ADMINISTRATION AND PLANNING
As the Dean of the Center for Career Education, Kavita holds overall responsibility for the work of CCE! She works closely with the entire staff at the Center to provide career programs and services that are tailored to the needs of Columbia students, alumni, and employers interested in hiring them. Born in London, England, Kavita moved to New York in 2002 for a couple of years, and years later, is still here. Educated at Southampton University and the London School of Economics and Political Science, Kavita began her career working for Voluntary Service Overseas, an international development agency. She moved to the US after working for the University of London Careers Service for seven years advising students at Goldsmith’s College, University College London, and King’s College London. She also established and ran the Graduate Careers Shop, a service designed to help graduates develop or change their career paths.
Kavita lives in Brooklyn and, when not at Columbia, can be found keeping up with her two children enjoying the cafes, restaurants, and movie theatres of her Carroll Gardens neighborhood. She is also only too happy to talk football (soccer) and her recent trip to the World Cup Finals in South Africa with just about anyone who will listen.
As Executive Director, Al leads a team of seven who coordinate the Center’s financial management, budgetary planning and reporting, human resources, data management and information technology; marketing, and facilities and operations. Al has worked at Columbia since 1997; prior to joining CCE in 2007, he served as Senior Associate Director in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.
Al holds an M.A. from the University of Michigan in Higher Education Administration with a focus on student development and academic affairs, and a B.A. in Political Science and History from Rutgers College.
As the Senior Associate Director of Administration and Planning, Beth contributes to the success of CCE’s programming, outreach, and counseling initiatives through management of the Center’s administrative, financial, operational, and human resources. In her role Beth leads the Center’s administration of the University’s Work Exemption Program coordinating the application process and committee review. Her work with Columbia students and alumni also includes providing walk-in counseling and serving on the advisory board for the Columbia Student Enterprise program, a role for which she was recognized in 2010 by receiving an Office of Multi-Cultural Affairs Mentor Appreciation Award.
Beth joined the CCE team in 2007 after working for seven years in the Undergraduate Admissions Office at NYU. She continues her enrollment management work by serving as an adjunct committee member for the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at Columbia. Beth holds an M.A. in Humanities and Social Thought from NYU and is a graduate of the Columbia Bartending Agency’s School of Mixology.
Katie Taflan is the Associate Director of Marketing at CCE where she oversees marketing and communications for the seven schools served by CCE. Prior to coming to Columbia, she worked at Duke University recruiting patients for clinical trials in nicotine and smoking cessation research. In her spare time, she continues to design logotypes and collateral materials for freelance clients. She is also an avid independent movie goer (recommends “Tell No One” if you haven’t seen it) and has an uncanny ability to remember pop trivia. Katie graduated from Wake Forest University with a B.A. in Communication and a minor in Psychology. She holds an Advanced Certificate in Art Direction from the Portfolio Center in Atlanta.
David joined CCE in the summer of 2010 as the Assistant Director of Research and Technology. As the Associate Director of Research and Technology, he leverages IT processes, applications, and data to support and enhance the mission of CCE. Prior to this role at CCE, David spent over nine years managing web marketing and IT at New York University. He also has a Master's Degree in Urban Planning & Policy, and can hold forth for quite some time on the subject.
As the Assistant Director of Research and Technology, Frankie is actively engaged in developing and supporting CCE’s IT initiatives with a strong focus on user management, systems administration, and web and multimedia design. Prior to working at CCE, he worked at the Columbia University Medical Center where he coordinated various research programs including molecular, clinical, and cancer genetics. In addition to photography, painting, and woodworking where he creates custom furniture from reclaimed wood, he can be seen playing soccer at several fields across Manhattan. He also holds a B.A in Forensic Psychology and enjoys watching any show on the Investigation Discovery (I.D) channel.
Elizabeth is on the administration and planning team at CCE, where she has worked since 2007. She works with finance, human resources, and operations. She also manages the Alumni & Parent Internship Fund program, which provides grants to Columbia College students to pursue unpaid summer internships. Elizabeth loves living in New York City and biking, walking, and exploring Central Park.
Bernadette, along with her colleagues on the Administration and Planning Team, shares responsibility for the financial and operational management of the Columbia Student Enterprises for the Center for Career Education. She provides overall support and maintenance of the student enterprises and their work environment, which includes the processing and distribution of the payroll for those students. Bernadette particularly enjoys student discussions regarding the issues and new projects that arise within the businesses.
