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NCCDA 2024-2025 Executive Board


Emily Gomez, MS Career Counseling, CCC

DEI Business Partner, Hire Heroes USA

Emily Gomez earned a Master of Science in Counseling with a specialization in Career Counseling from California State University, Sacramento. Her work has spanned 4-year institutions, community college settings, and the non-profit sector. She enjoys supporting job seekers in transition, whether it be planned or unplanned, to get to their next step in life. In her current role, she oversees a program supporting federal job seekers and empowers more than 300 new clients every month. Ms. Gomez was the 2020 NCCDA Outstanding Program/Professional recipient and selected for the 2021 Leadership Academy Cohort.

President-Elect & Conference Chair

Karen Ingram, Ed.D., NBCT

Career & Technical Education (CTE) Coordinator/Curriculum & Instructional Management Coordinator (CIMC), Hickory Public Schools

Dr. Karen Ingram is a National Board-Certified Teacher (NBCT) with over two decades of experience in the educational field. Her background includes a broad range of working in education – from the elementary classroom to the collegiate level. In addition to classroom experience, she has served in multiple leadership roles including district CTE Coordinator, school improvement team, Regional Coaching Coordinator, Regional Coaching Champion, Regional CTE Administrator’s Group Treasurer and as a school district’s Lead Career Academy Director. Ms. Ingram’s prior experience includes serving in Wake County Schools, Raleigh, NC, where she was selected as one of only two NBCTs from the district to participate in the “Standards-Setting Session” for the CTE discipline. She was also selected as the first Teacher of the Year for the City of Medicine Academy during the 2008-2009 school year. Dr. Ingram holds an undergraduate degree in Organizational Management from St. Augustine’s College, a Master’s Degree (M.Ed.) in Business and Marketing Education Curriculum and Instruction from NC State University, a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership – Learning, Design, and Technology from UNC-Charlotte, and a K-12 Administration license earned at Gardner Webb University. Dr. Ingram loves to read, conduct research, travel, watch old movies and spend time with friends and family in her spare time.

Past President

Belinda J. Wilkerson, Ed.D, GCD

Independent Educational Consultant, College Counselor, Counselor Educator | Founder/Owner of Steps To The Future, LLC, Montessori School of Raleigh and Providence College

Dr. Belinda J. Wilkerson, the founder of and principal counselor at Steps To the Future, LLC, helps families eliminate random acts of college planning. A lifelong educator, she held teaching, school counseling and counselor educator positions in Rhode Island before relocating to North Carolina. Active in her community, she is the former Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Cumberland County Public Library and information Center and provides college and career workshops for the GEARUp Program at Fayetteville State University. The former VP of Ethics and Professional Practices for the Independent Educational Consultants Association, she served on the IECA board for six years and is a member of the Black IECs Affinity Group. Currently, she serves on the IECA Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee. Connect with her on LinkedIn and subscribe to the STEPS YouTube channel at, where Dr. Wilkerson conducts informational interviews with Black and brown career professionals as part of the “Representation Matters” playlist. A first-generation college student, her interest in career awareness, career development and career exploration began at an early age with her interest in a teaching career.

Married with two adult sons, she enjoys reading, traveling and listening to podcasts.


Ramchandra (“Ram") Athavale, M.Ed., GCDF, CCSP, NCC
Career Coach, Wake Technical Community College

Ram comes from the world of Engineering and Information Technology. He is from New Orleans, but has lived in the Triangle area for over 30 years. He has worked in private industry, and in academia as an instructor, tutor, and advisor. Over the years, he developed a passion for helping students with career development. In 2021, he graduated with a M.Ed. in College Counseling and Student Development from NC State University. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, watching hockey (Go Canes!), and spending time with family and friends.


Johnette Smith

Career Coach, Wake Technical Community College

Johnette Smith is a seasoned Career Coach at Wake Technical Community College, boasting over five years of dedicated experience in guiding individuals through the intricate landscape of career exploration and professional development. Leveraging her wealth of knowledge, Johnette adeptly assists prospective, enrolled, and alumni students in assessing career possibilities and establishing concrete professional goals.

As a stalwart figure in higher education, Johnette is committed to fostering opportunities that translate aspirations into tangible achievements, dismantling misconceptions, and overcoming barriers that hinder educational attainment and career advancement.

Beyond her career coaching endeavors, Johnette is a staunch advocate for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. Serving two consecutive terms as a North Carolina Domestic Violence Commissioner Board Member, she played a pivotal role in advocating for survivors statewide. Her responsibilities included approving court-ordered DV Intervention programs, meticulously evaluating services, policies, and programs designed to support survivors, and advocating for the implementation of innovative initiatives.

