CLAS Academic Advising Center

CLAS Academic Advising Center Staff


All Advisors and Office Staff can be reached by telephone at
616-331-8585

Director:

Photo of Betty Schaner

Betty Schaner, M.Ed.
Director
schanerb@gvsu.edu

 

Advising Areas:

Geography and Planning, Mathematics, Natural Resource Management, Statistics, Secondary Education certification areas in Mathematics and Physical Education Elementary Education certification in Mathematics, and minors in School Health Education and History of Science. 
Academic Advisors:

    

Julie Amon, M.Ed.
Academic Advisor, Pre-Professional Programs
amonju@gvsu.edu

I have been working in the CLAS Academic Advising Center since September of 2012 and have been loving being back at my alma mater!  Working with students in health-related majors is so inspiring to me because of their compassion, drive, and desire to help others.  In addition to being an advisor in the CLAS AAC, I also advise the Presidents Council, Pre-Dental Club, Pre-SOMA Club (Students of Osteopathic Medicine Association), and co-advise the Pre-Chiropractic Club and the Pre-MD/PhD Club.  Prior to my current position at GVSU, I worked at Northern Illinois University for four years as an academic advisor for the Nursing program, and other health-related areas such as Public Health, Health Education, and Physical Therapy.  Both of my degrees are from Grand Valley:  a B.S. in Psychology and a M.Ed. in Adult and Higher Education/College Student Affairs Leadership (I’m a Laker for a Lifetime!).  Some of my favorite things to do in my spare time are golfing, visiting family and friends, traveling, or going on adventures with my dog Lexi. 

Advising Areas: Biomedical Sciences, Biology (Non-teaching), Cell & Molecular Biology, Chemistry (Non-teaching), and all pre-professional students. 
   

Heather Chafin, M.Ed.
Academic Advisor
chafinhe@gvsu.edu

I started my educational journey as a student at Grand Rapids Community College, where I was lucky enough to work in their Enrollment Center as a student employee. It was there that I found my passion of helping college students fulfill their goals. I transferred to Grand Valley, where I continued working with students as a student employee and completed my undergraduate degree in Psychology in 2009. I then worked as a graduate assistant, advising College of Education students while I completed my master’s degree in College Student Affairs Leadership in 2011. Since then, I have been happily working in the CLAS Academic Advising Center. As one can tell, I am definitely a Laker for a lifetime! I grew up in Boulder Colorado, which made me a lover of all things outdoors. When I am not advising, I am most likely trekking around in the woods with my two pugs.

Advising Areas: Biopsychology, Psychology, Geochemistry, Geology, Physics, Secondary Education certification areas in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Earth Science, and Elementary Education certification area in Integrated Science.
 

 

Juanita Davis, M.A.
Academic Advisor
davisjua@gvsu.edu

I am a native of Chicago, Illinois.  I have lived in the Grand Rapids Area for the last 12 years.  I earned my Bachelor’s degree from Grand Valley in History and a Master’s Degree in Counseling from Cornerstone University.  I have been married for eight years to Ty Davis (who is also a GVSU alumni) and we have two wonderful boys.  In my recreational time, I am supporting my children in their athletic activities which include baseball, basketball, football and soccer.  When I am not spending time with my family you can find me singing in my church choir, working with young people through the Ministry of Education and Youth Ministries at Renaissance Church, reading or playing board games. 

Professionally, I enjoy working with 1st generation college students as well as students from underrepresented populations.  I currently serve as the CLAS liaison for the Freshman Academy, The Office of Multicultural Affairs and The Educational Support Program.  I also serve as a mentor with Niara through the Women’s Center. 
Advising Areas: Anthropology, Dance, Music, Sociology, Writing, History, and Secondary and Elementary Education certification area in Group Social Studies, and the Archeology minor.
 

Brian Eikenhout, M.Ed.
Academic Advisor
eikenhbr@gvsu.edu

 
Advising Areas: Behavioral Science, Biopsychology, Psychology, International Relations, Philosophy, Political Science, and Pre-Law.
 

