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  Meet the Center for Career Development Staff



 Nicole Van Den Heuvel
Contact: nvdh@rice.edu


Nicole Van Den Heuvel, a Rice alumna, is the Director for the Center for Career Development and brings over twenty years of industry experience. Prior to assuming the current Director role, she worked at Rice's Jones Graduate School of Business as Associate Director of Career Management, consulting and advising MBA students on career planning and development. She has an extensive business background in public, private, and not-for-profit organizations having worked for the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies for more than 14 years in Houston, Washington D.C., and Montreal, Canada. She also brings across-the-board expertise in career counseling, leadership training, recruiting, and human resources. Nicole also brings an international perspective to the CCD, as she speaks French, Spanish, and German, and has lived throughout Europe. She continues to actively contribute to the Houston and Rice alumni community through her community service and fundraising activities. 





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 Ivette Mekdessi, M.Ed. 
Assistant Director, Career Development
Contact: ifm2@rice.edu


Ivette Mekdessi develops and implements instructional programming related to post-graduate planning. She provides individual counseling and assessment interpretation to assist Rice students and alumni in making informed career decisions and to prepare them for professional advancement. Mekdessi joined Rice in 2015 from the University Career Services at the University of Houston, where she was a career counselor intern. At University Career Services, she provided career exploration professional correspondence reviews, interview preparation, and assessment overviews and interpretations to undergraduate and graduate students as well as alumni. She also served as a research assistant in varying fields of psychology, including: job satisfaction, employee well-being, stress overflow, and gender roles and differences. Mekdessi holds a bachelor's of science in Psychology, a bachelor's of business administration in Marketing, and a master's of education in Counseling from the University of Houston. Mekdessi also brings an international perspective to the CCD, as she speaks French, Spanish, and Arabic and attended international schools her entire life.


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Andrew Tessmer, M.Ed., LPC-Intern 
Assistant Director, Career Development
Contact: ajt7@rice.edu


Andrew Tessmer develops and implements instructional programming related to post-graduate planning. He provides individual counseling and assessment interpretations to assist Rice undergraduates and graduate students in addition to recent alumni in making informed career decisions and to prepare them for professional advancement. He also coordinates special sessions meant to meet the needs of graduate and post-doctoral students. Tessmer joined Rice in 2015 from University Career Services at the University of Houston, where he completed his graduate internship and served as a career counselor. At University Career Services, he provided career exploration and development to both undergraduate and graduate students in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Science, the College of Education, and the Graduate School of Social Work. Tessmer also served as a pre-law advisor for the University of Houston. Tessmer has a bachelor's degree in Psychology from Texas A&M University and a master's degree in Counseling from the University of Houston. Tessmer is currently serving as the Treasurer for the Houston Area Consortium of Career Centers (HACCC). Tessmer is also an active member of the Texas Counseling Association (TCA), with divisional memberships in the Texas Career Development Association (TCDA) and the Texas Association of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues in Counseling (TALGBTIC). Tessmer is in the process of obtaining licensure as a professional counselor, and is currently a licensed professional counselor - intern (LPC-intern, license #77644) under the supervision of Becky Reiter, LPC-S (license #66507).



Marilyn Wade
Assistant Director, Career Development  
Contact: maw5@rice.edu


Marilyn Wade specializes in counseling and coaching college students to explore career options, make good career decisions, and successfully navigate the internship/job search process.  Marilyn joined Rice in 2017; in addition to individual counseling, she currently manages the Peer Career Advisor (PCA) program and teaches the UNIV 212 Career & Life Options course.  She has 10+ years of experience in career development/higher education and has worked in similar roles at University of Houston (TX) and Saint Joseph's University (PA).  Marilyn holds a bachelor's degree in Psychology from Tulane University and a master's degree in Clinical Psychology from Roosevelt University.   



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Jessica Campbell
 Associate Director, Employer Relations
Contact: jlc11@rice.edu


Jessica Campbell oversees the employer relations program for the Center for Career Development. She works with employers to develop recruiting strategies and discover the most effective ways to connect with Rice students. Campbell joined Rice in 2011 after four years of managing the employer relations program at the University of Houston. Prior to that role, Campbell spent two years as an Employment Counselor at Houston Works USA. She holds a bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of Houston and is a member of the National Association for Colleges and Employers and the Southern Association for Colleges and Employers. Campbell has also served in various leadership roles for the Houston Area Consortium of Career Centers. 

