Associate Director of Career Advising
Brien Duff, M.Ed., GCDF, Associate Director of Career Advising
At the University of Rhode Island, Brien earned a Bachelor of Arts with a double-major in Philosophy and English literature. Thereafter, he completed a full-time teaching fellowship and worked as an English teacher at a priority school in an economically disadvantaged community. After teaching English classes, writing for one of the largest metals, chemicals and commodity appraisal firms in the U.S. and working as a career navigator alongside a high school guidance office, Brien discovered his love of career counseling adult populations at a local non-profit. Since then, he went on to manage an adult education program in Providence, RI, complete a Master of Education in Counseling at Providence College and became certified as a Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF). Brien is excited to be a part of the Center for Career and Professional Development and works to lead advising services and efforts.
Specialties and InterestsStudent Relations
Career CommunitiesArchitecture & ConstructionArts, Design & EntertainmentBusiness Management & Professional SalesConsulting, Finance, Accounting & EconomicsEducation, Human Services & Non-ProfitGovernment, Politics, Public Service & LawHealthcare & Public HealthMarine, Environment, Physical & Life SciencesMarketing, Media, Advertising & Communications
Next Steps/ResourcesHow to Search for your InternshipInternship Requirements by MajorOur Work
Mary Santoro (She/Hers/Her)
Mary Santoro, Career Advisor
Mary Santoro graduated from Roger Williams University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Leadership at University College. In her time at Roger Williams, she has worked for over three mentoring offices and enjoys supporting students on their professional and academic journeys. Mary has interned with the Center for Career and Professional Development for four years before accepting a full position serving as the primary instructor for the Internship and Career Planning Seminar. Mary is motivated by working with students directly assisting fellow hawks in confidence building, career coaching, and professional document development through resume and cover letter reviews.
Specialties and InterestsStudent/External Relations/Marketing
Audience CommunitiesInternship for "Credit"
Next Steps/ResourcesInternship & Career Planning SeminarOur Work
Richelle Hurley, M.A., Career Advisor
Richelle Hurley received both her B.A. and M.A. in Communication from Villanova University in 2017 and 2018, respectively. She then worked for two years as an Area Coordinator in the Office of Residence Life and Housing at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA. Following her time at Holy Cross, Richelle worked in Human Resources at Perspectives Corporation in North Kingstown, RI. While at Perspectives, Richelle managed recruiting, hiring, and training of employees, and served as the liaison for the agency’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services department. Richelle is excited to be joining the CCPD and is passionate about supporting students through their Higher Education journeys and beyond.
Audience CommunitiesUndergraduate Students
Next Steps/ResourcesOur Work
Assistant Director of Experiential Learning
Rena Piller-Thurston ‘97, Assistant Director, Experiential Learning
Rena Piller-Thurston graduated from Roger Williams University in 1997 with a Bachelor of Arts in History and began a curatorial position at the Newport Historical Society. She next moved on to the Preservation Society of Newport County to manage their Annual Fund. Rena returned to RWU in 2004 to work in the Office of Institutional Advancement and later the RWU Honors Program where she enjoyed working with students directly. She took over coordination of the internship program as the Assistant Director, Experiential Learning in the Center for Career & Professional Development in 2018.
Specialties and InterestsExternal Relations
Next Steps/ResourcesEmployer Guidelines for InternshipsHost an InternHow to Register your InternshipInternational InternshipsInternship PoliciesInternship Report GuidelinesInternship Requirements by MajorOur WorkRegistration Deadlines
Sierra Zschirnt (She/Her/Hers)
Associate Director of External Relations
Sierra Zschirnt, Associate Director, External Relations
After graduating from Salve Regina University with a degree in Administration of Justice Sierra worked for a luxury, wedding and event planning company in Newport Rhode Island for 5 years. In that 5 years Sierra also served as the Director of Development for the non profit the Confetti Foundation. Sierra joined Roger Williams University as the Associate Director of External Relations in July of 2018. She works to establish new and grow existing, alumni and employer partnerships to help develop programs and events that support and enhance students’ professional skills.
Specialties and InterestsExternal Relations
Next Steps/ResourcesHost an InternOur WorkRecruit & Engage
Associate Vice President of Institutional Advancement
Aaron Buzay, Associate Vice President of Institutional Advancement
Aaron Buzay graduated from Northwestern University with a Bachelor of Science in Finance followed by a Master of Arts in Education and Business Administration from Bethel University. Aaron undertook leadership roles across secondary education and university settings in both teaching and administrative roles. More recently, Aaron has worked at Stanford University as Associate Dean and Director of Finance and Operations as well as Harvard University as the Executive Director of Administration. Before joining Roger Williams University, Aaron was Associate Vice President of Advancement Operations at the Museum of Science in Boston. Aaron currently leads the Center for Career and Professional Development as Associate Vice President of Institutional Advancement, working to extend career services to all audiences of Roger Williams University in innovative and strategic ways.