Ashley Rippey has been working at Penn State since 2012 and within Smeal since 2014. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Ad/PR from Penn State in 2007 as well as a Master of Science in School Counseling from the University of Scranton in 2010. Her work history includes experience in local government communications, marketing and event planning, corporate marketing, university admissions, and real estate. She is also a licensed realtor!
As Executive Director of the Business Career Center, her role is to oversee overarching policy and resources to ensure that the BCC staff can meet their mission of helping students meet their career goals. Her favorite part of her job at the BCC is working with the amazing Smeal students to help them reach their career goals.
In her spare time, Ashley enjoys cheering on Penn State and the Steelers, watching a LOT of baseball, completing home improvement projects, and spending time with her husband, son, and two dogs. Ashley’s favorite things about Penn State are the community and the traditions. She says, “There are Penn Staters everywhere and once you meet one, you feel like you’ve met a family member!”
Director of Employer Relations (Undergraduate)
Thompson Harner joined Penn State (Smeal) in July 2018. However, had been working with the office in an external capacity for several years. Thompson graduated from the Smeal College of Business with an Accounting and International Business degree. He received a second Bachelor’s from the College of Liberal Arts where he obtained a French Language degree. He worked at EY (Ernst & Young LLP) as a Certified Public Accountant for several years in both the audit and advisory practices. After leaving EY for some other accounting and consulting roles, he later returned to become a campus recruiter and help hire college students to the firm. Before becoming the Director of Employer Relations for the BCC, Thompson held the position of Assistant Director of Employer Relations.
As Director of Employer Relations in the Business Career Center, Thompson helps college students get their first internship and full-job. Working with the outstanding companies that come to recruit here at Smeal, he enables them to seek the talent and candidates they are looking for. He is always looking for ways to help them hire more Penn Staters! Thompson’s favorite part of working at the BCC is the buzz of career fairs outside the office while they are taking place.
In his spare time, he likes to travel to Florida and Hawaii, garden, and grill on his BBQ. Thompson’s favorite thing about Penn State is that it is a family and a brand. He says, “It is recognized worldwide. We help each other out when in need and are humble about the great experiences that we had during our education and in our professional and personal lives”.
Assistant Director of Employer Relations (Undergraduate)
Eileen Kuperavage has recently joined Penn State Smeal College of Business as the Assistant Director of Employer Relations. She brings a wealth of experience and expertise to her role with Smeal’s Business Career Center, with more than 25 years of experience in workforce development and fundraising in roles such as director of development for Penn State’s Hazleton and Schuylkill campuses, and most recently serving as a hospice care consultant.
In her current role, Eileen is responsible for managing new recruiting relations for the benefit of Smeal College of Business students. When asked, “Why Smeal?,” she stated that developing relationships with employers and alumni and working with the dynamic team within the Business Career Center is rewarding because it has a direct impact on the future success of Smeal students.
Eileen is a proud Penn Stater with a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the university.
In her spare time, Eileen enjoys walking, traveling to the beach, and spending time with her family as well as her dog. She and her husband Gerry have two children, Kassandra (also a Penn State alumna) and Jacob, who is entering his sophomore year of college. Kuperavage’s favorite thing about Penn State is the strong relationships – alumni, friends, faculty, staff and students! She appreciates the opportunities provided within the Penn State network and is so excited to be back at Dear Old State.
Director of Professional Development and Programming
Mrs. Tina Rose received her undergraduate degree in Psychology and Criminal Justice from King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, PA. She then went onto pursue her Master’s degree in Education from Bloomsburg University in 2002. Prior to her employment at Penn State, Tina worked in the social services field in mental health and in child welfare as a counselor and social worker.
