CLAS Distinguished Alumni-in-Residence Program

The CLAS Distinguished Alumni-in-Residence Program provides a venue for departments to invite outstanding alumni of their undergraduate programs back to campus to share their post-graduation experiences with the GVSU community. Through the program, our distinguished alumni have the opportunity to share their insights about what constitutes strong academic preparation for students.

2022 Distinguished Alumni in Residence

2022 Distinguished Alumni in Residence program is undergoing redesign.



Nomination process

Questions? Contact (616) 331-2495

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Nomination Form is not open at this time.



Jesse Lincoln            B.S. Biology (2007)*

                                    M.S. Biology(2012)*


James Kennedy        B.A. Classics (2009)*

                                   J.D. Law (2013)



James Snider          B.S. Chemistry (1984)*

                                 Ph.D. Chemistry (1990)


Erin Bartels            B.A. English (2001)*


Adam Wygant        B.S. Geology (1993)*


Eric Baumgarten    B.A. History (2012)*


Joshua Lycka          B.A. French (2013)*

                                  B.S. Natural Resources Management (2013)*


Matthew Huml         B.S. Physical Education (2009)*
                                 M.A. Education (2009)* 
                                 Ph.D. Sports Medicine (2016)


Scott Jones            B.A. Music (2000)*

                                D.M.A. Wind Conducting (2013)


Katherine Mayberry  B.A. Philosophy (2000)*

                                    M.F.A./MLitt (2007)                 


Alan Dunklow           B.A. Political Science (2007)*

                                   J.D. Law (2013)



* Denotes degree obtained from Grand Valley State University


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2018 Distinguished Alumni-in-Residence Honorees

 Embriette Hyde                                      B.S. Biomedical Sciences (2010)*

                                                                B.A. Spanish (2010)*            

                                                                Ph.D. Integrative Molecular and Biomedical Sciences 

Naveen Kamireddi                                  B.S. Cell and Molecular Biology

                                                               M.S. Cell and Molecular Biology/Biotechnology (2008)*                                                 

Marisa Kwiatkowski                               B.A. Journalism (2005)*       


Patrick Jurgens                                     B.A. Geography (2007)*


Elizabeth Stolz                                       B.A. Mathematics (2014)*

                                                               M.S. Analytics

Tracy Steinbach                                    B.S. Physics (2010)*

                                                              M.S. Physics

                                                              Ph.D. Chemical Physics                                                                      

Ashley Nickels                                       B.S. Psychology (2003)*

                                                               M.A. Public Administration (2006)*


Meghan Burke                                       B.A. Sociology (2002)*

                                                               Ph.D. Sociology


Tricia Erickson                                       B.A. Art (2005)*                                                                      

                                                               M.Ed. Art Education


 Lindsey Drager                                      B.A. Writing & English Language and Literature (2008)*

                                                               M.F.A. Creative Writing        

                                                               Ph.D. Creative Writing 



* Denotes degree obtained from Grand Valley State University



Holly Chadwick                                   B.S. Anthropology (2001)*

                                                            M.S. Social Work (2003)*


Angela Mrozinski                                B.S. Natural Resources (2004)*

                                                           M.S. Environmental Organizing and Advocacy


Aaron Parker                                      B.S. Natural Resources (2003)*        

                                                           M.S. Biology (2007)* 


Brittland DeKorver                              B.A. Chemistry (2007)*

                                                           Ph.D. Chemistry (2016)


April Conant                                        B.A. Classics (2009)*

                                                            B.A. History (2009)*

                                                            M.A. Library and Information Science (2013)


David Jagusch                                    B.A. English (2009)*

                                                            M.A. English Pedagogy (2012)


Robert Bodziak                                   B.S. Geology (1997)*

                                                           M.S. Geophysics (1999)


Joshua Duram                                    B.S. Group Social Studies/Education (2012)*


Timothy Zeeb                                     B.A. International Relations (2002)*  

                                                           M.S. Finance (2006)


Nathan Schout                                    B.S. Physical Education (2011)*

                                                            M.Ed. Educational Leadership (2015)


Adam Cuthbert                                   B.A. Music (2010)*    


Michael Brower                                   B.S. Philosophy (2007)*

                                                            B.S. Psychology (2007)*

                                                            J.D. Law (2011)         


Justin Sjogren                                     B.S. Statistics (2006)*

                                                            M.S. Biostatistics (2008)*         


*denotes degree received from Grand Valley State University


Littisha Bates                                 B.A. in Sociology (2004)*, Ph.D. in Sociology (2009)         

Ebony Parker-Featherstone          B.S. in Health Science (2002)*, M.D. (2006)

Anne Marie Carson                        B.A. in French and International Relations (2009)*, J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center (2014)

Chad Ghastin                                 B.S. in Advertising & Public Relations (1998)*, M.S. in Integrated Marketing  (2006)                    

Samuel Otten                                 B.S. in Mathematics (2006)*,  Ph.D. in Mathematics Education (2012)

Amanda Moore                               B.S. in Geography (2012)*       

Michael Salisbury                           B.S. in Writing and Communications (2006)*, M.F.A. in Writing (2012)

