Who We Are
Our team of professional staff takes an individualized and developmental approach to working with Bates students as they explore purposeful work on campus and after graduation. We advise students in every stage of exploration, from asking “What are my values and interests?” and “How do the pieces of my studies and extra-curriculars tie together?” to “What next steps do I take to build the skills I need?”
Because our work is philosophical and pragmatic, we also offer a wide range of programs for students to test their interests and skills.
Please call us at 207-786-6232 to schedule an office or phone appointment with a counselor. We look forward to talking with you!
Allen Delong, Senior Associate Dean
Allen leads the Bates Center for Purposeful Work, which brings together in one place, under one philosophy, a set of programs and functions that have until now been divided between the Purposeful Work program and the Bates Career Development Center. He has served as a faculty member or administrator at large, Research I universities and small, private liberal arts colleges over the past 25 years. A native Mainer from “The County,” Delong holds a Bachelors from the University of Maine; a Master’s Degree from the University of Vermont and a Ph.D. from The Ohio State University. Allen works with students and alumni interested in education, community and non-profit work, and entrepreneurship.
Karen Daigler, Director for Graduate and Professional School Advising
Karen provides academic and career guidance to pre-health students and alumni and advises those interested in pursuing graduate school. She serves as an ex officio member of the Medical Studies Committee at Bates. She also serves as a general career counselor and administers the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® and Strong Interest Inventory® assessments. Karen has worked in career development for more than 20 years at Bates, Bowdoin and Boston College. In her role at Bowdoin, Karen worked extensively with students interested in education and nonprofit careers. Karen has an M.A. in counseling psychology from Boston College and a B.A. in sociology from Cortland State University.
Amy Jaffe, Senior Associate Director for Exploration
As the leader of the Exploration Team, Amy integrates a holistic approach that emphasizes self-awareness, reflection, and exploration into students’ discovery of meaningful career paths. Amy has been a career counselor in private practice and higher education for more than fifteen years, having worked at Golden Gate University, University, University of San Francisco, and as an associate of Heart at Work. She served as the president of the Maine Career Development Association in 2018-2020 and is a current member of the State Leadership Council for the National Career Development Association. Amy holds a Masters in Career Development from John F. Kennedy University and a bachelor’s degree from Colgate University.
Marianne Cowan, Associate Director of Program Design
Marianne provides guidance to students early in the process of exploring work and career trajectories, connecting their Bates education and experiences to create a path toward meaningful work. She also counsels students interested in business, finance, entrepreneurship, nonprofit and social services. She manages the Practitioner-Taught Courses, athletics and co-curricular programming for the Center for Purposeful Work and advises Bobcat Ventures. Prior to her work as a member of the original Purposeful Work Design Team, Marianne served many years in senior alumni relations and fundraising roles at Bates and supported public health startup programs, faculty development and grant writing at the University of Buffalo School of Medicine. She holds a master’s degree from the University of Buffalo and a B.A. from Bates.
Hoi Ning Ngai, Associate Director, Employer Engagement and Business Advising
Hoi Ning works with employers to cultivate and support the development of internship and job opportunities that allow students to pursue meaningful and purposeful opportunities in the workplace. She also advises students with specific interests in business, including finance, consulting, marketing, operations, and human resources. She believes strongly in the importance and value of self-reflection in undergraduate education, especially in terms of helping students become more aware of their identity, beliefs, values, and goals as they pursue advanced degrees and post-graduate opportunities. Prior to arriving at Bates, Hoi Ning served as the Associate Dean for Student Affairs at The Graduate School at UNC-Chapel Hill, the Dean of Academic Advising and Support at Kenyon College, and an Associate Director of Academic Affairs and Advising at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. She received her B.A. in Psychology from Dartmouth College and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Higher Education from UCLA. She is a first-generation college and graduate school graduate who grew up in Brooklyn and Queens with immigrant parents in low-income housing. As a native New Yorker, she still cannot drive, but is patiently waiting for the self-driving car! Her first name (Hoi Ning) means “peaceful journey” in Cantonese (Chinese).
Sheila Anderson, Associate Director of Operations, Marketing, and Outreach
Sheila oversees Handshake and all subscription recruiting databases and manages the Center for Purposeful Work website. She gathers counseling statistics to help determine the needs of Bates students and alumni who use the Center for Purposeful Work’s services and tracks the first destination plans of Bates graduates. She also oversees the center’s office assistants. Prior to coming to Bates, Sheila worked in adult education with students to help them obtain their GEDs. She obtained a B.A. in American Studies from Westbrook College.
Beverly Vari, Assistant Director, Employer Engagement and Internships
Beverly oversees the Purposeful Work internship program. She builds and fosters relationships across campus and within the community. She also advises students focusing on business exploration including finance, consulting, marketing, operations, and human resources. Beverly has worked at higher education institutions from coast to coast at large universities such as University of Washington and University of Alaska, Anchorage and small liberal arts institutions such as Rhodes College and University of Lynchburg. For the past 10+ years, she has worked within career services, social justice, community development, and AmeriCorps. She has also worked within non-profits and community-based organizations. She enjoys empowering individuals to explore and connect their interests to their professional goals. Beverly holds an M.Ed in Educational Leadership with an emphasis in Higher Education.
James H. Smith ’14, Assistant Director for Program Design & Support
James assists in the administrative, data, and organizational tasks associated with the medical studies advising program and provides organizational and administrative support to the Bates Center for Purposeful Work internship and experiential programs. James maintains various records, databases, and network files. In addition, James helps coordinate the Purposeful Work Job Shadow Program and the annual Graduate and Professional School Fair. In 2014, he obtained a B.A. in psychology from Bates College and has a background in corporate recruiting, and higher education human resources.
Kathleen Bilodeau, Event and Program Coordinator
Kathleen partners with staff and faculty to provide logistical support for Purposeful Work programs, including the Internship Program, City-Industry Roadshows, the Industry Spotlight Series and Practitioner-Taught Courses, employer information sessions, general workshops, and on-campus interviews. Kathleen maintains various records, databases, and network files, coordinating logistics for workshops, panels, alumni/guest speakers, and employer recruiting events. Prior to arriving at Bates, Kathleen had spent 25+ years of her professional life as an entrepreneur since studying Business Administration at the University of Maine.