Meet the Team

Leadership

Dr. Katharine S. Brooks

Evans Family Executive Director 

Biography

Dr. Katharine S. Brooks became the new Evans Family Executive Director of the Career Center at Vanderbilt University in 2016.  Prior to that, she directed career centers at Wake Forest University, The University of Texas in Austin, and Dickinson College.

She is the author of You Majored in What ? Mapping Your Path from Chaos to Career and writes a blog, “Career Transitions” for Psychology Today. She has twice been designated a “Top Ten Most Visionary Leader in Career Services” by CSO Research and received the prestigious Kauffman Award from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).  Brooks has a doctorate in educational psychology and a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling from West Virginia University. Her bachelor’s degree is in sociology from Gettysburg College.

Jennie Marchal

Associate Director

Biography

Jennie Marchal serves as an Associate Director of the Career Center. She provides vision, leadership, and oversight for relationship development with recruiting organizations across the country. Jennie was awarded a 2014 NACE Chevron Honorable Mention for her SLAM program. Prior to joining Vanderbilt University, Jennie spent 12 years at Washington University in St. Louis where she served on Steering Committees for the 2016 Presidential Debate, 2008 Vice Presidential Debate and 2013 Clinton Global Initiative.

Originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma, Jennie earned her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma. Jennie and her husband have three children. In her free time, Jennie enjoys traveling, cheering for her favorite sports teams and exploring Nashville with her family.

Employer Relations

Penny Baga

Employer Relations Specialist

Biography

Penny joined the Center in 2015. Prior to Vanderbilt, Penny taught elementary and middle school and directed a learning center.

Penny and her husband Chris have three children. She enjoys going to the gym, drinking coffee, and volunteering at an in-house rehabilitation center for women.

Camilla Stringfellow

Employer Relations Specialist

Biography

Camilla serves as an Employer Relations Specialist where she builds partnerships with employers and alumni in a variety of industries to help bring new jobs and internship opportunities to Vanderbilt students. Prior to joining Vanderbilt University, Camilla worked as a recruiter and business development manager at a local IT staffing firm.

Camilla is originally from Lexington, TN but moved to Nashville in 2008 to attend Belmont University. Camilla enjoys meeting new people, exploring new places with her husband Ryan, and taking long walks with her boxer, Alberta.   

 

Senior Career Coaches

 

Grace Foy

Senior Career Coach for Humanities, Liberal Arts, Fine Arts

Biography

Grace joined the Career Center in 2012. As a Career Advisor, she helps students explore possibilities and then map out how to get there. Grace believes that inserting creativity into the internship or job search can make the process more enjoyable. She also uses adversity to celebrate and foster growth.

Prior to her current role, she served in employer relations, building partnerships and assisting employers in developing on-campus events such as interviews, workshops, and career fairs. Grace has experience educating students in the following areas of interest: creative arts, media, communications, sports, and consulting.

She earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Middle Tennessee State University and a Master of Education degree from Belmont University

Cathy Weisbrodt

Senior Career Coach for Engineering & Healthcare

Biography

Cathy works with the following majors: biomedical engineering. Additionally, she works with students interested in non-clinical health care.

Cathy joined the Center in 2012. Previously, she spent five years in the area of health-related fundraising including three years with Development and Alumni Relations at Vanderbilt. Calling Nashville home for the past 15 years, Cathy is originally from Northville, MI and enjoys traveling, spending time with friends, and experiencing various genres of live music.

Career Coaches

Taylor Carnes

Career Coach for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)

Biography

Taylor joined the Career Center in August 2017. She previously worked as a groundwater hydrologist and graduate recruiter for a private engineering consulting firm. Taylor earned both her Bachelor of Science in Geological Engineering and Master of Hydrology degrees from The University of Mississippi.

Taylor is originally from Memphis, TN, and enjoys distance running, ballet, and doing anything outdoors in her free time.

Jeff Davis

Career Coach for Economics majors, Managerial Studies/Business minors

Biography

As a career coach, Jeff explores patterns and details of students’ stories to see what is connected to their interests, passions, life circumstances, and plot points in their journeys. He believes the internship/job search process is a tough but heroically rewarding existential adventure.

Before joining the Center in 2017, he advised business and engineering students at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar and Columbia University, and, most recently, served high-achieving secondary school students in China. Jeff earned his B.A. in English Literature and his M.Ed. in Higher Education from the University of Florida.

