November Alumni Spotlight: Michele Gawronski ’18

Name: Michele Gawronski

Grad Year:  2018

Program: Human Resource Management

Current Title: Human Resources Coordinator, Tops Friendly Markets

In Her Own Words:

“I am proud to say I am a Trocaire graduate, class of 2018. If it was not for the teachers, staff, and mentors at Trocaire I would not be where I am today.

Fresh out of high school over 30 years ago, I tried the traditional route to a college degree, and unfortunately it didn’t work out.  So instead I shifted gears and began working for a manufacturing company in South Buffalo called Power Drives Inc. There I was approached by the HR Manager, Suzanne Elliott, to consider going back to college. She said it would open up so many opportunities for me. I thought to myself, “no way, I’m not smart. I could never do that,” but Suzanne encouraged me to please think about it.

All I could think of was all the reasons why I could not do it instead of all the reasons I could. Suzanne suggested I speak to a longtime Power Drives Inc. training and development consultant, Rosanne Dee, who started a new HR program at Trocaire College. In all honesty I spoke to Rosanne to appease Suzanne and after our conversation, I agreed to take one class. I worked so hard for that first ‘A’. Before I knew it that one class turned into two classes then three.

As a single mom I found myself juggling home, children, working two jobs, school, and me time. As a non-traditional student I learned how to organize and prioritize very quickly. It was the hardest and most challenging time of my life.

I was successful because of my determination and my support system. Trocaire was a perfect fit for me. The teachers understood real life happens and were very accommodating setting office hours and being available for questions. The teachers were working HR professionals and could teach from experience. Small class sizes were a plus, and I was not just a number.

I am proud to work for Tops Friendly Markets because their company values align with my personal values. My role at Tops is the human resources coordinator. I am responsible for facilitating all key HR functions and programs. This includes issues raised by current and future employees and matters related to employment, compensation, benefits, and employee relations. I report to the HR director and my work revolves around improving HR policies, processes, and practices.

Working at Tops, I feel I am contributing to a larger purpose in my role because I have an education from Trocaire College. I continue to challenge myself and when the opportunity arises, I encourage others to consider going to Trocaire College because if I can do it, anyone can.”