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Assistant Vice President for Student Success, Binghamton University, State University of New York

Kelli K. Smith, PhD: Kelli Smith has 27+ years of experience in higher education, largely within the area of career services. She was promoted to Assistant Vice President of Student Success after serving as the Director of University Career Services for 3 years at Binghamton University (SUNY) in upstate New York. After the Center received 7 awards including the 2017 international NCDA “Exemplary Career Center,” she now provides overall vision and leadership for the Center for Civic Engagement, Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development, the Student Affairs Assessment and Solutions for Engagement (SAASE) office, and the new department she has created, Student Transition & Success (includes the campus Speaking Center, FYE courses, Emerging Leaders, Transfer Student Services, the Binghamton Advantage Program, and the new Student Success Coaching program). She also regularly partners with Academic Affairs on special projects related to student success, such leading a university-wide team focused on high-impact experiences, and in response to the pandemic, the recent student outreach project for high-risk students at the start of the pandemic and newly created common experience program for first-year students in collaboration with the Collegiate Professors. As a first-generation college student and Pell-grant recipient herself, she also has a passion for supporting students from disadvantaged backgrounds and helped launch the B-First mentoring initiative and serves as a mentor herself. Prior institutions include University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), Nebraska Wesleyan, Georgetown University, Doane College, and Indiana University-Bloomington. She is also an adjunct faculty member for leadership within Binghamton University's School of Management and teaches leadership courses to both undergraduate and graduate students. She has served on the Directorate for an ACPA commission on career development, the NACE First Destination Survey Task Force, was part of the NACE Leadership Advancement Program, the 2016-17 NACE awards committee where she proposed the “Career Champion” award, co-chaired the 2017 Global Career Services Summit in Leicester, England, and co-chaired the the most recent NACE Standards Task Force. She is currently a board member for CEA, a leading education abroad company. Her relevant publications include the Jossey-Bass/Wiley sourcebook, Strategic Directions for Career Services Within the University Setting (2014), the chapter, “Preparing students for after-college life: The context,” in Stepping Up to Stepping Out: Helping Students Prepare for Life after College (2012), and the Jossey-Bass/Wiley sourcebook co-sponsored by NACE, Leadership Development for Career Readiness in University Setting (February, 2018). While serving as the Director of University Career Services at Binghamton, the comprehensive center she led grew with support of successful Binghamton University Roadmap proposals and within that timeframe the Center received 6 regional awards and the international “Exemplary Career Center” top award given by the National Career Development Association for 2017.


  • –present
    Assistant Vice President for Student Success, Binghamton University, State University of New York


  • 2015 
    University of Nebraska-Lincoln, PhD/Leadership Studies