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Academic Advisors

Julie Amon

Julie Amon-Mattox, M.Ed.
Senior Academic Advisor
Pre-Professional Programs 

I have been with the CLAS Academic Advising Center since September of 2012 as part of the Pre-Professional Advising Team. I love working with pre-professional students because of their compassion, drive, and desire to help others. In addition to being an advisor in the CLAS AAC, I also advise the Pre-Professional Clubs Council, Pre-Dental Club, Pre-MD/PhD Club, and co-advise the Pre-Chiropractic Club. Prior to my current position at GVSU, I worked at Northern Illinois University for four years as an academic advisor for students pursuing Nursing, Public Health, Health Education, and Physical Therapy. I grew up in the Grand Rapids area and attended Grand Valley for both my undergraduate and graduate studies-I’m a Laker for a Lifetime! I hold a B.S. in Psychology and a M.Ed. in Adult and Higher Education/College Student Affairs Leadership. Some of my favorite things to do in my spare time are golfing, traveling, spending time with family and friends, and taking my rescue dog Lexi on walks and other adventures.

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



Brian Eikenhout

              Brian Eikenhout, M.Ed.
             Senior Academic Advisor 


I have been working in the CLAS Academic Advising Center since December 2010. I earned my B.S. in Psychology and my M.Ed. in College Student Affairs Leadership from GVSU. As an undergrad, I was a member of Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology. I also played intramural sports. As a graduate student, I worked in the College of Education as a technology research graduate assistant and had the opportunity to do a graduate internship in the CLAS Advising office where I fell in love with advising. I coordinate international student orientation, manage the website, and serve as the GRE representative for our office. I also teach a section of US 102-Career Education Class to first- and second-year students who are exploring major/career options. In my free time I like to watch and play sports, run, sing, and volunteer. 

Advising Areas: Anthropology, Archaeology, Behavioral Neuroscience, Biopsychology, History (non-teaching), International Relations, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Pre-Law, Sociology, Writing, and School of Communications

Tom Fellows

                Tom Fellows, M.Ed.
             Senior Academic Advisor 


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) - Special Education, Psychology-Special Education, Athletic Training, Exercise Science, Physical Education-Sport Leadership.



Jo Ann Litton

Jo Ann Litton, M.A.
Senior Academic Advisor
Pre-Professional Programs 

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), Physics (Non-teaching) and all pre-professional students.

Doris Penn

Doris Penn, M.Ed.
Academic Advisor

Greetings! I am so excited to be part of the CLAS Academic Advising Center! I was born and raised in the Peruvian Amazon and moved to the United States in 1996. I had worked in a variety of areas including community development, information technology, human resources, K-12 education, and higher education. I attended Grand Valley State University where I earned a B.A. in Business Administration and a M.Ed. in College Student Affairs Leadership. Because I believe in learning and have the passion for assisting people, during my time at GVSU as a student, I joined the International Student Organization, became a mentor for NIARA, advised a Sorority Student Organization (Sigma Lambda Gamma), and became and still am an advisor for the Latin American Studies Program. Since 2014, I am a member for the Laker Familia Orientation committee, and a member of the LAFSA committee. In my free time, I enjoy being with my family and volunteering with Grand Rapids community initiatives, such as teaching English to adults who are in the process of getting their GED through the West Michigan Literacy Center, collaborating with the Women’s International Club, and volunteering with the GRPS schools.

Advising Areas: Advertising and Public Relations, Broadcasting, Communication Studies, Film & Video, Health Communications, Journalism, Multimedia Journalism, Photography, and Theatre.

Jason Prowant

              Jason Prowant, M.Ed.
                  Academic Advisor 


Hello Lakers! I am a new Academic Advisor in the CLAS Advising Center and will work with pre-professional students in the health majors. I am a graduate of GVSU with a B.S. in Physical Education with a Coaching Emphasis and a M.Ed. in College Student Affairs Leadership and am excited to be back at my alma mater.  While at GVSU as an undergrad I was a member of the Cross Country/Track and Field teams. Prior to joining the CLAS Academic Advising Center I was an Academic Advisor for student-athletes at Davenport University. In my free time I enjoy playing golf and spending time with my family and friends. I look forward to meeting you!


Advising Areas: Biomedical Sciences (Pre-med), Athletic Training (PA or PT), and Exercise Science (PA or PT).

