Ursula Olender
Kitchel House 207
(802) 443-5107

How did you get to Middlebury? I was raised in Indianapolis, Indiana with my two sisters by my single mom. As a first-generation student, I loved my college experience and wanted to find a way to be a part of a college community as a professional. Incredible mentors along the way helped me navigate many personal and professional decisions.

Prior to joining Middlebury in 2016, I was privileged to serve students as director of the the career centers at Amherst College (2011-2015) and Colgate University (2007-2011). I served as chief health professions advisor and associate director at Dartmouth College (1998-2007) and began my career as a career advisor and residence hall director at Champlain College (1994-1998). After more than 20 years of work in liberal arts college career centers, I was drawn to Middlebury primarily to elevate the work of CCI with former executive director Peggy Burns and return to my favorite place in the world, Vermont.

Who do you work with? What is your favorite part of the job? I most enjoy working with colleagues to design opportunities that help students explore and pursue experiences that have the potential to be personally meaningful with regards to their learning and professional development. I get really excited when I hear how students are making connections with others in our community through mentoring and networking. My work engages a variety of collaborators across the Middlebury community, including alumni, employers, faculty, and staff and I learn something new every day.

What is the best career advice anyone has given you? Personal and professional networks will take care of you. Work to keep in touch and show gratitude.

What is your favorite campus resource? Midd2Midd and Handshake.

Interests/Hobbies: My husband, Jon, says that I think most about animals, particularly our Tela (English setter dog), Elsa (English springer spaniel dog), or Waylon (orange tabby cat). I volunteer for Girls Scouts as a troop leader. In my spare time I do painstaking-genealogy research. When it warms up in Vermont, I enjoy hiking and canoeing.

Return to the CCI Staff page.

Academic Degrees

BA in Psychology, Greenville College (IL)
M.Ed. in Counseling and Psychological Services, Springfield College (MA)