Get in Touch With Us: 352-392-1601 |

Get in Touch With Us: 352-392-1601 |

hero image

Career Engagement Summit

Virtual Career Engagement Summit 2020

July 16, 2020
11 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Career Connections Center

The Career Engagement Summit is a one-day virtual conference that will allow you to interact, connect, and engage with the University of Florida’s Career Connections Center staff. The 2020 theme “Bringing Your Recruitment Vision Into Focus “ hopes to have you walk away with tools and strategies to enhance your recruitment strategy, develop your on-campus brand, build your talent pool, and prepare for your next level of connection through interactive sessions.

Four Reasons You Should Attend the Career Engagement Summit

1. Experience the difference a focused recruitment strategy will make at the University of Florida
2. Interact with current UF student leaders from a diverse group of organizations
3. Connect with UF Career Connections Center staff and learn how to develop your on-campus brand
4. Earn SHRM Professional Development Credits

OPENING SESSION – 11:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.


  • Ja’Net Glover, Senior Director, UF Career Connections Center
  • Dr. D’Andra Mull, Vice President for Student Affairs, UF

Join us as we kick off the 2020 Virtual Career Engagement Summit with the Career Connections Center’s Senior Director, Ja’Net Glover. Ja’Net will highlight priorities for the future of career services at the University of Florida and how our collective engagement is paramount to bringing your recruitment strategy into focus.

We will then be joined by the Vice President for Student Affairs, Dr. D’Andra Mull, as she discusses her vision for the University of Florida, including the importance employers play in the success of students and the UF Community.

Career Influencer Awards

  • Angel Iverson, Director for Career Foundations, UF C3

The University of Florida Career Influencer Awards celebrates the collaboration and innovation of our partners who have had an exceptional impact on career development and career engagements during the 2019-2020 academic year. Awards will be presented for each company, faculty, staff, and student organization categories.

EMPLOYER KEYNOTE – 11:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Recruiting in 2020: Is there a manual for this?


  • Alana Christou, Director of HR & Recruitment, SharpSpring
  • Jillian Dinius, Talent & Culture Specialist, SharpSpring

No one could have predicted where 2020 has taken us. We’ve all been affected in some way, shape, or form by COVID-19, racial unrest, and the effects thereof. What will normal look like? How can we support candidates, hiring teams, and our companies well? Come and hear how SharpSpring, a local tech company in Gainesville, FL, has navigated the recruitment space while holding empathy and compassion at the forefront.

BREAK – 12:30 p.m. – 12:45 p.m.

MUNCH & LEARN – 12:45 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.


  • Nicole Howe, Master of Business Administration Student
  • Cailey Porter, 3rd Year Mechanical Engineering Student
  • Joaquin Rodarte, 4th Year Advertising Student
  • Oluwabusayo Oni, 3rd Year Biomedical Engineering Student
  • Emily Wong, 3rd Year Applied Physiology & Kinesiology Student

Join us for an interactive Q & A session with some of UF’s top students as they share their feedback and experience about recruitment and employer engagement.

BREAK – 1:30 p.m. – 1:40 p.m.

SESSION 1 BREAKOUTS – 1:40 p.m. – 2:25 p.m.

General Session Breakout Track Themes:

  • Adapting to Current Work Conditions (ACWC)
  • Equitable and Inclusive Practices (EIP)
  • Hire Gators: Snapping Up UF Talent! (HG)

Hiring for the Infinite Game
Track Theme: ACWC

  • Allison Breunig, Hiring Manager, Gainesville Health & Fitness
  • Noah Hastay, Operations Manager, Gainesville Health & Fitness

Using concepts from Simon Sineks’ most recent novel, Infinite Game, our team at Gainesville Health & Fitness will showcase how we will continue to keep playing the game even when the landscape and rules have changed. In this 45 minute session, we will provide valuable insights on how we were able to reconstruct our job descriptions for our current positions and hire new staff that understand what the new expectations are for the job. With operational budgets being tighter than ever, having an efficient hiring and onboarding system that keeps you in the infinite game should be one of the most important focuses going into the 3rd and 4th quarter of 2020.

Supporting Talent with Disabilities in Recruiting
Track Theme: EIP
Presenter: Beth Roland, Assistant Director for Outreach & Education, UF Disability Resource Center


  • Emily Edwards, Neurodiverse Center of Excellence Manager, Ernst & Young
  • Tamara Burks, Diversity Talent Acquisition Manager, PwC

The Disability Resource Center will present about their mission and the students they work with at UF, as well as share ideas about how employers/recruiters can promote accessibility, inclusivity, and empowerment of disability identity in their companies. Following this short presentation will be a panel with industry members to discuss their recruitment efforts of employees with disabilities.

