MEET THE TEAM
Salt Lake City, UT
Jessica MitchellManager, Career Services
15 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE
Jessica Mitchell is currently the Manager for Western Governors University’s Career & Professional Development team. She brings over 15 years of experience in recruiting, non-profit administration, and career services to the university. Prior to working on the Career & Professional Development team, Jessica led successful career services initiatives at the University of Utah and Arizona State University with a focus on enhancing student career development outcomes and creating successful employer relations and recruiting programs. She is a published author, conference presenter and consultant on a variety of career management topics.
Jessica holds a certification in life coaching with the International Coaching Federation and is also certified to administer the MBTI and Strong Interest Inventory. She earned her BA in Philosophy from Bryn Mawr College and her M.Ed. in Student Personnel Administration from Western Washington University.
Jessica’s career coaching focuses on strategic career management and intentional career planning. She has coached a diverse clientele, from mothers returning to the workforce to C-level executives, to define and achieve successful career outcomes.
Danielle DottoloAdvisor, Career Services
Danielle Dottolo is an enthusiastic career counselor in higher education whose mission is to support the professional development and success of diverse populations of students and alumni. With education and experience in disability services and career counseling, Danielle has worked in various higher education institutions, both large and small. In her role at WGU, Danielle serves as a Career & Professional Development Advisor for the College of Business working with students and graduates to help individuals reach their career goals. Prior to her role at WGU, she served as Associate Director of Career Education at Philadelphia University in Pennsylvania, where she currently resides.
Danielle obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting and a Master of Science degree in Rehabilitation and Community Counseling at Syracuse University and is also a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor and MBTI Certified Practitioner. Throughout her own career she has been following her interest to make career development and education accessible and collaborative for all types of students and alumni while minimizing barriers. In all of her experiences, Danielle has combined her passion for career services with her strong desire to promote student success through the use of technology and online resources. She enjoys helping people find their strengths and purpose, put steps into action, and achieve their life goals.
Cliff GarinnAdvisor, Career Services
Cliff is an accomplished career specialist holding national certifications as a Career Coach and Resume Writer. He began his professional career in the Church where he spent three years counseling parishioners as a spiritual director and as a life coach. His career path then led to supervisory roles in the public sector and for the State of Texas as a career counselor for Project RIO: The Re-Integration of Offenders. Cliff was recruited to work for The University of Texas at Arlington as The Coordinator of Career Services. He over-saw The College of Business Career Services Office as well as worked with other graduate students and alumni from all academic units on campus. He has presented on a wide-range of career topics to both faculty and students alike. Cliff was one of the founding members of the Student Veteran Advisory Council where he presented career-related topics to more than 1200 military veterans seeking their education and career paths.
Today, Cliff is on the WGU Career & Professional Development team serving as the career advisor for Information Technology students and alumni. He continues to bring a sense of compassion and empathy to engage WGU students in the best professional way possible. Cliff’s experience adds to the robust expertise of the team. His knowledge of the hiring process, cutting-edge practice of resume development, and effective networking skills expands the professional scope of the team. Cliff works to empower students to take charge of their career path, to develop and design their career goals and to execute and implement their career plan.
Darius HarrisAdvisor, Career Services
Darius Harris is a passionate career development professional. His love for the field of career development comes from a desire to learn and teach as well as being part of the process that helps people find career fulfillment. He holds a professional resume writing & career coaching certification and is a member of the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches (PARW).
Darius began his career in his hometown of Detroit working in workforce development. There he gained a love for the field of career development and recognized the impact a person’s career has on their mindset, quality of living, and family dynamics. Darius has worked at both the International Academy of Design & Technology and DeVry University where he served as Associate Director of Career Services leading successful initiatives. He has also functioned as a Visiting Professor teaching career development courses.
In his role at WGU, Darius serves as a Career & Professional Development Advisor for the College of Business working with students and graduates who request career and professional development guidance. Darius’ model: “I don’t believe in a one size fits all approach to career coaching. By getting to know my client’s strengths and weaknesses, I partner with them to build career plans and strategies around their strengths.” His approach is centered on the idea of helping people to find and pursue their passion which will lead to fulfilling careers.
