Career Center

Career Advising Appointments

Login to Quest to request an appointment with a career advisor.  If you have technical difficulties, please call the Career Center at 413-542-2265.


Quick Questions

Stop by to see a PCA during their drop-ins or take advantage of advisor drop-in hours.


Hours & Contact

Monday-Friday 8:30am-4:30pm

College Hall, 155 S. Pleasant Street

Amherst, MA 01002-5000

Telephone: 413-542-2265

Fax: 413-542-5790

Email: careers@amherst.edu

Career Center Staff

Ursula Olender
Director of the Career Center & Associate Dean

Olender

I've had the great pleasure of serving Amherst College since August 2011.  In my role, I lead career advising, employer relations, graduate and professional school advising, and fellowships advising functions.  Previously, I served as director of career services at Colgate University, associate director of career services at Dartmouth College, and as a career counselor at Champlain College.  I have utilized the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator with student clients and groups of colleagues for more than 15 years. 

I hold an M.Ed. in Counseling from Springfield College (Massachusetts) and a BA in Psychology from Greenville College (Illinois).  In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, hiking with my two English Springer Spaniels, genealogy, travel to out of the way locations, and volunteering with the Girl Scouts.   

Richard Aronson '69, MD, MPH
Health Professions Advisor & Assistant Dean

Dr. Aronson

Ever since my time here at Amherst as a student, I have had a passion to explore and act upon the meaning of health and the nature of healing. What does it mean to be a healthy person, a healthy family, a healthy community, a healthy society? What does it mean to be open to healing? For those who ponder pursuing a health profession of any kind, and for those who have already made that decision, what pathways are available to fit and feed your skills, curiosity, ideals, and dreams? What practical steps does one take to make these aspirations come alive? I am here to stimulate such conversation and help our students along in their journey.

My own journey has been rich with challenge, learning, and a myriad of opportunities to promote the health of people and communities, starting with my own health (I'm still working on that!). At Amherst, I majored in Religion, helped organize the Amherst Amigos (a group of us who lived in rural Mexican villages in the summers), and had the good fortune to be involved in the founding of the Amherst ABC Program.  Medical school (University of Rochester) and public health school (University of North Carolina) launched me on a career that has included clinical pediatric practice, public service, leadership as a public health physician (in Vermont, Wisconsin, and Maine), and teacher (most recently, at Hampshire College and UMass Amherst School of Public Health). I helped Amherst students start the Public Health Collaborative in 2009. I am now at a time of excitement and commitment to inspire a new generation of health professionals.  I can't think of a better place to do that than right here at Amherst.

I continue to be moved and inspired by the curiosity, passion, critical thinking, and thirst for light and justice that thrive at Amherst College.  Embracing the opportunity to be fully present here again, I turn to my favorite Amherst song:  "In the love of Amherst hearts, abides her greatest glory. As the future still imparts, the old unchanging story. Youth and beauty, learning, faith. Bound by friendship's charter. To the College we have made. With eye and mind and heart."

Patricia Brown
Employer Engagement Coordinator

Pat BrownI manage the on-campus employer connection program. I can’t believe it has been twenty-two years of working with students and employers! I so enjoy the day-to-day interaction and also developing sustainable relationships for both groups; I am honored to be working with such delightful and engaging students who have such great energy.

Before Amherst College, I worked in Boston at New England Mutual Life for eleven years, managing in the Pension Department for pension clients investing in mutual funds and then as a member of the Training and Development Department.  I also worked at the Museum of Science in the Education Department and had a great job managing inner city teenagers and programs.

Needing a break from the city and wanting more of the rural life, I moved  to Western Massachusetts in 1987 and settled into the country living of wood stoves, a small  herd of goats and chickens, and farming and  learning a new field as the office manager with Kuhn Riddle Architects here in Amherst.  I joined Amherst College in 1991.
 

Erin Cherewatti
Health Professions Assistant

Erin CherewattiI work with students as the Health Professions Assistant, helping students and alumni coordinate their applications for medical school and related health professions.  Prior to this position, I spent three years working in the administrative office of Frost Library, and am excited to have the opportunity to work more directly with students here at the Career Center.   I have worked both in counseling and as a business analyst in the past.  

