The Career Champion Award annually recognizes one staff member and one faculty member who have gone above and beyond in encouraging the career exploration, readiness, and success of UVM students. 

These individuals are not Career Counselors, but dedicate a portion of their time to supporting the career development of students (graduate or undergraduate) by consistently empowering them to seek meaningful opportunities for work, service, and/or advanced studies with confidence, courage, and curiosity.

Career Champions…

  • Advise students in discovering and pursuing opportunities to gain experience
  • Support students in making informed decisions aligned with their values, goals and interests
  • Help students articulate their Career Competencies and career options
  • Connect students with formal and informal networks and resources
  • Display responsiveness, availability, concern, respect and depth of knowledge
  • Are UVM employees who do not work in the Career Center


Current Champions

Headshot of SarahAmy M. Tomas

Director of Undergraduate Programs, Senior Lecturer, Grossman School of Business

As the innovator and driving force behind the Grossman School of Business PEAKS program, Amy Tomas was a natural choice for the Career Champion award. PEAKS allows students to explore career paths and earn badges, which helps them create a kind of “online portfolio system”. Through this program, students are encouraged to engage with their community in various ways, such as clubs, attending panel discussions, or conducting informational interviews. As they engage, they reflect on their experiences to help them articulate the skills they are developing. As one student put it: “Students learn to be intentional about their classes and extracurriculars” which will lead them to a “a purposeful life after graduation.”


Headshot of DenisMeghan "MJ" Jaird

Director of Student Services and Retention, College of Education and Social Services

We are excited to celebrate MJ Jaird for her dedication to both student success and overall well-being. MJ supports students in their career preparation by connecting them with relevant people or resources to help them in their decision-making. She remains a supportive ally for struggles both academic and personal. She provides a judgement free space for students to be honest with their concerns and ask questions about their future. As a testament to her impact, one student noted “she was one of few adults I could count on to help me see my goals clearly despite the chaos.”

We are incredibly thankful to the time and dedication each of our winners has invested into the success of our students.

Past Winners

2021 Career Champions Winners

  • Denis Garcia Reyes  Assistant Residence Director at the University of Vermont (staff)
  • Sarah Heiss – Associate Professor for Public Communication and Food Systems, CDAE (faculty)

2020 Career Champions Winners

  • Sarah Childs – Assistant Director of the Mosaic Center for Students of Color (staff)
  • Alice Fothergill – Professor of Sociology (faculty)


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