Director of Career Services
Jennifer is the Director of Career Services at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs. She has supported students’ career journeys in both public and private institutions, working with students and alumni from diverse backgrounds and a wide variety of career interests. As a first-generation college graduate, Jennifer believes career education should be a transformative experience for students and works to develop new approaches to engage, educate, and empower them as they create visions and strategies for fulfilling personal and professional lives.
Jennifer holds a BA in French from Indiana University and an MA in French Literature from the University of Texas in Austin.
Assistant Director of On-Campus Recruitment
Kelsea has been with O’Neill since April 2017. She is an alumna of the College of Arts and Sciences and is happy to be back at IU, leading for the greater good. Kelsea enjoys getting to interact with both students and employers in her role as Assistant Director of On-Campus Recruitment. She and her husband enjoy driving around town and attending IU sporting events (Go Hoosiers!), as well as hanging out with their quirky cats.
Get to know Kelsea in 10 questions or less:
- What purchase of $100 or less has most positively impacted your life in the last six months? I have a fitbit! I love being able to see how many steps I’ve walked and track how much water I’m taking in, but it also helps keep me on track during the day when I’m running from meeting to meeting and don’t remember where I’m supposed to be next. I like being connected, but not so connected that I feel like I need to respond or answer something right away.
- What is an unusual habit or an absurd thing that you love? Anyone who knows me well, knows that I am the type of person to watch movies over and over. Every year, I watch the LOTR/Hobbit movies and Harry Potter movies at least once. Sometimes there’s a cycle, and sometimes it’s just on a whim. For me, these movies are surrounded by joy, laughter, and a sense of home, and sometimes i need those familiar moments/quotes.
- What advice would you give to a college student about to enter the “real world”? Always look at the big picture. Our current culture encourages us to focus on making sure that we’re happy and while that’s very important, it can sometimes keep us from seeing the whole picture. Whether it’s a new opportunity, a failure, an exciting moment, always try to think about how it’s connected to the big picture. Not everything you do is going to be the most exciting thing you’ve ever done – but if you’re looking at it from the big picture point of view, you might appreciate all of those moments more and learn from each one of them.
- When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do? I take a walk or I clean/organize. I tend to be a “working through chaos” type of person and sometimes that becomes overwhelming. I re-center by cleaning or re-organizing my space. It helps me de-cultter my space and my head and I can re-prioritize as I’m organizing.
- If money was not a factor, what would you spend your time doing? My husband and I always talk about what we would do if we won the lottery, and every time we talk about it, we have the same answer; We would travel the world for a year (maybe 2), purchase a home near a lake (I grew up on the Great Lakes), and start a non-profit (not sure what type yet). I think if you have all the time/money in the world, then you should be using it to hep others.
Megan Boris joined the School of Public and Environmental Affairs as a consultant in the Career Hub in June 2017. Prior to her time with IU, Megan was a staffing recruiter in Indianapolis and an enrollment counselor for Indiana Wesleyan University. She has an undergraduate degree in Education from Purdue University and a Master of Education in Teaching English as a New Language from IUPUI. Her first job after student teaching was as a marketing coordinator and customer service representative for an e-commerce startup company selling filters. As an example of someone who didn’t “use” either of her degrees in the traditional sense, Megan loves sharing her experiences to help guide students in career services and exploration. As a 21st Century Scholar and first generation student, she believes a college education can be life changing. Megan serves as the lead advisor for the Business, Administration, and Management Career Community.
Megan, her husband, and son live just south of Indianapolis where she grew up. Although she’s a Boilermaker at heart, she loves the IU Bloomington campus and sports a “house divided” license plate on her Jeep. Outside of work, Megan enjoys boating on Lake Monroe, horseback riding, camping, and hiking with her family and their two dogs (Oliver, her stubby-legged grouchy Corgi and Tucker, the overactive, oversized German Shepherd Dog). She’s an outdoor enthusiast with a serious aversion to bugs.
