A core theme of the Academic Strategic Plan (ASP), creating an unsurpassed student experience is a priority for Syracuse University as we aim to prepare students for future success. The efforts to support this component of the ASP are well…
College Welcomes Advising, Career Services Directors
The College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) has appointed three directors in the Office of Advising and Career Services.
They are Carlota Deseda-Coon G’03, director of advising; Kristen Aust, director of career services; and Kelly Campbell, director of operations. All three positions serve undergraduates and graduate students in A&S, as well as undergraduates in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.
“They make sure students leverage their liberal arts experience, along with everything else Syracuse has to offer,” says Steven Schaffling, the college’s assistant dean of student success. “They provide students with the programming, tools and resources they need to compete in today’s knowledge economy.”
Carlota Deseda-Coon G’03
Deseda-Coon oversees all aspects of academic advising and student success services. She develops strategies to improve student satisfaction and time-to-degree completion.
Much of her work is dictated by the changing needs of each student and his or her faculty advisor.
“I weave in different perspectives and knowledges, working closely with the advising and career team and with the faculty to improve the student experience,” says Deseda-Coon, who previously directed the Office of Student Success in the College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA). “Students need personalized tools and support to discover their strengths and be successful in college.”
Deseda-Coon has 17 years of experience with the University, as an international student and an administrator. Following undergraduate studies in her native Venezuela, she earned a master’s degree in museum studies from VPA. Deseda-Coon went on to hold various positions in that college, including assistant director of academic services, coordinator of the Museum Studies program, branding and organizational collaborator, and publications specialist.
Working in VPA, she says, made her aware of the synergy that occurs within and among units to deliver a “smooth, inclusive student experience.”
“Students should be served in a respectful, transparent and authentic manner. Our office [in A&S] helps students navigate their college careers, showing them, their parents and their faculty that we genuinely care about their success,” she continues.
Aust oversees all aspects of career services support, including career advising and exploration. She is particularly excited to build on the success of A&S’ multiple internship experiences, employer relationships and immersion programs. They include the “From Arts & Sciences to Stocks & Finances” program and the Winston Fisher Seminar (both in Manhattan) and “Discover Atlanta.”
“Experiential learning and immersion programs help students make the leap from passive to active learning. They are excellent opportunities to build professional networks, gain real-world experience and explore multiple career options,” she says.
Aust helps students discover the value of their degree, relative to what prospective employers need. Striking a balance between hard and soft skills, she explains, sets graduates apart from the competition.
“Early and frequent advising helps students learn how to cultivate these skills and translate them into the work environment,” says Aust, who earned a bachelor’s degree from SUNY Oswego.
A 20-year veteran of Bryant & Stratton College’s career services office, she excels at designing an education around one’s needs, backgrounds and goals.
Campbell has an extensive background in registrar policies and procedures. In her newly created role, she oversees all administrative and operational functions in academic and career advising. Her duties include creating and maintaining staff training materials; performing process improvement and efficiency analysis; and implementing and optimizing existing advising technologies, such as Orange SUccess and Degree Works.
“An operational leader is essential for planning and leading strategic initiatives, and for managing ongoing programs within academic and career advising operations,” says Campbell, previously the University’s associate registrar for systems and technology. “My job is to manage and uphold division accountability through metrics and quantitative analysis. I create efficiencies through process improvement, while implementing new systems.”
Campbell has distinguished herself at Syracuse by overseeing the installation, implementation and ongoing maintenance of Degree Works, a popular academic advising, transfer articulation and degree audit solution that helps students graduate on time. Degree Works is one of more than a dozen cutting-edge applications in which she is fluent.
“Kelly has demonstrated excellence in her ability to improve the student experience at the University,” says Schaffling, noting her effective leadership and managerial skills, as well as her analytic skills in systems technology and data management. “She helps students identify pathways to academic and social success.”
Campbell brings more than 15 years’ experience to A&S and Maxwell, having also worked at the University at Buffalo, St. John Fisher College (earning a master’s degree in human resource development), Bryant & Stratton College in Rochester and the Center for Disability Rights.
Her, Aust’s and Deseda-Coon’s appointments are part of a sweeping reorganization of Advising and Career Services (the college’s largest nonacademic unit), fueled, in part, by changes in the academy, business, industry and the government.
Schaffling says his goal is to establish a nimble, student-centered shop that benefits students at every point of their academic career.
“A liberal arts education prepares one for a lifetime of learning and career development. We equip students with the skills they need—critical thinking, creative problem-solving, effective communication—to succeed in almost any setting,” he adds.