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
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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.  She is also the former Past President of the Midwest Association of Colleges and Employers and a 2016 Knights of St. Patrick Kay Kappes Golden Shamrock winner.

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
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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.


Kelly Nowlin

Recruiting Coordinator

Kelly Nowlin began working in the School of Chemical Sciences in August 2023, transitioning from her prior position as the executive director of the Champaign-Urbana Theatre Company, a role she held for eight years.  Demonstrating a strong commitment to inclusivity, she championed the introduction of the Penguin Project® to the local community.  This innovative theatre initiative focuses on empowering youth with disabilities through transformative theatrical experiences.

In her new capacity, Kelly looks forward to collaborating with recruitment professionals, career services experts, and academic advisors.  She aspires to collectively help students discover their most fitting academic and professional trajectories, akin to the process actors undergo in finding their perfect on-stage roles.

Beyond her professional endeavors, she intends to remain involved in community theater, whether that be contributing behind the scenes, enjoying performances, or occasionally being in the spotlight herself.  She notably earned a regional award for outstanding performance in a feature role for her monologue in Love, Loss, and What I Wore.

Kelly enjoys spending time with her husband and staying connected with her adult twin sons.  This same sense of connection and encouragement serves as the foundation of her approach to assisting students.  She is enthusiastic about leveraging her diverse experiences to assist the career services and advising teams to help students realize their career aspirations.