Get to know Megan in 10 questions or less:
- What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made? I’ve never once regretted spending money on experiences or travel. During the summer of 2018, in the midst of several crazy things going on in our lives, my husband and I visited several countries in Europe before the birth of our son. That is a memory we will share forever. Bonus fun fact: I’ve been to every state in the U.S. including Alaska and Hawaii!
- What is an unusual habit or an absurd thing that you love? I have what is probably an unhealthy love for memes. I put them in presentations, text messages, emails, etc. I love to sum up my thoughts and feelings by using the humor of a good meme.
- When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, what do you do? This might also be an unusual or absurd thing that I do, but when I feel overwhelmed, I like to balance my bank accounts. There is something soothing about the checks and balances of the numbers adding up that gives me a sense of control I might not have in other areas of life at that particular moment in time.
- In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life? With the arrival of my son, I’ve become even more aware of my good and bad habits. I want him to see the best version of me that I can be, which means I’m overall more conscious about what I do and say.
- Describe your perfect day? My perfect day would probably have more than 24 hours in it because I like a good combination of activities and relaxation. I would start out by sleeping in and waking up on my own, have a cup of coffee on the beach listening to waves rolling in (my perfect day involves living on a coast, but also having all of my family and friends close by). After coffee and a solid brunch, I would take a morning ride on my horse Ben (where he would be well behaved and there would be no bugs present), Then, I would take a hike in the woods with my husband, son, and dogs and everyone would take a fun dip in the lake. Once everyone got cleaned up, we would host all of our family and friends at our house for a big dinner (that my dad and husband cooked). No dishes would need cleaning and we would end the night with chocolate, wine, and storytelling. I would somehow also manage to go to bed early.
- What advice would you give to college student about to enter the “real world”? You do not have to have it all figure out right now! You’re doing great and are exactly where you need to be right now. Your first job is not a life sentence. Take some time to figure yourself out while you’re young and have the luxury of very few commitments.
- What was your proudest moment in recent history? I’ve wanted to own a horse since I was young. When I graduated college and got my first “big girl” job; a horse was one of my first purchases. I saved up and bought an old beat up farm truck and used horse trailer to haul him in. A few years ago, one of my “dreams” was realized when I trailered my own horse and rode in Brown County State Park with my mom and a few of my friends I met through riding. It was definitely a dream come true day for me.
An experienced career consultant with the O’Neill Career Hub, Susan supports students of all majors and concentrations and serves as lead consultant for the Policy, Service and Advocacy career community, the PSA. Susan will also be assisting the students in the Environmental, Energy and Sustainability career community, the EES. She started at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs in 2004 as the assistant to Dean Emeritus, Charles Bonser in the arts administration program before moving into student services and career advising.
Susan has a background in social services counseling families and children in public and nonprofit agencies. Starting January 2020, Susan began her 4th term as an elected official serving at-large on the Bloomington City Council where she puts her public sector knowledge into local action.
At IU Bloomington, Susan majored in speech, theater, and psychology and toured as a varsity member of the Singing Hoosiers. During her ten years in Chicago in the 1980’s, Susan sang with several jazz vocal groups and currently performs in Bloomington as a member of The UkeTones. Prior to the COVID-19 shutdown, you could catch her fearless ukulele band at local venues such as the Back Room at Bear’s Place and the Orbit Room.
When not working at O’Neill and leading for the greater good, you can find Susan relaxing at home in Matlock Heights with a stack of good books (mostly policy and politics, some guilty pleasure thrillers). Now in her reading stack: The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson, Avenue of Mysteries by John Irving and Whistleblowers by Allison Stanger.
Get to know Susan in 10 questions or less!
- What is one book that has impacted your life or that you suggest as a great read to others? The book I often refer to others or give as a gift to my fellow introverts is “The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking” by Susan Cain, an inspirational reminder that leadership comes in many packages, and those with listening skills and a reflective nature can often have an advantage.
