TPE 2016-2017 Committee

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2016-2017

TPE COMMITTEE


Chris MacDonald Co-Chair

Gender Pronouns: He, Him, His Current Position:

Executive Director of Housing and Residence Life, West Virginia University

Previous Institutions & Positions:

• Executive Director of Housing, Georgia Southern University • Associate Director/Assistant Director/Area Coordinator of Residence Life, Virginia Tech • Assistant Director of Student Life, Loyola University Maryland

Educational Institutions & Degrees:

• PhD, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, Virginia Tech • MA, Student Development, Appalachian State University • BA, History and English, Appalachian State University

Year(s) with TPE Committee: 4 years • • • •

2016 – 2017 – Co-Chair, TPE Committee 2015 – 2016 – Chair, Education and Resources 2014 – 2015 – Co-Chair, Employer Services 2013 – 2014 – Co-Chair, Employer Services

What led you to pursue a career in student affairs?

The phenomenal undergraduate experience in student affairs I had at Appalachian State, especially my RA and Orientation positions.

What are you most looking forward to about your involvement with TPE?

I can never get enough of engaging with candidates and employers as they excitedly and purposefully navigate the job search process.

www.ThePlacementExchange.com


Nekesa Straker Co-Chair

Gender Pronouns: She, Her, Hers Current Position:

Director of Residential Education, Boston College

Previous Institutions & Positions:

• Resident Hall Director, New York University • Assistant/Associate/Interim Director for Residential Education, DePaul University

Educational Institutions & Degrees:

• MA, Student Development Administration, Seattle University • BA, Political Science, Vassar College

Year(s) with TPE Committee: 3 years

• 2016 – 2017 – Co-Chair, TPE Committee • 2015 – 2016 – Co-Chair, Communications and Social Media • 2014 – 2015 – Co-Chair, Administration and Scheduling

What led you to pursue a career in student affairs?

My interest in residential life and student affairs stemmed from my participation in residential life and student government at Vassar College. For three of my four years I was active in creating community in the halls and while I was a political science major thinking of going to law school, I knew that my interest in working on a college campus was more prevalent.

What are you most looking forward to about your involvement with TPE?

This year I am looking forward to serving in the co-chair role and helping to bring TPE to the next level as well as thinking of ways we can continue to be developmental with candidates and employers.

www.ThePlacementExchange.com


Christina Olstad Christina Olstad Chair-Elect

Gender Pronouns: She, Her, Hers Current Position:

Assistant to the Vice President for Student Affairs, Towson University

Previous Institutions & Positions:

• Assistant Director of Residential Education, University of Vermont • Residence Director, Semester at Sea • Assistant Director of Residence Life & Housing/Area Coordinator for the First Year Experience, University of New England • Complex Director and Student Activities Advisor/Hall Director, Augsburg College

Educational Institutions & Degrees:

• Ed.D., Educational Leadership & Policy Studies, University of Vermont • MSW, Family Practice, Augsburg College • B.S., Social Work, Augsburg College

Year(s) with TPE Committee: 4 years • • • •

2016 – 2017 – Chair Elect 2015 – 2016 – Co-Chair for Ambassadors, Interns, and Interview Scheduling 2014 – 2015 – Co-Chair for Candidate Services 2013 – 2014 – Co-Chair for Candidate Services

What led you to pursue a career in student affairs?

My first position in the field was as a Hall Director with a collateral assignment in Student Activities. This position allowed me to pursue my MSW while gaining full-time work experience. I always enjoyed working with adolescents and young adults and found myself enjoying the variety of experiences and the applicability of my educational background around counseling, crisis management, conflict resolution, conduct meetings and engaging in conversations around inclusion and bias incident response. By the time I had finished pursuing my MSW, I had five years of full time work experience and found myself interested in pursuing a career in student affairs. I haven’t looked back and have enjoyed the journey and all of the opportunities along the way.

What are you most looking forward to about your involvement with TPE?

