Alumni Sharing Knowledge > About > Key Facts

Key Facts

Originally created in the mid-1990s, DePaul's Alumni Sharing Knowledge (ASK) network started as an information resource for students seeking a jumpstart in their career development. It became a fully developed program in 2000 and has now grown hundreds of volunteer mentors from varied backgrounds and experience, offering career guidance to our students and alumni. ASK serves all majors and all colleges of DePaul University.

Program Leadership

The ASK Advisory Board plays a key role in maintaining a connection with ASK volunteers, enhancing the credibility of the program and furthering the mission of ASK among its stakeholders. The board is comprised of highly engaged ASK mentors from various industries and leaders from academic departments who meet regularly throughout the year for program support and guidance.

Jacqueline Benitez, SPHR; Director of Human Resources, Segall Bryant & Hamill (BS Management, MBA Leadership & Change Management)

Jackie brings 15 years of professional expertise in human resources. She has worked with benefit plans, compensation, payroll administration, recruiting and training. She is also active in the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). A "double demon," Jackie has been an ASK Volunteer since 2000 and a Board Member since 2003.​

Shirley Bono; Assistant Dean at the School for New Learning (SNL), DePaul University

Shirley has worked at SNL for 10 years and currently serves as Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Student Services. Prior to that, she had careers in the financial services and non-profit sectors. She has an MA in Counseling and BS in Human Resource Development from Northeastern Illinois University and an Associate's degree in business management from Morton College​

Karen Burgard; Assistant Dean at Driehaus College of Business, DePaul University

​Karen currently serves as Assistant Dean in the Driehaus College of Business at DePaul University. She earned both her BA (French) and MBA from Ball State University. She has over 20 years of experience in higher education administration including admissions, registration, advising, curriculum and policy functions. Her focus on student service and success has led her to serve as a staff mentor in the Chicago Quarter, past advisor to the Student Executive Organization and Second Administrator on international study programs. She has taught First-year, Capstone and Management elective courses in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and the Driehaus College of Business. She currently teaches UIP 350 — Advanced Internship, The Changing Workplace. Her interests include health and fitness, travel and cooking. She joined the ASK Board in 2013.​​

Carlos Cruz; Practice Area Lead — Information Management and Analytics, Slalom Consulting (MBA International Marketing & Finance)

 Carlos has been a Volunteer since 2005 and has served as the board's Chair from 2009 to 2013. He has over 12 years of business strategy and business process consulting experience with clients across a broad range of industries. Carlos is also an alumnus of the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and participates annually in a number of charitable events and races whose organizations focus on finding cures for cancer.​

Kevin Cummings, SPHR; Vice President, Interim HR Consulting (BS Marketing)

Kevin has been a Volunteer since 2008 and a member of the board since 2009. He brings over ten years of experience as a human resource generalist helping achieve business objectives through HR and training solutions. Prior to his current role, he was Executive Vice President at Moreson Conferencing and held HR positions with Doubletree Hotel, East Bank Club, American Bar Association and American Medical Association. Kevin is also certified with the United States Professional Tennis Association.​

Michelle Dash; User Experience Lead, Roundarch Isobar (MS Human Computer Interaction)

Michelle has been a Volunteer since 2009 and a member of the board since 2010. At Roundarch Isobar, she facilitates the planning process of various websites by researching user needs, organizing information and developing website strategies. She received her master's degree in Human Computer Interaction and conducts practice interviews and mentoring with IT students.​

Liz Friedman; Assistant Dean at the College of Computing & Digital Media, DePaul University

Liz has worked at DePaul University for six years, and as Assistant Dean for CDM she oversees advising, admission, marketing, recruitment and sponsorship for the college. She holds a PhD in Higher, Adult and Lifelong Education from Michigan State University (2004). Before arriving at DePaul, she spent almost 20 years working in academic support for student-athletes at Michigan State University and the University of Maryland. This spring she created a new course for CDM called IT 200: Putting Your Major to Work, which interactively guides students through the process of researching and securing a job or internship. She joined the ASK board in 2013.​

Randy Honold; Assistant Dean at the College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences, DePaul University

 Randy started working at DePaul University in 1992 as a graduate student advisor while finishing his Ph.D. in philosophy. He directed the LAS Undergraduate Advising Office for six years, then moved into the Dean's Office in 2006. In addition, Randy teaches for the Philosophy Department, the Environmental Sciences & Studies Department and the First Year Program; plus has co-led short-term study abroad programs to India and Ireland. In 2013, he served on the LAS Task Force on Student Success which set forth ambitious plans to improve services for LAS students transitioning to the world of work. Outside of DePaul he enjoys bicycling, photography, travel and spending time with his family. Randy joined the ASK Board in 2013.​

Nakware Howard; Lead Graphic Designer, NCSA Athletic Recruiting (BA Art and Design)