Tom Fellows, M.Ed.
Academic Advisor
fellowth@gvsu.edu

Originally from the Lansing area, I attended GVSU and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education with a Coaching concentration and a master’s degree in General Education with a concentration in Adult and Higher Education.  My experiences at GVSU as a student include working as an adjunct instructor for the Movement Science Department, and working as a tutor in the Laker Academic Center, where I also served as an intern for the Life Skills Program.  I also spent time volunteering through the Athletes Who Care program and participating with the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.  I have been working at GVSU as an academic advisor in the CLAS Academic Advising Center since January of 2010.  I have other work experience with the Upward Bound Program at Central Michigan University as well as the Upward Bound Program at Michigan State University, where I also worked in the Student-Athlete Support Services Office.  I also currently enjoy volunteering through the United Way Schools of Hope Program.

Advising Areas: Comprehensive Science and Arts for Teaching (CSAT), Psychology-Special Education, Athletic Training, Exercise Science, Physical Education-Sport Leadership.
 

Nykia Gaines, Ph.D.
Senior Academic Advisor
gainesn@gvsu.edu

Hi,. I’m Nykia D. Gaines, also known as Nikki, Dr. G and Dr. Nikki. Welcome to CLAS Academic Advising Center. I started my journey at Grand Valley in the fall of 1994. As a freshman from Detroit, I was enthusiastic about my new life as a Laker. After earning my B.S. in Criminal Justice in 98’, I pursued a M.Ed. with a specialization in College Student Affairs and Leadership. During my master’s program, I worked as a graduate assistant in Health and Wellness and in the Office of Housing and Residence Life. I also interned at the University of Detroit-Mercy in the office of International Services. After I graduated with my M.Ed. in 2001, I accepted a full-time position at GVSU as a Living Center Director in the Office of Housing and Residence Life.  In the summer of 2008, I decided to depart from my beloved Grand Valley to pursue my doctorate full-time at Bowling Green State University (BGSU) in Bowling Green, OH. As a doctoral fellow, I worked in the College of Education and Human Development as an academic advisor. In May 2012, I graduated from BGSU with a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration. Less than one year post-doctorate, I graciously accepted this position at my alma mater. I am excited to be able to once again give back to a school that has continued to give to me, a Laker for a Lifetime. In my free time, I enjoy caring for and playing with my rescue dog, Karma. I also take pleasure in traveling abroad, attending church, Skyping with distant friends, and spending time with my family.
Advising Areas: Advertising and Public Relations, Broadcasting, Communication Studies, Film & Video, Health Communications, Journalism, Photography, and Theater.
 

Jo Ann Litton, M.A.
Senior Academic Advisor
Pre-professional Programs
littonj@gvsu.edu

I was born in southern Indiana.  I attended Ball State University, where I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish.  I was certified to teach that and my minor, home economics.  From there I went to Bowling Green State University (OH) and earned a Master of Arts in College Student Personnel.

In my 30+  years in higher education I have:

  • Been the director of a residence hall
  • Advised fraternity and sororities
  • Worked in GVSU Admissions for 13 years:  recruitment at high schools, new student orientation and my last eight years were as Director.
  • Worked another 13 years in Financial Aid before accepting the position here as a Senior Academic Advisor.

I LOVE MY JOB because I get to work with the awesome pre-professional students. It keeps me very busy, but that’s the fun of it.

Personal interests include spending time with my family and friends, hula hooping, my lab Max, travel, scrapbooking and the re-colonization of my sorority, Sigma Sigma Sigma here at GVSU. Personal facts: two beautiful daughters who both have earned degrees from GVSU.

Advising Areas: Biomedical Sciences, Biology (Non-teaching), Cell & Molecular Biology, Chemistry (Non-teaching), and all pre-professional students. 
 

Kelly McDonell, M.Ed.
Senior Academic Advisor
mcdoneke@gvsu.edu

Originally from the east side of the state, I moved to the Grand Rapids area to attend GVSU for my undergraduate degree. During my time as an undergraduate student I participated in Student Council for Exceptional Children and worked in the Honors Office. After earning my B.A. in English/Language Arts and graduating from the Honors College, I substitute taught and ran an afterschool program for several years before returning to Grand Valley to earn my M.Ed. in College Student Affairs Leadership. I was hired in the CLAS Academic Advising Center in August 2010 and have been here ever since. Outside of work I enjoy taking continuing education classes in metalsmithing and painting at Kendall College of Art and Design and volunteering for the Schools of Hope program through United Way.
Advising Areas: Art, Art History, Classics including Greek and Latin, Comprehensive Science and Arts for Teaching (CSAT), Spanish, French, German, Secondary Education certification area in English, Elementary Certification area in English/Language Arts, and minors in Applied Linguistics, Arabic, and Chinese.
Graduate Assistants:

Brittany Holzhueter
Graduate Assistant
holzhubr@gvsu.edu

 

Hi my name is Brittany and I am originally from Waterloo, Wisconsin. I went to Northern Michigan University for my undergraduate and received a degree in Psychology Behavior Analysis. I am currently a first year graduate student in the College Student Affairs and Leadership program here at Grand Valley. Other than my studies I am interested in sports and spending time outside. I love to play volleyball and soccer and love to watch baseball and football. I love to spend time with family and friends in my free time.

