Meet The Staff

Executive Director & Administration

Mark Presnell, Executive Director

Mark Presnell, Ph.D.
Executive Director
mark.presnell@northwestern.edu

Mark oversees a 20-person staff that forms the career advising, counseling and employer and strategic outreach teams at University Career Services (UCS), Northwestern’s central career services office. He and his staff collaborate with 9 of the schools and colleges on campus to serve undergraduate and graduate students in all areas of career development, from the start of their time at Northwestern through graduation. UCS also coordinates with Northwestern academic partners, alumni and employers to connect students to professional opportunities and host campus-based recruiting events. A 15-year veteran of career services, Mark has served as a director and career counselor/advisor for the career centers at Johns Hopkins University, the University of Rochester, the University of Virginia School of Architecture and the University of Kansas. Mark received his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Purdue University and his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Kansas. In his spare time, Mark enjoys movies and TV (favorite shows include Homeland, Treme, Game of Thrones, etc.). His advice to students: Start early. Come see UCS during your first or second year!

Brenda White
Department Assistant
b-white@northwestern.edu
Brenda has been with Northwestern University for 25 years, 10 years of which have been with University Career Services. As the departmental administrative assistant, she helps pave the way through daily administrative and operational tasks for all of her colleagues in UCS. Brenda is a lifelong Evanston resident, and in her spare time she enjoys reading fiction and spending time with family.

Career Counseling Team

The Career Counseling Team helps students make successful career decisions that fit their unique personality and professional goals. Some of these decisions might include choosing an academic major, assessing interests, values, strengths and skills, and exploring/discovering different career paths. In addition, career counselors can help with selecting and applying to graduate and law schools.

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Tracie Thomas, Associate Director for Career Development

Tracie Thomas, M.S., M.A.
Associate Director for Career Development
Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences
t-thomas8@northwestern.edu

Tracie earned her Bachelor's degree in Psychology and English from Cleveland State University, her Master's degree in Social Science from the University of Chicago, and her second Master's degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In her spare time, she enjoys experimenting with new recipes, trying out new restaurants and discovering new neighborhoods in Chicago. Tracie's advice to students: Trust your instincts and don’t be afraid to take risks and make mistakes. Don’t let “shoulds” and “musts” determine your career path!

Jeff Jenkins, Career Counselor

Jeff Jenkins, M.S., CRC, LCPC
Senior Assistant Director, Training Director
School of Communication, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, Bienen School of Music, and the School of Continuing Studies
jjenkins@northwestern.edu

Jeff earned his Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Grand Valley State University, and his Master's degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from the Illinois Institute of Technology. In his spare time, he enjoys creating characters and the worlds they inhabit as a playwright, spending time with family, cooking, traveling, and enjoying life. Jeff's advice to students: Don’t allow people to set limits for you or discourage you from your path. Explore and do all that you want to be.

Christina Siders, Senior Career Counselor/Associate Training DirectorChristina Siders, M.A., LCPC
Senior Career Counselor, Associate Training Director
McCormick School of Engineering, Medill School of Journalism, School of Education and Social Policy, and The Graduate School
c-siders@northwestern.edu | Linkedin

Christina earned her Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Business from Indiana University and her Master's degree in Counseling Psychology from Northwestern University. She is also a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC). In her spare time, she is playing the role of mom to her 8-month-old son, counseling adults in private practice, travelling, or eating at new restaurants in the city with her husband. Christina's advice to students: Remain open to new experiences, opportunities and people. Never be afraid to change your mind or your path. 

Career Advising Team

The Career Advising Team works with students from the start of their time at Northwestern through graduation, helping them connect their Northwestern experience to professional opportunities. In addition to guiding students through the process of applying to jobs, internships, and other experiential learning opportunities, they collaborate with staff, faculty and alumni to develop tailored services and programming for students enrolled in 9 of the schools and colleges at Northwestern.