Ryan Shorey                                  B.S. in Psychology (2008)*, Ph.D. in Psychology (2014)

Jillian Foerster                                B.S. in Cell and Molecular Biology (2009)*, Ph.D. in Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics (2013)

Paula "Paige" Kelley                       B.S. in Physics and Mathematics (2009)*, Ph.D. in Applied Physics (2015)



Alumni in Residence 2016 Booklet


Paul Amenta                 B.F.A. in Sculpture and Printmaking (1995)*
                                       M.F.A. in Fine Arts (2000

Christine Amon            B.M. in Vocal Performance (2009)*
                                       M.M. in Vocal Performance (2012)

Nathan Bacheler, Ph.D.    B.S. in Biology (1997)*          
                                           Ph.D. in Zoology (2008)

Matthew Cooper, Ph.D.      B.S. in Biology (2002)*
                                        M.S. in Biology (emphasis in aquatic science) (2009)*
                                        Ph.D. in Biology (2014)

Jaime Curtis-Fisk, Ph.D.       B.S. in Chemistry (2004)*
                                             Ph.D. in Chemistry (2009)

Richard Damstra, J.D.            B.A. in Political Science (1996)*
                                                J.D. (2001)

Ashley Dressel, Ph.D.             B.A. in Philosophy (2008)*
                                                Ph.D. in Philosophy (2014)

Kenneth Games, Ph.D.         B.S. in Athletic Training (2009)*
                                                   Ph.D. in Kinesiology (2013)

Michelle LeMieux, D.O.        B.S. in Biomedical Sciences & Classics (2009)*
                                                   D.O. in Osteopathic Medicine (2013)

Andrew McCarthy, Ph.D.              B.S. in Geology (2000)*
                                               Ph.D. in Geosciences (2007)

Teague O'Mara, Ph.D.         B.S. in Anthropology & Biology (2001)*
                                            Ph.D. in Biological Anthropology (2012)

Hillery York                           B.A. in History (2012)*
                                              M.A. in Museum Studies (2014)

* Denotes degree obtained from Grand Valley State University

2015 Distinguish Alumni in Residence booklet


Paul Collins                                        B.F.A. in Theatre Design & Production (1996)
                                                          M.S. in Communications (2008)*
                                                        M.F.A. in Lighting & Scenic Design (2011)

David Diekema                                 B.S. in Cell & Molecular Biology (2007)*
                                                       M.S. in Forensic Science (emphasis in DNA analysis) (2009)

Stephen Gardner                               B.S. in Physics (2009)*
                                                        M.S. in Medical Physics (2011)

Thomas Gunnels                               B.A. in Writing (2012)*

Jennifer Haberling                               B.S. in Psychology (1991)
                                                        B.A. in English (emphasis in Secondary Education) (1994)*         
                                                        M.A. in Humanities (2005)

Dr. Jeffery Kieliszewski                       B.S. in Psychology (1991)*
                                                         M.A. in Clinical Psychology (1993)
                                                         Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology (1998)   

Aubrey McMahan                                B.A. in International Relations (2012)*

Katherine Pillsbury                               B.A. in Writing & Spanish (2012)*

Brandelyn Pitcher                                 B.S. in Mathematics & Statistics (2008)*
                                                          M.S. in Biostatistics (2010)*

Amanda (Peterson) Plunkett                 B.S. in Mathematics (1999)*
                                                          M.S. in Applied Mathematics (2001)
                                                          M.S. in Statistics (2011)

Dr. James Rook                                   B.S. in Biomedical Sciences (1999)*
                                                           M.P.H. in International Health (2001)
                                                           D.O. in Osteopathic Medicine (2006)

Steven Stepek                                     B.S. in Geography (2002)*                           
                                                           M.P.A. in Public Administration (2006)*

Program booklet


Matthew Breen (AWRI)                    B.S. in Biology (2005)
                                                     M.S. in Biology (emp. in aquatic science) (2008)

Dr. Paul Cook                                 B.S. in Chemistry (2004)

Hunter Eberly                                 B.M. in Music (2009)

Dr. Michelle Green                          B.S. in Biology (2000)     

Dr. Charles "Ty" Ham                      B.A. in Classics (2006)    

David Huang                                  B.F.A. in Studio Art (2001)

Dr. Jordan R. Moon                         B.S. in Physical Education (2004)

Craig Reynolds                               B.A. in Philosophy (1989)

Hannah Rodgers, J.D.                     B.A. in History & Anthropology (2009)

Molly (Helbing) Sherwood                B.S. in Geology (1994)

Lisa Rose Starner                           B.A. in Anthropology & French (2000)
                                                     M.P.A. in Public Administration (2003)

Program Booklet



2012 distinguished alumni group picture
Alumni for 2012


(2011 Program)

Dr. Andrew Alverson           B.S. Biology (1997)   

Dr. Noel Boyle                     B.A. Philosophy & Group Social Sciences (1996)

Kim Hansen                         B.S. Physical Education (1980)

Brittany Hunter                     B.A. Classics (Honors College) (2008)  

