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Grace Berens

August 2023

Grace Berens


Grace is a Health Educator with the Ottawa County Public Health Department’s Emergency Preparedness Department. She studied Public Health at SVSU and loved how her professors and peers challenged her. She was very active in intramural sports while at SVSU and now trains for triathlons and coaches middle school volleyball. Grace says she would not be the person she is today without the people and opportunities from SVSU.

Live at SVSU

Grace heard about SVSU through a high school friend and was intrigued because it was on the other side of the state from where she lived in Holland, Michigan. She toured with her parents, who say that as soon as they set foot on campus, they could tell this was the college for Grace. Grace wanted to be a nurse when she first started at SVSU and declared her major until her junior year. In her junior year, Grace decided to switch to a public health major. And once she did this, her grades shot up, her social life improved, and her stress level decreased. Grace had found what she was meant to study.

Once on the Public Health track, Grace jumped in and started the Cardinals For Public Health club at SVSU. She added this to her already long list of clubs and intramural sports she participated in. Grace’s favorite part about SVSU was the people she met and got to share her story with. She worked as a tour guide and loved talking with prospective students and telling them about her life at SVSU. She also participated in a study abroad experience with the Health Science and Social Work Department in 2018 in Nepal. She focused on working with a non-profit and creating an Emergency Shelter plan following the disastrous earthquake that struck the nation in 2015.

Live after SVSU

When Grace graduated from SVSU, she got a job as a COVID-19 Investigator at the Ottawa County Public Health Department. Working in public health during the pandemic was challenging, and Grace is most proud of how she held her values and communicated well with stakeholders through the rough times of the pandemic.

Grace is now a Health Educator with the Ottawa County Public Health Department’s Emergency Preparedness Department, where she helps prepare and create plans for any public health emergency. Grace’s favorite part of her job is not knowing what each day will bring. The best piece of professional advice that Grace has gotten has been to “don’t second guess yourself.” This advice has helped her to stay confident in her job and to learn to trust her capabilities in her role.

Grace is very active when she is not working. She is either playing with her puppy, Putter, training for triathlons, or coaching a middle school volleyball team. She loves that these activities keep her active, and she particularly loves coaching volleyball. Grace said it feels really special to be a positive role model for girls, especially middle school girls when they learn more about themselves through sports.

We know that you do amazing things, both personally and professionally, and we want to hear all about it. Whether you've landed your dream job, started your own business, or made a difference in your community, we want to celebrate your accomplishments and share your story with the world. We can't wait to hear from you!


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