College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

The last week of the Winter 2008 term, we asked the 1513 CLAS seniors about their future plans so that we could share them here. The answers we have received so far are a fascinating read and speak to the diversity and strength of the students in the college.

Please send any updates to the Director of CLAS Communication & Advancement.

See last year's survey results for the Class of 2007.


First Name Last Name Future plans Major(s)/minor
Shaniece Alexander is hoping to attend Howard University for a Social Psychology Ph.D. program in the fall. Plan B will be working/interning abroad. "Regardless of where I end up, I plan on continuing to LOVE LIFE along the way." Behavioral Science
Sarah Allsbrooks will be accepting a position with Emily's List in Washington, D.C.  She will be a Campaign Corps staffer. Political Science
Ryan Ames is going into a masters program for urban planning (concentrating in
neighborhood planning).
Melissa Anderson has an internship at Birmingham Groves High School in the fall; after that she plans to work as a certified athletic trainer at a high school/clinic setting in Detroit and go to graduate school in a couple years for education or exercise science. Athletic Training
Kelly Archibald has a full time, entry-level position with Campbell-Ewald, an advertising agency in Warren. "I am working as a project management coordinator on the Chevrolet retail account!" Communications
Jaclyn Binder

will attend graduate school in art history and archaeology at Wisconsin.  "I will be working at an archeological site in Sardis [Turkey] every summer."

Pamela Bohn is looking for a middle school or high school Spanish teaching position in the West Michigan area. Spanish (Secondary Education Emphasis)
Kate Bray plans to attend graduate school in Fall 2008. Health Sciences
Amanda Brown will graduate with a major in Athletic Training. "I will be going to the University of Nevada, Reno for a Master's degree in Nutrition. I will also have a graduate assistantship working as an athletic trainer for either women's softball or volleyball." Athletic Training
Bridget Brown will be attending 0regon State University for an M.S. in Water Resource Policy and Management, beginning Fall 2008. Natural Resource Management
Jennifer Buchman will be attending Purdue University (grad school) next year to pursue her Ph.D. in their interdisciplinary program in life sciences. Cell & Molecular Biology
Dawn Buckner will be starting the Physicians Assistant Studies graduate program at Arcadia University in Pennsylvania this May. Health Sciences
Tara Cavanaugh will be attending the Missouri School of Journalism in the fall to get her masters in journalism. Spanish
Alayne Chapman works for Student Environmental Action Coalition as an organizer, working
with student and community groups throughout the Midwest, and works on
developing programs and campaigns on the national level.
Janna Cline has worked as the Promotions Director at a Grand Rapids radio station for
3 years, having been hired immediately after her internship. "I will be moving right after graduation to Blue Ridge, VA where I have taken a job as the Assistant Camp Director at Camp Virginia Jaycee, a camp for developmentally disabled people. I will be getting married this summer as
Broadcasting/ Writing
Kevin Coles has an internship at Western Land Services in Ludington, MI. "I will spend the summer creating maps for oil and gas companies."  He also has his own company:  "The name of my company is Image Michigan and you can find the details of my business at I specialize in aerial photography and cartographic services." Geography and Planning
Jeff Criteser has recently started employment in Lansing as a Legislative Aide for State Senator Glenn Anderson, 6th District. Political Science
Cynthia Curry is a Junior Copywriter, Leo Burnett, Detroit. Advertising Public Relations
Jessica Dalziel has accepted a position at an advertising agency, Modernista!, in Boston, MA and will be moving there about a week after
Advertising Public Relations
Brandon Daniels

A class project helped alumnus Brandon Daniels land a job as a media specialist for Marathon Oil.