I grew up in the Midwest and earned my undergraduate degree from Miami University (Ohio) and my master's degree from Harvard University, both in psychology.  In my spare time, I enjoy working with the community and spent five years on the board of Big Brothers Big Sisters.  I also enjoy traveling and spending time with friends and family, including my husband and three children, aged 10, 8, and 5. 

Sarah Frenette
Five College Teacher Licensure Coordinator

Sarah Frenette

The Mount Holyoke, Hampshire, and Amherst College Teacher Licensure Programs have a well-earned reputation as one of the Commonwealth’s outstanding programs for the preparation of educators. I work to recruit and support thoughtful, committed, and diverse candidates who have the potential to become excellent teachers, educators, or leaders in their fields. It is with great pleasure that I advise, coach, and guide students as they enter a truly noble career. I bring to my work a passion for literacy learning in early childhood and elementary classrooms and a dedication to public schooling.

denise gagnonDenise Gagnon
Director of Fellowship Advising

I began working at Amherst College in the Office of Admission. For the past nineteen years, I have been an advisor in the Office of Fellowships and am currently the Director of Fellowship Advising. In that capacity, I advise students applying for national scholarships and fellowships and the Amherst College Fellowships for graduate study. I counsel students regarding which fellowship opportunities may be the best fit for their interests and goals and I write letters of endorsement on behalf of our nominees. I also provide guidance on the application process and assist with writing and revising personal statements and proposals. The Office of Fellowships prepares applicants for foundation interviews and I provide information and advice from past winning scholarship winners and finalists. One of my favorite events is when we invite past winning fellows and scholars to return to campus to talk to juniors about their experiences abroad.

When I’m not at Amherst College, I’m a freelance landscape designer and belong to a garden club. When the town of Amherst celebrated its 250th anniversary, I designed and helped organize the planting of 26,000 daffodil bulbs in the town parks and common areas. That project is ongoing and we continue to plant thousands of bulbs every fall. I’m also an organizer for the Daffodil Fun/Run, a spring event that supports Big Brothers Big Sisters.

I studied Plant and Soil Science and I have a master’s degree in Developmental Psychology. When I’m not enjoying photography, good food, a good book, or singing with a chorus, I love to spend time with my family and friends, especially if we’re near the water.

Mara Gendel
Administrative Assistant & Receptionist

Career Center Staff

It is a pleasure to work in the Career Center as an Administrative Assistant/ Receptionist.  I am so impressed and inspired by Amherst’s students and enjoy playing a role in helping students pursue their dreams.

I studied Cultural and Physical Geography at Humboldt State University, and particularly loved researching backcountry management in Grand Canyon National Park.  After graduating from college, I taught courses and facilitated educational programs at a Nature Center in Los Angeles County.  Experiencing the wonders of the outdoors with children and adults who had little previous exposure to “nature” was very eye-opening!

In late-2011, after living in California for 27 years, I returned to my roots in New England.  I am delighted by the ever-changing seasons and am taking advantage of the many fabulous outdoor activities, especially hiking, that Western Massachusetts has to offer.

Before working in the Career Center, I spent two years working in Amherst College’s Office of Human Resources.  I have also worked in the medical field as a Chiropractic Assistant and in the entertainment industry in the Client Services department of a film production company.  Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with friends and family, doing arts and crafts projects, reading, creative writing, and listening to music.

Kathy Glista
Administrative Assistant & Receptionist
Interim Information Manager/Data Specialist

I am pleased to be working in the career center working with amazing people who devote themselves to helping students find their life’s passions, not just a job. I consider it a great day if I can ease a student’s nerves while they wait for an on campus interview, encourage them to pursue their dreams or simply lend a listening ear. 

I had been a homemaker for many years when a friend offered me a job.  Because of his faith in me and with the full support of my family, I went back to college and graduated in 2006 from Baypath with a degree in Psychology. I could not have done it without my husband, he carted our daughter to basketball and our son to his dance classes in order for me to take classes every Saturday for two years. Our daughter now has her master’s degree in Journalism and writes for the Hartford Courant. Our son graduated from Boston Conservatory with a BFA in dance.  They and their friends have been my greatest inspiration, and are the reason I so enjoy working with young adults.

