Career Day Speakers

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Alumni Career Days

Villanova's Alumni and Development Department has launched a Career Day Speaker series for current students led by successful Villanova alumni to educate them about potential career paths. Alumni share their experiences and journeys with students aspiring to enter the workforce following high school and higher education. These real-life stories will help students understand what is available in the career marketplace and what to look for when pursuing their goals. Both success and diversion are needed to demonstrate the challenges that will be faced.

If you want to become a career speaker, please email Tim Bunce at

Check out our library of professionals below to discuss their career paths.

Alumni Career Speaker Series: Endless Possibilities Ahead

Villanova’s dynamic and far-flung alumni network has long paved the way for our graduates to find and follow fulfilling callings around the world. From Google techies to doctors, from engineers to CEOs, Villanova graduates have used their education to make profound and positive differences in the world. In an effort to help our current students imagine the myriad potential career options ahead of them, the Alumni Association launched the “Career Days” speaker program. During the 2020-2021 school year, students had the opportunity to hear from seven alumni about their journeys after Villanova and what they do in their respective fields. Speakers included:

Tara Hernandez '89, senior engineering manager at Google Tech Is for Anybody!”

Mike Taylor ‘86, chief financial officer at GitHub "Low-Tech Roads Into Hi-Tech: How Villanova Prepared Me for Tesla and Microsoft"

Dr. Monika Foster Martin '05, neonatal & perinatal medicine at Harbor UCLA and Children’s Hospital UCLA
"An Unconventional Journey to Medicine"

John Fuller '80, president & CEO at Wahlburgers
"Things I Wish I Knew Back Then That I Know Now, and Wish Someone Would Have Told Me."

Rob Taylor '86, head of partnerships and alliances at Google Cloud "Don't Be Afraid to Take Bets—They'll All Work out in the End."

Jessica Landon '00, project director at Cordoba Corporation
"Building the Career of Your Dreams."

Andrea Maahs '98
, freelance video game designer, "Getting Into Game Design."

This year, the 2021-2022 school year, the series continues on currently with the student body having heard from:

Matt LaVere '97, Ventura County Supervisor, District 1 at County of Ventura, "My Journey from VPS to Ventura County Supervisor"

Celia Palermo '13, content producer, PGA Tour, "From the Stands to the Sidelines: Turning Sports into a Career"

Michael Wilson '59, film producer & writer, James Bond Series, “An Interview and Q&A Session”

Richard Hurley '05, schedule analyst, NASA Jet Propulsion Lab, “Exploring the Universe from NASA JPL”

From medicine to business, to game design and film, each Villanova graduate shared personal stories and perspective on the ways Villanova prepared them not only for college but for their careers ahead. Students engaged with the speakers by asking thoughtful questions about their work, how to get started, and tips for the future. The speakers series continues on at Villanova, showcasing the work of our talented alumni while providing meaning, direction, and inspiration to the work students are currently engaged in.

October 17, 2024
Peter Shen
Class of '14

Peter Shen: Strategy and Operations Manager at TikTok, shapes strategic roadmaps for global account businesses across continents. A UC Berkeley alum, his career journey spans management consulting in Silicon Valley and advocacy for US-China cultural exchanges.

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May 10, 2024
Erica Helson
Class of '12
Environmental Sustainability and Energy Management

Erica Helson: Portfolio Manager for 3C-REN, joined Ventura County Sustainability Division in 2019. With a master's from Columbia University, she spearheads programs reducing GHG emissions and promotes workforce education. Her expertise spans public, private, and non-profit sectors.

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March 7, 2024
Korinne Bell
Class of `96
Education and Agriculture

Korinne Bell, a Villanova Prep alumni and Cal Poly SLO grad, went from teaching to becoming Ventura County's first female Agricultural Commissioner. She's dedicated to her family, agriculture, equity, and environmental welfare.

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January 9, 2024
Edward Campana
Class of '12
Emergency Services

Edward Campana: Firefighter Paramedic at Ventura County Fire Department, skilled in emergency services and athletics. Dedicated to saving lives, mentoring, and family time with wife Laura and their children Emilia and Franco.

