Connecting Tampa Bay Businesses with Saint Leo Students, Alumni

September 01, 2017

Julia Ruddock PortraitJulia Ruddock has joined Saint Leo University as director of Employer Development & Experiential Learning. Ruddock brings her 10 years of professional experience in the defense, banking, and higher education industries to this new position at Saint Leo.

Ruddock will develop and coordinate programs to enhance student learning and increase career placement. She will work with Tampa Bay area businesses, organizations, and community partners to secure internships and job placements. 

The employer relations function is new to Saint Leo. To increase student retention and post-baccalaureate job placement, Ruddock will apply her business development, communications and relationship management expertise to raise the profile of Saint Leo University as a “school of choice” for local and national employers seeking a broad range of talent.

Initially, Ruddock’s efforts will focus on growing and diversifying the university’s portfolio of employers that recruit students and alumni for internships, as well as full-time and part-time jobs. 

Ruddock has set long-term goals for Saint Leo employer relations. Among them is creating systemic alignment between the business community and the university through programs and partnerships that produce a workforce ready to tackle the challenges and rapidly changing demands of the 21st century economy, she said.

Students hard at workThe market for Saint Leo graduates has never been hotter,” Ruddock said. “Employers far and wide are grappling with talent shortages or workforce readiness challenges that Saint Leo University is well-equipped to help them remedy.” 

Most recently, Ruddock served as manager of employer development for the University of Tampa. She holds a Master of Arts degree in diplomacy from Norwich University and a Bachelor of Science degree in general engineering (and Arabic) from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, NY. She is a graduate of the Leadership Tampa Class of 2017, a board member for the West Point Society West Central Florida Chapter, and a member of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce Education Connection Committee. She also serves as a member of the Military Academy Nomination Board for Florida’s 13th Congressional District.

Business Plan CompetitionShe served five years as a U.S. Army engineer officer and attained the rank of captain. She led the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ post-conflict reconstruction mission in Al Anbar Province in Iraq from 2010 to 2011.

Companies and organizations interested in hiring Saint Leo talent for jobs and internships may contact Julia Ruddock, director of Employer Development & Experiential Learning, at (352) 588-8822 or