Examine the impact career services might have on higher education curricula and if an important voice in the mission for student success beyond graduation is being overlooked.

On Thursday, October 14 at 12 p.m., Stevenson University Online will host the third Dean’s Symposium of 2021. This symposium features distinguished panelists from Stevenson University, University of MD Global Campus, George Mason University, Johns Hopkins University, and American University discussing the important role of career services centers regarding DE&I within higher education.

Our panel of experts includes:

Francine Blume, Assistant Vice President, Career Development, University of Maryland Global Campus
Dr. Blume is Assistant Vice President of Career Development at the University of Maryland Global Campus. Her focus has been on scaling services by integrating tools and technologies into career development and on identifying appropriate employers with the highest return on investment for UMGC’s student and alumni job-seeking population of 93,000 and 254,000 respectively. in addition to working at a number of nonprofits, Dr. Blume also spent close to 15 years as Director of Experiential Education at American University. As adjunct faculty, she teaches career planning and gateway courses at UMGC, has taught peace studies at Georgetown University, and political science at The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars. She has been a regular presenter at NACE and other career related associations. She has her PhD in Political Science from the University of Hawai’i, her MA in Instructional Development and Technology from the Southeast Asia Interdisciplinary Development Institute in the Philippines, and her BA in Sociology from University of Missouri – Kansas City. Dr. Blume is currently teleworking from rural Colorado and enjoying the Pike National Forest with her husband and two dogs.

Saskia Campbell, Executive Director, University Career Services, George Mason University
Saskia Campbell has nearly twenty years of experience in higher education working on issues of access, diversity and inclusion. She has been at George Mason University (#15 ranked public university by U.S. News for ethnic diversity) since 2012 and now serves as Executive Director of University Career Services, nationally recognized for its Career Influencers Network and DEI-focused strategic plan. Campbell leads a diverse team of twenty professional staff committed to preparing career-ready students for post-graduate success. She presented on the topic “Toward a More Inclusive Definition of Professionalism” at the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) annual conference this year. Previously, Campbell worked in career services at the Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment and the University of Virginia where she received an Innovation Excellence Award from NACE. She has a M. Ed. from the University of Virginia and B.A. from the College of William & Mary.

Farouk Dey, Vice Provost for Integrative Learning and Life Design, Johns Hopkins University
Dr. Farouk Dey is a higher education and talent development executive with two decades of experience leading and transforming university organizations using innovations in technology, experiential learning, design thinking, community engagement, and resource development. He has approached his leadership and board roles at Johns Hopkins, Stanford, Carnegie Mellon, the University of Florida, the National Association for Colleges and Employers (NACE), the American College Personnel Association (ACPA), and various startups and non-profits with a passion for closing the gaps between the haves and have-nots. The same passion is apparent is many of his writings while he pursued a PhD and EdS in Educational Leadership with emphasis on higher education, MBA and MEd in Counseling Psychology, and BBA in Finance.

As the founding Vice Provost for Integrative Learning and Life Design at Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Dey has worked with education and industry leaders to launch a new vision of equitable access to life aspirations and economic opportunity for all students regardless of background or social capital using principles of integrative learning and life design. He leads a university-wide division of 15 departments and centers that orchestrate programs and services and bridge curricular and experiential learning with personal ambitions for all undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and alumni across the university’s nine schools and divisions. In his former role as Dean of Career and Experiential Education at Stanford University, he led a team of four departments and centers to build inclusive networks and scalable access to services, experiences, connections, and mentoring to ensure equitable outcomes for all students. Throughout his career, Dr. Dey worked with partners and teams to create equity dashboards to track outcomes for students and alumni of underrepresented communities, scale experiential learning and mentoring, integrate technology in high impact practices, enhance learning, and grow resources to support unpaid immersive experiences for students of disadvantaged backgrounds, especially those who identify as first-generation and/or limited income.

A native of Algeria, Dr. Dey has been involved in education since a young age and has developed a passion for helping people and organizations achieve their ultimate potential regardless of their contextual limitations. He was named one of LinkedIn’s Top Ten Voices in Education and is recognized for his thought-provoking writings, engaging talks, and transformational leadership around issues of workforce development, future of work, career and life design, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Fluent in Arabic and French with a broad perspective in international and multicultural issues, he has consulted for many organizations and universities, served as guest faculty at several institutes, and delivered keynote addresses at dozens of conferences in the US and around the world. Most notably, he led a four-year USAID initiative to build career education and talent development centers at universities throughout the Philippines, taught transformative leadership courses for the Ministry of Education in Singapore, hosted several international delegations from around the world, and delivered keynotes at conferences in Australia, Austria, Algeria, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Korea, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, the UK, and across the United States. As illustrated in his TEDx Talk titled “Life Purpose Reconsidered” and Vision Chats with thought leaders from various industry sectors, the central theme of Dr. Dey’s work has consistently been equity of access to education and economic opportunity for all people regardless of background or social capital.

Gihan Fernando, Executive Director, Career Center, American University
Gihan Fernando is the Executive Director of the American University Career Center, and collaborates closely with faculty and deans across the university to serve the career needs of about 9000 undergraduate and graduate students. Gihan has over 25 years of experience in higher education administration with a focus on career services, and before joining the AU community, held positions at Georgetown University Law Center, Cornell Law School and New York University School of Law. He served as the President of the Board of Directors of NALP, the Association for Legal Career Professionals, from 2007-2008, and served on the NACE Board of Directors from 2019-2021. Gihan is admitted to the District of Columbia and New York State bars, and before entering higher education practiced law at the McKenna & Cuneo firm (now Dentons) in Washington, D.C.

Gihan is passionate about access to higher education for underserved communities. He serves on the board of Collegiate Directions, Inc, a non-profit organization which guides underserved students to and through college. Born to Sri Lankan parents in Ghana, he grew up in Sri Lanka, Zambia and Malawi before coming to the US to attend college.


Susan Gordon, Vice President, The Career Connection Center, Stevenson University
Susan Gordon has served as Stevenson’s Vice President of Career Services since January, 2018. She joined SU after twelve years at American University, where she served as Director of Career Development. Sue is inspired by helping students link their education to career—in particular, she’s passionate about helping liberal arts students to identify their competencies and connect their studies to the world of work.

In addition to her role at Stevenson, Sue serves as faculty in the National Association of Colleges and Employer’s (NACE) Career Coaching program. She is a National Certified Counselor and a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in the state of Maryland. She is a Board Certified Coach (BCC) and a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach. Sue has also served as a p past president of the Maryland Career Development Association.

Prior to her work in career development, Sue worked in information technology at IBM, where she remained for over nine years prior to transitioning to a career in counseling.

She holds a bachelors in mathematics from Wake Forest University, a masters in counseling from Johns Hopkins University, and earned a masters in organization development from American University. She loves to travel with her husband and 3 grown children and tries to stay fit by walking or jogging with her dog. She is also proud to be a new grandparent, having just welcomed her new granddaughter, Aubrey!

Hosted by Ali Eskandarian, Dean, Stevenson University Online