Karen Smith-Will, a 1998 graduate from the School of Continuing Studies with a Bachelor of Arts in humanities and social sciences, was among seven local residents who recently lost jobs or graduated from college who were interviewed for the Labor Day Times-Dispatch article.

The September 6 article, “Area Residents Talk About Job-Market Experiences,” highlights the experiences, positive and negative, that Smith-Will and others have had as they transition from job loss or graduation to new careers and professional experiences.

Smith-Will was among those interviewed for the article in part as a result of an SCS alumni experience.

She attended the August SCS Breakfast Forum, a networking opportunity for SCS faculty, students and alumni. The forum’s topic was “Surviving Downsizing” and featured Sam Bruce, director of the School’s Center for Career Management along with alumna Julia Stokes, SCS’08.

The forum’s topic attracted Times-Dispatch reporter John Reid Blackwell, who wrote about the forum (“Turn job loss into life change, speaker urges,” August 18) and arranged for Bruce to be included in a video snippet on the Times-Dispatch Website.

Blackwell and Smith-Will met at the forum, and, as a result of that meeting, Smith-Will was among those area residents interviewed for the article.

Smith-Will shares her experience of being laid off from Capital One in 2009 and starting her own business, Valutivity LLC. She is also featured in an audio snippet in the online version of the article.

Smith-Will thanked SCS for the opprtunity to meet Blackwell and share her experience in a Twitter post using her handle @Valutivity: “T[hank] y[ou] UR Sch. of Cont. Studies @urscs! Met John Reid Blackwell (Times Dispatch) at Aug. Alumni Mtg., which led to [the article].”

Smith-Will was among graduating students honored during the 1998 Commencement ceremony: she bore the University Mace during the Commencement procession and conclusion.