When she isn't tirelessly advocating and coaching, Johnette indulges her passion for travel and history, immersing herself in the rich tapestry of each destination she visits. A proud native of North Carolina, with roots in historic New Bern, Johnette currently

calls Cary, NC home, having earned both her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and her Master of Business Administration degree before settling in the area.

Driven by a profound belief in equality and justice, Johnette is committed to leaving a positive, indelible mark on everyone she encounters. Her life's mission is to empower others to reach their full potential, guiding them towards the realization of their

dreams and the fulfillment of their purpose.

Communications (Newsletter & Social Media Chair)

Karen Parker, GCDF, CCSP, CCTC
Career Success Manager, NGT Academy | Founder/Owner of Career Parkway

Karen Parker is a Career Success Manager at a post secondary vocational school and founder and owner of Career Parkway and has recently launched the Roadmap to Job Searching youtube channel. She has earned her Global Career Development Facilitator, Certified Career Services Provider, and Certified Career Transition Specialist certifications. As a relentlessly curious individual, she continually discovers the newest and most innovative career information, constantly expanding her knowledge.

Karen graduated cum laude from Salem State College with a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance. She believes that the escalating costs and diminishing access to higher education should not hold you back from your career dreams. She advocates for the recognition of skills, experience, strengths, and alternative learning methods as valid and valuable routes to achieving career goals. Karen encourages individuals to pursue their ambitions regardless of their educational background, promoting a more inclusive and flexible approach to career development.

Communications (Website & Email Chair)

Andrea Wogoman, MA Student Development Counseling and Administration
Employer Relations Coordinator, Meredith College

As an employer relations professional, Andrea focuses on building relationships with employers and campus partners to share meaningful career-related opportunities with college students. As a strengths-based higher education professional, Andrea believes in the importance of encouraging students to recognize and utilize their unique abilities so they are empowered to reach their goals. She loves helping students discover how their passions and interests connect to career opportunities.

Andrea is a native of Indiana, completing both her undergraduate and graduate degrees in her home state before relocating to North Carolina. She earned a BA in English from Anderson University (Anderson, IN) and an MA in Student Development Counseling and Administration from Indiana Wesleyan University.

Best Practices Grant Chair

Dr. Regina Gavin Williams

Assistant Professor of Counselor Education and Director of the Career Counseling Program, North Carolina Central University

Dr. Regina Gavin Williams is an Assistant Professor of Counselor Education and Director of the Career Counseling program at North Carolina Central University. She is a licensed clinical mental health counselor (NC), qualified supervisor (NC), national certified counselor, and a licensed school counselor (GA). She is the 2023 recipient of the Ella Stephens Barrett Award for Excellence in Professional Leadership (North Carolina Counseling Association). Her research focuses on the college and career readiness, adult self-sufficiency, and mental health of youth in foster care, with a secondary research focus related to the intersection of career development and diversity. Her role as a mom inspires her advocacy work on the community stakeholder advisory board for a UNC-Chapel Hill study entitled, ACURE4Moms. Dr. Williams was also appointed by NC Governor Roy Cooper to serve as the Chair of the North Carolina State Youth Advisory Council.

Community Outreach Chair

Mallory Harris

Curriculum & Instructional Management Coordinator, Kannapolis City Schools

Mallory Harris earned a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Her work has spanned various roles with the Kannapolis City Schools Career and Technical Education department including Culinary Arts and Hospitality Teacher, Career Development Coordinator and presently, CTE Curriculum and Professional Development Coordinator (CIMC). In her current role, she oversees and supports 25 CTE educators or coordinators in ensuring equitable and accessible academic experiences for all KCS grades 6-12 students that sit in Career and Technical Education classes. In 2019, Ms. Harris was on the team that won the NC Governor's Innovative Partnership Award for WIN Partnership, a pre-apprenticeship program that places engineering and carpentry students in experiential learning experiences with Wayne Brothers Companies.

Member-at-Large/Membership Co-Chair

Kelsey Hines, BS Elementary Education, MA Career Counseling

EC/Intervention Teacher, The Expedition School

Kelsey has been a member of NCCDA for 5 years. She has over 8 years of experience working in education as an elementary school teacher. Wanting to further her education experience, she completed her Master’s Degree in Career Counseling in December 2019.

She is currently working as an EC/Intervention teacher, where she is able to provide students with the necessary tools and skills to help them succeed. She enjoys interacting with others and using their skills and interests to find careers they are passionate about. She hopes that by being part of this team, she can continue to grow in both her professional and personal career journey.

Member-at-Large/Membership Co-Chair

Victoria Hamill

CTE Director, Beaufort County Schools

Victoria Hamill is an Eastern North Carolina native and graduate of East Carolina University. She holds multiple licensures in education, a BS in Hospitality Management, and Masters in School Administration. She has 12 years of classroom experience and has held support and administrative positions at K-12 schools for 13 years. She is currently serving as the Director of Career and Technical Education (Workforce, Innovation, and STEM) for Beaufort County Schools.