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 Ann McAdam Griffin
 Assistant Director,  Employer Relations and Alumni Engagement
Contact: amm9@rice.edu


Ann McAdam Griffin develops and maintains relationships with Rice recruiters, alumni, parents, and friends of Rice to create opportunities for Rice students through internships and full-time positions, externships, and mentoring opportunities. She also manages recruiting programs, including assessing the effectiveness of all aspects of the on-campus recruiting process. Ann joined the CCD in 2015. Prior to that, she served as an Academic Advisor and Associate Director of Corporate Relations, both at Rice. She has a broad business background, having spent many years as a Management Consultant and Lecturer at the University of New Hampshire Whittemore School of Business. She holds a bachelor's degree in Economics and Psychology from Tufts University and an MBA degree with a Finance concentration from Boston University. Ann and her family were the Hanzen College Masters from 2009-2014.


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Michelle Passo
Experiential Education, Program Manager
Contact: mip2@rice.edu


After working as a Campus Recruiter for Academy Sports + Outdoors Corporate Office, Passo is thrilled to be back at the CCD working on Owl Edge initiatives including its externship and internship programs. Passo initially joined Rice in 2008 from the University of Iowa, where she was a graduate teaching assistant for the Department of Communication Studies. Previously, she worked as adjunct faculty at El Centro Community College in Dallas, Texas. Passo brings several years of professional experience to Rice. Through the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, she served as a programming intern at USA Network. Prior to that role, Passo spent over four years with the National Basketball Association (NBA) - working in the Commissioner's Office and then for NBA TV. She holds a master's degree in Cinema-Television from Southern Methodist University and a bachelor's degree in Telecommunications from Indiana University.

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 Leora Gabry Semble
Recruiting Coordinator and Alumni Liaison
Contact: lgs7@rice.edu


Leora Gabry Semble coordinates recruiting systems and manages relationships with Rice recruiters to provide mutually beneficial career support for Rice students and employers. She joined the CCD from the MBA Career Management Office at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where she coordinated and developed career-related programming for students, alumni, and employers. Prior to that, she served as a staff attorney and volunteer coordinator at Whitman-Walker Health, a community health center located in Washington, D.C. Leora also spent several years working as an economic consultant before attending graduate school. She holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and a graduate degree from Columbia University. 

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 Katelyn Holm
Marketing and Events Specialist
Contact: kh39@rice.edu


Katelyn Holm develops and implements CCD marketing plans, creates CCD collateral, manages CCD marketing interns, and plans and executes the Career and Internship Expos, Open Houses, and other large CCD events. She joined Rice in 2016 and brings a varie Schieffelin supports campus recruiting activities, manages and maintains the Handshake online database, and provides office support by answering the CCD’s main phone line, greeting visitors and managing the CCD email. Before joining the CCD team, she worked as the graduate assist of communication skills from her experience in nonprofit marketing and event planning. Previously, she worked at Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse in Downtown Houston, where she created visual marketing, coorindated communication strategies, and assisted in grant management to benefit victims of family violence in gaining civil legal aid. She also worked in foster care with Arrow Foundation as Communications Associate and spent three years in newspaper publication as Editor-in-Chief at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. 


Elsa Schieffelin
Recruiting Coordinator
Contact: ems18@rice.edu


Elsa Schieffelin supports campus recruiting activities, manages and maintains the Handshake online database, and provides office support by answering the CCD’s main phone line, greeting visitors and managing the CCD email. Before joining the CCD team, she worked as the graduate assistant at the University of Virginia Library, where she aided various faculty members and students in their research, coordinated communication between the library patrons and staff, and managed the reserves collection. Elsa holds a Bachelor’s degree in Russian and Eastern European Studies as well as a Master’s in Russian Language and Literature from the University of Virginia. 




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Christine Hebert
Contact:  713-348-4029  |  chebert@rice.edu     
Christine Hebert manages the administrative and office operations, and oversees financial processes for the Center for Career Development. She also coordinates the student employee program. Hebert joined Rice in 1997 from the University of Houston. There, she held roles as an Office Manager in the International Student and Scholars Services Office and as a Business Administrator for the Computer Science Department. She served in a similar capacity for the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, California. Hebert holds a bachelor's degree from the University of the Philippines, Quezon City.