Shawn VanDerziel is the President and Chief Executive Officer of NACE.
As executive director, VanDerziel leads the association of 16,000+ professionals at more than 2,800 employing organizations and educational institutions engaged in the career development and employment of college students and alumni. In addition, he represents NACE at the Council of Higher Education Management Associations (CHEMA), the Coalition of Human Resource Management Associations (COHRMA), and the Washington Higher Education Secretariat.
Prior to joining the NACE staff, VanDerziel was with the Field Museum, where he most recently served as chief human resources officer and as chief of staff for the 85-member Board of Trustees, driving strategic priorities and goals and delivering innovative solutions to enhance the overall museum experience for visitors, nearly 700 volunteers, 500 staff members, and 200 interns. His 23 years with the museum included experiences leading strategy, people, volunteers, marketing, educational programming, and technology functions.
Earlier roles included a corporate recruiting position with Norrell Corporation and a position in higher education as associate director of student enrollment at National Louis University.
VanDerziel also served as a volunteer leader on the NACE Board of Directors, including as vice president-employer (2004 – 2006) and as president-elect, president, and past-president (2008 – 2011). He also contributed to NACE and the membership in other capacities, serving as chair and facilitator for the task force that revised the Principles for Ethical Professional Practice, chairing the inaugural Advocacy Advisory Committee, and facilitating the development of NACE’s strategic plan. In 2014, he was inducted into the NACE Academy of Fellows in recognition of his contributions to the profession.
VanDerziel is a senior professional in human resources through the HR Certification Institute and is a senior certified professional through the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).
Stephanie Pallante is Chair on the 2023-24 NACE Board of Directors.
As a seasoned talent acquisition leader, Pallante has a successful history of leading teams in the development and implementation of talent acquisition strategies for experienced hires, new graduates, and diversity initiatives across multiple industries. While she has broad experience, Pallante’s “heart” is in the early careers space where she finds great satisfaction in helping collegiate students explore career paths as interns, kick start their professional careers post-graduation, and continue to grow and advance.
Pallante currently leads university relations and early careers recruiting for Cigna, with responsibility for developing the early career talent strategies necessary to support Cigna's nine undergraduate leadership development programs. She also oversees the company’s collegiate hiring initiatives for all enterprise internship opportunities.
Before joining Cigna in 2018, Pallante served as the early career recruitment and programs leader for Aramark, where she was instrumental in establishing an enterprise-wide recruitment strategy that identified collegiate talent for Aramark’s management training program. She has also held recruitment leadership roles at PPD, Merck, GlaxoSmithKline, and Unisys.
As an active member of NACE for more than 25 years, Pallante’s volunteer service has included Vice President & Director – Employer, along with numerous strategic committees and task forces, such as Strategic Positioning of Career Services, Career Readiness Competencies, Conference Committee, Communities of Practice, and Honors & Awards, to name a few.
Pallante holds a B.S. in communications from Kutztown University.
Tim Harding is the Chair-Elect on the 2023-24 NACE Board of Directors
Harding is the associate dean of career development and engagement at the University of Tampa, where he has served since 2005. Previously, he was the director of career services at Butler University and taught career courses at Indiana University Purdue University at Indianapolis.
Harding served as a college director on the NACE Board of Directors as well as a co-chair for the Career Readiness Competencies Task Force, the 21st Century Career Center Task Force, and the New Member’s Committee for the NACE Conference. He is a recent recipient of NACE’s Mackes Leadership Award.
Harding is the co-founder of the annual Institution-Wide Competency Symposium and consults and presents often on career readiness competency development. He co-authored a chapter on career competencies in the book, Advancing Talent Development: Steps Toward a T-Model Infused Undergraduate Education.
Harding earned his master’s in education from Indiana University and an undergraduate degree from Anderson University. He also completed a certificate in student affairs policy and law at the Stetson University College of Law.
Dr. Brian Guerrero serves as Past Chair and Secretary of the 2023-24 NACE Board of Directors.
Dr. Guerrero is chief of staff in the Office of the Provost at Ohio State University. Previously, he was assistant dean for Ohio State’s Center for Career and Professional Success.
Dr. Guerrero also served as senior associate director of the career center at the University of California, Berkeley, as well as deputy director of student affairs administration at UCLA. Outside of his roles within the University of California system, Dr. Guerrero worked in various career services at New York University (NYU), at both the New York City campus and in Abu Dhabi.
Dr. Guerrero served as NACE Vice-President, co-chaired our association’s 2015 Conference & Expo, co-chaired the Ambassador Program Committee, and was a member of the Sourcing and Nomination Committee and the Graduate Student Membership Task Force. In addition, he took part in the Leadership Advancement Committee and is a 2014 graduate of NACE’s Management Leadership Institute.
