Staff and Contact Information

Ralph W. Beeson University Center, Room 205
800 Lakeshore Drive, Birmingham, Alabama 35229
Phone (205)726-2980, Fax (205)726-2842
Heather Mitchell, M.A., M.Ed.

Director of Career Counseling

Since joining Samford in 1995, Heather has worked with a variety of students as a career counselor, as one of the academic advisors for Undeclared Majors, and as Director of the Success Mentoring Program. Her current focus in career counseling is working with freshman students and undeclared majors with their major decisions and career planning. She also coordinates the Career Development Center's annual majors fair. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Birmingham- Southern College, a Master of Arts in History from the University of Montevallo, and a Master of Education degree with a concentration in Counseling and Guidance also from the University of Montevallo. Prior to coming to Samford, she worked in career services at the University of Montevallo, as well as in the private sector in the retail and publishing industries. A member of both the Alabama Counseling Association and the Alabama Career Development Association, she has held leadership positions in both, including having served as Secretary of the state association and as President of the Jefferson/Shelby County Chapter.

Brent Latta, M.Ed.

Career Counselor

Brent is a career and job search counselor working with students who are looking to change their major as well as students/alumni  job searching in Liberal Arts, Nursing, and Education. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Furman University and a Master's in Education degree in Higher Education Administration from the University of South Carolina. Her cognate was College Guidance and Counseling. She has worked in Freshman Programming and Residence Life at Columbia College as well as Samford University. In addition, she was the Internship Program Coordinator and Student Employment Coordinator at the College of Charleston in Charleston, SC. She is a member of the National Career Development Association and the Alabama Counseling Association. She has also served on various leadership positions with the Alabama Career Development Association.

Ashley Cacioppo, M.Ed.

Director of Experiential Education

Ashley joined the Career Development Center in August 2013.  As the Director of Experiential Education, Ashley works with students, faculty, and employers to identify, develop, and facilitate internship opportunities.  She counsels and advises students who are interested in career- and major-related internships. 

Ashley also conducts preparation workshops and speaks to classes and campus groups on topics such as resume writing, interviewing, networking, and selecting internships. In addition, she also reviews resumes and cover letters for current Samford students and encourages them throughout the internship application process.

Ashley holds both an undergraduate degree in English and a graduate degree in Education from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She previously served at Samford as the founding director of the fifth year secondary Masters in Education program.  Her past experience also includes positions as Director of Student and Alumni Affairs at the UAB School of Education and Public Relations Manager at the Alabama Humanities Foundation. 


Heather Averett

Director of Employer Relations

Heather joined the Career Development Center in April 2013 as the Director of Employer Relations. She serves as the primary liaison between employers, students, and academic departments for employment after graduation. She counsels and advises students and alumni to match them with the opportunities best suited for their vocational plans.

In addition, Heather conducts workshops and speaks to classes and campus groups on topics such as resume writing, interviewing, networking, job search tactics, and social media. She is responsible for developing business and community contacts and facilitates campus events such as our Career Networking Expos and the Employer Speakers Series.

Heather is a Samford graduate and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism/Mass Communication with a concentration in Public Relations. Previously, Heather was Senior Editor at OxmoorHouse / Time Home Entertainment Inc, the book publishing division of Time Inc. 

Laura Logan

Program Assistant

Laura is the Program Assistant for the Career Development Center and Disability Resources at Samford University. She assists with coordinating events, financial management, upkeep and maintenance of student files and documentation, and provides other general support to the CDC staff. Laura joined Samford University in June 2011.

Laura is graduate of Troy University where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Print Journalism with a contract in Public Relations. Prior to coming to Samford, Laura worked at Aldridge Insurance in Troy, Alabama.

Laura and her husband, Daniel, live in Vestavia Hills. Daniel is a student at Beeson Divinity School.


Ben Siple

Administrative Assistant

Ben is the Administrative Assistant for Career Development and Disability Resources. He schedules student appointments, maintains student files, and directs students to the appropriate counselor to best serve their needs. Ben joined the CDC staff in April of 2012.

Prior to working in the Career Development Center, Ben was a student at Samford in Beeson Divinity School. Ben received his Master of Divinity in December of 2011. During his time at Beeson he worked with college students at Christ the King Anglican Church.

Ben and his wife, Whittney, are currently living in Homewood.


Office Hours: 8:00am to 4:30pm, Monday through Friday
Special arrangements may be made outside these hours.


Mission Statement 

Equip students and alumni with tools for effective decision making, goal setting, and personal development.

Direct individuals to resources for vocational exploration and professional development.

Connect the Samford community with employers and career opportunities.

Student Testimonials

"During my time at the Career Development Center I learned of resources and skills that are vital for success in the business place.  The CDC introduced me to sites such as LinkedIn which allows you to network and socialize with others about possible job opportunities.  Also, the correct way to build and format a resume was reviewed in my time there.  It was a great experience and because of the knowledge I gained while there I was able to attain a position in the police academy shortly after graduation."

Clarence Davis
May 2012 Graduate


"I'm an art major and went to the career fair because I had two business majors for roommates.  They made me dress up and print off my resume.  At the career fair I dropped my resume at a few booths, one was Budget Rent-a-Car.  They called me and now I have a job!"

Emile Dewaal
May 2012 Graduate


"Landing that dream job comes down to who you know and if you can get a foot in the door.  The Career Development Center was that "foot in the door" for me.  They have gotten me on track with my career goals, and have helped me land interviews that would have been nearly impossible to have gotten on my own.  Utilizing the CDC was the smartest decision I've made in my four years at Samford!"

Lexi Fitch
May 2012 Graduate


"The Career Development Center does a great job caring about students and making the visit personable and unique to fit students' needs.  They helped me enhance my resume. Find a job, gain interview experience, and think about future career goals.  Every student should come though this office at least once before graduation."

Melissa Belflower
Senior, Majoring in Family Studies


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