Career Summit 2019

The third annual Career Summit brings a distinguished group of K alumni to campus for two days of practical preparation for Life after K. Students of all majors and career interests are welcome and encouraged to attend this special event.

Through interactive break-out sessions, themed panel discussions and networking opportunities, students of all majors will gain priceless information about the global job market. This exclusive opportunity to connect with industry leaders takes place at K so as many students as possible may participate.

Career Summit 2019 Schedule

Registration for the Career Summit is now closed.

Friday, April 12, 2019:

Opening Dinner and Plenary –“From K to Today: Introducing the 2019 Career Summit Speakers”

Time: 6:00-8:30 p.m.
Hicks Banquet Hall 
Registration: Required

Enjoy dinner with Career Summit speakers, College faculty and staff, and other students, while being inspired by the career stories of successful alumni professionals. Each Career Summit speaker will be seated at a clearly marked table and joined by a student facilitator; table selection for student guests is first-come, first-served. Over dinner, guided table conversations will empower students to talk with the evening’s speakers and other guests about their professional paths and aspirations. Interspersed with the meal will be three mini-panels, each featuring Summit speakers sharing a brief self-introduction and reflection. The goal of this opening event is to allow students to hear from all of our Career Summit speakers, so they can make plans to meet and interact with speakers throughout the Summit. Dress code for dinner is Business Formal (a suit, or a jacket and pants or a dress skirt) Dress Code Guide 

Registration required. Student seating begins at 5:50 p.m. Please arrive promptly and be sure to check in; registered students who cancel within 48 hours or fail to attend will incur a $20 charge to their student account.

Panel 1: “From K to Today: How Careers Unfold”

featuring Elizabeth Okey ’07Chris Reynolds ’83[canceled 4/9/19], Aaron Ries ’06, and Sarna Salzman ’96 
Panelists will talk about the thread that runs from their K-Plan through their current work.

Panel 2: “Forks in the Road: Designing a Lifetime of Careers”

featuring Christina Bodurow ’79Corinna Keller ’92Jessica Kiessel ’03, and Sandy Lipsey ’72
Panelists will talk about choices they’ve made as they’ve moved along their career paths.

Panel 3: “The Career Advice I Wish I’d Received”

featuring Jerrod Howlett ’09Jonathan Romero ’13, and Amber M. Whittington ’08
Panelists will talk about what they wish they’d known when they were students at K.

Dessert Networking Reception

Time: 8:30-9:30 p.m.
Hicks Lower Atrium
Registration: Not required

Talk with Career Summit speakers and other guests about their professional paths and your aspirations for Life after K at this informal networking opportunity. A great opportunity to introduce yourself and ask follow-up questions about speakers’ remarks in the opening plenary. No registration required; all are welcome, whether or not you attended the preceding dinner. Note: dinner attendees will be dressed in Business Formal attire (a suit, or a jacket and pants or a dress skirt) Dress Code Guide.

Saturday, April 13, 2019:

Breakfast Buffet

Time: 8:30-9:00 a.m
Hicks Lower Atrium
Registration: Not required

Fuel up for an amazing day of learning and connecting. You are welcome to bring your breakfast into the banquet hall for either of the 9:00 a.m. plenary panels. No registration required; open to all who are attending the morning Career Summit events. Saturday dress code is casual, so that everyone can relax and enjoy great conversations in a comfortable setting.

Morning Plenary

Time: 9:00-10:15 a.m.
Hicks Banquet Hall East & Hicks Banquet Hall West
Registration: Required

 Choose one of the two options below, depending on your career interests.

“Living Your Values in a Fortune 500 Company” 

Hear from alumni professionals with a wide range of experience in large corporations about the impact of their work and how they chose their careers. This panel will be moderated by Professor Amy MacMillan, and will feature these speakers:
                  Christina Bodurow ’79 (Eli Lilly)
                  Jerrod Howlett ’09 (Google)
                  Corinna Keller ’92 (Viacom, CNN)
                  Christopher Reynolds ’83 (Toyota) [canceled 4/9/19]
                  Aaron Ries ’06 (Jefferies)
Join us before the panel for breakfast in the Lower Atrium starting at 8:30 a.m. Saturday dress code is casual, so that everyone can relax and enjoy great conversations in a comfortable setting.

