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Cornell University

Advisor and Staff Bios

Read the bios of Barnes Hall staff below and see here for bios of student staff. You can find contact information for the other career advising staff on our Cornell Career Network page. 

Barnes Hall Staff

Kayleigh Bermudez

Employer Relations Program Assistant

210 Barnes Hall

Although she’s native to Upstate New York, after high school she ventured into Miami Florida for a handful of years. She graduated from Miami Dade College with an A.A. in Political Science as the President of Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society in April 2022. Kayleigh simultaneously worked full time as an Operations Manager at a luxury residential property on South Beach where she enhanced her exceptional transferrable skills. A large part of who Kayleigh is, is her love for new cultures, new environments, and overall new experiences.

Mia Ferraina

Public Service Careers Coach (Non-profit, Government, Education, Sustainability, & Gap Year)

103 Barnes Hall

Mia loves helping students throughout their college journey, especially when they’re grappling with the infamous question..."What should I do with my life?!”. After completing her Bachelors in psychology, Mia took a gap year to work before heading to Ohio State for a Masters in Higher Education & Student Affairs. She has since returned to her Western NY roots, working at universities to support students with everything from majors and jobs to holistic wellness and personal growth. As an activist for social and racial justice, Mia brings her dedication to equity into her job as well.

Erica Ford

International Career Development Coach

103 Barnes Hall

Erica is passionate about helping international students navigate education and employment in the U.S. She is originally from Ohio and began her career in higher education in 2014 while in graduate school in Dallas, Texas. Erica has served as an academic advisor and international student advisor (DSO and ARO) for students pursuing Associate’s, Bachelor’s, and graduate degrees. She couples her training in counseling with a deep understanding of the cultural and immigration-related pressures that international students experience.

Heather Fortenberry

Career Exploration Coach

103 Barnes Hall

Heather joined Cornell University’s Career Service team in 2017 where she focuses on empowering students with the skills and confidence to explore their careers. Before moving into the role of a career advisor and encouraging students to find their best-fit career paths, she was a member of the Cornell admissions team helping students find their best-fit college.

Kristine Goggan

Pre-Law and Graduate Programs Assistant

103 Barnes Hall

Originally from Jamestown, NY, Kristine received her bachelor’s degree from Ohio University in Audio Production. Before joining Cornell Career Services, Kristine worked at Eagle Broadcasting (Cayuga Radio Group) for several years. Kristine supports the Pre-Law/Graduate and Pre-Health Advisors in Barnes Hall as well as supervising national exams on campus. Outside of work Kristine enjoys raising her high-school aged kids, tending her flower garden, and baking. 

Top 5 Strengths: Adaptability, Harmony, Arranger, Discipline and Consistency

Alex Jablonski

Assistant Director, Pre-Law and Pre-Grad Advisor

103 Barnes Hall

Alex grew up in Michigan and moved to upstate New York at first for graduate school. As a member of the Cornell Career Services team, he supports students and alumni who are considering law school and other graduate programs.

Erica Kryst, Ph.D.

Executive Director, Cornell Career Services

103 Barnes Hall

Erica was a first-generation college student and grew up in rural Pennsylvania. For almost 15 years she has worked as a higher education professional, beginning her career in Multicultural Student Services and Residence Life. For the past 10 years, she has worked in Career Services, first at The Pennsylvania State University where she served as a career counselor, and then for the past 5 years in the Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development at Binghamton University.

Mike Loeffelman, Ph.D.

Summer Experience Funding Program Associate

103 Barnes Hall

Originally from Columbus, Ohio, Mike joined the Career Services team in 2024. He has been dedicated to assisting college students for over 15 years. After serving as an AmeriCorps member at the University of Charleston (WV), Mike went on to earn a master’s degree in education from the University of Virginia. Since U.Va., Mike has worked in higher education at schools including the Rhode Island School of Design, East Carolina University, Purdue University, and Miami University (Ohio).

