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 for Corporate Relations
Ashley Stark has been within Smeal at Penn State since March 2015. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Penn State as well as a Master of Science in Human Resource Management from La Roche College. Before working at Penn State, she worked for four years in campus recruiting and onboarding at a Fortune 500 organization.
In her role as Director of Corporate Relations, Ashley helps to facilitate recruiting engagements and relationships between employers and Smeal. She helps organizations find their target audience, navigate processes and enhance their presence on campus. She also serves as a career coach and BA297 instructor. Her favorite part of working at the BCC is having a first-hand look at trends in recruiting and being able to facilitate campus recruiting strategies to benefit both students and employers.
In her spare time, Ashley enjoys traveling, thrift shopping, and attending Penn State football games. Her favorite thing about Penn State is the shared sense of belonging. She loves working at her alma mater!
Director, Professional Development & Programming, Career Coach
Sherry Rice has been working at Penn State for 6 years and joined the BCC team in March of 2017. She graduated from Penn State with a B.S. in Psychology in 2007 and obtained her M.Ed. in Counselor Education with her certification in Secondary School Counseling from Lehigh University in 2009. After earning her Master’s degree, Sherry spent 3 years as a high school and middle school counselor before transitioning to higher education. As a school counselor, Sherry provided career, academic, and personal/social counseling to all students to help them be prepared for their post-secondary plans. Before coming to the Smeal Business Career Center, Sherry worked at Penn State Career Services as the Career Fair Coordinator. In that role, she managed numerous career fairs and career development programs for students. She also assisted with drop-in career appointments and presented workshops on various career-related topics.
As Director for Professional Development & Programming, Sherry is responsible for creating, delivering, and assessing an expanded professional development curriculum in collaboration with internal and external units, faculty, and corporate partners. These programs and workshops help enhance students’ knowledge, skills, and abilities to be career ready, including leadership development, job and internship search strategies and the job and internship search process. In addition, Sherry provides career coaching to the Smeal undergraduate student body and assists with Sapphire Leadership Training. Her favorite thing about working at the BCC is getting to work with amazing Penn State Smeal students and helping them pursue meaningful internship and job opportunities. She also loves how collaborative and forward thinking the BCC office is!
In her spare time, Sherry likes traveling, hiking, live music and concerts, and watching all of the Marvel movies. Her favorite thing about Penn State is the community, traditions, and pride that is overwhelmingly present within Penn State. She loves that you can find Penn Staters everywhere!
Assistant Director of Corporate Relations
Thompson Harner joined Penn State (Smeal) in July 2018. However, he has been working with the office in an external capacity for the last 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 returned five years ago to become a campus recruiter and help hire college students to the firm.
As Assistant Director of Corporate 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 our 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”.
Change of Campus Program Coordinator/Career Coach
Lauren Watson has been working at Penn State within Smeal since May of 2015. She graduated from Penn State in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science degree in World Languages Education K-12: Spanish and completed the Student Affairs in Higher Education Master’s program at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) in 2015. The earlier part of her career was focused on Spanish and English language instruction before transitioning to the Student Affairs profession. She has worked in higher education career development since 2013 and has been enjoying it immensely!
As Change of Campus Program Coordinator, Lauren works with Smeal-tracking freshman and sophomore students at the 19 different Penn State campuses. She focuses on connecting with these students before and through their transition, which includes campus visits, online programming, and tailored resources. She helps ensure these students are equipped and empowered to take advantage of their career resources and recommended action steps for maximizing their time as a Smeal student regardless of where they start the degree program. Lauren’s favorite part of working at the Business Career Center is connecting with the undergraduate business students, as they have so many incredible experiences to share and never cease to impress her with their natural ability to capitalize on both interpersonal and technical skills. She also enjoys working at the BCC as ‘we have such a supportive team here, it’s truly a pleasure to work with this group of professionals.’
