Executive Director, Career and Professional Development
Passionate career professional dedicated to supporting and uplifting all students as they explore who they are and where they are going.
First Job: Besides lawn mowing and babysitting, my first job was as a picture framer!
Education: Master of Education Degree in Student Development in Higher Education, University of Maine, Orono, Maine; Bachelor of Arts Degree in French, Minors in English Composition, Russian Studies, Nebraska Wesleyan University, Lincoln, Nebraska
Career Specialties: Career Development, Professional and Wedding Etiquette, Public Speaking, Leadership, Supervision, and Event Planning
Professional and Community Activities: Midwest Association of Colleges and Employers (member, past board member), National Association of Colleges and Employers (member), College Career Consortium of Illinois (President, member), Quad Cities College Career Group (member), Senior Leadership Roundtable with QC Chamber of Commerce (member), Volunteer Soccer Coach, Windsor Crest Club (social chair, member)
Honors and Awards: Midwest ACE Founders Award (July 2019), Midwest ACE Diversity Advancement Founders Award (July 2014), Midwest ACE JW Paquette Award for Superior Leadership (July 2013), Midwest ACE President’s Award (July 2003)
Specialties and InterestsCareer Development, Professional and Wedding Etiquette, Public Speaking, Leadership, Supervision, and Event Planning
ProgramsAugustana Life Design StudioCareer Readiness Champion Network
Marketing & Events Coordinator
Successful marketing & events coordinator with outstanding communication, organization, and collaboration skills. 15 years + of Higher Education Experience.
First Job: I volunteered in High School at a local day care. My first paid position was a Cashier at Kmart
Education: Associates Degree, Blackhawk College, Dental Assisting Certificate, Blackhawk College
Career Specialties: Office Coordination, Special Events, Social Media & Marketing
Professional and Community Activities: College Career Consortium of Illinois [CCCI]
Honors and Awards: National Association of Colleges and Employers, Career Coaching Intensive.
Specialties and InterestsCareer Development, Event Planning, Social Media, Marketing
Career Coach for the Health Sciences & First Year Student Advisor
Interacting with college students brings me a huge amount of joy. With several years of higher education experience, I am able to draw on those past experiences as I support and coach students through the process of figuring out their passions, purpose and how they want to impact the world. I have a great understanding of experiential learning with CORE, with the overall goal of helping students achieve success.
First job: I loved babysitting in junior high, and in high school I worked at Arthur’s Garden Deli in Rock Island. I learned valuable customer service skills in that position and it was also a great lesson in time management. I still love eating at Arthur’s today!
Education: Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Bradley University in Peoria, IL in addition to 20 years of on the job training in higher education at both Bradley University and Augustana College.
Career Specialties: Career Development, FYI Instructor, Academic Advising, Augie Choice, International & Off Campus Programming, College Recruitment, Public Speaking, Sales & Marketing, Event Planning
Professional and Community Activities: Midwest Association of Colleges and Employers, College Career, Consortium of Illinois, National Association of Colleges and Employers, Community Volunteer
Certifications: NACE Career Coaching Intensive Certification, MWACE Career Coaching Certification, Myers Briggs Certified Practitioner
Specialties and Interest: Career Development, FYI Instructor, Academic Advising, Augie Choice, International & Off Campus Programming, College Recruitment, Public Speaking, Sales & Marketing, Event Planning
Specialties and InterestsCareer Development, FYI Instructor, Academic Advising, Augie Choice, International & Off Campus Programming, College Recruitment, Public Speaking, Sales & Marketing, Event Planning
Career PathwaysHealth Sciences
Experienced career development and administrative professional dedicated to helping students and employers have positive internship experiences.
First Job: My first job was in the deli department of a grocery store. Because I was the youngest employee there, I got put on dish and cleaning duty most of the time.
Education: Master of Education Degree in College Student Affairs Leadership from Grand Valley State University, Allendale, MI; Bachelor of Science Degree in Individual Studies from Western Illinois University, Macomb, IL
Career Specialties: Internship Supervision and Development, General Job and Internship Search, Resumes and Cover Letter Writing
Professional Organizations: National Society for Experiential Education, Cooperative Education and Internship Association, National Association of Colleges and Employers, Midwest Association of Colleges and Employers, College Career Consortium of Illinois
Specialties and InterestsInternship Supervision and Development, General Job and Internship Search, Resumes and Cover Letter Writing
Assistant Director of Vocational Exploration and Career Coach
First Job: I worked as a baby sitter starting at 12. I loved connecting with kids and having fun.