Central Point, OR
Brandi HoelAdvisor, Career Services
Brandi Hoel is a career development professional who is passionate about helping others identify their own unique strengths, and discover pathways to fulfill their ultimate career goals. Prior to joining the Career & Professional Development team at WGU, she spent over seven years at Oregon State University in various student services roles, including academic advising and success counseling positions. While at Oregon State, she also taught courses focusing on career decision-making and student success. After moving to southern Oregon, where she currently resides, Brandi served as a Career Advisor for WorkSource Rogue Valley. There she was able to provide career coaching and deliver workshops focused on how to maintain confidence and motivation throughout the job search process.
Brandi earned her B.S. in Psychology from Western Oregon University, and her M.S. in Human Development and Family Sciences from Oregon State University. She has also received training in motivational interviewing, earned Cognitive Behavioral Facilitation certification, and is a certified MBTI Practitioner.
At Western Governors University, Brandi serves as a Career & Professional Development Advisor for the Teachers College. Brandi says “being able to partner with individuals throughout the career development process, as they identify strategies that build confidence and highlight all that they have to offer, has been such a rewarding experience; an experience that has allowed me to reach true fulfillment within my own career.”
Adenike MakindeAdvisor, Career Services
Adenike Makinde is an enthusiastic career services professional who brings over 15 years of experience in training, project management and business administration to WGU. Prior to joining the Career & Professional Development team, she worked as an Orientation Specialist at WGU, assisting new students as they navigated through their introductory course of study. She was also part of the first satellite office of Western Governors University, instrumental in selection, hiring and onboarding of faculty in Indiana and surrounding states.
Adenike began her career, working for a large retail chain, where she participated in college and cultural fairs, interviewing students across a range of disciplines. She went on to use those same skills to select, onboard and train new team members with companies such as Sears, Nyhart and Interactive Intelligence. Adenike earned her B.S. in Business Administration at the University of Evansville and her M.Ed in Instructional Design from Western Governors University. In her position at WGU, Adenike serves as a Career & Professional Development Advisor working with Health Professions students and alumni. She says “No one ever has to settle. Everyone has a special set of skills and talents that make them unique and often all it takes is encouragement and guidance to get people on track to their success. WGU Career & Professional Development provides me with an opportunity to provide meaningful support to individuals each and every day.”
Leah McNallyEmployer Relations Coordinator
A dedicated career services professional, Leah McNally has been providing career guidance to diverse individuals at various points along their career path since 2006. Previous to joining WGU in May 2011, Leah worked for three years for Workforce Boulder County, providing career workshops and one-on-one coaching to residents of Boulder County. She also worked as a career counselor and adjunct instructor for Westwood College. While at Westwood, Leah assisted students and graduates with career exploration, career planning, and job search strategies in addition to teaching a Success Strategies class. Leah has reviewed thousands of resumes and would much rather assist you with your resume than work on her own.
Leah earned her Bachelor of Science from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse with a double major in Biology & Psychology. She went on to earn her Master of Arts in Educational Psychology from the University of Minnesota before moving to the Denver, CO area where she currently resides.
In her role at WGU, Leah has transitioned to Employer Relations Coordinator after serving as a Career Advisor for five years. She says, “I am often blown away by the level of experience and expertise I find in WGU students and graduates. I love assisting students and graduates in recognizing and articulating their awesomeness!” As Employer Relations Coordinator, Leah is excited to connect employers with the talented students and alumni from WGU.
Marcella RyanAdvisor, Career Services
Marcella Ryan is an education professional with over 20 years experience in K-12 and higher education in both traditional and on-line environments. She has taught high school classes, designed curriculum and innovative academic programming as a curriculum leader, supervised student teachers in the field, and mentored new teachers to the profession. In addition, she has developed professional development trainings for teachers via live sessions, webinars and recorded presentations. She is a former Teacher of the Year, Disney American Teacher nominee, three time recipient of Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers and a licensed teacher in three states.
Marcella earned her B.A. in Education and Spanish and a minor in ESOL at Rider University and an M.A. in Secondary Education from Gratz College. She grew up in Pennsylvania, lived abroad as foreign exchange student in Morelos, Mexico and Madrid, Spain and now currently resides in Orlando, FL.
In her role at WGU, Marcella serves as a Career & Professional Development Advisor for the Teachers College, working with student teachers and recent graduates who need career and professional development guidance as they begin their education career. She says “For the last six years at WGU, I have enjoyed sharing all my education experiences with new educators to the profession. I am delighted to help them embark on their teaching career and challenge them to try new and innovative ideas in their classrooms.”