Meet the Coaches

Senior Career Coaches

Grace Foy

Senior Career Coach for Humanities, Liberal Arts, Fine Arts

Who I work with: Communication, English Language and Literature, Foreign Languages, History, Interdisciplinary Studies, Philosophy and Religious Studies, Visual and Performing Arts

Why I love these students: It gives me life to hear our students talking about how they use their creative experiences to set themselves apart in interviews. The Humanities, Liberal Arts, and Fine Arts are so alive here at Vanderbilt; I feel honored to be a small part of these disciplines!

A fun fact: I grew up on a farm and love all animals, but I ADORE bunnies. My Husband & I have two named Birdie & Gill. They enjoy meeting new friends, watching Zootopia, and eating fruit.   

Cathy Weisbrodt

Senior Career Coach for Engineering & Healthcare

Who I work with: Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics (STEM)

Why I love these students: The uniqueness and dynamic individuality represented by each student. I appreciate the opportunity to learn from and collaborate with students of a variety of backgrounds and experiences.

A fun fact: I love live music and enjoy spending my free time at music festivals across the country!

Career Advisors

Taylor Carnes

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

Who I work with: STEM Students

Why I love these students: I love working with scientists and engineers because of my background in engineering, and my love for the creativity that accompanies technical innovation. Assisting in the development of the world’s future pioneers is such a high honor. It fills me with joy and pride to help STEM students use their technical skills to create meaningful lives for themselves and those around them.

A fun fact: I am horrified of heights, but I plan to skydive at least twice a year.

Jeff Davis

Career Coach for Economics & Business

Who I work with: Economics majors, Managerial Studies/Business minors

Why I love these students: They are ambitious, spirited, competitive, and extremely bright, and I learn something new every day.

A fun fact: I loathe networking. I really loathe networking events. But I absolutely love talking about the process and coaching students on why to do it and how to succeed (particularly introverts). Also, as a kid, I wanted to be a ninja when I grew up; learning I lacked the value-add to that very niche market was a rough realization.

Ethan Fesperman

Career Coach for Human and Organizational Development (HOD)

Who I work with: Human and Organizational Development

Why I love these students: I enjoy working with Vandy students because they are intellectually curious and natural problem solvers. I appreciate their emphasis on having a strong liberal arts foundation in concert with skills development and application.

A fun fact: I enjoy spending time with friends and family, reading, and adult gymnastics.

Amanda Moore

Career Coach for First & Second Year and Undeclared Students

Who I work with: Undeclared students in their first and second year.

Why I love these students: What I enjoy most about college students is their energy. I love fostering and facilitating growth and confidence in the students with whom I have the privilege to work. My role gives me opportunities to empower students, to explore possibilities and find a major that builds on individual strengths and interests. One of the most rewarding parts for me is helping students translate their personal passions and strengths into professional goals.

A fun fact: I named my dog after Indiana Jones and I’ve been to Disney World more times than I can count.

Dorrie Presson

Career Coach for students pursuing national scholarships and fellowships

Who I work with: Students pursuing national scholarships and fellowships

Why I love these students: I thoroughly enjoy coaching bright, ambitious, and highly motivated students and helping them realize their big dreams and goals. Students I meet with most often are pursuing intensively competitive opportunities, and I affirm them for their dedication and discipline in the process. I find it meaningful to walk alongside students throughout their journey and celebrate their success as they tell me “it was worth it!”

A fun fact: I’ve always loved biking!  My husband and I recently got a tandem bike and we’ve had a lot of fun riding together. If there’s ever a  Tour de France Tandem Race, we’re all in!

Alex Rizzutto

Career Coach for First & Second Year and Undeclared Students

Who I work with: Undeclared students in their first and second year.

Why I love these students: I love the excitement that comes with working with these students. I get to speak to students from a variety of backgrounds and interest areas about their dreams, their hopes for the future, and what makes them happy; and then we sit down together to find out how we can make these dreams come true.

A fun fact: I read the first four Harry Potter books eight times each by the time I had reached fifth grade.

Bill Smith

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

Who I work with: I work with most of the Engineering Disciplines (Chemical, Civil, Computer, Electrical, Mechanical), as well as Engineering Science, Computer Science, Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics.

Why I love these students: I majored in a STEM degree myself (Physics) and I know firsthand the unique fun and challenges that are a part of these disciplines. In my first job after college, I advised high school students looking to go to college. I noticed a pattern where my favorite students to work with, by far, were those who were interested in going into a STEM field. In my experience, students in these fields have an incredible amount of creativity and drive, and approach problems with an extraordinary amount of ingenuity. I think these qualities are particularly exemplified by the Vanderbilt students with whom I work. I love seeing the hard work that my students put into their college experience pay off later on. Additionally, I love the challenge of the constant new learning that is a part of being in the STEM world.

A fun fact: In my early 20’s, I went on four national tours with a now defunct punk band.

Steve Transou

Career Coach for Education and Social Sciences

Who I work with: Social Science and Education

Why I love these students: I am able to connect with these particular students because I received a social science degree from undergrad and an education degree from graduate school. My philosophy of student development is focused on “meeting the students where they are” and empowering them to advocate for themselves.  Being able to witness students work hard and achieve their life goal provide me with great joy.

A fun fact:  I absolutely hate traveling, however, I am always on the go.

Undergraduate Managers

Sophia Anderson

Vision Place Manager

Major: Human and Organizational Development

Who I work with: Students who are seeking clarity about their futures and help in managing their personal brand.

Why I love being a Vanderbilt Student: Vanderbilt is an environment that inspires and empowers me to explore. Learning German, performing in Asian New Year Festival, and dancing in Diwali (as close as I’ll ever get to my dream of becoming a Bhangradore) have all been opportunities I would not have been able to seize elsewhere. Perspective is hugely important to me and I think Vanderbilt is making an effort to emphasize the value of all experiences and backgrounds in a way I am excited to be a part of.

A fun fact: I am extremely passionate about ethical fashion and mindful media, so if you’re ever interested in discussing documentaries like The True Cost or Miss Representation, I am more than willing!

Briana Francois

Media Manager

Majors: Psychology & Cinema and Media Arts

Who I work with: Vanderbilt Student Media; Wandering Off Podcast; Students and alumni who want to share their unique journies and career experiences.

Why I love being a Vanderbilt student: I love being at Vanderbilt because I have the ability to learn from a lot of unique people. Whether it’s inside or outside the classroom, I have interacted with passionate people across the academic spectrum.

A fun fact: I studied abroad in Prague and learned some Czech while I was there. Dobry Den! 

Connie Ge

Design Manager

Majors: Neuroscience & Studio Art

Who I work with: Center staff and campus partners.

Why I love being a Vanderbilt student: There are so many opportunities and resources here at Vanderbilt – from the career center to student orgs to off-campus partners, there is always at least a preexisting framework in place for anything you could be interested in. Also, I think Vandy’s campus is beautiful!

A fun fact: I have been to 10 different countries in the past two years!

Jacqueline Grogan

Program Manager

Majors: Political Science & Cinema and Media Arts

Who I work with: Student Organizations

Why I love being a Vanderbilt student: I’m constantly immersed in a community of passionate, well-rounded, intellectually curious peers and professors. 

A fun fact: This year, while studying film in France, I attended the Cannes Film Festival, where both Jake Gyllenhaal and I went to the premiere of a movie, starring Jake Gyllenhaal. It was, as the kids say, very meta.