Career Impact Awards: Honoring pandemic persistence

By Anna Renzetti, CPDC Assistant Director of Marketing

This year the Career & Professional Development Center (CPDC) has dedicated its annual Career Impact Awards to the faculty, staff, alumni and employers who lifted students up during the past year. These professionals ensured U students could still persist into meaningful professional opportunities. Even during a pandemic.

“The tremendous encouragement and support by the collective campus has allowed our students to persevere in moving forward toward their career and academic aspirations,” said Stan Inman, Director of the CPDC. “On behalf of myself and my team, we acknowledge and sincerely thank you for the efforts and commitment to the campus and our students. You have all pivoted to support students in new ways, using new and unfamiliar approaches and continue to be there for students in challenging times. Thank you.”

The CPDC is excited to announce the 2020 Career Impact Award Winners! We honor these individuals as members of our campus community who have committed themselves to prioritizing career and internship success for all students.


In addition to stand-out employers, 7 faculty/advisors have been named for going above and beyond to support U students through the challenges of the pandemic. These individuals ensured that students could still learn effectively, even when they themselves were taking on new challenges of teaching and advising virtually. View all 12 Career Champions here.


Alumni like Ethan Ray (Urban Ecology, ’16), also played an important part in supporting students through 2020 and was praised by his intern. “Ethan helped me learn and understand more about transit planning through the projects we collaborated on. I also learned about professionalism through his example of good time management, organization and clear communication,” said Erik Fronberg, master’s student, College of Architecture & Planning.


In the College of Education (COE), students concerned with their ability to safely pursue teaching opportunities were met with encouragement and support from Ms. Donnette Mcneill-Waters and the Human Resources Team for Granite School District.

“Granite School District’s support during the pandemic highlighted a commitment to ensure our students were safe, provided with alternative options for classrooms visits and guaranteed learning opportunities in response to students’ individual needs,” said Faculty member and nominator Mary Burbank of the Urban Institute for Teacher Education (UITE).


For many students an internship is a steppingstone to full-time employment opportunities with their dream companies, important sources of income while in school and even a requirement to graduate. This year several U students adapted to a virtual world and used their skills in new ways to make an impact on various industries.

“I was fortunate enough to find an internship where I could safely work from home. This experience has been exceptionally helpful to me in learning how to effectively communicate and adapt to different environments, as well as navigate new software and data on my own,” said Cassie White, bachelor’s student, Communication.

To view a full list of the Career Impact Award winners, click here.