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Meet the Peer Career Mentors

Peer Career Mentors (PCMs) serve as an extension of Peabody Career Services and work with students in Community Development & Action, Education Policy, Higher Education Administration, Human Development Counseling, International Education Policy & Management, and Leadership and Organizational Performance.

» Learn more about the 2017-2018 Peer Career Mentor program and apply

 

Charlie Bufalino

Education Policy, M.P.P.

Charlie Buffalino is a second-year M.P.P. student eager to deepen his knowledge of education policy and refine his public policy skills in order to make a positive contribution to the field of education reform. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Charlie studied History at Pomona College, and has spent the last five years working primarily in the charter school sector doing growth, politics, and public policy work. Charlie also moonlights as an amateur hockey player, clinging to the hope of an National Hockey League call-up.

Charlie Bufalino

Nico Doorn

Human Development Counseling, M.Ed.

Born in the Netherlands and raised in North Carolina, Nico Doorn has called Nashville home for the past six years. He graduated from Lipscomb University as Valedictorian with a Bachelor's in Psychology. For the past five years, Nico has been working in the substance abuse treatment field. At Vanderbilt, Nico serves as the graduate assistant to Vanderbilt Recovery Support through the Office of Wellness Programs and Alcohol Education. In this role, he runs support groups and plans events for students practicing a recovery lifestyle. He aspires to work as the director of a Collegiate Recovery Program - a specialized on-campus offering for students in recovery.

Nico Doorn

Kathleen Farr

Human Development Counseling, M.Ed.

Kathleen Farr has lived in Nashville since 2000, after moving to the area with her family from Vienna, Va.  She graduated from Georgetown University in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. While at Georgetown, Kathleen was a research assistant in the Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Lab, where she worked on a project focused on the development of associative learning in adolescents.  She is a M.Ed. candidate in Human Development Counseling, specifically on the Clinical Mental Health track.  During her first year at Vanderbilt, Kathleen worked as a teaching assistant for an HOD undergraduate course.  Her career aspirations are to become a licensed counselor and work with young adults (ideally, college students) on a variety of behavioral, emotional, and/or social issues.

 Kathleen Farr

Josh Feng

Leadership and Organizational Performance, M.Ed.  

Josh T. Feng is a second-year M.Ed. Student in the Leadership & Organizational Performance Program. Originally from the Boston area, Josh graduated from Emory University in 2014 with a B.A. in Educational Studies and in Sociology. He currently works as the Program Coordinator for the Mayfield Lodges on campus and as the Strategic Planning Committee Intern at the nearby University School of Nashville. This past summer, he worked with Collaborative Inquiry Group, an education consulting startup based in Atlanta. Outside of education, Josh enjoys playing and coaching Ultimate Frisbee, cooking and eating food, traveling, and rooting for the New England Patriots and Boston Celtics. 

 Josh Feng

Anna Flagg

Higher Education Administration, M.Ed.

Anna Flagg is originally from Dallas and graduated from Baylor University in 2012 with a degree in Human Resource Management and Business Journalism.  Prior to coming to Vanderbilt, Anna was a consultant in the Human Capital practice at Ernst and Young, focusing mainly on payroll advisory and HR transformation projects.   Ready for a career change, Anna shifted gears and moved to Nashville in 2015 in order to start the Higher Education Administration program at Vanderbilt.  Her focus is on enrollment management, but she is also interested in academic affairs and advising.  She is a graduate assistant in the Office of Greek Life and is looking forward to gaining academic affairs and admission experience through her summer internship and fall practicum. Upon graduation, she hopes to find a job as a high school college counselor, hopefully in Nashville. 

 Anna Flagg

Samantha Jo Forcum

Community Development and Action, M.Ed.

Hailing from Berkeley, Calif., Samanthat Jo Forcum, or "SamiJo," as her friends call her, is studying Community Development and Action at Peabody. She graduated from UCLA with a double-major in International Development and Religious Studies, and a minor in the Middle East. SamiJo has a lifelong commitment to social justice, with specific interests in youth development and women's empowerment. She spent a year teaching HIV Prevention and Women's Health in Tanzania, and the past two years working with child soldiers and political refugees with the American Red Cross. She currently works with low-income and homeless youth at the Salvation Army. At Peabody, SamiJo plans to become a more proactive, trauma-informed practitioner, with a specific curriculum focus on nonprofit management.

