Harrigan will succeed Associate Director Theresa Witherell, who has served as acting director for the past year.
"My philosophy regarding career services in higher education is built on the premise that we are all here to educate students, to help students make wise choices throughout their lives," Harrigan said.
"A career center has the expertise and resources to help students learn about themselves and about the world of work so that they can make choices for not just a meaningful career, but a fulfilling life."
Harrigan said she will seek to build on the center's growth and reputation for excellence, while implementing strategies to give it a higher profile in the University.
"My first priority is to meet with the Career Center professionals to hear about their vision for the future," she said. "I want to hear about their ideas for programs and initiatives and work with them to make things happen."
Harrigan identified several major objectives, which will involve outreach across campus, enhancing the relationships with faculty and developing programs that are of service to the surrounding community.
She also hopes to eliminate a long-standing stigma common to career services programs and professionals. "Unfortunately, we are still seen as the senior 'placement office,' when in fact we don't place graduating students in jobs, but prepare them for finding employment and managing their careers," said Harrigan.
Prior to Simmons College, Harrigan worked at Northeastern University as a faculty member and interim associate dean of the Department of Cooperative Education. She served on university-wide committees dealing with issues in enrollment management, reorganization, and strategic planning.
Harrigan received her undergraduate degree in psychology from Simmons in 1976, and at Northeastern earned her master's in counseling and doctorate in higher education administration.
Theresa A. Harrigan
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