Cheryl Brooks, assistant dean for experiential learning and corporate relations and acting director of the Career Development and Experiential Learning Center in the College of Engineering, has been named associate provost for career and professional development at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She will assume her new duties effective June 1.
Her new position provides the opportunity to lead the direction for career and professional development at the university level, and apply what we have learned in engineering to meet the unique needs of students and colleges across campus. This role includes collaborating with alumni and employers to increase internships, co-ops and career opportunities for students. She will report directly to the senior vice provost and dean of undergraduate education.
As assistant dean and acting director of the Career Development and Experiential Learning Center in the College of Engineering, Brooks has overseen the strategic direction for career development and corporate relations for the college. Under her leadership, the career center team has developed a stellar reputation across campus for its exceptional placement and knowledge rates – statistics that prove they connect with our students from the first year through senior year (and graduate students) and remain engaged and supportive. From career fairs, to resume building and acing the interview, and finally landing that dream job or graduate school acceptance - they are there for our students every step of the way.
Brooks has been a member of our engineering family since 2003, beginning as an academic advisor and director of alumni affairs in the Department of Chemical Engineering, then advancing to the college’s director of career and student development before assuming the duties of assistant dean in 2015. “The College of Engineering is and will always be my home,” said Brooks. “I am grateful for the mentorship, guidance, and support that I’ve received over the past fifteen years, and I have grown both personally and professionally through working with the dedicated faculty, staff, and students here in the College. I am especially appreciative of our amazing Engineering Career Center team who work tirelessly to support our students in their professional development, and to provide concierge service to the employers who recruit here.”
Interim Dean Kris Hollot notes, “Cheryl completely flipped the way I had viewed the college’s responsibility in student job placement. In BC (before Cheryl), I held a laissez-faire attitude – armed with a superb education in engineering, students could successfully find jobs on their own. Cheryl proved how misguided my thinking. And it wasn’t the eye-popping placement numbers that convinced – it was the valuable employer relations her office built-up, and the improved student interviewing skills that impact our college’s reputation. But now it’s “AC,” and I’m sure Cheryl will flip views at a higher level.”
Brooks adds, “It has been an honor and privilege to work with each of you, and though I will be across campus, I know we will continue to collaborate to help provide both the best education and the best future possible for our students.”
The College of Engineering wishes Cheryl the very best in this next endeavor. (April 2019)