CLA Career Services Staff
The CLA Career Services career counselors and staff are excited to meet you and assist you in your career planning!
Senior Career Coach | She/Her/Hers
Supports all CLA students; specializes in supporting students with general major and career exploration-any interest area and those with Nonprofit & Advocacy, Government & Law, and Healthcare & Science Career Field interests
As a first-generation, working class, and undecided student, I had NO idea how to navigate college, let alone what majors or careers I wanted to pursue - all I knew was that I didn’t want to go into the family meat business, lol! It wasn’t until I met with my advisor, and took a career course, that I discovered a whole world of possibilities yet to explore. Knowing I had a strong desire to help others, I allowed myself to explore courses and experiences that gave me insight and exposure into how humans grow, behave, and communicate - insert double major in Psychology and Communication. Fast forward a few years later and I now have the privilege of helping students navigate their own career paths! My favorite topics to coach on are major/career exploration, nonprofit and advocacy career preparation, and graduate school planning. I feel fulfilled when a student leaves my office feeling more confident than when they arrived.
Thriving in creativity, collaboration, and connection, I am in my element when I get to make deep connections with others, envision future possibilities, and strategize about how we can create more diverse, inclusive, accessible, and equitable spaces. I strive to lead with empathy, authenticity, vulnerability, and with an equity lens.
My love language is laughing and connecting with others over food, and my lunch breaks are sacred times for this. You can usually find me with a snack (or looking for one) and I’m always willing to share! Connect with me over the joys of parenthood, my cat, food, exercise, travel, home projects, reality TV, and entrepreneurship.
Career Coach | He/Him/His
Supports all CLA students; specializes in supporting students with general career planning-any interest area (internship search, job search, etc.) and those with Business Career Field interests
I have always wanted to help people. As a first-generation student, I started college with the intent of becoming a lawyer. However, when I took my first psychology course at the University of Toronto, I realized that was the field for me. This led to degrees in development psychology (U of T) and industrial / organization psychology (U of M) and a 40-year career in a variety of roles with Ameriprise Financial / IDS Financial Services and Right Management (a global HR consulting firm). I have also served in leadership roles in several community-based and health-focused non-profit organizations.
If you are trying to decide on a major, want help with any written document (resume, cover letter or personal statement), are seeking an internship / job or considering graduate school, you and I should definitely meet since my personal mission statement is “to help people identify who they are, what they are capable of doing … and becoming”. I relish the opportunity to meet with students and recent alumni regardless of where they are in their career and life journey and to make connections for those who are exploring options. I also enjoy sharing thoughts about interesting food, restaurants and international travel.
Senior Career Coach | She/Her/Hers
*On leave fall semester 2022
Supports all CLA students; specializes in supporting students with Healthcare & Science Career Field interests
People describe me as someone who is creative, organized, inclusive, equity-centric, student-centered, and collaborative. As a Career Coach, I view my role as someone who is a cultural navigator and career educator working in partnership with students who are navigating the complexities of career and life planning. Empathy and positivity are superpowers of mine. This allows me to build trust-based relationships with students and help them feel comfortable during career conversations. When I was an undergraduate student, I had a strong interest in healthcare (direct-care and patient centered), but I learned early that blood and needles were NOT for me - I’m still scared of needles till this day! At the time, however, I did know that I wanted a career that involved helping and working with others. As someone who was once a pre-health student turned educator, I am proud to support all CLA students, and pre-health students who have a strong interest in the healthcare and science career field.
My experience as a first-generation college student who identifies as a Hmong womxn, Asian-American, product of refugees, first-born, and educator, I recognize that I am multifaceted and my lived experiences influence my academic and life decisions as well as how I approach my career coaching style. I do so by showing up with compassion, empathy and enthusiasm.
When I’m not in my career coach element, I’m home with my partner and two kitties who occupy most of my time. I am a soon-to-be mom with a little one arriving in July 2022 and I can’t wait! One way I maintain my mental and physical health is practicing yoga from home and taking walks in my Minneapolis neighborhood. Enjoying the brewery, distillery, and coffee scene in the Twin Cities is also a fun activity of mine.
Career Coach | They/Them, He/Him
Supports all CLA students; specializes in supporting students with Tech, Business, and Healthcare & Science Career Field interests
I felt so sure of what I wanted to study in college, and then my first day of classes I knew my major wasn't for me. After changing my major four times, I finally settled into Linguistics and Computer Science, majors that allowed me to think critically and creatively, nerd out about language construction and discrete math, and think about (in)accessibility in new ways.