Member-at-Large/Government & PR

Amy Policastro Schroeder, M.Ed., GCDFI, FCDI, SCDAI, CCSP, MBTI, TC

Education Consultant - Career Development, North Carolina Department of Public Instruction NCDA Government Relations Committee Member

Amy has over 15 years of education experience, and over 10 years in the Business Sector with Human Resources, Publishing, and Corporate Education and Development. She has a background teaching Graphic Communication Industrial Technology in the 6-12 (NJ), Community College of Morris (NJ), and Illinois State University (ISU).

Amy currently serves as the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Career Development Consultant for the NC Department of Public Instruction where she provides leadership, professional development, curriculum development, consultation, and advocacy to the NC Career Development Coordinators (CDC), CTE Directors, and other stakeholders to ensure NC students are career and college ready. She is certified NCDPI National Career Development Association's "Facilitating Career Development" (FCD) licensure course instructor for new NC CDCs.


Role currently vacant.

Professional Recognition Awards Committee Member

Brian Calhoun

Associate Professor of the Practice, Wake Forest University Department of Education

Brian Calhoun is an Associate Professor of the Practice in the Department of Education at Wake Forest University. He teaches classes with the College to Career series in the undergraduate college. His professional interests include career counseling and development, and he serves as a member of the National Career Development Association research committee. Mr. Calhoun also serves as a senior faculty fellow in a first-year residence hall. His research agenda focuses on career interventions that assist students with developing and learning more about their career options in the world of work.

Professional Recognition Awards Committee Member

Rhonda Kosusko, MA Career Counseling
Associate Director, Elon University Student Professional Development Center

Rhonda Kosusko is Associate Director in the Student Professional Development Center at Elon University and has over 25 years of experience as a career counselor/consultant working with college students and other adults in transition, including assisting clients with career decisions, career planning and the internship/job search and graduate school application processes. Her specialties include individual career counseling, teaching career-related courses, workshop development and presentation, and event and program coordination. She also serves as chair of the Career Exploration and Education Department at the university and teaches the Life After Elon course, which focuses on preparing students for life post-graduation. Rhonda has been involved in NCCDA for many years, previously serving as President, Past President, President-Elect & Conference Chair, and on the Professional Recognition Awards Committee. Rhonda received the Roy N. Anderson Award in 2013.

      Professional Recognition Awards Committee Member

Duke Wallin, Ed.D.

Career Development Coordinator/Student Support Services, Dare County School System

Duke Wallin works in the Student Services office at First Flight High School in Kill Devil Hills, NC. Duke has over 27 years of experience in education as a classroom teacher, coordinator, facilitator, and advisor. Professionally, he belongs to NCCDA, the National Career Development Association's (Ethics Committee), the American Association of Adjunct Education, and both the NC and National chapters of the Association for Career Technical Education.

At the secondary level, Duke works collaboratively with administrators, student services personnel, teachers, parents, business/industry, post-secondary institutions, military, community organizations, and other stakeholders to ensure the delivery of career development services for all students. As a coordinator, he works both in public and behind the scenes to help students secure educational goals & success. Very passionate about education, Duke coordinates 10+ programs promoting exploration and exposure to careers

Duke received his Associate in Broadcasting degree from Finger Lakes Community College, a Bachelor of Science in Vocational Education & Communications, and a Master's in Career Technical Education Administration from the State University of New York at Oswego. He received his terminal degree, a Doctorate of Education in Global Training and Development through National University.

Duke is a proud pet parent of one . . . Abby (cat). The rest of my human family lives in New York State and Pennsylvania. His hobbies include coffee shops, being a foodie, dining out, outdoor recreation, watching Netflix, listening to music, weekend travel, and of course, the beach. One additional fun fact, he has a great collection of fancy socks (over 400 pairs).

National Career Development Month Co-Chair

Elizabeth Bartell, M.Ed., GCDF, NCC, NBCT-R

Career Development Coordinator, Central Academy of Technology & Arts 

Elizabeth has been an educator for over 20 years. She is a National Board Certified Teacher Renewed (in school counseling), has her Global Career Development Facilitator license, National Certified Counselor license and earned her Masters degree in School Counseling from Winthrop University. She started her career as a school counselor serving elementary, middle and high school students and then transitioned into the Career Development Coordinator (CDC) position continuing in Union County Public Schools in Monroe, NC for the past 10 years.