When I am not at work I enjoy reading, crocheting, and working on the website for my church. My husband and I belong to an antique automobile club and enjoy showing our cars at the Big E and other local shows.

Emily Griffen
Associate Director for Alumni & Employer Engagement

Emily GriffenOn the Career Center team, my role is to collaborate with alumni, parents and employer partners on developing more career education resources and professional opportunities for Amherst College students. My responsibilities include leading our recruiting, internship and mentorship programs, and serving as the designated advisor on staff and academic liaison for science, math and technology careers. Prior to joining Amherst College, I managed executive education programs for mid-career and senior executives, and oversaw career development and employer relations for real estate development students, both at Columbia University. In my early career, I did talent management and organization development work in Los Angeles and New York, and spent a wonderful two years teaching English in Barcelona, Spain.  I received a B.A. in Liberal Arts from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University.

I find career development work extremely rewarding and fun, and I love being able to help people make connections, think strategically and communicate effectively as they navigate the “outside” world. I am excited to help Amherst students with making professional transitions and fulfilling their potential as unique individuals.

I moved to the Pioneer Valley from Brooklyn with my husband and 2.5-year-old son, and we are all enjoying the change of lifestyle, the trees, and the endless things to do in the area. We especially like eating brunch as a family at the Green Bean in Northampton or getting ice cream sundaes at Herrell’s. In my down time, I like to cook, read recipe blogs and spy novels, and faithfully keep up with The New York Times and New Yorker magazine.

Laura Litwiller
Assistant Director for Career Advising & Assistant Dean

Laura Litwiller

I advise Amherst College students on career exploration and the job search process. My own experience at a small liberal arts college in Indiana was the foundation for so much of what I value today: community, critical-thinking, ongoing personal and professional exploration, and meaningful friendships. I received my B.A. in Spanish and Secondary Education and later an M.A. in International Education from the SIT Graduate Institute. Both led to a fulfilling career path that has included teaching high school Spanish, teaching ESL in Venezuela, working as a paralegal at an immigration law firm, and developing community service and study abroad programming for students around the world. I am so excited that my diverse experiences led me to Amherst College where I am delighted to help students continue down their own career path!

In my free time, I like to do anything that gives me the chance to slow down, relax, and laugh. Mostly this means spending quality time with my husband, friends, and family. I also like to cook, hike, care for my plants, and read a good book.

Pamela Rietkerk
Administrative Assistant/Receptionist

As a new member of the Career Center I am delighted to be supporting the advising team and working to help students pursue their career aspirations.

My post-college career began in Boston as the recruiting coordinator for a large accounting and management consulting firm.  After relocating to Amherst I worked for eight years at Hampshire College in development and public relations. One of the most rewarding parts of my job at Hampshire was managing several alumni networking and internship programs which involved working closely with students and young alumni.

In 2000 my family relocated to the Netherlands and I took time out to raise three children. Upon returning to Amherst I have been volunteering for the schools and an active member of the advisory board for Family Outreach of Amherst, an organization to help struggling families get back on track. Most of my free time is spent on soccer and track fields all over New England. My family loves to travel and we try to visit family in Holland at least once a year.

I am excited to be back in higher education and to work with Amherst College students.

Carol Sharick
Assistant Director of Programming & Outreach

Carol Sharick

I work with staff, student groups and alumni with regard to career-related programming for students.  I'm working on creating the Career Center's strategic communications plan.  In addition, I offer advising to students, especially those interested in careers in journalism, or more broadly in the communications fields. I have been with the Career Center for ten years in a range of roles, such as interim recruiting coordinator, events planner/manager, publicity coordinator, office manager, and more.

I find career services to be a very hopeful field of work. Students have their whole lives ahead, and the world is filled with opportunity. I enjoy working with Amherst students very much, and am inspired by them every day!

