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Meet the Staff

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c3 Christa B. Downey

Christa has been working in career services since 2004 when she joined Cornell University as the Engineering Co-op coordinator. From 2009 through the summer of 2015, she served as Assistant Dean and Director of Arts & Sciences Career Services. In 2015, she returned to the College of Engineering as Director of the Engineering Career Center. She is involved with NYS Women’s ACE (American Council on Education) and is co-chair of the Task Force on Assessment for the Eastern Association of Colleges and Employers. A Pittsburgh native, Christa holds a B.S. in Industrial Management from Carnegie Mellon University and an M.S. in College Student Personnel from Miami University (in Ohio - Miami was a university before Florida was a state). Prior to joining Cornell, she has held positions as a Residence Hall Director, Academic Advisor, and Adjunct Instructor. She has also worked part-time with Cornell Outdoor Education as a Hoffman Challenge Course facilitator. She enjoys talking with people about their strengths and interests while working to find unique opportunities to connect the two. In her leisure time, Christa enjoys triathlons, camping, reading, and anything that involves food or the outdoors. Her favorite hike was in Poland’s Tatra Mountains, her favorite tri is the Timberman in Gilford, New Hampshire, and she is always up for a trip to the Cornell Dairy Bar for some Triple Chocolate Play.

k3 Kimberlee M. Swartz

Associate Director 
Cooperative Education Focus

As associate director, Kim is primarily responsible for the Cooperative Education Program. Kim most recently served as career services coordinator for the Cornell Program in Real Estate, housed in the Hotel School. Kim enhanced programs, services and network contacts for that graduate program. Prior to that, she served one and a half years as executive staff assistant for the Cornell Public Service Center after 15 years in various management roles at Wegman's Food Markets in Ithaca, Corning, and Rochester. Kim holds an MBA in organizational management from Syracuse University and a BS in hotel and restaurant management from Rochester Institute of Technology, where she was also a co-op student. Kim has served in various board roles for United Way of Tompkins County, is a founding member and advocate of the Elizabeth Amisano Ovarian Cancer Education Fund, and has presented various student programs on dining etiquette.


Nadia D. Kiechle

Associate Director

Nadia came to Cornell from Union College in Schenectady, where she was Assistant Director of Internship Programs for three-and-a-half years. Prior to that role, Nadia also served as a Clinician at Union's Counseling Center, an Admissions/Enrollment Specialist and Campus Registrar at Fisher College, and as a Paralegal in Boston. Nadia holds a Master's Degree in Mental Health Counseling from the University at Albany and a Bachelor of Arts Degree with Honors in Psychology from Hamilton College. Nadia has been involved in charitable fundraising for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team in Training, and MetroLacrosse, a sports-based character education program in Boston. When she is away from the office, Nadia can be found baking, running (to counterbalance the baking), traveling, and reading mystery/crime novels.


Jennifer Soprano

Employer Relations/Recruiting Coordinator

Jennifer grew up in Rose, NY - a very small town about 90 minutes north of Ithaca. She has completed undergraduate course work at Roberts Wesleyan College (Rochester, NY), Finger Lakes Community College (Canandaigua, NY), SUNY Oswego and, most recently, Cornell. While at FLCC, Jennifer completed her AS in Liberal Arts. In the fall of 2006 she began her career at Cornell as an Administrative Assistant in the Advising and Career Services office in the College of Arts and Sciences. In the Fall of 2012 Jennifer joined the Engineering Career Center as the Employer Relations/Recruiting Coordinator. Outside of work, Jennifer enjoys growing gardens, camping, hiking, fishing, canoeing and enjoying all that the Finger Lakes Region has to offer!


Julie Wright

Co-op Assistant

Julie served five and a half years as an administrative assistant at Gannett Health Services, where she was the sports medicine first point of contact for students and staff. Prior to joining Cornell, Julie worked locally as receptionist/billing assistant at Family Medicine Associates; surgical scheduler at Plastic Surgical Associates Podiatric; medical assistant for Dr. Evan Meltzer; and habilitation assistant at Groton Community Health Center. Julie is a graduate of Moravia Central Schools and attended Tompkins Cortland Community College.


Erin Philipson

Front Desk Assistant

Erin is a recent graduate of the University of Massachusetts Amherst where she earned a B.A. in Communications and Dance. She has both retail sales and client relations experience. She also teaches dance at The Next Jennaration Dance Studio in Lansing. Her responsibilities include overseeing the front desk and co-supervising student staff, greeting and preparing for recruiters each morning, marketing office programs and services, and general administrative duties.