I love talking with folks in STEM and business, queer and trans folks, and all students who are in transition or struggling to envision a career and future that feels exciting and empowering. I want to support you in finding academic and career paths that are community- and equity-driven, meet your values, and allow for your creativity and critical engagement. My hope is through conversation and connection, we can grow your ideas into opportunities for exploration and further data gathering and your uncertainties into guidance for meaningful action steps.
When not in Bruinicks, I love biking around the chain of lakes, fermenting random fridge items, picnicking with a good cheese board, and trying to keep my house plants alive.
Career Coach | She/Her/Hers
Supports all CLA students; specializes in supporting students with general major and career exploration-any interest area and those with Education Career Field interests
I love stories. When I was a student in CLA, I majored in English and American Studies because I love learning about the world through different experiences and lenses. While I have always known I wanted to work with people, I have never had one “dream job” in mind, so I’ve learned to find roles that align with my values of connection, equity, and joy. As a Career Coach, I bring my belief that social change moves at the speed of relationships. I never underestimate the power of someone truly listening to your story and context, and helping you identify the next right move for you. Sometimes you need more information or guidance, and sometimes you need someone to say “You got this!” No matter where you are in your career exploration, I want you to leave feeling heard, supported, and excited.
Being able to be authentically myself is important to me, and I strive to create a space for students to bring their whole selves when they meet with me. There are so many ways that career and education conversations intersect with and are informed by our identities. I seek to be a cultural navigator and a cultural challenger, and am committed to pushing higher education to move forward to equitably meet the needs and wants of our students. To me, that means finding ways to incorporate both advocacy and healing into my work.
Outside of work, I love cooking with my partner, trying new sourdough bread experiments, making earrings, and going on main character walks.
Career Coach | They/Them/Theirs
Supports all CLA students; specializes in supporting students with Arts, Communications & Media Career Field interests and students seeking support with graduate school planning
Many years ago, at the tender age of 14, I decided what my career would be. I was going to get my Bachelor’s, go to graduate school, and become a tenured professor. I did the first two- I received my Bachelor’s from the University of Minnesota in 2015 and I went on to earn my PhD at Arizona State University in 2022. However, in my last year of graduate school, I realized that being a professor was not what I wanted to do. I’ve been passionate about student success since I first began teaching Freshman Writing & Composition at Arizona State. It was exciting help students navigate their first year of college and guide them towards their passions and success. Being a career counselor enables me to help students across years and majors find fulfillment in college and their future careers.
I am evidence to students that just because you think you’ve made your decision about your career, you can change your mind. The skills that you learn in college can be applied to a variety of careers—even if you think you pigeon-holed yourself into seemingly one career like me. I encourage students to follow their passions or hold onto their practical goals but also to keep their minds open to pathways that they had never considered.
Lastly, some facts about me are that I love horror and anything spooky-adjacent, and I spend my free time crocheting or weaving on my loom. I’ve also driven across the country six times with my two cats in the backseat. I hope I never have to do that again.
Curriculum & Assessment Coordinator | She/Her/Hers
Futuristic | Developer | Individualization | Relator | Responsibility
Chelsea is a proud CLA alumna with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish studies. She also holds a master’s from the University of Texas at Austin. Chelsea is an educator at heart, with experience teaching in K-12 and higher education settings. In CLA, Chelsea teaches and supports the Career Management courses. Fun fact: Chelsea took a career course in CLA as a first year student and it set her career journey in motion. She hopes to see you in class!
Assistant to the Director | She/Her/Hers
612-626-6574 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Lisa rejoined the CLA Career Services staff in May of 2015 and juggles multiple roles in her work. She is the administrative point person and provides project management for the unit. Lisa is involved in the planning and executing of many career services and college-wide events. Lisa is the co-chair of the CLA senior celebration and commencement planning committees and enjoys being able to help plan events that showcase and celebrate our students' achievements. Lisa holds a bachelor's degree in business management from Northern Michigan University.
Assistant Director for Career Coaching and Engagement Initiatives
612-626-6574 | email@example.com
I’m at my best when I am positively impacting people and systems. I am not at my best when when I'm on the go too much and don't take the time to appreciate the present moment. I love coaching people to create lives and careers that honor who they are and I am committed as a leader to make things more effective, more equitable, and more joyful. I thrive in ambiguity where there is more than one way to move forward and relish in connecting with others, brainstorming, and trying new innovative approaches. I am deeply curious and love learning (as long as it isn’t math), so you can often find me reading, listening to a podcast, or participating in professional development. I am happiest when I’m in nature, at Home Goods, watching a musical, or sharing good food with friends and family. In college I loved my liberal arts classes, but really struggled with how to translate what I learned to a career after graduation, this has provided fuel to help CLA students see the possibilities and find pathways for their future they are excited about and prepared for.