Katie Mawby                        B.S. Psychology & Physical Therapy (1987)

Liem Nguyen                       B.A. English & B.S. in Economics (1994)

Dr. Clinton Randles              B.M.E. Music (2001)

Jennifer Schaub                  B.F.A. Studio Art (2002) 
                                           M.P.A. Public Administration (2007)

Troy Schindlbeck                 B.S. Anthropology (1995)

Ronald Sheets                     B.S. Geology (1982)

Dr. Peter Stevens                B.S. Chemistry (2001)



Kenneth Bader                 B.S. in Physics (2005)

Bryan DeAugustine           B.A. in History (1995)

Elizabeth Haak                 B.S. in Cell & Molecular Biology (2006)

Dr. James Meernik            B.A. in Political Science & Psychology (1985)

Dr. Sarah C. (Hull) Mulder  B.S. in Biomedical Sciences (2000)

Timothy Nelson                B.S. in Mathematics (1976)

Sarah Pieper                    B.A. in French (2006)

Suzanne Rivecca             B.A. in English (2001)

Malinda VanSledright        B.S. in Geography (2005)

Charles Wilkins                B.S. in Theatre (2001)


Distinguished Alumni-in-Residence 2010
Distinguished Alumni-in-Residence 2010
Alumni in Residence 2010


2009 Program

Dr. Todd Davis B.S. in Chemistry (2000)

Dr. Amanda Dykema-Engblade B.S. in Psychology (1999)

Lucy Finkel B.M.E. in Music (2005)

Brigette Frantz, Esq. B.A. in Classical Tradition & English (2003)

Dr. Sarah Hochstetler B.A. in English (2000)

Debra Moinet-St. Arnauld B.S. in Physical Education (1986)

Dr. Deborah Rotman B.A. in Anthropology (1993)

John Sniadecki B.A. in Philosophy (2002)

Julie Upmeyer B.F.A. in Studio Art (2003)

Dr. Elaine Videan B.S. in Biology (1997)



Heather Fox B.S. in Biomedical Sciences & B.S. in English (1984)

Angela Mistretta B.A. in Film & Video Prod., Sch. of Comm. (2002)

Dr. David Szurley B.S.  in Mathematics (1997)

Brian VanDenBrand B.S. in Geography & Planning (2006)

James Vander Weide B.S. in Mathematics & B.S. in Physics (1996)

Short biographies of these honorees



Heather Allegrina-Bowe B.A. in Philosophy (1995)

Neil Besteman B.S. in Geography (2005)

Shannon Biros B.A. in Chemistry & B.S. in Biomedical Science (2001)

Monica (Simon) Boyd B.S. in Statistics (1999)

Christopher Brooks B.S. in Physics & B.S. in Mathematics (2001)

Nicholas Ceglarek B.S. in Mathematics (1996)

Michelle Dennis B.S. in Psychology (1999)

Jeffery Donehoo B.S. in Film & Video (2001)

Michael Gallagher B.S. in Geology (1983)

Robert Gruca B.M. in Music (2000)

Kristen Heise B.A. in Greek & B.A. in Latin (2005)

Jo Hormuth B.F.A. in Art (1981)

Robert Kopperl B.A. in Anthropology & B.A. in Philosophy (1995

Kara Milliron B.S. in Biology (1995)

Daniel Modderman B.A. in English Language & Literature (1997)

Robert Monaghan B.A. in Political Science (1967)

Sheila Pomeroy B.S. in Statistics (1999)

Janet Wierenga B.S. in Physical Education (1976)

Some Previous Distinguished Alumni

2007 Biographies



2006 Distinguished Alumni
Alumni Director Chris Barbee speaks with 2006 CLAS Distinguished Alumni at the luncheon

Alumni Director Chris Barbee speaks with 2006 CLAS Distinguished Alumni at the luncheon


Margaret Willey
BA in English and Art (1975)

A graduate of GVSU, and now a successful author of young adult literature, Margaret's novels include, Facing the Music (Winner of the Paterson Prize for Books for Young People & An ALA Wuick Pick); If Not for You (An ALA Best Book for Reluctant Readers);The Bigger Book of Lydia (An ALA Best Book for Young Adults); Finding David Dolores (An ALA Best Book for Young Adults);Saving Lenny (An ALA Best Book for Young Adults).


D.J. Hoek
BA in Music (1993)

D.J. Hoek is currently Head of the Music Library at Northwestern University, a position he began in October 2004. Prior to this appointment, he served as Head of the Music Library at Kent State University (2001-2004) and as Music/Media Catalog Librarian at Wichita State University (1999-2001). While at Kent State, he was also an adjunct faculty member of KSU's School of Library and Information Science, where he taught courses on music librarianship.


Nicolette Baumgartner
BS in Biomedical Science (1983

After graduating with a BS from Grand Valley, Nicky went on to MSU for graduate school and completed her M.A. in Exercise Physiology. She then returned to Grand Valley as an adjunct instructor in 1985 teaching Human Anatomy and Physiology for the next five years. In 1990, she returned to MSU to pursue a medical degree. Once completed, she accepted a position in Kalamazoo, Michigan where she is currently full partner in a large pediatric group and serves on the Board of Directors for ProMed Health Care.