- What is the best or most worthwhile investment you’ve made? One of the best investments made in recent years (in addition to my beloved Jack Russell/Beagle mix pup, Hazelnut) is a hot tub. For years I struggled with putting up and taking down an above ground pool on the back patio, but gave that up for the year-round comfort of a back yard spa. Definitely a stress-reliever in stressful times!
- If money were not a factor, what would you spend your time doing? I would spend more time performing with my band, The UkeTones. A musician from my youth, singing and playing is a definite thrill that I never get tired of doing. Music soothes the soul, and I am proud of my musical accomplishments through the decades.
- What is an unusual habit or guilty pleasure you have? While an avid reader, I will also admit to watching a fair amount of guilty pleasure TV, including HBO, Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime series. Now enjoying Belgravia, Mrs. America and just finished Little Fires Everywhere.
- If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it – metaphorically speaking, getting a message out to millions or billions – what would it say? Not one to offer unsolicited advice, if there was a billboard that would capture my current philosophy at this point in a long and productive career, it would likely be: Life is short, don’t sweat the small stuff.
Senior Assistant Director of Employer Relations
Miranda Redman serves as the Senior Assistant Director of Employer Relations, and has been with the O’Neill Career Hub since April 2016. Before beginning her career at O’Neill, Miranda served in leadership positions in the areas of retail and hospitality for 9 years. Miranda earned her bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of Michigan. During her tenure at O’Neill, Miranda has been the “go-to” person when it comes to fighting fires and resolving conflicts around the office. She is a wonderful resource for our international students especially and often hosts workshops geared towards assisting our ever growing international student population find full time jobs and internships.
Get to know Miranda in 5 questions or less:
- What advice would you give to a college student about to enter the real world? Your first destination after your degree program is not your final destination, choose what you want to do next not forever, it’s much less intimidating.
- When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do? I think about my passion, purpose, and vision for my work. If what I am doing does not serve it, do something else!
- What is the book (or books) that have greatly influenced your life?
- Metaphors We Live By – George Lakeoff and Mark Johnson
- Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe
- Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
- In the last five years, what new believe, behavior, or habit has most improved your life? I really believe in servant leadership. I think that organizational charts should be inverted, the higher your leadership position, the more people you serve.
- If money was not a factor, what would you spend your time doing? I’t s easy and cliche, but I would be on the beach reading a book.
Julia serves as the Career Consultant for the Creative Arts Engagement Community and has been with the Career Hub since December 2018. She received her master’s degree in Arts Administration from the O’Neill School and is delighted to use her degree and experience in the field to help students develop into future arts industry leaders. Prior to her time at O’Neill, Julia worked with the IU Arts and Humanities Council developing large culture festivals for Indiana University students and the larger Bloomington community. She’s worked in and with a large variety of arts organizations in the public and private sectors, from museums to orchestras to city arts councils and more.
Julia also holds a bachelor’s degree in Music Performance (with a focus in violin) from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX. While she rarely plays classical music these days, in her free time, Julia plays Argentine tango music with local band Tamango. Outside of the office, Julia enjoys reading, writing fiction, baking bread, and playing with her cat Ida.
Get to know Julia in 10 questions or less:
- What is a quote that you think of often? I’m inspired by the Leslie Knope quote “We need to remember what’s important in life: friends, waffles, work.” If you’ve seen Parks & Rec, you know how incredible Leslie is at her job, and how hard she works for her community. This quote isn’t an excuse to de-prioritize work; it’s motivation to find balance – because you can’t be your best self at work if you don’t also focus on the other things you need in life, such as friendship and great food. Also, waffles are the best!
- What is an unusual habit or absurd thing you love? In my spare time, I enjoy playing Dungeons & Dragons with a group of friends who also happen to be professors & university staff members. This traditionally nerdy pastime is actually an amazing exercise in collaborative storytelling, and a way to practice real-life skills such as problem-solving and communication in a fictitious setting.