In her spare time, Lauren likes to spend quality time with friends and family, watch good movies, go for walks, travel, catch up on a good book, play piano, learn or try something new! Her favorite thing about Penn State is energy that generates through this community. Having experienced Penn State as a student, alumnus, and staff member, it has amazed her how consistent the sense of unity has been in every context. She is grateful for all of the resources and opportunities that are available for anyone who considers themselves a Penn Stater.
Assistant Director of Student Engagement
Doug McAcy has been within Smeal at Penn State since November of 2015. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Creighton University in 2012, as well as a Master of Education in Student Development Administration from Seattle University in 2014.
In his role as Assistant Director for Student Engagement, Doug helps to facilitate the growth and development of students through experiential and cocurricular learning opportunities. He serves as a career coach, facilitates Smeal participation in domestic and international case competitions, and oversees the 40+ Smeal student organizations for students looking to make the most of their collegiate career. His favorite part of working at the Business Career Center is being part of a team that aims to propel students to a lifetime of success through career development and co-curricular involvement.
In his spare time, Doug likes to travel, follow college football, and watch the latest Oscar-worthy film. His favorite thing about Penn State is the incredible opportunities students have to be involved both inside and outside the classroom. Penn State has a great deal of resources and connections that all serve the students in their collegiate career and beyond.
Maria Aguilar Walls
Maria Aguilar Walls has been within Smeal at Penn State since July 2019. She received a Bachelor of Science in Rehabilitation and Human Services from Penn State in 2017 and a Master of Education in Higher Education from Penn State in 2019. Before working in Smeal, she was the graduate assistant for the Penn State Parents Program.
In her role as Career Coach, Maria helps students understand how to articulate their skills and personal brand in a polished and professional manner. Her goal is to help the students feel confident portraying their true selves when working with career professionals outside of the university.
Maria’s favorite part about working in the BCC is collaborating with an enthusiastic team and helping students to make the most out of their Penn State experience.
In her spare time, Maria enjoys playing with dogs, traveling, hiking, eating dessert, listening to music, and watching TV shows / movies (especially the Lord of the Rings). Her favorite thing about Penn State is the breadth of educational and cocurricular opportunities that are available to students, faculty, and staff. She also loves the Nittany Lion!
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 1 cat. 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.
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 Recruiting Manager, 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
Emily has been working within Smeal at Penn State since August 2018. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management as well as a Business Fundamentals Certificate from Penn State. Before working at Smeal, she was part of an Operations Management Team for a production company that provides labor to the live entertainment industry in Nashville, TN. While at Penn State, she served as Rentals Manager at The State Theatre in downtown State College.
As the Events and Special Projects Manager for the Business Career Center, she 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 Corporate Partner Career Fair and #MegaFair. Additionally, she is involved in research and special projects to improve processes and efficiency in the Business Career Center. Her favorite part about working at the BCC is working with all different recruiters to coordinate their events and create a great experience for students.
In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, listening to live music, and attending the occasional yard sale. Her favorite thing about Penn State is being back in her hometown and at her alma mater- back with her Penn State family!
Marketing Communications Specialist
Emily Yanchuck has been within Smeal at Penn State since June 2018. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Rowan University in 2018. While at Rowan, she had several marketing internships, including one at a digital marketing firm and one at a global technology company.
In her role as Marketing Communications Specialist, Emily oversees the marketing strategy for the Business Career Center. She facilitates student and corporate communications through several different channels, including print, digital, email, and social media. Her favorite part of working at the BCC is being part of a team that allows students to grow professionally and assists them in achieving their career aspirations. She also immensely enjoys collaborating with the close-knit BCC team.
In her spare time, Emily enjoys cooking, hiking, reading, and crafty DIY projects. Her favorite thing about Penn State (other than the ice cream) is how strong and welcoming the community is. As someone new to Penn State, she says she was struck by how friendly and welcoming everyone in State College is.
Abby is a junior majoring in Supply Chain and Information Systems with a minor in International Business. She helps promote the Business Career Center through social media, digital, and print marketing efforts. On campus, Abby is involved with Women in Business, Delta Sigma Pi, The Daily Collegian, and Smeal Integrity Advocates. She loves traveling and hanging out with friends in her free time.