Senior Director, STEM Career Communities & Analytics
Sarah (they/them) leads the STEM Career Communities at Grinnell. They provide students and early career alumni industry-focused advising, experiential learning opportunities, and targeted programming as they focus and connect their values, strengths, and interests to specific postgraduate goals and ambitions related to science, technology, engineering, and math & data. They advise students and graduates interested in careers and graduate degrees in STEM-related fields. Sarah also wrangles data for the CLS and is happiest when immersed in a spreadsheet.
A native of Missouri and graduate of Washington University in St. Louis (BA in anthropology and philosophy–neuroscience–psychology), Sarah holds a PhD in biological anthropology from Emory University and comes to Grinnell after three years as a post-doctoral scientist at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Their research focused on great ape social cognition and neuroanatomy.
When not advising Grinnellians, Sarah spoils their pets, reads a lot, bakes pie, and does too many crossword puzzles. They joined the CLS team in September 2014.
Lawrence S. Pidgeon Director, Education Professions Career Community
Chad (he/him) leads the Education Professions Career Community (EdPros+) at Grinnell. He serves as the principal resource for students and alumni considering and planning careers in education and related professions that center the value of human potential, learning, and development. Such careers include teaching (PK–16+); school administration; educational research; education policy; mental health and school counseling; school psychology; social work; adult education; training and development; and the professional practice of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). He counsels and advises students and alumni about securing related experiential learning opportunities, preparing for and navigating the graduate school application process, preparing for and managing a job search campaign, identifying pathways to licensure (traditional and alternative), and identifying relevant gap-year experiences. Chad believes these career paths are among the most rewarding and fulfilling in existence and is intensely passionate about supporting and encouraging students who are interested in pursuing them.
Hailing all the way from southern New Jersey, the land of Wawa, pork roll, and full-service gas stations, Chad received his B.A. in English and his M.A. in school counseling with a certification in substance abuse counseling from The College of New Jersey. From 2018–2022, Chad served as a student assistance counselor at Hillsborough High School in Hillsborough, NJ, providing counseling for students coping with mental health and academic issues.
In his free time, Chad enjoys being eternally disappointed by his beloved four Philly sports teams (Eagles, Sixers, Phillies, and Flyers), consuming every single piece of Beatles content in existence, enjoying flannel weather with some good nosh, and annoying his partner with endless, meshuganah Lord of the Rings trivia.
Robin (she/her) oversees daily operations and general communications at the Center for Careers, Life, and Service (CLS) in her position as Center and Communications Coordinator.
Born southwest of Iowa City, Robin attended Georgetown University (B.A., English and Fine Arts) and the University of Iowa (M.A., Creative Nonfiction). She spent the first chapter of her career as a professor of English, teaching a variety of writing, literature, and journalism courses, first at Suffolk County Community College on Long Island, where she was an associate professor, before moving on to American University in Washington, DC, and Montgomery College in Rockville, Maryland. During the following chapter, Robin founded a freelance editing business that allowed her to work and stay home with her children (who grew up to become members of the Grinnell classes of 2020 and 2024). When her family moved to Des Moines, Robin’s love of yoga turned into a different kind of teaching career and her entrepreneurial spirit led her to launch her yoga studio, Radiant Om Yoga. Another chapter saw Robin’s side hustles turn into Poses & Prose, and Robin augmented that work with a return to academic pursuits; she joined the student services staff at Des Moines Area Community College as an academic advisor. All of these adventures have brought her to Grinnell College, where she is delighted to embark on her next chapter with the CLS.
Outside of work, Robin is a creative writer, avid baker, and joyful yogini who marvels at nature, loves to read, and never turns down a good cup of tea.
Recruitment & Program Coordinator
Stephanie serves as the primary contact for all entities seeking to recruit students at Grinnell College. She also manages all facets of on-campus and virtual recruiting, as well as the on-campus recruiting module.
Stephanie has held academic administrative support positions previously at Vassar College in the Music Department and at The College of Wooster in the English/Foreign Languages Departments before joining Grinnell College. She and her high school sweetheart, who is also the College Librarian, have lived in six different states and visited 19 foreign countries together. In her free time she enjoys playing tennis, reading, completing crosswords, and spending time with her three children (two of them are now in college, so “free time” has become harder to find).
