Kelly Ahn was appointed Executive Director of Industry Relations & Career Strategies at the School of Professional Studies in March 2020 and Associate Dean of the Career Design Lab in July 2021. Ahn brings more than 10 years of achievement in career services and organizational leadership. She most recently served as the Associate Dean of Graduate Student Career Development at the Columbia University Center for Career Education (CCE), where she supported graduate students and alumni for more than seven years.
At CCE, Ahn launched several initiatives including the inaugural Ivy 3-Minute Thesis competition, held in partnership with industry leaders and higher education faculty and administrators from seven Ivy League institutions. The competition provided a forum for students to showcase their research before recruiters and members of the general public. An experienced senior executive, Ahn has held leadership positions such as Director of Student Success Career Services at The New School and Director of Career Development at Manhattan College. Prior to her work in higher education, Kelly served as a mental health counselor for LGBT Asian-Pacific Islander youth in New York City and co-founded the Crimson Language Institute, a higher education learning and consulting firm in Seoul, Korea.
Ahn earned a B.A. in Psychology from Hamilton College and an Ed.M. in Educational Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University. She is currently pursuing her Ed.D. in Adult Learning and Leadership from Columbia as well. In 2009 and 2010, Ahn was selected by the Fulbright Scholar Program and Institute of International Education (IIE) to participate in International Education Administrators seminars in Germany and Australia, respectively.
Director | Construction Administration, Information & Knowledge Strategy, Insurance Management Career Coach
Diane Spizzirro is the Director of Career Education and Development and a Lecturer at Columbia University, School of Professional Studies. She is a seasoned Career Development professional with experience in higher education, corporate training and development as well as private practice. She has a strong business background having been in the Insurance and Risk Management fields and successfully transitioned her career into counseling. She holds a M.S. in Career Development and a B.A. in Business. She is a Nationally Certified Counselor, a New York State Licensed Mental Health Counselor, and Executive Career Development Coach and certified in distance counselling. She is a certified trainer of the DiSC, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator MBTI and Strengthsquest. Diane formerly served as the Director of Career Development at the College of New Rochelle and taught graduate classes in counseling and career development. Diane is the pasted President of the New York Mental Health Counseling Association (NYMHCA) and an active member of the National Career Development Association (NCDA) and National Association of College and Employers (NACE). Diane was recognized for her innovative ideas and received first place for the NACE 2016 Innovation challenge. She has also presented at both the NACE and NCDA conferences in 2019. Diane is most in her element when she is facilitating a dynamic and engaging career development program, which helps participants to gain insight on how to move forward! She has developed and facilitated numerous career training programs for individuals and diverse groups.
Degree PathsConstruction AdministrationInformation and Knowledge StrategyInsurance Management
Director, Career Design Lab | Actuarial Science Career Coach
Gregory Costanzo joined the School of Professional Studies (SPS) at Columbia University as Associate Director of Industry Relations in January 2018 after a successful career as Director of Career Services for the College of the Arts (CART) at Montclair State University. At SPS, Gregory engages the private, public, and non-profit sectors to cultivate relationships that result in gainful employment opportunities for students and alumni.
Gregory’s holistic approach to delivering career management and development strategies focuses on helping students and alumni increase self-awareness and promote intentional job and internship search strategies. At Montclair State, Gregory developed, implemented, marketed and evaluated a college-wide career services program designed for CART students and alumni. As a former adjunct for Loyola’s Quinlan School of Business, Gregory has taught academic internship courses which has reinforced his belief in the value of experiential learning. Along with this understanding, he has experience in redesigning curriculum, developing mentorship programs, and managing career outcomes.
Gregory is a former Senior Operations Analyst at Lehman Brothers, and holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Rutgers University in Finance (B.S.) and College Student Affairs (M.Ed), respectively.
Degree PathsActuarial Science
Assistant Director | Actuarial Science, Bioethics Construction Administration, Information & Knowledge Strategy, Narrative Medicine
Karen Acampado has worked as a career services professional since 2005 at colleges and universities in the NYC area. She has always been in a student facing role, advising undergraduates, graduate students, and alumni on the career development process. Karen has experience working on student engagement and employer relations and has managed large-scale career events. She enjoys working with individuals on interview techniques, internship/job search, personal branding, and resume development, and is passionate about educating people on how to achieve career success. Karen graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and received her Master of Science in Education from St. John’s University.