Beyond the UF Campus: Strategies for Alumni Recruiting
Track Theme: HG

  • Keira Simmonds – Senior Assistant Director for Campus Engagement, UF Career Connections Center
  • Carré Mitchell – Director of Alumni Volunteer Engagement, UFAA

The UF Alumni Association and Career Connections Center have created a strong partnership in support of alumni career development. Join this session to discuss four recruiting strategies you can employ to connect with and attract UF alumni by tapping into and leveraging the breadth of the Gator Nation.

BREAK – 2:25 p.m. – 2:35 p.m.

 SESSION 2 BREAKOUTS – 2:35 p.m. – 3:20 p.m.

Long-Term Talent Implications of COVID-19
Track Theme: ACWC

  • Brian Kropp, Chief of Research and Group Vice President, Gartner

COVID-19 has been disruptive for every organization. Given the humanitarian crisis that has been generated by the virus, the Human Resources implications have been enormous. At this point, most organizations have moved beyond the immediate health and safety concerns. Executives that care about talent are now shifting their focus from the immediate to the medium and longer-term implications of COVID-19.

Advancing Equity Through & Despite Current Trends
Track Theme: EIP

  • Matthew Cowley, Associate Director for Industry Engagement, UF Career Connections Center

This session takes a critical look at current technological trends in career services and recruiting that threaten equitable outcomes for marginalized students. We will discuss how to identify these threats and how to advance equity through advocacy, coaching, and empowerment.

 Focalized Outreach: The Prescription for Clear Success
Track Theme: HG


  • Nicole Yucht, Director for Integrated Partnerships, UF Career Connections Center
  • Tiffany Griffith, Assistant Director for Integrated Partnerships College of Health and Human Performance, UF Career Connections Center
  • Daneen Johnson, Assistant Director for Integrated Partnerships College of Education, UF Career Connections Center
  • Rachel Koepsel, Assistant Director for Integrated Partnerships College of Public Health and Health Professions, UF Career Connections Center
  • Erin Lin, Assistant Director for Integrated Partnerships College of Engineering, UF Career Connections Center
  • Jacqueline Pedota, Assistant Director for Integrated Partnerships College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, UF Career Connections Center
  • Sammie Walker Herrera, Manager for Integrated Partnerships College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, UF Career Connections Center

The UF Career Connections Center’s embedded liaison staff can help you directly connect with specific campus colleges and departments. Come meet the liaisons, learn about the philosophy of this program, and how we can provide you with customized methods of recruitment for targeted populations.

BREAK – 3:20 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

SESSION 3 BREAKOUTS – 3:30 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.

You Hired a Gator…now what?
Track Theme: ACWC
Presenter: Craig Petrus, Executive Director, UF College of Business Career Services

  • Alexandra Parks, University Relations Representative, PepsiCo
  • Eva Richa, Vice President, JPMorgan Chase
  • Laura Summers, CPA, Senior Associate, Campus Recruiting, KPMG

We all know how great our Gator talent is. That is why you hired them, right? Now that they will be joining your company, how are you introducing them to your company amidst the virtual work environment we find ourselves in? This panel-style session will invoke conversation around how employers are onboarding and adapting our UF talent to their organization through such areas as new-employee onboarding, training & development, workflow, and internal networking opportunities. Come learn how companies are adapting to this “new normal” of the world of work.

Dismantling Exclusionary Ideologies in Recruiting and Hiring
Track Theme: EIP

  • Patricia Jordan, Interim Senior Director, UF Multicultural and Diversity Affairs
  • Tiffany Richards, Program Director, UF Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer Affairs

This presentation will address how to acknowledge and work beyond the business culture that is rooted in a white supremacist structure. Participants will be able to identify and discuss elements of recruiting and hiring that will allow for a more diverse hiring pool. Participants will be able to practice how to identify recruiting tactics that create barriers for an inclusive process.

Set Your Sights on a Gator: Best Practices and New Methods for Recruiting at UF
Track Theme: HG


  • Andie Cochran, Associate Director for Industry Engagement, UF Career Connections Center
  • Erica Betz, Associate Director for Recruitment Relations, UF Career Connections Center

Even as our world changes around us, one thing remains the same: the extensive talent pool you will find at the University of Florida.  Join us to learn how you can still discover amazing candidates with new approaches to recruiting at UF, including a demo of the new virtual career fair platform and how we plan to welcome recruiters back to campus in the fall.

CLOSING – 4:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Closing remarks will occur within each individual presentation room from breakout session 3