

Heather most appreciates the opportunity and ability to provide support and experiential learning programs to undergraduate students, and the focus on equity and inclusion that is always at the forefront of all Texas Career Engagement goals and endeavors.

halstead@austin.utexas.edu

Sam Heimbach

Sam has more than ten years of experience in communications and marketing, and has also worked previously as a career advisor for communications and fine arts students at Texas State University.

What do you love most about your work?

My work is all centered around informing students of resources that can help them succeed. I love to be a part of helping our students reach their goals!

sam.heimbach@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

Femitan is a sophomore at UT Austin studying Health and Society with a Spanish for Healthcare Professions certificate. She is a pre-medical student who plans to go to medical school right after undergrad to become a doctor who mainly treats underrepresented patients who are in need of better healthcare resources. She is currently a member of Dell Medical School Pre-Health and Diversity Scholars and Black Health Professions Organization. She is also part of the UT Austin COVID-19 Modeling Consortium where she researches different demographic factors that have influenced outcomes due to COVID-19. Femitan joined TCE as a Career Associate in February of 2019 and just recently became a Career Peer Mentor.

What do you love most about your work?

Femitan never knew about the Texas Career Engagement Center until she applied to be a Career Associate. She was surprised by all the services TCE offered. As a Career Associate/Career Peer Mentor, Femitan loves that she is helping her fellow classmates in one way or another to achieve career success. She now informs many students of the endless resources TCE has to offer so every student can

Sydney is a fourth-year student at the McCombs School of Business studying International Business with a focus in Spanish and Latin America. She has always loved traveling, learning languages, having conversations with people from an array of backgrounds. She currently serves as the Parliamentarian of Texas HBSA (Hispanic Business Student Association) where she hosts many events to promote women and BIPOC in business.

Sydney prides herself on being a positive, forward thinker toward anything she puts her mind to and creating long-lasting memories wherever she goes.

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.

Dior is currently a senior at the University of Texas at Austin, majoring in Health and Society. He intends to pursue dental school after his undergraduate career. Dior is dedicated to serving his community as demonstrated by his participation in service organizations such as Texas Healthy Habits and Project Males. Along with service, he also possesses a drive for learning as he participates in various learning experiences such as SHPEP. Outside of work, Dior enjoys watching movies for they provide interesting and moving perspectives. Dior also enjoys watching/playing basketball with his friends and family.

Dior’s favorite thing about working at TCE is the team he works with. Everyone creates an environment that both fun and productive. The administration truly cares about its employees as individuals and this is evident in the way they constantly check on our well-being. Dior is also fortunate to work at a place like TCE, where the work that is done has a real and tangible impact on the lives of others.

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.

Dalia Vazquez is a rising sophomore majoring in Geography with a concentration in Geographical Information Systems at the College of Liberal Arts at The University of Texas at Austin. Dalia is currently a career associate and career peer mentor for Texas Career Engagement. She is eager to gain exposure in the field of GIS and in remote sensing to facilitate geographical data in urban communities. She hopes to use her Geography degree to create projects that will increase awareness on climate change using GIS to distribute and facilitate data to our citizens. Her interests outside of school include playing the accordion, nature documentaries, and painting murals!

Dalia is passionate about helping other students succeed in the professional world. She is very ecstatic to help students transition their resumes throughout their undergraduate careers. Dalia feels very honored to be able to assist a myriad of students across UT to compile their experiences as they prepare for graduate school or the work industry. She is grateful to be part of the Texas Career Engagement team that is helping 1st Gen students and all undergraduates bridge the gap between academia and the professional workforce.