- In the last 5 years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life? Learning when it is okay to say “no.” There’s a lot of push in college and in your early career to say “YES!” to as many opportunities as you possibly can. And while it is incredibly important to volunteer, intern, collaborate, and explore new projects and skills, you also have to understand balance. I’ve learned that I like to keep busy, and I sometimes over-commit. It can be okay to say “no” to something if your plate is already full, or if you don’t have the actual capacity to take something on, because it’s better to say “yes” to things you can balance and do well instead of “yes” to every possible thing but only doing them at 50% capacity.
- What advice would you give to a college student about to enter the “real world”? Develop healthy habits now – mental health, exercise, meal-prep – you’re about to experience more free time than you had outside of grad school – enjoy it, but don’t over-commit. Keep reading! Keep learning! And keep your professors & your career staff updated on your successes – we are always here to help and support you.
- When you feel overwhelmed, what do you do? Usually this happens because I’m stressed out about balancing too many things at once. First, I walk away from the computer, and get a glass of water. (Because sometimes, really, you just need hydration!) Then, I see if there’s anything I could accomplish in the next 30 minutes, and that’s all I focus on, until it’s done. I try to make this something that isn’t my top stressor, and something that isn’t too complicated, because I need a “win.” THEN, I break down the big task that’s stressing me out into a few, smaller, more accomplishable tasks by asking myself, “Realistically, what can I finish before I go home today?” Then I do it. I put on some music to relax me, close my office door, and go. Usually, by breaking it down, I turn my stress into something manageable, so that by the end of the day, I know I’ve actually made progress.
Specialities and InterestsCreative Arts Engagement Career Community
Autumn Brunelle joined the O’Neill School in April 2019 as the Internship Coordinator. Prior to her time with IU, Autumn worked as an environmental educator and researcher in a variety of positions and locations (including Hawaii, California, and on a ship in the Pacific Ocean)! She is originally from northern Minnesota and has a B.A. in Environmental Studies and Native American Studies from Dartmouth College. Outside of work, Autumn is a part of several research projects, and also enjoys painting, playing the piano, watching movies, running, and picking berries with her dog.
Get to know Autumn in a short five-question interview:
- What is the book (or books) you’ve given most as a gift, and why? Or what are one to three books that have greatly influenced your life? Or what book are you reading now?
- Braiding Sweetgrass- Robin Wall Kimmerer: As someone who grew up in a non-western culture, this book has helped me to feel validated in my understanding of science through a Native American and cultural lens. It beautifully shows how indigenous wisdom and scientific knowledge can and should coexist in the academic and scientific field.
- Under the Sea-Wind- Rachel Carson: Though not her most popular, I always recommend this book to those interested in human/environment interactions. A lot of what we are taught is from a human-centric perspective. This book is written entirely from the imagined point of view of different sea creatures and how the world around them influences the way they live. I find it important to look at the world through the lens of other stakeholders and this book successfully shows how each creature (including humans) contributes to the greater world.
- There Will Come Soft Rains—Ray Bradbury: This is my all-time favorite short story. It is a science fiction piece written by one of my favorite authors, Ray Bradbury. Set in a ‘smart house,’ this piece offers a poetic interpretation of destruction, loss, and renewal. I learn something new from it each time I read it.
- What is one of your guilty pleasures? One of my guilty pleasures are squished pennies. They are so useless and so expensive for what they are, but I still get so much joy out of turning the crank and seeing the design appear. I try to get one each time I travel to a new place as they are small and easy to transport.
- In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life? As a non-morning person, using an “old school” alarm clock and leaving my phone on the other side of the room when I go to bed has been a life changer! Since starting this, I fall asleep faster and wake easier due to the fact that my clock forces me to get out of bed, walk across the room, and turn off the alarm.
- What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student about to enter the “real world”? What advice should they ignore? I would advise this student to not tie their self-worth or idea of success to their future and/or current job title. I have noticed a trend in students, and even in myself, looking to be in a position that not only helps the world, but projects a desired identity to others. Being a change maker doesn’t have to happen only at work. When you open yourself to the opportunities of the world and let go of any preconceived ideas of how who you and your job title are one in the same, you free your time and mental capacity to committing yourself to the activities that you love and that make you you.