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December 7, 2023
Alex Romo
Class of `09
Professional Golfer and Social Media Influencer

Alex Romo is a professional golfer and influencer. He's competed globally, built a following of +1.5M, and has partnered with major brands. Advocating a holistic lifestyle, he's been developing coaching courses to help others.

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November 14, 2023
Alex Sattler
Class of '12
Education and Entrepreneurship

Alex Sattler, a Villanova Prep and CSUCI graduate, is the co-owner of JEST Entertainment Improv Comedy School in Ventura, CA. His journey blends academic excellence and entrepreneurship, empowering others in entertainment.

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August 25, 2023
John Jenks
Class of '72
Forensic Social Worker

John Jenks, a seasoned expert in forensic social work, addiction, and private investigation, boasts a storied career in law enforcement, academia, and expert testimony, aiding courts and shaping his daughters' successful paths.

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Kelly Cox Gonzalez
Class of '12,
Orthotics at Hanger Clinic

Kelly Cox-Gonzalez, MSOP, Villanova '12 grad, thrives in Orthotics and Prosthetics at Hanger Clinic, the nation's top O&P company. Her Villanova training enables exceptional care and groundbreaking solutions in the field.

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Lexi White
Class of '08

Lexi excelled academically at Washington University in St. Louis and Lehigh University, earning her Bachelor of Arts and Master's degrees in Architecture with honors, highlighting her commitment to excellence in the field.

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Sophia Miles
Class of '07
Hospitality and Restaurateur

Sophia was raised in Ojai and had the privilege of attending Villanova Prep for high school. While in San Francisco, she immersed herself in the hospitality field, learning skills and knowledge from world renowned hospitality leaders.

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Kilo Akuna
Class of '06
Computer Graphics and Post Production

As an entertainment industry professional, and a Computer Graphics Supervisor who now specializes in post-production, Kilo has been fortunate enough to work on over a hundred projects for televisions, movies, commercials, and games.

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Officer Mike Baker
Class of 86'
Police Officer and Detective

Mike Baker, a Ventura County Sheriff, Detective, and Mentor, hails from a Villanova-supporting family. He emphasizes the humanity behind the badge, advocating understanding of law enforcement as individuals a human person.

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March 7, 2024 - Korinne Bell `96 "Cultivating Leadership: My Path to Agricultural Commissioner"

Korinne Bell is a highly accomplished professional with a distinguished educational background and a diverse career in education and agriculture.

Korinne Bell

After graduating from Villanova Preparatory School, she earned her Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Business from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. After graduating from college, she worked for her family’s agricultural businesses, including farming (avocados), cattle ranching, and animal feed/retail.

She later pursued a passion for education by teaching 6th grade at a local elementary school for a duration of four years. During this time, she furthered her academic pursuits by obtaining a Masters in Education from Azusa Pacific University. Her transition back into the world of agriculture began when she took on a clerical role in the Agricultural Commissioner’s Office, primarily focused on data entry. In recognition of her personal and academic background in agriculture, she participated in a ride-along as an Agricultural Inspector Biologist, where her affinity for the field blossomed.

In 2006, Korinne made the pivotal decision to leave the teaching profession and join the Agricultural Commissioner’s Office full-time. Her dedication and expertise as an Inspector Biologist were quickly recognized, and she specialized in areas such as Pesticide Use Enforcement, Direct Marketing, Organics, Standardization, and Invasive Weed Management. As her career progressed, she assumed the role of Agricultural Land Use Planner, alongside her existing responsibilities. In 2012, Korinne's exemplary contributions led to her promotion to Deputy Agricultural Commissioner. In this capacity, she took on additional leadership roles, including overseeing programs such as the Pierce’s Disease Control Program (commonly known as the Glassy Winged Sharpshooter Program), Agricultural Disaster Assessment, and the Ventura County Crop & Livestock Report.

