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About Us

Mission: To help students and alumni develop career-related skills by providing high quality resources, services, programming and events that will prepare them for a lifetime of career success.

Vision: Empowering and Connecting a World of 'Canes.

Guiding Framework: The Toppel Career Center utilizes the Chaos Theory of Careers (CTC) by Pryor and Bright to guide the career education of University of Miami students and alumni. CTC assumes that there are many influences in our lives that make it difficult to predict the outcome. Therefore, nothing is certain and everything is possible. In order to deal with inevitable change and uncertainty, we work with students and alumni to understand their limitations, identify opportunities, recover from obstacles, find meaningful work, take advantage of chance, and develop the necessary skills to handle a life that fluctuates between stability and change.

Associate Dean and Executive Director

Christian Garcia • (305) 284-5451 • christian@miami.edu 
Christian is a higher education professional with nearly 20 years of experience in a variety of areas within student and academic affairs. He currently serves as the Associate Dean and Executive Director of the Toppel Career Center, where he is responsible for the management and strategic direction of one of the country's most innovative and dynamic career centers. Previously, Christian served as Associate Director of Employer Relations, responsible for creating and maintaining relationships with employers representing a wide range of industries. Christian currently sits on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) and is very active on the local, national, and international career services stage. Christian earned his Master of Science degree in Higher Education from Florida State University and Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Florida International University. Prior to the UM, he worked at the University of Michigan and Millersville University of Pennsylvania.

 


Operations & Strategic Initiatives


Brian Reece
Associate Director, Assessment & Communication
(305) 284-1816 – brian@miami.edu
Brian oversees development and implementation of the Toppel Career Center’s assessment and research agenda and communications plan. He joined the staff in September 2014. Brian has experience in higher education administration, research, and teaching. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Education in Higher Education Administration from the University of Delaware. He also earned a post-master’s certificate in Nonprofit Management and a Master of Education in Counseling, Family, and Human Services with a graduate specialization in Prevention Science from the University of Oregon. Brian is currently a Vice Chair of the American College Personnel Association’s Commission for Social Justice Educators and a reviewer for the Journal of Critical Scholarship on Higher Education and Student Affairs.

Miguel Ramirez
Office Manager
(305) 284-2469 - miguel.ramirez@miami.edu 
Miguel provides supervision and administration in the areas of budget, purchasing, scheduling of personnel activities, and regalia distribution. He also serves as the primary Human Resource liaison for the Toppel Career Center. Miguel is currently completing his degree at the University of Miami with plans to pursue a Master’s of Science in Leadership. Prior to joining Toppel, he was the primary Fiscal and Building Operations Administrator for the departments of Geography & Regional Studies, Political Science, and International Studies under the Social Science Administration team. Miguel also has over 5 years of experience in the field of insurance claims and analytics.

Joselyn Garcia
Senior Administrative Assistant 
(305) 284-2469 - joselyn@miami.edu 
Joselyn provides administrative support to the Executive Director and Office Manager, prepares financial reporting account reconciliations, and supervises front office operations including student staff. Her professional experience includes work in the fields of event management, logistics, online advertising, qualitative research, financial reporting, purchasing management, and general organizational operations. She has been with the University of Miami since 2011 and has worked for the Division of Continuing Studies and Center for Latin American Studies. Joselyn attended Florida International University for her Bachelor of Arts in International Business and plans to pursue a Masters of Arts in Latin American Studies at the University of Miami. Joselyn is bicultural, bilingual in Spanish, and has over 13 years of customer service and administrative experience.

Employer Relations & Development


Alicia Rodriguez
Director
(305) 284-1819 - alrodriguez@miami.edu
Ali oversees the Toppel Career Center's efforts to build a strong recruiting program and provide students, alumni, and employers with opportunities to connect.  In this role, she supervises the Employer Relations team. In addition, she works to develop partnerships with employers and oversees the Employer Advisory Board and the Toppel Employer Partner Program. Ali earned a Master of Education in College Student Personnel and a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from the University of Florida. She joined the staff in July 2000 and led Toppel's Career Development team for 13 years, overseeing career and walk-in advising, programs and workshops, and assessment testing.  In addition to career services, she has worked in Academic Advising and Residence Life.

Hilary Kautter Allsopp
Associate Director, Employer Development
Washington, D.C.
h.kautter@miami.edu
Hilary is a proud alumna of the University of Miami, where she earned her M.S.Ed. in Higher Education Administration with a concentration in College Student Life and Development. Hilary spent a year interning at the Toppel Career Center during graduate school and is thrilled to return to the Toppel team full time. Hilary is based in Washington, DC, where she oversees the UM in DC program and manages employer development. She has experience enhancing undergraduate students’ career development and collaborating with employer partners through previous career center roles at Duke University and The George Washington University School of Business. Prior to her work in higher education, she coordinated a high school alcohol prevention campaign and provided support to in-patient clients at a mental health center. Hilary holds a B.S. in Psychology from Virginia Tech.