Fim & Video Production
Kat Davis will be traveling from Oct - Jan., first going on vacation to New Mexico and  then volunteering in South Africa through the nonprofit Cross-Cultural Solutions.  "After that, anything is possible." Writing
Kim Davis has been hired into the Brand Development Team at Kilgannon in Atlanta. Advertising Public Relations
Drew De Zwaan is going to the School of Dentistry at the University of Detroit Mercy next fall. "And I am super excited!" Biomedical Science
Jessica Deal is attending GVSU's Physician Assistant program in the fall, and is getting married in June. Bio-medical science
James Dells has accepted a fellowship for Ph.D. studies in biomedical science at Indiana University School of Medicine. Biomedical Science
Matthew DeMoss will continue to search for a career,  in Grand Rapids. "Recently I became engaged and my fiancee and I are planning on a September 2009 Wedding. I am very excited for the future and feel prepared for whatever comes my way thanks to GVSU. Go Lakers!" Communications
Lindsey Drager has received a teaching assistantship at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign where she will pursue her MFA in Creative Writing. Writing
Ashley Dressel is moving to California in August with her husband to pursue a Ph.D. in Philosophy at the University of California in Irvine. She has received full funding plus a stipend to attend. Philosophy
Matthew Dressel is pursuing a career in screenwriting, and has already had his first feature length screenplay optioned by a production company in the UK. Film and Video
Aaron Eickhoff will be entering the work force, and will possibly be going to grad school at Western Michigan University to pursue a degree in Sports Management. Athletic Training
Bethany Erickson will be studying Communication Disorders at CMU in preparation for their graduate program in Speech Pathology. English elementary education emphasis
Kelsey Finlayson plans to look for a job and join the workforce. Mathematics
Brian Fisher is now working full time at Grace & Wild in Farmington Hills, MI. Film and Video Production
Gerrad Foster has plans include that moving to Cincinnati, OH to work for the Siemens Corporation, and also applying to the Physics graduate program at the University of Cincinnati to research the potential of Sonofusion. Physics
Hannah Gaff is working for GVSU this summer at the Honors College and in the fall will either be attending Dell'Arte International School of Physical Theatre in Blue Lake, CA or doing an internship with a professional theatre. Theatre
Andrew Gagne will be attending Michigan State University's Master in Social Work program at the Flint location in the fall. Psychology
Krista Geister will be attending the University of Michigan to pursue a doctoral degree in Cell and Developmental Biology. Cell and Molecular Biology
Brenda Gentz will be getting married and moving to Minnesota. "I plan to seek a teaching job there." English elementary education emphasis
Elizabeth Grabowski has been accepted to Western Michigan University's Masters program for Urban Planning starting this fall. Anthropology
Scott Grams plans for the first seven months after graduation to be studying abroad in Luenburg, Germany. "I am overwhelmingly excited and hope to make the best of my time there. Upon returning, I am unsure of what will be in store for me, but I know I am interested in working toward a Masters degree in History, International Relations, or German." History
Joy Gryzenia will be attending Western Michigan University in Fall 2008, working towards receiving a Masters of Science in Geosciences. Expected graduation date: May 2010 Geology
Michelle Hamilton "In August, I will be marrying the semi-famous non-fiction word master David LeGault (who is also graduating from GVSU this year). After entering into wedded bliss, David and I will be moving to Minneapolis, MN where he will be pursuing an MFA in creative writing. Love conquers all!" Communications -Journalism/Writing
Susan Hammond will attend Grand Valley State University in the fall to begin pursuing her Masters degree in Occupational Therapy. Psychology
Brent Hehl will be starting a joint appointment in the UNC - Chapel Hill Cell Biology doctoral program and the Graduate Partnership Program at the National Institutes of Health, conducting research on spinal cord regeneration. Cell and Molecular Biology
Jorri Heil was just hired as communications specialist at Shape Corp. in Grand Haven, MI where Jorri interned the past six months.  Nearly 75% of cars in the United States have a bumper beam from Shape.  "My duties include writing internal and external communications, including news letters, advertisements, and other promotional and educational material.  I also work on Web writing and design, print design, communications audits, special events and much more." Advertising/Public Relations and Professional Writing
Jacqueline Hettel beginning in August, will be working on her M.A. and Ph.D. in Linguistics at the University of Georgia. English
Kate Homrich will be moving to Paris, France for a year to be an au pair and then intends to go to graduate school. Psychology
Brittany Hunter landed a job with the Acton Institute in Grand Rapids. Classics
Scott Isenga will be attending graduate school at Grand Valley starting in the Spring/Summer semester of 2008 and graduating in 2010. "My focus in grad school will be Higher Education with an emphasis area in College Student Affairs Leadership. I have also secured a coordinating Graduate
Assistantship with the College of Education that will dovetail my studies and real-world experience."
B.S. in Psychology
B.S. in History
Secondary Education Certification
Anica Jankowski will be joining the Army, and will be a military intelligence officer. International Relations
Casey Jelsema has been accepted for a teaching assistantship at Western Michigan University to study Statistics. Statistics
Toni Jones will be beginning grad school in the Fall at Grand Valley. Psychology
Tricia Kanniegeter will be job searching. Film and Video Production
Alana Kincaid will be pursuing a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine at Michigan State University. Biology
Lindsey Klykken has been accepted for a graduate assistantship position with the University of Virginia and will also be attaining a M.Ed in Athletic Training. Athletic Training


