Meet the Staff

Cathy Doederlein

Cathy Doederlein

Director, Career Services
cdoederlein1@niu.edu
815-753-7169

Education

M.A., Communication
B.A., Communication

I joined Career Services in 2015, and have been employed at NIU since 2011 (and am also a proud double alumna). In addition to overseeing internships and external relations, I began serving as acting director in May of 2019, and was promoted formally to director in March of 2021

What energizes you?

The students! Having the opportunities to work with students to narrow down what they think they might want to pursue as a career path, helping them find internship opportunities to consider pursuing, and then seeing them experience an internship that allows them to confirm if they are on the right career path for them…when a student gets to have that “Aha! moment” about their potential career, it’s very rewarding!

Internships and External Relations

Caroline Kosmel

Caroline Kosmel

Student Relations Specialist
ckosmel@niu.edu
815-753-8341

I joined Career Services in October 2001. My primary role is internship administration, documenting/processing the paperwork for internships that students engage in with employers to gain career-related work experiences. Additional duties include credential file management, full-time and graduate school placements and other administrative support functions.

A fun fact about myself

I like to travel, to explore new places. While growing up, I always thought it would be fun to have a career as a flight attendant. I did take a different career path, in which I enjoy helping students become successful as they make their career choices. You may see me walking around campus during my lunch hour to get exercise and it re-energizes me for the rest of the day.

Jan Wylde

Jan Wylde

Employer Relations Specialist
jwylde2@niu.edu
815-753-8346

I joined Career Services in 2006 as extra help, becoming full-time staff a year later. My primary responsibilities as an employer relations specialist include working with employers to post their jobs and internships, reserve space and create schedules for on-campus interviews and coordinate campus interviews taking place in Career Services. I am a member of the career fair planning team and a co-coordinator of the Graduate and Professional School Fair.

Career advice or favorite tip I would give to students

Finish your degree. Just make it happen. Whether you are the first in your family to finish college or are continuing a long family tradition, a baccalaureate degree opens up a whole new level of opportunities for you. Employers know that your experiences have prepared you to think and work through problems. Earning that diploma is an accomplishment that you take with you whatever path you choose and will always be an asset.

Katherine Zuidema

Katherine Zuidema

Employer Relations Specialist
kzuidema@niu.edu
815-753-8344

I joined Career Services in 2001. As an employer relations specialist, I work with employers across the globe and locally to post their part-time and full-time jobs as well as internship opportunities to our Huskies Get Hired online job search database.

A fun fact about myself

I founded the Huskies Student Food Pantry in 2013 as a way of helping NIU students who struggle financially remain focused and graduate. Because I was in a similar situation myself, I respect and relate to those students who are determined to build a better future for themselves.

Diane Hart

Diane Hart

Employer Relations Specialist
dlhart@niu.edu
815-753-7159

Education

B.S., Business Management, Emphasis in Human Resources

I joined Career Services in 1999. Coordinating the all-majors Internship Fair and the Intern of the Month and Intern of the Year scholarship program are my primary roles in Career Services.

Career advice or favorite tip I would give to students

It’s never too early to begin developing soft skills, like being able to communicate with people in person, and seeking opportunities for yourself. Opportunities include paid or unpaid internships or part-time jobs in the field that you want to be in while you are in school. Know that negative experiences can be just as informative as positive experiences for making future career choices.

Career Advising and Career Education

Joyce Keller

Joyce Keller

Associate Director, Career Development
jkeller@niu.edu
815-753-9113

Education

M.S.Ed., Counseling, Emphasis in Student Development in Higher Education
B.A., English

I began working as a career counselor at NIU in 2001 and joined the Career Services team in 2005. I provide direction and leadership for student career development, including career counseling services and career education initiatives.

Why did you choose your career path? What do you like best about your career choice?

Colleges are places of great transformation, where students explore their strengths and interests and establish career and life goals. I realized early in my own career development that I wanted to educate and support students as they work through these life-shaping changes. The best part of working in Career Services is the privilege of witnessing the moments when students discover new possibilities for their lives.

Brian Pillsbury

Brian Pillsbury

Assistant Director
pillsbury@niu.edu
815-753-9180

Education

Ph.D., Counseling Psychology
B.A., Psychology

I joined Career Services in 2000. Students and I collaborate to identify and help them progress toward their career ambitions. We work together to make student career success a reality. I also manage daily operations for the office and conduct outreach for certain academic departments and the Gender & Sexuality Resource Center.

What energizes you?

I am energized by witnessing and contributing to individual development. I am energized by helping people discover and develop their untapped potential. I am energized whenever a client says to me “Huh. I didn’t know I could do *that*.” It’s the introduction of the individual to the broad array of possibilities that they had little idea existed. Or that they perceived but didn’t know how to navigate. That is what energizes me. And caffeine.

Edward Heard

Edward Heard

Assistant Director (Career Advisor)
edwardheard@niu.edu
815-753-8347

Education

Psy.D., Clinical Psychology
Th.M., Theology
B.S., Journalism

I began my time of service at NIU in 2004, joining Career Services in 2008. I collaborate with university partners, employers and alumni to induce student success, and I also provide strategic outreach to diverse communities on campus. Through counseling I help students search for life meaning and purpose, a process that includes an evolving vocational story.

Career advice for students

Thoroughly consider career objectives and engage in experiences that will move you toward them. It’s natural to redefine your goals. Be prepared for change, and keep life perspective along your career path. Value feedback from others, build a network of support and tap into the plethora of resources at the university. Balance confidence with humility and infuse personal integrity into your professional development.

Teri Schmidgall

Teri Schmidgall

Career Advisor
schmidgall@niu.edu
815-753-7201

Education

M.A., Community Counseling
B.A., History and Secondary Education

I joined Career Services in 2007. I am a career counselor and I help students figure out what they want to do with their lives and help them make plans to do it.

Career advice or favorite tip I would give to students

Say YES to opportunity. Your career path won’t be a straight line. There will be detours and maybe obstacles, think of them as opportunities. If you say no to an opportunity that presents itself because it isn’t “perfect,” you will wait forever and miss chances to expand your skill sets, your network and your understanding of what you can accomplish by putting yourself out there. Doing something is better than doing nothing.