Linda Joyce
BS in Mathematics (1972)

Linda Joyce graduated with a mathematics major and general science minor from Grand Valley State Colleges. She obtained a master's degree in environmental science from Miami University of Ohio and then a Ph.D. in range science from Colorado State University. Dr. Joyce currently leads a project on Sustaining Alpine and Forest Ecosystems under Atmospheric and Terrestrial Disturbances for the USDA Forest Service. Her personal research involves quantifying the environmental impacts of climate change in the Rocky Mountains, and collaborating with economists to investigate these impacts.


James R. Spaanstra
BS in Political Science (1974)

Jim Spaanstra earned his B.S. degree with highest honors in political science from GVSU in 1974. He went on to law school at the University of Michigan, where he earned his J.D. in 1977. Jim began his career as a staff attorney for the Counsel on Environmental Quality in the Executive Office of the President of the United States, where he helped advise President Carter regarding national environmental policy. He is currently a partner in the law firm of Faegre and Benson in Denver, CO, where he has developed a nationally recognized practice in environmental law, focused principally on counseling commercial, industrial and governmental client regarding compliance and enforcement matters involving the federal environmental laws. Over the past 20 years, Jim has actively participated in the drafting and development of environmental laws and regulations at the local, state and federal levels.


James M. McClurken
BS in Arts & Media/Social Relations (1978)

Jim McClurken graduated from the William James College of Grand Valley State Colleges in 1978 at a time when only pass/fail grades were given. He earned an M.A. (1984) and Ph.D. (1988) in Anthropology at MSU merging the disciplines of anthropology and history as a specialist in ethnohistory. His professional work began in 1977 working with the Native American community in Grand Rapids contributing to the Native American Oral History Project published by the Grand Rapids Public Library. In the last 25 years Jim has developed a major ethnohistorical consulting firm, McClurken and Associates, serving Native American Tribes throughout the US and First Nations in Canada. Jim is an active scholar, with over 30 peer reviewed publications and dozens of professional presentations to his credit. He is a member of the American Anthropological Association, American Cultural Resources Association, and the Council for Museum Anthropology.


Paul Stoner
BS in Physics (1971)

To date, Paul Stoner has over thirty years of experience in health physics and radioactive material management, including work in four nuclear power plants. For twelve years, Mr. Stoner was on a utility company's corporate health physics staff and for six additional years was an analytical engineer for a large architectural/engineering company. Currently Mr. Stoner lives in Irvine, California, and is on the health physics staff of a radiation dosimetry processing company.


Joel Purkiss
BS in Sociology

Joel Purkiss graduated from GVSU as a sociology major in 1995 and just completed his PhD at the University of Michigan in Spring of 05. His dissertation was on the history of the Boy Scout movement as a social movement. He is currently the Associate Director of Curriculum Evaluation at the Office of Medical Education at the University of Michigan. He has been a guest speaker in several GVSU sociology classes.



Deb Joseph Dell
BS in Biomedical and Health Sciences (1985)

Following graduation from GVSU in 1985 with a BS in Biomedical and Health Sciences, Deb earned her MD at Michigan State University College of Medicine and performed her 3 year Family Medicine residence at Metropolitan Hospital.  She was the first family physician employed by Blodgett Hospital in Family Practice Clinic System she assisted in the design of the first clinic and composition of the first practice guidelines for these clinics.  Deb worked in the ER of Zeeland hospital until 1996, when she decided to try country medicine.  She was the town doctor in Nashville, MI from 1996 until 2002.  Deb started her own practice, Dell Family Medicine, in Battle Creek in June 2002.


Michael Henshaw
BS in Biology (1994)

Michael Henshaw graduated from GVSU in 1994 with a B.S. in Biology. As an undergraduate, he worked with Dr. Michael Lombardo studying the mating biology of tree swallows, and as a result of this experience, became increasingly interested in evolutionary biology, ecology, and animal behavior. After graduation, he worked briefly as a field research technician in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, before continuing his education at Rice University in Houston, TX. While there he was awarded a prestigious predoctoral fellowship from the National Science Foundation, and earned both an M.A. (1998) and a Ph.D. (2000) in ecology and evolution. Since obtaining his Ph.D. in 2000, Dr. Henshaw has held a one-year postdoctoral research position in the Department of Entomology at the University of Massachusetts, and more recently, a three-year postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Tropical Ecology at James Cook University, in Townsville, Australia. As a fellow at James Cook University he attracted numerous grants, including substantial research funding from the Australian Research Council. Currently, he is an assistant professor of Biology at McKendree College in Lebanon, IL. Dr. Henshaw uses a variety of approaches, including ecological studies, behavioral observations and molecular genetic techniques to study the evolution of cooperation in the social insects. He is especially interested in understanding the mechanisms that have preserved cooperation in these societies despite persistent internal conflicts that should destabilize cooperation by creating the potential for selfishly acting individuals to benefit relative to individuals who act altruistically. His work has shown that collective policing by the workers frequently prevents selfish activity, and enforces a collective preference over the preferences of selfish individuals.


