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Alumni Gift Time, Wisdom Via Virtual Panels

Four people talk via Zoom

Office of Alumni RelationsOffice of Alumni Relations
December 07, 2020

This fall, with COVID-19 forcing events to take place virtually, UNC's alumni generously gave of their time via virtual Alumni Career Panels, answering questions from moderators and viewers alike. More than 100 people attended the events (many attended multiple events), and more are watching them after the fact on demand. We invite you to watch them on demand and learn more about a field that interests you. 

A huge thank you to our panelists for sharing their time and energy to help their fellow Bears plan their careers, learn to network, and succeed, and to our Alumni team for making this happen!

Watch Panels On Demand

Job and Interviewing Insight from Alumni Human Resources Professional

These professionals spoke about the field of Human Resources and gave insight as to what employers look for when hiring (think: communication skills, flexibility, adaptability, work experience and more). They recommended making sure your ethics are aligned with your potential employer’s ethics, values and mission. Check out this video if you want to tell your story in an interview, avoid common job application process pitfalls, understand how the transition to work-from-home has impacted talent acquisition and more. 


  • Thomas Hartman, Ph.D. ’07 – Consultant, Colorado Workforce Development Council (Moderator)
  • Deana Lemos-Garcia ’05, ’18 – Human Resources Manager, City of Greeley
  • Efrain Madera ’16 – University Relations Manager/ Talent Acquisition Professional, CVS Pharmacy
  • Michelle Paquette ’01 –Senior Project Manager, Executive Compensation, The Walt Disney Company
  • Amber Simon ’01 –Founder, The 2nd Page Career Services, LLC (Former Corporate HR Executive)

Careers in Marketing and Business

These professionals talked about working with others on the job, learning to work with different communication and learning styles, and the fact that no matter what you’re doing, you’re selling something! Check this one out for tips on good habits in the workplace, different ways to obtain work experience, setting up informational interviews and more.


  • Jamie Dagg ‘18, Marketing Executive, MadWire/Marketing 360®
  • Jessica Espinosa-Novaria ’16, ‘18, Market Research Analyst, Otter Products
  • Casey Lorenzen ‘05, Content Manager, Fjällräven
  • Nubia Martinez-Caro ‘04, Client Service Manager and Assistant Vice President, Wells Fargo Private Bank 

Careers in Athletics and Sports Management

These professionals talked about the challenging nature of working in athletics, the network and industry work experience that UNC provided to prepare them for their careers, working extra hard in college to prepare for a solid career, trusting the process and getting experience with a professional team before graduation. Check out this panel if you want to know what makes an impression during internships, how to search for opportunities, equal opportunity in the world of sports, and whether you need a master’s degree to work in sports.


  • Arin Dunn ‘15, Director of Student-Athlete Development and 4EVER TEXAS Program, The University of Texas Athletics (Moderator)
  • Vince Garcia ’06, Head Athletic Trainer, Denver Broncos
  • Erin Prueter ‘19, Game Operations Manager, Colorado Eagles
  • Angelica Sena ‘17, ’18, Assistant Director of Marketing, The University of Utah Athletics

Careers After Graduate School

These professionals talked about unexpected twists and turns in their careers, being connected in the community, and how a graduate degree can prepare you for your career. They discussed the value of being involved in specialty programs during your time in college, the importance and influence of mentorship, and how to find jobs after completing a graduate degree program. Check out this panel for more about developing your network, the starting salary value of a master’s degree and more.


  • Samuel D. Saul ‘11, Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin Stevens Point
  • Bryson Kelly ‘15, Assistant Director of Recruitment, University of Northern Colorado (Moderator)
  • Elizabeth Mahoney ‘05, Owner, Complete Professional Development
  • Adriana Ramirez ’09, ‘13, Behavioral Health Therapist, Heart Centered Counseling
  • Brandon Torrez ‘99, ‘02, Teacher, Greeley West High School, Greeley-Evans School District 6

Careers in Education

These professionals discussed how difficult but rewarding the teaching profession is, the possibilities for teaching around the world, and examples of what they like to see in the people they work with and teach — be honest, be professional, own your mistakes. Check this one out for more information about setting yourself apart when applying for education jobs, tips on getting through interview jitters, how to connect with employers during an interview and how to support new teachers.


  • Adrienne Bergenfeld ‘04, Assistant Director of International Students, University of California, Santa Cruz
  • Kerry Kawamura ’98, ‘00, School Renewal Specialist, Leilehua Complex
  • Erin “Griffiths” McGinley ‘88, HS Arts Teacher, Farmington Municipal Schools
  • Stephen Michalik ‘03, ’05, Co-Founder and STEM Coordinator, All Nations Community School
  • Dr. Stephen Seedorf ‘05, ‘07, ‘11, ’14, Executive Director, Frontier Academy (Moderator)
  • Nancy Wendirad ‘05, Culturally Linguistic Diverse and Spanish Teacher, School District Weld Re-8

Careers in Performing and Visual Arts

These professionals talk about how collaboration and kindness will serve you well in your career, the cliché of being told you won’t make any money as an artist, and the network-based nature of the arts. Check out this panel to learn what advice these artists would have given their younger selves, the most rewarding aspects of their positions, and how they’ve adapted during COVID-19.


  • Nick Kenny ‘16, Executive Director, Greeley Philharmonic Orchestra (Moderator)
  • Julio Mendoza ‘12, Artist/Muralist, Jwlç Artwork
  • Jamie Ann Romero ‘07, Actor
  • Heather Washburn ‘10, Casting Assistant, Bowling Miscia Casting

Careers in Nursing and Health Administration

These professionals gave advice on gaining soft skills needed in nursing and other health professions, how to begin understanding the structure of healthcare and the challenge of growing past imposter syndrome. Check out this panel for encouragement for new healthcare professionals, advice on staying connected with your cohort and building your healthcare network, and tips such as asking for help when you need it.


  • Kathie Hopkins ’05, MSN, RN, ACNS-BC, Adult Health Clinical Nurse Specialist, Cheyenne Regional Medical Center
  • Jumer Sapinoro ’13, MSN, RN-BC, Nurse Manager, UCHealth Medical Center of the Rockies

Careers in Media and Communications

These professionals shared about various aspects of working in media, the value of public speaking skills in interviews and working with clients, and being adaptable as a communicator. Check out this panel for tips on practicing public speaking, recommendations on the assets students should create to build their portfolios before applying for jobs, and details about the many pathways within the field of communication.


  • Reginald Hardwick ‘94, Director of News and Public Affairs, Illinois Public Media – IL
  • Brady Hull ’17, General Manager/Host 1310 KFKA – CO
  • Lindsay Salazar ‘09, President, Greeley Broadcasting Corp – CO
  • Ryan Shucard ’11, Vice President of Public Affairs, JPA Health – Washington, D.C. 

Get Involved & Give Back

UNC relies on the time and expertise of alumni across the country. If you wish to get involved as a volunteer for an upcoming career panel or other university program, please complete the UNC Alumni Get Involved form and a member of the alumni staff will follow up with you to discuss options and opportunities.

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