Milton E. Ford LGBT Resource Center Staff
Director - Jen Hsu-Bishop (she/her/hers)
Jen joined the Milton E. Ford LGBT Resource Center in July 2016. She has dedicated her professional career to LGBTQIA+ advocacy and education. Prior to joining GVSU, she served as the Director of LBGT Student Services at Western Michigan University and Executive Director of the OutCenter in Benton Harbor, Michigan.
Jen is committed to centering the voices of LGBTQIA+ students and co-creating intersectional, anti-oppressive spaces. She is passionate about intersectional social justice as a framework to understand and address issues of bias, discrimination and exclusion at the individual and systemic levels. She holds a BS from the University of Michigan and an MPA from Western Michigan University. In her spare time, Jen loves to explore, take road-trips and try new foods.
Associate Director - Marla Wick (she/her/hers)
Marla has worked in various aspects of higher education since 1998. After 10 years of teaching at three universities, she completed her graduate work and moved to California, where she transitioned into a career in student services and support. While working as an academic counselor in San Francisco, she developed a guide to LGBTQ community resources to help students access health care and other critical services. In California, she also volunteered for a community literacy program and worked with incarcerated students through the Prison University Project at San Quentin until she relocated to Grand Rapids in 2014.
Marla is passionate about education as a justice issue and about providing students with access to critical resources. She is dedicated to working collaboratively to create a supportive, challenging, and empowering learning environment for LGBTQIA+ students. Marla holds a BA from Montana State University, an MA from Ohio University, and PhD from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
Center Assistant - Mark Saint Amour (they/them/their)
Mark Saint Amour started at Grand Valley State University in 2014 working for the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy before transiting into their role at the Milton E. Ford LGBT Resource Center in early 2017. Previously, Mark spent over ten years in the for-profit industry as a upper level manager / director and business developer working both with entrepreneurs developing and opening start-ups and with established companies looking to expand into new territories. Mark has lived and worked in a wide variety of places and fields, from a movie theatre in Detroit, a financial institution in Lansing, a chocolate company in Portland, a popcorn company in Boston and Florida, a vegan food company in Chicago, and even a recycling plant right here in Grand Rapids.
Mark has also been active in the non-profit field, working with organizations through-out Chicago and Grand Rapids such as Arbor Circle, True Colors Fund, Family Promise, Fountain Street Church, HQ, GR Trans Foundation, and Common Pantry among others. Mark identifies as a pansexual queer and trans person of color, is passionate about animals, nature, music, film, and just about anything to do with cats.
Graduate Assistant - Chelsea Ortiz (she/her/hers)
Chelsea is a first-year graduate student in the College Student Affairs Leadership program and is thrilled to be returning to GVSU after obtaining her BS in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from GVSU in 2017. Throughout her undergraduate experience she worked for various offices on campus including the Center for Women and Gender Equity where she worked as an intern for the Gender Justice House, an on campus living center that focused on creating a community of students dedicated to social and gender justice.
Chelsea is dedicated to student success and the need to provide the necessary resources for students to obtain their own personal and academic goals. She is passionate about LGBTQIA+ students’ voices being heard both in and out of the classroom, and the importance of having an intersectional framework to navigate systemic challenges. When not working or in class, Chelsea can be found hiking, riding her bike on nature trails, or binge watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix.