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Kathleen Powell to lead career development at William & Mary

Kathleen Powell has been selected as William & Mary’s next assistant vice president for student affairs and executive director of career development.

Kathleen PowellPowell, who currently serves as the director of career exploration and development at Denison University in Ohio, will begin her work at William & Mary in July following the departure of Mary Schilling from the university. Schilling is retiring this summer after 15 years of service to William & Mary.

“I am delighted to welcome Kathleen Powell to the senior leadership team in student affairs,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Ginger Ambler. “She will bring to W&M her energy and enthusiasm, considerable experience as a leader in the profession and a compelling vision for advancing an exceptional career development program in the context of a liberal arts university. We look forward to welcoming Ms. Powell to campus in July, even as we bid farewell and offer our profound gratitude to Mary Schilling who has served our students and the wider W&M community with deep devotion for the last 15 years.”

As assistant vice president, Powell will lead the university’s career development program, which serves all undergraduate and graduate students (with the exception of MBA and law students).  She will oversee the operation of the Cohen Career Center, implementing and updating its strategic plan, coordinating development efforts and overseeing its programs and services. Powell will also work with an advisory board, liaise with the MBA and law career development offices and assist with or lead cross-departmental career development efforts. Experienced in the application of robust assessment data and best practices in the field of career development, Powell will also engage actively in collaboration with faculty, support strong employer relations and expand alumni outreach.

“Career development should be, and is, a transformational student experience in 21st century higher education,” she said. “Progressive institutions, such as William & Mary, embrace multiple constituencies to create a dynamic environment for student success.  Now, more than ever, career development is front and center in the higher education landscape. It is evident that William & Mary is deliberate and strategic with regard to career development and a thought leader in the career development space. The opportunity to have a leadership role in such a vibrant environment is exciting and fulfilling.”

Powell has worked in career development for approximately 30 years, beginning as the director of Ashland College’s Career Planning and Placement Office. She went on to serve as the director of several other career centers at institutions including Grinnell College, the University of Akron, Marietta College and Knox College. Powell also served as an adjunct professor at multiple colleges, teaching classes on career development, principles of interviewing and academic advising, among other topics.

Throughout her career, Powell has published multiple articles, given dozens of professional presentations and won myriad awards and honors. She also served on numerous campus committees and held leadership positions with several professional organizations, including the National Association of Colleges and Employers and the Midwest Association of Colleges and Employers.

Powell received her undergraduate degree from the University of Akron and her master’s degree from Miami University.