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HEA Alumni Profiles

Amy Bugno – HEA ‘14 Amy Bugno

Amy Bugno is the Associate Director for Alumni Career Services and Engagement at Duke University’s Career Center in Durham, NC. In this role, Amy creates opportunities for alumni and students to engage through career-related programming around US and internationally. In addition to connecting students with Duke alumni worldwide, Amy provides specialized career coaching to young alumni in their first four years after graduation. As a member of the Career Center’s leadership team, she helps to envision and promote the strategic direction of the Center both internally and to external partners. Prior to attending Peabody, Amy earned her B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication from UNC Chapel Hill before accepting a position in Development and Alumni Affairs at UNC-Chapel Hill where she worked for four years. After graduation from the HEA program, Amy worked as an Assistant Director and Career Coach at Vanderbilt’s Center for Student Professional Development, where she coached students interested in fields of arts, media, and communications, as well as first-year and transfer students. “I came into Peabody knowing that I was very interested in professional development, having helped students connect with alumni in my previous role. Even though I had that interest, however, I wasn’t sure exactly how it would translate into a specific job. Through my graduate assistantships and practicum experience, I was able to gain great hands-on experience that allowed me to practice coaching and learn a lot more about the field. My coursework provided an excellent foundation for the work I was doing with Vanderbilt students, and I know that there’s no way I would be where I am at a relatively young age without my Peabody education. One of the things I liked most about the HEA program was the flexibility in coursework. As a student, I was able to take classes in student affairs, enrollment, policy, and even some counseling courses outside of the curriculum, and I think that diversity of thought really positioned me well for future employment. The program is set up in a way that allows you to learn not only from your professors in the classroom, but also from your peers who have a great range of experiences and knowledge. The conversations I had with other students outside of class were instrumental to my learning, and truly prepared me to be a professional in this field.”

Morrie Swerlick


Morrie Swerlick, M.Ed. '13
Morrie Swerlick currently works for 2U, an education technology company that provides universities the technology and infrastructural support to transform on-campus programs into state-of-the-art web-based programs. As a project coordinator, Morrie manages projects related to 2U’s post-enrollment services division and is responsible for creating and providing internal communication and training regarding new platform features.Morrie Swerlick

“I felt Peabody gave me the opportunity to explore all aspects of higher education. I knew coming into Peabody I would have a chance to broaden my knowledge of higher education and build towards a career in the field. If the opportunity presents itself, don’t be afraid to branch out and take courses that are not higher education specific. Higher education is evolving and the skills necessary to make an impact in the field are changing as well. Don’t hesitate to take advantage of opportunities to build skills outside of your program.”

Maggie KonichMaggie Konich, M. Ed. ‘13

Maggie is the Director of Data Analysis for the College of Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL). She looks for trends in student and faculty activity and provides data analysis to help the dean make informed decisions. She is also developing several Tableau dashboards to make data more accessible to the deans and department heads. Prior to WUSTL, she was the Assessment Specialist for Student Success at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana for 2.5 years. Originally from Decatur, IL, Maggie has a B.A in Spanish Language and Literature and an MAT in Spanish K-12 Instruction from WUSTL. She taught middle school Spanish for several years before making the transition to higher education. She taught middle school Spanish for several years before making the transition to higher education.

 “My Vanderbilt education was valuable because it not only gave me the concrete, statistical knowledge I use every day but also developed my skills of translating that data in a way that is accessible to all stakeholders. I am forever grateful to the wonderful mentors I had in my two years at Vanderbilt.”

Claire GarstClaire Garst, M.Ed. ‘13
Claire Garst works is currently an Admission Counselor at her undergraduate alma mater, Furman University. She works with prospective students from Alabama, Connecticut, Kansas, Missouri, North Carolina (Charlotte), Oklahoma, and Tennessee (Nashville). Claire is also responsible for coordinating the Furman Scholars program and for planning receptions for prospective students and their families across the country. Prior to attending Peabody, Claire received her B.A. in Education at Furman.

“I chose to attend Peabody’s program because of its broad-based nature. Because I wasn’t exactly sure what my future career plans entailed, I was able to take a variety of classes in student affairs, enrollment management, and public policy to figure out which track(s) I wanted to pursue. Additionally, Vanderbilt offers some excellent assistantship opportunities in the various Dean of Students offices. I was fortunate enough to serve as the Graduate Assistant for Student Campus Events, which afforded me the opportunity to advise several student groups in event planning. The professors at Peabody are also second-to-none. They are all the absolute authorities in their respective fields and are willing to use their connections to assist students in their job searches.”

Peyton DanielsPeyton Daniels, M.Ed. ‘12
Peyton Daniels is an Assistant Director of Capital Gifts at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In this role with UNC's Arts and Sciences Foundation, Peyton works with alumni of departments and programs in the Fine Arts and Humanities. In support of the Foundation's mission to bolster faculty, graduate student and undergraduate student support in the College of Arts and Sciences, she raises private gifts at a $25,000 and above level. Peyton works closely with each academic area she supports to understand their unique funding priorities and shares the case for support with alumni throughout the country. Prior to graduating from Peabody, Peyton held internships in External Relations at the University of Alabama and in Athletic Fundraising at Belmont University. She has a B.A. in Communications from Florida State University.

