Are you thinking about attending graduate school? Do you know how even to begin applying for graduate school? Do you want to see how you will pay for further education? This panel of representatives from Grand Valley University, Michigan State University, Western Michigan University – Cooley Law School, and Davenport University will discuss the benefits of graduate school and breaking down the barriers and myths associated with continuing your education.
Tracey Brame is the Associate Dean of Experiential and Practice Preparation and the Director of the WMU-Cooley Innocence Project, and is the Immediate Past President of the Grand Rapids Bar Association.
Tracey joined WMU-Cooley Law School in February 2006 from Legal Aid of Western Michigan, where she was a staff attorney. Tracey advised and represented low-income clients on family-law, housing, and consumer-law issues. She also collaborated with other programs to address legal issues faced by ex-offenders re-entering the community. In addition, she provided translation for Spanish-speaking clients.
Previously, serving as a staff attorney for the Public Defender Services for the District of Columbia, she was a research and writing specialist with the Federal Defender Office, and was an Assistant Defender with the State Appellate Defender Office in Detroit. Her legal career began as a law clerk to the Hon. Julian Abele Cook, Jr. in the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Michigan.
Trist Bergerud joined Grand Valley State University in July of 2021 and The Graduate School in February 2022. She earned her master’s degree in International Education from New York University, and her bachelor’s degree in English Literature from the University of North Dakota.
Trista has a background in global education and diversity that she developed while teaching abroad in Ghana and Morocco. She also taught students from pre-K to college in the US and has been an international student herself in London and Paris. Her experience as both teacher and student give her a unique perspective that helps to guide her in supporting all students.
Trista is responsible for conducting market research in support of GVSU’s ability to offer new graduate programming, as well as expanding graduate faculty and graduate student engagement in curricular and co-curricular activities. She provides creative and strategic direction and project/content management for all Graduate School communications.
Jessica Davison is an Admissions Counselor and Director of Pathway Programming at the College of Human Medicine at Michigan State University, with 10 years of higher education admissions experience, in both undergraduate and graduate admissions. She has a Master’s in Spanish Language and Literature from Central Michigan University and a B.A. in Spanish and Business Administration, also from CMU.
Her current role includes guiding pre-medical students into successful medical school applicants, managing the lifecycle of those applicants, and developing pathway opportunities for younger students interested in becoming physicians. Based at the Grand Rapids Secchia center, she has developed pathways for underserved and underrepresented populations in West Michigan, implementing strategic curriculum to prepare them for applying to medical school.
Born in Mexico City, Carlos Sanchez is the inaugural Executive Director of Casa Latina at Davenport University. Before joining Davenport, he spent ten years at Ferris State University where he developed two initiatives: LEADeres, a professional development and leadership program and Emprende, an entrepreneurship program, in Spanish. Both designed to serve the community by developing Latinx leaders and entrepreneurs.
Carlos’ extensive community involvement includes having served on several boards and committees such as the interim Executive
Director of the Hispanic Center of Western Michigan and subsequent Board Chair, the Grand Rapids Community Foundation where he also served as Board Chair, the Downtown Improvement District Board, Economic Club of Grand Rapids Board, Trustee at the Grand Rapids Community College and the Trinity Health Grand Rapids Board. He also served as the Executive Director of the West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
A graduate of the International Business program at Davenport University, he holds an MBA-level Certification in Design and Innovation Management from Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University and a Master of Arts in Design from Kendall College as well.
Carlos is regarded in the West Michigan community as a connector, a problem solver