Elizabeth assisted in planning the CTE Spring CDC/SPC SW Regional mini conference from 2021-2023, was selected as the CTE SW Regional CDC Champion for 2022-2023 and also served on the NCDPI CTE Honors Review Team fall of 2023. Additionally she has participated at the CTE Summer Conference for CDC’s as a presenter and session facilitator. She became a member of NCCDA two years ago and thoroughly enjoyed the professional development offered along with the opportunities to network with other career development professionals. Elizabeth joined the NCCDA conference planning committee this past year to help organize the spring 2024 conference and is looking forward to serving and continuing to collaborate with its members in the future.

In her spare time, Elizabeth enjoys singing, music, theater, reading and traveling! She is originally from Florida, is a huge Florida Gator fan (UF is her undergrad alma mater), has 4 children and one grandchild!

National Career Development Month Co-Chair

Allison Gibson, M.Ed, GCDF

Career Coach, Southeastern Community College

Allison is a Career Coach at Southeastern Community College, bringing over a decade of diverse experience in education to her role. With a background spanning from teaching to school counseling, Allison's journey has culminated in her current position as a dedicated career coach.

She holds a master's degree in school counseling from North Carolina State University, supplementing her expertise with the recent attainment of her Global Career Development Facilitator credential. Her educational foundation includes an undergraduate degree in Business and Marketing Education, also from North Carolina State University.

In her capacity as a Career Coach, Allison actively engages with high school students and staff, fosters relationships with industry partners, and collaborates closely with SCC colleagues to bridge connections between academia and the workforce.

Returning to her roots in Columbus County, Allison is enthusiastic about contributing to the community where she was raised. Beyond her professional endeavors, she takes pride in caring for her beloved golden doodle and mini dachshund.

During her leisure time, Allison indulges her passion for exploration by traveling, trying out new restaurants, and cheering on her alma mater at NCSU games.

 Continuing Education Committee Member

Jamie Johnson, MS Counseling, NCC, CCC

Counselor/Owner, Paths2take Consulting

Jamie’s passion is helping others find their purpose/passion. She loves helping others navigate through the career development process. She has been in the field of Career Development for over 30 years. She has worked in business, education and non-profit settings helping others with their career/life development. She received her Master’s in Counseling from the California University State, Northridge in Marriage, Family and Child Counseling and her Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communications. She is a Certified Career Counselor (NCDA) and certified in the Strong Interest Inventory and a MBTI Master Practitioner. She runs her private practice in Career Counseling, Paths2take, part-time and works full-time as a Career Advisor for the University of Phoenix.

On weekends, she spends her time serving as a Cantor at a Messianic Jewish Synagogue and plays percussion in the praise and worship band. She loves animals and is currently rescuing feral kitties from the streets of Kannapolis. She has three kitties, Max, Prince, and Tigger (rescued from the streets) and Rami a Straight Egyptian Arabian.

Continuing Education Committee Member

Cindy Haeck, M.Ed., NCC, LCMHC, CCC, FCD-I

Career Coach, Wilmington Career Counseling

Cindy has 20+ years of experience as a high school and community college counselor, career development coordinator, academic and career advisor, as well as non-profits. She routinely volunteered to serve on school improvement, SACS accreditation, student success committees and other initiatives designed to promote a quality educational experience for students and staff. Since retiring from the State of NC, she has been engaged in part-time private practice as a career coach in Wilmington, NC. She continues to be passionate about supporting and empowering students and adults in creating their best life story, whether choosing a college or identifying occupational fit.

She completed the M.Ed. in Counseling (Agency and School) at North Carolina State University and B.S. Psychology at Central Michigan University.  As a lifelong learner, she completed the NCDA Career Development Facilitation Instructor training in 2022 and remains active in several professional and community organizations. She’s meets monthly with the NCDA Private Practice constituency group, and attends local, state, and national conferences that focus on mental health and career development.

Traveling, quilting, crafting, yoga, swimming, walking, biking, wine tasting, coffee with friends, family gatherings at the beach and her grand dog round out her days!

Continuing Education Committee Member

Katie Peterssen, M.Ed., NCC, LCMHC-A

Program Director, MMS Career Services, Duke University Fuqua School of Business

Katie Peterssen has more than 15 years of experience helping individuals explore pathways and strategies to meet their career and academic goals. An expert in career and professional development, she has a knack for recognizing and cultivating strengths in individuals and within teams. Katie has served in various leadership roles on the NCCDA board, including as President from 2020-2021, and is certified to facilitate the EQ-i 2.0 and EQ 360 assessments. Katie serves as the Program Director for MMS Career Services at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and as Co-Founder of Ignite Career and Leadership Development, LLC. She has lived up and down the East Coast, earning her BS in Information Design and Corporate Communication from Bentley University and completed her MEd in Counselor Education at North Carolina State University. Published in 2023, Katie co-authored, An Innovative Approach to Career Counseling: Theory and Practical Application.

North Carolina Career Development Association

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