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The Aspire Program

Meet Your Team

Your Carthage network is big and broad, and includes Aspire Program staff, your peers working as Career Ambassadors in the Aspire Center, and alumni and employers nationwide.

Aspire Program Staff

  • Lisa Hinkley

    Associate Vice President and Executive Director for Career and Professional Development

    Lisa Hinkley oversees The Aspire Program at Carthage, and has nearly 20 years of experience building and managing career programs.

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  • Carolyn Serdar

    Director of Employer Relations and Internships

    As Director of Employer Relations and Internships at Carthage, Carolyn Serdar connects students with employers locally and internationally for outstanding experiential learning opportunities.

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  • Sarah Gorke

    Director of Career Exploration and Design

    Sarah is the Director of Career Exploration and Design, as well as the academic advisor for students without a declared major. She works with students to help them understand their academic and career interests, as well as to help new students get a strong start in The Aspire Program.

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  • Carrie Kim

    Career Specialist for Arts and Culture

    Carrie Kim serves students as the Career Specialist for Arts and Culture. She is excited to work with Carthage students in the arts and humanities to access meaningful experiential learning and professional development opportunities and build inclusive programming to advance their entrepreneurship, leadership, and creativity skills.

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  • Haley Perez

    Career Specialist for Science and Pre-Health

    Haley joins the Aspire team as the Science and Pre-Health Career Specialist. She is excited to create a holistic support model for students who are interested in health care fields. Haley enjoys assisting students in gaining experiential learning opportunities and reflecting on their involvement in connection to personal and professional goals. 

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  • Laura Philbin

    Career Specialist for Business and Technology

    Laura serves as the Career Specialist for Business and Technology. 

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  • Becky Windberg

    Manager for Communication and Special Projects

    As Manager of Communication and Special Projects at Carthage, Becky Windberg plays a critical role in managing communication about Aspire activities and launching new initiatives to support the continued development of The Aspire Program.

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Alumni, Employers, and Friends of the College

Hundreds of alumni, employers, and friends are part of the Carthage network. They provide students with mentoring and career-building experiences. While there are plenty of connections regionally, the Carthage network extends around the world.

Faculty and Staff

At Carthage, faculty and staff work with students inside and outside of the classroom to build their skills and guide them throughout their journey. From class projects benefiting local communities to on-campus employment to global experiences through J-Term, Carthage faculty and staff are active members of students’ college experiences.

Student Career Ambassadors

  • Students ask each other for advice all of the time, so trained Career Ambassadors provide accessible, knowledgeable mentorship.
  • Underclass students tend to be more comfortable talking to students closer to their own age or life experience, so Career Ambassadors allow us to extend reach beyond structured events or normal business hours and create a more casual experience for even reluctant students to receive encouragement, referrals, and guidance.
  • Career Ambassadors refer their peers to professional staff for more advanced issues and questions.

Career Ambassadors are students with a diverse range of majors, campus involvement, and backgrounds who act as paraprofessionals for students across all majors. In addition to the development of strong coaching skills, Career Ambassadors help organize events, including the annual Aspire Conference, career fairs, and workshops.
 

 



Tessa Mugenya ’21

Tessa MugenyaMajor: Geoscience, minor in Women’s & Gender Studies
Involvement on campus: Black Student Union, United Women of Color and Advocates for Social Change
#iAspire to become: A runway model who is actively involved in social justice movements pertaining to gender equality, women’s rights and children’s rights
Best part about working in The Aspire Center:  The resume reviews that I thoroughly enjoy. I get to meet with different students and help them bring out their experiences in ways that improve their chances of getting jobs and internships which fills my heart with joy. I also enjoy learning about career development and having a foothold in real-world job experience by working in the office, which is an opportunity not a lot of people have while in college



Geovanni Virella-Torres ’22

Geo Virella-TorresMajor: Graphic Design, minor in Dance
Involvement on campus: NDEO, Away From The Mirror, Kiss Me, Kate
#iAspire to: Dance after college and utilize my graphic design major to freelance. After I dance, I wish to either work on the design side for a dance company or create my own and work for myself.
Best part about working in The Aspire Center: Working with the Career Specialists to understand more about what we’re passionate about and dig deeper into the opportunities available.

 


Christina Gonzalez ’21 

Christina GonzalezMajor: Marketing and Management, minor in Philosophy
Involvement on campus: Pi Sigma Epsilon, Alpha Phi Omega, and Mi Gente
#iAspire to become: Chief Operating Officer for a Hospital
Best part about working in The Aspire Center: All the great opportunities offered

 


Jessica Fischer ’22

Jessica FischerMajor: Nursing
Involvement on campus:  Peer Coach and CAB
#iAspire to become: A pediatric nurse or CNM (Certified Nurse Midwife)
Best part about working in The Aspire Center: The atmosphere. The team is very inviting to all who enter the room. I have grown as a student and individual here!