New Career Development Office director to start at Pomona in January

The Smith Campus Center, a tan building with a red roof, is pictured. Mountains and a clocktower can be seen in the background.
Pomona College hired a new director for its career development office last month. (Courtesy of Pomona College)

Pomona College hired a new director for its Career Development Office last month, officials said. 

Hazel Raja, the new CDO director, comes from New York University’s Abu Dhabi campus, where she’s the director of the school’s career center, according to an email Pomona Dean of Students Avis Hinkson sent to students. She founded the career center nine years ago and has led it since.

Raja will start Jan. 2, replacing Wanda Gibson, who, by that time, will have been the interim director of the CDO for nearly a year, according to Hinkson. Gibson became the interim director in February, after former director Mary Raymond left the school in Feb. 2019.

Raymond told TSL she was fired. Hinkson denied the allegation and told students via email that Raymond was resigning to “give more attention to family matters.”

Raja will join Pomona after completing the responsibilities of her current job and moving back to the U.S., Hinkson said.

Though she’s unable to start at the beginning of the academic year, Raja has already been in regular contact with the CDO staff, Hinkson said, so she’ll be able to transition into her role smoothly in January.

At Pomona, Raja will oversee post-college and career exploration, internships, fellowships, graduate and professional school opportunities, employer relations, student employment and other career-related services, Hinkson said.

Raja has also worked at the University of Southampton in England and at NYU’s Wasserman Center for Career Development, according to her LinkedIn.

She has a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a minor in political science from UC San Diego, and a master’s in guidance and counseling from NYU, Hinkson said.

“She brings significant experience working with international students and diverse student populations, as well as a background working with judicial conduct programs and residential education and housing,” Hinkson said.

The CDO has also conducted searches for the associate director for employer relations and experiential programs and assistant director for fellowships and career advising in the past few months, according to Hinkson.

Pomona also recently hired two new deans for its Dean of Students office to replace long-time administrators Jan Collins-Eaglin and Chris Waugh.

This article was last updated at 5:39 p.m. on Sept. 21.

This article was updated at 4:17 p.m. on Sept. 21.

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