Past URx Speakers

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Liz Wessel

Co-Founder & CEO,

Liz Wessel is the Co-Founder and CEO of WayUp, the go-to platform for millions of early-career professionals to explore opportunities, receive advice, and get discovered by employers. Liz has been featured as one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 and named one of the 18 Coolest Women in Silicon Valley.

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Bernard Uy

Co-Founder / Creative Director,
Wall-to-Wall Studios: A Brand Design Agency

Trained as a graphic designer, Bernard co-founded Wall-to-Wall Studios in Pittsburgh, PA in 1992 and returned home to launch the second office in Honolulu in 2005.

The agency ( specializes in growing brands through an integrated approach to design, advertising, online and environmental experiences, collaborating with local and national clients in the arts, education, hospitality, real estate, development, retail and technology. Wall-to-Wall Studios has long been known for its approach to using humor, wit and emotion to forge connections between a brand and their audience.

Bernard has been actively involved with the AIGA, the professional association for design as past President of both Pittsburgh and Honolulu chapters. He has taught communication/graphic design as an adjunct professor at Carnegie Mellon, Chaminade University of Honolulu and as a visiting professor at the St. Gallen School of Design in Switzerland.

In 2009, he was named  “Advertising Man of Year” by the American Advertising Federation (AAF) of Hawaii. He spends most mornings thinking about lunch.

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Nadia Abouzaid

Head of Campus Engagement,

Nadia Abouzaid works in talent management at Jopwell and was previously a vice president and head of banking analyst recruiting at Barclays Investment Bank in New York City. She holds a B.S.B.A in Human Resources and Marketing from Washington University in St. Louis and an M.S. in Human Resources Management from New York University.

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Adam Braun

Co-Founder & CEO,
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Miki Johnson

Job Portraits

An anthropologist at heart and a journalist by training, Miki Johnson brings over a decade of storytelling, marketing, and visual media experience to her work helping companies better communicate with candidates. In 2014, with her husband and photographer Jackson Solway, Miki founded Job Portraits, an SF-based employer branding agency that uses authentic storytelling to help startups build a long-term recruiting advantage. Since then, Job Portraits has helped 60+ high-growth startups increase candidate response rates, cut screening call times, and improve hiring team satisfaction. An experienced facilitator, Miki also hosts a monthly gathering of Bay Area Diversity & Inclusion leaders.  

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Frank Dawson

Dean of Career Education,
Santa Monica College

Frank Dawson is the Dean of Career Technical Education, and a former Professor and Chair of the Communication and Media Studies Department at Santa Monica College (SMC). Frank leads the development of credit/non-credit Career Technical Education certificate and degree programs, and contract education and international training activities that address the needs of global businesses and emerging industries.

Frank developed the curriculum and Associates degree for SMC’s Promo Pathway, a year-long training program in the area of marketing, on-air promotions, and creative services. Promo Pathway has been recognized by the Aspen Institute’s “Future Skills for America” initiative as a model for industry/education/community partnerships. He now serves as Project Director for SMC’s role in the LA HI-TECH Regional Consortia. The Consortia membership includes 8 Community Colleges and 30 High Schools, and is committed to launching Digital Media and Computer Science Career Pathways for High School students that will align directly with Community College Career Pathways. LA HI-TECH has been recognized by the Obama Administration’s “TechHire” initiative as one of the 21 City model Industry/Education partnerships that is addressing the nation’s critical Skills Gap shortage in the Technology sector.

Frank Dawson was born in New York City, and earned his undergraduate degree from Cornell University. He earned a Master of Science degree in Television and Radio from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University, where he has been inducted into the school’s professional gallery of distinguished alumni.

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Kimberly Brown

Associate Director Employer Outreach,
Princeton University

Kimberly is responsible for supporting the implementation of an outreach strategy designed to significantly expand the career center’s employer relationships across several industry verticals, cultivating dynamic career networks and meaningful connections between students, alumni, employers and the University’s various stakeholder groups. She also coordinates the efforts of a cross-functional team working to source opportunities for students in industries of high interest by reviewing preference data and existing employer databases to identify gaps, research industry hiring trends and find recruiters and alumni champions within these areas. 

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Miranda Sulley

Director of Operations,
Hackbright Academy

Miranda is passionate about connecting people to their dream jobs. This desire motivated her professional work in both higher education and people operations. While working in technical recruiting at two of the Bay Area’s leading companies, she realized that engineering pipelines were severely lacking female candidates. As Director of Operations at Hackbright Academy, Miranda solves for this issue first-hand by building corporate partnerships to ensure women are getting hired in technical roles at top companies.

