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The Aspire Program

Meet Your Network

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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  • Ian Privett

    Project and Communication Coordinator

    Ian manages communication, event planning, and project management for The Aspire Center.

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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

    Career Specialist

    Sarah Gorke joins the Aspire Center as a Career Specialist, where she will work with faculty and students in the fields of arts and culture. Through relevant experiential learning opportunities, she will assist students by helping them explore their career aspirations and build their personal networks and professional skills that will evolve throughout their lifetimes.

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  • Trevor Jung

    Career Specialist

    As Career Specialist, Trevor Jung builds relationships with employers, alumni, and graduate/professional schools to provide students with access to meaningful mentoring, shadowing, internships, and other skill-building experiences starting in students’ first year on campus. He supports students seeking guidance in the fields of government, nonprofit, and law ensuring they have a rewarding and fruitful experience while studying at Carthage College.

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  • Tom Wood

    Career Specialist

    Tom joins the Aspire Center team as a Career Specialist supporting business and technology. Tom’s focus is to collaborate with students, staff, faculty and community representatives to preserve and expand the many opportunities Carthage students can utilize while transitioning through each phase of the college experience. In addition to considerations for the practical experience, skills, and knowledge required for career preparation, Tom is a proponent of supporting and encouraging students to strive toward a balanced and healthy lifestyle.

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  • Becky Windberg

    Manager for Community and Employer Development

    As Manager for Community and Employer Development at Carthage, Becky Windberg connects with employers and community partners to build experiential learning opportunities and strategies aligned with President Swallow’s vision to integrate regionally.

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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 Alumni Networking Dinner, career fairs, and workshops.


Andrew Dorst ’21

Major: Mathematics
Involvement on campus: Math Club, Circle K, and Intramural Volleyball
Career aspirations: “I am hoping to be an actuary working in Chicago.”
Best part about being a Career Ambassador: “Gaining new skills and forming a close network with everyone involved in the Career Center.”

Tessa Mugenya ’21

Major: Computer Science
Involvement on campus: Black Student Union
Career aspirations: “Become a supermodel, along with using the knowledge gained in computer science to build my country.”
Best part about being a Career Ambassador: “Using my training to help people and develop the CA program to make people more aware of it.”