Rachel Edwards Harvith '00
Director, Arts, Media & Communications Career Community
Rachel Edwards Harvith ’00 leads the Arts, Media & Communications Career Community at Grinnell. She provides students and early career alumni with industry-focused advising, experiential learning opportunities, and targeted programming related to the arts, media, and communications fields. In addition, she helps all students hone compelling professional narratives, and create websites that reflect their unique talents and passions.
Outside of the CLS, Rachel is a theatre artist with a specialty in new play development which began in the literary departments of Syracuse Stage and Long Wharf Theatre. She comes to Grinnell from Chicago, where she was a freelance director and dramaturg, a cofounder of Mortar Theatre Company, and the Associate Artistic Director of Chicago Dramatists. She has had the pleasure of helping over a hundred playwrights, ranging from Samuel D. Hunter to Rohina Malik to Dana Lynn Formby, develop their work. Onstage she loves venturing outside realism to reveal deeper human truths. She is a proud alum of Grinnell (BA in Theatre) and the University of Iowa (MFA in Directing).
When not advising students, Rachel works as a theatre director and actor, plays board games and Magic: The Gathering, and goes on adventures with her family. She is also a Hufflepuff. Rachel joined the CLS team in January 2018.
Director, Government, Law & Policy Career Community
A member of the Career Communities team, Maureen directs the Government, Law & Policy Career Community. She provides advising and programming to students as they focus and connect their values, strengths, and interests to particular postgraduate goals and ambitions related to legal, policy, governmental, and related public service professions. An Iowa native, Maureen received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Iowa.
If, as Shakespeare said, “All the world’s a stage,” then Maureen is fulfilling her third role in “The Grinnell Trilogy.” Before joining the CLS, she was part of the cast in Grinnell’s Office of Admission. But if you rewind a little further, her first performance on the Grinnell scene was as director of international student services. She held that role for ten years before moving to a similar position at the University of Notre Dame. In between her time at Notre Dame and her current role at Grinnell, she played several parts, including entrepreneur (bookshop and coffeehouse owner), ESL teacher, and hospital volunteer.
Here is what students should know she learned from these experiences: Don’t ever think you have to be typecast in any role for the rest of your life. The world’s a stage, and there will be many auditions and numerous parts that may be just right for you. Or, as Shakespeare put it, “Men and women are merely players. They have their exits and their entrances, and all in their time play many parts.”
Sasha (he/him) serves Grinnell students beginning their search for meaning and development in professional, personal, and volunteer contexts. Sasha focuses his work on becoming a trusted and helpful mentor for the wonderful students of Grinnell. His hope for current Grinnellians is to aid them in becoming autonomous in their learning and work, discovering their passions as they grow as professionals and people.
Sasha hails from the north suburbs of Chicago. After graduating from Grinnell in 2020, he has returned to his beloved school having earned his Master’s in Education from Northwestern University.
Sasha loves music, movies, and basketball. He tries to learn new skills and languages in his free time. He is currently learning French and Spanish, experimenting with making music, and trying to make all his free throws.
Assistant Dean & Director of Employer Engagement
Kelly (she/her) joined the CLS in March 2017 to lead a team responsible for developing and executing strategies to expand internships, full-time post-graduate positions, and related opportunities for Grinnell students. As Assistant Dean and Director of Employer Engagement, Kelly and her team oversee the Handshake online career management system, the internship funding program, coordinate on-campus and virtual recruiting events and sustain and expand recruiting partnerships with various organizations.
Before Grinnell, Kelly held positions at Bradley University, Florida State University, and Eureka College, where she created and managed programs that created linkages between students, alumni, and employers. Kelly has also held numerous executive leadership roles and memberships in regional and national organizations and consortiums. Kelly has conducted national webinars, presented at regional and national conferences, and published articles about employer engagement. Kelly’s commitment to her community was celebrated by the Peoria Chamber of Commerce when she was recognized as one of the “25 Women in Leadership”.
Outside work, Kelly enjoys spending time with her husband, her shelter/rescue dog Russa, and her family. Kelly reads avidly (in fact, she launched the America Reads program still in place at Bradley today), loves to travel, and takes every opportunity to cheer on her beloved St. Louis Cardinals.
In her role as Exploratory Adviser in the Center for Careers, Life, and Service, Katie supports first- and second-year students as they begin their professional, personal, and civic journeys. She hopes to help students identify their values, interests, strengths, and passions in ways that allow them to be their best selves, while also pursuing meaningful opportunities and making connections in their communities along the way.