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Mike Swift

Co-founder & CEO,
Major League Hacking
Meet Swift – the co-founder and CEO of Major League Hacking (MLH), the largest community of young technical talent in the world.  Each year, nearly 100,000 students attend MLH events on campus to learn new skills and network with the most innovative companies in the world.   Swift has made it his mission to enable developers by helping them get the tools and resources they need to turn their crazy ideas into reality.  Swift previously founded Hacker League (acquired by Intel in 2013) and was formerly a developer evangelist for SendGrid.
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Saqi Mehta

Associate Director Employer Relations,
Tufts University

Saqi Mehta is passionate about all things education: specifically women in tech. She spent the past 5 years in the startup scene in Silicon Valley, leading the University Recruiting team at Square. She recently returned to higher education and is now Associate Director of Employer Outreach at Tufts University. Saqi serves on the board of National Tech Diversity Magazine and writes for the Huffington Post, Daily Muse and Blavity amongst contributions for other publications. Her proudest accomplishment to date is being Co-Founder of ReigningIt ( which brings awareness to women in STEM by profiling other women's' stories. In any non-typing free time, she is an art, interior design, and travel enthusiast.

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Moira Kolasinski

Associate Director Employer Relations,
Santa Clara University

Moira brings to the Career Center nearly 10 years of experience working in career development in higher education, providing career counseling to students of all majors, as well as developing programs and events to facilitate professional development and connection to employers. In addition, Moira has extensive experience consulting with Silicon Valley employers on topics including on-campus recruitment, branding and internship development. Prior to her work in career development, Moira held a variety of human resources roles in both corporate and educational settings. Moira is passionate about preparing students for the world of work. Her inspiration for her work comes from creating programs and resources that generate moments of personal and professional discovery for students in their career journey. Moira has her BA degree in Psychology and an MA in Counseling Psychology with a Career Development Emphasis.

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Richard Murby

Hackathons Lead,
Richard leads hackathons and business development at Devpost, which powers most of the world's hackathons and helps developers find fulfilling work. Richard has been working on hackathons since 2006 and is passionate about the unique opportunities these events create for their attendees to learn and grow.
During his career, he's been a line cook, developer, and diplomat. He started out in Wales but now lives in Queens, NYC.
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Kamrin Klauschie

Director of Partnerships,
Learners Guild

Kamrin Klauschie is an aspiring social entrepreneur working at the intersection of education, community, technology, and social impact. She is passionate about growth mindset, experiential education, and unleashing latent human potential. Currently, Kam is the Director of Partnerships at Learners Guild, an inclusive and accessible 8-month technical training program for aspiring software engineers in Oakland. Before the Guild, Kam was the Senior Career Developer at Dev Bootcamp in San Francisco, where she built community and awareness around apprenticeship programs for engineers from non-traditional educational backgrounds. In a past life, she supported Leila Janah, Founder, and CEO of Sama, a family of non-profits improving access to dignified work, critical medical care, and digital training for those who live on less than $1 a day. As the first Community Manager at AngelHack, she ran hundreds of hackathons across Asia and the Middle East. When she graduated from college, Kam lived in Hyderabad, India as an IDEX Fellow in Social Enterprise testing and evaluating the viability and impact of low-cost tablet technologies in low-income schools. She is a StartingBloc fellow and the co-founder of TEDxUCIrvine. She loves tomatoes, traveling, reading, writing, running, and a good game of soccer.

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Tarsha McCormick

Head of D&I,

Tarsha McCormick is the Head of Diversity and Inclusion for ThoughtWorks North America. Tarsha joined ThoughtWorks in January of 1999 as a Recruiting Specialist when the company was a small startup with a group of less than 100. Today ThoughtWorks has grown to over 3500 employees globally in 34 offices spread across 13 countries on 6 continents.

She was instrumental in helping to build, grow, and lead various aspects of their People organization including recruiting, benefits, HR operations, and talent management. Since moving into the Head of Diversity and Inclusion role in January 2015, Tarsha is responsible for driving the strategic thinking and work related to making ThoughtWorks more diverse and inclusive, and advocating for change in the I.T. industry.

After earning a B.A. in Political Science from Illinois State University, Tarsha worked in the social services industry for 4 years before making a transition into human resources, which married her love of people, law, and education. In addition to her 18 years of human resources experience, she holds an MBA with a focus on Human Resources Management. Born and raised in Chicago, she has called Atlanta home since 2010.

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Megan Dino

Career Ventures,
Stanford University

Megan brings experience from public and private sectors prior to working in higher education. She most recently designed career programming via employer networking and coaching for over 3,000 College of Business students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, preparing them for positions in financial services, technology, consulting, and marketing. Prior to career services, Megan led the marketing, operations, and guest services teams of a joint venture between the University of Illinois and Fox-Atkins Development, LLC at the UI Research Park. She has also worked in the tech sector overseeing government accounts including NASA, the Department of Energy labs, U.S. Army, and the CDC. Megan earned her Ed.M. in Education Policy and B.S. in Management-Entrepreneurship from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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Marlene Scherer Stern

Career Education,
Stanford University

Marlene has over 25 years of diverse higher education experience including a variety of roles in career development, experiential learning, and cooperative education. She received a BA from UC Davis and an MA in Higher Education Administration from Michigan State University. She has developed many programs and presented at numerous conferences representing her public and private university experiences. At BEAM, Stanford Career Education, she served as an Assistant Dean and Associate Director of Career Ventures.  A few of the signature programs co-designed by Marlene at Stanford include the creation of a student-alumni mentoring program, the Stanford Immersion in Medicine Series Program and Shadowing Alumni in the Real World. She currently has 3 of her own in colleges around the globe and is always up for an adventure, especially those outdoors involving sunsets.