MaryFran Peterlin-Kolp
BS in Physical Education (1990)

MaryFran graduated from GVSU with a BS in Physical Education in 1990.  She currently works as a wellness consultant primarily with the Northern Michigan Hospital Foundation in Petoskey, Michigan. In addition, she is involved in seeking grants with hospital and diabetes staff for the development of cardiovascular disease risk interventions. Further, Mary Fran completed her dissertation investigating cardiovascular disease risk factors in school-aged children.  While completing her Master's degree course work, she took a post-graduate externship at Butterworth Hospital's Cardiac Rehabilitation Center, working closely with GVSU staff and the Director of the Cardiac Rehabilitation Center. Subsequently, she managed wellness and fitness centers for contracts with General Motors and Ford and while pursuing her Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology with an emphasis in Pediatrics with the University of Toledo.  During her undergraduate years at GVSU (1985-1990), she earned a bachelor's degree with dual majors in Physical Education and Biology, as well as earning teacher certification.  In addition, she was a double sport student athlete participating in both basketball and track and field.  Mary Fran is currently on the GVSU Alumni Board of Directors.


Dana Spence
BS in Chemistry (1992)

Following graduation from GVSU in 1992 with a BS in Chemistry, Dana performed his graduate work at Michigan State University from 1992-1997.  Dana became an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry at St. Louis University.  Dana spent seven years at St. Louis University before accepting his current position in 2004 as an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry at Wayne State University.  Dana's current interests, which are funded by the National Institutes of Health, lie at the interface of analytical chemistry and physiology, specifically measurements involving erythrocytes.  His group combines knowledge of spectroscopy, electrochemistry and microfluidics with other such areas as cell physiology, cell culturing and biomaterials to create biomimics of in vivo environments and processes relating to hypertension, multiple sclerosis, and diabetes.


Jeffrey Terpstra
BS in Mathematics/Statistics (1991)

Jeff Terpstra was born and raised in Allendale and graduated from GVSU in 1991.  During his years at GVSU Jeff was also a member of the baseball team.  He received the Charles H. Irwin Scholar-Athlete Award in 1990, was selected to the GTE Academic All American teams in 1989 and 1990, and was recently inducted into the GVSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 2003.  Although his years of participation in college athletics were finished, his pursuit of education was not.  Jeff continued his education at Western Michigan University where he earned both an M.S. and Ph.D. degree in Statistics.  In 1997 he accepted a position in the Department of Statistics at North Dakota State University where he currently holds the rank of Associate Professor.  Dr. Terpstra is primarily involved in teaching mathematical statistics and time series analysis; both at the undergraduate and graduate levels.  In addition, he is also interested in distance education and technology enhanced learning.  Dr. Terpstra has published several scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals in the areas of robust time series analysis, ranked set sampling, and inference for ordered alternatives.  He is a member of the American Statistical Association and has served as an Officer for the Section on Nonparametric Statistics.



Michael E. Baumuller
BS in Hospitality and Tourism Management (1993)

Michael Baumuller graduated from GVSU with a BS in Hospitality and Tourism Management in 1993.  Michael is currently a National Sales Manager for the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia, where he is responsible for selling this 225 year old, world-renown resort to corporate groups and associations in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Wisconsin.  Prior to joining the Greenbrier, Michael held leadership positions with Boyne USA Resorts in Petoskey and 3 different hotels in suburban Detroit.  Michael has also been active in professional associations, and has served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Michigan Chapter of Meeting Planners International.


Robert H. Cichewicz
BS in Biology (1994)
BS in Anthropology (1994)

Robert Cichewicz graduated from GVSU in 1994 with a double major, a BS in Biology and a BS in Anthropology.  He then continued his education at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, where he earned an MS in Pharmaceutical Sciences in 1999, and a Ph.D. in Horticulture from Michigan State University in 2002.  He currently is a post-doctoral researcher in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he is working in natural products chemistry, seeking out medically useful natural components.  He is specifically researching marine sponge-derived solid tumor selective anticancer agents and lipoxygenase inhibitors.  Robert began writing scientific papers for publication when he was an undergraduate student at Grand Valley; to date he has published over 14 papers and made numerous presentations at scientific professional meetings.  In 1995, Robert was one of 24 students in Michigan (two from each state-supported university) to receive the "Excellence in Higher Education" award from the Michigan Association of Governing Boards of Control.


Kristofer Cooper
BS in Health Science (1997)
MS in Physical Therapy (1999)

When Kris Cooper completed his BS in Health Sciences at GVSU in 1997, he was recognized as the "Outstanding Graduate" in Health Sciences.  He then continued his education at GVSU, earning his MS in Physical Therapy in 1999.  Following graduation he was employed with Healthsouth in the Chicago area, currently assigned to Northwestern Memorial Hospital.  Kris completed the rigorous requirements of the American Physical Therapy Association to become a Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopaedics in 2001; he also earned a certificate of competency in Vestibular Rehabilitation from Emory University in 2002.  His practice and teaching interests center around mechanical diagnosis and interventions for lumbar spine problems.  Kris was the keynote speaker for the Illinois Physical Therapy Association Student Conclave in February 2003; his enthusiasm, competence, and passion for teaching and learning made him the PT faculty choice for 2003 Alumni-in-Residence recognition.


