We're here to help you navigate your career options.


Career advisors help you develop a unique career path that is creatively satisfying, challenging, and rewarding. Don't try to figure out your career options alone: have a conversation about your life as a creative professional with an SAIC career advisor. Meet our team:

Terri Lonier, PhD

Terri Lonier

Terri leads the CAPX team. With a background as a studio artist (BFA, MFA in Ceramics) and as an entrepreneur, she enjoys working with students interested in developing a creative practice or entrepreneurial venture.

In addition to a studio practice, Terri’s experience includes being curator of exhibitions at the Kohler Arts Center; consultant to high-tech firms such as Apple, Microsoft, and IBM; faculty member in studio art, arts management, and entrepreneurship; advisor to dozens of startups; and director of a nationally ranked university entrepreneurship center. She is the author of five books on self-employment, and received her PhD from NYU. Chicago and Paris are her two favorite cities.

Make an appointment with Terri about entrepreneurship: careers@saic.edu  

Katharine (Kate) Schutta
Director, Career and Professional Experience (CAPX)

Kate works with students and alums as they develop their professional and job search strategies. She directs career advising and Expert Exchange, bringing in professionals from diverse fields and experiences to consult with students. A Gallup Certified Strengths Coach and Strong Interest Inventory Administrator, she administers assessments and oversees CAPX programming as well as collaborations with departments across SAIC. Kate has taught studio courses at SAIC and was Research Fellow at the Royal College of Art.  She has exhibited in the U.S. and abroad and has won many grants and fellowships. She earned her MFA from SAIC, and her BA (History of Art) from Bryn Mawr College. katharineschutta.com

Make an appointment with Kate


Nancy Gildart
Assistant Director, Career and Professional Experience (CAPX)

Nancy works mainly with graduate students, helping them develop strategies and identify opportunities for building their creative practices. She works with them to hone their applications for teaching jobs, exhibitions, grants, fellowships (including Fulbright), residencies, and more. Transferring from the corporate world, she earned a BFA and then an MFA (2000) from SAIC's Department of Fiber and Material Studies. She uses her past education—English (BA, University of Michigan, 1980) and Library Science (MA, University of Chicago, 1986)—every day in working with students to research opportunities and to develop persuasive proposals. She keeps a garden and maintains an investigative studio practice. gildart.com

Make an appointment with Nancy


Chris D. Smith
Career and Internship Advisor

Chris advises students and alums in their professional and career-related endeavors, especially in the area of internships. With a BS in Operations Management and Information Systems (College of Business, Northern Illinois University, 1998), he worked in the technology industry for seven years before returning to school and earning a BFA in Painting and Drawing at SAIC (2006) and an MA (Eastern Illinois University, 2009). Chris has several years’ experience as gallery director at Linda Warren Projects (Chicago), and exhibits his own art in group and solo exhibitions throughout the U.S. www.cdsmithstudio.com

Make an appointment with Chris


Ann Chen
Faculty Advisor

Ann works with students and alums to identify individual strengths, skills, and strategies as related to professional development. Her focus is to help artists seek out and establish ties in the arts and design community. She began her studies in architectural history (BA, University of Maryland, 1994), and worked in the design field specializing in Project Administration and HR Management. In 2002, she completed the MFA program at SAIC. Her studies and professional experience in architecture and painting shaped her interest in multidisciplinary studio practice. She helps students navigate the wide-ranging array of resources and find the best fit in their job search, internship, or studio practice. ccannchen.com

Make an appointment with Ann


D. Denenge Duyst-Akpem
Faculty Advisor

Denenge guides students to identify and highlight areas of greatest strength, skill, and interest on which to focus specific strategies for career success. In particular, she advises students in crafting clear résumés and portfolios. As an interdisciplinary artist working within arts communities in Chicago for the past 18 years, as an educator, and as proprietor of a design company, she brings a broad, fresh perspective and wealth of experience to support students’ future visions. Denenge is an early practitioner in Afro-Futurism, speaking nationally and internationally on that topic. She earned her MFA (Performance, 2004) from SAIC and her BA (1997) from Smith College. denenge.net

Make an appointment with Denengue


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