Career and Student Employment Services

Career Advisors

Jenny Buysse

Jenny Buysse

Senior Career Advisor
Office Number: 9334
Telephone: 269.488.4649

Background Information

My Bachelor of Arts degree is from Xavier University. In 2001, I completed my Master of Arts from Western Michigan University in Counseling in Higher Education. I am a National Certified Counselor (N.C.C.), a Licensed Professional Counselor (L.P.C.), and Global Career Development Facilitator (G.C.D.F.). I began working at Kalamazoo Valley as a Career and Student Employment Counselor in 2001. My counseling experience is in career and academic counseling in higher education. Prior to coming to Valley, I worked at Western Michigan University's Student Support Program assisting first-generation students with career development, academic advising and freshmen orientation.

Special Interest

My passion is to work with both traditional and non-traditional aged students struggling with academic and career concerns. It is a true joy helping students assess their interests, values, skills and personal attributes in choosing a career. I am available to assist students with career transitions, exploring options, and developing action plans toward their achievable goals. My counseling objective is to help students reach their fullest potential in life. I believe each student brings his or her own unique gifts, experiences and backgrounds to the educational environment and the world of work. These are the qualities that help shape students' educational aspirations and career goals.


Joyce Tamer

Joyce Tamer

Career Advisor
Office Number: 9333
Telephone: 269.488.4522

Background Information

I received both my Bachelor of Science degree (Psychology-Major, Social Studies-Minor) and Master of Art degree (specializing in Agency Counseling) from Western Michigan University.

Special Interest

My philosophy is that education is the best gift you can give yourself. Once completed, it is yours forever to use and build upon to attain your personal goals.

Because each student and each situation is unique, I prefer to tailor each session to the student’s needs. To provide the most effective experience, I use the beginning of the session to gather information that will provide a basis for choosing the counseling path for each student.


Stephanie Keeler

Stephanie Keeler

Career Advisor
Office Number: 9337
Telephone: 269.488.4278

Background Information

I grew up in Kalamazoo and attended Kalamazoo Valley Community College after I graduated from high school. I played tennis my first year at Kalamazoo Valley and after completing my second year, I transferred to Central Michigan University. I graduated with an English major and moved back to Kalamazoo, where I found a position working with adolescents with autism for many years. After meeting with a member of the Kalamazoo Valley Student Success Center team I decided to go back to school, and attend Western Michigan University. I graduated with a Master of Arts in Counseling Education in 2012.

Special Interest

My passion is working with students on their employability skills, and guiding them through their career decision making process. My goal is to help students find what major/program or career they would enjoy and be successful in. I am available for assistance with assessments, employability skills and talking through challenges that arise throughout the process.


Nina Dickerson

Nina Dickerson

Career Advisor
Office Number: 9337
Telephone: 269.488.4388

Background Information

I am a graduate of Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice and Spring Arbor University with a Master of Arts degree in Counseling. I am a licensed professional counselor in the state of Michigan.

Prior to coming to KVCC, I worked in the human services field for the Families First program at Family & Children Services and in the JET/Work first program at Lake Michigan College. I have worked in the education field for the past 6 years with students in the Upward Bound program at Glen Oaks community college and with high school students at Edwardsburg Public Schools.

Special Interest

As a first generation college student, I understand just how challenging it can be to pursue a goal of higher education, especially the process of transferring to a four-year institution. I believe that everyone has a right to pursue a higher education path. As a counselor, I enjoy working with students of all ages and backgrounds to help guide them in the direction to be successful in their future career goals.


Noelle Blades-Penn

Noelle Blades-Penn

Career Advisor
Office Number: 9358
Telephone: 269.488.4969

Background Information

I graduated with my Bachelor's degree in Education from Western Michigan University. I later returned to Western to complete my Master of Arts degree in Counselor Education. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified Teacher in the state of Michigan. Before coming to KVCC, I worked as a middle school counselor in Kalamazoo and Allegan counties, and as a family counselor and family preservation specialist at Bethany Christian Services and Lutheran Social Services of Michigan.

Special Interest

I enjoy working with all students to help them find themselves, their strengths and their abilities while pursuing a meaningful career for themselves. Because of my background working with families in need, I have a special interest in single parents and young parents who are moving forward with their education. I am here to help you navigate your way, and find the resources you need to be successful in life and in your career.


Roxie Swank

Roxie Swank

Career Advisor
Office Number: AWH 117
Telephone: 269.373.7864

Background Information

I received both my Bachelor of Science degree (Interdisciplinary Health Services) and Master of Public Administration degree (specializing in Non Profit Leadership) from Western Michigan University. Prior to coming to KVCC I worked in Academic Advising and with TRiO at Western Michigan University.

Special Interest

My passion is to provide students with the same support that I received during my academic journey. As an exploratory first generation college student I benefited greatly from the support and resources that I received from various university staff, to this day I know that I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for them. The beauty in Career Advising is that I get to help students find their passion and the things that bring them joy, and then I get to use my organizing talents to help them figure out how to get there.


Monica Koning

Monica Koning

Internship Coordinator
Office Number: 7461
Telephone: 269.488.4344

Background Information

I graduated from Hope College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications. After graduation, I worked in advertising sales and management. While working, I attended Western Michigan University for six years until I graduated with a Master of Arts in Organizational Communication. I then took a job with Astra Zeneca as a pharmaceutical sales specialist. In this position I was able to gain experience in marketing, training, sales, and personal development.

After staying home with my children for a few years I started working here at Kalamazoo Valley Community College as an advocate in 2012. In my role as an advocate I worked with students as a guide, coach, or mentor to help them navigate college. I also assisted with new student orientation and coordinated various events. In addition to my role as an advocate, I taught a communications course in public speaking.

Special Interest

In my role as the internship coordinator, I am able to work with students while also corresponding with local businesses and organizations. I enjoy assisting students in finding a great on-the-job learning experience. The connections students make through their internships are extremely valuable to their future!


Student Employment Services


Tracey Quada

Tracey Quada

Student Employment Relations Liaison
Office Number: 7465
Telephone: 269.488.4676

Background Information

My Bachelor of Science degree in psychology is from Northern Michigan University and my Master of Arts degree in counseling in higher education is from Western Michigan University. Prior to coming to KVCC in June 2014, I worked at WMU for almost 15 years, the majority of those as the career advisor for engineering and aviation and most recently as the director of the military and veterans affairs office. I’ve also been a part-time instructor for 12 years in the industrial and manufacturing engineering department, teaching technical communications to engineering and aviation students.

Special Interest

Over the past 10 years, I’ve obtained certifications in the Myers Briggs Type Indicator and the Strong Interest Inventory assessments and have facilitated many class group interpretations for aviation and engineering students. In addition, I’ve developed and have become known for my expertise in the millennial generation, on campus and in the work place, and for facilitating generations in the workplace workshops for area employers. I’m committed to helping people understand their unique ways of knowing and behaving and learn to maximize them personally and professionally.


Mary McConnell

Mary McConnell

Workforce Coordinator
Office Number: 7463
Telephone: 269.488.4046

Background Information

I received my Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Business Administration with a focus in Human Resource Management from Davenport University. I am also a graduate of KVCC. I have over 17 years of experience in the human resources field where I focused primarily on recruitment in the healthcare industry. I am also a certified professional in human resources (PHR).

Special Interest

In my role as the Workforce Coordinator, it is my goal to share the knowledge and experience I’ve gained in human resources to guide students to meaningful and gainful employment. I especially enjoy conducting practice interviews with students and coaching on best practices in responding to difficult questions.