UNDERGRADUATE CAREER DEVELOPMENT
Niamh is Director of Undergraduate Career Development at the Center for Career Education. Niamh thoroughly enjoys her work, her colleagues, and the students at Columbia, and directs her energy to enhancing the framework of support and access to opportunities for students of Columbia. Before coming to CCE, Niamh worked with Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, where she served as Assistant Director of the Office of Career Services. Prior to that, she was the Program Coordinator of NYU’s National Center on Philanthropy and the Law, which exists to explore a broad range of legal issues affecting the nation's nonprofit sector. Niamh holds a B.A. in Economics from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, and an M.Sc. in Management from NYU. When Niamh is not working, she likes to dance and do crossword puzzles.
Andrea brings her diverse background in counseling within higher education to her current role as Associate Director of Undergraduate Career Development at the Center for Career Education at Columbia University. After beginning her career in the counseling centers at both Kingsborough Community College and Saint Michael Academy, Andrea transitioned to the world of career services gaining experience at both Saint Francis College and the Fashion Institute of Technology. Prior to joining CCE, Andrea was with the Office of Career Services at Fordham University where she served as the Associate Director for six years and counseled both undergraduate students and alumni.
Andrea completed her B.A. in Psychology at George Washington University and her M.S. in Education with a specialization in counseling from Fordham University where she also received a professional diploma and New York City and State certification in K-12 guidance counseling. Andrea is a member of a number of professional organizations including the Career Development Specialist Network (CDSN) and Metropolitan New York College Career Planning Officer’s Association (MNYCCPOA.) She is also certified in the Myers Briggs Type Indicator assessment tool. Her goal in counseling is to empower her clients through leveraging their strengths and unique characteristics. Andrea is passionate about food, fashion, boogie boarding with her eleven nieces and nephews, and interior design.
Rebecca has a passion for helping people find their professional fit. In her current role, she provides counseling and creates innovative programs to foster the career success of undergraduate students. Rebecca enjoys building relationships with students that provide support for growth and independence in making career decisions, creating personalized internship/job search strategies, and interviewing.
After obtaining a B.A. in Art History and Magazine Journalism from Syracuse University and working in PR/Communications at The Museum of the City of New York and SIRIUS Satellite Radio (now SIRIUS XM), Rebecca completed an M.A. in Mental Health and Wellness at New York University. From there, she worked at Pace University, career counseling undergraduates, graduate students, and alumni, and instructed on career-related topics at schools including NYU. Rebecca is a member of professional organizations, including the National Career Development Association, and a volunteer with one of her favorite non-profits, City Harvest.
Gerald is a passionate career counselor with a strong interest in working with students to develop strategic career plans. His goal is to help students to identify their interests and values and gain essential skills in managing their careers throughout their lifetimes. Prior to joining CCE, Gerald worked with undergraduate engineering and design students at Wentworth Institute of Technology as a cooperative education advisor and with graduate students at Carnegie Mellon University's Heinz College School of Public Policy and Management as a career counselor. Gerald received his master's degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor's degree in Human Development at SUNY Binghamton. He is an active member of the Eastern Association of Colleges and Employers (EACE). He is also certified in the Myers Briggs Type Indicator assessment tool.
Gerald is a Hong Kong native and worked at a government agency before transitioning to the US. He speaks fluent Cantonese and can write Chinese. He also grew up in a restaurant environment where he developed his passion for food and cooking.
Alicia joined the undergraduate counseling team in March of 2012, and is committed to helping students prepare for and develop their career plans through one-on-one counseling and group programming. She is currently earning her Masters in Higher and Postsecondary Education from Teachers College at Columbia University. She previously was a member of the Center’s employer relations team, working to connect students and employers through the on-campus recruiting program, LionSHARE job database and large-scale events.
Alicia began her career in public relations at a mid-sized New York PR firm. It was during this time that she led her company’s internship program, sparking her desire to work with students to help them pursue their career goals. A graduate from Marist College with a Bachelors degree in communications, she likes to spend time crafting, cooking and enjoying the city.
GRADUATE STUDENT CAREER DEVELOPMENT
Richard joined the Center for Career Education in 2004 after working for several years with SIPA’s Office of Career Services. Prior to joining Columbia, Richard worked for over twenty years on Wall Street; initially in international banking with Chemical Bank in New York, Hong Kong, and Mumbai and, subsequently, with The First Boston Corporation (now Credit Suisse) in Debt Capital Markets. At First Boston he worked globally with corporate and sovereign clients and was involved in new product development and transaction execution. Between Wall Street and Columbia, Richard studied at the London School of Economics and taught Masters students, also at LSE. Currently, he provides career advising and programming services for Ph.D. and Masters students from five schools (GSAS, SEAS, SOA, GSAPP, and SCE), and assists employers looking to connect with graduate students at Columbia.
