CEO Staff

Meet the people at the Center for Career Engagement and Opportunity.

CEO staff

Contact the Center for Career Engagement and Opportunity:

Phone: 941-487-5002 | Email: ceo@ncf.edu | Location: Library 154

Dwayne Peterson

Director
Email: dpeterson@ncf.edu
Dwayne joined the New College CEO team in July 2019. Dwayne is a nationally recognized educator with a decade of experience in higher education and career services, and a liberal arts undergraduate background. He is an advocate for liberal arts education and passionate about teaching students how to accomplish their professional goals by effectively learning to communicate and translate their experiences, expand their understanding of career pathways, and pursue professional experience and opportunities. He also serves as a recruitment consultant to employers and graduate and professional schools that wish to recruit New College students and oversees the strategic vision for career development at the College.

Dwayne comes to NCF most recently from Georgia College & State University, Georgia’s public liberal arts university, where he led a team of ten that implemented a campus-wide career education curriculum, and a four-year career planning program for students. He has also served in professional roles at the University of Florida, University of North Florida, and the University of South Florida.

Dwayne holds a Master of Science in College Student Personnel from Miami University in Ohio and a Master of Business Administration from the University of North Florida. He is a certified career development facilitator and an active member of the National Association for Colleges and Employers (NACE) and the National Career Development Association (NCDA). Dwayne represents New College as a member of the Florida Career Centers consortium.

Madeline Heath

Assistant Director and Career Coach
Email: mpheath@ncf.edu
Madeline (Maddie) Heath joined New College in September 2018. She currently holds a B.A. in Communication with minors in Theater and Gender Studies from Florida Gulf Coast University, and an M.Ed. in Higher Education Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in College Student Affairs from the University of South Florida.

Maddie brings experience in student development, international education, and communications from her previous institutions, and plans to pursue a doctorate degree in the future. She enjoys helping students map out their journey as lifelong learners and develop career readiness skills through experiential learning. She was born and raised in Sarasota, and is excited to make an impact at New College of Florida as part of the CEO team. In addition to her work with students, Maddie leads the CEO’s internship program coordinating internships for academic credit and serving as a consultant to employers who want to develop a meaningful internship program and recruit interns from New College. She is an active member of the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), the Florida Association of Colleges and Employers (FL-ACE), and the Cooperative Education and Internship Association (CEIA).

Lisandra Jimenez

Assistant Director and Career Coach
Email: ljimenez@ncf.edu

Lisandra Jimenez joined New College in August 2018 and the Center for Career Engagement & Opportunity (CEO) team as an Assistant Director. She currently holds a B.A. in English and Spanish from Florida Atlantic University and an M.A. in Educational Leadership from the University of Central Florida.

Lisandra is currently pursuing a Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership Studies from Northeastern University. She enjoys working with students to figure out their career goals and guide them in their college journey. As a first-generation Latina, she brings a unique perspective and diverse higher education experience to the CEO. Lisandra leads the CEO’s graduate and professional school advising program and is an active member of the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), the Florida Association of Colleges and Employers (FL-ACE), and the National Association of Advisors of Health Professions (NAAHP).

Ciara SuarezCiara Suarez

Assistant Director and Career Coach
Email: cisuarez@ncf.edu

Ciara joined the New College CEO team in October 2019. She currently holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of South Florida and a M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Adams State University. She is committed to life-long learning and is passionate about helping others. She has years of experience supporting and empowering individuals from diverse backgrounds as they worked toward their goals. A recent career-changer, she is excited to use her unique perspective and transferrable skills to coach and encourage New College students throughout their career and professional development journey! Ciara leads the CEO’s mentorship and career exploration programs and is an active member of the National Association of Colleges and Employers and the Florida Association of Colleges and Employers.

Naomi Copeland

Office Manager
Email: ncopeland@ncf.edu
Naomi joined the New College CEO team in June 2019. She has years of experience working for nonprofits, colleges, corporations, and healthcare organizations in executive assistant and office manager roles. Naomi values service and is an active member of the community. Among other projects, Naomi is a member of the Sarasota Junior League management team and she volunteers for the Tampa International Airport USO. She has even served as a local Miss America Pageant judge. Naomi and her husband, Brian, have two sons who serve in the U.S. Navy, and she has a deep passion for veterans’ issues.

Naomi leads the management of daily operations in the CEO, customer service initiatives, and serves as a fiscal liaison. Naomi is excited to engage with students and serve as the welcoming face of the CEO!