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Hayley Hedgpeth

Assistant Director Employer Outreach,
Princeton University

Hayley assists with the implementation of an outreach program designed to build relationships with employers and alumni and increase the number of opportunities for undergraduate and graduates across a wide range of industries and fields. She also contributes to assessment efforts, data compilation, and analysis to identify and report job market trends, outreach outcomes and impacts on student opportunities for internships and full-time employment.

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Olivia Haas

Creative Director,
Job Portraits

Olivia Haas is currently enjoying her third career. As a creative director at Job Portraits, an SF-based employer branding agency, she uses authentic storytelling and the tools of journalism to help startups build a long-term recruiting advantage. Prior to Job Portraits, Olivia built and ran all university programs for Customer Experience Management (CEM) leader Medallia, traveling the country to (successfully!) translate the story of a B2B SaaS company for both technical and non-technical undergrad and grad students. And before tech? Olivia had a tell-all-worthy career in entertainment, first working on Broadway and then in film and television in Los Angeles. A playwright, actor, and improviser with a B.A. in English from Stanford, Olivia is more than qualified to discuss the experience of being a “fuzzy” in the tech world.

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Syndhia Javier

Associate Director Center for Career Education,
Columbia University

From East to West Coast and around the world, Syndhia forges and nurtures relationships with companies in the tech space connecting them with Columbia talent both on-campus and off. With a close ear to industry and identity-specific student groups, she coaches students through an ever-changing recruiting landscape. As a dedicated employer partner, Syndhia facilitates meaningful connections from large corporations to series A stage startups.  Prior to her time at the Center for Career Education, Syndhia worked in the nonprofit and finance industry.

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Kayleigh Bottini

Technical University Recruiter,

Kayleigh is a Technical University Recruiter at Lyft, primarily leading internship hiring within their Autonomous division. Over the last 7 months, she has helped scale Lyft's internship program across Software Engineering, Product Management, and Data Science. Prior to Lyft, she also contributed to University Recruiting efforts at Zynga and Safeway and built many partnerships with various campuses and student organizations. Originally from Alaska, she graduated from the University of Idaho with a degree in Management and Human Resources with the intention of breaking into the tech recruiting space.  

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Roselyn Byrd

Incoming Student Lead,
WiBD Lead

Roselyn Byrd is a 1st-year graduate student, USC Marshall MS Business Analytics, and incoming WiBD Sol Cal lead. Rose earned a B.S., Economics from the University of Florida Cum Laude where she had two career-inspiring internships as a Business Analyst Intern for a biotech firm and later as an Economic Development Intern where she worked for the United Nations in Brazil.

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April Zeng

WiBD So Cal

April Zeng is a 2nd-year graduate student, USC Marshall MS Business Analytics, and co-founder of WiBD So Cal. April is a double Trojan having earned her B.S., Business Information Systems at the USC Marshall School of Business with a minor in Enterprise Information Systems from USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering. April launched her career with KPMG as an SAP Security Consultant and later an Enterprise Performance Management/Analytics Consultant. She has also interned for Fiji Water and Sony Crackle.

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Lily Salem

Career Strategist MS, Business Analytics Program,
USC Marshall School of Business

Lily earned an MA in Student Counseling and later an MA in Education Leadership at Chapman University where she began her career in career services. Her most recent roles placed Lily in a position to cultivate networks for employer relations and career development partnerships. Lily joined the University of Southern California (USC) Marshall School of Business in July, 2016 and co-founded the WiBD So Cal chapter in the summer of 2017. She primarily advises students to drive leadership activities and membership development as well as welcome new employers and professionals that would like to forge a greater relationship with WiBD and USC. 

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Sathya Narayanan

Professor of Computer Science,
California State University Monterey Bay

Dr. Sathya Narayanan is a professor of Computer Science at California State University Monterey Bay. He teaches freshman year seminar, Physics, proseminar and a senior capstone course for CS students. Apart from his teaching and day-to-day responsibilities, Sathya is working to develop and replicate a cohort-based bachelor's degree model build around learning communities of students to address capacity, quality and diversity challenges in CS education. CS++ is a cohort program geared towards incoming freshman students and CSin3 is a high quality, low cost, three-year bachelors program in computer science built in collaboration with Hartnell College. The cohort-based model was selected as one of the top tier innovative ideas in higher education by the state of CA. Sathya currently serves on the Computer Science Strategic Implementation Advisory Panel for the CA Department of Education.

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May 6-7, 2021

URx Forward is a live online event bringing together our community to be connected, inspired, and prepared for whatever the new realities of recruiting hold for us. Our goal is to equip you with thought leadership, skill-building workshops, and opportunities to connect with the resources that will move you and your teams #URxForward!