Get to know us!
Director of Student Career Advising: Kamilah McCoy, M.A.
SCS and The Family Institute: Brett Boettcher, Ed.D.
The Graduate School: Mearah Quinn-Brauner, Ph.D.
WCAS, The Graduate School and McCormick: Larry Jackson, M.A., LPC
WCAS: Maggie Heffernan, M.A.
WCAS: Jose Santos, M.A.
School of Communication: Laura Myers, M.A., LPC
SESP: Effie Fronimos, M.Ed.
Bienen and Medill: Colleen Monks, M.Ed.
Kellogg Certificate Program for Undergraduates: Rachel Garson Taylor, M.A., LPC

Kamilah McCoy, Director of Student Career Advising

Kamilah McCoy, M.A.
Director of Student Career Advising
k-mccoy@northwestern.edu

Kamilah earned her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of Michigan and her Master's degree in Counseling Psychology from Northwestern University. In her spare time, Kamilah enjoys going to concerts at Ravinia every summer. Kamilah's advice to students: Don't tell yourself “no.” It is easy to think of a million reasons why something won’t work, but you may also be denying yourself a great opportunity.  

Brett Boettcher, Associate Director, Professional Program Strategy & Management

Brett Boettcher, Ed.D.
Associate Director, Professional Program Strategy & Management
School of Continuing Studies and The Family Institute
b-boettcher@northwestern.edu

Brett earned his Ed.D. in Educational Policy and Administration with a specialization in Higher Education from the University of Minnesota. In his spare time, he enjoys riding his mountain bike on the single track trails at Kettle Moraine State Forest. His advice to students: Always keep a positive attitude and stay motivated.

Mearah Quinn-Brauner, Ph.D.
Assistant Director, Student Career Advising
The Graduate School
mearah@northwestern.edu

Mearah earned her Bachelor’s degree in English at Oberlin College and her Master’s and Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Pennsylvania. In her spare time, Mearah enjoys painting with watercolors, treasure hunting at thrift stores, and reading speculative fiction. Mearah’s advice to students: Value your experiences, do your research, and practice telling your story.

Larry Jackson, Assistant Director, Student Career Advising

Larry Jackson, M.A., LPC
Assistant Director, Student Career Advising
Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, The Graduate School and McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
laurence-jackson@northwestern.edu | Twitter

Larry earned his Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Bradley University and his Master's degree in Clinical Counseling from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. In his spare time, Larry can be found taking in street festivals during the summer, going to movies in the winter, and singing and serving at church year round. His advice for students: Explore your interests, gather information, try new experiences, and make connections as these activities help focus your job search.

Maggie Heffernan, M.A.
Assistant Director, Student Career Advising
Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences
margaret-heffernan@northwestern.edu

Maggie earned her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Miami University and her Master's degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs from The Ohio State University. In her spare time, Maggie enjoys cooking and enjoying all that Chicago has to offer- Lake Michigan, museums, and some amazing restaurants. Her advice to students: Life begins at the end of your comfort zone; try something new, challenge yourself. Amazing things can happen.

Jose Santos, Assistant Director, Student Career AdvisingJose Santos, M.A.
Assistant Director, Student Career Advising
Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences
jose-santos@northwestern.edu | LinkedIn

Jose earned his Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Master's degree in Clinical Counseling Psychology, both from La Salle University. In his spare time, he enjoys watching college/professional football. Jose's advice to students: Have a purposeful career exploration and remember to Assess, Explore, Decide, Act.

Laura Myers, Assistant Director, Student Career Advising

Laura Myers, M.A., LPC
Assistant Director, Student Career Advising
School of Communication
laura-myers@northwestern.edu | LinkedIn

Laura earned her Bachelor's degree in Communication-Journalism and her Master's degree in Community Counseling. She is also a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her son, trying out new restaurants in Chicago, and catching up on TV shows everyone else has already seen. Laura's advice to students: Don’t underestimate the power of an informational interview! It’s one of the easiest and best ways to network.

Effie Fronimos, Career Advisor

Effie Fronimos, M.Ed.
Career Advisor
School of Education and Social Policy
effie.fronimos@northwestern.edu | Twitter | LinkedIn

Effie earned her Bachelor's degree in Marketing and her Master's degree in Counseling: College Student Development, both from DePaul University. In her spare time, she is out exploring the city – running along the lakefront, trying new restaurants, or attending athletic events. Effie's advice to students: Dream big and dare to fail.

