Every spring, the Career & Professional Development Center celebrates the Career Impact Awards, which highlight individuals and experiences that positively contribute to University of Utah students’ career development. Nominations for the awards are submitted by students, faculty and staff.
If you missed the nomination deadline for this year’s awards, nominations for the 2024 Impact Awards will open at the start of the Spring 2024 Semester.
Read about the 2023 Career Impact Award winners below.
Career Champions of the Year
Career Champions are faculty and staff members who are nominated by students and colleagues for going above and beyond to help with students’ career development.
Adam Hunter | Entertainment Arts & Engineering
“Adam Hunter goes above and beyond to ensure that every single one of his students is prepared to transition from academia to working in the industry. I was offered a job before I graduated and I owe it to Adam.”
Alison Watts | Educational Leadership & Policy
“Dr. Watts’ office hours and her classes have been nothing short of transformational for both my graduate school and future career journeys. She does a fantastic job of inviting guests to speak in class about a wide variety of careers and paths in student affairs.”
Barbara L. Wilson | Nursing
“Dr. Barbara Wilson has gone above and beyond to support me with my career development. She cultivated my interest in becoming a nurse scientist and helped me receive an adjunct academic appointment at the College of Nursing. Her investment in me continues to positively impact health systems and nursing knowledge.”
Gina Shipley | Hinckley Institute of Politics
“Gina supports dozens of students every year as they embark on transformative internship experiences. She helped me set up a D.C. internship with the nonprofit, the Campaign Legal Center. This experience changed the trajectory of my career and pushed me to devote my life to public service.”
Giulia Soto | Second Year Experience
“Giulia provided me with personalized guidance and support, helping me polish my resume and introduction letter to prepare for interviews. Thanks to Giulia’s guidance, I have felt more confident in my job search and have been able to successfully secure several opportunities that have helped me advance my career.”
Lindsay Keegan | Epidemiology
“I asked Dr. Keegan for career advice in our first meeting three years ago and she has been advocating for me ever since. She guided me through the NIH grant process, helped me develop my long-term career goals and developed an embedded student internship pilot program at UDHHS where I am now interning.”
Maureen Mathison | Writing & Rhetoric
“Maureen was my internship mentor and was absolutely instrumental in getting my career off the ground. She advised me on how to interact with clients, encouraged me when my confidence was lacking and connected me with one of my first paying gigs.”
Rebekah Perkins | Nursing
“Rebekah has taken the time to help me identify my career passions and goals. She has guided me toward developing a plan of action to achieve those goals. Rebekah has provided me with the necessary support and guidance to succeed as a student and in my future nursing career.”
Taft Price | Entrepreneurship and Strategy
“In August of 2022, when I joined the MBC program, I was hesitant to call myself an entrepreneur. Then, I met Taft Price. As a mentor, Taft took his time to ensure I understood the lexicon of business. He has been a champion at tables, which we cannot access to highlight our work. In fact, Taft introduced me to the co-founder of my business, which was key to the current success of my company!"
William R. Love Anderegg | Biology
“During Dr. William R. Love Anderegg’s mentorship, he has been very aware of my career goals and has done the extraordinary to support me. Because of his efforts, I will be an instructor on record for a course in the fall of 2023, which makes me more competitive for jobs in the future.”
Employers of the Year
The Employers of the Year are organizations who have provided exceptional support to U students, interns and/or graduates.
“I was the first out-of-state co-op to work at Herman Miller, and my list of problems were handled with compassion. From my first rotation there, they arranged a plane ticket, free housing, a rental car for me to commute to work, mentors who helped me navigate corporate culture and activities to meet and bond with other interns. In May of 2021, I moved to Michigan scared. In December 2022, I left empowered, and I have Herman Miller to thank for that. I have become both a better engineer and a better person because of my time there.”
“PBS Utah has gone above and beyond to provide resources, mentorship and opportunities for College of Fine Arts students. From hosting the largest ArtsForce Career Trek to date and hosting several student internships to participating in our networking events and providing contacts for students to conduct informational interviews, they have provided incredible support for U students.”
Alumni Career Mentor of the Year
The Alumni Career Mentor of the Year is a U alum who has provided exemplary career support to a current U student.
B.S. Anthropology ‘19
M.S. Anthropology ‘21
"I have worked with Stefania on many projects and as my personal mentor, she continuously advocates on my behalf, keeps me engaged with her professional points of contact and amplifies opportunities that sustain my engagement as a multidisciplinary student. Stefania is the perfect candidate for Alumni Mentor of the Year!”
Internships of the Year
The Internships of the Year are submitted by students who have completed internships that either showcase an outstanding project, learning opportunity or career development experience.
Maddie Hair | Economics, Health Society and Policy, Political Science, Psychology | Hinckley Institute of Politics/State of Utah
“This internship was fast-paced and demanding, with each day presenting new challenges and learning opportunities. The Capitol’s professional environment challenged me to be organized, reliable, productive and proactive. This internship showed me how the Utah Legislature works from an insider perspective and furthered my skill sets.”
Heejin Han | Communication | Parenthetical Studio
“While working as an intern, I helped revise scenarios, prepared movie props and recorded sound at the filming site. In addition, I prepared reward products and wrote movie introductions to promote investors' sponsorship. The whole process was interesting to me, who was curious about the film production and promotion process.”
Rebecca Hubrich | Social Work | Life Launch Centers
“This internship has provided me with an abundance of opportunities to practice clinical skills in groups as well as for individual clients and families. I have also had the opportunity to co-present at a school counselor’s conference to teach school counselors how to identify emotional dysregulation and safety concerns. It has been my own intensive hands-on learning arena throughout a very supportive and caring environment.”
Stephanie Dutson | International Affairs and Global Enterprise | Startupbootcamp
“Although I have learned a lot throughout my degree, my experience working in Melbourne has changed my life. I have learned how to thrive in an international environment, which is something you cannot achieve by studying alone. My internship has helped me become a better person and a more engaged global citizen.”
Shayne Curson | Civil Engineering | WesTech Engineering
“My internship experience provided me with an excellent learning opportunity that complemented my classroom work. I gained practical experience in experimental design, data collection and analysis and programming. These skills are not typically taught in a classroom setting, and I am grateful for the opportunity to have learned them during my internship.”
Lex Hernandez | Psychology, Chemistry | Utah State Senate
“As a science major with aspirations of medical school, interning in the state legislature was an experience like no other. One bill that highlighted my experience was S.B. 217: Children's Health Coverage Amendments. As a future medical professional and person of minority descent, the passage of this bill will ensure health care for undocumented children. I am so proud to have been a part of this because I know this will change the trajectory and lives of those affected by it for the better.”
Andrew Sonzini | Political Science | Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel
“Through attending floor debates, committee hearings and other legislative meetings, I have been able to see how the work of the Utah State Legislature is orderly, open and surprisingly cooperative. While there are certainly passionate disagreements, most bills pass unanimously or with only a few dissenters.”
Priyanka Ghule | Pharmacoeconomics | University of Utah Health
“This experience was impactful for me as a Ph.D. student as I got the opportunity to work on an oncology drug in the clinical development phase. The internship at AbbVie helped broaden my horizon to understand HEOR from an industry perspective. In a nutshell, this in-person internship experience provided me with the knowledge, skills and perspective that can help me in my dissertation work.”
Xiang Huo | Electrical and Computer Engineering | Oak Ridge National Laboratory
“This internship gave me a wealth of valuable lessons, both technical and non-technical, that have had a significant impact on my career trajectory. The hands-on experience exposed me to new devices and techniques, leading to a deeper understanding of the temperature control process and a stronger sense of confidence in my technical abilities. Apart from the technical skills, this internship polished my non-technical skills, including written and oral technical communications.”
Bishav Bhattarai | Civil and Environmental Engineering | DC Water
“I developed new skills through the internship, such as assembling the Raspberry Pi system and monitoring full-scale wastewater treatment facilities. In addition to the technical skills, the internship program at DC Water taught me to work as a team through various team-building activities.”
Blake Billings | Chemical Engineering | Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
“Though I had an understanding of the technical aspects of the system from my schoolwork, I was able to see and experience the workings behind the market I had only learned about. I saw firsthand the need for regulation in a market that is prone to manipulation.”