Humans of Parkland: Michael Trame, Vice President of Student Services
“I started off as a high school teacher and then the volleyball coach here at Parkland. So I took a little different career path than many college administrators: I didn’t come directly through the faculty or staff. I had spent about ten years in the high school setting, coaching and teaching…and then was very fortunate to get offered an opportunity to come and be Parkland’s academic monitor and advisor to the athletes and volleyball coach.
I had come out of undergrad, gone to law school for a little while, decided that wasn’t really where I wanted to spend my career, then I got into teaching, because I really enjoy working with students and young people…That lead me to the high school teaching and coaching profession, I really enjoyed my time in the classroom but was never settled that this was the long-term career for me. I enjoyed my days in the classroom, I felt like I was good at it, but I was still a little unsettled.
When I got to Parkland for the first time I really felt at home, with the institution itself and what it stood for and the people that it touches and the lives it impacts. For the first time, I knew I wanted to be here and that this was the career place for me.
I really liked the academic advising and helping the student-athletes stay on their path and figure out what they wanted to do. It was helping them figure out what they wanted to do with their education, it was helping many of them achieve academic success that they were not confident that they could achieve; maybe that’s why I liked that route so much.
I really enjoyed my time as the volleyball coach also; we had some great success volleyball wise. I had young children at the time though and I was really missing a lot of time with them so I decided that I wanted to move into administration instead of continuing to coach. But there just weren’t a lot of opportunities to do that in Student Services at the time. I also needed to add some additional experience to my resume and skill sets.
While I was used to running teams…I needed to gain additional professional college experience …So I left and went to the University for a few years…[I worked] for the Political Science department. I also worked for the Athletic department…That gave me some additional managerial and other experiences I needed to round out myself professionally.
Despite the great experiences I had at the University, I always knew that I wanted to get back to Parkland. Parkland was where I wanted to be professionally. I was very fortunate that an opportunity presented itself here. One of my mentors, Dr. Moore, who was my predecessor in this position… gave me the opportunity to return to Parkland as the Director of the Assessment Center…After I had done the assessment work for a little while, the Dean of Enrollment position was created by the college and I was very fortunate to get to help initially shape that position… Dr. Moore retired in September of 2015 and so this position became available. I am honored to be able to serve the students, staff and faculty of Parkland College in this position.
That’s kind of my story of how I got here, but all those stops along the way for me really focused on helping students in different ways. I am so fortunate to be in a career where serving students and helping them reach their academic goals is what I get to do every day.”