Tina Rose began her Penn State career at the Wilkes-Barre campus in January of 2008 as a part-time Career and Technical degree counselor that required her to travel between campuses providing support to the career services staff and STEM degree faculty. Tina then went on to secure a position at Penn State Schuylkill in November 2010 as Coordinator of Career Services, Student Leadership, and Community Service. In this role, Tina provided all career-related services to the campus, planned and implemented all community service events on and off-campus, and led student leadership initiatives. She also advised their campus Schuylkill THON for nearly a decade raising more than $260,000 to date to help children and families fighting pediatric cancer. For the last five years, Tina has served as Coordinator of Career Services and Community Service.
Due to Tina’s passion for service and ability to connect with students, she was asked to co-facilitate a course in the Civic and Community Engagement minor. After accompanying a colleague on an embedded course travel trip to Honduras in 2018, Ms. Rose incorporated the trip into her own class so that students could have that option of this experiential learning experience and thus adding it to their co-curricular transcript. Students had the option to travel to Honduras as part of a medical brigade helping children and families suffering from malnutrition. In addition, Ms. Rose advised the Paw Pride (LGBTQ+) organization, the community service club, and coached the Women’s Soccer team. Ms. Rose strongly believes in these co-curricular experiences for students as they head out into their professional fields. It helps them with a variety of soft skill development that will help them when they graduate and enter the world of work.
During the 2019 and 2020 semesters, Tina had been a key player in developing and supporting the new co-op program at Penn State Schuylkill. During this time she was involved with employer engagement and creating career curriculum to be embedded into students’ academic plans. In addition, prior to 2020, she had been a one-person office creating and initiating all career content, programming, counseling/coaching, employer engagement, and events for students. Ms. Rose anticipates her new role in working with employers and assisting them in connecting with Smeal students to develop robust relationships with the college of business. She wants them to be able to approach her with any concerns and be able to address their needs when it comes to improving and increasing their relationships with the Smeal College of Business as the Assistant Director of Employer Relations.
Tina is a huge fan of fitness and teaches Spin classes at a local gym near her home. She also recently established her own LLC to provide virtual fitness training and group classes with her personal training certification through Zoom. She lives in Mountaintop, PA with her husband, Shawn, and their three children, Lauren, 19 (currently a Sophomore at University Park in the Smeal College of Business), Julia, 17, and Grant, 16. She also adores animals and has three cats, a Bernese Mountain Dog, and 2 English Bulldogs.
Change of Campus Coordinator
Alexandra Stossel has worked within Smeal at Penn State since July 2022. As the
Change of Campus Program Coordinator, Alexandra works with Smeal-tracking
students from all of the Commonwealth campuses. Alexandra’s goal is to ensure that
Smeal-tracking students are aware of, and have access to, all the resources of the
Smeal Business Career Center. Alexandra’s focus is on connecting with 2+2 students
both before and during their transition to University Park.
In addition to serving as the Change of Campus Program Coordinator, Alexandra also
meets with, and provides career coaching for, undergraduate students who spend all
four years in Smeal at University Park.
Before joining Smeal, Alexandra held roles at other universities in a tutoring center and
career centers. Her favorite part of working in the BCC is collaborating with students to
help them gain the skills and resources they need to achieve their career goals. Outside
of work, Alexandra enjoys being a musical theatre piano accompanist and training her
Career Coach - Part Time
Steve Ruhf joined the Business Career Center in August 2021 after a thirty-plus year career in CPG with a significant portion of his time spent in the consumer health care sector.
After graduating from Penn State with a B.S. in Accounting, Steve held various financial and operational roles with Armstrong World Industries and Thomasville Furniture. After receiving his MBA from the Babcock College at Wake Forest University, Ruhf spent the bulk of his career at Fleet Laboratories holding a wide variety of assignments including Regional Director of Fleet’s Asia Pacific business, VP of Global Marketing, and his final role as Chief Business Development Officer. Steve led Fleet’s M&A efforts with over $1.2 billion of deal flow between 2012 and 2017.
As a Career Coach at the Business Career Center, Steve uses his experience as a hiring manager and leader to help Smeal students reach their career goals and have fun with the process along the way. He is excited about the opportunity to give back to Penn State.
