Office of Academic and Career Services Staff
Experience: Mary Becelia has worked at UMW since 1993. She also worked for two years in Career Services at Vassar College. Prior to that, Mary received a BA in English and M.Ed in Education at the University of Virginia.
Advising Philosophy: Her philosophy of counseling centers on making the student as comfortable as possible with issues related to major selection, career options, internships, job searching and more, even when circumstances are difficult. She works to help each student feel as calm and collected as possible…if not when they enter her office, at least by the time they depart.
Jennifer Cirbus, Student Success Coordinator
Experience: I received my Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University at Buffalo. I am currently pursuing a Master’s of Science in College Student Personnel at Arkansas Tech University. Prior coming to UMW, I was an academic advisor at American Public University System for about five years. I advised students pursuing an education in liberal arts. Additionally, I advised a variety of student populations including, but not limited to, first year, transfer, and military students.
Advising Philosophy: As a Student Success Coordinator my primary mission is to help students navigate successfully through their college careers while exploring their educational and career options. One of my goals is to help students find their passion as I have found mine being a student affairs professional. I strive to engage with my students and be informed of their struggles and successes through this developmental process. It is important to me that I build relationships with my students so that I can offer guidance and advice, in the form of University resources, that can be beneficial referral tools.
Charlotte Corbett-Parker, Program Support Technician
Bianca Faison, Student Success Coordinator
Experience: I graduated with my B.A in Sociology from Wake Forest University. In 2013, I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with my M.Ed in Higher Education Administration. During my graduate studies, I had assistantships as a live-in residence coordinator in the office of Housing and Residence Life and as an adviser in the UNCG School of Education. I also interned in Career Services, Housing Services, Academic Skills, and Judicial Affairs. Lastly, one of my favorite experiences, was teaching Foundations For Learning, an introductory course for first years at UNCG, for two years.
Advising Philosophy: My advising philosphy is rooted in student development theory but informed by each unique meeting I have with students. I think that theory about student development gives a great framework, but it is certainly not a catch-all. When advising students, I not only want the student to walk away with the logistical knowledge they need, but also knowing that I can be used a resource and I’m willing to help out any way that I can. I love working with students and my door is always open even if it’s just to say hello!
Cody Harrison, Student Success Coordinator
Experience: I have a Masters of Education in College Student Personnel Administration from James Madison University. I have worked in Residence Life, LGBT and Ally Education, Off Campus Life, and First Year Involvement positions helping students with everything from scheduling to career selection to dealing with personal crises and issues.
Advising Philosophy: I am meeting students where they are and helping them move themselves toward where they want to be. I like one on one time with students to help them make their own choices about where they want to go and offering them the appropriate amounts of challenge and support along the way.
Rose Maddox, Office Manager
Experience: I graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2010 with a Bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing. During that time, I interned at a non-profit organization in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, writing bi-weekly columns for a local newspaper. I began working at UMW in 2011 as Recruiting Coordinator, and am now acting as Office Manager for the merged offices. I am a certified Virginia Contracting Associate, and a member of the Eastern Association of Colleges and Employers.
Keith Mellinger, Interim Director
Experience: I have an MS, PhD (Mathematics) from U. Delaware. I am also the Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Mathematics at UMW, as well as the Interim Director of Academic and Career Services. I’ve spent 18 years working in higher education and always, at least in part, as an academic advisor
Advising Philosophy: Students these days are under pressures that students a decade ago did not manage. These pressure include (full time!) jobs, families, and the economy. It is important for the staff of OACS to treat each student as an individual and guide them holistically through their time at UMW and beyond.
Charles Tate, Student Success Coordinator
Experience: Fourteen years of experience in higher education—four at the University of Virginia School of Medicine and since 2004 at UMW. I have worked in an advising capacity with undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty members. My undergraduate degree is a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Lynchburg College (1996.) My graduate degree is a Master of Theological Studies in Church History from Vanderbilt University (1998.)
Advising Philosophy: I believe that the university has a duty to support students from pre-admission advising and admission all the way through graduation and employment—each part of that process is tied to the others. My role is to be available to students and to seek out ways to help develop students into productive, ethical, educated members of society.