Richard received his Ph.D. in International Relations from the London School of Economics, his master’s degree from Columbia’s SIPA, and his bachelor’s degree from Swarthmore College. In addition to finance and higher education, Richard has also worked as a golf caddy, lifeguard, theatre director, consultant, freelance writer, and bartender. But, in his free time, he can usually be found fly-fishing - or deep in a bookstore.
Don joined the Center for Career Education team in January, 2011 as the Assistant Director of Alumni Career Development. As a lifelong consultant, he brings a wide variety of personal job experience in almost every sector of the economy and this naturally led him into Career Counseling. As a Career Counselor, Don has worked previously in the academic sector in the Career Centers of Brooklyn College and the College of Staten Island; in the not for profit world in the Career Services Department of the Metropolitan Council; and in the private sector as a Career Consultant and Education Advisor for JPMorgan Chase.
Don holds a B.A. in Economics from Brooklyn College and an M.A. in Sociology from York University in Toronto. He also has a Certificate in Adult Career Planning and Development from NYU. Don grew up and still lives in Brooklyn, so he has plenty of time on the long Subway commute to read at least a book a week and catch up on all his favorite teams in the sports section - the Mets, Giants, Rangers, Knicks and West Ham United.
EXPERIENTIAL EDUCATION AND STUDENT ENTERPRISES
Heather joined the Center for Career Education in 2007, making her own career change from the corporate sector. Her background includes spending the previous six years at a bulge-bracket investment bank, specializing in Campus Recruiting, Training and Development, and Talent Management specifically for junior populations at the firm (interns, analysts and associates). Realizing her passion for working with students, she made the decision to pursue her Master of Arts in Higher Education and Student Development at Teachers College, Columbia University. Since she has made the transition to CCE, she spends her time working closely with students, employers, and alumni building dynamic international and domestic experiential opportunities for the Columbia community.
In her free time, Heather dreams about scuba diving the globe after getting certified in 2007 and pretending to be an expert foodie, eating her way around the newest and most diverse restaurants in NYC and specifically Brooklyn, her new home. Her allegiances will always be to Queens, the borough where she grew up and, most specifically to the New York Mets, her home team and her first employer (working their events and games when she was 15!)
Jennie joined the Center for Career Education in the summer of 2011 and is very happy to be a part of the Columbia community. In her current role, she works with developing and managing experiential learning programs for students and also serves as an undergraduate career counselor. Prior to Columbia, Jennie worked at an investment banking firm in the Campus Recruiting and Training area and then had her first experience in higher education at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. as Manager of Recruiting Programs. At Georgetown, Jennie worked to build meaningful connections between the campus, students, alumni and employers. She is delighted to have made her way into a field where she is able to help students explore the opportunities available to them and develop an understanding of how to build a fulfilling career. In her spare time, you will find Jennie with her nose buried in her Kindle, running in Central Park, and traveling as much as she can possibly afford with family and friends.
In the summer of 2011, Jill joined the Center for Career Education at Columbia University. Her role involves managing the CEO Shanghai, CEO Beijing, STEP and CAE programs. She has a sincere passion for internship experiences since there are benefits for both students and employers.
Jill completed a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication from Miami University and a Masters of Education in Higher Education and Student Affairs at the University of South Carolina. An advocate for international internships, Jill completed an internship at Ming Chuan University in Taoyuan, Taiwan where she worked directly with incoming and outgoing study abroad students in the International Education and Exchange Division. In 2009, she interned at the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad, India, where she supported local students who participated in Duke University’s Talented Identification Program. Prior to joining CCE, she spent time traveling to Asia to meet with employers and advising students on internship opportunities who were part of the Georgia Institute of Technology Work Abroad Program. She is actively involved in NAFSA (Association for International Educators) and looks forward to continuing to expand her understanding of internship advisement and development.
Since joining CCE in 2010, Emily has enjoyed working closely with the Columbia student community to provide career counseling support, coordinate educational programs, and collaborate with student groups. In addition to advising students on career opportunities and interests, Emily manages several CCE internship programs, including CEO London, the Columbia Externship Experience (CEE), and the Virtual Internship Program (VIP), serves on the Student Enterprises Advisory Board, and is a member of the Work Exemption Program (WEP) committee. Prior to joining the Experiential Education & Student Enterprises team, Emily worked on the Administration & Planning team where her responsibilities ranged from supporting and strategizing center operations to coordinating the Graduate Assistant program.
