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Staff


Josh Brandsen

Josh Brandsen

TRIO Upward Bound Director

Office Address: 370C DEV
Phone: (616) 331-3423
 

Josh Brandsen currently serves as the Director of TRIO Upward Bound.

You can email Josh at brandsjo@gvsu.edu


Margarita Chappell

Margarita Chappell

TRIO Upward Bound Instructor/Coordinator

Office Address: 372C DEV
Phone: (616) 331-6862
 

Margarita Chappell currently serves as the Instructor/Coordinator for TRIO Upward Bound. Margarita, who is an Upward Bound program alumni from Union High School, joined the team in May 2016. Margarita attended Western Michigan University where she double majored in Criminal Justice and Sociology and went on to receive her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Michigan. Her master level focus was on community organizing and youth development. Margarita is passionate about social justice, creativity, education, food, poetry, and working with teens! She is excited to be back with the Upward Bound family after nearly 10 years away.

You can email Margarita at chappelm@gvsu.edu


Bonnie Peterson

Bonnie Peterson

TRIO Upward Bound Office Coordinator

Office Address: 396C DEV
Phone: (616) 331-3144
 

Bonnie Peterson currently serves as the Office Coordinator for TRIO Upward Bound.  Previously Bonnie served as a program assistant with Great Start Readiness Program at Kent Intermediate School District. She began her professional career at Grand Rapids Community College, which sparked her passion for higher education and serving students academically, professionally and personally.  Bonnie has vast experience working with low income, first generation and at risk students and families.  She strives to make education accessible to all and to provide the resources and supports necessary for students to be successful. 

Bonnie earned an Associates degree from Grand Rapids Community College and plans to soon pursue a Bachelors of Liberal Studies at Grand Valley State University. 

You can email Bonnie at peterbon@gvsu.edu

 


Arnie Smithalexander

Arnie Smithalexander

TRIO Specialist

Arnie Smithalexander currently serves as a TRIO Specialist in the GVSU College of Education.

You can email Arnie at smithala@gvsu.edu


Student Employees

Clara Bernal

Clara Bernal, TRIO Upward Bound Office Assistant

Clara Bernal is a current GVSU student who works as a student employee in the TRIO Upward Bound office.  Clara graduated from Wellspring Preparatory High School in Grand Rapids, Michigan and is pursuing a major in Biomedical Sciences and a minor in Business Management. Clara chose to come to Grand Valley because she was already familiar with the campus and felt right at home.  She is excited to be working with TRIO Upward Bound after being a former alumni from the program and is looking forward to beginning her education in the health sciences.

Kayla Kaminski

Kayla Kaminski, TRIO Upward Bound Office Assistant

Kayla Kaminski is a current GVSU student who works as a student employee in the TRIO Upward Bound office.  She graduated from Pinckney High School in Pinckney, Michigan and is pursuing a double major in English and Elementary Education. Kayla chose to come to Grand Valley because she knew that receiving a liberal education would provide her with new and diverse opportunities. She is excited to be working with TRIO Upward Bound and continuing on her journey towards becoming an educator!

Student Tutors

Carlos Calderon

Carlos Calderon, TRIO Upward Bound Student Tutor

Carlos Calderon is a current GVSU student who works with TRIO Upward Bound students at Union High as an academic tutor. He is majoring in Business. Carlos is a former UB alumni from Union High School and is looking forward to working with students.  He is also excited in becoming more involved with the program Upward Bound as a college student.

 

Melissa Houts

Melissa Houts, TRIO Upward Bound Student Tutor

Melissa Houts is a current GVSU student who works with TRIO Upward Bound students at Union High as an academic tutor.  She graduated from Ionia High School in Ionia, Michigan and is pursuing a major in Recreational Therapy and is considering double majoring in Psychology. Melissa chose to attend Grand Valley because she loves how beautiful the campus is. The first time she walked in campus she felt right at home!  She is excited to be working with TRIO Upward Bound.

Rakesh Neela

Rakesh Neela, TRIO Upward Bound Student Tutor

Rakesh Neela is current GVSU student who works with TRIO Upward Bound students at Innovation Central High as an academic tutor.  Rakesh has previously worked as a software engineer in ReTiSense.  He is passionate about technology, food, movies and teaching.  He believes that parenting, cooking and teaching are the best art. He is very excited to tutor TRIO Upward Bound students.

Madelaine White

Madelaine White, TRIO Upward Bound Student Tutor

Madelaine White is a current GVSU student who works with TRIO Upward Bound students at Innovation Central High as an academic tutor.  Going into college, Maddie was very blessed to have been equipped with the skills needed for the high school to college transition because of the preparation and support she received in high school; she is excited to give UB students the same opportunity. She has been positively impacted by good college prep and she hopes to be a positive influence on the UB students.  She is thankful to be a part of the TRIO Upward Bound family!