Meet the Team

Nicole Gardner

Headshot of Nicole Gardner.Nicole Gardner is the Program Director of Perkins School for the Blind’s Career Launch@Perkins. She brings to the job more than 30 years of relevant experience, having notably served as both a management consultant and the Chief Human Resources Officer of Oliver Wyman, an international consulting firm. Most recently she was the Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer at Marsh & McLennan Companies, where she led the development of programs designed to help MMC succeed by creating an inclusive culture in which diverse talent could thrive and contribute. 

Alicia Smith

Headshot of Alicia Smith.Alicia Smith is the Associate Director of Training with Perkins School for the Blind’s Career Launch@Perkins. Prior to joining Perkins, she served three-plus years as a training manager at a Boston-based social enterprise working with system-involved youth. There, she focused on providing job training in practical business settings. Before that, she spent more than two years as a Training Specialist in Ethiopia for the U.S. Peace Corps, working with English teachers, teaching K-10 English, running programs to promote girls leadership and training youth in HIV/AIDS prevention and awareness. Alicia holds an MBA from Suffolk University and a BS in Hospitality Management from Johnson & Wales University.

Carol Kinlan

Headshot of Carol Kinlan.Carol Kinlan is the Director of Recruitment for Transition Programs at Perkins School for the Blind. An alumni of Harvard University’s Mind, Brain and Education Department, she boasts a comprehensive background in special education. Before joining Perkins, she spent five years with McMillan Education of Boston placing students in appropriate educational settings and has served in myriad capacities in other diverse educational programs, including Shady Hill School and Dedham Country Day School.

Brian Switzer

Brian Switzer headshotBrian Switzer is the Assistive Technology Instructor with Perkins School for the Blind’s Career Launch@Perkins. A high school math teacher earlier in his career, Switzer became interested in assistive technology after losing his own vision. Since, he has consulted with a number of fitness-minded tech firms like RunKeeper and Strava to make their digital applications more accessible. Switzer is also an outspoken advocate for people with blindness, low vision and deafblindness and holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Suffolk University. He’s the author of “Walk In My Shoes: An Anthology of Usher Syndrome,” and has run marathons across the country, from Boston to Alaska.