Advising Areas: First and Second year students majoring in Anthropology, Classics, Dance, Sociology, Philosophy, Writing, International Relations, Political Science, Biopsychology, Psychology, and the Archeology minor.

Jen Oza
Graduate Assistant
ozaje@gvsu.edu

Hello, Lakers!  A little about me: I am in my second and final year of my Master’s program in College Student Affairs Leadership.  This will be my sixth year at GVSU as I completed my undergraduate degree in Integrated Science for Elementary Education in 2012.  I am truly a Laker for a Lifetime!!  I love working with college students, and I aspire to a career in higher education.  I am a dedicated Michigander; I love the mitten state!  I am currently serving as the 2013-2014 Vice President of the Cook Leadership Academy in the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies.  In my free time, I enjoying shopping, hanging out with my friends and family, walking the beach, and going to concerts.  Lastly, a fun fact: I am OBSESSED with Giraffes!  
Advising Areas: First and Second year students majoring in Athletic Training, Exercise Science, Physical Education-Sport Leadership, Mathematics, Geology, Secondary Education certification areas in Mathematics, Physics, Biology, Chemistry, and Physical Education, Elementary Education certification areas Mathematics and Integrated Science.

Joanne Tan
Graduate Assistant
tanch@gvsu.edu

Hello! Originally, I was born and raised in Malaysia and moved to the United States in 2004. I attend GVSU for my undergraduate, and I am currently pursuing my Master of Higher Education emphasis in College Student Affairs Leadership. I am on my second and final year in the program, and very excited to graduate in April! I am very passionate in working with students and helping them develop internationally. I also am a BIG advocate for study abroad and international education. I enjoy working with international students, as well as with students who have interests in studying abroad. In the future, I hope to continue my passion in working at an international center and help spread the great opportunities of international education! In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, shopping, cooking, baking, and drinking tea!

Advising Areas

 

:
First and Second year students majoring in Comprehensive Science and Arts for Teaching (CSAT), Advertising & Public Relations, Broadcasting, Communication Studies, Film & Video, Health Communications, Journalism, Photography, Theater, Secondary Education certification areas in  Group Social Studies and English, and Elementary Education certification areas in Group Social Studies and English/Language Arts.

Nick Woodward
Graduate Assistant
woodwani@gvsu.edu

I grew up in the small town of Lake City, Michigan.  I am currently pursuing my M.Ed as a second year student in GVSU’s College Student Affairs Leadership Graduate Program.  I love helping students with their academic plans. I earned my Bachelors of Applied Arts from Central Michigan University where I majored in Communication and was a member of the Speech and Debate team, worked for Freshman Orientation as both a Mentor and Program Assistant, and was involved with many communication related organizations.  At GVSU, I have become involved with Omicron Delta Kappa, the Cook Leadership Academy, and the Student Affairs Graduate Association. I love supporting Detroit sports teams, spending time with my friends and family, and listening to music.

Advising Areas: First and Second year students majoring in Biomedical Sciences, Biology (Non-teaching), Cell & Molecular Biology, Chemistry (Non-teaching), Natural Resource Management, and all pre-professional students. 
Office Staff:

Joanie Hodson
Office Coordinator
hodsonj@gvsu.edu

I’ve been fortunate to be employed at GVSU since August of 2000 and with the Advising Center since December of 2003.  You’ll find me in the front office to assist you with questions or schedule an appointment for you with one of our academic advisors.  My hobbies include camping, fishing, reading, crocheting and making jams and jellies.

Sandra Briggs
Secretary
briggsan@gvsu.edu

I was born and raised in Muskegon. I am married to Greg and have two children. I started at GVSU in January 2010 after 25 years of working in a financial institution. I love working in the CLAS Academic Advising Center, “working with the students makes it such a rewarding day”!

 

Page last modified February 13, 2014