Degree Institution: Augustana College, B.A
Illinois State University, M.S.
Career Specialties: I work closely with students as they learn to identify their strengths, values, interests and directions. I empower students to think about all of the ways they can engage in the community doing meaningful work both now and in the future. This framework lends itself well to working with students who are still exploring, changing direction, or unsatisfied in their current roles and areas of study.
Professional and Community activities: National Association of Colleges and Employers, College Career Consortium of Illinois, Creative Arts Academy Booster Vice President
Specialties and InterestsExploring students, Students changing direction
Build Career SkillsCareer & Vocational ExplorationExplore Majors & CareersGap YearPost Grad Service
Career PathwaysExploring Majors & Careers
CORE Career Coach (Business, Accounting and Management)
Passionate about helping young people identify and reach their goals and helping them get off to a successful start to post-undergrad life.
First job: My first job was a summer job as a softball field maintenance assistant. In that position, I learned the importance of consistent hydration and the value of a well-raked infield.
Education: Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Central College in Pella, Iowa. Masters of Education in Secondary Education from Grand Canyon University, Phoenix, Arizona
Career Specialties: Career Development, FYI Instructor, Academic Advising, Public Speaking, College Recruitment
Professional and Community Activities: Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach here at Augustana, Youth Basketball Coaching with Midwest Prospect Academy West
Specialties and InterestsCareer Development, FYI Instructor, Academic Advising, Public Speaking, College Recruitment
Career PathwaysAccounting, Business, & ManagementCommunications, Marketing, & Sales
CORE Career Coach (S.T.E.M and Environment)
I have over 12 years working in Higher Education in different roles and departments. A small piece of my background that I will share is that I was once an International student. My passion is learning new skills and working with diverse populations. Each position that I held has made me realize how much I enjoy working with students and the community. In addition to working in the Higher Education field, I worked with the workforce (IowaWorks/Equus) with the Adult and Dislocated populations.
First Job: My first job was at a Public Relations firm called Black and White in Penang, Malaysia. My main focus at this job was setting up marketing events for industries and writing press release. Skills learned at this job was time management, being detailed oriented and communication.
Education: Bachelor’s Degree Public Relations and Marketing at University of Northern Iowa and
Master’s Degree in Education Leadership and Administration at Capella University.
Career Specialties: Career Navigator, Recruitment, Retention, Assistant Registrar, Admission Counselor, DSO (Designated School Official) for International students, Career Coach, Writing Press Release and event planning.
Professional and Community Activities: Diversity Committee, Board of Studies, SAU Staff Assembly,
NAFSA (Association of International Educators) and AACRAO (American Association of Collegiate
Registrars and Admissions Officers).
Honors and Awards: Completion of Windmills Training of Trainers Program: Changing the Perception of Ability and Employment Disability Inclusion Program.
Specialties and InterestsCareer Navigator, Recruitment, Retention, Admission Counselor, DSO (Designated School Official) for International students, Career Coach, Writing Press Release and event planning.
Claire Brakel Packer
CORE Career Coach & First Year Advisor
Experienced professional in adult education, student development, and community engagement.. Higher education changed my life by opening doors I didn’t even know existed; it’s a joy to be a part of the career journeys of Augustana students as they learn more about who they are and how they want to live that out in the world.
First Job: Nanny and day camp counselor. (I thought I wanted to be an elementary school teacher until I did an internship during high school; sometimes career development is also about finding out what you don’t want to do!)
Education: Master of Arts Degree in Teaching English as a Second Language, St. Cloud State University (St. Cloud, MN); Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Writing, Minors in Japanese and Gender & Women’s Studies, Illinois College (Jacksonville, IL)
Career Specialties: Career Exploration & Development, Teaching/Facilitation, Academic Advising, Course Planning & Curriculum Development, Public Speaking
Professional and Community Activities: National Association of Colleges and Employers, College Career Consortium of Illinois, UnityPoint Hospice Volunteer