The Team

Dr. Mike Simmons, Assistant Vice President - Academic Affairs and Career Connect Director


I am a native of West Virginia, attended college in Tennessee (King College, BS History) and graduate school in North Carolina (UNC Chapel Hill - M.P.A) then moved to Texas to complete the Ph.D. degree from UTA in the field of public administration and urban affairs. 

After an initial career spanning 10 years of public policy, government and political work, I led a statewide education non-profit agency.  While government and public administration is still my academic field and area of interest, I've now worked in or around higher education for almost 20 years. In several roles at Marshall University, Texas Women’s University, and now at UNT, I’ve worked actively in educational innovation, faculty support, online learning, assessment and “other duties as assigned”.  I am proud that I have taught at least one course as an adjunct almost every semester for 20 years.  My work with UNT Career Connect is a combination of the experiences I've had, bringing together teaching, assessment, community engagement, and technology.

Adam Wear, E-Portfolio Coordinator

I currently serve as the E-Portfolio Coordinator for Career Connect. I am a second year PhD student in the Higher Education program at UNT. I currently hold a BS in English, Education, and Education Psychology from Mississippi State University and a Master’s in English Literature from the University of Alabama and hope to practice and promote an attitude of servant leadership in higher education.

Sam Williamson, Community & Service Learning Coordinator 

As a born and raised Dentonite, I’m proud of the priority this community places on the arts, education, and service and I have tried to carry these elements with me in my life’s work. After I graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with my BFA and teaching certificate, I joined the United States Peace Corps where I served as a teacher trainer in the Pacific Island country of Kiribati and a mentoring center director in the West Africa country of Mauritania.

Once my service was completed I returned to Denton, UNT specifically, to attend graduate school in the Design Research Program through the College of Visual Arts and Design. Through my graduate research on adaptive secondary curriculum design, I partnered with the education non-profit Big Thought in Dallas, and after earning my MA, I joined the Big Thought team as Senior Instructional Specialist.

In Dallas, I gained deep experience in community engagement best practices in a major city just as my Peace Corps experience taught me these same lessons in a developing environment. However, I hadn’t yet brought any of these experiences and skillsets back home to my own community. Then came a chance to serve my Alma Mater, and hometown, when the Community & Service Learning Coordinator position opened at UNT so I decided to leave my position at Big Thought to pursue this opportunity.

Serving on the Career Connect team in this capacity gives me the chance to help this great institution strengthen existing and foster new community partnerships to provide students with impactful opportunities to contribute to meaningful community work.

Meena Naik, Faculty & Staff Development Coordinator

A Texas-transplant, I came to UNT from UC San Diego where I worked in the Office of Academic Support and Instructional Services. Having lived on both coasts, I received my BS from UC San Diego in Physiology and Neuroscience, and my MS in Higher Education and Student Development. I am now into my second year as a PhD student in UNT’s Educational Psychology program.
Outside of my work and student life, I have spent the last decade volunteering in a variety of roles in the Shia Ismaili community. Starting as a novice and untrained volunteer teacher, I worked my way into a Teacher Educator program, and most recently led the National Teaching Quality team in the development instructional coaching training models to better equip our volunteers as educators.
My passion for working in higher education comes from a desire to support student development by helping them recognize relevancy in their curricular and co-curricular experiences while in college. My experiences in student affairs and academic support, and the variety of volunteer experiences I hold in instruction and training, has led me to my current role serving as the Faculty & Staff Development Coordinator with Career Connect.

Scott Peecksen, Assessment Coordinator

I grew up in the Low Country and attended the University of South Carolina. After graduation, I traveled west to the University of Arizona for a doctorate degree in Family Studies and Human Development with a minor in program evaluation. Career opportunities took me to Texas, where I worked for the University of Texas Health Science Center as a Research Scientist and then as a Senior Researcher for a Houston-based, research and evaluation firm.

In March 2017, UNT hired me as the Assessment Coordinator for Career Connect. I bring more than 15 years of experience in research and evaluation designs, data collection, quality assurance, statistical analysis, and report writing to this position. I am also a certified What Works Clearinghouse research reviewer for the U.S. Department of Education.

I am excited to apply my evaluation knowledge and skills to the field of higher education and Career Connect. My expectation is that Career Connect will provide (and is providing!) an assessment infrastructure that can document marketable and evidenced-based student learning outcomes for each UNT department and academic unit. Ultimately, I look forward to benefitting UNT students through my Career Connect work and contributing to the national discussion on how to identify and document rigorous and valid learning outcomes for college students through graduation. 

Missy McCormick, ​Administrative Coordinator

As a Doctoral Candidate in the Higher Education Program at the University of North Texas, my research interests are in researching student success. As well as being a student at the university, I work half-time in the UNT Career Connect Office. In my position, as the Administrative Associate, I assist with managing various office functions and planning Connect events. Aside from my roles at UNT, I love to work in my garden, do volunteer work, and go on adventures with my family.

Jordan Rogers, Graduate Student Assistant

I joined the Career Connect team as a Graduate Assistant to support the research and implementation of the reflection component of Career Connect’s initiative. I am a doctoral student in the Counselor Education program at the University of North Texas. My education and experience serve as a catalyst for the reflection process to unfold as students navigate their collegiate endeavors and find meaning in their experience for the future.

Megan Douglas, Graduate Student Assistant

I am currently a doctoral candidate in the Clinical Health Psychology program at the University of North Texas. Although new to the Career Connect team, I have been teaching courses at the university for several years . My passion for this project stems from my experience teaching and mentoring, as well as my research background on the emerging adulthood period. This developmental period focuses on the young adult years and the challenges many students face when navigating college. I am excited to be able to work on a project which will tackle some of these challenges from a university-wide perspective!

Alyssa Wolverton, Graduate Student Assistant

Alyssa Wolverton is a spirited go-getter with a huge heart for public service. Currently she is a Graduate Assistant at UNT Career Connect where she helps develop, plan, and execute creative outreach to students. She is a Masters of Public Administration student in the College of Health and Public Services, and studies local government, leadership, human resources, data analysis, and community development. She hopes to have life-long careers in public service and one day would like to be in executive leadership at a non-profit, local government, or higher education institution. For now, she continues to pursue her best work with power, generosity, and enthusiasm. When she’s not working, you can find her spending time with friends and family, praying about everything, and attempting yoga.