Colleen Monks, Career Advisor

Colleen Monks, M.Ed.
Career Advisor
Bienen School of Music and Medill School of Journalism
cmonks@northwestern.edu

Colleen earned her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from The Ohio State University and her Master of Education in Counseling from DePaul University. In her spare time, she enjoys trying out new restaurants in downtown Chicago or running by the lakeside. Colleen's advice to students: Take time to reflect on your NU experience, discover what it is you are most passionate about doing, and find a way to incorporate that into your future career.  

Rachel Garson, Assistant Director, Kellogg Certificate Program for Undergraduates

Rachel Garson Taylor, M.A., LPC
Assistant Director
Kellogg Certificate Program for Undergraduates
rachel-taylor@northwestern.edu

Rachel supports the career development and job/internship pursuits of students in the Kellogg Certificate Program for Undergraduates, an elite program that offers early exposure to — and preparation for — careers in consulting, financial services and other data-driven professions. She also facilitates opportunities for students and employers to connect, enhancing students’ professional development and increasing employers’ on-campus engagement. Rachel earned her Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Elementary Education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her Master's degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She is also a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). In her spare time, you can find Rachel chasing a quick toddler. Her advice to students: See value in all you do, no matter how big or small.

Employer & Strategic Outreach Team

Flannery Donahue, Special Events Coordinator

Flannery Donahue
Employer Development Strategist
flannery.donahue@northwestern.edu

Flannery is responsible for coordinating and overseeing all major career fairs and events put on by UCS. She also supports the organization of workshops, presentations and experiential learning. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Communication from Saint Louis University. In her spare time, Flannery enjoys running, shopping and enjoying the city of Chicago. Her advice to students: Work hard, have fun and take advantage of all the opportunities here at Northwestern. 

Katie Farrington
Internship Specialist
katie.farrington@northwestern.edu | LinkedIn

Katie manages the Summer Internship Grant Program (SIGP) which exists to empower Northwestern students to gain professional experience without financial stress. Additionally, she works to grow internships opportunities for all students through business development with employers. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Business Management & Leadership at the University of Kansas and her Master’s degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs at the University of Connecticut. In her personal time, Katie enjoys exploring & traveling—anywhere from local coffee shops to new countries. Her advice to students: Build relationships with Northwestern alumni through LinkedIn and other networking opportunities in order to enhance your career advantage.

Kelli Conkey, Marketing & Social Media Strategist

Kelli Conkey
Marketing & Social Media Strategist
kelli.conkey@northwestern.edu | LinkedIn

Kelli manages UCS’ social media presence and collaborates with the Northwestern community to raise awareness of programs, events and services designed to grow students’ professional development. She also helps employer partners strengthen their on-campus presence and expand their outreach to students. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Literary Journalism from the University of California-Irvine and her Master's degree in Journalism from Northwestern University. In her spare time, Kelli enjoys volunteering during the summer at the Farm-in-the-Zoo at Lincoln Park Zoo. Her advice to students: Always go beyond what is expected of you – in work and in life. 

Kim CorbinKim Corbin
Employer Recruiting Coordinator
k-corbin@northwestern.edu

As the Employer Recruiting Coordinator, Kim manages The Lincoln Interview Center and represents the department to internal and external constituents. Kim also manages the work-study students for the department. Kim’s career background includes film production, not-for-profit and she is an AmeriCorps alumni. Kim earned her Bachelor’s degree from Roosevelt University and is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Training and Development. In her spare time, Kim enjoys reading, spending time with family and friends, and watching sports. Her advice to students: Do your absolute best!

Jeremy Hopkins
Technology Support Specialist
je-hopkins@northwestern.edu

Jeremy provides technical support as well as manages several Northwestern websites. He earned his Bachelor's degree in Secondary Education, Mathematics.

Tory Key
Employer Recruiting Strategist
t-key@northwestern.edu

Tory manages the business relationships with employers in the fields of finance, healthcare, engineering, technology, and startup. She helps them increase visibility on campus, and finds new ways for them to engage with the Northwestern community through on-campus recruiting events, interaction with student organizations, and increasing professional development opportunities. Tory also manages UCS’s Corporate Sponsorship program. Corporate Sponsors receive preferred timing on OCR activities, specialized resume books, and preferred marketing strategies. If you are interested in being corporate sponsor, please do not hesitate to contact Tory.