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Career Services Faculty Recognition Award

The Career & Professional Development Center annually recognizes outstanding faculty who have made significant contributions to their students' professional development. Nominations were made by students, and winners were selected for their dedication to help students find resources, guide their career paths and realize their potential. We thank our faculty winners as well as the nominated faculty for their work in fostering a career culture here at the University of Utah. 

Picture of CoCo James

 Professor CoCo James  

College of Social and Behavioral Science

"CoCo listened to my work and college experience, my passions, and pointed me in a
direction she thought I would excel in. Unlike other professors, CoCo always provided
meaningful feedback on all assignments in both of the courses I took with her. No other
professor in my four years of college devoted the same time or effort to students that
CoCo maintained."

Don Herrin

Dr. Don Herrin

College of Social  and Behavioral    Science

"Dr. Herrin is the most influential professor I have had in my college career thus far. From
the first day of class I knew that he was there for his students and for no other reason. Dr.
Herrin has so much to offer his students, whether it's his years of experience in the field
or his willingness to work one-on-one with his students to ensure they grow and develop
the skills they need to succeed in life."

Micahel Free

Dr. Michael Free

College of Mines and Earth Sciences

"Dr. Free often shared some examples of my lab-mates who have graduated and successfully got positions in the academic and industry. In addition, he has done everything he can as a supervisor. He sacrificed his time with families and write a recommendation letter for me, and I was totally moved. I could not have imagined having a better advisor."

Jan Miller

Dr. Jan Miller

College of Mines and Earth Sciences

  "Dr. Jan Miller is an epitome of hard work, dedication and perseverance. Dr. Miller's
knowledge and experience enriched my skills, and helped me pursue a research-oriented
career. I have gained good traits, leadership qualities, and humility, which helped me in
my career development, and also being a better person."

Kody Powell

Dr. Kody Powell


College of Engineering

"Dr. Powell has helped me personally but I also wanted to recognize how much he has
helped our departmental students as a collective. He has made such an direct impact, especially for being a brand new faculty member His advocacy to gain technical experience any way possible has inspired many students to become more competitive in
the job market."

Elizabeth Clement

Professor Elizabeth Clement

 College of   Humanities

"During the first few weeks of class Professor Clement brought in several guest speakers, a documentation, a representative from career services, and a representative from the education department to help students understand what careers are available to them. I believe Professor Clement provided a different career exploration experience that I have not encountered in the history department before."

Mark Matheson

Professor Mark Matheson

College of Humanities

"Mark Matheson is one of the most incredible individuals I have met at the University of Utah. He took the time to really discuss my personal path that led me to my interest in law school. He goes the extra mile to get students where they need to be. Without him, my college experience would be completely different and he has bettered it in a million ways."

Peggy McCandless

Professor Peggy McCandless

College of Education

"Peggy has been a huge aide to my career preparation and search for the last three years.
She not only taught me how to be the best teacher I could be, but she thoroughly prepared me for finding a job after college. She is one of the first people I consult when making decisions about my career. I can think of no other professor who has had such a lasting impact on my life."

Eric Garland

Dr. Eric Garland


College of Social  Work

"Dr. Garland's investment in my future is unlike that of any other faculty I have ever known. He provides candid advice as I make decisions that will affect my career, and his experience and foresight into what I need to do to achieve my career goals has afforded me with a host of unique opportunities. Dr. Garland is an asset to the College of Social Work and to the university as a whole."

Linda Edelam

Dr. Linda Edelman

College of Nursing


"I started working for Linda while I was applying for nursing school as a research
assistant. She talked to what options were available to me, as well as lead me through the research process and me about my goals.. Linda was not only a great influence in my
professional life, but she was a wonderful friend and mentor."

Dr. Jennifer  Clifton

College of Nursing


"Professor Clifton has organized exercises, assignments and readings that help me analyze my career goals and values. She has also provided useful information that will help me be a more prepared leader and political advocate for health care and my profession of
choice. I appreciate her commitment to her students, and she acts as a positive and encouraging role model for students that are just developing their professional identity."

Ann Engar


Dr. Ann Engar


LEAP, Honors College

"Dr. Engar has been an amazing mentor not only inside the classroom but outside as well. Not only did Dr. Engar help my career development by being an amazing professor, but she always went far beyond what was to be "expected" of her. She reaches out to each of her students individually with opportunities specific to their field of interest."

Janice Ugaki

       Professor        Janice Ugaki


Honors College

 "My Freshmen year class with Janice was one of the most influential classes on my life I have had thus far. She taught the small group of us how to construct the perfect resume,
write cover letters and personal statements, and more. This class helped me learn to set my eyes further and helped me create the plan for getting there."

