CLAS Distinguished Alumni-in-Residence Program

The CLAS Distinguished Alumni-in-Residence Program invites outstanding alumni from the departments of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences 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.

2023 Distinguished Alumni in Residence

On October 26 and 27, we welcomed back to campus twelve distinguished alumni from ten units within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. These alumni spent time with students and faculty, and were honored at a luncheon. 

Biomedical Sciences

Kevin Swift 
B.S. Biomedical Sciences, GVSU, 2013  
Ph.D. Molecular and Integrative Physiology, University of Michigan, 2019 

Dr. Kevin Swift is a Captain in the Army Medical Service Corps and is the Military Deputy Director of the Medical Readiness Systems Biology Branch at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, which focuses on identifying biomarkers of military relevant diseases.    

Cell and Molecular Biology

Fahmy Mamuya  
B.S. Cell and Molecular Biology, GVSU, 2006 
Ph.D. Biological Sciences, University of Delaware, 2014 
Postdoctoral Research Fekkowship, Harvard Medical School, 2017 

Dr. Fahmy Mamuya is the Director of Research and Development at Qualitative Cancer Diagnostics (QCDx), a company committed to advancing non-enriched liquid biopsies for cancer diagnosis, monitoring, and drug development.  

School of Communications

Betty H. La France   
B.S. Journalism, GVSU, 1994   
Ph.D. Communication, Michigan State University, 1998   

Professor Betty H. La France is a professor at Northern Illinois University in the Department of Communication. Her current area of expertise includes how sexual communication functions within close relationships.  


John Zimmerman 
B.A. Telecommunications, Michigan State University 
M.A. Communications, GVSU 

John Zimmerman led strategic marketing and PR initiatives at Granger Waste Service, Michigan Chamber of Commerce, Fifth Third Bank, and Michigan State University, and led transformational efforts at SeyferthPR, Mercantile Bank of Michigan, and Meijer, Inc. driving growth and brand visibility.   

Geography and Sustainable Planning

Andrea Hendrick  
B.S. Geography and Sustainable Planning, GVSU, 2016 
Certificates in Sustainable Urban and Regional Planning and in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) 

Andrea Hendrick has worked for the City of Grand Rapids Planning Department, as a GIS analyst for Amplify GR, the Walker, MI Community Development Department, and currently works for I-Site Consulting Group. She is currently a candidate for mayor of the City of Grand Haven.  

Learning from a Geography Alumna: From student to community activist
Interactive session open to all students, faculty and community members
Friday, October 27, 1:30 - 2:30 pm
MAK B 2124


Zachary Weber  
B.S. Mathematics, minor in History with a specialization in secondary education, GVSU, 2012 
M.S. Biostatistics, GVSU, 2017 
Ph.D. Epidemiology, Ohio State University, 2021 

Dr. Zachary Weber works at Westat as a senior epidemiologist where he is head of data management and leads numerous analyses for the VISION network, a multisite network of health systems, in collaboration with CDC, that uses surveillance to determine the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccinations.  


Douglas Coleman  
B.S. Physics, minor in Mathematics, GVSU, 2011 
DMP (Doctorate of Medical Physics), Vanderbilt University 

Dr. Doug Coleman works at the Mayo Clinic as an ABR board certified Clinical Medical Physicist in Radiation Oncology at a community hospital. He collaborates with other Mayo Clinic physicists, implementing new technologies to improve patient care.  


Kelsey (Evans) Augustyn 
B.S. Allied Health Science, GVSU, 2014 
Psy.S. School Psychology, GVSU, 2017 

Kelsey Augustyn serves as a school psychologist for Zeeland Public Schools where she provides behavioral data training and coaching. She also serves as the district’s department chair of school psychologists and Multi-Tiered Systems of Support coach.  

Candace Cowling 
MSW (Masters of Social Work), GVSU, 1995 

Candace Cowling, MSW has been advocating for children and families in the Grand Rapids area for more than 30 years as the Executive Director of Family Futures. Most recently, she collaborated with multiple organizations to secure the Promise Neighborhoods grant, receiving almost $30 million over the next five years to create great schools and strong support for students.    

Navigating Challenging Conversations with Kelsey Augustyn
Wednesday, October 25, 4:00-5:00 pm

Career Panel Discussion: Candace Cowling and Kelsey Augustyn
Thursday, October 26, 6:00-7:30 pm
ASH 2310


Heidi Reynolds-Stenson   
B.A. Sociology, GVSU, 2008 
Ph.D. Sociology, University of Arizona, 2018 

Dr. Reynolds-Stenson is an Associate Professor of Sociology and Criminology at Colorado State University Pueblo. Her first book, Cultures of Resistance: Collective Action and Rationality in the Anti-Terror Age was published in 2022. She currently leads a research project on the impact of the Black Lives Matter movement on police reforms implemented in the U.S.  

