First-Time at #FloridaACE17

FloridaACE Workshop CBarriosCathy Barrios, Assistant Director of Experiential Learning, Florida State University

I am immensely grateful to FloridaACE and the FSU Career Center for providing a burgeoning young professional and student with the opportunity to both attend and present at this year’s conference. FloridaACE created a welcoming environment to not only meet like-minded career service professionals eager to share their experiences, but to also learn from each other about best practices and innovative ideas trending in the field that we could take back with us. It was inspiring to see the collaborative energy placed by all in events geared toward improving and providing opportunities for students to reach their professional goals during and after their college experience.

At FloridaACE, I attended various workshops that contributed to my tool belt of innovative ways to continue supporting student needs and conducting effective outreach to employers. I also co-presented a workshop with my colleague, Lauren Kume, on “How to Launch a Matched Job Shadow Program” to other interested post-secondary institutions and employers.  It had been a year since FSUshadow, our one-day job shadow program held over winter and spring break, was developed and launched by the FSUshadow team and then met with enthusiasm from both students and employers. The FSUshadow program is truly a one of a kind opportunity for students to gain access to shadowing employers, community partners, alumni and friends of the university and learn about a wide variety of career fields and industries in the process.

I enjoyed sharing and connecting with FloridaACE conference attendees about our journey and the promising results achieved after two successful sessions. We could not have done it without the support and partnership from our colleagues in higher education and the community members willing “Take a Nole to Work” in and out of state. The next opportunity for students to gain first-hand experience through FSUshadow is during the 2017 Winter Break session, December 18-21st, 2017. To learn more visit:


Recap of Board Meeting and Goals

Megan Hollis, Florida Association of Colleges and Employers

Can anyone else believe that we are already halfway through October? Where does the time go?download

Your FloridaACE board has been working hard to accomplish the goals that we set over the summer. As a reminder, here are the goals we established –

  1. Explore and propose changes to FloridaACE membership rates and fiscal year
  2. Review FloridaACE Board position selection process and modify select positions to be open to nomination and/or election by the entire FloridaACE membership
  3. Update the MemberClicks platform
  4. Explore hosting a virtual state-wide career fair
  5. Increase webinar offerings throughout the year
  6. Enhance student participation in FloridaACE


Goal #1 has been a research project for Michele Groves, your FloridaACE Treasurer. Upon examining the financial ramifications with our Accountant and consulting previous board members about the reasoning for the set-up of the current fiscal year, the second part of that goal has been tabled until next year. We are continuing to examine the current membership rates to create a more equal pricing structure between our membership types.

Goal #2 is currently being led by your FloridaACE Past-President, Alicia Smyth. The FloridaACE Board has always served as the selection committee for new board members (as written in our Constitution). The way to join the board has been to demonstrate your interest through committee service and involvement in FloridaACE. To open the playing field more to all members, we are looking at creating a nomination and election process for representative board positions.

Goal #3 has been tirelessly pushed forward by Tara Stevenson, your FloridaACE Information Management Director. She is the genius behind the FloridaACE website and anything to do with your online FloridaACE experience. I’m excited to see the changes our system upgrade will bring!

Goal #4 is still in progress. There is an increase in the number of virtual career fairs being offered and FloridaACE is striving to offer new and innovative services to our member institutions and employers. If you have a passion for this, please let us know! We would love to use your talents here.

Goal #5 has started strong! Our dynamic duo of Employer Members, Teri-Anne Brennan of Enterprise Holdings and Dannon Monroe of American Traveler, coordinated our first ever webinar just for employers in early August. With the noted increase of schools in Florida switching to Handshake, they worked with the Handshake team to offer an employer training webinar on this new system.

Goal #6 is the brain-child of our Membership Development Director, Stacy Lanigan, and State University Member, Bill Blank (also our two most recent President’s Award winners!). The work done by career services offices is vital to college student development and our employer partners, but how do we ensure the future of our field? Get students involved early! We have always offered Graduate Students reduced membership rates and conference rates for the FloridaACE Annual Conference. We recently expanded that offering to our Drive-In Conference! For only $20, Graduate Student members can take advantage of this fun learning and networking opportunity.


We are making progress! As always, your input and talents are appreciated and welcomed. If you see a goal that speaks to you, feel free to contact me or the board member currently leading that charge. We would love to get you involved!


2nd Annual Drive-In

Megan Megan Hollis President Florida Association of Colleges & Employers

Good afternoon FloridaACE Members,

Have you registered for the 2nd Annual FloridaACE Drive-In yet?

The Florida State University Career Center is excited to welcome everyone to Tallahassee for this fun event!

Our schedule runs from 8:30am-3:00pm and includes a great lineup of 2 keynote speakers and 4 breakout sessions. We will also be providing tours of the FSU Career Center.