I have a B.S. from Cornell in Human Development & Family Studies, and an M.Ed. from Penn State in Curriculum & Instruction in Elementary Education. Outside of work, I am actively involved with the Amherst Education Foundation (a local non-profit raising money for the public schools), having just retired from the board. I sing in a recently founded trio called "After the Rain", as well as with a hospice singing group called "Journey Home". I spend my “free” time keeping up with my husband and daughters, ages 21 (a senior at Wheaton College in MA), and 16, an 11th grader at ARHS.

Robert Siudzinski
Program Director, Amherst Careers in Education Professions

Robert Siudzinski, Program Director, Careers in Education ProfessionsThe Amherst College Career Center and Center for Community Engagement are pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Robert A. Siudzinski as Program Director for Careers in Education Professions. The Amherst Careers in Education Professions program has been made possible through the generosity of Charles “Chuck” Ashby Lewis ’64 and Penny Bender Sebring, Ph.D., founding co-director of the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research.

In this role, Robert will provide advice and serve as the principal resource for students and alumni considering and planning careers in education, including teaching and administration.  He will develop, implement, and manage a variety of services and programs and also counsel and advise students and alumni about related shadowing opportunities, volunteer opportunities, internships, full-time jobs, and gap-year experiences.  

Robert has taught in public and private schools, urban and rural classrooms, corporate, medical and government settings, and international and informal learning environments.  Fifteen years of instruction and academic and career counseling in higher education, ten of which were at liberal arts colleges, paired with extensive engagement with community partners, enlighten Robert’s approach to advising those drawn to teaching, educational advocacy, or administrative leadership.  

Since 2008, Robert served Washington College (Maryland) as assistant professor of education, coordinator of secondary education, and coordinator of the global teaching experience.  His resume includes five years with NASA’s Engineering and Safety Center Academy, a year in York County, Virginia as a classroom teacher and special educator, teaching and research at Virginia Tech, six years in student affairs at the College of Charleston (South Carolina), and much more.  Robert has written and presented on a number of education topics, most recently on place-based education and community learning partnerships.

Robert holds a doctor of philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction: Education Psychology (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University), a master of arts in teaching (College of Charleston), and a bachelor of science in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management (Clemson University).

Suzanne Spencer
Fellowships Coordinator

As the Fellowships Coordinator, I provide support to Director of Fellowships Advising, Denise Gagnon, and assist students through the application process for all the fellowships and scholarships administered through this office.  In addition, I generate spreadsheets and statistics; maintain documentation throughout the application process; edit written work; and facilitate communications with the Office of Fellowships.  I appreciate the challenges of the fellowship process and enjoy the variety of students and other individuals with whom I am able to work.

After college and an early career as a dancer and dance teacher in the Pioneer Valley, my growing family dictated a career shift.  I spent several years as an admissions counselor at HampshireCollege.  I worked in the Amherst College Financial Aid office, then spent 10 years working with both faculty and students in the Amherst Regional High School library before returning to Amherst College in my current position.   Outside of work, I enjoy family and friends, hikes with our dog, traveling, reading, swimming, dancing, and an enduring interest in the wilderness fostered by a number of years living in the Baja peninsula of Mexico and the Guatemalan rainforest.

Peter Powers
Information Manager/Data Specialist

My work involves helping students and alumni access various web-based resources. These interactions, along with the opportunity to collaborate with other college departments, are aspects of the job that keep it dynamic. Prior to Amherst, I helped administer Smith College’s community service program. My background is in English literature (B.A., Amherst ’90; M.A., University of Iowa ’93). I taught at Iowa and have held adjunct teaching positions at Holyoke Community College and American International College.

 

Career Advising Appointments

Login to Quest to request an appointment with a career advisor.  If you have technical difficulties, please call the Career Center at 413-542-2265.


Quick Questions

Stop by to see a PCA during their drop-ins or take advantage of advisor drop-in hours.


Hours & Contact

Monday-Friday 8:30am-4:30pm

College Hall, 155 S. Pleasant Street

Amherst, MA 01002-5000

Telephone: 413-542-2265

Fax: 413-542-5790

Email: careers@amherst.edu