In his spare time, Steve enjoys skiing, sailing, and watching Penn State athletics. He also enjoys spending time with his wife and family, which includes three other MBA’s. There is nothing like a family dinner discussion about valuation multiples.
Senior Director of Professional Graduate Career Services
Brenda Fabian leads the development and management of professional graduate career services for the Penn State Smeal Business Career Center. She works with residential and online graduate business programs and has previous admissions and employer relations experience from Smeal.
Prior to joining Smeal, Brenda served as the Career Development Center director at Susquehanna University. She created, facilitated, and taught university courses including an Introduction to Professional Development course that was deemed an essential curriculum component for the Sigmund Weis School of Business.
Brenda holds a Master of Business Administration from Penn State World Campus, a Master of Arts degree in Student Personnel from Slippery Rock University, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Saint Francis University. She has worked as an admissions representative and has supervised employer relations activities for students in business and the arts and sciences.
Director of Professional Graduate Employer Relations
Matt Smith currently leads the employer relations efforts for Smeal’s Professional Graduate Programs, which includes the resident MBA and Specialty 1-year Master’s degrees. He has been with Penn State since 2013 and joined Smeal in February 2020. He received his Bachelor’s of Science in Criminal Justice from Penn State in 2005 and his Master of Business Administration from Wilkes University in 2009.
Prior to joining Penn State, Matt spent several years working in advertising and healthcare sales for different newspapers and a home medical equipment company. Once at Penn State, he worked as a marketing specialist for Penn State World Campus developing the strategy for a new corporate partnership program and then became the Client Service Manager for corporate relationships to promote Penn State online degrees to working adults.
In his spare time, Matt enjoys traveling, golf, going to Penn State games, brewing beer, and spending time with his wife and two fur-babies. He originally hails from Northeastern PA, but likes to say he’s lived in almost every region in PA except for Pittsburgh.
Program Support Assistant
Krista White has worked within Smeal at Penn State since 2011, and has worked at the university since 2000. Since coming to Penn State, she has worked in various recruiting roles at Bank of America Career Services, the School of Hospitality, and Smeal. She enjoys helping employers and students connect through the recruiting process.
As Program Support Assistant, Krista manages the Smeal College of Business job positions and the on campus interviewing for the Business Career Center. Her favorite part about working at the BCC is everything and everyone! Krista says that “the BCC is a great team that is always willing to try new things and work towards having great customer service”.
In her spare time, Krista likes to spend time with her husband and two boys. They are always doing something with their kids’ school, sport groups, and church. She enjoys shopping for good deals and is always watching for her next one- whether it is groceries, clothes, or just any household item. Her favorite thing about Penn State is the strong connections! She loves talking with alumni that come back for recruiting that are so excited to be involved with Penn State again.
Events and Special Projects Manager
Christine Lockard has been within Smeal at Penn State since January 2020 and had worked previously with the university from 2010 to 2015. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Hospitality Management from Penn State in 2015. Before working at Smeal, she was a Catering Coordinator for Panera Bread. While at Penn State, Christine worked in the Berkey Creamery on campus. After graduation, Christine worked at Enterprise Holding until 2016.
In her role as the Events and Special Projects Manager, Christine provides event management and scheduling assistance for corporate activities and events throughout the year. She serves as the initial point of contact for companies interested in hosting recruiting events with Smeal undergraduate students. She also oversees some of the larger scale events held by the Business Career Center including the Corporate Partner Career Fair and MegaFair. She is also involved in research and special projects to improve processes and efficiency in the Business Career Center.
Christine’s favorite part about working in the BCC is getting to work with recruiters to coordinate their events and create a great experience for students. She enjoys getting to see all the behind the scenes that go into putting on a campus event. She also enjoys getting to work as a team with a great group of people in the BCC office.
In her spare time, Christine loves to travel (one of the items on her bucket list is to visit all 50 states)! Christine also enjoys to bake and read in her spare time. She also loves spending time with friends at campfires, movie nights, and tailgates.
