Meet Our Staff
Career Development has trained professionals who assist students and alumni with career development issues and employers with recruiting needs.
Dr. Julie Cosimo, Director
Director of Career Development, Dr. Julie Cosimo brings over 17 years of higher education experience and workforce readiness expertise to the Career Development Center of Benedictine University. Dr. Cosimo began at Benedictine in 2000 as director of the center where she works to develop partnerships with students, alumni and employers, and to provide excellent career education programs and resources for Benedictine students and alumni. Her commitment to helping students and alumni is evidenced by her passion to stay current with the most relevant workforce readiness opportunities and ideas. Dr. Cosimo earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago and a Master of Education in College Student Personnel with a concentration in counseling at Loyola University Chicago. In 2009, she completed a Doctor of Education in Higher Education and Organizational Change at Benedictine University where her thesis explored the factors that affect the academic persistence of women in doctoral-level programs. Dr. Cosimo served as the President of the Illinois Small College Placement Association (ISCPA), a unique consortium that connects our students and alumni, and those of 20 additional liberal arts colleges throughout the state. Dr. Cosimo serves on the Benedictine University Veteran's Committee to assist veterans in transition from military to civilian life specifically in the job market. She is also a lecturer in Benedictine University's Higher Education and Organizational Change doctoral program.
Melissa Mouhelis, Assistant Director
Ms. Mouhelis brings over fifteen years of higher education and career counseling experience to our students. Her academic and professional background along with her passion for working with students enables her to guide individuals through the career counseling process to discover an optimal career path that is in alignment with the whole person. She works with students who are undecided about their major and/or career path, students who wish to change majors and alumni who are in career transition. Ms. Mouhelis is skilled in administering and interpreting career assessment tools which are utilized to determine how an individual's skills, interests, values and personality can be paired with certain occupations. Ms. Mouhelis also assists undergraduate juniors and seniors in the fine-tuning of their resumes and cover letters, and the development of effective interviewing, networking and job search skills. She is also well versed in delivering presentations on many career topics in classrooms, for student groups and organizations, and in the Career Technology Center. Ms. Mouhelis completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and a Master of Arts in Counseling and Human Services at Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois.
Lynne Schrott, Career Development Coordinator
Mrs. Schrott has worked in the field of education for 20 years, from the pre-kindergarten level through higher education. She joined Benedictine University's National Moser Center for Adult Learning in 2006, transitioned to the Student Success Center in 2008 and Career Development in 2009. Her diverse experience within career exploration and workforce readiness with secondary, higher education and special needs students equips her to give students a competitive edge as they build a solid foundation in their current and ongoing career journeys. Mrs. Schrott dedicates herself to helping students prepare not just for a great job, but the right job for them. She guides students to find relevant internship and externship experiences in order to be prepared within a career field prior to graduation, and to help solidify chosen career paths. Mrs. Schrott works with multiple aspects of building students' career foundation in offering assistance with informational interviews, job shadowing, online portfolio presence, networking and business etiquette.
Lindsay Koriath, Adult & Alumni Workforce Specialist
Ms. Koriath joined the Career Development team in August, 2013. She came to Benedictine University after completing a Master of Arts degree at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana in Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education where she also worked in Ball State's Career Center. She completed a Bachelor of Arts in English at Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo, Michigan. Prior to earning the master's degree, Ms. Koriath worked at The French Pastry School of Chicago in an administrative capacity, as an admissions adviser and with the marketing department. She also taught English for one year in a French high school in Burgundy and worked in the education department at a cultural center in Indiana. All of her previous positions in various educational settings contributed to Koriath's approach to individualized teaching, which she feels can be very well applied within the framework of career development. Ms. Koriath works specifically with the adult student population as well as with alumni. She enjoys helping current and former students discover - or rediscover - their professional paths, equipped with tools to optimize their preparedness for the workforce and a fulfilling future.