Betty Zambrano 
Assistant Director, Career Events
305-284-8593 - bettyz@miami.edu
Betty is responsible for coordinating a variety of events that benefit UM students and alumni, most notably the Spring and Fall Career Expos that occur every semester on campus. Through her role, Betty aspires to help others find meaningful and gainful employment experiences at the meet-ups, fairs and other networking events coordinated through Toppel. Prior to joining the staff in December of 2014, Betty served as a Peace Corps volunteer in northern rural Peru, where she worked with local youth promoting higher education and college preparedness. Betty has experience in event management, program coordination, grassroots campaigns and public relations. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations from the University of Florida.


Jordan Adams
Assistant Director, On-Campus Recruiting
(305) 284-1989 - j.adams16@miami.edu

Jordan joined Toppel in November 2012, and he works with the dynamic Employer Relations team to conceptualize, lead, and manage career-related programs and events. Previously, Jordan served as the Manager of Civic Engagement at UM's Center for Latin American Studies, partnering with various civic organizations and overseeing a million dollar federal National Resource Center grant. Jordan holds a Master of Arts in Latin American Studies from the University of Miami, and a Bachelor of Science in Management Science from the University of California, San Diego. He also studied at La Universidad de Concepción, Chile and at La Universidad de Chile, Chile.


Richard Combs
Assistant Director, Business Consultant
(305) 284-1988 - richard@miami.edu
Richard is a higher education professional with over 10 years of experience in a variety of areas including career development, fundraising, alumni relations, and sports marketing. In his current role, he is responsible for building partnerships between the university and external stakeholders in order to expand both internship and full-time employment opportunities for business majors. Additionally, he provides career advising and coaching to business students and alumni. Richard earned his Master of Arts degree in Career Counseling & Placement from North Carolina Central University and Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Wake Forest University. He completed a graduate assistantship at the Duke University Career Center. A self-proclaimed ACC basketball aficionado, he is excited to follow the Hurricanes.

Kim Burr
Assistant Director, Business Consultant
(305) 284-1813 - kimburr@miami.edu
Kim provides career advising and programming for students in the School of Business Administration. In addition, she works with employers and stakeholders to create and maintain robust employment and internship opportunities for School of Business students. Kim joined Toppel in July 2015 and brings experience in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Sociology from Brigham Young University- Idaho and a Master of Public Administration from American University. Prior to joining the University of Miami, Kim lived and worked in Washington, DC, where she developed a strong passion for public service.

Career Education

Edward Cruz
Director
(305) 284-5023 - ecruz2@miami.edu

Eddy oversees the Toppel Career Center's efforts in training and empowering UM students and alumni through various career exploration, experiential education, pre-health and pre-law initiatives. In this role, he supervises the Career Education team. Eddy earned a MA in Student Affairs in Higher Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and had an assistantship in the Career Development Center. He received his BA in Speech Communications from Kutztown University. He joined the staff in June 2008 and served as the AD for Graduate Student & Alumni Programs. In addition to career services, he has worked in residential services.

Samantha Haimes 
Associate Director, Career Readiness
(305) 284-1808 - samantha@miami.edu

Samantha earned a MS in Higher Education from the University of Miami and a Bachelor of Arts in Advertising & Public Relations from the University of Central Florida. Samantha helps enhance Toppel resources and services by creating professional development tracks for UM students and recent graduates. Her ultimate goal is to ensure that UM students are better prepared for the workforce. Samantha advises students regarding internships, international opportunities, and works closely with international students. She also coordinates the UShadow program. She joined the Toppel Career Center as a full-time staff member in July 2012 and served as the Assistant Director for Experiential Initiatives. Prior, she worked at Cabrini College in Philadelphia, PA and as a Graduate Assistant here at Toppel. 

 


Carly Smith
Assistant Director, Career Education
(305) 284-1818 - carly@miami.edu
Carly received a Master of Science in Higher Education Administration at the University of Miami and a Bachelor of Science in Human and Organizational Development from Vanderbilt University. While completing her Master’s degree, Carly was a Graduate Assistant at the Toppel Career Center.  In her current role, Carly manages Toppel’s career outreach program by coordinating with faculty, staff, and student organizations. She also advises students regarding their career plans and job search skills, and is responsible for co-supervising Toppel’s undergraduate Peer Advisers.
Anna Kenney
Assistant Director, Internships
(305) 284-1809 - anna@miami.edu
Anna earned a Master of Science in College Student Personnel from the University of Dayton and a Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs from the Florida State University. Prior to joining the Toppel Career Center, she worked for University Housing at the Florida State University. Anna oversees the Toppel Internship Program as well as advising students regarding internships and career plans after graduation.
Esther LamarreEsther Lamarre
Assistant Director, Graduate Student & Alumni Career Programs
(305) 284-1820 - elamarre@miami.edu

