OUR MISSION

The Career Development Center strives to prepare and empower students and alumni to discern and achieve professional goals throughout their lifetime.  Through the development of meaningful and productive relationships with industry and campus partners, we connect students and alumni with experiential and professional opportunities and resources.

Our staff is here to help students of all majors and class years in a variety of ways, ranging anywhere from choosing a major, to mock interviews, to resume reviews. Get to know a little bit more about our team below!

Trish

Trish Shafer

Director

Education: La Salle University: Master of Arts in Human Services Psychology and Bachelor of Science in Marketing

Trainings/Associations: Ignatian Leadership Program, Ignatian Leadership Seminar, NACE Career Coaching, NACE Management Leadership Institute, and Safe Zone

Your main role: I define priorities and strategy for the Career Development Center and seek strategic collaborations across campus and with external partners.

How you got here: When I felt called to my career, I was fortunate to have someone who took a leap of faith to hire me – I am forever grateful to that person for helping me get my start in a career I love.

Your best piece of career advice: “Never surprise your boss and always make your boss look good”.  This has served me well across my career and me led to promotions and trusting relationships with my managers.

Fun Fact: Despite my distaste of violence of any kind, I love watching boxing.

Outside of work: You'll find me in my garden, going to see live music of all kinds, and spending time with my husband and three kids.

Scott

Scott Rappaport

Associate Director

Education: The University of Delaware: Master of Education in Counseling and Higher Education Administration. Ithaca College: Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication

Trainings/Associations: Member of EACE -Eastern Association of College and Employers & former President.  Member of NACE - National Association of Colleges and Employers. Safe Zone and Factuality Trained.

Your main role: I oversee the Assessment initiatives in the office as well as work with to strengthen the programming that we provide for all students.  I also oversee our technology efforts including Handshake and I liaison with Admissions and Alumni Relations.

How you got here: I have been working in Career Development for over 15 years now.  Five years at Widener University and ten years at The University of Delaware.  I worked in Residential Life for three years before going to grad school.

Your best piece of career advice: Your first job out of school will get you started along your path.  Remember, that even if this is not your dream job, you have taken the first step, which sometimes is the hardest one to take.

Fun Fact: I have gone skydiving and have caught a foul ball at a Major League Baseball game.

Outside of work: I love spending time with my wife Ashley and son Grayson.  I enjoy playing USTA tennis and do woodworking when I have some free time.

Pam Kokkalis

Pam Kokkalis

Associate Director, Employer Engagement

Education: Temple University: Master of Science in Human Resources. Holy Family University: Bachelor of Arts in History

Trainings/Associations: MBTI, Safe Zone

Your main role: I work with employers to help them identify a strategy to target SJU students and alumni for their hiring needs.

How you got here: I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up!  I was drawn to helping professions but circled the HR world and finally found my home in Career Services. I love the intersection of careers and education. My best day is to hear about a student breaking into their desired field.

Your best piece of career advice: Shakespeare said it best, To thine own self be true! You have to follow what brings you joy, fulfillment and makes you feel safe.

Fun Fact: I lived in 3 countries by the age of 3!  After that, I didn't leave Philadelphia for a long time.

Outside of work: I enjoy rediscovering being a kid and playing with my dog.  I also like to garden!

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Christine Falcone

Assistant Director, Pre-Law Advisor

Education: University of Scranton: Master of Science in School Counseling and Bachelor of Science in Counseling & Human Services/Theology & Religious Studies

Trainings/Associations: Licensed Professional Counselor; Nationally Certified Counselor, Safe Zone Trained, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator certified

Your main role: My role is working directly with students to help them achieve their career goals and to be accepted into law school.  I also hold liaison roles with the Kinney Center and Campus Ministry and oversee our office's work with the graduate and adult student population.

How you got here: I always knew I wanted to work with students in a goal-oriented counseling setting.  After completing a practicum experience at a college career center, I determined I liked working with college students in this specific way.  After graduating with my master's degree, I started working at SJU!

Your best piece of career advice: Be curious, ask questions, and be engaged - in class, internships, jobs, etc.  Each person you meet is a connection who can be helpful along the way (not just in landing a job, but helping you determine your career path).

Fun Fact: I can solve a rubik's cube. Also, have a life goal of running a race in every state.

Outside of work: You can find me running, watching movies, and hanging out with family and friends!

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Lisa Hansinger

Career Counselor

Education: Holy Family University: Master of Science, Counseling Psychology. University of California, Irvine: Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

Trainings/Associations: Licensed Professional Counselor (PA), Nationally Certified Counselor, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Certified, Eastern Association of Colleges and Employers (EACE) member and 2019 Conference Presenter, Safe Zone, Mental Health First Aid, Factuality

Your main role: I provide  information, resources and counseling to undergraduate and graduate students and alumni who are seeking to discern and achieve professional goals. I also serve as a CDC Liaison to Residence Life, International Students and Scholars, Center for International Programs, Office of Student Success and Office of Inclusion and Diversity to collaborate on serving those unique populations. I recruit, train and supervise our Graduate Counseling Interns who are preparing for careers as counselors!

How you got here: I began my career as a corporate college recruiter but had a great experience with career counseling as an undergraduate and quickly found that my interest was more focused on college student development instead of meeting recruiting goals.  After several of life's twists and turns, including a move across the country and three children (now adults) later, I returned to graduate school to complete a Master of Science degree to pursue a Career Counseling in Higher Education.

