Our Team

Jean Nagelkerk

Jean Nagelkerk, Ph.D., FNP

Special Assistant to the Provost

Co-Principal Investigator

(616) 331-2729


Dr. Jean Nagelkerk earned her degree in Nursing from Mercy Central School of Nursing, Bachelors of Nursing from Nazareth College, Masters of Nursing from Wayne State University, Ph.D. from the University of Florida, and Post-Doctoral Family Nurse Practitioner Certificate from the University of Wisconsin.  

Jean provides leadership for and coordinating health-related initiatives for the University, developing, strengthening, and expanding initiatives with community partners, and facilitates the development of new collaborations with GVSU’s nursing, health profession, and life science programs and centers. She also serves as the co-principal investigator for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation grant to assist Battle Creek Public Schools with their educational transformation project. Jean has worked as a Professor of Nursing, Director of Medical Surgical and Ambulatory Care Services, Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs, and Vice Provost for Health at GVSU.

Al Shifflett

Al Shifflett III

Director of Community Engagement

(616) 331-7615


Al Shifflett is an alumnus from Battle Creek Central High School, Kellogg Community College, and received a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Western Michigan University (WMU). He is currently seeking his Master's in Business Administration (MBA) from Grand Valley State University.

While overseeing the GVSU Battle Creek Regional Outreach Center and grant activities funded through the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Al is responsible for building and maintaining relationships with businesses, educators, health providers, and community members throughout the community and SW Michigan. Partnering alongside these constituent groups, his mission is to assist with the development and support of educational, economic, and health initiatives within the Battle Creek community and region through meaningful and strategic connections with the University.

Al's prior experience includes 20 years of marketing and promotion, and engagement experience - most recently at WMU Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine in Kalamazoo, MI. There he instituted the Office of Development and Alumni Affairs for the medical school and built a culture of giving and stewardship at the new institution. He is excited to make a positive impact in his hometown, as well as in the high school and community college from which he graduated.

Sara Burtis

Sara Burtis

Special Projects Coordinator

(616) 331-7613


Sara Burtis is a Western Michigan University alumna from the College of Education. She has prior experience in K-12 learning environments as a classroom teacher, administrator, and behavioral interventionist. Sara currently holds a certification as a Practitioner of Trauma in Education, which supports educators with effective interventions for children of poverty and trauma through a resilience lens. She is eager to work with regional K-12 schools to share GVSU resources and support.

Leslie Strickland, Office Assistant

Leslie Strickland

Office Assistant

(616) 331-7610


Leslie Strickland has served both Kalamazoo and Van Buren counties through the Upward Bound and Michigan GEAR UP Program at Western Michigan University (WMU). Prior to her time at WMU, she spent more than a decade in the financial industry. Leslie is excited to support learners in Battle Creek and throughout the southwestern Michigan communities.

Page last modified March 28, 2022