Professional Opportunities for Sociologists
Thursday, October 26, 1:00 - 2:15 pm
Padnos Hall 209

Cultures of Resistance: Collective Action and Rationality in the Anti-Terror Age
Thursday, October 26, 4:00-5:00 pm
Loutit :Lecture Hall 103

Visual and Media Arts

Jesse Gregg  
B.F.A., Illustration, GVSU 
M.F.A., Experimental Animation, California Institute of the Arts 

Jesse Gregg was a concept artist and set dresser for Guillermo del Toro’s Academy Award® and Golden Globe Award® winning Pinocchio (2022), the most recent film in Jesse’s nearly 30 years of contributing to animation and the arts. He has been an animator, compositor, graphic designer, puppet fabricator, set dresser, concept artist, and art director across several animated shorts, series, and feature films.  

A Celebration of Experimental Animation Techniques with Jesse Gregg, Concept Artist,  Art Director, Illustrator, Stop Motion Artist and VMA’s Alumni in Residence
Wednesday, October 25, 7:00-8:30 pm
Lake Superior Hall, 154

A screening of experimental animation that embraces the art of frame-by-frame filmmaking with brief introduction of the films by Jesse followed by a Q&A period.



Allie Oosta   
B.A. Writing, GVSU, 2011 
M.B.A., University of California Berkeley Haas School of Business, 2021 

Allie Oosta is the Chief Marketing & Growth Officer for the Fashion and Fitness divisions of She serves as the Executive Sponsor of Amazon’s Fashion & Fitness DEI Board, the President of Amazon Fashion & Fitness’s Women-at-Amazon Club, and the founder of the Fashion & Fitness Document-Writing Bar Raiser program, wherein she established writing-in-the-workplace standards for her organization.  

Alumni Talk: Three Things I Learned from Working at Amazon - The Importance of Writing in the Workplace
Open to all Writing majors/minors
Thursday, October 26, 2:330 - 3:45 pm
KC 2270

Past CLAS Distinguished Alumni in Residence



Undergraduate Degree

Graduate Degree

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



Undergraduate Degree

Graduate Degree

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)



Undergraduate Degree

Graduate Degree

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)*



Undergraduate Degree

Graduate Degree

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)



Undergraduate Degree

Graduate Degree

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

B.S. in Biology (1997)* 

Ph.D. in Zoology (2008)

Matthew Cooper

B.S. in Biology (2002)*

M.S. in Biology (emphasis in aquatic science) (2009)*
Ph.D. in Biology (2014)

Jaime Curtis-Fisk     

B.S. in Chemistry (2004)*

Ph.D. in Chemistry (2009)

Richard Damstra

B.A. in Political Science (1996)*

J.D. (2001)

Ashley Dressel

B.A. in Philosophy (2008)*

Ph.D. in Philosophy (2014)

Kenneth Games

B.S. in Athletic Training (2009)*

Ph.D. in Kinesiology (2013)

Michelle LeMieux

B.S. in Biomedical Sciences & Classics (2009)*

D.O. in Osteopathic Medicine (2013)

Andrew McCarthy

B.S. in Geology (2000)*

Ph.D. in Geosciences (2007)

Teague O'Mara

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)



Undergraduate Degree

Graduate Degree

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)

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)

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)*



Undergraduate Degree

Graduate Degree

Matthew Breen

B.S. in Biology (2005)

M.S. in Biology (emp. in aquatic science) (2008)

Paul Cook

B.S. in Chemistry (2004)


Hunter Eberly

B.M. in Music (2009)


Michelle Green

B.S. in Biology (2000) 


Charles "Ty" Ham  

B.A. in Classics (2006)


David Huang

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


Jordan R. Moon

B.S. in Physical Education (2004)


Craig Reynolds

B.A. in Philosophy (1989)


Hannah Rodgers

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)



Undergraduate Degree

Graduate Degree

Jeffery Brand

B.A. Journalism (1986)


Robert Burke

B.S. Biomedical Science (1996)


Nerina Cevra

B.A. International Relations (2001)


T. Fleischmann

B.A. Writing (2005)


Henry Haringsma 

B.S. Cell and Molecular Biology (2005)


Wendy Kooiman Hahn

B.S. Mathematics (2000)