“Careers with Community Impact”

Hear from alumni professionals with experience in a wide range of nonprofit organizations about the impact of their work and how they chose their careers. This panel will be moderated by Alison Geist, director of K’s Center for Civic Engagement, and will feature these speakers:
                  Jessica Kiessel ’03
                  Sandy Lipsey ’72
                  Elizabeth Okey ’07
                  Jonathan Romero ’13
                  Sarna Salzman ’96
                  Amber M. Whittington ’08
Join us before the panel for breakfast in the Lower Atrium starting at 8:30 a.m. Saturday dress code is casual, so that everyone can relax and enjoy great conversations in a comfortable setting.

Breakout Sessions

Time: 10:30-11:45 a.m.
various locations
Registration: Required

Choose one of the five options below, depending on your career interests.

Breakout Session: Roadblocks and Resilience: Surmounting Career Challenges

This panel will be moderated by Professor Andy Mozina, and will feature these speakers: Aaron Ries ’06Amber M. Whittington ’08Honorable Alexander Lipsey ’72Christopher Reynolds ’83 [canceled 4/9/19], and Jonathan Romero ’13 
The ability to recover from adversity, and keep on going, is key to happiness at work. Hear from successful professionals about how they’ve dealt with failure, rejection and uncomfortable situations to become resilient and effective in their careers.

Breakout Session with Corinna Keller ’92Jessica Kiessel ’03 and Elizabeth Okey ’07, hosted by the Marketing Club and the Women in Business Club 
Breakout Session with Jerrod Howlett ’09, Google Product Solution Manager, hosted by the Computer Science Student Leadership Team 
Breakout Session with Sarna Salzman ’96, hosted by the Environmental Conservation Organization (ECO) 
Breakout Session with Christina Bodurow ’79, hosted by Careers in Health and Medicine 

Networking Lunch: Sit with a Summit Speaker 

Time: noon-1:30 p.m.
Hicks Banquet Hall West
Registration: Required

Grab your lunch from the lower atrium and join the conversation at a table with one of the Summit speakers. Look for speaker signs on each table. This session will end with closing remarks.

Concluding Opportunities

Wrap up your Career Summit experience with one of the following options.

The Real Talk: Authentic Conversations about Being Black at Work

Time: 2:00-3:00 p.m. program, 3:00-3:30 p.m. networking
Hicks Intercultural Center
Registration: Required

An informal conversation hosted in partnership with the Black Student Organization and open to all students, featuring Career Summit speakers Amber M. Whittington ’08Jerrod Howlett ’09Christopher Reynolds ’83 [canceled 4/9/19], and Sandy Lipsey ’72. A facilitated discussion led by CCPD Career Associate Regina Shaw ’19 will be followed by refreshments and networking.

One-on-One Appointments with Speakers 

Time: 2-3:30 p.m.
Hicks Banquet Hall East
Registration: Schedule Appointment in Handshake

Several of our distinguished alumni Career Summit speakers are offering 1:1 appointment slots. Students MUST sign up via Handshake and appointment times will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. To view current availability and sign up:

  1. Log in to Handshake with KNetID and Password.
  2. Click on Career Center, Appointments, Schedule New Appointment, and Career Summit Appointments
  3. Find the speaker you’d like to meet and click on their name
  4. See appointment availability and sign up. (If nothing is listed, the spots for this speaker are full.)


Christina Bodurow

Christina Bodurow, PhD ’79

Vice President, Strategic Operations, Data Sciences, Safety and Regulatory –IQVIA


Dr. Christina (Chris) Bodurow recently joined IQVIA as Vice-President, Strategic Operations, in the Data Sciences, Safety and Regulatory Division. IQVIA is a leading global provider of advanced analytics, technology solutions and contract research services to the life sciences industry and was named to FORTUNE’s 2019 List of “World’s Most Admired Companies” with high marks in quality of management, effectiveness in conducting business globally, wise use of corporate assets, and value as a long-term investment.

