About Wisr

  /  About Wisr

Mission & Founding

Veteran entrepreneurs Kate Volzer, John Knific, and Kris Ciccarello founded Wisr in 2016 to bridge the growing rift between college education and successful job placement. More students than ever were pursuing higher education, but the American labor force participation rate had been declining steadily for a decade. As a first-generation college student, Kate understood how a one-size-fits-all system fails to accommodate students’ individual needs.

Leveraging over thirty years of collective experience in higher education technology, the Wisr team built a college network that connects all of an institution’s stakeholders to put each student at the center of a personalized web of mentors, academic advisors, and job opportunities.

“Wisr brings together everyone supporting an institution – alumni, staff, and faculty – to help students prepare for careers before the panic sets in junior or senior year. Too many undergraduates are taught that they just need to focus on grades and that the job will somehow fall into place on its own.”
—Kate Volzer, Co-Founder & CEO

Innovation Award

Top 3 Education Startup

Top 5 to Watch

The Wisr Team


Kate Volzer

Co-Founder & CEO HIGHER Founder and Executive Director

Associate Director of Admissions at UChicago, VP of Business Development at DecisionDesk, Founder of VisitCoordinator


John Knific

Co-Founder, President, & COO

Co-Founder & CEO at DecisionDesk, Entrepreneur in Residence and Co-Creator of LaunchU at Oberlin College


Kris Ciccarello

Co-Founder & CTO

Co-Founder and CTO at Beegit, VP of Software Development at ExchangeBase, Technical Director at Sanctuary Software Studio

Christine Vienna

Vice President of Customer Success

Grace Frye

Business Development Manager

Anna Masica

Customer Success Manager

Corey Pender

Business Development Manager

Brad Luczywo

Senior Software Engineer

Luke Appleton

Data Operations Analyst

Dan Gould

Senior Manager of Alumni and Career Services

Ellie Medley

Customer Success Associate

Mia Lilienthal

Customer Success Associate

Hannah Sarnacki

Customer Success Associate

Gary Bunofsky

UX/UI Engineer

Interested in joining our fast-paced, collaborative team in Cleveland? Explore career opportunities at Wisr!

Board of Advisors

Jeff Marshall

Board of Advisors (Co-Director)

Managing Director, Private Equity and Direct Investments at Halcyon Investments, Ltd.

Kevin Berner

Board of Advisors (Co-Director)

Venture Partner at JumpStart Inc; President & CEO of Phycal Inc; CEO of Logos Energy Inc

Lev Gonick

Board of Advisors (Co-Director)

Chief Information Officer at Arizona State University; Co-Founder & CEO of DigitalC

Carey Jaros

Board of Advisors

CEO-Elect at GOJO Industries

Jason Palmer

Board of Advisors

General Partner at New Markets Venture Partners

Peter Wilson

Board of Advisors

Deputy Dean and Director of Admissions & Chief of Staff at the University of Chicago

Lauren Fine

Board of Advisors (Observer)

Partner at Gries Financial Partners

Work With Us

Take a look at our products for details on how Wisr can help your institution offer best-in-class resources to prospectives, students, and young alumni.


Boost yield by helping prospective students and parents connect with undergrads and alumni during admissions.


Student Success

Improve student life and retention with long-term mentorship, personalized resources, and support for communities.


Career Development

Offer every student one-on-one career coaching from industry experts by leveraging your alumni.


Alumni Relations

Build powerful affinity and drive giving by connecting alumni volunteers with undergrads they can help.

See how Wisr can create meaningful connections on your campus