received a full ride into Colorado State's public history grad program. History
Melissa Knepsheil will be the grad assistant to the senior women’s Athletic Director at Marshall University in WV and will be studying for her masters in Sports Administration. Physical education
Rachel Kubiak will be attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison starting this fall to pursue a Ph.D. degree in their Integrated program in Biochemistry (IPiB). Cellular and Molecular Biology
Gerard Kwiatkowski has accepted a position with Galena Park High School, in Houston, Texas.
"I will be teaching Algebra I to English language learning students. I will
pursue my Master's degree in bilingual mathematics instruction."
Mathematics elementary education emphasis
Derek Langston has accepted a position in the doctorate of physical therapy program at Northwestern University in Chicago. Health Sciences
Kristina Lapp will be attending Indiana University for the Library and Information Sciences Masters program starting in the Fall. English
Brian Lorson has been hired at Image Tours Inc. International Relations
Laura Machurick will complete her masters in Occupational therapy at GVSU beginning this fall (2008). "I will be working this summer and continue to work in the field of rehabilitation." Psychology
Andrew Mahler will be looking for employment in the field of social services. Next year he hopes to be attending a masters program for counseling psychology. Psychology
Bryan Manewal will be attending a Ph.D. program in the fall at Indiana University in the History Department,  studying Latin American History. History
Kara Manning will be starting GVSU's Masters in Occupational Therapy program in the fall. Psychology
David Martinson will be attending graduate school in the fall. "I will be enrolled in the Microbiology and Immunology Ph.D. program at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC. I plan on studying genetic regulation of pathogenesis bacterial pathogens." Biomedical Science
Melissa McDonald will be attending MSU's Ph.D. program for social psychology. Psychology
Kyle McGregor is attending DePaul University to pursue a Masters in Public Administration and Public Policy. "I will also be working/doing a graduate assistantship." Political Science/ International Business
Jeffrey McKone will be attending Thomas M. Cooley Law School in downtown Grand Rapids this coming fall. "I have been accepted with an honors scholarship that, when combined with my status as a Michigan resident, is equal to 85% of my tuition. I was awarded that scholarship because of my exceptional LSAT score and, again, I am quite proud of myself." Philosophy
Dan Meyers will be entering the Ph.D. program at Indiana University in Bloomington for Organic Chemistry in August. Chemistry
Karina Moy will be the Associate Account Executive at BBDO, New York. Advertising Public Relations
Sarah Nagorson had to make a tough choice to make   She was accepted to Central Washington University for a M.S. degree (with full ride as a TA) but then she was offered generous salary to start with a mining company.  After discussion with geo faculty she now negotiated a summer internship with the mining company and will start her grad degree in the fall.  Geology
Juliana Nahas has accepted a full time administrative position with the Grand Rapids
Symphony, and is waiting to hear about teaching English abroad this fall in
France, and is beginning the application process to graduate school for a Ph.D. in Social Psychology.
Leslie Navarro will be going to grad school at MSU studying Clinical Social Work. Psychology