Clayton Williams

Dr. Clayton Williams


College of Science    

 "I have already learned while working withProfessor Clayton the value of independent
thinking especially while starting off with a beginning project for something that could eventually expand into many different areas of research. It will be a real life experience
which is applicable for me to acquire a dual-major in Biology and Business and how I
can use concepts of Business in science-related lab work."

                                Dr. Joseph Mirci

      College of             Science    

   "Dr. Mirci was the best professor I had here at the University of Utah. He cares about his
students and does everything that he can to help his students succeed in and out of the classroom. He helped me solidify my decision to become a dentist and this upcoming fall I will be attending dental school. He is an incredible mentor and I am thankful that I had him as a professor."

      Professor         Amy Sibul

       College of                Science    

 "Professor Sibul assisted me in forming The Wildlife Society at University of Utah student
chapter, where we have provided education, support, and networking for students interested in wildlife ecology and conservation. She helped me and many other students build lasting relationships with professional organizations that have resulted in
internships and jobs."

Shannon Jones

Professor  Shannon Jones

College of Health

"Shannon has been my number one supporter and co-conspirator in helping my program
reduce food waste and hunger in Salt Lake. Her mentorship is crucial to my success in taking my program research to places nationally. Her enthusiasm and encouragement for
my projects are a huge support on my way to turning my passion for food justice, climate change resilience, and community engagement into a career."

Traci Thompson

Professor Traci  Thompson

College of Health

"Traci has been one of the most influential leaders in my educational experience. For
example, she had gone out of her way countless time to provide me with unique opportunities for learning and personal growth. She truly cares about the quality of the lives of those she works with, and that example of compassion is something I hope to
emulate one day."

Robert Baldwin

Dr. Robert  Baldwin

College of Fine Arts

 "Dr. Baldwin has always been deeply involved with the whole spectrum of musical instruction, including career development. He has helped his students explore and understand numerous artistic endeavors within the constantly changing musical world. His passion for music, positivism, encouragement, and integrity set Dr. Baldwin as one of
the most exceptional faculty I have ever worked."

Robert Smith

Professor Robert Smith

   College of Fine Arts

"Rob Scott is very passionate about his work and his work as a teacher. He is incredibly
generous with his time, and consistently works with his students outside of class. If I
come to him with a goal in mind, Scott will help me to plan the path to success. He has such a wonderful energy that is infectious and is a great person to be around."

Dr. Fred Adler
College of Science

“Professor Fred Adler's mentorship was formative and instrumental in my final two years of undergraduate study. He patiently advised my research, helped me explore graduate programs, introduced me to few of his colleagues at other Universities so I could make a sound judgment in choosing my next career steps. I have observed that Dr. Adler extends the same kindness and courtesy to all his students, graduate or undergraduates.”

Dr. Tony Butterfield
Chemical Engineering
College of Engineering

“If it weren't for my incredible experiences in his freshman innovation and design lab course, I don't know if I would have survived the grueling 4 year undergraduate program and got to where I am today preparing to graduate this May. In Tony's courses, you aren't afraid to give everything you've got because you know that he's going to help you when you get stuck.” 

Dr. Brenda Bowen
College of Mines & Earth Sciences

“Professor Bowen is so passionate about what she does and in motivating others to help change the world...She immediately understood my areas of interest and started suggesting names of professors whom I could work with. She also gave me the opportunity to be her TA.
Her willingness to help and openness has dispelled any of my initial nerves or apprehension about research.”

Professor Ryan Bown
Entertainment Arts & Engineering
College of Engineering

“Professor Bown was supportive and energetic... At that time of his class, I was undeclared...[He] suggested I declare the Film and Media Arts major instead, noting how much I had improved at sculpting and modeling since I first took his class. I am now aiming for a career in 3D modeling and asset production for films or video games, and I have Ryan Bown to thank for it.”

Dr. Bethany Buck Koehntop
College of Science

“Dr. Buck-Koehntop has been more supportive of my endeavors in presentation and publication than I could have hoped. She regularly finds opportunities and encourages me to participate in them, and offers her unwavering support in my attempts to capitalize on them...My experience in her laboratory has done more to advance my career than any other activity in which I have engaged at the University.”

Dr. Katharine Coles
College of Humanities

“Dr. Katherine Coles receives students without judgment, but with great expectations. My writing has improved and so has my perspective of my own self and my future... Her passion about her subject shows that one can be happy in what they do and also be contentedly busy. The best part in regards to her passion, is that it carries into the classroom, and motivates me to follow mine.”

