Spruce Mountain Inn’s Career & Education Development programming got a bit of a facelift this year with the arrival of our new CED Coordinator, Tom Novak, MBA. Tom joined the Spruce Team this spring and brings more than 20 years post-graduate professional experience in career services and academic advising, most recently serving as the Director of Career Services for Saint Joseph’s College in Standish, ME for the past 15 years. Tom holds a BA and MBA from Temple University, where his Master’s studies focused on Human Resource Administration, before completing Doctorate of Education coursework in Vocational Education. Tom is also a well-respected and active leader in the Career Services community in New England, serving on the boards of the Maine College Career Consortium, the Maine Career Development Association, and the New England Association for Cooperative Education & Field Experience.
These past 6 months, Tom has been busy redesigning our group programming to meet the diverse and evolving needs of our residents, including adding depth of assessment and interest exploration to our Career Horizons Group, revamping our Employability Group to reflect today’s tech savvy employment culture, and bringing new study skills and learning supports curricula to our residents enrolled in college classes. He has significantly expanded our volunteer and internship offerings to offer more opportunities in business, the arts, and outdoor and agricultural fields through new partnerships with local organizations. Additionally, Tom supported the Spruce team in adapting our technology policies and internet use restrictions to allow residents greater use of their technology for purposes such as school, job exploration, and research related to other goals at Spruce while still maintaining healthy patterns of technology use.
Spruce Mountain residents and staff are excited for these changes and look forward to seeing what big idea Tom comes up with next!