Elaine Lu

Career Readiness Coach

103 Barnes Hall

Elaine is a first-generation college student and Asian American, originally from Brooklyn, New York. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at the University at Buffalo in 2020, and began her career at Amazon in Operation Management after graduation. In 2023, she completed her Master’s degree in Higher Education at Syracuse University.

Dana Nowakowski

Career Associate for Professional Readiness (Pre-Law & Pre-Graduate)

Dana is a native of Syracuse New York and has worked in the higher education industry for over a decade. Dana comes to Cornell after spending the majority of her career at Syracuse University primarily in areas of Academic Advising and Admissions.  

Dana has worked as an Academic Advisor in SU’s School of Management and School of Architecture. Dana has also previously served as the Assistant Director of Admissions at Syracuse College of Law.  

Jessamyn Perlus, Ph.D.

Senior Associate Director

103 Barnes Hall

Jessamyn joined Cornell Career Services in 2019 as the Manager of the Career Exploration Unit. In addition to student appointments and workshops, she runs the Career Services liaison program, programming committee, and professional development committee. 

Stephanie M. Resue

Assistant Director of Data and Systems

222D Barnes Hall

Stephanie joined Cornell University’s Career Services office in 2023 focusing on data and systems needs. Before moving into this role, she worked for over 9 years as the Assistant Director of Admissions in the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning (AAP) Office of Admissions, also at Cornell. She recruited and admitted students to both the undergraduate and graduate programs in AAP.

Thea Riddick

Administrative Assistant

103 Barnes Hall

Thea is from New Jersey, where she graduated from being a Medical Assistant. Her passion for helping others has always been her priority. Before joining Cornell Career Services, Thea worked as a receptionist for several years where she amplified her customer service skills. Thea is a great communicator, detail-oriented, and honest person who is always willing to help others. Thea enjoys working with both students and alumni to align their goals towards the right path. In her free time she enjoys doing hair and makeup. 

Cassidy Rourke

Employer Relations Program Coordinator

210 Barnes Hall

Originally from Michigan, Cassidy received her B.S. in Sports Management from Western Michigan University. Whilst at WMU, she served as a manager for the Division I Women's Basketball program for two seasons and helped establish a men's and women's club volleyball program as head coach and president. In 2018, she moved to Elmira, NY to pursue her master's degree in General Management from Elmira College while also being the graduate assistant for the Division III Women's Field Hockey program.

Krista Saleet

Director, Student and Campus Life Career Initiatives and Employment Experiences

103 Barnes Hall

Krista supports the Student and Campus Life division in developing a student employment program that encourages students to explore and grow professionally while supporting critical operations across all aspects of the division’s units. Krista is guided by 20 years of experience in higher education administration at Cornell, Colgate University, the University of Chicago, Dartmouth College, University of Massachusetts Amherst and Chatham College. Krista has sat on the NASPA Public Policy Board and the NASPA Region II Executive Board. Krista's professional intere

Kimberlee Swartz

Manager of Employer Relations & Professional Readiness Programs

210 Barnes Hall

As associate director and manager of employer relations and professional readiness programs, Kim provides oversight and direction for employer relations, employment services (with special focus on employment opportunities targeted to students from all colleges and schools), career-launch programs, and many aspects of external relations. She develops and oversees programs to prepare students for the job-search process and for career entry, including the Calby Fellows Program.

Susan Walter

Executive Assistant to Executive Director for Cornell Career Services

103 Barnes Hall

Susan joined Cornell Career Services in January 2023 as the executive assistant to Erica Kryst. She has worked at Cornell for 15 years and has held various positions across campus. In addition to supporting Erica and managing office projects, Susan provides office coverage and helps students and staff that visit the office. Susan enjoys meeting new people, learning where they are in their education, and what they plan to do after Cornell. 

Top 5 Strengths: Learner, Achiever, Discipline, Consistency, Restorative
Liaison: Cornell Store