The staff of the office work along with their colleagues in University Advancement to raise funding in accordance with the goals of the general university and the individual college units. In addition, the office staff members work in consultation with an advisory committee including representatives of the various units that are actively affected by a University-wide effort of this sort.

Jennifer Bertram Headshot

Senior Director of Development

Jennifer Bertram

Areas of Focus: Undergraduate Scholarships; Student Success; First Generation Student Support; Migrant Student Services

Jennifer Bertram was appointed as Senior Director of Development for the Office of Philanthropy for Undergraduate Education at Michigan State University in July, 2009. She began working for MSU in 2006 as a regional major gifts officer, working primarily in the southeast Michigan region. Prior to joining Michigan State University, Jennifer worked for over fifteen years in corporate, political and education organization management. Jennifer holds a BA in Political Science from Hope College. Jennifer and her husband, David, are the parents of two Michigan State University graduates.

Maura Benton Headshot

Associate Director of Development

Maura Benton

Areas of Focus: Undergraduate Scholarships; MSU Black Alumni Association; Air Force ROTC; Alumni Communities

Maura Benton, Associate Director of Development, joined the Office of Philanthropy for Undergraduate Education team in June, 2007 as Assistant Director of Development. In May, 2011 she became Associate Director of Development. Prior to coming to the unit, Maura spent six years in the Eli Broad college of Business Development Office. Before moving to Michigan in 2001, Maura worked at Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York, at Reams Asset Management in Columbus, Indiana, and at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. Maura holds a BA in Anthropology from Dartmouth College and an MA in Higher Adult Learning & Education from MSU. Maura is an active resident of the East Lansing community.

Amber Trudell Headshot

Development Assistant

Amber Trudell

Areas of Focus: Stewardship; Budget; Endowment Agreements; Events

Amber Trudell joined the Office of Philanthropy for Undergraduate Education team in November, 2011. Prior to coming to the unit, Amber spent over 11 years at University Advancement in the Individual Giving Unit. Her experience with MSU's development office has given Amber many opportunities to engage in donor-related events and work closely with development officers and MSU alumni. Amber obtained a BS in Community Development from Central Michigan University in 2009. Amber is an artist in her spare time.

Madison Dugan Headshot

Associate Director of Development

Madison Dugan

Madison Dugan joined the Office of Philanthropy for Undergraduate Education in early 2021. She is a third-generation Spartan graduate and holds a master’s degree from the University of Kansas. Madison’s passion for fundraising comes from her love of working with people from all walks of life. Higher education is a formidable time in life and provides opportunities to learn and grow beyond the typical classroom experience. Madison strives to be the bridge between programs that need support and donors who wish to make an impact. Prior to joining OPUE, Madison worked in fundraising for the MSU College of Music and for the arts in Kansas City, MO.

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Johanna  Thomashefski Headshot

Development Assistant

Johanna Thomashefski

Areas of Focus: Fundraising and Stewardship for Student Life & Engagement

Johanna Thomashefski joined The Office of Philanthropy for Undergraduate Education in the fall of 2021. She has a BA in English from MSU and a master's in sport management from The University of San Francisco. Johanna was active on campus as a student and has extensive non-profit, fundraising and event management experience at a local and national level. After returning to Michigan from California, she worked with state programs, focusing on assisting the structurally unemployed. Johanna is passionate about issues of social justice and is excited to be University Advancement's liaison to Student Life and Engagement.