Stephen Gryzan
BS in Mathematics (1974)

After receiving his BS in Mathematics (with high honors) from GVSU in 1974, Stephen continued his education in mathematics at Michigan State University, and then medical school at Wayne State University, where he earned his MD degree in 1979.  His postgraduate training includes a residency in internal medicine at Boston City Hospital/Boston University, a fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, and a research fellowship at the American College of Chest Physicians/University of Pittsburgh.  He is currently in private practice in pulmonary and critical care medicine in St. Paul, Minnesota, and serves as a clinical associate professor at the University of Minnesota.  Stephen has authored more than 30 scientific articles and abstracts, and has made numerous presentations at professional meetings.  He has previously been honored with the Ciba-Geigy Fellowship Award of the American College of Chest Physicians, and the Distinguished Service Award from Wayne State University.


David Harris
BS in Biomedical Sciences (1983) BS in Physical Therapy (1985)

David Harris began his student career at GVSU thinking that he wanted to play football and study to be a physician.  So he did both: he majored in Biomedical Sciences and played on the football team.  However, his career path changed after he volunteered in the physical therapy department at Detroit's Rehabilitation Institute.  When GVSU began its new BS program in Physical Therapy in 1983, David was admitted to the pioneer class.  After completing his BS in Physical Therapy degree in 1985, David returned to the Detroit area, where he began working in sports medicine at Harper Hospital.  From there he moved into private practice at Dwight Orthopedic, where he is currently the clinical director of the company's northeast Detroit facility.


Steven J. Keteyian
BS in Physical Education (1978)

After receiving his BS in Physical Education from GVSU in 1978, Steven Keteyian continued his education, earning his MA from the University of Northern Colorado and his Ph.D. from Wayne State University.  He is currently the Program Director of Preventive Cardiology at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.   His research interests focus on exercise, physical activity, and health among both apparently healthy persons and those with chronic diseases.  Steven is a strong advocate of and has great interest in assisting non-active persons with starting a program of moderate physical activity.  He writes a weekly column in the Health and Fitness section of the Detroit News.  Steven is also the author of more than 40 scientific articles and the co-author of three textbooks.  In the last decade he has given over 100 invited presentations to professional, service, and community organizations.  Steven is also active in many professional organizations, including the American College of Sports Medicine, where he is a Fellow, past trustee, and current committee chair.


Susan M. Morford
BS in Physics (1970)
BSE in Engineering (1992)

Susan Morford graduated twice from GVSU, initially with a BS in Physics in 1970 and again in 1992 with a BSE in Engineering with an Electrical Engineering emphasis.  She also earned an MA in Physics from Western Michigan University in 1973.  From 1976 through 1990, Susan taught as an adjunct faculty in Grand Valley's Physics Department.  Following her engineering degree completion in 1992, Susan has been employed by the Howmet Research Corporation, where she has served as Project Engineer for four major initiatives.  It's interesting to note that Susan's association with the Howmet Research Corporation actually began while she was an engineering student on her co-op assignment; her work as a student developed into a full-time position as a project engineer.


Kathy L. Rowlen
BS in Chemistry (1984)

Following her graduation from GVSU in 1984 with a BS in Chemistry (with high honors), Kathy Rowlen continued her education at the University of Colorado, where she earned her Ph.D. in Chemistry in 1989.  Kathy is currently a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry (Molecular Biophysics Program) at the University of Colorado.  Kathy has developed a distinguished career, publishing over 50 scientific papers and presenting more than 70 research seminars. Her research interests include the spectroscopic studies of nanostructure materials and microorganisms.  Kathy has received numerous honors and awards, including a National Science Foundation Career Award.


Gregg Swayze
BS in Geology (1982)

After receiving his BS in Geology from GVSU in 1982, Gregg continued his education at the Colorado School of Mines, where he earned his MS in Geology, and then the University of Colorado, where he earned his Ph.D. in Geology in 1997.  He is presently a research geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey's Crustal Imaging and Characterization Team.  As a remote sensing geophysicist Gregg works to develop new techniques that use imaging spectroscopy to solve a variety of geological and environmental problems.  Gregg has been a scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey for many years, working on multiple projects ranging from mapping asbestos hazards in Montana to telescopic spectral measurements of Mars.  He has been very active in his profession, publishing over 40 scientific papers and abstracts, over 42 scientific reports, and numerous professional presentations.



James E. Dunleavy
BS in Hospitality and Tourism Management (1997)

Jim grew up in the food and beverage industry, participating in his family's restaurant business for many years.  He is currently the Managing Partner for Outback Steakhouse in Grand Rapids, a position he has held since his graduation from Grand Valley in 1997.  Since graduation Jim has been a very active supporter of Grand Valley, especially with his involvement with Grand Valley's Family Weekend and student athletics.  He continues to be a willing and able guest speaker in many classrooms, as well as a provider and supervisor of meaningful internship experiences for students.  Jim is an active member of the Michigan Restaurant Association and several other local and state organizations.

