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Donato named new CareerLAB director

Director of career services at Pitzer College to assume official responsibilities in March

Matt Donato, director of career services and associate dean of students at Pitzer College, will take over as director of the CareerLAB, effective March 23, wrote Dean of the College Maud Mandel in a campus-wide email Thursday.

The appointment marks the completion of a months-long search to identify a successor to Andrew Simmons, who left the post to become associate dean for graduate student career advising. While efforts to find a permanent director were underway, Jim Amspacher, career adviser for Careers in the Common Good, served as the CareerLAB’s interim director.

The 10-person committee — which included undergraduates, graduate students, faculty members and administrators — set out to select a director who would help foster the perception that the CareerLAB is accessible to students, said Maahika Srinivasan ’15, president of the Undergraduate Council of Students and a member of the search committee.

The committee submitted these objectives to Korn Ferry, an outside talent search firm, which then created a job description and solicited a field of candidates for committee members to interview, Srinivasan said. Finalists then visited campus to meet students and CareerLAB staff members, she added.

In addition to leading the CareerLAB, Donato will serve as a staff member in the Office of the Dean of the College, Mandel wrote. Donato will help the office “to support curricular initiatives and to ensure advising at Brown is integrated and comprehensive,” she wrote.

As the field of applicants continuously narrowed, Donato emerged as an ideal candidate, Srinivasan said.

Srinivasan said she envisioned a candidate who would be “energetic” and “focused on the student experience,” she said, noting that the CareerLAB can appear to many students to be “a numbers machine.”

Donato’s past experience at Pitzer makes him well-suited to connect students with liberal arts educations to careers after graduation, she added.

After graduating from Georgetown University, Donato started in the private sector before working in both career services and alumni relations at the University of Chicago, Mandel wrote. At Pitzer, he helped to establish both the Pitzer Professional Directory and the Pitzer Institute for Entrepreneurship, she wrote.

Donato’s appointment comes after the November launch of BrownConnect, an internship search and networking site that is set to expand to encompass two new versions in the coming year.

BrownConnect is part of President Christina Paxson’s P’19 goal of making at least one funded internship or research opportunity available to every student receiving financial aid, as outlined in her strategic plan, “Building on Distinction.” Donato will be instrumental in facilitating this goal, Srinivasan said.



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