Ethan Fesperman

Career Coach for Human and Organizational Development (HOD)

Biography

Ethan joined the Center in 2014. Previously, he spent 15 years in a variety of educational organizations, connecting students to opportunities. He completed his undergraduate studies in education at Warren Wilson College and earned a master’s degree in education from The George Washington University.

A native of Nashville who is returning after stints in Washington, DC, and Asheville, NC, Ethan enjoys spending time with friends and family, reading, and adult gymnastics.

Amanda Moore

Career Coach for First & Second Year and Undeclared Students

Biography

New to the Career Center as of the summer of 2017, Amanda previously served as a Student Services Coordinator at The University of Alabama and worked as a Graduate Student Staff Assistant in The University of Michigan’s School of Social Work Career Services Office. A native Alabamian Amanda earned her Bachelors in Social Work from Jacksonville State University and went on to get her Master of Social Work degree from The University of Michigan.

Amanda enjoys spending time outside with her dog, Indiana, classic movies, reading anything by Jane Austen, going to concerts, singing loudly in her car to songs from musicals, and all things Disney.

Dorrie Presson

Career Coach for students pursuing national scholarships & fellowships

Biography

Dorrie joined the Career Center in 2012.  She has over a decade of experience in career coaching and development in a private practice as well as through her work as a Senior Career Consultant with global talent management firms Drake Beam Morin and Career Partners International.  Dorrie earned a master’s in Higher Education from Florida State University and holds credentials as an Associate Certified Coach from the International Coach Federation and as a Certified Career Management Coach from The Academies. 

Playing tennis, traveling to bed and breakfast inns, visiting local coffee shops, and spending time with family are some of her favorite things.  

Alex Rizzutto

Career Coach for First & Second Year and Undeclared Students

Biography

Alex joined the Center in 2017. After studying English as an undergraduate, he went on to earn a Master of Arts degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education from Slippery Rock University where he served as Graduate Assistant for Leadership Development. He gained experience in Career Services at Carnegie Mellon University before moving to Nashville from Pittsburgh.

Alex enjoys going to concerts, hiking, playing music with friends, and relaxing with a good book or movie.

Bill Smith

Career Coach for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)

Biography

Bill joined the Center in 2016. After studying Physics as an undergraduate, he worked for a college access non-profit which helps students in rural Pennsylvania to achieve their educational and career goals. He then went on to earn a Master’s in Higher Education Administration at Peabody College, in which he focused on research and policy related to the success of students in STEM fields at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Bill is a native of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and in his spare time, he likes to keep his math and coding skills sharp, swims with Vanderbilt’s club team, reads lots of sci-fi, and participates in many of Nashville’s science related communities.

Steve Transou

Career Coach for Education & Social Sciences

Biography

Steve joined the Career Center in August 2017. He has a broad range of higher education experience within the following areas: recruitment and admissions, financial aid, student organization advisement, and academic advising. Steve earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Memphis and a Master of Education from Middle Tennessee State University.

A native of Jackson, TN, Steve enjoys hanging with his family and friends, music, and going on thrilling adventures.   

Operations & Marketing

Tisha L. Christie

Administrative Assistant II

Biography

Tisha joined the Career Center in 2016.  Her background includes public relations in the non-profit sector, and she has also taught English at the high school level.  She holds a Bachelor’s degree in public relations and a Masters of Education.

Tisha is originally from Florida and has lived in Tennessee for the past 12 years.  She enjoys reading, college sports, and spending time with friends and family.

Gerilynn Pearce

Program Coordinator

Biography

Gerilynn joined the Center in 2017 from the Physics and Astronomy Department. Prior to Vanderbilt, Gerilynn worked at Universal Music Publishing and ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers). She holds a bachelor’s degree in music industry management.

Gerilynn enjoys yoga, exploring new cities, strong coffee and playing with her dog, Boston.

Jessica Wright

Marketing & Communications Specialist

Biography

Jessica joined the Career Center in 2016. Her background includes marketing, graphic design, and PR in the non-profit, physical security, real estate, and museum industries. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication from Middle Tennessee State University.

Jessica is a Nashville native and enjoys live music, hiking, restoring antiques and painting in her free time.

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