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Career Connections

Meet Our Staff


Open Position
Communication and Operations Coordinator


Joe Chmura
Assistant Director and Business and Finance Pathway Leader

Joe Chmura works primarily with students who have an interest in the worlds of business, economics, finance, computer science, mathematics, and education to help align career interests with their professional goals.  He is the Career Pathway leader for the Business and Finance Pathway.

Joe graduated from Niagara University with a degree in business administration and has broad experience as a human resource executive and business leader. His career ranges from medical and pharmaceuticals sales to a variety of roles in H.R., including senior executive positions at Baxter Healthcare and Follett Library Resources.

Throughout his career he has worked with students at a variety of universities, creating unique intern and rotation opportunities that resulted in rewarding careers. He has also worked to support the continuing mission and growth of Chicago schools including Hales Franciscan High School. Joe has also served on the Board of Directors of the Lake County Workforce Investment Board and the McHenry County Workforce Investment Board, where he served as the vice chair.

Hannah Frei







Hannah Frei
Assistant Director and 
Creative Arts Pathway   
Leader and
Interim Law and Public Service Pathway Leader


From April - June 2018, Hannah will be on leave. For Creative Arts, see Colleen Monks and/or Stephanie Valtierra. For Law & Public Service, see Ben Rohde.

Hannah Frei works primarily with students interested in art, art history, cinema studies, digital media design, English, museum studies, music and theater. She is the Career Pathway leader for the Creative Arts Pathway.

Hannah graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from DePaul University, a Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration from the University of Denver, and a Master of Arts in Women’s Studies from the University of Florida. 

Before joining the team at Lake Forest College, Hannah managed residence halls and supported college students as an Area Coordinator at the University of Florida in Gainesville and as a Residence Life Coordinator at Florida International University in Miami. She has taught college courses for four years, including Women’s Leadership & Scholarship and First Year Florida. Hannah also has certifications as a Title IX investigator and a domestic violence advocate, which she utilized in her experience working as a career counselor at a shelter for survivors of domestic violence.

Lisa Hinkley
Associate VP for Career and Professional Development

Lisa Hinkley is the Associate Vice President for Career and Professional development.  She serves as the director of the Career Advancement Center and director of the internship program. She is a member of the President’s Senior Staff team and is charged with leading career preparation efforts for the College.

During her years of experience in career services, she has taught courses on leadership, career decision-making, and job search strategies.  Lisa is actively involved in the National Association of Colleges and Employers, and she regularly presents at regional and national conferences on career development topics. Lisa serves on the advisory board for the Collegiate Employment Research Institute (CERI), which specializes in researching students’ transition from college to work. 

Lisa earned her master’s degree in student affairs administration from Michigan State University and bachelor’s degree in political science from Bradley University. 


Jennifer Lazarus
  Internship Program Coordinator


Jennifer Lazarus assists the Career Advancement Center’s staff, students and faculty with the for-credit internship approval process.

Jennifer graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature. She then obtained her Juris Doctor from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law and worked as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for the Washtenaw County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office in Ann Arbor, MI. Jennifer moved to Lake Forest with her family in 2013 and joined Lake Forest College in the fall of 2014 as a Department Assistant in the Career Advancement Center.

Vernard Lockhart

Vernard Lockhart ’08
Internship Specialist -
Business and Finance Pathway

Vernard Lockhart ’08 has over eight years of experience working in finance, business and recruitment sectors. His professional career to date includes serving as a field operative for a social investment consulting firm, helping nonprofits, finance, and technology firms attract top talent, and even starting and running his own event production company.

As a 2008 Lake Forest College graduate with a degree in Philosophy, such diversity of experience has provided the unique opportunity to help many people find new jobs and

launch new social enterprises. He has also helped convicted felons re-enter the workforce. He is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and Policy with a focus in Workforce Development at American University.

 Marcy Machado

Marcy Machado
Department Assistant

Marcy Machado is the front line presence of the Career Advancement Center. She coordinates front desk operations, assists with communication to constituents, and helps plan and execute career-related events and activities.

