August 12, 2011

Forum set for Career Services director finalist

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Members of the Southern Illinois University Carbondale campus community next week can attend an open forum and meet a candidate for director of Career Services.

Cynthia J. Jenkins, the current interim director of Career Services, is the third candidate for the post.  Jenkins’ open forum is from 10:15 to 11:15 a.m., Monday, Aug. 15, in the Student Center Kaskaskia Room.  There will be an opportunity for students to meet with Jenkins from 11:15 a.m. to noon, in the same location.

Jenkins will present her views on “National Trends in College and University Career Services, and Your Philosophy on How a Career Services Department Addresses These Trends.”

Career Services coordinates and develops career and employment-related student and alumni programming; provides career counseling to assist students in selecting majors; maintains a database of full- and part-time jobs; and conducts numerous career fairs during the year to provide opportunities for students to connect with prospective employers.

Candidate evaluation forms will be available at the presentation and may be returned there, or mailed to Tena Bennett, search committee chair, at Student Center Mail Code 4407 no more than three business days after Jenkins’ visit.  Online evaluations will also be available and can be sent to Bennett at

Jenkins has been with the University for the past 13 years, serving in a variety of roles within Career Services including reception manager, career services specialist, and assistant director from January 2005 to March 2009, prior to becoming interim director in March 2009.  As interim director she manages a $500,000 state budget and $100,000 non-state budget and a staff of 18 employees.  She has restructured department staff and responsibility areas to maximize the productivity of programs and services for clients in the face of state budget cuts.

Over the past six years the agency has automated the recruitment process for thousands of students, alumni and hiring employers; doubled the number of mock interviews to 200 each semester; reorganized the All-Majors job fair; and served more than 10,000 students and nearly 1,100 employers at a number of recruiting venues.

Jenkins’ previous experience includes work as a grant writer and registrar at Rend Lake College, and executive assistant at GS Metals Corp., in Pinckneyville. 

Jenkins earned a bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies in August 1981, and a Master of Science in Education with a specialization in business education, in August 1995, both from SIUC.

Two other candidates, Keri D. Young, the assistant director of recruitment operations in the graduate career service center at Texas Christian University’s Neeley School of Business, and Cynthia Comber, the recruitment coordinator at Governors State University, held forums and visited the campus earlier this month.