I love The Placement Exchange! What I most look forward to is working with the candidates and employers to have a seamless TPE experience. I also enjoy working with the Ambassador program and the TPE Interns I can never get enough of engaging with candidates and employers as they excitedly and purposefully navigate the job search process.

www.ThePlacementExchange.com


Christopher Barnes Candidate Development Gender Pronouns: He, Him, His Current Position:

College Student Services Coordinator, University of Wisconsin at Madison / Pre-College Enrichment Opportunities Program for Learning Excellence

Previous Institutions & Positions: • Residence Life , Texas State University

Educational Institutions & Degrees:

• M.S. in Higher Education, University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign • B.A. in Broadcasting, Western Illinois University

Year(s) with TPE Committee: 2 years

• 2016 – 2017 – Candidate Development • 2015 – 2016 – Co-Chair for Employer Services

What led you to pursue a career in student affairs?

In reflecting upon my childhood, I think about the significant role that college preparation programs served in my life. These experiences, combined with the guidance of mentors and a strong desire to give back, helped pave the way for my career in Student Affairs.

What are you most looking forward to about your involvement with TPE?

I’m really looking forward to helping candidates navigate their career search, and feel less anxious about interviews (before, during, and after TPE onsite). I also look forward to catching up with former colleagues and making new connections in Student Affairs.

www.ThePlacementExchange.com

www.ThePlacementExchange.com www.ThePlacementExchange.com


Christina Olstad Berenice Sánchez

Candidate Development Gender Pronouns: She, Her, Hers Current Position:

2nd year PhD student/Project Associate, Indiana University, Bloomington

Previous Institutions & Positions:

• Assistant Director, La Casa Cultural Latina (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Educational Institutions & Degrees:

• M.A. Politics, Economics & Business, Claremont Graduate University • B.S. Business Administration, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Year(s) with TPE Committee: 3 years

• 2016 – 2017 – Co-Chair, Candidate Development • 2015 – 2016 – Co-Chair, Local Arrangements and Volunteers • 2014 – 2015 – Co-Chair, Ambassadors and Outreach

What led you to pursue a career in student affairs?

I was very involved as an undergraduate. Between student organizations, working at the Latino cultural center, and committee work my actual school seemed minor to my overall experience. Very quickly into my Master’s program I finally realized that going into corporate America is not what I wanted and that the work that I had been doing as a student was what I was meant to do. After completing my second degree in business I took a leap of faith and moved to the Midwest from California to begin my career/journey within student affairs.

What are you most looking forward to about your involvement with TPE?

I am looking forward to being able to directly serve the TPE candidates in San Antonio. This being my 3rd year on the committee, I have gotten the opportunity to work with the TPE Interns & Ambassadors as well as the volunteers to help make this a great experience for everyone, but getting to work with the candidates directly will allow me to support those who were in my shoes just 4-5 years ago as I searched for a job as a TPE candidate in Phoenix.

www.ThePlacementExchange.com


Donald Walker

Candidate Development Gender Pronouns: He, Him, His Current Position:

Assistant Director, Residence Life, Towson University

Previous Institutions & Positions:

• Hall Director, University of Delaware • Residential Learning Coordinator, Virginia Tech

Educational Institutions & Degrees:

• MBA, Leadership and Organizational Learning, Towson University & University of Baltimore • M.A., Counseling in Higher Education, University of Delaware • B.S., Electronic Media & Film, Towson University

Year(s) with TPE Committee: This is my first year with the TPE committee! What led you to pursue a career in student affairs?

I have always had a passion for leadership development and education. I believe that both of these can open so many doors for people, especially helping to get students of color past the stereotypes that consistently hold them back. There is no better career choice for me to assist students of color, especially black men, find success in the world while developing their leadership skills than in student affairs. It was a perfect fit!

What are you most looking forward to about your involvement with TPE?

Job searching and finding the perfect fit in a job is one of my favorite things! I really enjoy coaching new and emerging professionals to be their best self in these situations and how to personally navigate a complicated system. I look forward to coaching and supporting all of the candidates find their perfect fit.

www.ThePlacementExchange.com

www.ThePlacementExchange.com


Jomita SmithOlstad Fleming Christina Local Resources & Talent Management Gender Pronouns: She, Her, Hers Current Position:

Assistant Director of Residence Life, Southern Methodist University

Previous Institutions & Positions: • • • •

Director of Residence Life, Mary Baldwin College Program Coordinator, Extended Orientation & Involvement, Texas A&M University Residence Life Coordinator, Towson University Graduate Hall Director, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University (Virginia Tech)

Educational Institutions & Degrees:

• MA, Education, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University • BS, Psychology and Sociology, Towson University

Year(s) with TPE Committee: This is my first year with the TPE committee! What led you to pursue a career in student affairs?

