Melissa Palmer, MS, CPC
Director of Career Services
My lifelong passion is helping people better understand their unique skills, interests, personality, and passions, and how to connect these to the changing world of work in ways that are meaningful as well as economically viable. As a certified coach, I consider it an honor to walk alongside students and alumni as they clarify their career & life goals and learn the skills of lifelong career management.
I joined the Friedman School in October 2020 as the inaugural Director of the Block Career Center. Before that, I spent three years as the Associate Director of Career Services at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. With 20+ years of experience across higher education, talent acquisition, leadership development, and entrepreneurship, I am excited to build a career center for The Friedman School that leverages technology, facilitates equitable access for all students, and provides the tools needed to navigate tomorrow’s job market.
I grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, lived in Dallas, Texas for 8 years, and love all things international. I have an M.S. in College Student Personnel and a B.A. in International Studies (with minors in French and Economics), both from Miami University (Oxford, OH). When I’m not reading or thinking about career and life development, I enjoy hiking, camping, kayaking, traveling, and spending time with my husband and our 3 (almost grown) kids!
Food Fun Fact
My husband and I eat a whole food, plant-based diet. In 2014, we stumbled upon the documentary, “Forks over Knives,” and read the amazing book, “How Not to Die,” by Tufts alumnus Dr. Michael Gregor. We immediately changed the way we eat, have never felt better, and haven’t looked back since!
Lori Rodriguez, EdM
Associate Director of Career Services
I have been at the Friedman School since 2003 and spent the first five years working as part of a research team on two studies. One was a longitudinal study that evaluated a wide range of health behaviors and outcomes among Tufts undergraduate students. Another focused on elementary school children in after school programs with the goal of improving eating habits and increasing physical activity levels. I then transitioned to the Office of Student Affairs (the result of an informational interview!) and quickly realized how much I enjoyed helping students grow professionally.
As part of the Block Career Services Center team, my goal is to ensure that students have the support that they need as they explore their areas of interest and become better prepared for the job market. My work involves guiding and coaching students as they seek internships and jobs, providing skill building and networking opportunities through workshops and events, and developing relationships with employers and partners. In addition, I help plan and organize new student orientation and commencement, as well as advise student organizations and groups.
I have my Ed.M. from Boston University in Policy, Planning, and Administration with a specialization in Higher Education Administration. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my husband and two children, traveling, music, and baking yummy treats.
Food Fun Fact
I am allergic to cantaloupe, despise blackberries, and, if only allowed to have one food if stranded on a deserted island, it would be vanilla soft serve ice cream. Also, I am originally from Buffalo, New York, the famed birthplace of Buffalo wings and home of the Beef on Weck sandwich. It’s worth the trip!
Beth Jameson, MA
As Administrative Coordinator for the Block Career Services Center and the Food and Nutrition Innovation Institute, I coordinate event and workshop logistics, communicate vital Career Center information to students, alumni, staff, and faculty, and provide resume reviews and feedback for Friedman students & alumni. With an academic background in food studies and a passion for workforce development, I love working with Friedman students and alumni to support their discovery and learning throughout their career path! I hold a BA in Sociology from Boston University, and an MA in Food Studies from Chatham University’s Falk School of Sustainability.
Before coming to the Friedman School, I worked in program administration for an eastern Massachusetts youth development and food justice nonprofit, managed and implemented a career development program for young people at a local housing authority, and worked in office administration at a community center in downtown Boston. In my free time, you’ll usually find me talking about, reading about, or making food. I also love traveling, crafting, and spending time in the outdoors.
Food Fun Fact
I once made 500 homemade marshmallows (in multiple flavors) for a friend’s wedding reception.