A native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Katie has served as the Center and Communications Coordinator in the CLS for three years after previously serving as the Events and Social Media Manager at Fireside Winery in Marengo, Iowa. Katie received her B.A. in Public Relations/Communications from the University of Northern Iowa, and her M.Ed. in Higher Education from Upper Iowa University.
Katie enjoys spending time with her husband and their coonhound Auggie, along with their families and friends. She’s a huge sports fan, and if you can’t find her watching the Iowa Hawkeyes, St. Louis Cardinals, or Green Bay Packers, you can probably find her watching HGTV. Katie also enjoys a good cup of coffee, reading on her patio, and running or walking with Auggie.
Assistant Dean & Director of Global Fellowships & Awards
Ann coordinates the nomination and selection processes for students and alumni interested in nationally competitive fellowships, scholarships, and grants as well as select Grinnell-specific fellowships and awards.
Ann has worked within higher education across the United States from Oregon to New York, yet her roots are in the Midwest, having grown up in South Dakota. Her passion for guiding students along the application path for nationally competitive awards led her to the assistant dean and director position at Grinnell in June 2017, after having served in this same position for seven years at Colgate University, Hamilton, New York, and as fellowship advisor for one year at Luther College, Decorah, Iowa. Her other higher education work experiences include strengths-based education advising; graduate school, pre-med, pre-law, and career advising; graduate school and undergraduate admissions; alumni relations; and residence life. Ann holds degrees in higher education counseling and administration (MS, Minnesota State University, Mankato) and home economics journalism (BS, South Dakota State University).
When not working, Ann enjoys spending time with her partner Corey, daughter Sydney, dog Moxy, and cats Nala and Tessa. Yoga, hiking and enjoying nature, reading a good book or watching a good movie, random crafts (i.e. weaving and gnomes), and antiquing keep Ann mindful, centered, creative, and engaged!
Associate Director of Community Engaged Learning
Julie (she/her) is the Associate Director of Community-Engaged Learning. She is responsible for supporting faculty and community partners in the design and implementation of community-engaged learning initiatives. Julie is committed to co-constructing power- and privilege-aware projects. She leads the effort of bringing civic action into the classroom to help students grow as self-reflective and civically engaged community members.
Julie, who holds a master’s degree in urban planning, local and regional development from the University of Tours, France, has a background in community development for underprivileged neighborhoods. Before starting at Grinnell College in 2022, she worked for a city in the Parisian metropolitan area. She collaborated with locals, nonprofit organizations, and various institutional partners to build sustainable and mutually beneficial actions for social change. Her work has always been deeply related to her values. Getting involved in the community she lives in is very important to her. In Atlanta, Paris, and Tours, France, she volunteered for various nonprofits that promote the role of art and culture.
In her free time, Julie enjoys playing and listening to music with her twin babies, exploring new places, baking bread, and hiking. With her family, she has lived, explored, and worked in different cities around the world including Dakar, Atlanta, and Paris. Since 2019, they have been enjoying being part of Grinnell’s welcoming community.
Director, Business & Finance Career Community
Michael leads the Business and Finance Career Community at Grinnell. He provides students and early career alumni industry-focused advising, experiential learning opportunities, and targeted programming as they focus and connect their values, strengths, and interests to specific postgraduate goals and ambitions related to business and finance. He also advises students and graduates interested in attending business school or pursuing a business-related graduate degree.
A native of Delaware, Michael has lived in every region of the United States and in Europe. He holds degrees from the University of Delaware (BS in Economics) and Georgia State University (MS in Organizational Behavior). Prior to joining Grinnell, Michael held executive leadership roles at Exxon-Mobil and BP. After over two decades as a corporate executive, he became an entrepreneur and founded a company that does assessment and development for college and university students. Michael also served as career coach for the EMBA program at Rider University’s School of Business.
Outside of work, Michael enjoys spending time with his family, walking and napping with his loyal German Shepherd, and working out. He is an avid reader, movie enthusiast, and loves anything to do with coffee. With a lifelong passion for football, Michael can be found either enjoying the football season or counting the days until the next season begins.
Assistant Dean & Executive Director of Career Communities
As Assistant Dean and Executive Director of Career Communities in the Center for Careers, Life, and Service, Donna’s primary focus is providing support and leadership for the CLS staff and the advising programs, resources, and experiences that our students engage in.