First, Student Affairs pursued me. I was a first-ish generation college student and my high school college and career counselor had been instrumental in assisting me in obtaining several scholarships and grants to pursue my undergraduate degree. Secretly, she held my dream job. However, the allure of a career as a physician with potential to earn an income that would change the economic future of my family for generations initially swallowed this dream. However, cellular biology and calculus and I didn’t quite agree. Although, as expected by virtue of my dream job, psychology and sociology spoke my language. I changed majors from Biology to Psychology late during my sophomore year. As a Psychology undergraduate student, it was essential that I pursued advanced education. As graduation approached, supervisors and mentors of my student leadership positions encouraged me to explore their alma maters for degrees in Educational Leadership, College Student Counseling and the like. So I applied to several institutions. Virginia Tech flew me out for Minority Preview Weekend, I met the late Don Creamer, co-founder of Council for the Advancement of Standards for Student Services/Development Programs (CAS), was accepted and that sealed the deal. Second, I walked through the doors that opened for me and have continued to do so. Each professional position better than the last for a variety of reasons and each professional development opportunity continuing to shape my passion and purpose for serving the future leaders of our nation, country, and world. Student Affairs may have initially pursued me but the relationship is now definitely reciprocal.

What are you most looking forward to about your involvement with TPE?

I am passionate about professional development and career coaching. Therefore, I am so excited to think creatively and strategically about how we can better serve and educate candidates and employers. I am super excited about meeting candidates and employers and helping them have success in making the most perfect professional matches!

www.ThePlacementExchange.com


Andrea (Andi) Lott Local Resources & Talent Management Gender Pronouns: She, Her, Hers Current Position:

Title IX and Residence Life Coordinator, South Florida State College

Previous Institutions & Positions:

• Hall Coordinator 13-15 (Grad Assistant), Florida Atlantic University

Educational Institutions & Degrees:

• Doctoral Candidate, Organizational Leadership, Southeastern University • M.Ed., Higher Education Leadership, Florida Atlantic University • BA, Criminal Justice, Saint Leo University

Year(s) with TPE Committee: 1st year on Committee, 3rd year of TPE Involvement • Super Volunteer in 2016 • TPE intern in 2014

What led you to pursue a career in student affairs?

I was very involved as an undergraduate student. I was a resident assistant director for three years, a student athlete for four and the student athlete president for two. During that time, I really enjoyed my experience working with student affairs and student activities. I gathered several mentors in the field and they drove me to be a better leader. The passion I gained towards student affairs led me to shut down my plans of law school and continue my education in higher education leadership. I have a passion for helping students succeed just as the student affairs professionals at my undergrad did for me.

What are you most looking forward to about your involvement with TPE?

I am excited to work with the TPE team to help make TPE a great experience for candidates and employers. Everyone has a fit, and TPE is the best tool to find those fits!

www.ThePlacementExchange.com

www.ThePlacementExchange.com


Randall Williams Christina Olstad Local Resources & Talent Management Gender Pronouns: He, Him, His Current Position:

Director of Student Conduct, Elon University

Previous Institutions & Positions:

• Sr. Associate Director of Student Conduct, Clemson University • Coordinator of Student Conduct/Area Coordinator, Winston Salem State University • Hall Director, University of Tennessee

Educational Institutions & Degrees:

• MPA, Appalachian State University • B.S., Criminal Justice, Appalachian State University

Year(s) with TPE Committee: 2 years

• 2016 – 2017 – Local Resources and Talent Management • 2015 – 2016 – Co-Chair, Ambassadors, Interns, and Interview Scheduling

What led you to pursue a career in student affairs?

I really enjoyed the student interaction that this field provides. The opportunities to mentor, develop, and support students during a critical time in their lives was a magnetic attraction. It’s something that I’ll never grow tired of and I look forward to all the time.

