Professional Staff

Sam Welch ’86

Assistant Vice President/Executive Director

A native of Upstate New York, Sam graduated from Hamilton with a BA in English and a minor in economics. Over 25 years, he built a career in marketing, communications and advertising, acquiring extensive strategic and personnel leadership experience, and establishing a track record of building teams and understanding the needs of diverse stakeholders. Most recently, Sam was Global Group President for Publicis Heathcare Communications, the world’s largest health communications network, overseeing 13 companies and nearly 2,000 employees worldwide. As the head of a company that recruited, interviewed and hired numerous college graduates every year, Sam has direct experience with the needs of employers, as well as the challenges students face in securing a position in their chosen career.

Rebecca King

Office Coordinator
rking@hamilton.edu (315) 859-4346

Rebecca joined the Career Center staff in August 2017. She previously worked on campus in the Oral Communication Center where she helped plan OCC events and assist with office administration. She also worked part-time as a local preschool teacher. Before staying home to care for her three children, Rebecca worked in graphic design and taught 7th/8th grade Social Studies. She earned a BA degree from Hillsdale College in Art and History, as well as a MS from the University of Rochester in Teaching Secondary Social Studies. As a current freelance photographer and local resident, she also photographs many Clinton youth athletics, high school seniors, and children.

Career Exploration and Development

David Bell

Director of Career Development

David oversees the Career Center’s efforts to provide career development, counseling, education and connections to students during all four years. He also leads the Center’s outcomes and assessment efforts. With more than 25+ years experience helping college students make career plans, David has recently focused his efforts on helping underclass liberal arts students obtain “career-related experience”.

David received an Masters of Education degree in College Student Personnel from Northeastern University, an M.Div. degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Purdue University.

Heather Wixson

Associate Director of Career Development

Heather graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and no idea what to do next. It is her goal and passion to help students avoid that angst and move closer to clarity. Working one-on-one with students, she helps them to discover their interests and coaches them through the career development process using a mindful approach.

Heather has a master’s degree in adult education from Buffalo State University, holds a 200 hour yoga teacher training certification through Driftwood Yoga, and is currently pursuing certification from the Institute for Life Coach Training. She serves as and advisor for HAAND (Hamilton Autism Advocates for NeuroDiversity) and is chair of the campus Wellness Committee. She lives in Sherrill with her husband, Colin, and daughter, Estella.

Janine Oliver

Associate Director of Career Development

Janine started at the Career Center in July 2012 after having worked with students for over seven years as a special education teacher, an outdoor educator, and a counselor. Most recently, Janine worked at Colgate University, advising student volunteer teams as well as career counseling. Janine holds an AB in English from Princeton University, and an MA in counseling from the University of New Hampshire. With her solution-focused style and passion for career assessment and exploration, Janine can be a great resource for students and alumni by helping them identify potential career paths based on their interests, values and skills.

Lisa M. Baker

Career Advisor

Lisa holds bachelors, degrees in Elementary Education and Fine Art from SUNY Oswego, and a master's degree in Information Management from Syracuse University. Her experience includes more than 20+ years in the world of corporate technology implementation and project management. She transitioned to the world of leadership development and coaching, and holds coaching certifications through both the Coaches Training Institute and through the International Coach Federation. She is a certified facilitator of the PresenceAtWork Collective Leadership program, an alumnus of The Bigger Game program, and a 200-hour certified yoga instructor. Lisa co-founded The Leaders Co-Lab which helps executive teams work better together in a collective leadership model, and has her own coaching and consulting practice. Driving her enthusiasm for career advising is a desire to help individuals align their core values and skills with a fulfilling career.

Employer Relations, Alumni Engagement, and Communication

Abby Taylor

Director of Employer Relations

Abby manages all recruiting and employer relations operations of the Career Center and oversees our outreach and marketing strategies to maintain and build recruiting opportunities for Hamilton students and alumni.

Before joining the team, she worked in human resources, recruiting and sales at companies in both Los Angeles and Boston and as an admissions representative for her alma mater. On campus, Abby is a member of the Student Emergency Aid Society (SEAS) committee. Abby received a BA from William Smith College and an MFA from Antioch University, Los Angeles.

In addition to her employer relations role, Abby advises students preparing to participate in the NYC program.

Cheney Cronin

Assistant Director, Employer Relations and Health Professions Advising
ccronin@hamilton.edu (315)859-4346

Cheney joined the Career Center in October 2014 as the Office Coordinator. She previously worked for the College in 2012 as a temporary assistant in the Admissions office, helping to prepare admission materials and process applications. She later took on another temporary assignment as an Alumni Relations assistant during Hamilton’s first All-Alumni Bicentennial Reunion where she was responsible for event planning and logistical detail. Cheney has over seven years in proven customer service and exceptional work ethic. She is a 2010 graduate from the University at Albany with a B.A. in Sociology. Employers can contact Cheney to set up on-campus visits.

Margaret Bratton Schilling '91

Employer Development Specialist

Margaret graduated from Hamilton in 1991 with concentrations in Mathematics and Psychology. She earned an MA in Education Administration from Teacher’s College. For the past 20+ years, Margaret has worked for schools and non-profits as a fundraising professional with an emphasis on Individual Giving, Communications, and Donor Relations. As a New York City based member of the Employer Relations team, Margaret works to develop partnerships with alumni, parents and their employers to provide meaningful career-related opportunities for students.

Shauna Hirshfield ’06


Shauna graduated from Hamilton in 2006 with a BA in Women’s Studies and a minor in Computer Science. Over the past decade, she earned a Master of Science degree in Higher Postsecondary Education from Syracuse University, and went on to work at four different institutions across career advising, employer relations, and enrollment management. Most recently, Shauna served as the Internship Coordinator in Colgate University’s Center for Career Services. There, she oversaw experiential-based signature programs and worked closely with internship employers. Utilizing her background in large-scale program management and cultivating alumni and employer relationships, Shauna oversees the Career Center’s Connect Team, which focuses on engaging students in peer-to-peer and alumni-to-student industry-specific career-related exploration. Shauna also works with the Hamilton Career Network (HCN) volunteers to engage alumni in different Career Center initiatives.

Shannon L. Shannon

Assistant Director, Publicity & Programming

Shannon joined the staff as the Front Desk Coordinator in January 2005. In August 2008, she took the position of Publicity & Programming Coordinator and took an elevated role in 2012 as the Assistant Director of Publicity and Programming. It is Shannon’s goal to work creatively to send the messages of the Career Center to students, alumni and parents by using email, social media and the Career Center weekly publication, The Inside Track. She is also responsible for administering the Summer Internship Funding program. Shannon completed her Associates Degree in Applied Sciences from Herkimer College with a major in Marketing.

Health Professions Advising

Leslie Bell

Director of Health Professions Advising

Leslie works closely with the staff to advise students interested in health professions as they explore career options, obtain pre-requisite coursework and experience, and complete the process of applying to health professions schools. Leslie has been with the Career Center for over 20 years and has served during this time on the Health Professions Advisory Committee as well as serving as the primary advisor for careers in health, education, and human services.

Contact Information

Career Center

Third floor of Bristol Center
198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323 
315-859-4346 ccadmin@hamilton.edu
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