Photo of Betty Schaner

Betty Schaner, M.Ed.
Assistant Dean of Advising and Student Services

Originally from a small town on the eastern side of the state (Gregory, Michigan), I moved to the west side of Grand Rapids as a teenager. I’m a graduate of Aquinas College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications with a focus on Interpersonal Communications and I completed a Master’s Degree in Adult and Higher Education at GVSU in 2004. I worked in sales and marketing for a number of years after completing a bachelor’s degree and made the transition to higher education when I accepted a position as a graduation auditor in the Records Office here at Grand Valley State University in 1993. Best decision I ever made! I’ve worked in several student support positions since starting at GVSU and moved into academic advising in 2001 when I was named the director of the SMART Center, an advising center for students majoring in science and mathematics. As our student population grew so did the need for a comprehensive advising center for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The CLAS Academic Advising Center opened in Fall 2008 and I was honored to be named the director. I am so fortunate to work with such a committed team of professional advisors here in the Center and have the privilege of meeting and advising so many wonderful students here at GVSU. I am a strong advocate for study abroad and try to encourage all students to find a way to fit this into their undergraduate experience. I spent a semester in Ireland as an undergrad and it was an incredible, life-changing experience! In my spare time I enjoy traveling with my family (hubby Steve, daughter Sam and son-in-law Alec), fishing, reading and gardening. We are season ticket holders for GVSU Football and tailgate at every home game. Go Lakers!

Advising Areas: Statistics

New Advisor

Nick Woodward, M.Ed.
Academic Advisor

I hail from Lake City, Michigan, a small town in the Northern Lower Peninsula. I attended Central Michigan University for my undergraduate degree and earned my Bachelors of Applied Arts in Interpersonal and Public Communication. As an undergraduate, I competed with the Speech and Debate program for 4 years, was involved with other communication related student organizations, and was a member of the orientation staff. I then came to GVSU to complete my Masters of Education in College Student Affairs Leadership. I was fortunate enough to work in the CLAS Academic Advising Center as a Graduate Assistant so it has been great to come back to the center as a full time advisor just prior to the fall 2016 semester. I returned to CLAS Advising after having spent 2 years at Purdue University working for the Purdue Promise scholarship program. In my free time, I enjoy playing basketball and golf, walking my dog, and spending time with my family and friends.

Advising Areas: Geography and Planning, Geology, Geochemistry, Mathematics, Natural Resource Management, Secondary Education certification areas in Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Earth Science, and Elementary Education certification areas in Integrated Science and Mathematics.




Graduate Assistants

Samuel Cho

Ben Stoner
Graduate Assistant


My name is Ben Stoner and I am a first year graduate student in the College Student Affairs Leadership Program. I grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan and attended Aquinas College. In 2015 I earned my bachelor’s degree in art and writing. While attending Aquinas I was a member of the English national honor society, Lambda Iota Tau, and helped jury writing submissions for the annual student collection, The Sampler. After graduation I moved to Colorado to attend music school, then continued west, to Los Angeles to further my musical-education. Along the way I earned my cosmetology license, and began working on several drafts of my own “great” American novel. In my down time I continue to play my guitar, develop my writing projects, and I also love sports, traveling, and running around my neighborhood, into downtown GR, listening to a great podcast, or a well-crafted Spotify playlist.  

Advising Areas: Art, Art History, Classics including Greek and Latin, Comprehensive Science and Arts for Teaching (CSAT) for Special Education and Spanish, Psychology, Behavioral Neuroscience, Spanish, French, German, Secondary and Elementary Education certification area in Group Social Studies, Modern Languages, Art, and Music.


Melanie Barts

Melanie Barts
Graduate Assistant

My name is Melanie Barts and I am a graduate student in the College Student Affairs Leadership program at GVSU. I grew up in Wixom, a suburb of Detroit, and attended Michigan State University. In 2014 I earned my bachelor’s degree in communication and public relations.  As an undergraduate student, I participated in a semester-long study abroad in Italy and was involved in various student organizations. After graduation I moved to Zeeland, a small town near Holland, MI, and worked as a college advisor for two years. I assisted high school students in applying to colleges, securing financial aid, and discovering their academic and career goals. This job inspired me to pursue a graduate degree in higher education and support students at the collegiate level. In my spare time, I enjoy reading on my Kindle, skiing, jogging, and taking selfies with my cat, Lola.

Advising Areas: Athletic Training, Biology Teaching, Chemistry Teaching, Earth Science, Exercise Science-Clinical and Health Fitness Instruction, GeoChemistry, Geography & Planning, Geology, Integrated Science, Mathematics, Physical Education-Teaching, Physics, Physical Education-Sports Leadership and Coaching, Statistics, and School Health Ed.



Office Staff

Sandra Briggs

Sandra Briggs
Office Coordinator 

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"!


Sue Peterson

Sue Peterson
Advising Assistant

Hi, my name is Sue Peterson. After graduating from GVSU with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing I worked in the Information Technology field for 11 years. I was looking for a career change and I thought what better place to look than my alma mater.  I started at Grand Valley in 2008 as a Graduation/Certification Auditor in the Registrar’s office and in August 2016 accepted a position here in the CLAS Academic Advising Center. I’m excited to be here!  I was born, raised and still live in Norton Shores and I love how close I am to Lake Michigan.  Some of my favorite things to do are: golf, listen to music, go to the beach and basically anything outside and hang out with my three boys, friends and family.