What are you most looking forward to about your involvement with TPE?

The opportunity to cultivate and shape the experience that will hopefully lead to an amazing and fruitful career for new professionals. Also, helping those who are already in the field continue their journey and leave a positive footprint on their paths as well.

www.ThePlacementExchange.com


Josh Hartman

Employer Development Gender Pronouns: He, Him, His

Current Position:

Associate Dean of Students, Whittier College

Previous Institutions & Positions: • • • •

Director of Residential Education, Bucknell University Residence Hall Director, New York University Community Director), Dartmouth College Operations & Special Projects Manager, Communication & Creative Services , The George Washington University • Assistant Program Coordinator, Spirit Programs and Student Involvement, The George Washington University

Educational Institutions & Degrees:

• Ed.S., Higher Education Administration, The George Washington University • M.A.Ed., Higher Education Administration, The George Washington University • B.A., Philosophy, The George Washington University

Year(s) with TPE Committee: First year on the committee What led you to pursue a career in student affairs?

I started my career in student affairs because I recognized how transformative my collegiate experience was for my personal growth, and I wanted to support students in their journeys.

What are you most looking forward to about your involvement with TPE?

I have been connected to TPE for a long time as a candidate and employer, as well as a candidate coach/mentor. I am looking forward to working with the Employer Development team to enhance our support for those posting new positions and embarking on searches within their institutions. I’m also excited to be part of the group that supports both the TPE onsite event and the amazing resources of TPE!

www.ThePlacementExchange.com

www.ThePlacementExchange.com


Brenda Ice Olstad Christina Employer Development Gender Pronouns: She, Her, Hers

Current Position:

Assistant Dean of Campus Life, University of California, Riverside

Previous Institutions & Positions: • • • •

Associate Dean of Residential Facilities & Administration, Director of Residential Life, Colgate University Assistant Director of Residence Life, Towson University Director of Residence Life, Wilkes University Area Director of Housing & Residence Life, Director of Telecommunications, Salisbury University

Educational Institutions & Degrees:

• M.Ed., Post-Secondary Education, Salisbury University • BS, Psychology, Washington College

Year(s) with TPE Committee: 1st year; though have been active volunteer for past 3 years What led you to pursue a career in student affairs?

My role as Director of Telecommunications afforded me the opportunity to lead orientation sessions for parents and students each summer. I loved the energy and interactions with campus partners as we welcomed our new incoming class each year. During one of my parent sessions, I noticed the VP of Student Affairs sitting in the back. She approached me afterwards and said, You’re really good at your job. But, you’d be better working for me with a smile. After receiving my M.Ed., I began a career in student affairs in Housing/Residence Life and haven’t looked back since.

What are you most looking forward to about your involvement with TPE?

I am most looking forward to the chance to advance the student affairs profession by providing resources and support to those seeking employment and quality candidates. This is my pay it forward.

www.ThePlacementExchange.com


Stephanie Sue Rowell Employer Development Gender Pronouns: She, Her, Hers

Current Position:

Associate Director for Campus Programs, Western Carolina University

Previous Institutions & Positions: • • • • • •

Assistant Director for Academic Initiatives, Western Carolina University Assistant Director for Residence Life, Western Carolina University Resident Director and Social Programming Chair, Semester at Sea Assistant Director for Staff Selection and Education, Appalachian State University Area Coordinator, Appalachian State University Residence Coordinator; University of North Carolina Wilmington

Educational Institutions & Degrees:

• M.S.Ed., Higher Education and Student Affairs, Indiana University-Bloomington • B.A., Speech-Communications, Gustavus Adolphus College

Year(s) with TPE Committee: 2 years

• 2016 – 2017 – Employer Development • 2015 – 2016 – Co-Chair, Employer Resources

What led you to pursue a career in student affairs?

During undergrad I got involved with the Campus Activities Board my freshman year and then continued my involvement every year after. I found a mentor in our advisor to the board and she encouraged me to pursue it as a field.

What are you most looking forward to about your involvement with TPE?

Connecting with professionals from across the country and globe to help assist employers in finding qualified candidates and helping candidates find great job opportunities for themselves!

www.ThePlacementExchange.com

www.ThePlacementExchange.com