UNF internal search committee interviews candidates for new VP of Jobs position

Heydi Oritz and Zach Yearwood

This story has been updated to reflect it was an internal search committee interviewing candidates, not the Board of Trustees.

In a series of Zoom meetings throughout the week, an internal search committee interviewed candidates for the new Vice President of Jobs position in the school’s Career Center.

The candidate interviewed on Tuesday was Dr. Georgette Dumont, an associate professor in the school’s Department of Political Science and Public Administration. Dumont has been teaching at UNF since 2010, where she began as an assistant professor. She later became an associate professor in 2017.

The second candidate, interviewed on Thursday, was Karen Bowling, current Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Bowling said she was grateful to have her start at UNF as a student. She says she’s been on almost every aspect of a job and values work. Bowling has more than 30 years of experience working with both public and private companies in healthcare.

In the interviews, search committee members, along with other faculty members, grilled both Dumont and Bowling on issues related to the open position, which was created to help “ensure that all UNF graduates achieve their career aspirations,” per a statement released by the University.

Since the position is brand new, there is a lot of speculation on what tasks the Vice President of Jobs will conduct.

Dumont said that she would be a “connection-maker.” She explained that it would be her job to provide career opportunities for students by encouraging more employers to attend career and internship fairs.

Bowling said she hopes to help shape the culture around how administrators interact with students around jobs based on information about how early they’re starting internships and whether or not it’s early enough.

Dumont earned her bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies with a minor in Political Science from Roger Williams University in 2001, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude. She then went on to receive her Master of Public Administration at Bridgewater State College and subsequently earned a Ph.D. in Political Science in 2010 from Northern Illinois University. She has also served as a Jacksonville Beach City Councilwoman since December 2018. She said she plans on applying her expertise in this area to her new job if she gets it.

On the other hand, Bowling was President of Thriving Consulting LLC in Jacksonville, was CEO of Solantic urgent care clinics, served as Chief Administrative Officer for the city of Jacksonville when Alvin Brown was Mayor and is a member of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce board of directors. Bowling herself was a student at UNF, obtaining a Bachelor of Arts in Literature.

“We need to find ways to change the culture of UNF so that students are looking at long-term goals on day one when they step onto campus,” Dumont said. “If we start to change the culture to where that is always the end goal, then they will be able to apply what they learn in classes to the real world,” said Dumont.

“I think a big part of this is working with the business community because from everything I’ve read, everything I’ve seen, and everything I heard today, the university is doing a really good job, in this phase, around career management. There’s always opportunities for improvement but I think a good percentage of this would be more externally basing, you know working with businesses on, basically who are our strong supporters now, who are the businesses who are recruiting interns, why are they recruiting, what do they need more of, what can we do better for them and then interfacing that with the faculty and the career services group on how we can implement some of those improvements,” said Bowling.


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