 Samantha Forcum

Morgan Fox

Human Development Counseling, M.Ed.

Morgan Fox is a second year M.Ed. candidate in Peabody’s Human Development Counseling program on the clinical track. Originally from Knoxville, Tenn., Morgan completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Tennessee in 2011. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in child and family studies. Prior to coming to Vanderbilt, Morgan spent three months living in Haiti doing play therapy with rescued child slaves. Currently, Morgan serves as a special education research assistant for Drs. Doug and Lynn Fuchs. After graduation, she hopes to apply what she has learned to pursue a career in childhood trauma therapy. 

 Morgan Fox

Nathan Graves

Higher Education Administration, M.Ed.

Nathan Graves is a second-year student in the Higher Education Administration program on the Student Affairs track. Originally from Rensselaer, Ind., Nathan graduated from the University of Evansville in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in Special Education and Elementary Education. During his undergraduate studies, Nathan developed a passion for working with prospective and first-year students through being an admissions ambassador and an orientation leader. Coming straight from his undergraduate experience, Nathan has enjoyed the change in pace and all that Vanderbilt and Nashville has offered him. He currently works as a Graduate Assistant in the Office of the Peabody Dean for Students and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. Upon completing his Master’s degree, Nathan hopes to find a job that will allow him to continue working with first-year student programming.

 Nathan Graves

Joseph Gutierrez

Community Development and Action, M.Ed.

Joseph Gutierrez is originally from Southern California and graduated from UCLA in 2009, double-majoring in Literature and History.  After graduating, Joseph moved to South Korea to teach English as a second language for four years.  When he returned to the U.S., Joseph spent a year with AmeriCorps at the PENCIL Foundation, a Nashville-based nonprofit organization.  Joseph is currently a student in the Community Development & Action program and is interested in understanding schools as a community space and communities as learning spaces.

 Joseph Gutierrez

Kate Herndon

Leadership and Organizational Performance, M.Ed.

Kate Herndon grew up in Wilton, Conn. She graduated from Vanderbilt University in 2008 with a degree in Human and Organizational Development. Upon graduation, she joined Teach for America in New Orleans where she taught special education to middle school students. Throughout the next seven years she worked at various public, charter and private schools in the New Orleans area. She realized through working in an administrative capacity that she enjoyed being in a leadership position and considered a change in field. Vanderbilt’s Leadership and Organizational Performance program offered the perfect opportunity to hone her skills and open up new opportunities. She hopes to continue to expand her knowledge and skill base to pursue a career in the for-profit sector. She spent the 2016 summer as an HR business partner intern with Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth, Texas.

 Kate Herndon

Fiona Hoehn

Community Development and Action, M.Ed.

Fiona Hoehn is a second-year master’s candidate in Community Development and Action. She received her B.A. in Psychology in 2014 from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va. Although Fiona has lived all over the United States and in the Caribbean, she claims Virginia as her home state and moved to Nashville from the Washington, DC area. While at James Madison University, Fiona developed her skills in psychological research and gained an interest in social justice issues, marginalized populations, and education. Her research interests include attitude and behavior change in social, health, and environmental domains, as well as program development and evaluation. Since beginning graduate studies at Peabody, Fiona has been a researcher and instructor at an after school nutrition and culinary skills intervention program and currently works for the Vanderbilt School of Medicine and the Nashville Sexual Assault Center. After earning her master’s degree, Fiona plans to work in program development and evaluation and continue her research in community psychology.

 Fiona Hoehn

Katy Hurst

Human Development Counseling, M.Ed.