Before joining Lake Forest College in 2017, Marcy managed educational and internship programs in both creative and business environments. Additionally, she has held board positions with organizations concentrating on education and youth programs. She enjoys working with students, administrators, and community/business leaders.

Marcy graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications. She lives in Lake Forest with her family.

Colleen Monks
Associate Director and Science and Health Care Pathway Leader

Colleen Monks works primarily with undecided students, self-designed majors, and those interested in health professions, sciences, and psychology to discover their interests and to develop and pursue their professional goals.  She is the Career Pathway Leader for the Science and Health Care Pathway. 

From April - June 2018,  Colleen also serves as the Career Adviser for students interested in the Creative Arts (Art, art history, cinema studies, digital media design, English, museum studies, music and theater).

Before coming to Lake Forest College, Colleen worked at Northwestern University Career Advancement and taught a first-year experience course for students in engineering and applied sciences.  She brings with her over 5 years of experience counseling and advising college students on topics relating to student success with a focus on career development.  Prior to her work in Career Services, Colleen served in a variety of roles within education settings including Student Support Services TRiO advisor and applied behavior analysis therapist.  

Colleen graduated from DePaul University with a Master of Education in Counseling, and she holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Ohio State University.  In her spare time, Colleen enjoys trying out new restaurants in downtown Chicago and playing beach volleyball by Lake Michigan in the summer.

Benjamin Rohde
Assistant Director and Build Your Own Career Pathway Leader  rohde@lakeforest.edu                 

Ben Rohde works primarily with students who are interested in Communication, Entrepreneurship, and self-designed majors to help align career interests with their professional goals. He is the Career Pathway leader for the Build Your Own Pathway.

For the duration of the Spring 2018 semester, Ben also works with students considering law school and majoring in Asian studies, history, international relations, Latin American studies, modern languages, philosophy, politics, religion, and sociology/anthropology.  

Ben is a student-centered professional committed to helping students connect their passion and abilities to meaningful careers. As a relationship builder, Ben networks with employers and alumni to facilitate opportunities for students to build on their learning from classroom to career.

Ben graduated with a B.S. in Biology and a M.S. in Student Personnel Administration from Concordia University, Wisconsin. He combines 8 years working in higher education with experience in Career Services, Academic Advising, Student Conduct, Title IX, Orientation, Student Activities, Athletics, and Admissions. Most recently he served as the Director of Career Services at CUW and was the President Elect/President of the Wisconsin Private Colleges Career Consortium (WIPCCC). He also taught college courses for 6 years teaching The Freshman Seminar, Career Exploration, and a Graduate Careers course.

Open Position
Law and Public Service Pathway Leader

Spring 2018:
See Ben Rohde   rohde@lakeforest.edu   

The Law and Public Service Pathway Leader is also the academic liaison for students considering law school and majoring in Asian studies, history, international relations, Latin American studies, modern languages, philosophy, politics, religion, and sociology/anthropology. 

Stephanie Valtierra

Stephanie Valtierra ’08
Internship and 
Off-Campus Research
Specialist - Science and Health Care Pathway

Stephanie Valtierra ’08 prepares Lake Forest College’s students for a successful career by helping them gain experience with meaningful internships and off-campus research opportunities.

From April - June 2018, Stephanie also works with students interested in internships in the Creative Arts (Art, art history, cinema studies, digital media design, English, museum studies, music and theater).

Stephanie has a strong background in research and mentorship. After graduating from Lake Forest College with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology, she gained research experience as a technician at Northwestern University and Rosalind Franklin University. She went on to earn a PhD in Neuroscience from Northwestern University. While at Northwestern, she trained and mentored graduate and undergraduate students, leading to the successful completion of diverse research projects. In addition, she was a member of the Committee for Underrepresented Minority Affairs and was actively involved in recruiting activities at Northwestern – with a focus on the recruitment of underrepresented minorities in the sciences. Stephanie has given presentations on her research and graduate program at national and international conferences and recruitment events. Stephanie rejoined Lake Forest College in 2017 as the Internship and Off-Campus Research Specialist for the Science and Health Care Pathway.

To learn about the faculty internship supervisors, browse the internships section of the site.