Specialties and InterestsActuarial Science, Bioethics, Construction Administration, Information & Knowledge Strategy, Narrative Medicine
Associate Director, Operations
Brian Brown is currently the Associate Director of Operations at Columbia University’s Career Design Lab; a Career Center for their SPS graduate students which provides educational events, development resource tools and job opportunities. Through his versatile careers his main specialization has been in Operations and Event Planning; primarily in the Financial Services, Medical and Pharmaceutical arenas. In the area of Operations he creates and maintains procedures, reinforces company policies and brand standards. Also included are providing resources, software and otherwise, for department entities. He also has experience with writing marketing materials and communications. Overall, he is an independent worker who takes initiative, has acute problem solving and anticipation skills and collaborates with a team player philosophy. He graduated from Marymount Manhattan College with a B.A. in Writing for Television. He is an avid admirer of author Toni Morrison, likes watching tennis and is a lover of street art.
Associate Director | Sports Management & Strategic Communications Career Coach
Barbara McGloin is the Associate Director at the Career Design Lab and Lecturer at Columbia University School of Professional Studies. In this role, she advises students in M.S. Programs in Sports Management and Strategic Communication. She develops programs to ensure their successful entry and progression in the field. She maintains and builds relationships with a core group of industry leaders and alumni to strengthen hiring relationships with the Career Design Lab, programs and the school. Earlier in her career, Barbara directed career management services in the M.B.A. and Executive M.B.A. programs at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and counseled M.B.A. students at New York University’s Stern School of Business. She belongs to several professional associations including the New York Women in Communications, Women In Innovation, the Metropolitan New York College Career Planning Officer’s Association and the National Association of Colleges and Employers, where she presented at their national conference in 2019. Barbara earned an M.A. in Counseling from the Steinhardt School of Education at New York University and a B.A. in Psychology from SUNY College at Cortland. Barbara is a Lecturer in the MS Strategic Communication program and currently teaches the Practicum course.
Degree PathsSports ManagementStrategic Communication
Assistant Director | Human Capital Management, Negotiation & Conflict Resolution, Sustainability Management Career Coach
Cathy Gibbons has over 15 years experience as a Career Coach. At Columbia she has worked in career services at SIPA, CCE and now the Career Design Lab. Cathy’s first career was in International Development where she served in a variety of roles in Talent Management, Human Resources and Organizational Development in the United Nations and a number of NGOs. In these roles she helped staff to build competencies, manage their careers within organizations and make career transitions. During this time she was fortunate to have worked for the United Nations and lived in Asia, Africa and Europe. At the Career Design Lab, Cathy provides individual advising and workshops to enable students to successfully plan, market and manage their careers. Her goals are to help students feel confident about presenting themselves professionally and build satisfying careers. She strives to help students develop the professional development skills to remain resilient throughout their working lives. Cathy earned her MA in Curriculum and Instruction for Higher Education from Michigan State University and a certificate in Career Planning and Development at NYU.
Degree PathsHuman Capital ManagementNegotiation and Conflict ResolutionSustainability ManagementSustainability Science
Associate Director | Applied Analytics Career Coach (A-M)
Tiya McIver, Associate Director joined the School of Professional Studies Career Design Lab team in February, 2018. She has over 15 years’ employer relations experience working in career development and advising, providing students with the support and tools necessary to achieve their goals in the classroom and beyond. Committed to building relationships, staying connected and on the pulse of industry trends, ensures career readiness and employment success. Prior to joining the Career Design Lab team, she spent many years as the On-Campus Recruiting Manager on the Career Management team at University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. There she developed strategic processes and organized events that helped students acquire skill-sets and knowledge on industry specific trends that aligned with their employment goals.
Degree PathsApplied Analytics
Associate Director | MS Bioethics, MS Narrative Medicine, MS Technology Management Career Coach
Nicole is a Career Coach with a passion for education and empowering individuals in their careers. With a Master’s in Education, Curriculum and Instruction, and over 10 years of experience working in dynamic educational settings, she has experience teaching high school students in rural public schools, advising graduate Psychology and Art Therapy students in private university settings in Chicago, coaching tech talent within skills certificate training programs throughout NYC, and in both admissions and career development at Columbia University. As a former Recruiter for Platinion of the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), as well as a former Recruiter for Premier Staffing, Inc., her experience working in education is supplemented with her role in the recruitment of digital, risk, and IT professionals and in creating hiring partnerships with both startups and Fortune 500 companies. In her current role as Assistant Director of Industry Relations, Nicole is energized by innovative employer partnerships that offer students and alumni opportunities to create impact, an individualized approach to career coaching, executive development, and initiatives that promote personal growth, wellbeing, and fun! Outside of work, Nicole enjoys creative writing, live music, and supporting STEAM initiatives in underrepresented communities.
