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WGU CAREER & PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT Meet the Team!

We are here to help you succeed!

Read more about our career advisors below. Click on the request an appointment button for individual assistance with a career advisor. (Please note: if you are a WGU student, your WGU email address will be used for all written correspondence with your career advisor due to FERPA requirements).

Bonnie Monteleone CS General Manager

Bonnie Monteleone

CS Manager, Seattle, WA

Bonnie is a dedicated career services professional with over 17 years of higher education experience. Her favorite part of being in career counseling is empowering students and alumni.

Bonnie is a dedicated career services professional with over 17 years of higher education experience.  Her favorite part of being in career counseling is empowering students and alumni to realize their own potential while assisting them as they pursue personal and professional opportunities that build on their inherent strengths and passions. Bonnie has a strong student service philosophy and cares deeply for the success of all the students she works with; her counseling background and expertise include working with diverse student populations including veterans, students with disabilities, first generation college students and international students. She holds certifications in MBTI, Strengths Quest and Strong Interest Inventory Career Assessments.

Prior to her role as Career & Professional Development Manager, she served as a Career Advisor supporting the Business College. In that time, Bonnie was able to collaborate with students, alumni and internal university partners. Before joining WGU, Bonnie served as a Career Counselor at the University of Washington where she advised students and alumni, worked with employers to assist in their recruiting needs, and provided course instruction on career exploration and internships.  

Bonnie has a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications from Colorado State University where she focused on Broadcasting and Journalism. During her undergraduate experience, she had numerous roles in various student leadership positions. It was in these various roles that Bonnie found her passion in serving her fellow students and decided to pursue a career in higher education. Bonnie has a Masters of Education from the University of Washington where she focused her studies on student development in higher education, as well as, K-12 leadership and policy. Bonnie currently resides in the Seattle area with her husband, and twins.

Michael Career Advisor

Michael Kimball-Bryant

Employer & Student Engagement Coordinator, Seattle, WA

Michael is a higher education professional who is thrilled by work that allows him to design, develop, and deliver programs and services that connect students to employers. 

With experience in career services and housing, Michael has worked for medium and large institutions, public and private non-profit alike. In his current role at WGU, Michael is supporting university-wide employer engagement initiatives, managing and developing employer relations strategy, marketing and communications with internal and external stakeholders, and data collection, reporting, and analysis. Prior to working at WGU, Michael served as the Graduate Career Counselor in the School of STEM at the University of Washington Bothell.

Michael obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication at Whitworth University in Spokane, WA and a Master of Education degree in Higher Education Administration at Loyola University Chicago in Chicago, IL. Throughout his career, Michael has been focused on being a partner and coach to internal and external university stakeholders in a way that builds trust and opportunities for success.

cliff_garinn

Cliff Garinn

CS Advisor, Dallas, TX

Cliff is an accomplished career specialist holding national certifications as a Career Coach and Resume Writer. 

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.

Jill Rand Career Services Advisor

Jill Rand

CS Advisor, Seattle WA

Jill Rand is a career services professional with over 8 years of higher education experience.Dedicated to supporting student development and success.

Jill Rand is a career services professional with over 8 years of higher education experience.Dedicated to supporting student development and success, Jill has held roles in student services and diversity and equity before finding her home in career services. Prior to joining WGU, Jill served as a Career & Internship Specialist at the University of Washington Bothell, working with students and alumni from each of the campus's 5 schools. In this role she partnered with faculty to integrate career development into course curriculum and create career 'trek' opportunities with local employers in  engineering, government and non-profit sectors. She also had the opportunity to teach a quarterly internship course in partnership with the School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences. 

Jill holds a Bachelors Degree in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Wisconsin and a Master of Environmental Management from Duke University. She first discovered her passion for career development at Environmental Defense Fund, where she created and managed a graduate internship program that paired business and engineering students with public sector organizations to create the business case for increased building efficiency. Though originally from Chicago, Jill has lived in the Seattle area with her husband since 2011.

Brandi Hoel CS Advisor

Brandi Hoel

CS Advisor, Corvallis, OR

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. 

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. Additionally, 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. 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.” 

Marcella-Ryan CS Advisor

Marcella Ryan

 CS Advisor, Orlando, FL

Marcella Ryan is an education professional with over 20 years experience in K-12 and higher education in both traditional and on-line environments. 

 

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 twelve 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.”

Jennifer Rhodes CS Advisor

Jennifer Rhodes

CS Advisor, Phoenix, AZ

Student affairs professional with over 15 years of experience related to the areas of admissions counseling, academic advising, adjunct teaching, career counseling and supervision of graduate students and staff.

As a student affairs professional with over 15 years of experience related to the areas of admissions counseling, academic advising, adjunct teaching, career counseling and supervision of graduate students and staff, Jennifer feels privileged to have the opportunity to connect directly with students on a daily basis. Jennifer’s personal mission to meet each student where they are while serving as a compassionate facilitator for lifelong academic/career exploration.   One of her favorite quotes, by Maya Angelou, states, “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it,” and she believes that this quote is exhibited in her everyday work with students.  She thoroughly enjoys working with students from diverse backgrounds, and she has direct experience serving students from diverse populations such as veterans, first-generation students, international students, Native American students, and students with disabilities.

Before serving as a Western Governors University career advisor, Jennifer served as a career coach for both the centralized career services office and the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University.  She has worked with students ranging from first-time freshmen through PhD candidates, and enjoys the diversity of skills, life experiences, and related stories which each student possesses. She also currently teaches career development and student success courses for the Maricopa Community Colleges in Arizona, and loves connecting with students both online and in-person. Jennifer is originally from Erie, Pennsylvania, and she earned her Master of Arts in Counseling:  Student Personnel Services from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, as well as her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Penn State Erie, the Behrend College. She is a certified MBTI practitioner, as well as a Nationally Certified Counselor.  Jennifer also possesses the Global Career Development Facilitator certification and she is Past President of the Arizona Career Development Association.  She currently resides in Tempe, Arizona, and she looks forward to connecting with WGU students!

kristen mcknight

Kristen Mcknight

CS Advisor, Tampa, FL

Kristen McKnight is a higher education professional with eight years of experience who is dedicated to helping others gain career clarity and achieve career success.
 

Her favorite part of working in career services is helping students gain a better understanding of themselves and how they fit into the world of work. 

Prior to coming to WGU, Kristen worked as the Career and Internship Coordinator for the business school at Florida Southern College. In this role, she managed a mandatory for-credit internship program and provided career and internship coaching to students and alumni.  In addition, Kristen has taught courses on career decision making and professional development both online and in-person. 

Kristen received her B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Central Florida, and her M.Ed. in Adult and Higher Education from the University of Oklahoma. She has presented at multiple national conferences, including the annual meetings of the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the Cooperative Education and Internship Association, and the American College Personnel Association. Currently, Kristen is currently the Information Management Director and Conference Registration Chair for the Florida Association of Colleges and Employers.