Katy Hurst earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Roanoke College in 2013. She is now earning her master’s in Human Development Counseling as part of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling track. Before coming to Vanderbilt, she spent nearly two years living in Antigua, Guatemala where she worked in admissions and development at the newly established Antigua International School, a college preparatory K-12 school that serves over 200 students from diverse cultural, linguistic, and ethnic backgrounds. Through her multiple roles at AIS, Katy was able to combine her passions for education, international culture, human development, and resource management. While at Vanderbilt, she has worked as part of the well-known Fuchs’ research team within the department of Special Education and with the Peabody Research Institute on a meta-analysis concerning prosocial behavior development in children and adolescents.

 Katy Hurst

Robb King

Education Policy, M.P.P.

Originally from Mississippi, Robb King is a graduate of Vanderbilt University where he obtained his bachelor's in Psychology. Currently, he is a second-year student at Peabody College obtaining his M.P.P., with a focus on higher education policy. His interest center on issues pertaining to diversity within the higher educational setting, such as college access and college sports. Robb serves as a Graduate Assistant in the Office of the Provost working on university initiatives, with a strong emphasis on entrepreneurial efforts. Robb also serves as a Graduate Intern at the University School of Nashville in the Office of Diversity and Community Life, working with students around diversity issues and overseeing mentoring programs for minority students. 

 Robb King

Maryia Krivoruchko

Education Policy, M.P.P.

Maryia Krivoruchko is a second year M.P.P. candidate in K-12 education policy. Born in the Soviet Union, Maryia immigrated to Southern California in fourth grade. Her own experience with learning English as a second language inspired her to pursue a career in education. Maryia graduated from UCLA in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in linguistics and psychology. Prior coming to Vanderbilt, Maryia taught special education and first through third grade as a Teach For America alumna. Upon graduating, she hopes to work in the English Language Learner policy sphere and bring more research-based practices to students who need it most.

 Maryia Krivoruchko

Yin Liu

International Education Policy and Management, M.Ed.

Originally from Beijing, China, Yin Liu graduated from Tsinghua University with her bachelor's degree in Japanese. During her sophomore and junior year, she participated in several exchange programs in Japan and Singapore, where she became interested in international education. In her senior year, She worked as a teaching assistant to implement an MIT entrepreneurship course on a Chinese MOOC platform, XuetangX. She also worked as a program coordinator for Asian Institute, arranging daily activities and company visits for a group of American students and faculty during their stay in China. Through her first year of study at Vanderbilt, she became familiar with research design as well as data analysis methods, and worked as an research assistant at the Peabody Research Institute during the past summer doing meta-analysis on prosocial behaviors. She is currently interested in education policy research and hopes to become a researcher. 

 Yin Liu

Colleen McCoy

International Education Policy and Management, M.Ed.

Originally from Murray, Ky., Colleen McCoy graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in Spanish and International Studies and a degree in Integrated Strategic Communication. After graduation, she spent two years in Spain teaching English and Science, and then moved to Australia where she worked and traveled. Colleen is an International Education Policy and Management student, a research assistant for the Fuchs Project, and the Co-President of Common Ground. She is particularly interested in education abroad in higher education, as well as global development through education. 

 Colleen McCoy

Nicholas Moore

Higher Education Administration, M.Ed.

Nicholas Moore is a second year M.Ed. student in the Higher Education Administration program. Originally from South Florida, he graduated with his bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Creative Writing from the University of Miami in 2013. Nicholas developed a passion for student affairs, immersing himself in student leadership roles on campus. Upon graduation, Nicholas continued to work at his alma mater in various capacities—most notably as a program assistant in the Butler Center for Service and Leadership and as an intern within Cru’s U.S. Campus Ministry. During his first year at Vanderbilt, Nicholas served as the graduate assistant for Peabody Career Services. He now works as a graduate student worker in The Office of the Provost, the graduate assistant for The Office of the University Chaplain and Religious Life, and a practicum student in The Martha Rivers Ingram Commons. Much of Nicholas’s professional interests surround the intersection of community and civic engagement, spiritual development, and the first-year experience. After graduating, he hopes to pursue a position in student affairs that merges these interests among others.

 Nicholas Moore

Doug Odom

Higher Education Administration, M.Ed.

