Read MoreRead MoreJoin Now

Events & Programs

UPCOMING VIRTUAL EVENTS MNYCCPOA Spring Meeting: Alva Cooper Awards & 60th Anniversary Celebration Registration coming in the spring of 2021 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER OR LINKEDIN FOR MORE INFO ABOUT OUR EVENTS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR!  ______________________________ RECENT VIRTUAL EVENT RECORDINGS RECORDING OF 10/30 MNYCCPOA FALL CONFERENCE: The New Normal: Adapting and Upskilling Our Careers During a Time of Uncertainty…

Read More

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 AWARD TYPES): New Programs 0-3yrs: $ 1,000 Existing Programs 4+ years: $ 1,000…

Read More

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….

Read More


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…

Read More

What's Happening?

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

Kristina Simonsen
2nd VIce President

Kristina Simonsen is the Associate Director for Employer Relations at the Center for Career & Professional Development at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She has worked in career services for the past ten years, with a strong background in Employer Relations. Kristina oversees all employer recruiting initiatives, major events, and sponsorship programs. Her education includes a Bachelor’s degree in Advertising from New York Institute of Technology and a Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from Baruch College. As a member of MNYCCPOA for the last decade, Kristina has held several roles within the organization including Chairperson of the Alva Cooper Committee and now the 2nd Vice President on the Executive board. You can connect to Kristina on LinkedIn

Vicki Wells
Director of Programs

Vicki Wells is the Assistant Director of the Ellen Thrower Center for Career Services at St. John’s University, School of Risk Management. She has nearly 20 years’ experience working in higher education ranging from mental health counseling, academic advisement, human resources and career services. Prior to working at St. John’s University, she worked at Teachers College Career Services as the Associate Director of Employer Relations; Pace University as Employee Relations Manager in Human Resources, Assistant Director of Cooperative Education, Mental Health Counseling Extern in the Counseling Center; and Kingsborough Community College as a New Start Program Academic Advisor. Vicki has been involved with MNYCCPOA since 2001. Her contributions include serving on the Membership Committee for three years, Treasurer for  two years and now serves as the Director of Programs. She earned a Master of Science in Education in Psychological Counseling and Personnel Services from Fordham University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. In her spare time, she enjoys spending quality time with her husband and baby boy as well as her two cats. You can connect to Vicki on LinkedIn

Karen Acampado

Karen Acampado has worked as a career services professional for over 15 years.  Currently as a career coach and connector at Columbia University, School of Professional Studies | Career Design Lab, she collaborates with an incredible team of professionals and helps students achieve their career goals by preparing them for internships and full-time opportunities. Karen’s passion is connecting with students and faculty, researching current trends and being a support system for her students. Karen attended the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology.  After three years in media, Karen decided to pursue a Master’s degree in Student Development Practice in Higher Education at St. John’s University and has worked in higher education since 2004.  In her previous roles, she has worked on student engagement, employer relations, and has experience managing events. Karen enjoys working with students on interview techniques, internship/job search, branding, resume development, and is passionate about educating students on how to achieve career success. You can connect to Karen on LinkedIn

Tracy McGarry

Tracy McGarry is Senior Associate Director of Undergraduate and Alumni Career Development at the Center for Career Education (CCE) at Columbia University. She served on the MNYCCPOA Membership Committee from 2014-2019 before taking on the role of Secretary. Prior to joining CCE, Tracy worked with early and mid-career professionals at The New School-Milano and gerberg & company. She is interested in all stages of career and professional identity development, whether one is beginning, establishing, or refining their professional sense of self. Tracy loves helping students and alumni to reflect on who they are, why a particular field interests them, how their identities impact their path, and what value they can offer.  Tracy works with clients to build confidence, articulate skills and communicate their purpose clearly and authentically. Tracy is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in New York and Massachusetts, and a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC).  She completed an M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts; and an M.A. in Anthropology from the University of California, San Diego. She holds a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Tracy has also worked in student services program design and development, homeless services, community mental health and arts programming at organizations including The New School, Sarah Lawrence College and The Partnership for the Homeless. She values cross-disciplinary alliances and social impact. You can connect to Tracy on LinkedIn

Diane Shults

Diane Shults is an Associate Director at Queens College where she assists students with Career Education and Professional Development.  Diane is on the Board of Directors for MNYCCPOA, a College Career Planning Association, and is a member of the National Association of College & Employers (NACE).  Prior to joining Queens College, Diane worked in Human Resources for various financial institutions and has over 20 years’ experience in campus recruiting. Diane has a BA in Psychology from Queens College, an MS in Industrial Labor Relations and Human Resources from the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College and is a Certified Executive Coach. You can connect to Diane on LinkedIn

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.

What's Happening?