Donna is a native New Yorker whose own journey has taken her from Brooklyn, NY, to Illinois, New Hampshire, and most recently, the Seattle area. Donna received her B.A. (History) from the University of Chicago, and her J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law. After practicing law for seven years, she made the transition to advising law students on their career paths at the law schools of the University of Illinois and the University of New Hampshire. Realizing that a significant number of law students she worked with had chosen the law school option by default, she once again made a transition in her own career in order to assist undergraduate students more fully explore their options.
Perhaps inevitably, one of Donna’s favorite quotes is J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Not all those who wander are lost.” She wants students to know that their career decisions are not fatal … they aren’t even always final … and that each of their experiences will inform and enrich their own life journey.
Assistant Director for Social Innovation Partnerships & Education
As the Assistant Director for Social Innovation Partnerships and Education, Vicki (she/her) is responsible for collaborating with community partners, social innovators, students, faculty, and staff to build a synergistic system that identifies local social justice needs, connects with national and global social innovation resources, and creates opportunities for students to learn how they may address and transform issues of systemic inequity.
Vicki’s understanding of the environmental, economic, political, environmental, health, and community elements of systems thinking originates from her lived experience within food systems in rural Iowa. She also draws upon over 15 years of professional work as a direct-service provider in mental health and human services and as a program coordinator for a maternal and child public health program, all of which have shaped her holistic and pragmatic approach to understanding community needs, building mutually beneficial partnerships, and designing equitable and sustainable solutions to address root causes of challenging issues.
Outside of work, Vicki enjoys hiking(!!!), time with family, planning outdoor getaways, continuing to learn about public health issues and integrating nature into physical, mental, and spiritual health practices.
In their role as exploratory adviser in the Center for Careers, Life, and Service, Jess (they/them) supports first- and second-year students as they begin their professional, personal, and civic journeys. They strive to be a resource for students as they identify their values, interests, strengths, and passions. Their hope is to support students as they pursue meaningful opportunities and make connections in their communities along the way.
Jess is originally from Austin, Minnesota. In their previous role, they served as an area coordinator in residential life at Wartburg College, located in Waverly, Iowa. Jess received their bachelor’s in religion from Wartburg College and their master’s in postsecondary education: student affairs from the University of Northern Iowa.
Jess enjoys spending time with their family, friends, and dog Sky. They love music and play seven instruments. Their favorite instruments to play are the ukulele and piano. Jess also enjoys playing a leisurely game of tennis and yard games, throwing a softball around with friends, and listening to music from the Broadway musicals Rent and Wicked.
Daniel & Patricia Jipp Finkelman Dean
Mark (he/him) oversees all facets of the Center for Careers, Life, and Service, including strategic planning, program development, budget management, and leading a talented team who bring a rich array of experiences to their work at Grinnell. As a member of President Harris’s senior team, Mark consults with the President and other institutional leaders about methods and innovations to strengthen each student’s sense of self, sense of direction, and overall readiness for life after college.
A native Iowan, Mark hails from Ankeny, a city just north of Des Moines. He joined the Grinnell College community in April 2011. Before coming to Grinnell, he served as Associate Director of Graduate Business Career Services in the Warrington College of Business at the University of Florida, and as Assistant Dean of Students and Director of the Career Center at Luther College. A first-generation college graduate, Mark holds degrees from the University of Northern Iowa (BA), Miami University in Ohio (MS), and Iowa State University (PhD).
In his free time, you’ll find Mark spending time with his wife and two sons; cheering on the Red Sox; listening to a true crime podcast; watching a documentary; traveling; reading about and/or discussing education policy; working out; or listening to music (Pixies and Green Day are among his favs).
In her role in the Center for Careers, Life and Service, Dani is excited to support exploratory students as they begin their professional, personal, and civic journeys. Her goal is for all students to feel empowered to continually explore their values, strengths, and interests, engage in intentional experiences, and build lasting connections within their communities.
Originally from central Illinois, Dani came to Grinnell from New York, where she most recently served as a public library director. Prior to that, she worked in various roles in student affairs at Indiana University Bloomington and Ithaca College and as an admissions reader at Cornell University.
Dani received her B.F.A. from the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) and her M.S. from Oregon State University.
In addition to being an avid knitter and reader, Dani paints and watches too much TV when she isn’t spending time with her family, including her four children (two of whom are cats).
Laura provides administrative and logistical support for a large portfolio of College-specific and national and international fellowships and awards. Beyond the global fellowships and awards responsibilities, she also manages and administers an array of CLS grants to support students’ personal, professional, and civic development.
