Allied Health Sciences
Jenny Baweja, MS, CTRS, CIFT
Interim Director, AHS
Office Address: 420-A RFH
Phone: (616) 331-5856
Email: [email protected]
Jenny's professional experience is extensively within patient care settings as a recreation therapist. At the beginning of her career, she was employed as part of an operations management team in assisted living, specializing in dementia care and life enrichment for residents, families, and the community. Next, she worked at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital, focusing on patient care outcomes, quality improvement, standardized assessment processes for recreation therapy services, and wellness initiatives for patients and employees.
Jenny received her Bachelor of Science in Therapeutic Recreation at Grand Valley State University. Her Master's Degree from the California University of Pennsylvania is in Exercise Science with an emphasis in Rehabilitation Sciences. She has been a Certified Health Coach, Corrective Exercise Specialist, and Certified Inclusive Fitness Trainer. These educational tools have allowed her to operate in Mary Free Bed's John Butzer Center for Research & Innovation as a Research Recreation Therapist developing study protocols and implementing a grant-funded research project to identify both physical and socioeconomic outcomes relate to exercise strategies. She also used her education to become a small business owner in the health and wellness industry. Currently, Jenny is pursuing a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership at Indiana Wesleyan University and focused on teaching students majoring in health care fields.
Jenny has served on the Board of Directors for Michigan Therapeutic Recreation Association for over ten years. She was also Member-at-Large for the Recreation Therapy Foundation. This national organization supports research in the field of recreation therapy. Her interests include research, leadership, ethics, and mentoring students.
Stephanie Knighton, MPA, CTRS
Office address: 420-J RFH
Phone: (616) 331-5509
Email address: [email protected]
Stephanie’s professional background is in the field of recreation therapy, working in a variety of health care settings with a multitude of populations. Stephanie’s experience began working with children with chronic and life-threatening illnesses at a Serious Fun Network summer camp in upstate New York. After obtaining her Bachelor’s degree, she moved to Montana and spent time working with children in a psychiatric inpatient hospital, focusing on the utilization of recreational therapy services, quality improvement, and the development of protocols and standardized assessments. Stephanie’s professional background also includes working with Veterans and the aging population in a long-term care facility. This experience resulted in thorough research on the role of leisure for veterans through history and a professional presentation at the Art of Aging Conference.
Stephanie earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Therapeutic Recreation from Grand Valley State University. Her Master’s Degree, also from Grand Valley State University, is in Public Administration with an emphasis in Health Administration. Stephanie is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) and is a member of the Michigan Therapeutic Recreation Association (MTRA). Her interests include program development, quality improvement, and innovative learning solutions.
Kerry Mohney, M.A., R.T. (R) (M)
Office Address: 420-N RFH
Phone: (616) 331-5527
Email: [email protected]
Kerry Mohney joined GVSU in 2015 as a faculty member in the Allied Health Sciences (AHS) Program. She enjoys sharing applicable experiences with AHS students from her 14 years of medical imaging program leadership and 21 years of working with patients in radiography, mammography, and computed tomography (CT).
Her career began with radiography program completion and national certification through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). She also earned additional ARRT certification in mammography. Kerry earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Health Sciences at Western Michigan University and continued at WMU in completing a Master of Arts in Education and Professional Development. She earned instructional design certification through the American Society for Training and Development (TD) and recognition in Quality Matters instruction through the Education Technology Organization of Michigan (ETOM). Kerry was awarded the Educator Award for the Michigan Occupational Dean’s Administrative Council (MODAC) for the co-leadership in the development and management of the Michigan Radiologic Imaging Sciences Consortium.
Her current research interest at GVSU is the assessment of mammography techniques used in obtaining quality images for patients with physical disabilities. She has published in this area of research and has presented research results on this topic in several state radiologic technologists society meetings.
Kerry is the coordinator for AHS 490, which offers opportunities in Health Care Internships associated with the Allied Health Sciences Program. Kerry is an advisor for students interested in the MIPERC Interprofessional Education (IPE) advisor for serves on the Van Buren County Intermediate School District’s Advisory Team for Allied Health Education.
Kerry serves as chair of the Research Committee for the Association of Educators in Imaging and Radiologic Sciences. She is a member of the Michigan Society of Radiologic Technologists (MSRT) and Ohio Society of Radiologic Technologists (OSRT) and provides presentations for both organizations. She is also a member of the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT) and values the teaching insights gained through membership in the Educational Technology Organization of Michigan (ETOM).
Chad Sutliffe, MHA, MED, NHA
Office Address: 420-O RFH
Phone: (616) 331-5526
Email: [email protected]
Chad’s professional background is in educational leadership, clinical research, and healthcare administration. Before joining GVSU’s faculty, he began his career as an elementary teacher followed by seven years in school administration. Chad transitioned into a healthcare career starting at Spectrum Health where he worked as a Clinical Research Coordinator facilitating all Emergency Medicine studies in coordination as an appointed faculty with Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. This experience resulted in numerous research publications with a number of current studies underway for an upcoming publication. Chad also served as an appointed member of the Spectrum Health Institutional Review Board (IRB).
He earned his Nursing Home Administrator’s license and spent his final years before joining GVSU in administration, consulting, and researching long-term care both in non-profit and for-profit environments. Chad has also served on numerous local and state professional associations focused on long-term care leadership along with access and quality of care to seniors.
Chad earned a Bachelor of Arts (Elementary Education) at Cornerstone University, and both a Masters of Educational Leadership and Masters of Healthcare Administration from Grand Valley State University. He is currently working on a Doctorate at Indiana Wesleyan University in Organizational Leadership.
Chad’s research interests are geriatric access and quality of care, clinical process improvement, and emergency management systems and education.
JESSICA VERMEERSCH, MBA
Office Address: 420-H RFH
Phone: (616) 331-3687
Email: [email protected]
Jessica's professional experience is extensive, having worked in a variety of health care settings with a multitude of populations. Jessica’s experience began within the patient care setting working with adults recovering from cardiovascular disease and surgery in downtown Detroit and its suburbs. After several years, she moved to Lansing where she was employed as part of the marketing operations team to lead community health education efforts, focusing on positive patient-provider relationships and quality outcomes. Jessica’s professional background also includes working at Spectrum Health having roles in physician and APP communications, and research and education operations. Here in Grand Rapids, she was able to focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion education for resident and fellow physicians, in addition to quality and process improvement for primary care services and underserved patient populations.
Jessica received her Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science at Western Michigan University. Her Master of Business Administration was earned from Northwood University DeVos School of Management. She has been an American College of Sports Medicine Certified Exercise Specialist and is BLS certified. Her interests include leadership, DEI, population health and mentoring students.
American Sign Language
Misti Ryefield, MS; RID:CT, K-12 4.8 SEC
Office Address: 420-M RFH
Phone: (616) 331-5554
Email: [email protected]
Misti’s professional background is in American Sign Language interpreting. She started her career as an interpreter in public schools, spending 10 years interpreting in high schools. She then transitioned to private practice community interpreting and has multiple areas of experience, including medical, mental health, legal, business, and performing arts settings.
Prior to establishing the American Sign Language course offerings at Grand Valley, she created a similar program at Muskegon Community College.
Misti earned an Associate’s degree in American Sign Language Interpreting from Lansing Community College, and a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts with an emphasis of American Sign Language Interpreting from Sienna Heights University. Her Master’s degree in Psychology is from Capella University. She has been a nationally certified American Sign Language Interpreter since 2001.