One of the first people that welcomed me to the DU campus was Tracey Peters. On that first day, she welcomed me onto campus and offered her unconditional support and guidance for the next four years of my life. In this time, I’ve come to see Tracey as a remarkable asset to our University staff - someone who is genuinely interested in the DU students and works tirelessly to provide students, specifically students of color, awareness and access to numerous opportunities that greatly lead students on paths of success.
I was part of one of the most prominent programs Tracey leads, the Excelling Leaders Institute (ELI). ELI is a program that works as a resource and support system for incoming first-year students. The program offers workshops and trainings focused on leadership development, academic preparation, social identity development, campus networking, financial and time management and a variety of other fields to guide students to success at DU.
“Tracey is my girl!” says Deven Swanigan, a member of the ’07 ELI class and now upcoming graduate from Emory Law School in Atlanta. “I visited her office almost every week. My mom lived in Michigan so I missed that motherly love, but it wasn’t long before Tracey became my DU mom. She went to all of our Black Student Alliance meetings, invited me to social events on and off campus that helped my networking skills and constantly worked to make sure we had a good experience at DU. She knew I wanted to be a lawyer and she guided me through my entire journey at DU to make sure I made it to law school.”
Tracey, and all that she stands for, is central to Inclusive Excellence on our campus. On a daily basis, she strives to ensure academic, social, leadership and personal development. She is dedicated to the Denver community and works tirelessly to increase the awareness and involvement of communities of color. She helps lead and organize other programs on campus like the Annual Diversity Summit on Inclusive Excellence, Black Male Student Initiative Summit, Black Student Alliance and numerous others.
Giovany Anaya, also a member of ’07 ELI class and now a Taxing Consultant at Ernst & Young says, “I would never know how to thank Tracey for all that she did for me. In our workshops, I learned so much about preparing for interviews and branding myself, to increasing my awareness for social justice issues. Tracey planted a seed in me that grew into a passion to fight for social justice and become more involved in issues that affected my Latino community. DU is lucky to have someone like her who is so passionate about her work and students.”
It seems like just yesterday I was welcomed onto campus by Tracey. It’s hard to imagine that four years have already flown by. With the direction of Tracey, and numerous other staff who share her mission to spread inclusive excellence throughout campus, my transition from high school to college was smooth, and I’ve managed to extract many opportunities DU has to offer. Thanks to the supportive, caring and passionate staff, like Tracey, anything is possible for a Pioneer.
Mireya Saenz, Class of 2014
Tracey with the 2010 ELI class