Dr. Bruce Dain
College of Humanities

“I hope to one day become a history teacher, and my time as a Supplemental Instruction Leader has gotten my feet wet. This semester, Dr. Dain allowed me to lecture for a class period. The amount of trust and respect that demonstrated to me was phenomenal, and integral to my own development as an educator.”

Professor Stephen Goldsmith
Urban Ecology
College of Architecture

“[Professor Goldsmith] teaches from his heart...I feel like I am in the right place whenever I attend his class and that I am getting a quality education. I realized that instead of just taking one class from him as an elective, that I should switch majors to urban ecology, because it has helped me grow as an individual and bring out my passion for justice, compassion, and peace.”

Dr. Joel Harley
Electrical Engineering
College of Engineering

“Professor Harley is my most valuable academic and career resource...Despite his busy schedule, he always made time to discuss my progress during weekly meetings [where] I was able to make steady advancements with my project and come up with interesting results. He always encouraged me to attend numerous seminars related to my academic interests, which helped me tremendously in broadening my perspective for my future career.” 

Dr. Kimberly Mangun
College of Humanities

“Professor Mangun not only sparked my passion with journalism and reporting, she also helped me prepare for the career world ahead of me. As someone who feared interviewing people to create a story, Professor Mangun helped me get over this fear through her class, Voices of Utah.  Her class enabled me to learn how to be a good journalist.” 

Professor Tahmina Martelly
College of Health

 “I have never taken a class where a professor inspired me like the way Tahmina Martelly has. Throughout the semester Professor Martelly would share things that would broaden my perspective and encourage me to take advantage of the many opportunities that surround me, which has helped me immensely in building experiences for my future.” 

Dr. Theresa Martinez
College of Social & Behavioral Science

“Theresa is very passionate about what she teaches...I can honestly say that she has changed my life and the way I perceive others through a sociological lens. By taking her classes I was reassured multiple times that working with children is something I think I am meant to do with my life.  Her classes have prepared me for this work.”

Professor Con Psarras
College of Humanities

“At first I didn’t think journalism would be something I was interested in, but the quality of Dr. Psarras’ teaching started to change my mind about working in journalism. He introduced me to an on campus internship working with the marketing and communications office...I value his judgment and advice on my writing and career goals. Dr. Psarras works hard to see his students succeed.”


Professor Julie Rada
Theatre Professor
College of Fine Arts

“Dr. Rada has served as an influential mentor and advocate.  She approached me to initiative a conversation about what I might do after graduation... [She] made countless suggestions for potential angles I could work in the arts world...Since then, she checks in with me regularly... She has also provided me with resources regarding where to look for job postings. This has been very helpful, encouraging, and confidence boosting for me.” 

Dr. Holly Sebahar
College of Science

 “Dr. Sebahar has given me a lot of help in exploring new careers and has helped me in many ways throughout my application to pharmacy school. In addition to writing a letter of recommendation for me, she is always sure to ask me how things are going and keep me encourage to do my best and survive each semester.  She shows a genuine interest in her students and she cares.”  

Dr. Michael Simpson
Metallurgical Engineering
College of Mines & Earth Sciences

“Through Dr. Simpson’s help and recommendation, I was offered an internship... I will be starting the internship in the summer, and have been talking with Professor Simpson about employment in his lab group after I return. He has been a lot of help in the past with writing personal recommendation letters for me...and he continues to help me now in these opportunities.  He has been a facilitator for my success.”

Dr. Taylor Sparks
Material Sciences Engineering
College of Engineering

“In inviting me to join his research group, Dr. Sparks has made me involved in a project that gives me a strong career direction... My experience with Dr. Sparks and the project he has invited me to work on during grad school has given me a clear career focus which I am legitimately passionate about. He has been the defining guiding hand in my experience at the U.”  

Dr. Ashley Spear
Mechanical Engineering
College of Engineering

“There was a point where I felt like I was in the wrong major... I made an appointment with Professor Spear to ask her for some mentorship and guidance...She listened to my woes and helped direct my thoughts into my strengths and interests. She opened up doorways of possibilities for me that I can do with my choice of major.  She is overall an inspiring educator.” 

Dr. Jeanine Stefanucci
College of Social & Behavioral Science

“I am always impressed with how much time Dr. Stefanucci spends helping students individually.  I have come to her many, many times to ask for help about class and about my future.  She always makes sure to listen and given concise and helpful feedback, which has helped me feel more confident and prepared to pursue graduate programs to advance my career.” 



Last Updated: 8/15/17