Degree PathsBioethicsNarrative MedicineTechnology Management
Associate Director | Applied Analytics Career Coach (N-Z)
Kat Castro is currently serving as Associate Director at the CDL, specifically working with the talented Applied Analytics students. Prior to Columbia, Kat worked in Career Services at her Alma Mater Hofstra University and Marymount Manhattan College. Before her career in Higher Ed, Kat worked in the busy life of television. She scouted locations for the long-run show Law and Order, worked as a Production Manager for NBC Sport’s Football Night in America and managed the NBC Page Program. She started her TV life as an NBC Page, just like Kenneth from 30 Rock! Kat holds a BA in Television/Video Production and is a born-and-raised Queens New Yorker, currently residing in Forest Hills with her husband, two daughters, and a pup named Bo.
Degree PathsApplied Analytics
Assistant Director | Enterprise Risk Management Career Coach A-P
Mariela Torres is the Assistant Director of Industry Relations at Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies (SPS) Career Design Lab (CDL) since May 2019 and works with students with the last names A-P in the Enterprise Risk Management program. Mariela is an experienced professional with over 24 years of experience in Career Counseling and business. Mariela has experience managing small to large Career Services Centers that provide comprehensive career and internship services to college students and alumni. She has held Director level positions at The College of New Rochelle, Berkeley College, and LIM College. She is also a certified Myers Briggs (MBTI) Practitioner. Mariela is very passionate about student success and has provided career coaching for students and alumni, advised student clubs, and taught undergraduate and graduate-level career preparatory courses. Mariela has worked for organizations such as Avon Products, Perry Ellis, and Macy’s Merchandising Group. Mariela has been on the Executive Board of MNYCCPOA since 2015. MNYCCPOA is a professional organization consisting of career services counselors representing more than 60 colleges in the metropolitan New York area. She is the current President of MNYCCPOA. She has also held the 1st VP, 2nd Vice President and Treasurer roles. Mariela holds a Master of Science degree in Career Development from the College of New Rochelle and a Bachelor of Professional Studies from LIM College in Fashion Merchandising. She is married and has one son and one daughter. Her ten-year-old son with special needs has taught Mariela to be resilient in times of adversity.
Degree PathsEnterprise Risk Management
Assistant Director | Enterprise Risk Management Career Coach (Q-Z)
Paul Maniaci has worked at four institutions of higher education across New York City in career development. He has over ten years of experience helping students find internships and prepare for career opportunities. Paul spent eighteen years living internationally in Mexico City, Hong Kong, and London. He received his Bachelors of Arts in Communications at Syracuse University and his Masters in Public Administration at Baruch College.
Degree PathsEnterprise Risk Management
Associate Director | Nonprofit Management, Wealth Management Career Coach
Onika Richards, MBA, GCDF joined SPS in January 2018 as the Associate Director of Industry Relations. She is a forward thinking Industry Expert and Career Development Professional with over 10 years of experience in higher education empowering students and alumni to achieve their academic and career goals. She specializes in building programs and designing strategic missions, workshop design and implementation and career counseling. She is very passionate about building high-quality, long-lasting relationships with employers and matching their unique talent needs with talented candidates.
Degree PathsNonprofit ManagementWealth Management
Matthew Bird graduated with a Masters in Higher Education and Student Affairs from New York University. He joins the Career Design Lab team as the Operations Coordinator where he ensures smooth daily operations for the staff, interns, and students. Matthew has a passion for student services and hopes to use his eye for Operations to support all stakeholders. Originally from New Jersey, Matthew earned his B.A. in Psychology from The College of New Jersey. He currently lives in Brooklyn, NY where he loves to bake, bike around town, and go to Prospect Park.
Student Intern, Strategic Communication
Evelyn Chen is pursuing her Master of Science in Strategic Communication from Columbia University. She is expected to graduate in December 2021. Also, she is the vice president of the Strategic Communication Society.
She has been in the U.S for over eight years since high school. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Texas at Austin. Driven by her passion for language and communication, she has embarked on several different projects and internships over the past couple of years. She worked for PR agencies, corporates, and real estate companies. She looks forward to launching her professional career in PR and marketing upon graduation.
She is originally from Shanghai, China. She is a huge fan of food. When she has time, she likes to cook, try out new cuisines, and travel.
Evelyn has always been passionate about languages and intercultural communication. She speaks Mandarin, English, Spanish, and a bit Korean. She hopes to use her language skills and cultural background to help international students prosper in the U.S.
Student Intern, Enterprise Risk Management
My name is Prachi Choubey and I am currently a student of the Enterprise Risk Management program at Columbia University, School of Professional Studies. Prior to joining Columbia, I finished my MBA from India and joined an Insurance and Risk Management firm. I was a part of the risk management vertical for close to 3 years.
