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Events & Programs

UPCOMING EVENTS Save the Dates for the 2022/2023 Year Fall Meeting: November 4, 2022, Columbia Career Design Lab Winter Meeting: February 3rd, 2023, Virtual Spring Meeting/Alva Cooper Awards: May 5, 2023, Location TBD FOLLOW US ON TWITTER OR LINKEDIN FOR MORE INFO ABOUT OUR EVENTS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR!  ______________________________ RECENT VIRTUAL EVENT RECORDINGS RECORDING OF 10/30/2021 MNYCCPOA FALL CONFERENCE:…

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Alva C. Cooper Awards

The purpose of these awards is to recognize the outstanding work of the members of MNYCCPOA, and to foster our mission of promoting professional growth and exchanging ideas, information and creative solutions concerning career development issues. AWARDS DESCRIPTION: There are three awards for best practices: New Programs 0-3yrs: $ 1,000 Existing Programs 4+ years: $ 1,000 Creativity and Innovation:…

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Professional Development

The Professional Development committee works to provide engaging professional, social & community service activities for MNYCCPOA members. These events offer the opportunity to develop industry knowledge and professional skills by participating in activities such as: onsite employer visits, networking meet ups with NY area career center professionals, trainings, certifications, and community service activities related to the field of career development….

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WHY JOIN MNYCCPOA? MNYCCPOA offers wonderful opportunities to participate in professional development events, connect with a community of colleagues, contribute to discussions of best practices, and share resources! Membership benefits include: Reduced rates to all events Free round tables related to career coaching best practices, and   employer relations Notices about employment positions The opportunity to learn from, and participate…

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Who We Are

MNYCCPOA is a professional organization consisting of career services counselors representing more than 60 colleges in the metropolitan New York area. Founded in 1960 with 49 charter members, MNYCCPOA’s membership has grown to approximately 200 strong. Its mission is to promote professional growth and development, and provide opportunities to exchange ideas, information and creative solutions concerning career development issues.


Membership in MNYCCPOA is open to all those who are working in the field of career services.  We welcome you to join MNYCCPOA and become an active member of our organization. We look forward to seeing you at our next MNYCCPOA program.

Executive Board

Mariela Torres

Mariela Torres is the Assistant Director of Industry Relations at Columbia University's School of Professional Studies (SPS) Career Design Lab (CDL) since May 2019. Mariela is an experienced professional with over 24 years of experience in Career Counseling and the Fashion Industry. Mariela has experience managing small to large Career Services Centers that provide comprehensive career and internship services to college students and alumni. She has held Director level positions at The College of New Rochelle, Berkeley College, and LIM College. She is also a certified Myers Briggs (MBTI) Practitioner. Mariela is very passionate about student success and has provided career coaching for students and alumni, advised student clubs, and taught undergraduate and graduate-level career preparatory courses. Mariela has worked for organizations such as Avon Products, Perry Ellis and Macy's Merchandising Group. Mariela has been actively involved in MNYCCPOA since 2015 and has held the 2nd Vice President and Treasurer previously. She is excited to hold the 1st Vice President role for 2019-2021. Her professional accomplishments include an impressive student career transition rate of 85% into full-time positions within six months of graduation; managing merchandising, marketing and product development efforts for a $350 million cosmetics business; The LIM College Rising Star Award and Fashion Group International (FGI) Spirit of Volunteer Award. Mariela holds a Master of Science degree in Career Development from the College of New Rochelle and a Bachelor of Professional Studies from LIM College in Fashion Merchandising. Connect to Mariela on LinkedIn

Jocelyn Coalter
1st Vice President

Jocelyn Coalter has over 17 years of experience in career services and student affairs. She is currently the Director of Career Services on the Staten Island campus of St. John’s University in New York. Prior to St. John’s, she worked at Yeshiva University as Director of Employer Relations, and LIM College as Assistant Director of Career Development and then Assistant Director of Student Affairs. Jocelyn holds an MSW from Stony Brook University and a BA in English and Sociology from Providence College, and is a Licensed Master of Social Work in New York State. 

