Student Services Division

Division Leadership

Sharalle Arnold
Director of the Children's Enrichment Center

Sharalle ArnoldSharalle Arnold has been involved in early childhood education since 1993 when she first began her educational career at California State University, Chico. After graduating from Chico State with a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies, she went on to earn a Master of Education degree at Washington State University in 2001, along with a teaching certificate for grades K-8. Sharalle has worked as a preschool teacher, kindergarten enrichment program coordinator and teacher and substitute teacher in Pullman school district.

In 2004, Sharalle joined the Grand Valley community as the Assistant Director of the Children’s Center. During that time she focused on improving the university’s climate and cultural awareness by acting as an InterGroup Dialog Facilitator, participating in the Healing Racism training and serving as a member of the GVSU Intercultural Committee.

She has participated in numerous professional organizations such as the American Association for University Women, Future Teachers of Color, ACE Network and the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Currently, Sharalle is the Affiliate Representative for the West Michigan Association for the Education of Young Children.


Children's Enrichment Center
Andy Beachnau
Associate Vice Provost for Student Affairs and Director of Housing and Health Services
Andy BeachnauAndy Beachnau has been at Grand Valley for 26 years, serving in a variety of roles. He began as a Hall Director in 1982 and became a Residence Life Coordinator in 1984. In 1986, he became Assistant Director of Housing and was promoted to Associate Director of Housing in 1990. After serving one year as Acting Director of Housing and Health Services, he was hired as the Director of Housing and Health Services in 1995, a role he still serves in today.
In 1982, Andy received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Physical Education from Alma College, a Master of Education degree in Education Administration from Grand Valley State University in 1985, and his doctorate from Michigan State University in College and University Administration, in 1995. He has also taught a variety of courses in the Grand Valley College Student Affairs Leadership (CSAL) program.


Office of Housing & Residence Life
Colette Seguin Beighley
Director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender Resource Center
Milt Ford

Colette Seguin Beighley became director of the LGBT Resource Center in 2010 after holding the assistant director position for two years. Prior to her work at GVSU, Seguin Beighley was director of communications for Triangle Foundation – Michigan’s anti-violence and advocacy organization serving the LGBT communities. Her work at Triangle Foundation began as West Michigan field organizer where she opened their first field office which was located in Grand Rapids. Seguin Beighley served as Michigan Safe Schools Coordinator for PFLAG (Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) prior to her work with the statewide organization.

After receiving an M.S. in Counseling and Mental Health from California State University, Hayward, Seguin Beighley became licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist in both California and Michigan. In clinical practice, she has worked with individuals and families. Her clinical experience includes work with substance abuse and sexual assault as well as working with adolescent status offenders in a youth diversion setting.

Currently, Seguin Beighley serves as co-chair for the Michigan Higher Education Consortium for Equality – an organization serving existing and burgeoning campus LGBT Resource Centers in Michigan. She has also served as co-chair of the Great Lakes region of the national Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals. Seguin Beighley is a recipient of the West Michigan Pride ACE Advocacy Award for her work on behalf of the LGBT community.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT) Resource Center
Michelle Burke
Director of Student Life

Michelle Burke has worked in higher education settings since 1985 as a classroom instructor, administrator, and educator.  As Director of Student Life, she works with institutional assessment, staff development, and student leadership development. She also teaches in the graduate College Student Affairs Leadership program at GVSU. Michelle has consulted on more than 40 college campuses in the United States to assist students, faculty, staff and alumni with organizational development.

Before joining GVSU, Michelle served as Director of Student Leadership & Activities at Ferris State University from 1998-2003. Michelle was a public relations executive with Tucker/Hall, Inc. in Tampa, Florida and began her public relations career as an account executive with Libin & Associates in Tallahassee, Florida.

Michelle is completing her Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership at Western Michigan University. She has a Master of Arts in Student Personnel Services from the University of South Carolina, and a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing from The Florida State University. Michelle is a True Colors Certified Facilitator and she facilitates programs in Change Management, Communication, Conflict Management, Personal Success, and Teambuilding. She is also a StrengthsQuest Educator and her Top 5 Signature Themes are Strategic, Significance, Activator, Relator, and Arranger. 