During my stint there, I designed operational risk management programs for various firms across infrastructure, manufacturing, energy, financial services and IT sectors. I also led risk advisory services for major commercial banks on their project lending programs to identify their credit risk exposure, detect and monitor financial fraud and perform gap analysis of their risk management policies.
I joined the ERM program at Columbia to upskill and learn advanced risk management tools and techniques like FMEA, RCSA and ERM Modelling that I can apply on the future projects and assignments to conduct risk assessments. The program is also helping me to hone my technical skills such as SQL and Python for Risk Management as well as behavioral skills such as strategic communication and identifying cognitive bias.
Currently I am working as a student intern at the Career Design Lab. I think it’s a wonderful opportunity for me to work here because of the kind of exposure I get, for example being able to interact with the Industry professionals and help me make meaningful connections, that could go a long way in propelling my Risk Management career.
I aspire to work in the financial services/consulting industry preferably as an operational risk professional.
Student Intern, Applied Analytics
Shikha Dayma is an international graduate student from India, pursuing a masters degree in Applied Analytics at Columbia School of Professional Studies.
She has 3 years of work experience in the Marketing field, while she worked both on the agency and client side, as the digital marketing executive. Here, she worked with the creative and strategy teams to create ideatic marketing solutions for a diverse category of clients.
After this experience, she completed a masters degree in Marketing Analytics from Baruch College, CUNY while simultaneously working for the central office of the City University of New York, to secure internships for students in government and public service offices. During her time at Baruch, she did a research project on analyzing the Golden State Warriors’ games to forecast their win ratio and sales, which motivated her decision to pursue her interest further in data analytics.
Her hobbies include cooking, traveling to new places having stories about them and reading. She also enjoys jogging, yoga, swimming and badminton.
Anushka is currently a Student Intern at Columbia University’s Career Design Lab and a Graduate Student in the Applied Analytics program at Columbia.
She graduated from India with a bachelor’s degree in Advertising in 2014. She is an experienced analyst and marketing professional, who is obsessed with data.
Anushka worked for 2+ years in the marketing division at Starbucks India and then as a business analyst at Games2win.
She is originally from Mumbai, India & is extremely passionate about data analytics and data visualization.
In her spare time, Anushka enjoys road trips, binging on food, traveling to different cities and working out.
Student Intern, Technology Management
Beste Tonga is a Student Intern at Columbia University SPS Career Design Lab, and she is a second semester student pursuing her Master of Science in Technology Management. Also, she is president of Columbia University Venture Capital Student Club.
Before coming to Columbia, she founded two startups and also spent 2.5 years in a pharmaceutical company as a product manager. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in Economics & Finance, from Turkey.
She loves working with technology companies, and support their growth and fundraising process. In her free time, she enjoys meeting new people and meditating.
Student Intern, Applied Analytics
Vidhish is an MS student in the Applied Analytics program at Columbia University. He is currently interning at the Career Design Lab, Columbia University. He is also a programming and machine learning tutor at SPS.
Vidhish graduated from Shiv Nadar University, in India, with a Bachelor’s of Technology in Electrical, Electronics and Communication Engineering, in 2016. During his time there, he has worked on projects related to circuit design, automated home security systems, robotics and signal processing. He has spent over a year conducting research on antenna technologies and eventually published a paper on and fabricated a novel antenna design in the IEEE journal. His passion for data science developed after taking multiple courses in machine learning and programming. At Columbia University, he has worked on multiple projects that made him proficient in big data technologies, data warehousing and machine learning applications.
During his undergraduate studies, he has gained industry experience in business data intelligence and analytics through summer internship programs. He has performed ad hoc analyses, data reporting and dashboarding in collaboration with various departments such as marketing, sales and R&D.
He has also been involved college clubs and extramural activities. He was the VP of Sponsorship at Tedx Shiv Nadar University and actively participated in college basketball games. He is now the VP of marketing at the Analytics Consulting Club at Columbia University.
Beyond his work and academic life, Vidhish enjoys playing sports and videogames, in his free time. He is also an automobile enthusiast, an avid reader of investment books and a decent cook.
Student Intern, Negotiation and Conflict Resolution
Yin Yu is currently a Student Intern at Columbia University’s Career Design Lab and a Graduate Student in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, School of Professional Studies, Columbia University.
Yin was graduated from Lake Forest College with a bachelor’s degree in Business and Music in 2019. She has worked for several start-ups in the field of marketing and the practice of business development. In the long-run, she hopes to pursue a career in consulting.
Yin is originally from Chongqing, China. She speaks Mandarin and English. She is passionate about helping out international students in job hunting.
In her spare time, Yin enjoys music. Yin is a singer and a pianist, and she likes to make music herself. Her favorite composer is Chopin.