EMPLOYER AND ALUMNI RELATIONS
Courtney joined the Employer and Alumni Relations team in the fall of 2009. Along with her colleagues, Courtney’s primary responsibilities are focused on building and maintaining relationships with employers and alumni interested in recruiting Columbia students and alumni. Courtney provides guidance for the On-Campus Recruiting program and new employer outreach to ensure effective, meaningful connections can be made between students, alumni, and potential employers.
Courtney’s previous experience includes management of the Global Markets campus recruiting program at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Director of Student Activities and Orientation at Fordham University.
Patrick, along with the Employer & Alumni Relations team, works to develop and maintain relationships with employer partners. He seeks to bring new employers to campus, primarily focusing on those firms and industries in which students have expressed a special interest. With the many services available to employers through CCE, Patrick works with these new partners to create a tailored approach to recruiting at Columbia.
Patrick earned his bachelor’s degree in Operations Research and Financial Engineering in 2002. Following two years in finance as an analyst at BlackRock, he joined the Employer and Alumni Relations team. During his time working at CCE he has completed a master’s degree in Public Administration at the School of International and Public Affairs. Additionally, Patrick has experience working with start-up non-profits through his role as a board member with the Flip Flop Foundation.
Emily joined the Employer Relations team at Columbia University Center for Career Education in October 2009 and is now the Interim Associate Director. Emily partners with employers across all industry groups to assist them in recruiting Columbia students. Along with the EAR team, Emily manages the on-campus recruiting program and several recruiting events. Prior to Columbia, Emily worked in campus recruiting in the financial services industry for several years. Emily graduated from Brandeis University with a B.A. in English and Spanish Literature and is currently pursuing a master’s degree at Teachers College, Columbia University in Organizational Psychology.
Vernon Gibbs joined the Center for Career Education in April 2010, but he is no stranger to Columbia University. As an alumnus of the College, Class of 2000, he has always maintained ties to the school through classmates and his fraternity, Sigma Phi Epsilon. He is excited to be back at his alma mater helping both students and alums in their careers. As the Outreach Specialist, Vernon focuses on a variety of industries including Pharmaceuticals, Healthcare, and Government, finding companies in these fields and helping them use CCE as a tool for their various recruiting needs.
Prior to working at Columbia, Vernon spent nearly 10 years in both marketing and sales. After two years as an Account Executive for Paychex Payroll Services and three years in Product Education at In Demand Pay-Per-View, he spent four and a half years at the National Basketball Association as Coordinator and then a Manager for NBA TV and NBA League Pass. In his free time, Vernon enjoys playing video games, reading comics, and making custom action figures for toy enthusiasts.
Navid works on the Employer Relations team, specifically working for the On-Campus Recruiting program involving on-campus interviews, employer information sessions and presentations, industry showcases, career fairs, and other programs to assist employers in recruiting top Columbia talent. Navid graduated from The University of North Texas and interned in recruiting for Southwest Airlines before coming to CCE. Navid enjoys the outdoors, volunteering, traveling, and exploring the city in his free time.
Malla supports all of the teams with the Center by executing a comprehensive plan that creates opportunities to foster lifelong connections between alumni and students through career development- related activities. She actively solicits alumni volunteers for the Center’s events and programs and partners with the Employer Outreach team to identify full-time and internship opportunities recommended by alumni. She enjoys the opportunity to attend a variety of alumni events to increase the awareness of how alumni can connect with students for career development support.
Prior to working at CCE, she was the founder and owner of a training and consulting company, New Designs for Life, that increased the entrepreneurial mindset of attendees. Her company received a New York City Small Business Award of the Year by Mayor M. Bloomberg and has been featured in the New York Times and on Martha Stewart radio. She is also active in the National Association of African-American Human Resources professionals and has Senior Professional certification in Human Resources.
As the Senior Associate Director of Alumni Career Development, Emily assists alumni of all ages with a wide variety of career concerns and also plans programs and services for this population. Emily has worked in various fields, including career development, research and program evaluation, social services, mental health, and education. Her training background consists of a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Purdue University; Master’s degree in Social Work from Washington University; certificate in Adult Career Planning and Development from New York University; certification in career and life coaching from the Life Purpose Institute and the Career Planning and Adult Development Network; and courses in career assessment, including the Strong Interest Inventory and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Emily is passionate about helping individuals embark on new careers and creating work-life balance. Outside of the office, Emily spends her time with her family, learning Digital SLR photography, and brushing up on her research skills.