About Us

LAS Career Services are located in 105 Gregory Hall, 810 S. Wright St.

Schedule appointments on Handshake or by emailing las-careerservices@illinois.edu

Find information about ADA accessibility in Greg Hall here.

Meet the Staff

Julia Makela, Senior Director

Julia Makela has a passion for empowering students in their education and career pursuits. She has first-hand experience feeling uncertain and unsure of her path as an undergraduate student. Studying Computer Science at Cornell University, she wandered into a career center during her senior year where she stumbled upon her true interest – the job of the person across the table! Julia went on to complete a MS in Counseling at Florida State University and a PhD in Higher Education here at the University of Illinois – all the while, dedicated to career services and working with undergraduate students. Now, with more than 20 years of experience in career coaching, she is excited to be working toward the new LAS Career Services office. She looks forward to bringing much needed career exploration and management strategies, services, and resources to diverse LAS academic spaces and communities.

Julia serves on the National Career Development Association (NCDA) Board of Directors. She is an NCDA Fellow (2019) and a Certified Career Counselor. Beyond the office, Julia’s favorite activities include gardening, painting, reading, hiking, adventure racing, and time spent connecting with family and friends.

Kirstin Wilcox, Director

Kirstin Wilcox was previously director of the Humanities Professional Resource Center. Kirstin has been helping liberal arts students figure out their career paths since 2014, when she decided to take a break from teaching literature in the Department of English in order to develop some career programming for majors. It was supposed to be a short-term alternative to grading papers and obsessing about eighteenth-century literature, but it turned into a career change.

Kirstin received a BA in English from the University of Chicago, and an MA and Ph.D. in English from Columbia University. In her free time, Kirstin enjoys baking, reading, and the occasional yoga class.


Julie Higgs, Career Advisor

Julie Higgs grew up in the rolling hills of southwest Wisconsin in a small college town. Her undergraduate degree is from Iowa State in microbiology and chemistry. Her graduate work in Minnesota in both biology and education was supposed to result in a teaching career.  Instead, she spent time working in biology labs which oddly led to various positions in campus administration.  She has a passion to help students with their academic careers. She finds purpose in supporting students as they navigate through their time at Illinois and move into their futures. Along the way, she has dabbled in professional costuming, crop scouting, biological research, teaching handmade crafting skills, and retail management.  When not around campus, you can find Julie in her yard growing flowers, watching BBC mysteries, telling bad puns, reading historical focused books, or creating things with fibers or beads.

Elijah Lovejoy, Inspiration 

Standing outside the entry to the LAS Career Services offices is Elijah Lovejoy‘s bronze bust. Lovejoy is enshrined in Illinois Press Association’ Editors Hall of Fame in Gregory Hall for his commitment to antislavery journalism. Lovejoy was a minister, journalist, and newspaper editor. He was killed by one of the arsonists setting fire to to the Alton, Illinois, warehouse where his newest printing press was stored (his previous three presses having also been destroyed by angry pro-slavery mobs).   

The Mythic Mississippi Project, a collaboration between the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (Dr. Helaine Silverman) and the University of Illinois, Springfield (Dr. Devin Hunter) produced a short documentary film on the life and legacy of Elijah P. Lovejoy.  

More information:

Elijah Lovejoy’s Life And Tumultuous Times Get Their Due In ‘First To Fall’ | STLPR (stlpublicradio.org)

Today in History – November 7 | Library of Congress (loc.gov)