Angela Fought
BS in Statistics (1997)

After graduating from GVSU in 1997 with a major in statistics and a minor in psychology, Angela worked at Statprobe Inc. in Ann Arbor, MI as a Data Coordinator and an Operations Programmer.  In 1999 she moved to Rochester, MN to take a position as a Data Analyst in the Health Sciences Research Department of the Mayo Clinic.  She collaborates with medical researchers doing prospective and retrospective research in areas such as neurology, anesthesia, pulmonary medicine, urology, and patient education.  Consulting with research team members, Angela helps to generate the best medical research and prepare data for presentation and publication.  She is currently working on a M.S. in statistics through Iowa State University.

John Gawkowski
BS in Computer Science (1985)

After completing his undergraduate degree from Grand Valley in 1985, John continued his education at The Ohio State University, where he earned his master's degree in computer science.  He is currently the head of business development for the Application Server Division of Oracle Corporation, the world's largest enterprise software company.  John's responsibilities include all strategic partnerships, licensing, acquisitions, and sales initiatives for Oracle's application server division.  Prior to joining Oracle, he was the Chief Software Architect for the Coris division of RR Donnelley in Chicago.  While studying and working in the software industry, John has done extensive research, development, and publication, most notably to advance the field in the development of database applications and models to support non-linear or compound document management.

Gregory T. Grochoski
BS in Chemistry (1968)

Greg is Senior Vice President and Chief Innovations Officer of Alticor (Amway), where he has been employed since 1964.    His Amway career has included heading the Research and Development, Purchasing, and Corporate Development Divisions, as well as serving as a Corporate Policy Administrator to Amway's co-founders.   Greg has also been an active leader in many professional and industry associations, chairing committees on biomedical research, non-animal testing, and industrial chemicals, as well as chairing the Chemical Specialties Manufacturers Association, and the Soap and Detergent Association.  In 1986 Greg was honored with Grand Valley's Distinguished Alumnus Award.

John Harris III
BS in Physical Education (1977)

John has been employed in the health management field, in both the corporate and private sectors, for over 25 years.  He is currently the Principal of Harris Health Trends, Inc., a company specializing in health promotion programming, physical fitness and rehabilitation facility development and operation, and high risk and disease management in the corporate and managed care sectors.  He has chaired the Ohio Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports and serves on a number of health-related committees and boards.  He is the author of numerous publications on employee health, and serves as a consultant to major companies.  John has been recognized nationally and regionally for his many contributions to his field.

Keri Konarska
BS in Biology (1999

Following Keri's graduation from Grand Valley in 1999, she earned her master's degree in Geographic Information Systems from the University of Denver, where she was honored as the Geography Department Graduate Student of the Year: 1999-2000.  At the Livingston County GIS Management Department, where she is currently employed, Keri is participating in the creation of a three-dimensional computerized map and GIS database of the county.  The database will provide detailed spatial, topographical, and socio-economic information for applications as diverse as urban planning, natural resource management, crime tracking, epidemiology, and 911-dispatch.

Tara Maynard
BS in Mathematics (1997)

Since graduation, Tara has been employed with Zeeland Public Schools, teaching 8th grade math at Creekside Middle School.  Tara's relationship with Grand Valley has continued since her graduation; she has worked closely with several GVSU professors and their pre-service teachers through MTH 229, piloting ideas and activities, and co-authoring articles for publication.  Tara has presented at different conferences throughout Michigan, including the Michigan Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Grand Valley's Math In Action, and the Super Volunteerism Conference.  She also is very active in coaching various high school and middle school sports.

Sean Seaver
BSE in Engineering (1988)

Following Sean's graduation from Grand Valley in 1988, Sean worked in various capacities for Nelson Metal Products, where he actually began as an engineering co-op student.  Sean is currently the Manager of Advanced Engineering for SPX CONTECH, where he has been employed since 2000.  He has been active in his professional associations, authoring papers for both the Society of Automotive Engineers and the North American Die Casting Association.

Don Straube
BS in Physical Therapy (1989)

In addition to his BS from GVSU, Don has earned his master's degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Illinois-Chicago, where he is currently a Ph.D. student in the College of Education.   He has been employed as a practicing clinician since his graduation from Grand Valley; he recently earned American Physical Therapy Association recognition as a Neurologic Clinical Specialist.  Don is currently the Director of Clinical Education at the University of Illinois-Chicago, and he  has recently authored a research article which will be published in the Journal of Physical Therapy Education sometime in the spring of 2003.

Rick Williams
BS in Biomedical Sciences (1998)

Following his graduation from Grand Valley in 1998, Rick  worked as a researcher in the field of computer simulation; NIH and NSF funded projects included cardiac balloon angioplasty, surgical approach planning for aneurism and tumor removal, development of decision-making procedures for cardiologists and neurosurgeons, and optimizing craniotomy planning in neurosurgical procedures.  He was also part of a private R&D firm working to commercialize intellectual property developed by faculty of Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Singapore.  Rick is currently a law student at Detroit College of Law; he intends to practice in Grand Rapids while continuing his study of Business and Non-profit Administration.  He is also quite active in philanthropic organizations.