Office of Student Life
Connie Dang
Director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs

Connie DangAfter completing her undergraduate degree, Connie Dang dedicated her professional career to education. Her career in higher education at GVSU has spanned over almost two decades in various capacities including human resources, affirmation action, university counsel and currently the Office of Multicultural Affairs. At GVSU, Connie also serves as advisor of the Asian Student Union and Delta Phi Lambda; advisory board of the Inclusion and Equity Division Advisory Board; vice chair of the Kutsche Office of Local History; advisory council of the WGVU Engage. Connie was appointed by the Governor to serve as a trustee and commissioner of the Michigan Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission. In the community, she serves as advisory council of the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council of Varnum and an investment council of the Heart of West Michigan United Way.

Connie earned a bachelor of science at Western Michigan University and a masters degree in public administration from Grand Valley State University. She is a member of Pi Alpha Alpha, national honor society for the field of public affairs and public administration and an honorary member of the Omicron Delta Kappa Society.

Office of Multicultural Affairs
Troy Farley
Director of Career Center

Troy FarleyTroy Farley has worked almost exclusively with students, alumni and faculty from the Seidman College of Business since joining the Career Center in 2004. He is particularly well suited for this role, after 14 years of successful experience in the private sector and maintaining strong ties with employers throughout the region.

Prior to joining Career Services, Troy served as vice president of business development for Archway Marketing Services, where he worked with some of the most recognized consumer product companies in the United States, including Fuji, 3M, Rubbermaid and Target.

Troy hails from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Administration with a business minor from Grand Valley State University.


Career Services
Bob Gildersleeve
Director of Campus Recreation

Bob GildersleeveBob Gildersleeve has been with Grand Valley Campus Recreation Department since 2000, and joined the campus following 26 years of work at Arizona State University in Recreational Sports. Gildersleeve is an active member of the Michigan Intramural Recreational Sports Association (MIRSA) and the National Intramural Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA). Bob has been recognized for his service to NIRSA in which he has given presentations, served on committees, and acted as both a state director and regional vice president.
A graduate of Eastern Michigan University, he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Marketing and a Master of Science degree in Physical Education.


Campus Recreation
Aaron Klein-Haight
Director of Judicial and Special Programs
Bob Gildersleeve

Aaron Haight has worked with the students at GVSU since 2000. She currently serves as Director of Judicial and Special Programs coordinating the student judicial process as well as working with the CSAL Graduate Assistant Program. As assistant director of Student Life (2000 – 2013) she spent her first seven years advising the fraternity and sorority community and her last six years in the OSL coordinating the Transitions Orientation program and a variety of student organization services. Prior to coming to GVSU, Aaron worked as a project manager for Edison Schools, Inc. in New York City and as a special events and development coordinator at Special Olympics Michigan.

Aaron graduated with her Bachelor of Applied Arts degree from Central Michigan University, her Master of Public Administration from Grand Valley State University, and her Doctor of Education from Eastern Michigan University.  The title of her dissertation is “Examining the Impact of Student Involvement and Intercultural Experiences on Perceptions of Institutional Commitment to Diversity.

Aaron is also a facilitator of StrengthsQuest and True Colors. She consults with area K-12 schools in college access, hazing, and diversity initiatives. She is active member of the Allendale Rotary and volunteers with the Allendale PTO, Allendale Youth Soccer Organization, and Allendale Little League. 

Dean of Students Office
Jessica Jennrich
Director of the Women's Center
Bob Gildersleeve
Jessica Jennrich began in July 2013 as the Director of the Women’s Center.  Previously Jessica worked at Dartmouth College Directing the Center for Gender and Student Engagement and before that at the University of Missouri where she directed the Undergraduate Program in the Women’s Gender Studies Department as well as taught Women’s and Gender Studies courses.  She is currently involved in a number of higher education and feminist organizations and is a reviewer for The Diversity and Higher Education Journal.  Jessica is a former grant partner and guest writer for the American Association for University Women policy magazine.  Jessica is a contributor to research in the field of feminist disability studies as well as gender in higher education.  Jessica holds professional competencies in The National Association of Student Affairs Professionals in Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion as well as Suicide Prevention. Jessica is also a writer of creative non-fiction, most recently published in Paradigm Magazine.

Jessica earned her bachelor’s degree at Bowling Green State University in English, her master’s degree from Eastern Michigan University in Women’s and Gender Studies, and her doctorate at the University of Missouri in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis.

Women's Center
Marlene Kowalski-Braun
Assistant Vice Provost for Student Affairs

Marlene Kowalski-BraunMarlene Kowalski-Braun has worked in higher education for the past 20 years and began at GVSU in 1996, she is currently the Assistant Vice Provost for Student Affairs and Director of the Women’s Center.   Kowalski-Braun is involved in a variety of higher education associations. Within the National Student Personnel Association (NASPA), she served on the Center for Women and is the past chair of the National Knowledge Community Chair for Women in Student Affairs (WISA). Outside of NASPA, she was a member of the advisory council for Women’s Centers through the National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA) and is the outgoing state coordinator of the Michigan American Council on Education (ACE) Network for Women leaders in Higher Education. 