Dr. Guerrero was named NACE’s Mentor of the Year in 2015 and earned a NACE Innovation Excellence Award in Global Initiatives in 2010. Additionally, he has co-authored articles for the NACE Journal and regularly presents on a range of topics, including emerging technologies and leadership.
Dr. Guerrero earned his doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Southern California, a master’s in higher education administration from NYU, and an undergraduate degree from San Francisco State University.
J. Seldric Blocker is Vice Chair and Treasurer on the 2023-24 NACE Board of Directors.
Blocker, formerly of J.P. Morgan’s Asset & Wealth Management Division, has had previous roles including head of campus programs for NBCUniversal, campus recruiting and diversity manager for Bank of America, and campus recruiting roles at Wachovia (Wells Fargo) and Lowe’s Companies.
Blocker served as a member of the NACE Board from 2018 through 2020 and on the Honors and Awards committee, as well as co-chair of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Affinity group. This year, he will provide support on behalf of the Board to the HBCU and STEM NACE Affinity Groups.
Blocker holds a bachelor’s degree from Clemson University and earned a master’s in human resources from Cornell University.
Nicole R. Hall, Ph.D., is Vice Chair on the 2023-24 NACE Board of Directors
Hall is the associate vice president, career, and professional development, at the University of Virginia. Previously, she was the director of career and professional development at the University of North Carolina (UNC) Greensboro.
She also served as the executive director of market readiness and employment with Wake Forest University’s School of Business and as executive director of alumni and career services at Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management. Dr. Hall has served on a variety of NACE committees, including as co-chair for the Conference Committee and as co-chair for the Inclusion Committee. She is also a past president of the MBA Career Services and Employer Alliance, leading the expansion of the organization into Asia.
Dr. Hall earned her doctorate in educational leadership and cultural studies from UNC Greensboro. She earned her B.S. in marketing from Indiana University and her M.B.A. from Pepperdine University.
Charles Jennings, Jr., is a Director-College on the 2023-24 NACE Board of Directors.
Jennings is the director of the Career and Professional Development Center at North Carolina Central University. Previously, he was the senior associate director of employer engagement and outreach at Princeton University.
Jennings’ NACE involvement includes being a member of the 2018 Cohort of the NACE Management Leadership Institute and he also hosted a Career Services Roundtable at Tennessee State University in March 2019. He served on the Program Committee for the 2019 Annual Conference and Expo in Orlando where he also co-presented a workshop. He served in the NACE Mentor Program during the 2021 – 2022 year. He has also been active within the People of Color Affinity Impact Team (served as Co-Lead from 2019 to 2021), HBCU Affinity Impact Team, Employer Membership Identification Task Force (Co-Chair from 2021 to 2022) and the Honors and Awards Committee (2022 – 2023).
Jennings received his bachelor’s degree in journalism with an emphasis in telecommunication arts from the University of Georgia. He also is a Certified Global Career Development Facilitator and hold a certification in administering the Strong Interest Inventory.
Rachel Larson, PhD is a Director-College on the 2023-2024 NACE Board of Directors.
Dr. Larson is the assistant dean of academic and career development at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Business. In this role, she oversees the college's Business Career Center, Business Advising & Student Engagement office, and enrollment management team.
Dr. Larson co-founded the Nebraska College of Business Career Center and served as its inaugural director. Prior to Nebraska, she worked in the University of Connecticut’s Center for Career Development.
Jim Lowe is a Director-College on the 2023-24 NACE Board of Directors
Lowe is associate vice provost, executive director for the Center for Career Development at the University of Connecticut. Prior to this appointment, he served as assistant dean and executive director of external relations at UConn’s School of Business, overseeing the career development, veteran affairs, diversity initiatives, marketing/communications, and external relations departments.
Before joining UConn, Lowe held a variety of senior executive positions in the corporate sector, primarily in the New York and Los Angeles markets.
Lowe currently serves as the chair of the employability group for Universitas 21, a global consortium of 28 research-intensive universities from 18 countries. He is also an active member of the Big East Career Center Consortium, the North East Career Center Directors Forum, and the Connecticut Career Center Consortium.
Lowe is a frequent guest speaker and panelist for various local and national organizations, speaking on issues related to the support, development, and employment of the college-educated workforce.
In the past, he has served on the NACE University Engagement Committee and was recently the chair of the EACE Pre-Conference Committee.
Lowe earned his bachelor’s degree from Fairfield University, is a Certified Career Management Professional, and is certified in multiple individual and 360 organizational tools.
Bryan Quick is a Director-Employer on the 2023-24 NACE Board of Directors.
Bryan is the head of Global University Relations at Abbott responsible for a worldwide team accountable for the design and delivery of the enterprise strategy to attract and recruit next generation talent supporting the entire globe. This includes leadership of all recruitment strategies, building and strengthening early career recruiting partnerships with the business and universities, managing intern engagement, and leading a best-in-class Early Careers team.