- When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do? During college, a professor taught me this amazing grounding technique to bring myself back to the present when I start to get overwhelmed or unfocused. Anytime I feel my mind wandering, I stop what I’m doing and, scanning my surroundings, I point out three things I see, three things I hear, and three things I physically feel. Then I repeat the process with identifying two things, and then finally one thing in each category. It works every time!
Assistant Director of On Campus Recruitment
Kristen joined the Career Hub in August of 2019 as the Associate Director of On Campus Recruitment. She enjoys networking with prospective employers and helping connect the O’Neill students with leads that will help launch their professional careers.
She spent her career in Human Services working with a diverse population doing advocacy, supporting community based living and early intervention. Kristen was a Children’s Minister for eight years while her own children were young. Following her passion for serving others and residential services, she made the transition into residential real estate serving the greater Bloomington community.
While getting her degree from The School of Public Health at Indiana University (formerly HPER), Kristen developed a love for outdoor adventure recreation. When not working, Kristen enjoys spending time with her husband and two boys camping and exploring the outdoors.
Get to know Kristen in 10 questions or less:
- What is the book (or books) that have greatly influenced your life? “The Hole in Our Gospel” by Richard Sterns was a book that reinforced my views on how my faith calls me to care for those in need. The author describes how because of our humanness, Christians can perversely interpret the teachings of Jesus and ignore our duties to care for others perpetuating generational cycles of poverty.
- What purchase of $100 or less has most positively impacted your life in the last six months? I have recently discovered Downy Unstoppables. You just throw a handful in the washing machine WITH your laundry soap before you put in the water. It will get the nasty smell out of ANYTHING! I have two teenage boys. I know what stink is.
- How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a “favorite failure” of yours? If you have a small hole in your clothes don’t ignore it. I learned this lesson the hard way. I’ll spare you the details.
- If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it — metaphorically speaking, getting a message out to millions or billions — what would it say and why? Do unto others has you would have them do unto you.
- What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made? Before we had kids, my husband and I traveled Europe for several weeks. Always travel as much as you can and as often as you can even if it means sleeping under the stars in a local park. Get away and get away often.
- What is an unusual habit or an absurd thing that you love? What is one or two guilty pleasures you have? I really like doing laundry. Having clean socks and underwear in the morning makes everyone’s day run more smoothly.
- In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life? Taking a nap when I’m grouchy. I call them my attitude adjustment naps. I’m like a new person after one.
- When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do? I get outside and move or take a nap. My number one choice is a nap. Napping is my super power.
- If money was not a factor, what would you spend your time doing? Traveling and napping.
- What advice do you have for college students as they start “adulting”? Always buy dark colored underwear.
Student Services Assistant
Lauren McCalister joined the Career Hub as the Student Services Assistant in ___2019. During the week, she can be found working full time at Indiana University, training clients in private sessions, instructing yoga classes at Vibe Studio, and studying meditation. After studying kinesiology at Ivy Tech, Lauren became a fitness instructor as a way to empower women over 55 to regain strength, maintain balance, and build confidence while prioritizing their ability to age in place. Over the summer of 2018, she completed the 200 Teacher Training program at Vibe Yoga Studio. As a graduate student of public health, Lauren hopes to explore training techniques and create sequencing that addresses the needs of older adults and prenatal members of the Bloomington community. She and her husband Brett own and operate Three Flock Farm in Ellettsville, IN where they breed Jacob sheep, grow food and educate about food sustainability. Lauren is an advocate for local farms, higher education and the promotion of self efficacy!
Get to know Lauren in 10 Questions or less!
1.What are the three books that have greatly influenced your life?
- The Long Loneliness by Dorothy Day
- 2150 by Thea Alexander
- The Man Who Quit Money by Mark Sundeen
2. What purchase of $100 or less has most positively impacted your life in the last six months (or in recent memory)? A full body massage and facial! I am more willing to splurge on experience instead of items.
