Joy Asher to direct Center for Career and Professional Development at Centre College
Following a national search, Joy Anderson Asher has been selected to serve as the new director of career services at Centre College. A 1996 Centre alumna with a B.S. in psychology, Asher has more than 14 years experience in the field at her alma mater, where she has served as associate director of career services since 2000 and as interim director since March 2014.
“I am confident Joy will build upon an already successful program to prepare our students for meaningful work and service after graduation,” says Centre’s president, John A. Roush. “It is my expectation that our career offerings, in the not-so-distant future, will become another College program that is judged by all to be among the best in the nation.”
Vice President for Academic Affairs Stephanie Fabritius, to whom Asher reports, echoes this enthusiasm.
“Upon completion of our search, we concluded that we had the best candidate here on campus,” says Fabritius. “We expect exciting new changes in this area of College life under Joy’s leadership, including a student-centered, developmental approach to exploring options for life after Centre.”
To this end, Asher began work on a strategic plan for the office immediately after beginning her new duties on June 1. Her first initiative has been to rename the office, which is now known as the Center for Career and Professional Development. In addition, Asher is in the process of searching for her successor as associate director and for the office’s newly created employer relations specialist position.
“I am extremely excited about this opportunity to grow the career office and move things in a new direction,” says Asher. “Taking a more holistic approach to career development that involves intentional collaboration with partners across campus,” Asher adds, “will allow us to utilize all the many resources and relationships students develop during their time here at Centre.”
The College’s newly funded position of employer relations specialist is just one piece of the puzzle to achieve these goals. By adding a staff person focused on building networks that better leverage alumni connections and employer relations, students will have greater access to career opportunities and new avenues to increase their professional skills.
In addition, Asher is moving from a generalist to a specialist model that will foster stronger collaboration with faculty to better involve them in helping students think about career and graduate school opportunities as part of academic advising.
For instance, career services staff previously advised students based on an alphabetical approach. Moving forward, Asher and her colleagues will divide student career advising duties based on majors and where they fit among Centre’s three academic divisions. As such, one staff member will specialize in opportunities for humanities majors, another for social sciences majors, and a third for science and mathematics majors.
Even more broadly, Asher is focused on a collaborative approach to create a complementary synergy between not just academic advising and career development but also leadership development.
Finally, changes to the look and feel of the career and professional development area will create a warmer, more inviting space intended to make the office a sure destination for Centre students.
Before coming to Centre in 2000, Asher was the director of graduate employment services at Spencerian College, and while a graduate student at the University of Kentucky, where she earned an M.S. in counseling psychology, she interned at the University of Kentucky Career Center. Asher has continued her professional development since earning her graduate degree and was recently certified as a master career development professional.
Among her many professional activities, Asher is involved in the national and southern region of the Association of Colleges and Employers and is also the president-elect of the Kentucky Career Development Association.
by Michael Strysick