Ramirez hired as new director of Career Services


Katie Ramirez Photo credit: Matthew Claybrook

image by Matthew Claybrook

After a nationwide search, Career Services chose one of their own to serve as the new director of the office and as co-director of the Center for Experiential Learning and Career Success (CELCS). Katie Ramirez, formerly the associate director of Career Services and Trinity graduate, took up the mantle on July 1.

In her previous position, Ramirez met directly with students to provide career help, such as with job searches and graduate applications. Now, Ramirez’s focus will change from working with students to providing leadership for Career Services and CELCS.

“As the director, my role will shift a bit — I won’t work with as many students on a daily basis and while I’ll continue to support many of the initiatives I was working on before, it’ll be from a higher, more strategic level,” wrote Ramirez in an email. “In a general sense, the role of the director is to provide strategic leadership for the Office of Career Services and [CELCS]. This actually includes a lot — visioning, strategic planning, supervising the entire staff and ultimately making sure that our office and center is working towards its mission and vision.”

Trinity’s former director of Career Services and co-director of CELCS was Twyla Hough. Hough left the position to return to graduate school and pursue a doctorate, which led Trinity to begin their replacement search in May.

“We conducted a national search and reviewed a number of highly qualified applicants. In the end, however, it was clear that our own Katie Ramirez was far and away the best person to lead Career Services,” Duane Coltharp, an associate vice president for Academic Affairs, wrote in an email. Coltharp was one of the administrative members on the search committee which also included various faculty members outside the committee who were invited to interview candidates.

“CELCS recognizes the importance of engaging faculty in the career development of students at Trinity. The interview process can be a place where new ideas are shared and new partnerships formed,” said Scott Brown, assistant director for Experiential Learning, who served as chair of the search committee. “This is why faculty were represented on the search committee and invited to participate in a special forum for the director of Career Services interview process.”

LadyStacie Rimes-Boyd, the assistant director for programming and marketing for Career Services, was not a part of the search committee but was able to meet the candidates and ask questions.

“[Ramirez] is a wonderful fit for this role in so many ways,” wrote Rimes-Boyd in an email. “She knows the students at Trinity and that TU students are a unique, talented and multifaceted group. Because of this, she can think creatively about what Trinity students need and may want. Aside from that, she has a spirit of collaboration. In my experience with her, she has always looked for ways to collaborate with student groups, faculty and administration. This skill and mindset will be extremely valuable in this role as she helps to take Career Services higher to meet the needs of more aspects of the student population and engage them.”

According to Ramirez, her time spent at Trinity has helped her transition into this new position.

“It’s funny, I feel like I’ve been preparing for this role since I was 19 when I first started working in Career Services as a work-study. I’ve been so involved with employer relations, strategic planning, leadership, and supervision over the years that it feels like a really natural transition,” Ramirez wrote.

Even at the beginning of her time at Trinity, Ramirez wanted to become the director of Career Services and co-director of CELCS.

“When I came to Trinity almost six years ago, I remember being asked in the interview what my 5–10 year plan was, and even then, I was looking to eventually become the director here. I’ve always been fascinated by organizational development and leadership, so combining this with my love of helping liberal arts students (as a former liberal arts student myself) launch into careers is a win-win,” Ramirez wrote.

Although Ramirez was just appointed this summer, Career Services and CELCS already have plans for this upcoming school year.

“This year, we’re looking to develop a really strong employer relations strategy, incorporate alumni into our efforts and to continue helping students maximize their success through Handshake,” Ramirez wrote. “We’re excited to roll out a shift in our advising to focus more fully on seven career communities versus by major, allowing students to work with advisors, employers, and alumni based on interests. This is reflective of our commitment that major doesn’t have to equal career, especially as a liberal arts institution.”

CELCS and Career Services will be hosting the Fall 2019 Career Fair on September 18, and their offices are located in the Coates Student Center suite 215.