Career Services Center Staff
Carissa Bane, She/Her
1st Generation Graduate
Carissa has supported student success on Western’s campus since 2013. She started at Western in the Academic Advising Center and brings experience in connecting students with resources that will help them succeed. Carissa’s priority is to hear the unique needs of every student and encourage self-reflection and awareness as part of the career development process. As a first generation college student, Carissa recognizes that there are various social and environmental factors that impact the major and career decision making process and looks for opportunities to support Western students as they navigate their time on campus and prepare for life after college.
Proud to be from the great state of Iowa, Carissa has called Bellingham home for the last 9 years. She is a graduate of Colorado State University’s Counseling and Career Development Master’s Program and is a Nationally Certified Counselor. Living in Fort Collins, CO expanded her love of the outdoors, mountain adventures, and live folk music, making Bellingham an ideal fit. When Carissa is not at Western she enjoys spending time with friends, volunteering in the community, and appreciating all of the natural beauty and outdoor activities that this area has to offer.
Sandy came to Western with a varied and interesting career path that enhances her experience and abilities as a career counselor. In her twenties she worked primarily with animals as a Veterinary Technician, Animal Control Officer, and 7 years working in Humane Societies. Turning to working in social services she worked for 14 years in reproductive health and family planning as a counselor and then working with the Displaced Homemaker's program through Skagit Valley College as an instructor. After her daughter Piper was in high school she went back to school and received her Bachelor's degree in Human Services, then her Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling, both programs here at Western (a double alum!).
Effie Eisses, She/Her
1st generation graduate
Fluent Greek speaker
Limited French conversational speaker
Effie has worked for a number of different departments at WWU – from beginning her career in 2004 at the Career Services Center to the MBA program and the College of Business and Economics to Extended Education. She is very grateful for all the learning, experiences and internal networks she has developed while working in these different roles. Effie’s passion lies in working together with stakeholders, both internal and external, to identify and implement programs and resources that help our students and alumni reach their career goals. Effie’s career originally began in the field of Human Resources where she specialized in recruiting. Effie is married and has 3 children. Originally from Vancouver, BC she has called Bellingham home for the last 20 years. Effie holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of British Columbia and Master of Education from WWU.
Administrative Assistant 2, Employer Services
WWU alumni ’98 Anthropology/Biology, Philip E. Sharpe Jr. Community Engagement Award Recipient 2021
A native Washingtonian, Britta grew up in Bremerton, and has lived in Skagit County since 2000. Britta has been an employee at Western since 2011 and she loves being a part of Team Career Services! Committed to expanding on the definition of “career success,” Britta is fond of reading all WWU publications, participating with Community Engagement Fellows, visiting campus sites and places, and participating in a wide range of WWU activities! As a “second career,” she is a dedicated volunteer + board member in the theatre/arts community, agriculture, and social justice spaces. When she has some unscheduled time Britta enjoys zillions of interests which include gardening, eco-budget travel, baking, board games, and explorations with her daughter Noelle and two granddaughters.
What Britta does at WWU: Your contact for information about career fairs, workshops, utilizing Handshake, perusing the Career Closet, WWU Give Day (Career Services participation) and building/facilitating connections between students, alumni, employers, campus departments and the larger WWU Community!
Diane has worked in the Career Services Center in various support positions for a number of years. Her favorite part of the job is interacting with students and alumni while they are working towards their career paths and seeing them succeed. She enjoys supervising the CSC Peer Advising Team and when she is not scheduling appointments for the career counselors and pre-healthcare advisors or working on approving jobs and internships in Handshake, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends.
Mindy is no stranger to Western Washington University. She is a double alum of WWU, with a BA in Cultural Anthropology and an MBA. She then joined the staff of the MBA program in 2017 as the Assistant Director of MBA Career Services, where she was a one-person career center; counseling MBA students, delivering career presentations, engaging with employers, and helping students find jobs and internships.
Prior to working in higher education, Mindy had the opportunity to live abroad for a year and teach English in South Korea. She also has extensive business management experience, helping to launch and manage two businesses in Bellingham: Perch & Play Café, an indoor play area and café for families, and Tap Trail, a regional craft beer media company. As the Associate Director, Mindy is excited to use her career services and business management experience to create more access to, and awareness of, the Career Services Center so that all WWU students can explore and achieve their post-graduation goals.
When she’s not on-campus, Mindy enjoys spending time with her husband, two young children, and her wonderful Bellingham community, and working on endless house improvement projects.
Originally from Bellingham, Abby traded the Moroccan heat for her hometown rain and moss in 2020. Prior to Western, she worked in a variety of settings as a mentor and advisor. As a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco, she co-led a life skills program and supported youth leadership opportunities. Her other professional experiences include facilitating resume and interview workshops for young professionals and advising high school students on pathways to college. Before becoming a career counselor, she worked with WWU students interested in joining the Peace Corps. She is committed to providing personalized advising and participating in campus partnerships that support student success. When she’s not on campus, she spends her time reading, assessing how many more plants she can fit in her house, attempting new recipes, and exploring the San Juan Islands.
Anna Tognazzini, M.Ed.
Health Professions and Graduate School Advising
A WWU alum herself (class of ’03), Anna joined the health professions program advising team in 2015, returning to Bellingham after twelve years away from the Pacific Northwest. After completing her BA in political science, she moved to California, where she worked for the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at the University of California, Riverside for six years before heading to Williamsburg, VA for a taste of the east coast life. In 2014, she completed an M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration at The College of William & Mary. When she wasn’t studying, she was counseling and advising students at the Cohen Career Center, and she also completed an internship at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, working with residents specializing in anesthesiology. Life brought her back to the place where her academic journey began, and now she is grateful for the opportunity to serve Western students who are just getting started on their own journeys. When not on campus, Anna is running around with her husband and young daughter, wearing cardigans, drinking coffee, and knitting (sometimes all at the same time).
Health Professions and Graduate School Advisor
Erika is originally from Portland and moved to Bellingham 2 years ago. She has served in many positions in higher education spanning three different states, and also internationally to Germany. With almost two decades of experience in education, she has worked with students from all over the world and had the opportunity to travel and live in a variety of countries in Europe and in Kenya. She has assisted students as an Academic Advisor focusing on major exploration and pre-professional advising, lead international student groups in the U.S. and abroad, and advised graduate students in TESOL and international development. As a first-generation college student, Erika is excited to support WWU students in actualizing their goals with medical or graduate school and beyond. Erika speaks fluent German and enjoys traveling to different countries, speaking other languages (or trying to!), sipping tea, hiking with her two boys, baking all things chocolate, tango dancing, and getting out into nature!