Her continued dedication to the department and it’s work earned her the opportunity to become Chief Deputy Agricultural Commissioner, which she was appointed to in 2016. As the Chief, she assumed a pivotal role in the organization, overseeing an extensive portfolio of 30 diverse programs and leading a team of over 70 dedicated employees. Her responsibilities encompassed personnel management, Human Resources matters, safety protocols as the department Safety Officer, and serving as the Public Information Officer. Korinne continues to oversee environmental analysis for land use projects involving agriculture and her related role as staff for the Ventura County Agricultural Advisory Committee. In 2022, she played a key role in the merger of the department with the Ventura County Weights & Measures Division. In September of 2023, Korinne Bell was appointed the first female Agricultural Commissioner for Ventura County.

Throughout her career, Korinne Bell has remained steadfastly committed to the department’s mission to protect and promote agriculture and equity in the marketplace while ensuring the welfare of the public, industry, and the environment. Her dedication and leadership continue to shape the future of agriculture in Ventura County.

Korinne Bell currently resides on her family’s avocado ranch in Santa Paula with her husband of 20 years, Terry Bell, and their two children, Carson (16) and Olivia (12).

Listen to Korrine's speech!

Edward Campana 2012

January 9, 2024 - Edward Campana `12, "Journey from VPS to Firefighter-Paramedic"

Edward Campana is an accomplished professional known for his extensive experience in emergency services, combined with a solid academic and athletic background. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences/History and a minor in Religious Studies from Biola University, along with an A. A. in Paramedic Studies from Ventura College. In his current position, Edward works as a Firefighter Paramedic with the Ventura County Fire Department at Fire Station 23 in Oak View. Before that, he worked for the Los Angeles County Fire Department, Ventura Fire Department, and Gold Coast Ambulance.

Additionally, Edward served as an Ocean Lifeguard for California State Parks and engaged in sales and coaching. His athletic prowess is evident from his time as an NCAA Division I Athlete in swimming at the University of Hawaii and an NAIA All-American at Biola University. In his current endeavors, Edward is active as a member of the Tactical Emergency Medical Specialists (T.E.M.S/SWAT), Ocean Rescue Swimmer Cadre, Helicopter Cadre, and Emergency Medical Equipment Cadre. His commitment to mentoring is demonstrated through his involvement with the Fire Explorer Program, and he is also a Nationally Licensed Paramedic.

When Edward isn’t out saving lives, he spends time with his wife Laura, whom he has been with for 12 years and married for the last 6, and two children, daughter Emilia Jane (4 years old) and son Franco Isaiah (8 Months).

December 7, 2023 - Alex Romo `09, "Pro Athlete + Content Creator"

Alex Romo

I am Alex Romo, a 32-year-old professional golfer and social media influencer from Oxnard, CA. I went to Villanova HS from 2005-2009 and Cal Poly SLO from 2009-2014, graduating with a degree in marketing and a minor in Psychology.

I have competed on pro golf mini tours across the US since 2016 and have traveled to Argentina, Italy, Florida, and Nebraska for Qualifying Schools for various world tours (European Tour, Korn Ferry Tour, Latin America Tour). Throughout my 7 years as a pro, I have documented my training, tournaments, and reflections on social media and have grown an audience of 1.5M+ followers.

This has opened up opportunities for me to work with major brands like Lexus, Vital Proteins, 24-Hour Fitness, Barstool Sports, Travis Mathew, Adidas, Puma, and nearly 100 others and earn a full-time income for myself as an influencer while still competing in golf tournaments as well. I’ve also been able to travel with tourism boards and golf resorts/destinations to promote golf and health and wellness due to my online reach.

I believe in a holistic approach to golf and life that includes fitness, mindfulness, nutrition, and a myriad of other daily habits that contribute to feeling your best and having the energy to pursue your passions wholeheartedly.

I am also working on coaching and mentorship courses and communities to teach what I’ve learned and continue experimenting with in pursuing my golf, social media, and life goals. Watch presentation video

November 14, 2023 - Alex Sattler `12, "What Schools Won't Teach You"

Alex Sattler

Alex Sattler is a dynamic and accomplished individual whose journey through education and entrepreneurship has been nothing short of remarkable. Born and raised in Ojai, California, Alex graduated from Villanova Preparatory School in 2012, marking the beginning of an inspiring path to success.