Esther is a Miami native. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Communication Studies & Political Science from the University of Miami and a Master of Education in College Student Affairs Administration from the University of Georgia. Prior to returning to her alma mater, Esther worked to advance leadership education and development at the Illinois Leadership Center on the University of Illinois campus.
Justin Childs
Career Exploration Advisor
(305) 284-8260 - jchilds@miami.edu
Justin earned a Master of Science in College Student Personnel Services and Administration from the University of Central Arkansas and a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from Mississippi State University. Justin serves as the Career Exploration Advisor. He facilitates career education and development for primarily first year and returning undergraduate students. His primary concentration is to serve as the lead Undeclared Students Advisor, proficient in connecting cognates to careers and establishing connections between majors, minors, and students' career goals.  Prior to joining UM and the Toppel Career Center, he worked for University Housing at Florida State University.

Student Staff and Interns

Kristi Brownlee

Kristi Brownlee
Peer Advisor

Kristi is currently pursuing a major in Public Health and minoring in Chemistry and Sociology. She is originally from Memphis, TN. At the University of Miami, she is an executive board member of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and The Yellow Rose Society. She has a passion for spiritual outreach, volunteering with children, and providing awareness to racial health disparities. In the near future, Kristi plans to incorporate her passions in a career in Neonatology.

Madison Bowden

Madison Bowden
Peer Advisor
Madison is majoring in Marketing in the School of Business Administration. She is originally from Jupiter, Florida. Her passions are running, paddle boarding, and any activity on the water. She is pursuing a career in marketing and completed an internship this past summer with Pantelides PR and Consulting. At UM, Madison is a teaching assistant for the School of Business where she counsels and facilitates ten Freshman business students in an introductory business course.

Rebecca Graffam

Rebecca Graffam
Peer Advisor
Becca is a student in the Business school exploring both business and communication majors. She is originally from Los Angeles, CA, but is proud to call Miami her new home. Her passions are helping animals in need, traveling, history, and any activity on the water. She hopes one day to combine her passions and live a happy life with a career she loves.

Marian Li

Marian Li
Peer Advisor
Marian is currently majoring in Health Science Business Administration and minoring in Business, Chemistry, and Public Health. She was born in Omaha, NE, but her family quickly learned of the winters and moved to St. Augustine, FL. Outside of class, Marian is the Chair of the Committee on Student Organizations (COSO), a Multicultural Liaison on the Student Activity Fee Allocation Committee (SAFAC), and the Lunar New Year Celebration Chair of the Asian American Students Association (AASA). After graduating, Marian aspires to work in the business side of healthcare either in consulting or hospital administration.

Jenn Mori

Jenn Mori
Peer Advisor
Jenn is majoring in Computer Engineering, Software Option, with a minor in Anthropology. She is originally from the suburbs of Chicago and will admit that she misses the winters but has found a second home here in Miami. Some of her positions outside of class are the Vice President of Membership for Alpha Phi Omega National Co-Ed Service Fraternity and an active sister in Sigma Alpha Iota Professional Women's Music Fraternity. After graduating, she would love to either work for the Peace Corps and travel the world or work in the software or video game industry for a company that can help her pursue her passions and challenge her further.

Trish Vega

Alexis Musick
Peer Advisor

Alexis is majoring in Biology, Microbiology and Immunology, and Political Science while minoring in Chemistry and Modern Languages. Outside of class, Alexis is the President of Art of Healing and a co-founder for a new student organization, Nourish International. She is also the Dining and Auxiliary Services liaison for Student Government's Campus Liaison Council and is involved with Camp Kesem, UMAB, and Dance Marathon. Upon graduating, Alexis hopes to attend a medical school that offers a dual degree MD/MPH program and work her way through it to become a pediatric surgeon or interventional radiologist.


Lindsey Shanck

Lindsey Shanck
Peer Advisor

Lindsey is a Psychology major, minoring in Spanish and Business Law. She is originally from the Boston area, and while it will always be home, she loves being in Florida, escaping New England’s harsh winters. Lindsey is a sister of Chi Omega sorority and enjoys traveling, photography, and writing. After graduation, she hopes to get her PhD in Psychology and work with adults with special needs.


Trish Vega

Trish Vega
Peer Advisor

Trish is currently majoring in Music Business and Entertainment Industries and minoring in Marketing and Creative American Music (Songwriting). Although originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, she is happy to be living in sunny Miami. She is also involved in the Miami Commitment Program, Music Industry Association, and as Outreach Chair for the Catholic Campus Ministry here at UM. Passionate about fostering community and growth amongst individuals and groups, Trish aspires to combine her interests and work in the music industry to bring about positive change.