A native Grinnellian, Laura holds a BS in Biology from Truman State University and lived throughout Missouri for thirty years before returning home. She wore various professional hats prior to joining the CLS, including medical researcher, museum tour guide, water fitness instructor, real estate salesperson, and customer service associate for an international door and window company.
Laura joined the CLS in October of 2014. She enjoys spending leisure time with her husband and family, playing with dog Leo, watching birds, gardening, hiking, and bicycling.
Associate Dean and Director of Service & Social Innovation
As the Associate Dean and Director of Service & Social Innovation at Grinnell College, Susan works in close partnership with the CLS Dean and has responsibility for a number of center-wide priorities. In her role as the Director of Service & Social Innovation, Susan collaborates with campus, community, and global constituencies to provide opportunities for students to explore how their service and social innovation experiences intersect with their academic interests, their personal and civic values, and their professional goals. She is responsible for identifying and supporting socially just and mutually beneficial campus-community partnerships that: 1. Serve and promote the common good; 2. Leverage the benefit of faculty and student scholarship and creative activity; 3. Enhance curriculum through community-based learning opportunities; and 4. Prepare students to be responsible, self-reflective, and civically engaged citizens.
Susan was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and has lived in various parts of the country including communities outside of Chicago, Illinois; Houston, Texas; and Princeton, New Jersey. She earned a BBA from Baylor University in finance and management and received both an MDiv and ThM from Princeton Theological Seminary before going on to do PhD work in women’s studies and world religions at Drew University. Prior to her work at Grinnell College, Susan served as chaplain and spiritual care counselor for Hospice of Central Iowa and Grinnell Regional Medical Center. She views her current responsibilities as a natural progression of her own values and professional goals, and she appreciates being able to actively live out the lessons of her education and give back to the individuals who invited her into their communities during times of crisis.
Susan is married to Erik Sanning, Technical Director in Grinnell’s Theatre and Dance Department. Together they enjoy training therapy dogs, riding horses, and raising laying hens with their two daughters on their small hobby farm just west of campus. In her free time Susan enjoys challenging her mind, being outside, reading historical fiction, walking the beaches of Anna Maria Island (Florida), promoting social justice, and gardening.
Mary Jane Shroyer
Director, Health Professions Career Community
Mary Jane leads the Health Professions Career Community at Grinnell. She provides students and early career alumni industry-focused advising, experiential learning opportunities, and targeted programming as they focus and connect their values, strengths, and interests to specific postgraduate goals and ambitions related to medicine and healthcare. She also advises students and graduates interested in attending medical school or pursuing graduate or professional degrees in the health professions.
A native of Fargo, North Dakota, Mary Jane completed her undergraduate degree at Truman State University in Missouri (B.S., Biology) where she was a Goldwater Scholar. She went on to complete a graduate degree at Oregon State University (M.S., Microbiology); her research focused on the biochemistry of proteins involved in bacterial DNA repair. Prior to her arrival at Grinnell, she served as the pre-health professions advisor at Knox College for five years. She is an active member of the National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions, currently serving on the Grants Committee.
When not advising students, Mary Jane loves to travel and is equally at home exploring new cities or the great outdoors. The eternal roadie, she attends far too many musical and theatrical performances by her spouse, children, and in-laws.
Associate Director of Service and Social Innovation
Ryan facilitates community engagement opportunities for students at Grinnell College, both through funded programs, like Service-Learning Work Study, and volunteer opportunities. Originally from Johannesburg, South Africa, Ryan completed his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin, after which he taught at Colgate University and the University of Chicago. Ryan specializes in community dialogue work, but he has run a range of community engagement programs, from migrant rights programs to anti-racism projects. Ryan is a keen believer in the role of community engagement in building democratic skills and attitudes.
Assistant Director of Employer Engagement & Internships
As the Assistant Director of Employer Engagement & Internships, Amanda supports all students pursuing internship experiences and employment after Grinnell College. She hopes to help students learn through high-impact, hands-on opportunities before they graduate and go on to make a difference in the world, as Grinnellians so often do.
Born and raised in central Wisconsin, Amanda joined the CLS in August 2020 as an Exploratory Adviser. She has held positions in a variety of fields in higher education, including financial aid, student success, TRiO, campus activities, and more. Amanda is a first-generation graduate. She received her B.S. in Family & Consumer Sciences from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and her M.S. in College Student Personnel-Student Affairs from Western Illinois University.
In her free time, Amanda enjoys being creative through a variety of outlets including projects at the Stew Makerspace, thrift shopping, spending time outdoors, and planning trips all over the country.