Jeff Northman has been accepted into the Artist Diploma program at the prestigious Conservatory of Music at the Colburn School in Los Angeles. All programs within the Conservatory of Music are fully endowed; tuition, room and board (across from the new Walt Disney Concert Hall) costs are paid for by the endowment. Jeff is the only non-conservatory graduate to be accepted into the trumpet studio. Music
Katie O'Briant will be pursuing a Pharm.D. degree from either Ferris State University, Wayne State University or U of M. Psychology
Adam Oster will be attending Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana to pursue a Master of Library Science graduate degree. History elementary education emphasis
Kristofer Pachla will be in a graduate program at GVSU for an M.Ed in Educational Leadership. "I've been awarded two graduate
assistantships, one for the summer with the Regional Math and Science
Center, and one for the fall/winter with the College of Education."
Mathematics and Physics/ Secondary education
Forrest Pasanski will be attending MSU Law School. Philosophy
Lindsey Passenger will be attending graduate school in the fall at either University of Colorado or Northern Arizona University. History
Amanda Pettit is planning to travel to Latin and/or South America this summer and then enter the graduate program for Occupational Therapy at GVSU in the fall. Sociology
Lauren Pieszchala will be "obtaining my doctorate in physical therapy at St. Ambrose University in Davenport, IA." Psychology
Crystal Porritt has applied for an assistantship teaching English in France for the 2008-2009 school year. "I haven't heard back from them yet, but even if it doesn't work out, I'll still plan on going to France someday, for work or other reasons. I want to keep up on my French and attain fluency." French
Eric Pradelski is currently interviewing for a summer job with Truth, and is contemplating his future plans--possibly grad school or a job search. Creative Writing and Spanish
Devon Radford will be "working at my park district while I continue to search for another job. I plan to go back to receive my Master's degree after saving up my earnings. I will be starting in the Fall of 2009 at Chicago's Columbia College." Communications
Jonathan Rawson will be entering graduate school at the University of Minnesota to pursue a Ph.D. in cell and molecular biology. Cell and Molecular Biology
Heidi Reynolds-Stenson will be serving through Americorps at the social service agency La Puente Home in Alamosa, Colorado. She will be working as a caseworker for guests at the homeless shelter as well as for residents of Alamosa who are at risk of becoming homeless. After one or two years at La Puente, she plans to go to graduate school and for a Masters in Social Work or a Ph.D. in Sociology. "I completed an internship at Well House Family Shelter in Grand Rapids while attending GVSU and gained valuable experience that will be applicable to my position at La Puente." Sociology
Jacqueline Ridley will attend GVSU as a graduate student to earn a Doctorate in Physical Therapy as a member of the class of 2011. Health Sciences
Richard Robinson this summer will spend three months doing Archeology in the Stanislaus
National Forest in Sonora, California. "I'll be responsible for identifying possible sites and artifacts. After that I'll be doing more contract archeology in the pacific northwest until graduate school for philosophy or the indeterminate future."
Aaron Ruby was hired as Dolly Grip on a feature film being shot in Detroit.  "Coming into a feature as a Dolly Grip is a big jump above the usual Production Assistant positions allotted for kids right out of college."