Your best piece of career advice: Try a variety of roles and be open to opportunities of interest without pre-judging them.

Fun Fact: This is my dream job!

Outside of work: I love dogs, travel, exercising, and socializing with friends/family.

Danielle

Danielle Fichter

Recruiting, Events, & Employer Engagement Specialist

Education: Saint Joseph's University: Master of Business Administration (2020) Pennsylvania State University: Bachelor of Science in Marketing

Trainings/Associations: Safe Zone, WordPress Training, Factuality Training, Member of EACE

Your main role: In my position, I manage the on-campus recruiting program and coordinate employer events on-campus. I also support employer relationship management and outreach efforts.

How you got here: I came to Career Services after working in the corporate retail and events industries.  I was drawn to this position because of the event planning aspect and also because of all of the people I get to work with on a daily basis.  I really enjoy working with our employer partners to provide amazing opportunities for our students in a variety of industries.

Your best piece of career advice: Expose yourself to as many different areas of interest as possible during your time at college.  It will help you determine the direction you would like to take in your career and more importantly, where you would not like to go.

Fun Fact: I worked in New York City for four years after college!

Outside of work: I enjoy taking yoga and barre classes and trying new restaurants with friends in Philadelphia.

Trisha

Trisha Gregory

Marketing and Social Media Specialist

Education: Saint Joseph's University: Master of Organizational Development and Leadership (2021), Bachelor of Science in Marketing

Trainings/Associations: Safe Zone, WordPress

Your main role: I develop and implement marketing and social media strategies for the Career Development Center. I also oversee our Career Ambassadors and Marketing Intern throughout the Academic year!

How you got here: After graduation, I moved to North Jersey and worked in Marketing and Social Media there for two years. I missed Hawk Hill so much and wanted to be a part of this campus again, so I took on the role of Marketing and Social Media Specialist here at the CDC!  

Your best piece of career advice: Think about what your passionate about and what brings you joy, and find a career thats rewarding for you.

Fun Fact: I didn't have a Hawk Wrap until second semester of my senior year.

Outside of work: You can find me teaching indoor cycling classes at CYCLEBAR in West Chester, or training for my next half marathon in Center City!

Jean Burke

Jean Burke

Administrative Assistant

Education: Saint Joseph's University: Bachelor of Science in Food Marketing

Trainings/Associations: Safe Zone, Mediation Training

Your main role: I take care of all the administrative office duties. I greet visitors to the office, answer the phone, pay the bills, oversee the work study students and try to keep the staff organized!

How you got here: I worked at ARAMARK for 17 years after graduating from SJU with a Food Marketing degree. I took some time off when my two daughters were young and found my way back to Hawk Hill!

Your best piece of career advice:  Be yourself throughout the entire process.

Fun Fact: I've been to Ireland 13 times.

Outside of work: I'm a quilter! I teach quilting at the local night school. I also enjoy traveling with my husband and daughters.

Nina

Nina Rizzo

Graduate Student Intern

Education: Widener University: Bachelor of Arts in Pyschology

How you got here: Even though I am only 5 years out of undergraduate school, my own career journey has already had its highs and lows. Through this, I have learned a lot about myself and what is important to consider when making career-based decisions. I feel called to share insight and wisdom from my own personal experiences to help others navigate this area of their life. I also love using an empowering, strengths-based model when working with clients, and the field of career counseling allows for this.

Your best piece of career advice: Do what you feel connected to and excited about and the rest will unfold!

Fun Fact: I teach yoga and created class called "e.d.Om yoga", which is a hour-long fusion of yoga and electronic dance music. It is super fun!

Outside of work: I enjoy spending time in nature, time with friends and family, travel, yoga, meditation, exercise and listen to podcasts about all things spiritual growth.

Brendan

Brendan Kennedy

Graduate Student Intern

Education: La Salle University: Master of Arts in Professional Clinical Counseling (2020); Fairfield University: Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, minor in Educational Studies.

How you got here: I always have had a strong passion to work with students, and join them in their journey of self-discovery. The opportunity to be part of their accomplishments has given great meaning and clarity to my own career progression. I am excited to gain experience with the SJU Career Development Center during my practicum and internship semesters of my Professional Clinical Counseling program!

Your best piece of career advice: Follow your moral compass; the most meaningful work you do often comes from an open heart, and staying true to your values.

Fun Fact: I have run 4 half-marathons to-date, and I studied abroad in Ireland a semester during my junior year of college (and I highly recommend studying abroad!)

Outside of work: I love spending time with my family and friends, I'm an Eagles and 76ers "phanatic," and I enjoy running, reading, playing golf and sitting on a beach in Sea Isle City!

Debbie

Deborah Scullin

Graduate Student Intern

Education: Villanova University: Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (2020), DeSales University: Bachelor of Science in Clinical Psychology 

How you got here: As I began working with college students in a workplace setting, I began to recognize the universal excitement that surrounds career development.  I developed a passion for student advancement and sought out career counseling for my graduate internship. I felt called to Saint Joseph's University because of its welcoming and engaging atmosphere!

Your best piece of career advice: Don’t be afraid to expose yourself to new things. You might find your passion in the most unexpected places. 

Fun Fact: I’ve road-tripped through New England three times in the past three years. The most exciting moment for me was seeing a moose up close!

Outside of work: You can find me outside! I love to hike and kayak, and spend a lot of time exploring my surroundings. I recently started searching for all the hidden gems sprinkled throughout Philadelphia.