Meet Our Team
Gretchen Heaton, MA
Gretchen Heaton is the Associate Dean of Career and Leadership Development at Bay Path University, where she oversees all career initiatives for undergraduate and graduate students and alumni. She is a certified career coach and salary negotiation facilitator with more than a decade of experience in higher education administration and career development. She holds a graduate certificate in leadership and negotiation from Bay Path University, as well as a BA in Spanish and an MA in women's and gender studies. Gretchen’s first professional goal (age 3) was to become a football player. While her NFL career didn't ever take off, she has had many other interesting jobs on her life journey that she'd be happy to discuss: library assistant, Spanish teacher, editor, dog walker, non-profit manager, professor, dean, and mom. A first-gen student and women’s college alum herself, Gretchen believes deeply that empowering students with career development skills is a critical tool of social justice.
Laurie Cirillo, MBA
Serving as part of the careers team at Bay Path University, Laurie's role involves designing career development programs, resources, and services for students and alumni, as well as the support of internal and external partnerships that enhance career opportunities for our university community. Prior to joining Bay Path 12 years ago, Laurie spent 18 years doing Human Resource Development consulting with credit unions in the areas of talent management, leadership/team development, and strategic human resource planning. She earned a Masters in Business Administration from the Isenberg School of Management, University of Massachusetts/Amherst, with a concentration in Human Resources and Organizational Studies, and a Bachelor of Arts in Leadership Studies from the School of Education, University of Massachusetts/Amherst. Laurie holds certifications as a Design Your Life Coach, Career Coach, and Predictive Index Practitioner. Laurie is inspired by empowering people to create purposeful and fulfilling careers.I enjoy spending lots of time with my extended family, including our son in San Diego and our daughter in New York City. We find lots of opportunities to travel and love the outdoors!
Crystal Senter-Brown, MS
Superpowers: First-Gen, Adult Learner
As a young mother with only a high school diploma, Crystal’s career options were limited. After working several jobs, she was finally hired at the Urban League of Springfield as an assistant to the president.
It was at the Springfield Urban League where she met who would become a champion in her life: Tracy Whitley. Tracy soon hired Crystal full-time as a program executive where she managed patient programs for cancer survivors in Western mass. This was a position that required a college degree, but Tracy believed in Crystal’s potential and offered her the opportunity.
ACS underwent a restructuring and began to require college degrees for all executives a few years after Crystal started but the timing was perfect because Crystal received a postcard in the mail from what was then called the “one-day” program at Bay Path University. She called for more information and within a month she was sitting in a classroom on a Saturday morning.
She finished her BA at Bay Path and continued on to earn her master of science and nonprofit management and philanthropy at Bay Path. She remained at the American Cancer Society until another restructuring when she came to work at Bay Path full-time after working as an adjunct for three years.
In her spare time, she is a published author and has written seven books, one of her books was turned into a movie that can be viewed on Roku TV! She also is an active blogger.
She is the mother of a 27-year-old son and is married to the love of her life. She also has a dog that steals her coffee when she is not looking.
Tracy Trial, MEd, CSP
Tracy is a Career Coach at Bay Path University, where she helps students develop plans and pathways tailored to their personal career and learning goals. She also coordinates the credit-bearing internship program for traditional students. She has over ten years of experience in education, with a background in k12 instruction, curriculum design, and team leadership. Prior to her career in education, Tracy worked as a fundraiser in the non-profit sector, where she cultivated donor relationships, volunteer committees, and planned giving initiatives for organizations such as Planned Parenthood League of Western Massachusetts and Goodwill Industries. Tracy served as the Director of Individual and Planned Giving at United Way of Pioneer Valley, where she developed the organization’s first planned giving program. She holds an MEd from the University of Massachusetts and a BA in Philosophy from Smith College, where she graduated with Departmental Honors. She is an enthusiastic amateur baker and a lover of puzzles.