Melissa Wyatt

Melissa Wyatt
Peer Advisor

Melissa is majoring in Political Science and Art History. She is originally from Cleveland but now lives in St. Petersburg, FL. On campus, Melissa is currently a member of Student Government Senate, Student Government ECO Agency, Greek Week Executive Board, and is a sister of Zeta Tau Alpha. Melissa is passionate about traveling, conservation, and conceptual art. This past summer, she interned at a non-profit organization in Perú. Upon graduation, Melissa hopes to move to Washington, DC, and work in policymaking.

Amelia AbeAmelia Abe
Graphic Design Intern
Amelia is majoring in Marketing and Women's and Gender Studies with a minor in Geography. She was born in California and grew up in Tokyo, Japan. Amelia is involved around campus on the club swim team and represents UM as President’s 100 Ambassador. Amelia enjoys graphic design and hopes to work in the future empowering women as an entrepreneur.

Stefanie Lechner

Stefanie Lechner
Graphic Design Intern

Stefanie is originally from Westchester, New York. She is majoring in Marketing in the School of Business Administration and minoring in Art. Outside of class, Stefanie is a sister of Sigma Delta Tau sorority and enjoys drawing and graphic design. She hopes to pursue a career in the future that combines her passions for marketing and graphic design.



NoStudentPicture

TBD
Social Media Intern

This position is open. Please apply on HireACane by August 30th.


Elle Beasley

Elle Beasley
Employer Relations Intern

Elle is originally from Charleston, SC. Currently she is majoring in Economics and Political Science and is an active member of the Economics Club, Golf Club, and Chi Omega Sorority. She is passionate about U.S. Education Reform at the K-12 level, and intends to pursue a degree in law after graduation. Her hobbies are cooking and her two dogs Molly and Aldous.


Samantha ChatkinSamantha Chatkin
Employer Relations Intern

Sam is in the School of Business double majoring in Marketing and Business Law. She is passionate about people and wellbeing and loves to promote exercise, nutrition, and healthy lifestyles. Sam also has an enthusiasm for travel and plans to explore the world. Sam devotes her time at UM to a wide variety of opportunities including Alpha Delta Pi Sorority, The School of Business Peer Counseling Team, Alpha Kappa Psi Business Fraternity, and American Marketing Association.
Gustav Van RooyenGustav Van Rooyen
Employer Relations Intern

Gustav assists the Employer Relations team in communications and employer development, while taking an active role in planning and executing career events. He is also pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration as a Finance major and is proud to be part of the “U!”
Blythe CowardBlythe Coward
Toppel Assistant

Blythe is majoring in Economics and minoring in Latin American Studies. Originally from Atlanta, GA, Blythe is a member of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority at UM and traveled abroad to Argentina. In her free time, she likes to travel, cook, watch premier league soccer, and hang out with friends. After graduation, Blythe hopes to pursue a career in public policy focusing on poverty alleviation.
Bruna FernandesBruna Fernandes
Toppel Assistant

Bruna is majoring in Biomedical Engineering with a concentration in Pre-Medical Studies. She is originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, but has also lived in the Dallas, TX. She enjoys outdoor activities and loves dogs. She has a passion for helping those who cannot speak for themselves and has a deep interest in medical ethics. After graduating, Bruna plans to go to medical school to become an immunologist.
Courtney HamiltonCourtney Hamilton
Toppel Assistant

Courtney is majoring in Business Marketing with a Music Business minor. She was born and raised in Dallas, TX, and is enjoying the opportunity to grow and learn in a new major city. Her passions cover various artistic mediums but are highlighted by music, art, dance, and traveling. After graduation she aspires to work abroad in the Peace Corps or through for-profit music industry companies, and she is very excited for what the future holds.
Caroline ScaglioneCaroline Scaglione
Toppel Assistant

Caroline is majoring in Neuroscience with minors in Marketing, Business Administration, and Chemistry. She is originally from Illinois but was raised in Weston, FL. At UM, she is a sister of Alpha Delta Pi Sorority as well as a member of the President’s 100 Student Ambassadors and Vice President of the Brazilian Student Association. In her free time, she enjoys reading, traveling, doing yoga, and volunteering in her community. After graduating, Caroline aspires to work in marketing and consumer behavior.

 
Toppel Career Center
 
Physical Address:
5225 Ponce De Leon Blvd.
Coral Gables, FL 33146
Phone: 305-284-5451
Fax: 305-284-3668
Mailing Address:
PO Box 249175
Coral Gables, FL 33124-5610