Richard Manus

B.S. Sociology (2008)


Andrew Moore

B.S. Geography (2004)


Nicole Rasch

B.A. Spanish (2001)


Rhonda Graves Vickery

B.S. Physics (1984)




Undergraduate Degree

Graduate Degree

Andrew Alverson 

B.S. Biology (1997)


Noel Boyle

B.A. Philosophy & Group Social Sciences (1996)


Kim Hansen

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


Brittany Hunter

B.S. in Advertising & Public Relations (1998)*


Katie Mawby     

B.S. Psychology & Physical Therapy (1987)


Liem Nguyen

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


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)


Peter Stevens

B.S. Chemistry (2001)




Undergraduate Degree

Graduate Degree

Kenneth Bader

B.S. in Physics (2005)


Bryan DeAugustine

B.A. in History (1995)


Elizabeth Haak

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


James Meernik

B.A. in Political Science & Psychology (1985)


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)




Undergraduate Degree

Graduate Degree

Todd Davis

B.S. in Chemistry (2000)


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


Sarah Hochstetler

B.A. in English (2000)


Debra Moinet-St. Arnauld

B.S. in Physical Education (1986)


Deborah Rotman

B.A. in Anthropology (1993)


John Sniadecki

B.A. in Philosophy (2002)


Julie Upmeyer

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


Elaine Videan

B.S. in Biology (1997)




Undergraduate Degree

Graduate Degree

Heather Fox

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


Angela Mistretta

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


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)




Undergraduate Degree

Graduate Degree

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)


2005 (note no program in 2006)


Undergraduate Degree

Graduate Degree

Margaret Willey

B.A. in English and Art (1975)


D.J. Hoek

B.A .in Music (1993)


Nicolette Baumgartner

B.S. in Biomedical Science (1983)


Linda Joyce

B.S. in Mathematics (1972)


James R. Spaanstra   

B.S. in Political Science (1974)


James M. McClurken

B.S. in Arts & Media/Social Relations (1978)


Joel Purkiss

B.S. in Sociology (1995)


Paul Stoner

B.S. in Physics (1971)




Undergraduate Degree

Graduate Degree

Deb Joseph Dell

B.S. in Biomedical and Health Sciences (1985)


Michael Henshaw

B.S. in Biology (1994)


MaryFran Peterlin-Kolp

B.S. in Physical Education (1990)


Dana Spence

B.S. in Chemistry (1992)


Jeffrey Terpstra  

B.S. in Mathematics/Statistics (1991)




Undergraduate Degree

Graduate Degree

Michael E. Baumuller

B.S. in Hospitality and Tourism Management (1993)


Robert H. Cichewicz

B.S. in Biology (1994)
B.S. in Anthropology (1994)


Kristofer Cooper

B.S. in Health Science (1997)

M.S. in Physical Therapy (1999)

Stephen Gryzan

B.S. in Mathematics (1974)


David Harris 

B.S. in Biomedical Sciences (1983)
B.S. in Physical Therapy (1985)


Steven J. Keteyian

B.S. in Physical Education (1978)


Susan M. Morford

B.S. in Physics (1970)
B.S.E. in Engineering (1992)


Kathy L. Rowlen

B.S. in Chemistry (1984)


Gregg Swayze

B.S. in Geology (1982)




Undergraduate Degree

Graduate Degree

James E. Dunleavy

B.S. in Hospitality and Tourism Management (1997)


Angela Fought

B.S. in Statistics (1997)


John Gawkowski

B.S. in Computer Science (1985)


Gregory T. Grochoski

B.S. in Chemistry (1968)


John Harris III

B.S. in Physical Education (1977)


Keri Konarska

B.S. in Biology (1999)


Tara Maynard

B.S. in Mathematics (1997)


Sean Seaver

B.S.E. in Engineering (1988)


Don Straube

B.S. in Physical Therapy (1989)


Rick Williams

B.S. in Biomedical Sciences (1998)




Undergraduate Degree

Graduate Degree

Lorin Cartwright

B.S. in Physical Education/Athletic Training (1979)


Jonathan Engelsma

B.S. in Computer Science (1987)


Stephen Mills

B.S. in Health Sciences (1983)

Masters in Health Sciences (1985)

Virginia Peterson

B.S. in Geology (1980)


Kristin Schelling

B.S. in Biology (1996)


Amy Stone

B.S. in Physics (1997)


Laural Wierenga

B.S. in Mathematics and Statistics (1993)


David Yakes

B.S. in Hospitality and Tourism Management (1991)


Page last modified February 7, 2024