Before joining IQVIA, Chris’ prior experiences include 33 years at Eli Lilly and Company, where she held responsibilities that included Senior Director of External Sourcing in the Medicines Development Unit (MDU), Chief Operating Officer (COO), Product Research & Development (CMC component of LRL), as well as global R&D operations leader for the Prozac and Xigris Product Teams.

Chris has also served in a number of professional and community volunteer roles, including on the Board of Directors of the American Chemical Society, the Chemistry Advisory Board for Princeton Chemistry, and on the Board of Directors of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. A chemistry major at Kalamazoo College, Chris received her Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Princeton University.

Jerrod Howlett

Jerrod Howlett ’09

Manager, Product Solutions – Google


Jerrod Howlett is an authentic leader and proficient technical advisor who currently serves as Manager of Product Solutions Consulting at Google, within the gTech Professional Services organization. Born and raised in Lansing, Michigan, Jerrod currently lives in Brooklyn, NY, where he enjoys singing as part of a cover band, Funkmaster General, playing tennis, and pretending to be a NYC foodie.

With 10 years of experience working in Operations-focused roles across various Consulting Services + Customer Success models within the Enterprise Software and Digital Advertising industries, Jerrod has had proven success in managing the customer experience across the end-to-end technical sales process. He leverages his expertise in capturing actionable insights via data analysis/visualization and collaboration methods within complex matrixed organizational environments, in the efforts of delivering against large scale project-based technical initiatives that yield sustainable economic value.

A Computer Science major at Kalamazoo College, Jerrod received a dual MSIS/MBA degree centered on General Management of Information Systems at Lawrence Technological University. 

Corinna Keller

Corinna Keller ’92

Vice President of Advertising Sales for the Americas – CNN 


Corinna Keller is the Vice President of Advertising Sales for the Americas for CNN International Commercial (a WarnerMedia company), after joining CNN in 2016. Corinna oversees the Company’s pan-regional ad sales business for CNN International and CNN en Español, for Latin America and clients based in the U.S. and Canada who want to target international viewers. She leads CNNIC teams in New York and Miami, where she is based. 

From 1999 to 2015, Corinna was with Viacom in various roles, her last as Vice President, International Marketing Partnerships and Pan-regional Ad Sales, Latin America, running the pan-regional advertising business for Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, Paramount Channel and VH1, and a diverse digital portfolio. She held a number of senior positions with Viacom in both the U.S. and Mexico and managed global client relationships with Fortune 500 companies across the U.S., Latin America, Europe and Asia.

Prior to Viacom, Corinna was in the pay television industry at Turner Broadcasting, where she assisted in distribution for the newly launched CNN en Español.

Corinna majored in economics/business and Spanish at Kalamazoo College and speaks English, Spanish, German and Portuguese.

Jessica Kiessel

Jessica Kiessel ’03

Head of Learning and Impact – Omidyar Network


Jessica Kiessel oversees Omidyar Network’s impact management and measurement processes and its learning culture. Omidyar Network is a philanthropic investment firm, a global network of innovators, entrepreneurs, technologists, advocates, investors, activists, and organizations committed to addressing the most critical economic, technological, and societal issues of our time.

Prior to joining Omidyar Network, Jessica was the deputy director of strategy and learning at PATH, a global health nonprofit. In this role, she oversaw PATH’s strategy team and led the conceptualization and development of a five-year strategy to globalize and restructure the organization. Jessica previously worked at Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) as global chief program officer. In this role, she established and led a new global and regional division responsible for ensuring impact across 16 country programs in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, more than 200 active research projects, and 5 research initiatives. She also served as country director for IPA Ghana during a period of significant growth, overseeing over 20 impact evaluations and education and agriculture scale-up work in partnership with the Ghanaian government.

Jessica began her career supporting USAID education projects in Egypt, Zambia, Namibia, and Pakistan for the American Institutes for Research and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Samoa. She graduated cum laude from Kalamazoo College with a BA in sociology and anthropology and holds an MPA from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.

