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


Associate Director for Employer Development

Senior Leadership Team Member

Employer Development: Outreach with a focus on F500, Government, Non-Profit, Entrepreneur, etc., Alumni Relations Outreach & Travel, Parent’s Council Outreach & Travel, Soaring Partners Program with a focus on corporate sponsorships, Military & Defense Relations Partner and Academic Partnerships.

Liaison to Employer Advisory Board members.

Event Planning/Coordination: Career & Internship Fair, Career Fest, Part-Time Job & Student Services Fair and Just In Time Job Fair.

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). Liaison to Liberal Studies & Interdisciplinary Studies.

Coordinator for Career Express, Meet the Firms, Resumania, LinkedIn Day and Professional Etiquette Event.

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 Health & Human Services Sector (Athletic Training, Clinical Research, Exercise Science, Nursing, Public Health Studies, Recreation Therapy, Recreation, Sports Leadership & Tourism Management.)

Coordinator for RN to BSN Resume Project, Nursing Career Fair, NC Health Grad Programs Expo, Career Planning Guide & Marketing Committee.

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), Government & Non-Profit Sector (Coastal & Ocean Policy, Conflict Management & Resolution, History, International Studies, Political Science, Public Administration). Liaison to International Students.

Coordinator for Part-Time Job & Student Services Fair, Law School Day, Big Interview, Career Shift, ePortfolio Program, First Destination Surveys, Peace Corps, GoinGlobal and Marketing.

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, Exploring Students, Transfer Students, Early College Students & Graduates, and STEM Sector (Computer Science, Data Analytics, Engineering, Information Systems, Information Technology, Mathematics, Operations Management, Physics and Statistics).

Coordinator for Academic Majors & Minors Fair, CareerFest, University College Programming, Certified Internship Program, Orientation Presentations, Front Desk & Event Sign-In.

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, Communication Studies, Creative Writing, Digital Arts, English, Film Studies, French, German Studies, Music, Spanish, Studio Art and Theatre), Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math (STEAm) Sector (Biology, Chemistry, Digital Arts, Environmental Science, Environmental Studies, Geography, Geoscience, Geology, Marine, Biology and Oceanography)

Coordinator for Career Fair, Just in Time Job Fair, Prepping for Grad School, Writing Powerful Personal Statements, Multicultural Programs and Education Abroad.

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.

Liaison for Career Center Events with Employers (Career Fest, LinkedIn Day, Resumania, Internship POC for Employers)

Event Planning/Coordination: Part-Time Job & Student Services Fair, Just In Time Job Fair, Career & Internship Fair, Employer On-Campus Workshops and Career Trek Coordinator.

Marketing/Technology: Marketing Committee, Career Center Website, Career Planning Guide, Handshake Implementation Team and Orientation Presentations.

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