Alumni Board of CLAS
Jan Andersen was appointed to the Grand Valley State University CLAS Alumni Board in 2009. Andersen is the owner and president of Beyond Words, Inc., in Kalamazoo. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Relations from William James College at GVSU and a Master of Arts in Communication Arts and Sciences from Western Michigan University.
Shannon M. Biros, PhD
Department of Chemistry, Grand Valley State University
Shannon M. Biros joined the faculty of GVSU as an Assistant Professor of Organic Chemistry in the fall of 2008. She was a graduate of GVSU, receiving her BA in chemistry in 2001. From there she moved to San Diego to pursue a Ph.D. in chemistry at The Scripps Research Institute under the direction of Professor Julius Rebek, Jr. Following the completion of her thesis, Shannon spent a year at the University of California, Berkeley as a postdoctoral research associate in the laboratory of Professor Kenneth N. Raymond investigating the guest binding properties of a series of supramolecular metal-ligand clusters. She is currently in her fifth year as a tenure-track faculty member at GVSU, and maintains an active research group of undergraduate students.
In July 2017, Jon retired from his position as the Cable Television Administrator for the City of Grand Rapids local government, a position he held since 1987. He studied Arts & Media at William James College, a cluster college at Grand Valley State Colleges from 1977 until 1982. After two extended breaks from his education to design and build small format cable television studios in the Grand Rapids area, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1986 from The Evergreen State College in Olympia Washington. Has held leadership positions in the Alliance for Community Media, and the Izaak Walton League.
James K. Stiff
James K. Stiff is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the Central Savannah River Area. The territory Mr. Stiff is responsible for consists of 31 counties in Georgia and 4 in South Carolina.
Mr. Stiff broadened the service population in 1995 from only people with disabilities to include anyone with a barrier to employment or career advancement. The result was a network of Job Connection centers and Georgia’s only non-governmental WIA One-Stop that offer a variety of services via Goodwill and partner organizations. Under his leadership, Goodwill’s operating revenue has increased from $1 million to $30 million dollars. Over the past five years, your local Goodwill placed over 6000 people into jobs and created over $166 million in new payroll purchasing power.
Mr. Stiff was chosen by his peers to serve as the 2005 Chair of the Goodwill Conference of Executives and previously served on the Goodwill Industries International Board of Directors. He has also received the illustrious P.J. Trevethan Award for outstanding contribution to the training and development of Goodwill Industries employees, the Matthews Entrepreneur Award and the Distinguished Alumni Award from Grand Valley State University.
Prior to being recruited to Georgia, Mr. Stiff served at Goodwill Industries of Greater Washington for seven years.
Mr. Stiff holds an MA in Education and Religious Studies from Notre Dame Institute and a Bachelor of Philosophy in Human Services from Grand Valley State University. He is a member and former president of both the Downtown Macon Rotary Club and the Georgia Goodwill Association. Mr. Stiff was appointed by Governor Barnes to the Georgia Workforce Investment Board and is a member of the GVSU Alumni Board and the Augusta Kiwanis Club.
(Class of 1978) (also known as Coach T or Mr. T).
I was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I graduated from St. Joseph’s Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1973. In 1978, I graduated from Grand Valley State College with a Major in Physical Education and a Minor in Biology. In 1986, I received a Masters in Secondary Education from CMU. My teaching and coaching career began in the fall of 1978 at Grand Rapids Catholic Central High School where I taught Biology, Physical Science, Chemistry, Anatomy/Physiology, and AP Environmental Science in my 33-year teaching career and coached football, basketball, and girls softball. I retired from Catholic Central in 2011. For the past three years, I have been the Master of Ceremonies for the Grand Valley Dance Troupe Winter and Spring Recitals. Presently, I am employed by GR Spring and Stamping in a supervisory capacity.
After graduating from Grand Valley in May 2010 with a major in political science and minors in criminal justice and history, I attended law school at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. During my second year of law school, I was a judicial intern in the Third Judicial Circuit Court - Family Division in Wayne County. I worked in the Solution Oriented Domestic Violence Prevention Court, a specialized court that tailored to the needs and challenges surrounding a domestic violence domestic relations case. After interning there for a year, I became a law clerk with the Michigan Department of Attorney General in the Criminal Division. I was given the opportunity to work on cases including election fraud, human trafficking, homicide, cold case sexual assault, tax fraud and continuing criminal enterprises.
I graduated from law school in May 2013, sat for the Michigan Bar in July and was sworn into the State Bar in November. I am currently practicing at a firm in Southfield, primarily working in probate/estate planning and domestic relations cases.
I volunteer my time through the Grand Valley Alumni Ambassador program, attending high school fairs. It's a great way to give back to my local community and my Laker community at the same time. I am truly thankful for my education from Grand Valley, as it vastly prepared me for the challenges I came across in both life, and in law school. I had professors at GVSU who challenged me every day to do my best work, push my limits and achieve my goals. The programs I took during undergrad fully prepared me for the challenges law school presented.
Andrew Plague, 2015 Political Science with a minor in Philosophy, served as the President of the Student Senate in 2014-2015, was presented with the Kenneth R. Venderbush Student Leadership Award. He is now the Communications & Project Coordinator in the GVSU office of Inclusion and Equity.
Timothy Bulson M.A. Communications
Edward Cardenas, 1995 International Relations
Patrick Fischer, 1976 History
Cindy Hull, 1972 Sociology
Laurie Rehmann-Hoppough, 2004 Group Social Sciences
Steven Reyes, 1993 Health Communications
Jim Rook, MD, 1999 BMS
Joy Walczak, 1992 Broadcasting
Mitri Zainea, 1974 History (CLAS Alumni Board Chair 2017-2019)