The Honorable Alexander C. Lipsey

The Honorable Alexander C. Lipsey ’72

Circuit Judge – Kalamazoo County Circuit Court


Alexander (Sandy) Lipsey was appointed by the Michigan Supreme Court to serve as the Chief Judge of the Circuit/Probate Court for Kalamazoo County commencing January 1, 2018. Sandy also serves as the Business Court and Civil Division Judge in the Trial Division of the Kalamazoo County Ninth Judicial Circuit Court. He was appointed to the 9th Circuit Court by Governor Granholm in 2007.

Prior to serving as a Trial Division Judge in Kalamazoo County, Sandy served the State of Michigan as a State Representative from 2000 to 2006. Sandy was also a former private practice bankruptcy attorney, Chapter 7 and 13 Trustee, and an attorney for UAW GM Legal Services Plan. He also served on the Kalamazoo City Commission from 1989 to 1995 and was the vice-mayor from 1993 to 1995. After spending five years as a Chapter 7 trustee, he was elected to the Michigan House of Representatives, where he served from 2000 to 2006 (3 terms). He then served as general counsel to the House prior to his appointment to the Circuit Court in 2007.

Sandy is currently a member of the Michigan Bar Association, the Kalamazoo Bar Association, the Federal Bar Association, the National Bar, the Pratt Bar Association, and the NAACP. He is the Moderator for the Lake Michigan Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church, and a board member for the Kalamazoo Nature Center and the Kalamazoo College Board of Trustees. He also has served as an Executive Committee Member of the Michigan Judges Association and the Chair of the Court Collections Committee of the State Court Administrative Office. He received a BA in physics from Kalamazoo College and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Michigan.

Elizabeth Okey

Elizabeth Okey ’07

Community Impact Manager – Wintrust Financial Corporation


Elizabeth (Liz) Okey ’07 is a corporate responsibility and social impact maven working in Chicago, Illinois. She specializes in communication, engagement and strategy to amplify reputation with diverse stakeholders. Currently Liz is the Community Impact Manager for Wintrust Financial Corporation. Prior to Wintrust, Okey worked for Burson-Marsteller consulting corporate clients on corporate responsibility initiatives and communications needs. Liz spent over six years in the Chicago nonprofit sector, specializing in sports program development, corporate stewardship, fundraising and community organizing.

Liz grew up in Manchester, Michigan. She, her wife Kim and son Warren live in the western Chicago suburbs. Liz currently serves as an advisory board member for the Women’s Football Alliance as well as an executive committee member of the USA Football Board of Directors. Liz played professional women’s tackle football for the Chicago Force and was a member of the 2013 U.S. Women’s National Team that won the gold in Helsinki, Finland. Liz studied Human Development and Social Relations, Political Science and Women’s Studies at Kalamazoo College. While at K, Liz was president of the Athletic Leadership Council, a member of POWER and an admissions volunteer, and she played varsity volleyball. She earned an MBA in Social Innovation and Leadership from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Christopher Reynolds

[Cancelled due to family emergency] Christopher Reynolds ’83

Deputy Chief Officer, General Administration & Human Resources Group – Toyota Motor Corporation; Chief Administrative Officer, Manufacturing & Corporate Resources – Toyota Motor North America, Incorporated


As Chief Administrative Officer, Manufacturing & Corporate Resources for Toyota Motor North America, Christopher (Chris) Reynolds is responsible for the North American functions of Manufacturing operations, Accounting & Finance, Human Resources, Government Affairs, Corporate Communications, Corporate Strategy, Social Innovation/Diversity & Inclusion, and Legal, among others. At global parent company Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC), Chris functions as Deputy Chief Officer, General Administration & Human Resources Group.

Previously, Chris headed up Corporate Shared Services for TMNA, served as Chief Diversity Officer for TMNA, as well as General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer of TMNA, and Group Vice President, Chief Environmental Officer and Corporate Secretary of Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. Prior to joining Toyota in 2007, Reynolds was a partner at the law firm of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius in New York City, where Chris also worked as manager of the New York office’s labor and employment law group. He served as a member of the firm’s advisory board and as chair of the firm’s diversity committee. In addition to these experiences, Chris also served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the criminal division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of New York, and as a law clerk for Judge Damon J. Keith, U.S. Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit in Detroit.