Lorin Cartwright
BS in Physical Education/Athletic Training (1979)

After graduating from Grand Valley, Ms. Cartwright earned an MS degree in Education from the University of Michigan.  She currently is Athletic Director and Assistant Principal at Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor and adjunct professor of Athletic Training at the University of Michigan.  Ms. Cartwright has authored textbooks and  articles in the athletic training field, held numerous offices in professional organizations, and has made presentations at over 30 state and national professional meetings.   Ms. Cartwright has been previously honored as the recipient of the NATA Athletic Trainer Service Award (1997), the Michigan Athletic Trainer's Society Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award, and the Teacher of the Year Award by Forsythe School.

Dr. Jonathan Engelsma
BS in Computer Science (1987)

In addition to his BS from Grand Valley, Dr. Engelsma  earned both an MS and Ph.D. in Computer Science from Michigan State University.  He has worked for software development companies and taught graduate courses in computer science and telecommunications for DePaul University in Chicago.  Dr. Engelsma is currently Principal Staff Engineer working with Voice XML for the Internet Services and Content Group at Motorola, Inc.; he previously worked with Motorola's Cellular and Space Systems Sector.  Dr. Engelsma has authored numerous publications, and has been granted several patents in telecommunication technologies.

Stephen Mills
BS and Masters in Health Sciences (1983, 1985)

As his masters project at Grand Valley, Mr. Mills produced a series of basic first aid and home health care videos which were used to educate Togolese natives.  Mr. Mills and his wife have been medical missionaries in Togo, West Africa, since July 1989, working through the Baptists for World Evangelism organization.  Since completing his physician assistant training in 1997, Mr. Mills has been involved in all aspects of medical treatment typically provided by physicians in Togo.  He and his family are currently on a one-year furlough, living in Grand Haven.

Dr. Virginia Peterson
BS in Geology (1980)

After graduating from Grand Valley with highest honors, Dr. Peterson earned her MS degree in geology from the University of Massachusetts.  She then worked as a petroleum geophysicist with Amoco, doing geophysical prospecting in the Gulf of Mexico and the North Sea.  She then returned to school and earned a Ph.D. in geology from the University of Massachusetts in 1992, followed by post-doctoral work in Massachusetts and Norway.  She currently holds a faculty position in geosciences at Western Carolina University.  Dr. Peterson has co-authored over 60 papers and professional presentations, and has obtained significant grant funding for science programs at Western Carolina University.

Kristin Schelling
BS in Biology (1996)

Following her graduation from Grand Valley, Ms. Schelling earned her MS degree in biology (molecular emphasis) from Central Michigan University.  Since graduation, Ms. Schelling has held a variety of positions in the biology field.  She is currently a Forensic Scientist with the New York State Police Bioscience Unit at the Forensic Investigation Center in Albany, New York.  Her professional responsibilities include making DNA profiles from convicted offenders in the state of New York, which ranks third in the nation for the size of its databank.  Since September 11, 2001, Ms. Schelling has been very involved in DNA identification efforts for the victims of the World Trade Center attack.

Amy Stone
BS in Physics (1997)

As Ms. Stone was completing her degree from Grand Valley, the faculty recognized her as the outstanding physics graduate for 1997.  Since graduation Ms. Stone has been a high school teacher, first at Holland High School where she taught mathematics, and now at Forest Hills Central High School where she teaches physics and coaches the school's Science Olympiad team.   She is also continuing her education at Grand Valley, studying toward her M.Ed. degree, with an emphasis in physics.  The Physics Department faculty are pleased to use this occasion to thank and honor Ms. Stone, as she is a model of what a good high school physics teacher should be.

Laural Wierenga
BS in Mathematics and Statistics (1993)

After completing her undergraduate degree from Grand Valley, Ms. Wierenga earned her MS in Applied Statistics from Western Michigan University.  She has worked for both the United States and Canadian banking industry in database marketing and risk analysis.  Ms. Wierenga is presently employed by Trilogy Consulting Corporation in Kalamazoo, where she is working on a contract at Pfizer Global R&D in Ann Arbor.  Her work with Pfizer includes assisting biostatisticians in analyzing data for clinical trials, and helping with the reporting of clinical research.

David Yakes
BS in Hospitality and Tourism Management (1991)

Since graduating from Grand Valley, Mr. Yakes has continually grown in the hospitality industry by applying his extensive experience in hotel operations, sales, marketing, and customer service.  Mr. Yakes has worked in leadership positions in both the Humphrey and Radisson hotel and resort organizations.  He is currently District Director in the mid-Atlantic region for Radisson Hotels & Resorts, where he oversees the development and continued growth of 23 full-service hotels.  He has also been active in various hotel organizations, area convention and visitors bureaus, and numerous franchise advisory boards and marketing associations.

Page last modified November 14, 2022