I am excited to announce our two keynote speakers!

Jennifer Fonseca of Palm Beach Atlantic University and Dr. Darren Brooks from Florida State University will be joining us to share their experiences and perspectives on creating connections.

Jennifer Fonseca, Palm Beach Atlantic University

Jennifer Fonseca Jennifer Fonseca’s Purpose Title is Destiny Activator. Regardless of her job, job title, or employer, the core of WHO she is, is one who stimulates and sets in motion purpose and calling in individuals. Armed with over 20 years of experience working in higher education at both private and public institutions, she finds herself at home in Career Development. Over the last decade Jennifer developed her 5P Process© to help individuals find meaningful and engaged careers. Her 5P’s are Passion, Purpose, Personality, Proficiencies, and Profit Centers. Through this process individuals (and even employers) pull out their potential, explore the possibilities, find intentional ways to practice and prepare, develop professionalism, and experience peace as they figure out their WHO before their DO©! (She really likes the letter P!) Jennifer is an ENFJ. Strengths: Communication, Empathy, Restorative, Harmony, and Connectedness. Jennifer currently serves as the Destiny Activator / Assistant Director of Career Development at Palm Beach Atlantic University, while managing her private coaching practice.

Dr. Darren Brooks, Florida State University

Dr. Darren BrooksDr. Brooks has more than 20 years of experience in executive leadership in the areas of information technology, human resource, sales, learning and performance improvement in both the private and public sectors. He has extensive experience in talent acquisition and development, learning systems design, human performance technology, program evaluation, project management, and change management. Prior to his faculty role in the FSU college of business and appointment as the Executive Director of the Center for Human Resource Management, Dr. Brooks held numerous executive level positions including Deputy Secretary (CHRO-state of Florida), Director of Human Resources, Director of Shared Services Operations, Director of Administrative Services-IT, Chief Information Officer/Applications Development Director, Senior Human Resource Business Partner, Regional Recruiting Director, Senior Learning Manager, and Learning Design Manager/Performance Consultant.

Registration is only $35 for FloridaACE Members!

You won’t want to miss the conversation and the information you’re sure to use when you get back to campus. Looking forward to seeing you in Tallahassee!

Click here for registration

Stacy Lanigan and Bill Blank Receive 2017 FloridaACE President’s Award

At the 2017 Annual Conference in June, 2016-17 FloridaACE President Alicia Smyth presented the President’s Award to not one, but two recipients: Stacy Lanigan (Senior Career Coach, Lynn University) and Bill Blank (Director, Career Development, University of Central Florida). The President’s Award is awarded at the discretion of the current President and may not be given every year. It is intended to recognize the member or group’s contribution to FloridaACE and serves as an example of their impact to those in our profession.

“There are many people I would have given this award to if I could, but I determined early on who those individuals would be. The wonderful thing is that after I made my decision – which was back in November – they both continued to take initiative to do great things to better the association,” stated 2016-17 President Smyth.

Of Stacy Lanigan, Smyth said ,”Her motto might as well be ‘how can I help?’ She was crucial in helping us pull off our first annual drive-in conference. Stacy enthusiastically stepped up when others had to step down and was available to do anything that needed to be done to make the event a success. In fact, the push for FloridaACE to host our first drive-in conference began with Stacy. Stacy also volunteered at every opportunity to pitch in and help in the planning of the 2017 Annual Conference, going above and beyond what was expected at every turn.”

Bill Blank also played an essential role in planning and executing the drive-in conference. “As director at the host university, he did everything and anything to make sure the event ran smoothly and nothing fell through the cracks. Additionally, Bill took on a board initiative to increase our graduate student engagement and numbers at the conference. He is very committed to this cause and even started a job board at the conference to help graduate students find jobs, which is a value-add to everyone. Even now, he is continuing this initiative,” Smyth stated.

Stacy Lanigan has served on the FloridaACE Board of Directors since 2016, but has been an active volunteer since she became a member. She has served on numerous conference planning committees and has been Co-chair of the Communication & Outreach Committee since its inception in 2014. Lanigan began her tenure on the Board as Private College/University Member and is currently serving as Membership Development Director. She received the FloridaACE New Member Award in 2015.

Bill Blank has been the State University Member for the FloridaACE Board of Directors since 2015. He is chairing a subcommittee to increase student participation to increase interest in the fields of Career Services and University Relations/Recruiting and provide a pipeline of talent for our respective professions.

2012 marked the inaugural year of the FloridaACE President’s Award.  This award was established to recognize FloridaACE members who go above and beyond throughout a given year to meet the needs of membership and provide an opportunity for the association to reach the next level. A list of past recipients is available on the FloridaACE website.