OPCD staff share thought leadership with industry peers

Several members of the Office of Personal and Career Development presented at industry conferences, recently, on such topics as marketing strategies to engage students and how to build a college campus around mentoring. In addition to sharing successful ideas that Wake Forest has implemented, staff members received recognition for their work and assumed leadership positions within organizations.


The International Mentoring Conference occurred on April 22-24. The theme of the conference centered on practical strategies around mentoring.

  • Lauren Beam, assistant director of mentoring and alumni personal and professional development, presented “Building Your Toolkit: Engaging Your (Campus) Community around Mentoring.” The presentation focused on ways in which the Wake Forest mentoring department uses National Mentoring Month to engage the campus community with creative marketing materials.
  • Allison McWilliams, director of mentoring and alumni personal and professional development, served as this year’s conference chair.

On April 29-May 1, several Wake Forest career professionals presented at the annual North Carolina Association of Colleges and Employers (NCACE) Conference.

  • Matt Williams, associate director of marketing and communications; DeeDe Pinckney, assistant director of marketing and communications; and Zach Garbiso, Wake Forest Fellow, presented “Marketing Made Easy: Tactics to Attract Students to Career Programs.”
  • Pinckney and Williams presented “Growing Your First Destination Knowledge Rate.”
  • Patrick Sullivan, associate director, career education and coaching, presented “Collaboration: Career Development and Student-Athlete Development.”
  • Caleigh McElwee, associate director with the School of Business undergraduate market readiness and employment team, served on the conference’s planning board and co-led a new member session titled “Put Me in Coach: Getting Involved Post Conference.”
  • Dana Hutchens, assistant director on the employer experience team, co-presented with Jessica Hensen, senior recruiter for Red Ventures, on “One Team. One Mission. Working Together To Refine Campus Visibility and ROI.”

The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) hosted a conference on June 2-5 in Anaheim, CA.

  • Andy Chan, vice president for personal and career development, participated in the SMARTTALK discussion, contributing “Why Career Services Must Die.” He also co-presented with Farouk Dey, Stanford University, and Meredith Daw, University of Chicago, on “Leveraging Technology to Transform the College-to-Career Experience.”

Awards and Recognitions

Lori Sykes, assistant director on the School of Business market readiness & employment team, was the NCACE conference co-chair and was voted by the association to serve a two-year position as secretary. She was the 2014 Presidential Award Winner and also served on the awards committee.

Jessica Long, assistant director on the OPCD career education team, was selected to serve in a new NCACE committee position as philanthropy chair to help develop a philanthropic program for the association.

Hutchens, who served this year as the NCACE president-elect and co-chair of the conference printing & publicity team, assumed the state presidency position at the closing session. She was the association’s 2013 Furney K. James Service Award winner and has held association roles as both newsletter editor and treasurer. She will represent the state at the annual meeting of the Southern Association of Colleges and Employers in December.

After the NCACE conference, Williams and Pinckney received the “Best in Show” award for their “Growing Your First Destination Knowledge Rate” presentation. They were also asked to host a webinar for members unable to attend the conference. Pinckney will be presenting the award-winning presentation during the Eastern Association of Colleges and Employers Conference in Pittsburgh on June 17-19.