3. How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a “favorite failure” of yours? My favorite failure was being cut from the varsity basketball team by junior year. I did not take no for an answer. I spent the entire year taking private lessons, playing church pickup games with dads, and running every morning before school. Normally, those who are cut do not try out again for senior year. I did and I made the team. We went to state for the 3rd year in a row and were ranked #1 in the country. I bounced back!
4. If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it — metaphorically speaking, getting a message out to millions or billions — what would it say and why? WE are the superheroes that we have imagined, Let’s save the EARTH!
5. What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made? When I began to fully invest into my Yoga practice the dividends were showing up in every aspect of my life.
6. What is an unusual habit, guilty pleasure, or an absurd thing that you love? African American History stamps! I love seeing my culture highlighted with the beauty of an American stamp.
7. In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life? 100% Yoga has re-imaged my quality of life. Sharing the practice with others and continuing to deepen my yoga practice has allowed me to make strides academically, professionally, and in my interpersonal relationships. My whole family benefits!
8. What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student about to enter the “real world”? You can make a difference! Your voice Matters! The real world is ready for you to show up with your gifts and talents!
9. When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do? I do a meditation or go to yoga class! When I am at home I walk our horses or take a hike around our land.
10. Describe your perfect day. Morning would begin with yoga and meditation. Followed by gardening and breakfast outside. My son is home schooled and we would spend the morning doing lessons in the garden after farm chores. Lunch would be made in community with other kids and parents before heading to afternoon market. We would spend a few hours volunteering at the cooperative food hub and taking home 2nds. Then, cooking dinner with the neighbors, followed by hiking and harvesting at sunset.
Irena Otten serves as a Career Consultant with the O’Neill Career Hub, and was previously based in the O’Neill International Office. Irena holds a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from the University of Kent in the UK, and also spent an academic year of coursework at the University College London (UCL). Irena has over 20+ years of combined experience in student affairs and international programs. She began her career working for the U.S. Peace Corps, then the United Nations (UN), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the European Union (EU). Irena is a continuing contributor to the local community, and has served in different positions in the U.S. and abroad, including the City of Bloomington’s Human Rights Commission.
Irena is a strong believer in constant learning and development, and for this reason loves traveling with her family, allowing them to explore new places and learn new things. She brings that enthusiasm and curiosity to her engagement with students, and enjoys helping them think outside the box as they prepare for both their next steps in life and their long-term career goals.
In her free time, Irena enjoys spending time with her family, heading outdoors for hikes, and baking southern European food.
Get to know Irena in 10 questions or less:
- What is one book that has greatly influenced your life? Robinson Crusoe, a novel by Daniel Defoe. At a very early age, this novel taught me to be hard working, to be guided by courage and determination, even when things get difficult, and to be tolerant with people, no matter how different we may appear to be.
- What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made? (Could be an investment of money, time, energy, etc.)” I always invest in spending as much time as I can with people I can learn from, so as to exchange opinions and network with them. At the end, I then think about what I learned and how I might grow and benefit from it.
- What is an unusual habit or an absurd thing that you love? What is one or two guilty pleasures you have? Born and raised in Macedonia in Southeast Europe, I love the southern European “coffee culture.” This culture involves meeting with family or friends at what are often outdoor cafes and chatting for hours. The first time I left Macedonia for northern Europe, I realized how important this habit actually is for my overall well-being—and I always miss it!
- What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student about to enter the “real world”? What advice should they ignore? Exploring, learning, and experiencing new things is challenging at times, but more rewarding than you expect! The “real world” is not that big once you start exploring it – just remember that even the greatest leaders were not born as leaders, and even have weaknesses. Additionally, I would encourage students to always reach out to more senior level individuals in a company or organization they want to work at. They should do so for informational interviews, and to possibly develop a mentor type opportunity.
- When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do? I go talk to my family, take my dog for a walk, or work in my garden. These things always help me rejuvenate.