Career Center

Career Center Staff

Thom Rakes

Thom Rakes

Career Center Director and Assistant to the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs for Technology

M.Ed., University of Missouri-Columbia
National Certified Counselor, National Certified Career Counselor, Master Career Counselor

Joined UNCW Career Center in 1996; over 30 years of career development experience.

Professional Affiliations: ACPA, NACE, NCACE, SoACE

Career Center Leadership, Campus & Community Liaison, Career Counseling

Specialized areas of expertise:
CareerLeader Business Interest Assessment
Curriculum Vitae
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
Planning for Grad School

StrengthsFinder: Intellection | Input | Maximizer | Strategic | Learner

Rebecca Christiansen

Rebecca Daneff

Associate Director for Employer Development

M.S. in Administration for Human Resources, Central Michigan University
B.A. Economics, Michigan State University
SHRM-CP and PHR Certified

Joined UNCW Career Center in January 2016 with 11 years previous experience in financial/career planning and corporate recruitment.

Professional Affiliations: SHRM, NACE, NCACE

Provide leadership for all programs and services related to employer development. Coordinator for Career Fair, On-Campus Recruiting, Employer Advisory Board, Graduate Survey and Corporate Partner initiatives.

Specialized areas of expertise:
Programming for Military & Veteran Populations
Recruitment Policies and Procedures
Labor Market Trends

StrengthsFinder: Communication | Woo | Futuristic | Strategic | Maximizer

Nadirah Pippen

Nadirah Pippen

Associate Director for Career Development

M.S. Counselor Education, 2009
East Carolina University
Licensed Professional Counselor, National Certified Counselor

Joined UNCW Career Center in January 2018.

Professional Affiliations: NACE, SoACE, NCACE

Liaison to Business & Accounting Sector (Accountancy, Economics, Entrepreneurship & Business Development, Finance, Human Resources Management, International Business, Management & Leadership, and Marketing). Coordinator for CareerFest, Meet the Firms, Resumania, and Career Express on the Road.

Specialized areas of expertise:
Student Counseling & Development
Career & Major Exploration
Resumes/Cover Letters
Interviewing & Professionalism

StrengthsFinder: Input | Harmony | Maximizer | Empathy | Positivity


Assistant Director

Liaison to Education Sector (Watson College of Education) and STEM Sector (Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science/Studies, Geography, Geology, Geoscience, Marine Biology and Oceanography). Campus Outreach Coordinator, Web Manager, Coordinator for CareerFest, Education Job Fair, Multicultural Programming, Professional Etiquette Dinner, Taking Flight, ePortfolio Program, Disney College Program, and Career Center Quarterly.

Specialized areas of expertise:


Leslie Wright

Leslie Wright

Assistant Director

M.S. Education, Counselor Ed Track, College Student Personnel, 2001
Old Dominion University

Joined UNCW Career Center in November 2002.

Professional Affiliations: NCACE, SoACE, NACE, LCFHRA

Liaison to Social Sciences and Services Sector (Anthropology, Criminology, Philosophy & Religion, Psychology, Sociology and Social Work), Government & Non-Profit Sector (History, International Studies and Political Science), Arts, Media & Communication Sector (Communication Studies, Creative Writing, English, French, German, Spanish), and STEM Sector (Computer Science, Information Systems, Information Technology and Operations Management). Coordinator for Just in Time Job Fair, LinkedIn Day, SeaWork, Career Center social media, niche internship programs.

Specialized areas of expertise:
Using social media in your job or internship search
The impact and use of mobile devices in your job or internship search

StrengthsFinder: Responsibility | Adaptability | Ideation Relator Learner

Stacey Huffman

Stacey Huffman

Career Development Counselor

M.A. College Student Development & Student Affairs, 2016  
Appalachian State University

Joined UNCW Career Center in June 2016.

Professional Associations: NCACE, NCCDA

Liaison to Deciding Students, Transfer Students, Early College Students & Graduates, and STEM Sector (Engineering, Math, Physics, and Statistics). Coordinator for Academic Majors & Minors Fair, CareerFest, University College Programming and Career Center social media.

Specialized areas of expertise:
Career Exploration
Interest Assessments

StrengthsFinder: Harmony | Responsibility | Empathy Arranger Developer



Jacqueline Pitone

Career Development Counselor

M.Ed. College Student Affairs Leadership, 2018
Grand Valley State University

Joined UNCW Career Center in July 2018.

Liaison to Watson College of Education – Education of Young Children, Elementary Education, Middle Grades Education, Physical Education & Health K-12, Special Education, Teacher Licensure in Secondary Education & K-12. Coordinator for Education Job Fair, Certified Internship Program, and Special Internship Programs: Disney Internships, State Employees Credit Union Fellowships Grant, Duke Energy Internships Grant, North Carolina State Internships Program, Campus to Career Internship Program.

StrengthsFinder: Futuristic | Positivity | Input |Communication | Achiever


Charles Ozuna

Career Development Counselor

M.A. Higher Education Administration, 2018 Rowan University

Joined UNCW Career Center in July 2018.

Liaison to Arts, Media & Entertainment Sector (Art History, Film Studies, French, German Studies, Music, Studio Art and Theatre) and Coordinator for Career Fair, CareerFest, Multicultural Programs and Campus Planner.

StrengthsFinder: Communication | Woo | Empathy | Activator | Positivity

Ashley Navarra

Ashley Navarra

Office/Budget Manager

Joined UNCW beginning August 2007 and the Career Center in June 2015.

Coordinator for On-Campus Recruiting, Career Events, Residency Appeals Board, Employer Advisory Board, Supervisor of Student Office Assistants and Leavekeeper.

Professional Achievements:
UNCW Staff Senate Communications Committee Chair, 2010-12
Committee of the Year, 2012
Senator of the Year, 2012
Most Likely to Go the Extra Mile, 2012
UNCW Level 1 Finance Certification, 2010

StrengthsFinder: Responsibility Achiever Relator Learner Developer

Carolyn Rennix

Carolyn Rennix

Employer Development Coordinator

B.A. Mass Communication, 2016
Winthrop University

Joined UNCW Career Center in January 2018.

Coordinator for employer retention as well as developing new relationships with an emphasis on the tri-county and regional employers, data collection, analysis and reporting, and marketing outreach. 

StrengthsFinder: Discipline | Achiever | Harmony | Restorative | Focus

Casey McAnarney

Casey McAnarney

Job & Internship Specialist

B.A. Communication Studies & English Professional Writing, 2018
University of North Carolina Wilmington

Joined UNCW Career Center in August 2018.

Coordinator for student, alumni and employer access to Handshake online portal for internship and job listings, event registration and logistics, CAS & CSB internship reporting and Career Center website content.

StrengthsFinder: Strategic | Belief | Focus | Futuristic | Intellection