Professional Staff

Sam Welch '86

Assistant Vice President/Executive Director

A native of Upstate New York, Sam graduated from Hamilton with a BA in English and a minor in economics. Over 25 years, he built a career in marketing, communications and advertising, acquiring extensive strategic and personnel leadership experience, and establishing a track record of building teams and understanding the needs of diverse stakeholders. Most recently, Sam was Global Group President for Publicis Heathcare Communications, the world’s largest health communications network, overseeing 13 companies and nearly 2,000 employees worldwide. As the head of a company that recruited, interviewed and hired numerous college graduates every year, Sam has direct experience with the needs of employers, as well as the challenges students face in securing a position in their chosen career.

Cheney Cronin

Office Coordinator

Cheney joined the Career Center in October 2014 as the Office Coordinator. She previously worked here at Hamilton in 2012 as a temporary assistant in the Admissions office, helping to prepare admission materials and process applications. She later took on another temporary assignment as an Alumni Relations assistant during Hamilton's first All-Alumni Bicentennial Reunion where she was responsible for event planning and logistical detail. Cheney has over seven years in proven customer service and exceptional work ethic. She is a 2010 graduate from the University at Albany with a B.A. in Sociology.

Career Exploration and Development

David Bell

Director of Career Development

David oversees the Career Center Center's efforts to provide career development, counseling, education and connections to students during all four years. He also leads the Center’s outcomes and assessment efforts. With more than 25+ years experience helping college students make career plans, David has recently focused his efforts on helping underclass liberal arts students obtain "career-related experience".

David received an Masters of Education degree in College Student Personnel from Northeastern University, an M.Div. degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Purdue University.

David serves as the advisor for students interested in careers in Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM), Government and Public Policy.

Heather Wixson

Associate Director of Career Development

Heather has assisted college students in defining their career goals for over 10 years. She has worked with students from various backgrounds and with a wide range of occupational interests, and enjoys helping them identify and pursue career and personal success. Heather received her MA in Adult Education from Buffalo State College, and her BS in Psychology from SUNY Brockport. She earned her certificate as a Career Development Facilitator from the National Career Development Association in 2014.

Heather serves as the advisor for Careers in Law, Advertising, Public Relations, Print & Electronic Media, Sports & Leisure, Fashion, and Retail.

Janine Oliver

Associate Director of Career Development

Janine started at the Career and Life Outcomes Center in July 2012 after having worked with students for over seven years as a special education teacher, an outdoor educator, and a counselor. Most recently, Janine worked at Colgate University, advising student volunteer teams as well as career counseling. Janine holds an AB in English from Princeton University, and an MA in counseling from the University of New Hampshire. With her solution-focused style and passion for career assessment and exploration, Janine can be a great resource for students and alumni by helping them identify potential career paths based on their interests, values and skills.

Janine’s major areas of focus at the Career Center are working with students on the internship process and working with students who are undecided. In addition, Janine serves as the advisor for careers in Education, Environmental Science, and Psychology.

Shauna Hirshfield '06

Associate Director of Career Development

Shauna graduated from Hamilton in 2006 with a BA in Women’s Studies and a minor in Computer Science. Over the past decade, she earned a Master of Science degree in Higher Postsecondary Education from Syracuse University, and went on to work at four different institutions across career advising, employer relations, and enrollment management. Most recently, Shauna served as the Internship Coordinator in Colgate University’s Center for Career Services. There, she oversaw experiential-based signature programs and worked closely with internship employers.

Utilizing her background in large-scale program management and cultivating alumni and employer relationships, Shauna oversees the Career and Life Outcomes Center’s Connect Team, which focuses on engaging students in peer-to-peer and alumni-to-student industry-specific career-related exploration. Shauna also thrives on building connections with students. She advises across a variety of career fields, and particularly enjoys working with those pursuing internships.

Shauna serves as the advisor for careers in Nonprofits.

Employer Relations and Communications

Abby Taylor

Director of Employer Relations

Abby manages all recruiting and employer relations operations of the Career Center and oversees our outreach and marketing strategies to maintain and build recruiting opportunities for Hamilton students and alumni. She maintains the HamNET recruiting database for students and communicates about job openings for alumni through the periodic Alumni Jobs Digest.

Before joining the team, she worked in human resources, recruiting and sales at companies in both Los Angeles and Boston and as an admissions representative for her alma mater. On campus, Abby is a member of the Student Emergency Aid Society (SEAS) committee. Abby received a BA from William Smith College and an MFA from Antioch University, Los Angeles.

In addition to her employer relations role, Abby advises students preparing to participate in the NYC program.

Shannon L. Shannon

Assistant Director, Publicity & Programming

Shannon joined the staff as the Front Desk Coordinator in January 2005. In August 2008, she took the position of Publicity & Programming Coordinator and took an elevated role in 2012 as the Assistant Director of Publicity and Programming. It is Shannon's goal to work creatively to send the messages of the Career Center to students, alumni and parents by using email, social media and the Career Center weekly publication, The Inside Track. She is also responsible for administering the Summer Internship Funding program. Shannon completed her Associates Degree in Applied Sciences from Herkimer College with a major in Marketing.

Health Professions Advising

Leslie Bell

Director of Health Professions Advising

Leslie works closely with the staff to advise students interested in health professions as they explore career options, obtain pre-requisite coursework and experience, and complete the process of applying to health professions schools. Leslie has been with the Career Center for over 20 years and has served during this time on the Health Professions Advisory Committee as well as serving as the primary advisor for careers in health, education, and human services.

Contact Information

Career Center

Third floor of Bristol Center
198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323 
315-859-4346 ccadmin@hamilton.edu
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