About SCS Careers

The Career Services office seeks to provide guidelines, resources, and opportunities to School of Chemical Sciences job seekers to help them achieve their career aspirations relevant to their academic interests and to facilitate and support connections between employers and those job seekers. Whether you are seeking a career in industry, higher education, or seeking to gain practical experience through a summer or semester internship, or co-op, we can help.

Patricia Simpson
Patricia Simpson

Academic Advising & Career Services

Patricia Simpson joined the University of Illinois’ School of Chemical Sciences in August 2007 and now serves as the Director of Academic Advising and Career Services, where she oversees all aspects of the unit. Prior to that, she served as the Director of Career Services for the University of North Alabama for eight years. After obtaining a B.A. in Communications and English, she worked as an Admissions Counselor in South Dakota and as a Career Counselor at Azusa Pacific University in California where she also acquired her M.Ed. in College Student Affairs. Patricia serves as the ACS Webinars Careers Channel Moderator and on the UI Career Services Council.

In her (limited) free time, Patricia is the owner/consultant of Game Changing Etiquette.  She is passionate about helping students find their unique strengths and serving as a connection for them with employers and alumni to enable them to achieve their professional goals, while also seeking to support employers with all of their recruiting needs.  

Jennifer Tasneem
picture of Jennifer Tasneem

Career Services Coordinator

Jennifer Tasneem began working at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign School of Chemical Sciences in March 2020. She received her B.A. in Chemistry from Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts. Following that, she obtained her M.S. in Materials Science and Engineering at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Her interest in career advising began during her undergraduate years when she was a Peer Career Advisor at the Career Development Center at Mount Holyoke. Even during her graduate studies, alongside academic research, Jennifer was the first Graduate Peer Advisor at the Engineering Career Center at Cornell where she spearheaded advising sessions for graduate students in the College of Engineering and loved working with students.

Originally from Bangladesh, Jennifer loves cooking and baking traditional meals from her home country. As an avid DIY-er she also enjoys painting and all things related to interior design. Jennifer works exclusively with students and strives to support and equip them with resources for lifelong academic and career success and is passionate about empowering students in STEM.


Gayle Nelsen
picture of Gayle Nelsen

Recruiting Coordinator

Gayle began work at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in October 2002 and with the School of Chemical Sciences in August 2013. Her primary focus is running the logistics of the office, assisting employers with their recruitment activities, and overseeing the employer partner program.

She received a B.A. in General Studies, with emphasis in the biological sciences, from Eastern Illinois University. She has worked in many capacities on campus but enjoys working with students most and helping them through their college careers. Having experienced life as an expatriate in China, and traveling around Asia, Gayle understands the obstacles international students experience being away from home.  She enjoys volunteering with the Leadership Certificate Program and the Intensive English Institute, and listening to students' stories of their home and traditions.

In her spare time, Gayle enjoys reading, gardening, and hopes to one-day incorporate beekeeping into her gardening regimen.