"I got the job because of To Live and Die in Dixie, he told me. They are shooting 35mm film and using the same dolly that we used for Dixie. The producers called me for a recommendation, and since Aaron is a great student/crew member, I gave him my full support. Before the day's end, they hired him. Aaron is elated.  

This is a great example of how the GVSU Film/Video program prepares students to make films, and how the new state tax incentives, just signed by Governor Granholm, have already created opportunities for young filmmakers to stay in Michigan rather than leaving the state for film production work elsewhere."
Film and Video Production
Jordan Sall plans to attend Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine "to begin my pursuit of a D.O. My future goal is to use my degree to become a cardiologist." Biomedical Science
Jessica Sandborn will begin a fulltime position at an environmental consulting firm in Lansing the week after graduation. Natural Resources Management
Dorothy Sewe has studied Abroad in Geneva Switzerland in Summer of 2007 through School for International Training in Vermont. "I liked them. I have been accepted to their Graduate program in Sustainable Development." International Relations/Political Science and African African American Studies
Sara Sheehan will be attending New York University in the fall to get her Master's in Publishing, after attending the 6-week
Summer Publishing Institute, also at NYU. She plans to stay in New York to work full time while getting her Master's.
Mandi Smallwood will be attending Western Michigan University's Graduate School of Education for counseling psychology. Psychology
Jason St. John is applying to medical school. "While I wait for applications and acceptances during the course of next year I will be starting graduate courses in medical anthropology, and will be doing physical/forensic anthropology research at GVSU, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, and the Smithsonian Institute with Dr. Gwyn Madden."  
Jamie Stone has been hired in Art Direction at the Creative Circus, Atlanta. Advertising Public Relations
Vanessa Taylor will be attending Cornell's Surgical Physician Assistant Program in New York City. Health Sciences
Cristina Teijeiro at the beginning of last semester was offered a job as a police dispatcher for Grand Rapids Community College Police Department, "where I have been working since. Since I started working at Grand Valley Police Department as a Freshman, I realized that this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, I just happened to get there sooner than expected." Group Social Studies
Brent Thelen will be attending Western Michigan University next year. "I have received a Graduate Assistantship at the W.E. Upjohn Center for Geographic Change and will be working on a Masters degree in Geography." Geography & Planning
Kandice Thomas will be attending Columbia College in Chicago, Il to pursue a dance degree in her efforts of owning her own dance company. Sociology
Patti Tiberi will be attending graduate school at Michigan State University. "I will pursue a Master's degree in Clinical Social Work and hopefully launch a successful career practicing psychotherapy. Thanks to Grand Valley for giving me a great undergraduate education and a memorable college experience!" BEHS
Claire Titcombe will work for the summer, and then start graduate school this fall at Grand Valley for a masters in social work. Psychology
Alex Tomlinson will be joining the Peace Corps in July for youth development in Bulgaria. Sociology
Tommy Valdez was offered the position of Creative Direction, Modernista, Detroit, but has decided to stay at GVSU to be a grad assistant and attend grad school. Advertising Public Relations
Kelly Valdivia will be entering the PsyD program at the Forest Institute of Professional Psychology in Springfield, MO. Psychology
Meredith Van Vleet will be attending graduate school at Carnegie Mellon University, seeking a Ph.D. in Social Psychology. Psychology
Laura VanPelt will enter Physician Assistant School at Grand Valley starting in the fall. Health Sciences
Sara Vazquez will be traveling the world a bit before looking for internships/jobs in theatres across the country. Physical Education
Sara Waalkes hopes to work for Planned Parenthood or a similar organization that supports feminist activism. " I have been involved with a student organization--Voices for Healthy Choices--on campus for the last 4 years, having been vice president twice and president this year." Creative Writing/Women and Gender Studies
Emily Weber will attend graduate school at Miami University to receive a M.S. in Mathematics. "After this I plan to become a community college professor." Mathematics
Denita Weeks is extending her actual graduation until December to study abroad in Australia during the Fall 2008 semester. During the summer, however, she has been accepted for a second year of research with Pierce Cedar Creek Institute in Hastings, MI on an internship. "Following my study abroad experience, I plan to attend graduate school, and I'm currently applying to schools in and out of the country. I'm going for my Ph.D. in Conservation Biology and my specific interests are within herpetological research. I would like to do research with amphibians in tropical habitats, particularly with a deadly disease known as Chytridiomycosis. The Peace Corps is also something I am very interested in, and it is on my list of things to do after graduate school." Biology
Devin White will be pursuing a Master of Theological Studies degree with support from The Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta. Classics
Jacob Whitman has taken a full time job in sales/management, and is pursuing a side career in freelance animation. Film and Video
Benjamin Wickman will be pursuing a doctorate at GVSU in  physical therapy. Psychology
Patrick Wilde will be attending graduate school in Illinois. Sociology
Julie Zelenock has interviewed with Saginaw VA hospital and has a job offer from Aflac. Biomedical Science
Sarah Willets has worked at WXMI-FOX 17 for the past two years and was recently promoted to producing for the morning newscast. "I plan on staying in the Grand Rapids area and look forward to growing with the city as it grows and prospers as well."  Broadcasting
Kelly Zimmerman will be teaching in Ogden City Schools in Ogden, Utah. "While doing so I will continue my education by getting my ESL endorsement and possibly a masters in early childhood." Psychology/Special Education


Page last modified February 10, 2012