John Darnell, Technology and Events Coordinator
Mr. Darnell runs the daily operations of the Career Development Center and the Career Technology Center. He assists with coordinating special events and networking events for students and alumni, and he coordinates event logistics for on-campus recruiting bringing employers and community members to campus. Mr. Darnell helps connect students and alumni to hundreds of jobs, internships and volunteer opportunities through the online virtual career centers, the College Central Network, available through the ISCPA, and the Benedictine Virtual Career Center (BVCC), a system that's available exclusively to Benedictine students and alumni. His commitment to student services extends to our Student Success Center as we connect with their support services as well. For the latest events, career opportunities, networking and internship posting, connect with Mr. Darnell through Career Development's latest social media avenues.
Career Peer Educators 2015-2016 (CPEs) & Graduate Assistant
Serving BenU's student population as our CPEs are Mohammed Ahmed, Andy Buchen, Sandya George, Kaitlyn McKay, Carolyn Schoenbeck, and Amanda Straka. The CPEs and Graduate Assistant are here to help students with resume and cover letter writing, LinkedIn profile creation and more. They serve as liaisons to the Colleges of Science, Education & Health Services, Business and Liberal Arts designing workshops specifically geared to the peers in their respective college. They also hold walk-in hours at the Career Development Center where students can drop in to get some guidance on creating or refining their resumes and other job search documents. Look for our CPEs and GA around campus!
Left to right: Mohammed Ahmed, Amanda Straka, Carolyn Schoenbeck, Sandya George, Kaitlyn McKay, Andy Buchen
Mohammed Ahmed, College of Business
currently a junior working towards a Bachelor of Business Administration degree
in Accounting. He aspires to enter either the consulting or banking
industry to utilize his problem-solving skills to help clients. With
multiple internships, Mohammed has a strong base of experience in the
financial services industry. He has worked at CommScope, a large
telecommunications company in Joliet, Illinois where he was
an Accounting/Finance Intern responsible for journal entries, forecasting,
and data analysis. Another interesting internship he currently has is with
Hub Group in Oak Brook, Illinois which is a leading company in the intermodal operations
industry. He is a Business Development Intern there who helps with the
oversight of the company's top strategic accounts. Through his
multiple internships, Mohammed has become known as a highly motivated,
results-driven, finance professional with a determined work ethic.
Mohammed has also co-founded and is the Chief Financial Officer of his own
company called ArambTech, a start-up consulting firm. After graduation,
Mohammed plans to work full-time for a company and aims to complete his MBA
in the next 5 years. Mohammed hopes to share some of his broad knowledge
in the field at Benedictine University by serving as our CPE for the
College of Business this year.
Andy Buchen, CPE for Adult Students at the Lisle Campus & National Moser Center
Andy is a nontraditional student at Benedictine University's National Moser Center for Adult Learning as a member of the BAOL 10 and 11 Cohort programs. Prior to returning to school, Andy served in the U.S. Army for six years in active duty, going from Kuwait to Afghanistan to Iraq. He later worked in business development roles with defense and foreign military sales firms for almost ten years, allowing Andy to travel all over the world. Future plans include attending graduate school at Benedictine to complete the MBA degree. In addition to his CPE duties, Andy is a member of the Benedictine University Student Veterans organization. Andy serves all adult students as a peer educator in Career Development, both at the Lisle Campus and at the National Moser Center for Adult Learning. Andy brings a wealth of valuable professional experience and insight as well as important skills to his role. He works with students virtually and can also be found at both campus locations. Contact Career Development to find out how to connect with Andy!
Sandya George, College of Science
Sandya is a senior working towards finishing her Bachelor of Science in Biology. She aspires to be a physician and plans on attending medical school next fall. Sandya has been an active community leader on campus since her freshman year. Her involvement in the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) has helped her to develop important skills, such as leadership, professionalism, and communication. Currently, she is Vice President of the club, and is excited to plan events and meetings to encourage students to excel in their chosen fields. Along with AMSA, she is an active participant in clubs such as UNICEF, HSA, and MOSAIC on campus. Outside of school, she is an active leader at her church, where she plans retreats, service projects, fellowship days for her church youth, and teaches Sunday School. Throughout her undergraduate years, Sandya has shadowed physicians, worked in the ER as a medical scribe, tutored introductory biology courses, volunteered at her local hospital and Villa St. Benedict, which she plans to continue throughout her senior year. Her commitment to these pursuits stems from a sincere passion for medicine, and she looks forward to experiences and challenges yet to come. As an upperclassman, Sandya is looking forward to sharing her experiences and pre-medical knowledge with students looking to pursue any field in science.
