July 14, 2020
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Holly McCormack, dean of field work term and career development at Bennington College, joins Kenyon as the dean of the Career Development Office (CDO) on Aug. 14.
As dean of the CDO, McCormack will be responsible for preparing students for post-graduate success, helping them integrate high-impact experiences with academic work for meaningful career outcomes. She will oversee career preparation initiatives and cultivate Kenyon’s deep network of alumni, parents and employers to enhance career opportunities for students.
“Holly brings both vision and experience to our Career Development Office,” Provost Joseph L. Klesner said. “At Bennington, she made great strides in increasing internship listings and ensuring the satisfaction of employers who offered internships. We see career education as an essential part of the arc of the Kenyon student experience, and I expect Holly will be able to lead the very able CDO team in enhancing programming at all stages of a student’s career, from one’s first days at the College, through significant internship experiences, to the search for the first post-Kenyon job and beyond.”
In her role at Bennington, which she has held since 2013, McCormack led Bennington’s signature field work term, a seven-week period each winter in which all students pursue high-impact internships and independent studies. Under her leadership, alumni, student and employer participation in Bennington’s career network increased by 300 percent, and internship offerings from alumni and parents tripled. Bennington is a residential liberal arts college in North Bennington, Vermont, with an enrollment of approximately 750 undergraduate students.
McCormack takes over as head of the CDO from Scott Layson, who died in September 2016. Maureen Tobin P’20, senior associate director for graduate school and career advising, has served as interim director during the search process. McCormack was selected by a committee chaired by Senior Associate Provost Jan Thomas that included students, faculty and staff. The executive search firm Spelman Johnson helped conduct the national search.
“Kenyon is known for its enduring commitment to academic excellence. This, combined with more hands-on experience in the field, reflection on a life’s work, powerful mentorship from an engaged network, and sharpened resourcefulness born from high-impact experiences, will ensure Kenyon students are increasingly ready for a world with few givens and a dire need for constructive boldness,” McCormack said. “I look forward to collaborating across campus as well as with alumni, parents and institutional partners to advance the exciting work ahead.”
McCormack previously served as director of the field work term at Bennington from December 2001 to May 2004. She also worked for two years as assistant director of international student services at Berkshire Community College in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
McCormack earned a bachelor’s degree in 1994 from Babson College. Prior to her work at Bennington, she worked as executive director of the Hawn Foundation, an educational nonprofit started by actress Goldie Hawn. She also served for more than six years on the leadership team of the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, a $35 million holistic education center.