CCPD Team

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The Weingart Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD) team has over 56 years of combined experience providing top-notch career counseling to students interested in government, private sector, non-profit, and advanced higher education settings.

The CCPD's career counselors use a client-centered and solution-driven approach when meeting with students to ensure optimal levels of achievement within the career counseling process. Below you will find an overview of the Career Center’s team areas of career and professional development expertise. 

Deborah Pratt, M.A., ODCP 
Assistant Dean
dpratt@whittier.edu

Deborah brings more than two decades of career and professional development experience to the CCPD team. She has built and led career development programs and initiatives in higher education and federal government settings. Deborah has circumnavigated the globe traveling to over 11 countries. She has lived in Great Britain, Japan, and currently resides in Orange County. Deborah is passionate about British and US History.

Michelle Ponce, M.A.
Director
mponce@whittier.edu

Michelle joined Whittier College in July 2013. She comes to Whittier College with twenty years of progressive and visionary counseling. Michelle has created an eclectic style of engaging young career professionals through individualized and comprehensive career development and the exploration process as well as to provide career competencies as a strategic vision to enlighten life-long learners. She is engaged in numerous career professional committees and holds various roles within each. Michelle is energetic and innovative with a unique ability to influence and integrate collaboration between diverse personalities and styles. She enjoys facilitating authentic mentoring relationships while building and maintaining rapport with various constituents. Michelle holds a Master of Arts in Counseling from Chapman University and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from California State University, Fullerton.

Sandra Arana, M.S.
Assistant Director, Career and Professional Connections
sarana@whittier.edu

Sandra joined the CCPD in March 2015. She brings more than ten years of experience working with college students. She received her Master of Science in Counseling - School Counseling from California State University, Long Beach in 2012. She has co-facilitated and led events that support the enrichment and empowerment of students from underrepresented communities. She is invested in developing connections that bridge the communication gaps amongst all students and partner stakeholders. When she is not enjoying making site visits to prospective employers or counseling students, she enjoys spending quality time with her two active boys.

Catherine (Katie) Nunez
Assistant Director, Career and Professional Development Programming and Evaluation/Career Counselor
knunez@whittier.edu

Katie joined Whittier College’s Weingart Center for Career and Professional Development in August 2013 as a Graduate Assistant Intern, while she was completing her Masters of Science in Counseling with an emphasis on Student Development in Higher Education from California State University, Long Beach. She was promoted as a career counselor in August 2014 giving her the opportunity to bring over five years of career development experience and expertise to the students of Whittier College. She is thoroughly inspired to partner with students and alumni as they progress through their career journey during and after their time at Whittier College to ensure successful student outcomes. Katie is passionate about international and domestic travel, she has been to 5 continents, over 20 countries, and has visited over 36 states.

Matthew Aranda
Marketing Coordinator / Office Manager
maranda@whittier.edu

Matthew joined the Weingart Center for Career and Professional Development in January 2017, as an alumna of Whittier College. His professional experiences have emphasized programming approaches to education, mainly in the form of higher education programming and summer camps with specialized curriculums. His positions required him to design, facilitate, and lead groups of various ages ranging from preschool to young adults for various purposes ranging from literacy to improvisational comedy. Emboldened to extend the Career Center brand to new lengths, Matthew is honored to serve as a member to a team that once coached him. 

Download a summary of the Career Center team's experience and expertise

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