Chris grew up amid the auto industry in Detroit as the son of a Ford River Rouge plant worker and a registered nurse. He earned a BA in political science with honors at Kalamazoo College and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa in 1983. He received his law degree from Harvard Law School in 1986.

Aaron Ries

Aaron Ries ’06

Managing Director, Leveraged Loan Trader – Jefferies LLC


Aaron Ries is a Managing Director, Leveraged Loan Trader with Jefferies LLC. He specializes in lower rated, stressed and distressed situations with a primary focus on pricing and trading loan debt for institutional lenders. His sector focus includes, but is not limited to, Technology, Media & Telecom as well as Oil & Gas and other commodity related issuers. His secondary focus is on primary issuance and pricing of leveraged buyouts and other leveraged financings. 

In 2006, Aaron graduated with a BA in Economics and Business from Kalamazoo College.

Jonathan Romero

Jonathan Romero ’13

Secretary, Board of Directors – Welcoming America


Jonathan Romero is a Mexican-American community organizer from South Central Los Angeles. He currently serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors at Welcoming America, a national organization that inspires people to embrace immigrants and build immigrant-friendly communities. Jonathan provides support in the implementation of board policies and the execution of development and marketing plans to acquire funding from governmental, corporate, foundation, and individual sources.

Jonathan has dedicated his career to uplifting and strengthening social justice efforts. At the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership’s Praxis Center, he served as its first Contributing Editor for the Race, Class, and Immigration editorial page. During his tenure at the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center (MIRC) he managed a statewide coalition and advanced immigrant integration efforts in west Michigan. At Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education (SCOPE) he created and led its leadership development program to equip members with skills necessary to be effective community leaders.

Jonathan is a Kalamazoo College and Posse Foundation graduate whose unwavering commitment to community building has earned him opportunities such an invitation to Washington, DC, to speak alongside Nancy Pelosi and an interview with the Los Angeles Times regarding his leadership in the student walkouts of 2006.

Sarna Salzman

Sarna Salzman ’96

Executive Director – SEEDS


Sarna Salzman has been the Executive Director of the nonprofit SEEDS in Traverse City since 2002. SEEDS’ mission is to implement local solutions to global challenges and its work is a triple-bottom-line, multidisciplinary, inter-generational approach toward building community self-reliance. She has been at the helm as SEEDS grew from an idea to a company that now employs more than two dozen change makers. She builds synergy through use of robust evaluation techniques and the forging of innovate partnerships. She is responsible for the daily operations of SEEDS and is unafraid to experiment with pioneering management and adaptive leadership strategies. She enjoys studying behavioral economics and ecological literacy in her spare time.

A born Michigander, Sarna earned a BA in Anthropology and Sociology from Kalamazoo College and – after escaping the ivory towers for a stint as a cook in Antarctica – earned an MS in Community Development from the University of California at Davis.

Amber Whittington

Amber M. Whittington ’08

Elections Officer


Amber M. Whittington is a results-driven public service professional with nearly a decade of experience in national security, international development, and Congressional affairs. As the Manager of the Elections and Political Processes Fund for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Amber is responsible for the financial and technical oversight of U.S. foreign assistance towards international elections.

Prior to joining USAID, Amber completed a five-year tour as a Congressional staff member where she served as the Director of Operations for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as a Community Liaison in the District Office of U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan (MO), and as an Administrative Specialist in the Office of U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill (MO).

In 2006, Amber studied at the University of Nairobi, and went on to conduct a research fellowship with a local civil society organization. Amber participated in civic mobilization for a peaceful electoral process for the 2007 Kenyan General Election. Amber earned a BA in Political Science with an emphasis in African politics from Kalamazoo College. During her studies at K, Amber was the Vice President of the Black Students Organization, and she was a student representative on the Inauguration Committee for College President Eileen Wilson-Oyelaran. She holds an MA in International Affairs from Washington University in St. Louis.

Press Release

Career Summit 2019 Slated for April 12, 13