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Information About Our Staff

 
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Meet Our Leadership

Cathy Weisbrodt Dr. Katharine S. Brooks

Evans Family Executive Director 

Dr. Katharine S. Brooks became the new Evans Family Executive Director of the Career Center at Vanderbilt University in 2016.  Prior to that, she directed career centers at Wake Forest University, The University of Texas in Austin, and Dickinson College.  

She is the author of You Majored in What ? Mapping Your Path from Chaos to Career and writes a blog, “Career Transitions” for Psychology Today. She has twice been designated a “Top Ten Most Visionary Leader in Career Services” by CSO Research and received the prestigious Kauffman Award from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).  Brooks has a doctorate in educational psychology and a master's degree in rehabilitation counseling from West Virginia University. Her bachelor's degree is in sociology from Gettysburg College.

Email Dr. Brooks


 

JennieJennie Marchal

Associate Director

Jennie Marchal serves as an Assocaite Director of the Career Center. She provides vision, leadership and oversight for relationship development with recruiting organizations across the country. Jennie was awarded a 2014 NACE Chevron Honorable Mention for her SLAM program. 

Prior to joining Vanderbilt University Jennie spent 12 years at Washington University in St. Louis where she served on Steering Committees for the 2016 Presidential Debate, 2008 Vice Presidential Debate and 2013 Clinton Global Initiative.

 
Originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma, Jennie earned her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma. Jennie and her husband have three children. In her free time, Jennie enjoys traveling, cheering for her favorite sports teams and exploring Nashville with her family. 

Email Jennie

Meet Our Operations/Marketing Team

JennieTisha L. Christie

Administrative Assistant II

Tisha joined the Career Center in 2016.  Her background includes public relations in the non-profit sector, and she has also taught English at the high school level.  She holds a Bachelor’s degree in public relations and a Masters of Education. 
 
Tisha is originally from Florida, and has lived in Tennessee for the past 12 years.  She enjoys reading, college sports, and spending time with friends and family.

Email Tisha


 

JessicaJessica F. Wright

Marketing & Communications Specialist 

Jessica joined the Career Center in 2016. Her background includes marketing, graphic design and PR in the non-profit, physical security, real estate and museum industries. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication from Middle Tennessee State University. 

Jessica is a Nashville native and enjoys live music, hiking, restoring antiques and painting in her free time.

Email Jessica 

gerilynnGerilynn Pearce 

Program Coordinator 

Gerilynn joined the Center in 2017 from the Physics and Astronomy Department. Prior to Vanderbilt, Gerilynn worked at Universal Music Publishing and ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers). She holds a bachelor’s degree in music industry management.

Gerilynn enjoys yoga, exploring new cities, strong coffee and playing with her dog, Boston.  

Email Gerilynn

Meet Our Career Coaches


Cathy WeisbrodtCathy Weisbrodt

Career Coach

Area(s) of focus: Engineering, Health Care; Diversity Team

Cathy works with the following majors: biomedical engineering. Additionally, she works with students interested in non-clinical health care.

Cathy joined the Center in 2012. Previously, she spent five years in the area of health-related fundraising including three years with Development and Alumni Relations at Vanderbilt.

Calling Nashville home for the past 15 years, Cathy is originally from Northville, MI and enjoys traveling, spending time with friends, and experiencing various genres of live music.

Email Cathy


Cynthia WashingtonCynthia Washington

Career Coach

Area(s) of focus: political science, public policy studies, education, psychology, sociology, anthropology.

Cynthia joined the Career Center in 2011. Her background includes three years at the Engineering Career Resource Center at the University of Michigan and 16 years as a flight attendant. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business management and a Masters of Business Administration.

Cynthia enjoys reading, jazz, sports, visiting libraries and museums, and creative writing.

Email Cynthia


Dorrie PressonDorrie Presson

Career Coach

Area(s) of focus: Finance, Real Estate, Insurance

Dorrie joined the Center in 2012. Prior to Vanderbilt, she worked as a professional career coach in her business, Career Transition Services. She’s also served as a consultant with global talent management companies Drake Beam Morin and Career Partners International.

Dorrie and her husband Ramon have two sons. She’s a sports fan and has lost count of the hours she’s spent along the sidelines of her boys’ basketball, soccer and ultimate frisbee games.

Email Dorrie


Ethan FespermanEthan Fesperman

Career Coach

Area(s) of focus: Consulting, Finance

Ethan joined the Center in 2014. Previously, he spent 15 years in a variety of educational organizations, connecting students to opportunities. He completed his undergraduate studies in education at Warren Wilson College and earned a master’s degree in education from The George Washington University.

A native of Nashville who is returning after stints in Washington, DC and Asheville, NC, Ethan enjoys spending time with friends and family, reading, and adult gymnastics.

Email Ethan


Grace JanoskiGrace Janoski Foy

Career Coach

Area(s) of focus:  Communication Studies, History, English, Religious Studies, Philosophy, Visual & Performing Arts, Area/Ethnic/Gender Studies, Human & Organizational Development
Grace joined the Career Center in 2012. Prior to her current role of coaching students, she served in employer relations, building partnerships and assisting employers in developing on-campus events such as interviews, workshops, and career fairs. Grace has experience educating students in the following areas of interest: consulting, human resources, arts, media, and communications. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Middle Tennessee State University and a Master of Education degree from Belmont University.
 
A native of Nashville, Grace enjoys live music, working on her farm, camping with her husband, Andy, and playing with their pet rabbits, Birdie & Gill.

 

Email Grace


 

NinaNina Collins

Career Coach

Area(s) of focus: STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics); International Students

Nina joined the Career Center in 2016. She received a Bachelor of Science from Xavier University (Cincinnati, Ohio) and a Master of Science from Vanderbilt University, both in chemistry. Prior to joining the Career Center, Nina worked in analytical and organic synthesis laboratories and taught as an adjunct instructor at Nashville State Community College.

Nina enjoys reading, scrapbooking, and keeping up with her favorite podcasts. 

Email Nina


 

BillBill Smith

Career Coach

Area(s) of focus: Engineering and other STEM disciplines; First-Gen

Bill joined the Center in 2016. After studying Physics as an undergraduate, he worked for a college access non-profit which helps students in rural Pennsylvania to achieve their educational and career goals. He then went on to earn a Master’s in Higher Education Administration at Peabody College, in which he focused on research and policy related to the success of students in STEM fields at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Bill is a native of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and in his spare time, he likes to keep his math and coding skills sharp, swims with Vanderbilt’s club team, reads lots of sci-fi, and participates in many of Nashville’s science related communities.

Email Bill


Meet Our Employer Relations Team

Penny BagaPenny Baga

Employer Relations Specialist 

Penny joined the Center in 2015. Prior to Vanderbilt, Penny taught elementary and middle school and directed a learning center.

Penny and her husband Chris have three children. She enjoys going to the gym, drinking coffee, and volunteering at an in-house rehabilitation center for women.

Email Penny


DawnDawn Blache

Employer Relations Specialist 

Dawn joined the Career Center in January 2017.  She received an undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice from Southern University in New Orleans.  Her background includes seven years at Vanderbilt in Development and Alumni Relations where she worked to build relationships with a variety of corporate partners for both philanthropic and research needs.  Additionally, she spent nine years in pharmaceutical sales.

Dawn enjoys visiting her hometown of New Orleans, working on a variety of crafts, and spending time with her family and loveable dog, Tank.

Email Dawn