“Much too often the comparison is made between development in higher education and the world of corporate sales and marketing. Peabody prepared me to differentiate the fields with a deep understanding of funding infrastructures in universities and the complex factors that drive them. My coursework in student affairs, enrollment management and public policy framed my view of higher education as a public good that will rely on private giving to sustain excellence in times of limited resources. I credit my time at Vanderbilt for inspiring me to believe in the work that I do and the difference it makes in the lives of faculty and students.”

Kate DerrickKate Derrick, M.Ed. '12
Kate Derrick is currently the Director of Communications for the Tennessee Higher Education Commission’s (THEC) Office of P-16 Initiatives. In this role, Kate oversees outreach efforts for THEC’s college access and success programs. Her responsibilities include developing communications and publications for students, educators, and legislators, as well as training educators on how to best communicate with their audiences. She manages a number of outreach programs and events, such as Tennessee’s annual College Application Week, and also oversees the statewide advertising and outreach campaign for the state’s college planning web portal, Prior to attending Peabody, Kate worked in the San Francisco Bay Area as a project manager for a Silicon Valley start-up and then as a communications consultant for social entrepreneurs. Originally from Louisville, KY, Kate has a B.A. in Political Science and Women’s Studies from Wellesley College.

“My experience at Peabody was a wonderful way to acclimate myself to the professional world of higher education. As a career-changer, I had a passion for education coming into the program, but I was looking for a way to transition into a career in education. Peabody gave me the opportunity to work with some of the top scholars and practitioners in higher education. The network of professors and administrators I met at Peabody and across Vanderbilt’s campus has been continuously useful, both while I was a student and after graduation. Not only did I feel that I came into my work at THEC with a solid understanding of issues surround college access, but I knew the experts and advocates who would help support the work of increasing degree attainment in Tennessee.”

Jeremy BourgoinJeremy Bourgoin, M.Ed. '12
Jeremy Bourgoin is currently a student affairs administrator at the University of Miami working in Housing and Residential Life tasked with providing a comprehensive first year experience to undergraduate students. He also serves as a crisis responder and disciplinary hearing officer for the institution. Jeremy serves in leadership positions within two national professional organizations for student affairs administrators. Originally, from Nashville, TN, Jeremy studied Secondary Education at the University of Tennessee – Chattanooga graduating with his B.S. in 2010. While at UTC, he was an assistant resident director in housing, an orientation executive, and an ambassador for the Chancellor’s office.

“I searched for masters programs in higher education because I knew I wanted to continue my career supporting college students, but I specifically chose the Higher Education Administration program in Peabody because of the ability to concentrate in multiple areas and to approach my degree as a generalist. I give much credit to HEA for helping me develop a well-rounded skillset and providing me a range of academic and practical experiences that ranged from student development theory and systems theory to enrollment management and strategic planning. On a fundamental level, HEA taught me how universities work and how those who work within them find professional success all while furthering the learning environment for undergraduate students. Aside from the classroom learning, Vanderbilt and Peabody provided an incredible outlet to engage with faculty, staff, and students in meaningful ways that enriched my academic experience but also provided hands-on opportunities to improve as an administrator and leader on a college campus. The work being done inside and outside of the classroom at Vanderbilt is simply astounding and to have multiple opportunities to interface with some of this world’s brightest students prepared me to be highly competitive within the hiring market and land a professional position at a nationally renowned student affairs university in a position that is professionally and personally rewarding.”

Kate Butler


Kate Butler, M.Ed. '13
Kate Butler is currently the Coordinator of Sorority and Fraternity Life for Recruitment and Leadership Development at The Ohio State University. In her role, Kate oversees the recruitment processes for four student-run governing councils. This includes planning events, facilitating workshops, counseling students, and coordination between students, advisors, and national organizations. Additionally, Kate develops the leadership programming offered by Sorority and Fraternity Life. Over 1700 students participate in leadership development opportunities annually. These programs include trainings for emerging leaders, chapter presidents, and chapter officers; new member education; leadership courses; and diversity training. Prior to attending Peabody, Kate completed a B.A. in Economics and Mathematical Methods in the Social Sciences from Northwestern University.

“My time at Peabody prepared me wonderfully as a student affairs professional. Peabody gave me the well-rounded education I wanted. I was able to learn about the policy of higher education finance while learning student development theory and gaining practical experience within the field. I know my education will serve me well both as a new professional and in later years as my role evolves. I have learned to look at student life from a variety of perspectives that give me a more comprehensive viewpoint. I’m also so grateful for the relationships I was able to form while at Peabody. From professors at the top of their field to classmates with a variety of interests to supervisors and mentors who are legends in their functional areas, I always felt supported by the best of the best. My connections helped immensely in my job search and continue to help as I develop as a professional.”