Assistant Director, Employer Engagement | She/Her/Hers
Relator | Learner | Achiever | Responsibility | Arranger
Beth has been working to build connections between organizations and CLA students since 2004. Prior to joining CLA Career Services in 2003 in a communications role, Beth held a variety of positions in private and public industry, including: communications consulting for public relations firm, Lilja Inc.; employee communications, training and development, and staffing/recruiting for information management company, Merrill Corporation; managing editor for national business publication Quirk’s Marketing Research Review; and admissions counselor for the University of St. Thomas. Beth holds an MA in organizational leadership from St. Catherine University, and a BA in journalism and speech communications from the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN.
CLA Internship Coordinator | She/Her/Hers
Learner | Positivity | Connectedness | Input | Strategic
Char is enthusiastic about creating quality experiential learning opportunities for students as they explore how their liberal arts education connects to their career in a “real world” setting. Prior to coming to the U, Char spent many years as a middle school teacher and worked at a variety of higher education institutions facilitating internship programs. She holds a bachelor’s in English from Loyola Marymount University and a master’s in leadership in student affairs from the University of St. Thomas.
Assistant Director for Career Management Curriculum & Assessment | She/Her/Hers
Abby has been working with students, faculty, and staff in career services as well as academic advising for over a decade. Abby received her degrees from the University of Northern Iowa in French teaching and Miami University in Higher Education. In addition to loving to work with students, Abby is also passionate about adoption, equity and diversity, assessment, and Gopher Women's Ice Hockey.
Front Office Coordinator| She/Her/Hers
612-626-6574 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Restorative | Adaptability | Includer | Harmony | Empathy
Pantsai graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies with a focus on Korean. In her free time, she likes to hang out with her friends, get boba, and write. As the CLA Career Services office specialist, she will be in the front to greet you, check you in for your appointment, schedule an appointment for you, and answer your questions. Fun fact: Pantsai studied abroad in South Korea in spring 2019!
External Engagement Coordinator| She/Her/Hers
Connection and compassion are words that I have learned to use to describe the inner core of values that drive what I do in my day to day interactions, whether that be through personal or professional relationships.
I thrive in piecing together complicated processes and naturally enjoy creating more streamlined operations that can be easily digested by others. Collaborative environments allow me to share and highlight my organizational and communication skills, and I aim to lead and support in ways that each environment may need. I am both data and heart driven. I see the value in numbers but know that the purpose of the data and the use of it can fuel a much larger and important goal. Figuring out the ‘why’ is pivotal to establishing the ‘how’.
As a first-generation person of color liberal arts student, and now, a professional working in the liberal arts atmosphere, I am excited to be able to lend a hand in shaping resources and connections for the next generation of underrepresented students, and all students looking to find the next step in their career.
Some questions that I continue to reflect upon include: How do I show up in the spaces that I occupy with the truest version of myself? How do I have conversations with others in a way that allows for authentic connections? What skills do I have that I can lean into and share with others in both my personal and professional life?
Some quick facts: I am a Hmong-American woman, and a first generation student. I enjoy the occasional cup of coffee before noon, road trips, traveling, trying out new (to me) restaurants and experiences, and creating meaningful and genuine relationships.
Communications Specialist | She/Her/Hers
Stina Kielsmeier-Cook (she/her) is the Communications Specialist for CLA Career Services and Career Readiness. She is an author and editor who is passionate about telling stories that inspire others to do good. At CLA, she is dedicated to using strategic communications to expand student access to career services. Stina’s previous roles in the nonprofit sector have included managing a literary publication, producing a podcast, and helping new refugee families find affordable housing. She has a graduate diploma in Forced Migration and Refugee Studies from the American University in Cairo and a B.A. in Political Science from Wheaton College in Illinois. Stina loves libraries, public schools, and adventuring with her family in the woods.
Associate Director of Employer and Alumni Partnerships | She/Her/Hers
Naomi loves to build relationships and help people address gaps and barriers that need to be filled. Throughout her career she has relied on skills developed through her own Liberal Arts education such as storytelling, relationship-building, data analysis and research in a variety of roles in both the nonprofit and higher education sectors. She joined CLA Career Services in 2022 and looks forward to cultivating and fostering Employer and Alumni partnerships that will directly benefit CLA students and align with the overall efforts of the College. A proud recipient of a Liberal Arts education, Naomi earned a bachelor’s degree in Criminology and English from the University of Toronto and a MA in Gender and Women’s Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
For fun Naomi enjoys long-distance running and doing reformer pilates. She loves to escape to beachy island destinations, shopping, and cooking for family and friends, especially her husband and two daughters. Naomi listens to auto/biographical audiobooks while she runs and reads historical south Asian fiction, so she can learn more about the practices and lived experiences of her ancestors.