Since graduating with a BA in Art and Design in 2011, Nakware has served as a mentor for ASK and has participated in a number of panels, speaking engagements and practice interviews. Professionally, Nakware has experience working in both a digital agency and internal marketing environment. As a designer he values collaboration and works on taking concepts from ideation to execution using the best visual means available. In 2014, Nakware joined the ASK board and hopes to make an impact on the future of the program that once helped him accelerate his career. He brings his experience in the graphic design field and a wealth of knowledge about the current creative job market.​

John Jameson; Founder, Connecting Insights (BS Psychology)

John is an alumnus of DePaul's College of Science & Health and currently works in human resources as Executive Recruiter at Creative Financial Staffing, an affiliate of Crowe Horwath. He is an avid contributor to the Practice Interview program and has been a volunteer since 2005. He brings to the board his experience with employee networks and professional associations and has recruited at over 50 schools across the U.S. He has qualified and hired more than 200 professionals in multiple Fortune 500 firms in campus recruiting, proactive sourcing and experienced life-cycle recruiting roles. Recognized as an Expert Networker, he has facilitated various interviewing, resume writing and networking workshops to diverse audiences. John joined the Board in 2007.

Dan Kesselring; Human Resources Consultant, Project Manager, Independent Contractor (BM and MM Music Education)

Dan has held a variety of positions to include Director of Consulting, HR Director, HR Consultant, Project Manager, Dean of Career Services in Higher Education, Military Officer and High School Band Director. He also holds an MBA from Northwestern University. Dan has been an ASK Volunteer since 2007 and a Board Member since 2008.​

Juan Mir; International Banker, PNC Financial Services Group (MBA Finance)

Juan brings over 20 years of commercial banking experience as well as an additional eight years in public accounting. He is also an alumnus of Loyola University (undergraduate). Juan joined ASK in 2007 and has served as a mentor and panelist. He serves as a mentor in DePaul's Student Leadership Institute and Professional Advisor in the School for New Learning. He also is a member of the College of Education's Advisory Council. He represents his institution in DePaul's Corporate Connector program. He also is a member of the College of Education's Advisory Council and joined the ASK board in 2009​

Shena Ramsay; Assistant Dean at the College of Communication, DePaul University

 Shena joined the College of Communication in the Spring of 2012 as Assistant Dean to oversee several college functions. She coordinates Summer and December Session schedules, administers university-level award, recognition and research assistance programs, manages named and endowed scholarships, and tracks college achievements and data. She also plays a key role on the college's assessment and personnel committees, and coordinates new programming initiatives. Prior to joining DePaul, Ramsay worked for the University of Illinois at Chicago, Loyola University, and Roosevelt University. She holds a BA in English Literature from Chicago State University and an MS in Integrated Marketing Communications from Roosevelt University. Shena joined the board in 2013.​

Michael Roberts; Assistant Dean at the College of Science & Health, DePaul University (MEd, MBA)

Michael is the assistant dean for academic services in the College of Science and Health (CSH), where he is responsible for the leadership of undergraduate and graduate advising and student services. He has more than 11 years of experience in higher education administration. He started working at DePaul University in 2006 as the director of advising in the College of Liberal Arts and Science. He earned his MEd and MBA at DePaul. Michael teaches a Chicago blues class for the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences' First Year Program. Michael joined the ASK Board in 2013.

Troy Kane; Global Head of Algorithmic Business Development at BGC Partners (BS in Finance & Economics)

Troy is an experienced capital markets and derivatives professional with expertise in market structure, strategic business development, algorithmic trading, trading platform design, and trading operations. Troy earned a Bachelor of Science in Commerce from DePaul University (2006), majoring in Finance and Economics, with a minor in Political Science and a MBA in Finance and Applied Economics from Roosevelt University (2012). Troy was named one of DePaul’s outstanding alumni under 40 in 2014 and currently serves on the Finance Advisory Board. In 2016 Troy joined the ASK Advisory Board to help enhance the program and has mentored over 60 students in the last 5 years.​

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​​Staff

  • Leslie Chamberlain, Associate Director — Alumni Career Services & ASK
  • Emily Palmeri, Marketing Intern, ASK
  • Asif Shaikh, Data Analyst Intern, ASK
  • Julian Vivas, Volunteer Coordinator Intern, ASK (MBA 2016):
    • ​Julian is a graduate student at DePaul University studying General Business Management. As an ASK Volunteer Coordinator intern, Julian recruits, coordinates and promotes practice interviews between ASK volunteers and DePaul students and alumni. He also matches volunteers for guest speaking opportunities on campus and pairs students with volunteers for career mentoring. Julian received a Bachelor of Arts in Industrial Relations with a major in Compensation and Benefits from the Universidad Catolica Andres Bello in his home country, Venezuela. He has more than five years of experience in Human Resources Management and leading teams to accomplish diverse projects in the different units involved with HR.

Questions? Contact us at ask@depaul.edu or (312) 362-8281.​​​​​