Brooke Buffington selected to lead the Student Professional Development Center

With more than 20 years of experience in both industry and higher education, Buffington was selected following a national search.

Brooke Buffington, a proven career professional who has worked at two of the top-4 career centers in the country, has been named the new director of the Elon University Student Professional Development Center. The Student Professional Development Center has been recognized as a top-20 career services program for each of the past six years and is currently ranked #4 in the country.

Brooke Buffington has been selected as the director of the Student Professional Development Center.

Buffington joined Elon in 2015, bringing with her both corporate and nonprofit experience. Her 13 years of work in higher education includes counseling, employer relations, programming, advising, and curriculum development. Currently serving as senior associate director of corporate and employer relations in the Love School of Business, Buffington will start in her new role on Sept. 1. She succeeds Tom Brinkley, who has led the Student Professional Development Center for the past decade and who will serve as a consulting advisor until his retirement in December.

“Elon is nationally renowned for its innovative and entrepreneurial approach to assisting students with career development and in connecting them with professional opportunities, and Brooke Buffington has played a critical role in the center’s continued success,” said Jeff Stein, vice president for strategic initiatives. “Throughout the search process, Brooke demonstrated that she is prepared to bring her industry, employer relations, and counseling experience to build upon that success. She’s ready to work with students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents and industry leaders to advance the achievements of Elon graduates in a rapidly changing world.”

As director of the Student Professional Development Center, Buffington will provide visionary and strategic leadership while overseeing the development and delivery of innovative programs and resources. She will be the SPDC’s chief ambassador and will collaborate with the university’s external partners to bring transformative opportunities to campus, while collaborating with internal stakeholders from across the university.

Passionate about ensuring that all students have access to the services and support necessary for them to achieve their post-graduation goals, Buffington has been working in diversity, equity and inclusion since 2008 when she served as diversity chair for student affairs at Clemson University. She currently works with a team of SPDC colleagues to build more DEI-focused professional programming to the campus community.

Buffington has worked with faculty and staff to construct courses designed to help students explore their personal and professional goals and determine next steps to achieve desired outcomes. She co-developed the Aspire to be Hired course that offers students the opportunity to engage in a simulated internship application process that includes three rounds of interviews and practice navigating the entire hiring cycle. In co-creating the Charting Your Unconventional Career Path course, she helped design a curriculum that inspires students to consider what a remarkable life means to them, and then helps create a pathway for that journey.

“I am honored to be selected for this important role and look forward to helping Elon students and alumni navigate the ever-changing post-graduation landscape,” Buffington said. “I welcome the opportunity to lead the Student Professional Development Center team and advance Elon’s position as a national leader in career development in higher education.”

Buffington graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a bachelor’s degree in communication studies and received a master’s degree in counseling from Wake Forest University. Her work in industry includes sales, marketing and product management for a Fortune 500 company.

She joined the Michelin Career Center at Clemson University in June 2008 as assistant director of career development and focused on career counseling with undergraduate and graduate students as well as serving as a liaison between the center and student-athlete enrichment. Named associate director of athletic academic services in the Athletic Academic Enrichment Department in August 2011, Buffington co-coordinated the department’s career counseling program for more than 400 student-athletes, including the creation of a four-year career pathway.

Buffington will report to Vice President for Strategic Initiatives Jeff Stein and will work closely with Jennifer Platania, associate provost for academic affairs and associate professor of economics.