The Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship is located in 230 Mary Idema Pew Library, atop the stairs on the second floor. Contact us or come see us today to inquire about undergraduate research and scholarship, schedule a meeting, or give us an update about your success.
Susan Mendoza, Ph.D.
Director, Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship
Susan Mendoza is the Founding Director of the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship at Grand Valley State University (GVSU). Her area of specialty as a scholar practitioner is the intersection of disciplinary epistemology, high-impact interventions, and student agency. Prior to her role with OURS, Dr. Mendoza has held multiple roles at GVSU, Kalamazoo College, and Michigan State University in integrative learning, career development, academic advising, residence life, and internationalizing student life. She was a former State of Michigan’s Martin Luther King/César Chavez/Rosa Parks Future Faculty Fellow. She earned her PhD in Higher Education Administration from Western Michigan University; a Master of Arts in Student Affairs Administration from Michigan State University; a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology, a Bachelor of Arts in Integrative Social Science and Political Science, and Certificates in International Development and African Studies, all of which are from Michigan State University.
Shelley Sickrey, M.A.
Shelley Sickrey has been with the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (OURS) since its inception. She currently works with Dr. Mendoza on promoting OURS programs, managing budgets, and assisting students, among other roles. Shelley studied at GVSU as an undergraduate, earning her BA with majors in Legal Studies and English, along with a minor in Political Science. She went on to earn a Master of Arts in English Literature from Grand Valley State University. Prior to working at GVSU, she assisted attorneys in criminal law, family law, and intellectual property law. She enjoys being back in an academic setting, almost as much as she enjoys being a pop culture geek.
Jamesha Tiner is a graduate student in the School of Public Nonprofit and Health Administration. She was born and raised in Flint, Michigan, in which she received her BS with honors from the University of Michigan-Flint with a major in Health Care Administration and a minor in Health Education and Behavior. Jamesha is very passionate about helping others; having 3+ years of experience in a skilled nursing facility she has become increasingly passionate about Geriatric Care. Jamesha plans on becoming a licensed Geriatric Health Care Administrator; as a licensed Geriatric Health Administrator she plans to manage the business and patient care operations of her very own skilled nursing facility. Jamesha enjoys learning, spending time with her family, traveling, and creating life long memories with family and friends.
McNair Program Graduate Assistant
LeAnne Lazar is a graduate student in the College of Education, with a focus on School Counseling. She is from Grand Rapids, Michigan. She attended Michigan State University but completed her Bachelors in General Studies with a minor in Human Services at Columbia College. LeAnne is passionate about helping youth realize their full potential. Her background is in the nonprofit world where she focused on youth development. Her hope is to get a job as a school counselor in the Grand Rapids Public Schools and continue to help youth in the city she grew up in. In her free time, LeAnne enjoys spending time with her husband and dog, traveling, and catching up on the newest Netflix shows.
Dana Arnold is currently a sophomore at GVSU. After initially coming here to study Supply Chain Management and International Business, she eventually realized that her goals have changed and changed her major. She currently is studying Political Science and Law and hopes to one day to work in Washington D.C, alongside Congress. Dana is passionate about bringing change to the world, even if it’s just a small change. In her leisure time, Dana likes to spend time with friends and family, being outdoors or traveling to new places.
Natalia Blanco was born in Alexandria, Virginia and grew up in downtown Chicago. She is currently a sophomore studying business. Natalia knows Spanish, English, and American Sign Language. She is passionate about informing others about social justice issues. Natalia plans to study abroad in the Middle East before she graduates to study international business. When she has free time, Natalia likes to read as many books as she can; her current favorite being "Blink" by Malcolm Gladwell. She is curious about, and would like to research, how people's brains are affected when learning a new language, and the confusion that comes along with translating or interpreting.
Lavar Green-Jackson is currently a sophomore at GVSU studying Behavioral Neuroscience with a minor in International Relations. He grew up in the Metro-Detroit area. Lavar plans on becoming a neurologist, but not just any doctor, a traveling doctor. He is passionate about learning about different cultures and helping people around the world. Considering this, he wants to study abroad in Central or South America before he graduates. Lavar is also studying Spanish, to hopefully become fluent in it one day and be able to communicate with people in both English and Spanish while helping them.
Kristin Schepke is a Junior studying Biology and Natural Resource Management. She's from Alpena, Michigan where she learned to love the outdoors. In her free time she enjoys hiking, camping, and running. At Grand Valley, she has had the opportunity to do undergraduate research and has come to embrace her love for academia. Upon graduation, she hopes to pursue a Phd in Ecology. Additionally, she hopes to travel and continue to grow her appreciation for culture and diversity.
OURS has grown exponentially over the last few years. We have been fortunate enough to have colleagues who will be providing support and expertise for OURS programs.
Jodee Hunt, Ph.D.
OURS Faculty Fellow
Dr. Hunt completed degrees at the University of Arizona (B.S. Animal Health Science), San Diego State University (M.S., Biology with an Ecology emphasis) and the University of Kansas (Ph.D, Systematics and Ecology). She loved working with undergraduates from her first day teaching a Human Anatomy laboratory at SDSU in 1987, and knew soon thereafter that her career would emphasize working with undergraduates in the classroom, laboratory and field. She has mentored more than 50 undergraduates in diverse fields of inquiry since those early years. Learn more about Dr. Hunt.
Amanda Clark, MEd
REACH Program Director