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Center for Career and Professional Development

Center for Career & Professional Development Staff

Professional Staff

Theresa Cruz Paul Headshot

Theresa Cruz Paul, M.Ed., N.C.C.
Director of Career Services and Career Counselor
150B Reid

Theresa has been involved in career and professional development in higher education since 2005. She has experience assisting students with career counseling, resume and cover letter development, interviewing strategies, job and internship searching, and career planning. Theresa has worked at William Paterson University in New Jersey as an Assistant Director, at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan as an Associate Director of Academic Internships and currently at Western Carolina University in North Carolina as Director. Theresa has additional experience in teaching and research through her adjunct teaching positions in the Sociology and First-Year Experience departments at William Paterson University and her Research Assistant position on the College Educational Quality project at Teachers College, Columbia University. Theresa holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and a Masters of Education degree in Professional Counseling from William Paterson University and a second Masters of Education degree in High and Postsecondary Education from Teachers College, Columbia University.

 Steve Bridges Headshot

Steve Bridges
Associate Director of Employer Engagement
150H Reid

Steve joined the Center for Career and Professional Development in the summer of 2016. Prior to joining WCU, he worked in economic development at the local, regional and state levels in Virginia. Steve has worked in numerous business development and community liaison roles with the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, and most recently served as director of the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance. In addition to this experience, he also has a background in marketing for both for- and non-profit companies.  Steve holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and English and a Master of Business Administration degree from Averett University in Danville, Virginia.

 Courtney Gauthier Headshot

Courtney Gauthier

Associate Director of Career Integrated Learning
150G Reid

Courtney joined the Center for Career and Professional Development in the Spring of 2017. She has worked in the field of career development in higher education since 2006, working with career centers at Warren Wilson College, Appalachian State University, UNC-Asheville, Haywood Community College, Winthrop University, and Salem College. Courtney works with students to make meaning of their college experiences by helping them select majors, explore their interests, identify and reach goals, and develop competitive application materials to launch successfully into their next steps. Her background outside of career development centers around project and volunteer management with nonprofit organizations. Courtney holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Studies from Salem College and a Master of Arts in College Student Development from Appalachian State University. She is a previous Membership Co-Chair and Archivist with the North Carolina Career Development Association and currently works with the Best Practices Grant program.

Marti Newbold Headshot

Marti Newbold, M.A.
Associate Director of DegreePlus
150L Reid

Marti joined the CCPD staff in July 2017. She began her career in higher education administration in 2001, working in career development, residence life, multicultural affairs, counseling and health services, and student case management. She was a college instructor for 15 years, teaching traditional and nontraditional students in human development and general education courses.  Marti has also worked as a counselor for several nonprofit agencies, a Jill-of-all trades in a theatre company, and a licensed mental health counselor in private practice.  Prior to coming to WCU she worked at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, FL. Marti earned a Master of Arts in Rehabilitation Counseling at the University of South Florida in Tampa and a Bachelor of Arts at St. Andrews University in Laurinburg, NC.

Carrie Hachadurian Headshot

Carrie Hachadurian
Student Development Coordinator
150J Reid

Carrie has been an employee at Western Carolina University since 2008. She began as an Administrative Support Specialist in the Writing and Learning Commons before becoming the Student Employment Specialist for the Career and Professional Development Center in January 2013. Carrie holds a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in English with a concentration in Professional Writing and a minor in Communications. She is pursuing a Master’s degree in Higher Education Student Affairs and looks forward to becoming a career counselor upon completion.

Dean Paulk Headshot

Dean Paulk
Internship Coordinator
150K Reid

Dean has been working at WCU since 2008 with the College of Business as the Administrative Support Associate for the Management Department, and has been at the Career and Professional Development Center since July of 2013, starting as the Administrative Support Specialist and moving into the Internship Coordinator role in August of 2015. He has a B.S. in Sociology with a minor in Social Work from WCU and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Higher Education Student Affairs, also from WCU. Dean’s professional goal is to expand and streamline the Internship process at WCU, with an ultimate goal of seeing most (if not all) students complete an Internship in order to gain valuable experience and the skills necessary to achieve gainful employment after graduation.

Trina Royar Headshot

Trina Royar
Employer Relations Manager
150A Reid

Trina joined the CCPD this past December 2015 after a long career in event planning, most recently as the Mountain Heritage Day Festival coordinator here at Western Carolina University for 7 years.  She is a former events manager for the City of Asheville, served as Executive Director of the Haywood County Arts Council, was a manager of the Biltmore Estate Special Projects group (Concerts, Festivals, and Programming), and founded Fiddlehead Music and Dance Camp and weekend festivals.  She has served as chair of Asheville's Downtown After-Five entertainment committee and is a long time member of both the national and regional dance scene.  Trina moved to WNC in the late '80s to dance professionally and tour with the Green Grass Cloggers.  She plans to work on her Master’s degree beginning in the fall of 2016.

 Graduate Staff

Alexis Rutishauser Headshot

Alexis Rutishauser
Graduate Assistant, DegreePlus
150 Reid    

Major: Higher Education Student Affairs
Hometown: Whitewater, Wisconsin
Fun Fact: I have a 2 year old calico cat named Pudding.

 Hannah Richardson Headshot

Hannah Richardson
Graduate Assistant, CCPD
150 Reid

Major: Higher Education Student Affairs, M.Ed.
Hometown: Claiborne, MD
Fun Fact: Prior to moving to Western North Carolina, I completed a solo cycling trip across the country from California to Florida.


Peer Career Mentors

 Peer Career Mentors are located in our office and have Drop-In hours from 2:00-4:00 pm Monday-Friday. Drop-In appointments are short, 15-minute appointments for students who need resume or cover letter assistance, help with interview skills/prep, or career questions.

To Become a Mentor

Peer Career Mentor selection will begin in the Spring Semester each year. If you are interested, please be sure to check back then for more details.

Cameron Alexander Headshot

Cameron Alexander
Political Science and Communication
Harrisburg, NC
Fun Fact:
I marched in Drum Corps and travelled all over the eastern United States.

Greg David Headshot

Greg David
Charlotte, NC
Fun Fact:
I like hockey and my favorite team is the Nashville Predators.


KJ Heggins Headshot








KJ Heggins
Marketing and Entrepreneurship
Concord, NC
Fun Fact:
I play the saxophone!

Keiara Isom Headshot







Keiara Isom
Charlotte, NC
Fun Fact:
I love turtles!

Kara Osborne Headshot

Kara Osborne
Advance, NC
Fun Fact:
My favorite animals are sharks and dogs.

Katey Smith Headshot

Katey Smith
Criminal Justice
Waynesville, NC
Fun Fact:
My favorite band is Asking Alexandria.

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