The War for Talent
Speakers & Moderators


Kelley Bishop, Director, UMD Career Center and President's Promise

Kelley Bishop became director of the University of Maryland’s career center in 2013. His 30+ years in the field include leading the career services operations at Michigan State University and Syracuse University, serving on the boards of the National Association of Colleges and Employers and the Walt Disney World College Program, and frequently consulting for other career centers. Kelley holds a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Dartmouth College and a Master’s degree in Counseling from Indiana University.

Leah Burton, AURP Vice President; Director of Corporate Partnerships, North Carolina State University Centennial Campus

Leah Burton is the Director of Centennial Campus Partnerships and Industry Alliances at NC State University. In this role, she manages the campus-wide strategy for corporate and government interactions with NC State, including the University’s award-winning Centennial Campus.

Prior to joining NC State in 2000, Leah was the Director of Marketing and Communications at the Research Triangle Regional Partnership, a regional economic development organization marketing the 13-county Research Triangle region. Before moving to North Carolina, she was the Public Affairs Manager for telecommunications company US West. Leah has a communications degree from the University of Colorado.

Christine Cruzvergara, Vice President for Higher Education and Student Success, Handshake

Christine Y. Cruzvergara currently serves as the VP of Higher Education and Student Success at Handshake, leading their efforts to deepen partnerships with the higher education community to ensure greater and more equitable student career success. She is recognized as a change agent within the field of career education and is often referenced in national media, has diligently contributed thought pieces, led trainings, and consulted extensively with colleagues across the nation and internationally.

She was most recently at Wellesley College as their Associate Provost for Career Education where she received national recognition for her forward-thinking work and innovative model bringing home the 2017 Career Excellence Award from NACE and the 2017 Innovation Award from Eduventures. Christine is well-known in the profession for the seminal article she co-authored on “10 Future Trends in College Career Services” and her recent update on “5 Future Directions in University Career Services”. She has a reputation of being a creative problem-solver and organizational change agent leading her teams to embrace and drive transformation.

Christine has held senior level positions and board roles at multiple institutions and organizations including Wellesley College, George Mason University, Georgetown University, The George Washington University, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), and the American College Personnel Association (ACPA). Christine earned her Master’s degree in College Student Personnel from University of Maryland, College Park and her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from James Madison University.

Brian Darmody, JD, Chief Executive Officer, Association of University Research Parks (AURP)

Brian Darmody was announced as AURP CEO in February 2019 and in this new role Brian will lead AURP into new initiatives including expanding membership, international partnerships and funding in order to build out additional member benefits.  Over the course of the year, Brian will be winding down his activities at UMD where he currently serves as Associate Vice President (AVP) of Corporate Engagement at the University of Maryland (UMD).

At UMD, Brian is responsible for developing the overall university strategy for corporate relationships, as well as the development of projects and policies to support these initiatives centrally and through the colleges and schools on campus of the University of Maryland. Previously, he was the University’s AVP for Corporate and Foundation Relations in the Division of University Relations, AVP for Research and Economic Development, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Technology Development, Director of State and Federal Relations in the President’s Office and has served in the university’s legal counsel office. He serves on national and state boards, including: Fraunhofer USA, the Maryland Economic Development Association, and the Maryland Tech Council. 

He holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Baltimore and he received his bachelor degree from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Kim Jacobs, Co-President, NACRO; Director of Engineering Extension and Outreach, University of Florida

Dr. Kimberly Jacobs serves as the Director of Engineering Extension and Outreach for the University of Florida’s Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering. In this role, Kimberly is responsible for the external outreach functions of the Florida Engineering Experiment Station (FLEXStation) encompassing management of the extension network of Innovation Stations which includes developing and delivering applied research, educational, and workforce development programs to Florida’s entrepreneurs, industries, and citizens. In addition to management of the Innovation Station network, Kimberly is also responsible for managing strategic relationships between the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering and industry to actively promote the multiple ways in which the College is poised to meet industry needs including assisting with talent acquisition, developing research opportunities, establishing executive education partnerships, and matching University assets with industry identified needs.

Previously Kimberly served as the Director of Corporate Relations for the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering in which her responsibilities were focused specifically on advancing corporate philanthropy to the College. Prior to working at the University of Florida, Kimberly worked in development related roles at Pennsylvania State University, Florida State University and St. Peter’s College.

Kimberly is a member of the Network of Academic Corporate Relations Officers (NACRO) and is currently serving as co-President of the Board. Previously she co-chaired NACRO’s Benchmarking Committee. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from Albright College, a Masters in College Student Personnel Administration from Western Illinois University, and an MBA and PhD in Higher Education Administration from Florida State University.

Jill Jividen, Vice President, NORDP; Director of Research Development, University of Michigan

Jill Jividen, PhD, is the Director of Research Development at the University of Michigan and Vice President of the National Organization of Research Development Professionals (NORDP). Jill has worked in Research Administration and Research Development for 10 years, including in the U-M Medical School and the School of Information. In her current role in the Office of the Vice President for Research, she is building programs and resources to help U-M's faculty increase competitiveness for research funding, and supporting institutional strategies to catalyze interdisciplinary initiatives. At $1.6 billion, U-M is the top-ranked public institution for research expenditures in the U.S.

Amy Skehan, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Foundation and Corporate Engagement, University of California, Davis

Amy Skehan joined UC Davis in 2019 as the Assistant Vice Chancellor, Corporate and Foundation Engagement in DEVAR. As an experienced, collaborative leader with 25+ years of progressive experience, Amy oversees the campus-wide strategy for foundation and corporate engagement at UC Davis and manages the newly formed Foundation and Corporate Engagement team (FCE). Under her direction, the centralized FCE team serves as a direct liaison between the business and foundation community and the university to identify and expand collaboration and partnership opportunities for the entire campus. In this role, Amy brings her strengths of streamlining internal and external collaboration and communication processes, organizational analysis, productivity maximization, change management, and execution to lead the FCE strategy.

Prior to joining UC Davis, Amy served as the Strategic External Partnership and Government Contracts lead at Ford Motor Company, Research and Advanced Engineering and the University Program Manager, External Alliances. In these roles, she was responsible for all external partnerships, government contracts and national labs, and managed the strategy and overall management of the Ford/University of Michigan partnership and collaborative research portfolio. In addition, Amy served as the global domain lead for mobility university research on the External Alliances team in collaboration with Mobility Research R&A and Ford Smart Mobility. Amy is also served as a member of the Ford STEAM Advisory Board and oversees the overall relationship with Techstars.

Throughout her career, Amy has created and directed numerous programs, developed and implemented several process improvements, and served as the strategic lead and project manager for various initiatives. She also specializes in non-profit management, fund development, and grant writing. Amy has a B.A. from the University of Michigan and throughout her career has received several awards recognizing her for her work.

Shawn VanDerziel, Executive Director, National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE)

As Executive Director of the National Association of Colleges and Employers, Shawn VanDerziel leads the association of 13,000+ professionals at more than 3,000 employing organizations and educational institutions engaged in the career development and the employment of college students and alumni.

Prior to joining the NACE staff, Shawn was with the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago for 23 years, where he most recently served as Chief Human Resources officer and as Chief of Staff. His earlier roles included corporate recruiting with Norrell Corporation and a position in higher education as associate director of student enrollment at National Louis University.