Christine’s favorite thing about Penn State is the sense of community and getting to meet a wide range of individuals. She also loves being at her alma mater, We Are… Penn State!
Casey Dubbs has been working at Penn State since July of 2018 and within Smeal since March of 2019. Prior to becoming a Penn State employee, Casey worked in the veterinary industry for 20 years. She worked in various roles throughout the industry which include client service specialist, business management and veterinary practice sales and appraisals.
As the Office Manager, Casey is responsible for the management of administrative functions within the Business Career Center some of which include budgeting, financial support, and oversight of the student staff in addition to other duties. Her favorite part about working at the BCC is being part of a team that is extremely passionate about helping students work towards achieving their goals and dreams.
In her spare time, Casey enjoys spending time with her husband, three children, four dogs and four cats. She enjoys watching her children play sports and loves to socialize with friends and family. Her favorite thing about Penn State is the vast opportunities that the University offers not only to students but also to University employees.
Barb Bridendolph is a part time Career Coach at the BCC in addition to her full time role as CEO of Crenshaw Associates in New York City. Crenshaw is the country’s premiere human capital boutique that specializes in the leadership and career development needs of senior level executives.
She is an experienced Executive Advisor and has worked directly with Directors, CEOs, COOs, CFOs, GCs, Division Presidents, and functional heads across various industries. She uses this background to coach Smeal students, giving them a sense of how careers are built and unfold over time.
Barb started her career in brand management at Procter & Gamble. She then served as SVP of Marketing for retailer Carroll Reed. She was President of Precision Marketing Associates, a leading agency in the direct response industry before running her family business. She then joined Crenshaw Associates.
Barb holds a BS in Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh and an MBA from Penn State where she serves as the Alumni Advisor for Smeal’s Women in Business. She and her husband, Ken Ortbal (PSU MBA), have 3 grown children – who are also Penn State alums.
Assistant Director of Graduate Employer Relations
Courtney Kantoski is the Assistant Director for Graduate and Employer Relations with the Business Career Center. Courtney dedicates herself to fostering the employability of Smeal graduate students, encompassing MBA and specialized Master’s programs. Her responsibilities extend to providing hands-on consultations to the conglomerate Graduate Corporate Partner companies. Notably, her position focuses on initiatives in new international business development, coupled with targeted expansion within niche sectors.
Before joining Smeal, Courtney held the position of Pathway Director at a coding bootcamp renowned for its comprehensive approach to guiding cohorts of 65+ students, per iteration, towards securing lucrative roles within the tech industry. Through her position, she adeptly coached adult learners participating in the National Live Remote Program, imparting invaluable guidance on discerning strengths, curating impactful resumes, mastering interview techniques, optimizing LinkedIn profiles, and the intricate art of networking. Her proficiency extended to nurturing relationships with a vast network of 800+ hiring partners for company panels and matchmaking hiring events.
Additionally, Courtney brings experience in sales having worked for New Pig Corporation and Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Her trajectory also features a rich tapestry of educational and recruitment functions having made notable contributions at institutions including Saint Francis University, South Hills School of Business and Technology, and Penn State Altoona Career Services.
Courtney holds a Master of Business Administration from Saint Francis University and a Bachelor of Science in Business from The Pennsylvania State University.
Beyond her professional pursuits in fostering employer partnerships and guiding graduate scholars through transformative career coaching, Courtney nurtures her roles as a dedicated family member- being a mother of two children aged 4 and 7. In her leisure, she endeavors in her entrepreneurial venture “Ollie’s Heart”, an art business. Additionally, she is actively engaged in deepening her knowledge of Aromatherapy, actively working on her certification through the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy. Further showcasing her diverse interests, she tends to a delightful array of animals, including chickens, her Old English Sheepdog “Sullivan”, Sheepadoodle “Lucy”, Chinese Dwarf hamster “Link”, and the endearing Munchkin cat “Nala”.