Prior to his work at Abbott, he worked for the Walt Disney Company where he held several positions including management roles in the parks and talent acquisition. He was also director of training at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago where he held oversight and responsibility for all learning and development programs for the zoo.
Bryan holds a bachelor's degree in biology and chemistry from Francis Marion University. He has also held several positions for the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) where he has chaired a variety of committees for the organization over the past 15 years including the Leadership Advancement Program co-chair, Honors and Awards co-chair, and the future of skill development and hiring co-chair.
Alessandra Rober Christensen is a Director-Employer on the 2023-24 NACE Board of Directors.
Alessandra Rober Christensen is the US Head of University Relations at Novartis. In this leadership role, she has driven an inclusive and innovative end-to-end recruiting strategy supporting early career and leadership development programs in North America since 2020.
Christensen also serves as the Co-Chair for the MIT Industrial Advisory Council for Minority Education and a Board member for MBA Career Services and Employer Alliance. Previously, she served as Senior Associate Director for Recruiting Services and Global Industry Liaison at the MIT Sloan School of Management, where she was responsible for implementing and driving strategies to provide high-touch recruiting services for all students and alumni as well as providing team management, coaching, and operational leadership. Prior to working at MIT Sloan, Christensen led recruiting operations at the MIT Global Education and Career Development Office, served as Assistant Director for Recruiting Services at Brandeis International Business School, and worked as Assistant to the Dean of the graduate school at University of Miami.
Christensen has been an active member of NACE for the past 10 years and is a graduate of the NACE Management Leadership Institute. She is a frequent guest speaker and panelist for several national and global organizations, speaking on topics related to the future of work, talent acquisition, talent management, and career development.
She earned a Master in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at HEC Paris, a Master in Higher Education Administration and Post-master’s certificates in enrollment management and student life and development from University of Miami. She also completed two executive certificates in management and leadership and strategy and innovation from the MIT Sloan School of Management.
Kelli K. Smith, Ph.D., is a Director-College on the 2023-24 NACE Board of Directors.
Dr. Smith serves as the assistant vice president for student success within the Division of Student Affairs at Binghamton University. This follows her role as the founding director of the Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development at Binghamton and working at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), Georgetown, and several other universities over the last 29 years.
Dr. Smith’s portfolio includes oversight of the Fleishman Center, the Center for Civic Engagement, and Student Transition and Success, which she created with existing resources to better serve Binghamton students. She is also an adjunct faculty member in both the School of Management and the Student Affairs master's program.
Dr. Smith regularly partners with Academic Affairs on student success-related projects, such as working on elevating high-impact practices for students, helping oversee the division's first diversity strategic plan, and leading the creation of the Common Read program, now going into its third year.
She currently serves on the boards of the Ross Park Zoo and study abroad company CEA, and recently co-chaired the NACE Strategic Positioning of Career Services Task Force. Other NACE involvement includes co-chairing the NACE Professional Standards Task Force, serving as a NACE Ambassador and blogger, being a NACE LAP participant, and serving as a member of the initial First Destination Survey Task Force. Dr. Smith also co-chaired the 2018 Global Career Services Summit in Newcastle, United Kingdom. Additionally, she has conducted numerous presentations and published within the field, including serving as editor for two Wiley New Directions books related to career services.
Inspired by being a Pell-grant recipient and first-generation college student herself, Dr. Smith created the first campus pantry at UNL and its first internship scholarship program, and she helped champion the creation of Binghamton’s B-First mentoring program. Under her leadership, graduate career outcomes metrics exceeded the campus strategic planning goal three years early and the Fleishman Center has won numerous state, national, and global awards, including the top “Exemplary Career Center” award granted by NCDA.
Dr. Smith holds a master’s degree from Indiana University-Bloomington and a Ph.D. in leadership studies from UNL.
Bless Vaidian is a Director-Employer on the 2023-24 NACE Board of Directors.
Vaidian currently oversees the Finance, Corporate, & Technology Track for SEO Career (USA), a premier program for recruiting and training underrepresented students. She manages a team of 25 that prepares and matches undergraduates to open roles, and then supports the success of interns selected for summer internships on Wall Street and in corporate America.
Vaidian worked in higher education for more than a decade and was previously the director of career services at Pace University in New York.
Nicole Wagner is a Director-Employer on the 2023-24 NACE Board of Directors.
Wagner leads the overall human resources function for the Northeastern U.S. operations of Enterprise Holdings. In the mid-1990s, she began with Enterprise in the management trainee program and was promoted to roles of greater responsibility over the years, including leading the talent acquisition and talent development functions for the Southern California operations.
Wagner was promoted to Enterprise’s Corporate Headquarters in 2019 to help direct the North American talent acquisition strategy for operating groups within the U.S. operations. Most recently, she was promoted to lead the talent acquisition, generalist, and talent development functions of the Northeast operations of Enterprise.