Born and raised in Jackson, Miss., Doug Odom earned his bachelor's degree in English and Classics from the University of Mississippi in 2013. He then traveled the world for a year and served as an AmeriCorps VISTA in north Mississippi for another year before deciding to pursue his Master's Degree in Higher Education Administration at Vanderbilt. Doug hopes to pursue a career as a Dean of Students or a chief student affairs officer at a southeastern institution. His hobbies include baseball, scuba diving, tennis, and sports trivia nights.

Doug Odom 

Carolina Palacios

Leadership and Organizational Performance, M.Ed.

Carolina Palacios is a second-year master’s candidate in Leadership and Organizational Performance. Carolina originally hails from Miami, but considers Boston to be home, as she spent the previous five years prior to coming to Nashville in Boston, studying at Tufts University. During her time in undergraduate, Carolina worked at two sailing centers on Boston Harbor, where she found her passion working with people, and helping them reach their goals.  While at Tufts, she was drawn to the International Relations major because of her international upbringing and bi-cultural background. Although passionate about international relations, Carolina hopes to work in a corporate environment in the future, therefore chose the Leadership and Organizational Performance program at Peabody with the hopes of getting involved with international companies in her future career, specifically within the consulting, executive coaching, and organizational development fields.

 Carolina Palacios

Brette Petty

Higher Education Administration, M.Ed.

Brette Petty graduated from Quinnipiac University in Connecticut in May 2011 with a Bachelors of Science in Accounting. She began her career as a data analyst for Sightlines in Guilford, Conn., is a facilities asset advisory firm that partners with over 400 colleges and universities to help find efficiencies in their facilities operations and prioritize capital needs on campus. From traveling to and working with over 35 institutions across the country, Brette discovered she wanted to make her career at a university and help make strategic decisions that will improve the college experience for all, leading her to pursue her Masters of Higher Education. She now works as a graduate assistant in Plant Operations at Vanderbilt and continues to work part-time for Sightlines. Brette is originally from Blairstown, N.J.

 Brette Petty
 

Allison Plattsmier

Community Development and Action, M.Ed.

Born and raised in Nashville, Allison Plattsmier graduated summa cum laude in 2015 from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with her Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a concentration in Public Administration and Nonprofit Management, as well as a minor in Entrepreneurship. She is finishing up her Master of Education in Community Development and Action at Peabody. Her work experience includes Special Events Intern for the American Diabetes Association, Program Administrative Assistant for Mental Health America of Middle Tennessee, Special Events Coordinator for the T.J. Martell Foundation, and Development Coordinator for the Center for Refugees and Immigrants of Tennessee (CRIT). She currently serves as an intern for The National Society of Leadership and Success, as the Managing Director of Transformation Nashville, and as the Associate Director of Programs and Development for the Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee. Allison’s areas of interest are public health, equal access to public resources for underprivileged and economically disadvantaged populations, eradicating food insecurity, and ending the cycle of poverty. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering, reading, singing, running, hosting Nerdy Talk Trivia, and hanging out with her phenomenal husband, Kris, and their two cats, Sheena and Jacinda.

Allison Plattsmier 
 

Eileen Remley

International Education Policy and Management, M.Ed.

Eileen Remley is originally from Concordia, Kansas and graduated from the University of Kan. in 2012 degrees in English and International Studies. She then moved to Madrid, Spain to teach English at a high school. From there, she accepted a Fulbright Grant to teach English at Bulent Ecevit University in Zonguldak, Turkey. After loving the first year she decided to renew for a second, but spent the summer working for Global Leadership Adventures in Guatemala on an experiential learning program with international high school students. She loves innovation and education and hopes to build a career in this space. 

Eileen Remley 

Melissa Reynolds

Education Policy, M.P.P.

Melissa Reynolds is a second year student in the Masters of Public Policy Program. A native of the Washington, DC area, Melissa graduated from Duke University in 2011 with a double major in History and Earth and Ocean Science. After graduation, she taught pre-K as a Teach For America corps member in Atlanta for two years. She then moved back to the DC area and worked on the research team at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute and most recently on the development team at Education Pioneers. After graduation, she plans to return to Atlanta and is interested in impacting education policy from the district or state level.