Marlene has received professional honors including the GVSU's Maxine Swanson and Commitment to Diversity Awards and the NASPA National Mid-Level Professional Award. In the community, she serves on the boards of Project Blueprint for United Way, ATHENA International and ATHENA Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce, and BLEND (an outlet for young professionals of color to learn, network, grow and become engaged in the Grand Rapids community).

Marlene earned her bachelor’s degree at Central Michigan University, her master’s degree from Ball State University, and is currently working on her doctorate through Western Michigan University.

Dean of Students Office
Steven Lipnicki
Assistant Dean of Students

Steven LipnickiSteven Lipnicki joined Grand Valley State University in 2000 and now serves as Assistant Dean of Students. In this role, he interfaces and collaborates with students, faculty, and departmental staff to assess and improve services for students, with a focus on graduate and non-traditional students.
Born and raised in New York, Steven earned his bachelor's degree in Sociology from the State University of New York College at Oneonta. In 1987, Steven relocated to Michigan where he started a new chapter of his professional career in higher education, by earning a Master of Arts degree from the College of Education at Michigan State University. Steven serves on Grand Valley State University’s Educational Support Program Advisory Board, Graduate Council (ex-officio), Advising Council, and the Grants Leadership and Advisory Team. Steven is also active in the community through his work with Michigan Community Blood Centers, YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids, Heart of West Michigan United Way, and has affiliations with related professional organizations.


Pew Student Services
Bart Merkle
Vice Provost for Student Affairs and Dean of Students

Bart MerkleBart Merkle serves as Vice Provost for Student Affairs & Dean of Students at Grand Valley where he has been the senior student affairs officer since his arrival in 1984. Previously, he served in several student affairs roles including Acting Dean of Students and Associate Dean of Students at Tulane University; Associate Dean of Students, Assistant Dean of Students, Director of Career Planning & Placement/Hall Director at Kalamazoo College; and Admissions Counselor at Hope College.
Bart earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in political science from Hope College, and both Master of Arts and doctorate degrees in Counseling and Personnel Administration in Higher Education from Western Michigan University. In addition to his administrative role at Grand Valley, he teaches in the College Student Affairs Leadership (CSAL) graduate program offered through the College of Education.
Bart and his wife, Anne, who is an Associate Librarian at Grand Valley, met as undergraduate students at Hope College.


Dean of Students Office

Amber Roberts

Director of the University Counseling Center

Amber Roberts is the Director of the University Counseling Center and previously served as the Assistant Director of Clinical Services.  She earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology from GVSU, and returned in 2002 to complete her doctoral internship at the Counseling Center.  Amber received her Masters of Arts degree in Counseling from Michigan State University, and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Counseling Psychology from Purdue University.  Amber is Board Certified in Counseling Psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology.  She is also active in numerous professional organizations, has published in the area of attachment theory, and is a Certified Group Psychotherapist through the American Group Psychotherapy Association.

Amber is invested in student development and creating opportunities for students to learn the skills needed to meet academic demands and create career plans, while attending to mental health coping strategies and well-being.  Amber sees the Counseling Center as integral to the campus community through service to students during times of distress, aiding students in developing their potential, and providing mental health consultation to the campus at large.

Counseling & Career Development Center
Bob Stoll
Associate Dean for Student Life

Bob StollBob Stoll has served the students of Grand Valley State University since 1983. During his time at Grand Valley, he has impacted the lives of students starting with their first experience at orientation all the way through commencement. Bob sees his role as one who helps create an exciting educational environment that encourages student engagement in the campus community. It is through this engagement in various programs and student organizations that students will further their education and learn more about themselves and their future role in society.
Bob has been influential in developing many campus programs and traditions. He has assisted in the planning of a number of building projects on campus. His vision has helped Grand Valley become the place it is today. In addition to his various roles and responsibilities as the Director of Student Life, Bob coordinates the university commencement ceremonies held at Van Andel Arena, along with the annual fall Convocation ceremony. Bob has been recognized for his work at Grand Valley including the Administrative Professional Achievement Award and the National Associations of Campus Activities Hall of Fame Award.
Bob earned Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts degrees from Northern Michigan University.
Office of Student Life


Page last modified July 17, 2014