Kaitlyn McKay, College of Education & Health Services
is a junior at Benedictine University completing her Bachelor of Arts in
Elementary Education with an emphasis in mathematics and an endorsement in
science. She hopes to be a teacher at the primary grade level (grades
K-2) and plans on getting her master's degree in the future. Since her freshman year, Kaitlyn has been actively involved on campus. Kaitlyn is
currently playing her third season for the Benedictine Softball team as a
pitcher. She also became involved as a member of the Student Athletic
Advisory Committee (SAAC) her sophomore year. Outside of the Benedictine
University community, Kaitlyn is dynamically involved in philanthropic
work. To name a few, Kaitlyn has volunteered for Feed My Starving
Children, Run4Home 5k & 10K race sponsored by DuPage PADS, the Joliet
Softball Association and the Tiny Tigers Fun Fair at Joliet West High
School. Kaitlyn's dedication to school and community has been recognized
in many ways. She is the recipient of a number of awards and scholarships
including the Margaret M. Memorial Scholarship, the Gregory S. and Alice V.
Kobus Family Scholarship, the Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen
Award, the Ryan McCarroll Athletic Scholarship, and the Exchange Club
Youth of the Year Scholarship and Award. As a junior, Kaitlyn is excited
to share her passion for school and philanthropic work with her peers and guide
them in the direction of their career goals
Carolyn Schoenbeck, College of Liberal Arts
is completing her senior year at Benedictine University, majoring in
Psychology. After graduating, she hopes to go on to graduate school in the fall
in pursuit of a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and thereafter work in an
inpatient unit of a hospital. Carolyn has been an active student in the
Benedictine community through various opportunities on campus. She has been a
board member of Hall Council, a Resident Assistant in Jaeger Hall, a writing
tutor for the Student Success Center, as well as a student worker in the
psychology department. Currently, she is completing some field experience at
Good Samaritan Hospital in Behavioral Health, and she aspires to gain an
internship in the future to enhance her experiences in the field of clinical
psychology. As a psychology TA/tutor for Survey of Psychology, she runs exam
reviews and walk-in tutoring sessions and has the opportunity to assist in the
teaching of a lecture in the survey of psychology class this year. Hoping to give back what the Benedictine
community has given to her, she wants to help others within their field and
college to gain the experience and proper preparation for her peers to be
successful in all their pursuits.
Amanda Straka, Graduate Assistant
Amanda is currently finishing her Master's in Clinical Psychology with a subspecialty in Marriage and Family here at Benedictine University. She aspires to enter into the helping industry toutilize her communication and listening skills to assist future clients. She iscurrently completing her year-long internship at Good Samaritan Hospital on theIn-Patient Behavioral Health unit. Here she is able to work in an intense,hands-on setting where she can incorporate her previous experiences as well asher training and education. Amanda completed her Bachelor of Arts degree inPsychology two years ago at Benedictine where she was a multisport athlete aswell as a full-time student. She was a competitive volleyball and softballathlete, where she helped lead her teams to victories and contributed to theirsuccess. Amanda hopes her Master's degree will lead to a job where she can helpa variety of individuals, and then she will continue her education by pursuingher Ph.D. in Psychology with a focus on research. As an alumna and a currentadult student, Amanda hopes to share all her experience and education withstudents and assist them in preparing their credentials so that they may besuccessful in reaching their career goals.
Check back soon for our CPEs' and Graduate Assistant's walk-in hours for spring, 2016!
Contact our dedicated staff for all the tools and opportunities you need to meet your career goals.