Maria Fernanda Alfonso
2nd VIce President

Maria is a Career Services professional who has worked at colleges in the U.S. and Colombia for over ten years. She is currently the Assistant Director of Career Services on the Staten Island campus of St. John’s University. Before St John’s, Maria was the Director of Career Services at Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology. Before moving to New York, she worked for five years in academic advising, employer relations, internship programs, career services, and international accreditation at a renowned university in Bogotá, Colombia. Maria is native from Colombia and earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Universidad Santo Tomas. She received a Master of Business Administration degree in international business from Montclair State University.
She is very proud of her very successful track record of developing partnerships with employers in numerous industries and working with those employers to provide career workshops and programs, attend career fairs, offer site visits and job shadowing opportunities, engage in mentoring programs, and provide students with internship and post-graduation career opportunities.

You can connect with Maria on LinkedIn.

Marion Sadavoy
Director of Programs

MARION SADAVOY, CPRW is a Career Services professional who serves young adults in the Arts. Currently, she is a Career Coach and Résumé Specialist for ArtBound Initiative and runs her own career coaching service for entry and mid-level professionals.

Daniel Coleman MBA, BCC

 You can connect to Daniel on LinkedIn

Laura Smith

Laura Smith has been working in the field of career services in higher education since 2005. Currently, Laura is a Career Counselor and Instructor at Nassau Community College where she specializes in career development counseling and teaches a career orientation course. She sits on various committees at the College that contribute to initiatives of applied learning and student activities. In her spare time, Laura volunteers with the College’s food pantry. Prior to her role at Nassau, Laura served as Senior Career Counselor at St. John’s University where she focused on working with students and alumni in the liberal arts and sciences. Laura has been an active member of MNYCCPOA for many years, having previously served as co-chair of the Alva Cooper Awards Committee and currently as the chair of the Membership Committee. Laura earned a MSEd in Counseling from Fordham University and a BS in Sociology from the University of Scranton.

Sam Harvey
Director of Communications

Sam Harvey is a Professional Development Specialist at Pratt Institute's Center for Career & Professional Development where she assists all students and alumni in writing grant and residency applications, assists the director in the implementation and research surrounding the center's meditation and mindfulness initiatives, and oversees many of the initial communications students and employers have with the office. Her background in Art & Design allows her to advise students in planning carer paths and learning about their industries. Outside her work in career development, Sam is engaged in projects and research related to resilience, wellness, and well-being. These projects cover areas such as leadership development, strategic planning, and development within the creative economy.

Diana Mendez
Past President 

Diana Mendez' experiences as an immigrant, Latina, and first-generation college student have shaped her lens as a career development and student affairs professional for over 10 years. She currently works at NYU's Wasserman Center for Career Development as Senior Assistant Director overseeing experiential education, diversity programming, career coaching, and recruiting functions for students in STEM fields. During her tenure at NYU, Diana has developed student employee training and evaluation strategies, managed an award winning first-generation student mentorship program, and revamped a student leadership group for undergraduate student engagement. Throughout her career, Diana has been deeply committed to enhancing students' university experience by promoting, developing, and executing experiential education programs for diverse student populations (undergrad, grad, domestic, and international). Her past experience in higher education also includes academic advising, alumni relations, and college access programs. An avid traveler and volunteer, she has served as a staff advisor for student-centered international programs, overseeing student cohorts in Italy and the Dominican Republic. Aside from her contributions to MNYCCPOA, Diana also serves as NASPA's Latinx/a/o Knowledge Community Region II Representative and as NACE's Women in STEM Affinity Group Co-Chair. She has presented at regional and national conferences on topics such as leadership development for student employees, and combating implicit bias in the student employment hiring process. Diana's work related to DEI in higher education, staff mentorship programs, and service learning in career services has been published in NACE's blog, magazine, and quarterly journal Diana received an MA in Mental Health Counseling from NYU's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development, and a BSW from Rutgers University; she's currently completing an MS in Human Resources Management at NYU's School of Professional Studies. You can connect to Diana on LinkedIn.

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