See if UPIKE is a good fit for you and take the next steps in becoming a student.
We are practitioners of the healing arts defining the standard for excellence in optometric education and vision care.
Our D.O. medical school is nationally ranked and recognized for a reputation of excellence in rural medicine and family healthcare. UPIKE’s osteopathy program gives you a clear path to success in the medical field.
Explore our online undergraduate and graduate programs and learn more about earning your degree at UPIKE.
University of Pikeville
Office of Career & Professional Development
Darwin V. Kysor
Learn More about Darwin
Campus Employment Specialist
Learn more about Sonia
The University of Pikeville is the leading higher education institution of Central Appalachia. Founded in 1889, UPIKE remains steadfast in our commitment to preparing students for the future while creating intellectual, cultural and economic opportunities for Appalachia.
Over and over, UPIKE alumni say things like, “At UPIKE I didn’t learn what to think, I learned how to think” and UPIKE prepared me to be successful in the workplace, not just in my major, but in any field.”
At the University of Pikeville, we are committed to preparing students for professional and personal success. We will ensure that by the time UPIKE students complete their college experience they will have had the opportunities and experiences in the areas of:
Selecting a major and a career direction can be an overwhelming task. There are thousands of careers to choose from and the pressure to make the right choice is huge. A quick choice, to relieve pressure, is often not the best choice. Career planning begins with understanding both yourself and your environment, and integrating the two to select a congruent academic major and the related occupational directions.
Self Discovery · Focus 2– UPIKE’s online career assessment instrument. Access Code: pikey
For other self discovery opportunities, visit UPIKE’s Career & Professional Development office in the Administration Building or call 606-218-4467 for more information.
Student Timeline: Suggestions from the Office of Career Development to strengthen your skills for future employment. Click here to view the timeline document.
Obtaining, participating in and reflecting upon Internships, Community Service, Service Learning.
Moving UP, our Experiential Learning plan at the University of Pikeville, provides institutional support for students to apply their classroom knowledge to an off-campus setting in the form of internships; professional conferences, seminars, and workshops; as well as study away and study abroad learning.
Experiential Learning at UPIKE
Developing an elevator pitch, utilizing resources (Alumni Network, LinkedIn), facilitating alumni connections.
Cover letters, Resumes, Interview skills, Identifying potential employers.
Enhancing career readiness skills and ethical practices. Develop an understanding of and become conversant in one’s personal skill sets.
The Career & Professional Development Office offers a comprehensive career development and management service to students. Services include academic classes, workshops, internship programs, job fairs, student employment and full-time job search and graduate/professional school assistance in both group and individual settings.
Below you will find a listing of helpful links when planning your career decisions.
Click on the following buttons to learn more about top Career Readiness skills and those most sought for by employers.
Darwin V. Kysor, Ph.D., LPC, NCC
Darwin Kysor has over 30 years of experience in higher education and has been a member of the professional staff at the University of Pikeville since 2020, serving as Director of Career & Professional Development. Previously, he was the Director of Career Services and Internships at Juniata College in Huntingdon, PA, Coordinator of Job Placement & Cooperative Education at Harford Community College in Bel Air, MD and the Cooperative Education Coordinator/Career Counselor at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, GA.
Darwin graduated with a B.A. in Criminal Justice and M.A. in Counselor Education from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D. in College Student Services Administration from Oregon State University where he wrote his dissertation on the career benefits of cooperative education/internship experiences. He has been a National Certified Counselor since 1998 and in 2007 was selected as a Fulbright Scholar in the U.S. – Germany International Education Administrators Program.
Professionally, Darwin is a member of the National Association of Colleges and Employers, National Career Development Association, Kentucky Association of College and Employers, Kentucky Career Development Association and the American Counseling Association. He is a Program Reviewer for both NACE and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Darwin’s family includes spouse Patricia, daughters Riley and Summer and sons Roman, Connor and Pierce.
Sonia Smith, M.A
Sonia has more than 10 years’ experience in higher education, providing career guidance to students on their journey as they explore how they want to live and craft a meaningful life. Utilizing reflection, listening, curiosity, questioning, experiential learning, and holistic exploration she has developed opportunities and created and managed programs for students to connect their studies, major, interest, responsibilities, work and what they are curious about doing in the world in order to better design their life. Sonia integrates and utilizes her background and experience in ministry, human resources, work with non-profits, internship and job development, volunteer services, and student employment to engage students, connecting their desire for work with interests in studies and life.
Guided by a professional interest and emphasis on “How Do I Do What I Say I Believe in the World,” Sonia enthusiastically works with students to design a life with purpose and meaning. Sonia has certifications to work with and interpret the Myers Briggs Type Indicator and the Strong Interest Inventory in addition to grant writing. Her educational background includes psychology, understanding human development and counseling as well as teaching and administration along with curriculum development. She holds a M.A.C.E. from Union Seminary and B.A in Psychology from Meredith College. Professionally she has taught college classes and presented at conferences for organizations including the national conference for the Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education (NetVUE) “Fostering Student Vocational Discernment through Clearness Committees” (also awarded a grant for this) and Career Development Professionals of Indiana, state conference, on a marketing case study.
At the University of Pikeville, Sonia enjoys helping students find where they are supposed to be as they connect their education with employment. She served as a mentor for the national NASPA Undergraduate Fellow Program (NUFP) and oversees the university’s participation in the “Student of the Year” national award including winning the KY state award two years in a row. For fun, Sonia appreciates cooking, reading, traveling (in person and virtually) domestically and internationally, spending time with friends and family, and keeping up with her nieces, ages 6 and 21.
To contact Sonia: firstname.lastname@example.org or 606-218-5223
One of the key competitive advantages of a college degree in general, and of a UPIKE experience specifically, is the development of a well-rounded set of skills that are valuable to an employer.
These are critical skills employers seek in prospective employees. Be sure to incorporate these into your resume and cover letter!