After completing high school, Alex's pursuit of higher education led him to California State University, Channel Islands (CSUCI). His commitment to academic excellence shone through as he graduated in 2017 with Cum Laude honors, earning a degree in Performing Arts. During his time at CSUCI, he cultivated a diverse skill set and pursued his passion of performing arts in multiple facets.

But Alex's story doesn't end with academic achievements. He is now a co-owner of an Improv Comedy School in Ventura, CA. JEST Entertainment demonstrates not only his dedication to the entertainment industry of Ventura County but also his entrepreneurial spirit. His involvement in the comedy school showcases his ability to inspire and educate others, providing a platform for aspiring comedians to hone their craft and find their comedic voice, while also navigating a global pandemic.

Alex Sattler's multifaceted journey encompasses a wide range of experiences, from his academic accomplishments at CSUCI to his thriving role in the world of comedy education in Ventura County. His unique blend of education and entrepreneurship reflects a dedication to personal growth and a commitment to helping others achieve their creative goals.

With a proven track record of success and a passion for empowering others to explore their comedic potential, Alex Sattler continues to make a significant impact in both the education and entertainment sectors of Ventura County. His story serves as an inspiration to those looking to turn their passions into fulfilling and successful careers.

August 25, 2023 - John Jenks `72, "The Secret Lives of Private Investigators — It Ain't Like the Movies"

John M. Jenks, BSW, MS, FAC

John Jenks

Mr. Jenks is a Forensic Social Worker, Addiction Specialist, and licensed Private Investigator.  He is a court-recognized expert in the field of narcotic enforcement, police procedures, substance use disorders, process addictions, mental health disorders, and treatment.  

He graduated from Villanova in 1972 and attended Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo as a journalism major from 1972-75.  He left Cal Poly in 1975 to begin his career in the criminal justice system.  He was a police officer for 12 years, 6 years on patrol, and 6 years as a detective.  He was a homicide detective for 2 years and an undercover narcotics detective for 4 years.  He was twice elected to the State Executive Board of the California Narcotic Officer’s Assn.  He received the Officer of the Year Award for 4 separate years and a Medal of Valor for heroism in 1985.  

Mr. Jenks left law enforcement in 1987 and returned to school, obtaining his BSW in Addiction Studies, his MS in Counseling Psychology, and he completed his coursework for his Ph.D. in Addictive Disorders.  He was completing his doctoral dissertation when he suffered a stroke which forced him to suspend his studies.  

As a forensic social worker and addiction specialist, Mr. Jenks is regularly hired by private counsel and appointed by courts throughout the State and in the U.S. Federal Court System to conduct forensic evaluations, conduct pretrial and posttrial investigations, prepare mitigation reports, and make sentencing recommendations.  He has also testified as an expert witness in over 500 trials.  

Mr. Jenks’s daughters, Whitney and Connelly also graduated from Villanova, and he proudly boasts that both girls were the Female Athletes of the Year.  He coached softball and girls volleyball during and after his daughters’ time here. Whitney (03) holds an MS in Human Development and is the Director of homeless services for Help of Ojai.  Connelly (05) holds an MSW, is an LCSW, and is the Clinical Director for a Behavioral Health Urgent Care Center in Long Beach.

An Alumna's Journey from Villanova's Ecology Club to the Ccounty's Sustainability Team

Erica Helson, Class of '04

Erica joined the County of Ventura Sustainability Division in 2019 as the Portfolio Manager for 3C-REN, the Tri-County Regional Energy Network. In this role, she helps create and run programs that reduce GHG emissions through rebates and workforce education. Erica has a master’s degree in Environmental Science & Policy from Columbia University, a bachelor's degree in Political Studies from Pitzer College, and work experience in the public, private, and non-profit sectors focused on renewable energy, battery storage, energy efficiency, electrification, and resiliency.