Career and Leadership Coaches

Career and Leadership Coaches are fantastic partners for helping you determine next steps in your career including goal setting, career steps discernment, accountability, and much more.

Please note that it is up to you to reach out to the coaches to discuss their coaching practice. All Mercer alumni coaches have agreed to offer their fellow Mercer alumni a discount which is their discretion to determine with you. These alumni coaches are not compensated or retained by Mercer University for this service.


Douglas H. Jones | The Entrepreneur's Source

Walter F George School of Law, Class of 1981 Doug Jones

Specialties: primarily individuals, couples and partners who are interested in exploring business ownership, either through self-employed, as an addition to other assets and investments or in anticipation of retirement

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About Doug: As a Consultant and Coach, I enjoy being part of my clients' journey of self discovery. I help guide clients towards self sufficiency by exploring alternative career options and investment vehicles in a safe environment. My background and experience in law, investments and senior management have all prepared me to assist clients to explore, validate and come to a point of clarity regarding their next step towards a new career or investment.

Thomasina "Thommi" Odom Lawson, PhD, LPC, NCC | Connect! Grow! Thrive!, LLC

Stetson School of Business and Economics, Class of 1995 Thommi Lawson

Penfield College, Class of 2012 & 2015

Specialties: Mid and senior level career professionals

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About Thommi: Parlaying a perfectly good Mercer B.B.A. in Accounting into advanced degrees and stints in IT, HR, and academia, Thommi Odom Lawson, MBA, PhD, LPC, PHR, PMP has found her perfect niche. And she wants to be sure that you have found yours, also. As a Career Counselor, Dr. Thommi draws upon her corporate work experience on both sides of the Human Resources door. Her solutions-based approach uniquely addresses the overlap, or blurred lines, between career success, interpersonal relationships, and home life. While helping clients figure out strategies for enjoying work, dealing with difficult colleagues, or making better career choices, Thommi sometimes uncovers emotional issues that would sabotage success at a new position or company. She effectively employs therapies to deal with stress, anxiety, or depression to increase chances for success.  A half-marathoner based in downtown Columbia, South Carolina, Dr. Thommi understands that work travel can exacerbate personal pressures ... BUT it can also afford rare moments of privacy, so she offers HIPPA-compliant counseling via telephone or video chat to individuals in Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

Debra Ruddell | DJR Career Connector

Penfield College, Class of 2012Deborah Ruddell

Specialities: All Mercer Alumni, especially those in STEM Industries or related positions.

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About Debra: Debra Ruddell is a Career Counselor/Consultant with a Master of Science Degree in Professional Counseling from Mercer University, Atlanta, GA. Her Bachelor of Science was in Biology from IU-PUI in Indianapolis, IN. She is a Global Career Development Facilitator, as well as an NCDA Certified Career Counselor. Debra is a Past President of the Georgia Career Development Association, and currently serves on the National Career Development Association State Leadership Advisory Council and Leadership Academy. Debra brings several years of Career Counseling/Coaching experience to Mercer Alumni, with a strong background in working with individuals who have earned both undergraduate and graduate degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and Business. She is motivated to help simplify and streamline the job search process. Debra formerly worked in Higher Education as a Career Advisor and Career Programs Manager at the Georgia Institute of Technology Alumni Association, as well as the Mercer University Atlanta campus Career center, serving alumni and graduate students. Debra also founded her private DJR Career Counseling practice, serving Metro Atlanta, with an office in Peachtree Corners. She specializes in administering the Meyers Briggs Type Inventory (MBTI) and Strong’s Interest Inventory (SII), plus other career assessments.