Melissa Reynolds 

Madeline Rhoden

Human Development Counseling, M.Ed.

Madeline Rhoden is a second-year student in the Human Development Counseling program on the clinical mental health counseling track. Originally from Houston, she graduated with honors from Texas Christian University in 2015 with Bachelor degrees in Psychology and Child Development. During her undergraduate career, Madeline worked in a developmental psychology research lab for over two years, participated in a camp for foster children and their families, and volunteered as a grief counselor for middle school children. Currently, she serves as a teaching assistant for the Human and Organizational Development department and served as an assistant program coordinator for Saturday Academy at Vanderbilt program for the Young (SAVY) with Programs for Talented Youth this past summer. After graduation, Madeline is interested in working in a community setting with children who have been exposed to trauma as well as their families. 

Madeline Rhoden 

Tori Romba

Higher Education Administration, M.Ed.

Tori Romba is a second-year M.Ed. student in the Higher Education Administration program, and a Graduate Assistant in the Office of Student Accountability, Community Standards, and Academic Integrity (OSACSAI). Originally from St. Charles, Ill., she graduated from Northwestern University in 2013 with a major in Human Development and Psychological Services. Soon after graduation, she returned to Northwestern University to work for Residential Services, assisting with student staff selection and training. The year prior to arriving at Peabody, Tori worked as an Admissions Adviser at DeVry University. In addition to working within the Dean of Students Office, Tori has completed a NODA internship with the University of Nebraska-Omaha in the Office of New Student and Family Programs, and is a practicum student at Nashville State Community College in the Access Center. Tori remains passionate about student conduct, housing and residential life, and student-staff development. After graduation, Tori hopes to shape her career to focus on a variety of areas: adult student completion, nontraditional student retention, and accessibility on campus and in the classroom for students of all health profiles.

Tori Romba 

Derrick Stevens

International Education Policy and Management, M.Ed.

Derrick Stevens is a second year International Education and Policy Management M.Ed candidate. He is originally from Lincoln, Neb. and graduated from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln in May 2015 with a B.A. in Political Science. During his undergraduate career, Derrick worked for the Nebraska Department of Economic Development on state-wide grant distribution for small, rural localities. Currently, he works in the International Student and Scholar Services office at Vanderbilt. His career goals, post-graduation, include working with cross-cultural exchange to increase the flow of students and professionals to and from the United States to increase the global share of knowledge.

Derrick Stevens 

Kayla Swain

Leadership and Organizational Performance, M.Ed.

Kayla Swain grew up near Atlanta, Ga., and is a 2013 graduate of Ohio State University with a bachelor's degree in Actuarial Science. After working as an actuary for two years, she decided to transition into graduate school. Kayla is currently completing her master's degree in Leadership and Organizational Performance here at Peabody. In the future, she hopes to help organizations become more effective in utilizing and supporting their human capital.

Kayla Swain 

Brooke Thayer

Higher Education Administration, M.Ed.

Brooke Thayler is a second-year M.Ed. student in the Higher Education Administration program. Originally from Seattle, Brooke graduated from the University of San Diego in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in History. During her time in San Diego, Brooke worked closely with the Center for Student Success, the Center for Health and Wellness Promotion, the Dean’s Office of Arts and Sciences, and the Office of Living Learning Communities. Through her experiences as a peer mentor and student counselor, Brooke discovered her passion for higher education. She currently works as a Graduate Fellow for Vanderbilt’s Moore College and is completing her practicum in Peabody’s Office of Academic Services.  After graduation, Brooke is hoping to transition into the academic affairs realm of higher education. 

Brooke Thayer 

Kelsey Wonderlin

Human Development Counseling, M.Ed.

Kelsey Wonderlin is a second-year M.Ed. candidate in Vanderbilt's Human Development Counseling program, with a focus in Clinical Mental Health. Originally from the Florida Keys, Kelsey graduated in 2015 from University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in psychology and a minor in communication studies. Kelsey currently works as a research assistant and diabetes coach at the Vanderbilt Medical Center. Upon graduation, she hopes to open a private practice offering counseling services to young adults and adults, particularly women.

Kelsey Wonderlin