The Center for Undergraduate Scholar Engagement is located in 230 Mary Idema Pew Library, atop the stairs on the second floor. Contact us or come see us today to schedule a meeting, inquire about getting involved in undergraduate research and/or applying for fellowships, or give us an update about your success.
Full Time Staff
Dr. Susan Mendoza is the founding director of the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (OURS). She earned her PhD at Western Michigan University, Master of Arts at Michigan State University, and two Bachelor of Arts degrees in political science and anthropology from Michigan State University with specializations in African Studies and International Development. Dr. Mendoza was also selected as a King, Parks Chavez Faculty Fellow in 2012. Prior to her role with OURS, Dr. Mendoza has held multiple roles at GVSU, Kalamazoo College, and Michigan State University in integrative learning, career development, academic advising, residence life, and internationalizing student life. As a practitioner, Dr. Mendoza focuses on employing innovative programmatic design networks as a mechanism to build equity for students across disciplines and social identities. Dr. Mendoza’s current research focuses on the intersection of disciplinary epistemology, high impact interventions, mentorship, and student agency.
Brenda is an experienced academic administrator and faculty member, with a focus in recent years on international education and international students. She has most recently administered a very active study abroad program, promoting off-campus study, volunteer opportunities and internships, curricular offerings and programs supporting internationalization and globalized perspectives upon complex issues; she has also directed a Peace Corps Prep program and looks forward to encouraging students to explore Peace Corps as well as the many other national fellowship possibilities available to them. Dr. Tooley received her PhD from the University of Notre Dame in 1991. Her training and scholarship initially focused on eighteenth-century British literature and literary theory; her teaching and publication work has been primarily on eighteenth-century satire and novels, Gothic novels, and utopian/dystopian literature, and more recently on the use of English as creative medium by young writers within the former Eastern bloc. She is also a published poet who loves cats, opera, jazz and country music, books of many sorts, long walks, and gardening.
Shelley Sickrey, M.A.
Center for Undergraduate Scholar Engagement Assistant
Shelley Sickrey has been in the Center for Undergraduate Scholar Engagement (CUSE) since its inception (as the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship) in 2010. She currently works with Dr. Mendoza on promoting CUSE programs, managing budgets, and assisting students, among other roles. Shelley studied at Grand Valley State University as an undergraduate, earning her BA with majors in Legal Studies and English, along with a minor in Political Science. She went on to earn a Master of Arts in English Literature from GVSU. Prior to working at GVSU, she assisted attorneys in criminal law, family law, and intellectual property law. She enjoys being back in an academic setting, almost as much as she enjoys Hogwarts, Westeros, the MCU, and sporting events.
Courtney Sherwood, B.A.
Courtney Sherwood came to GVSU in 2002. Prior to joining CUSE, Courtney was fortunate to wear many hats at the university including records auditor, CLAS Dean’s office support (including grant support), and office coordinator for the Kutsche Office of Local History. Courtney holds a B.A. in Writing from Vermont College of Norwich University. She loves nothing more than traveling with her family (unless it's hiding from them with a good book).
Part Time Staff & Partners
Jennifer Moore, Ph.D.
OURS Faculty Fellow
Jen Moore is the OURS Faculty Fellow, and also a professor in the Biology Department. Jen’s research and teaching interests are focused on Conservation Biology and threatened and endangered wildlife (especially reptiles and amphibians!). Jen is a dedicated mentor to both undergraduate and graduate researchers, and is passionate about sharing her love of the natural world with her students. When she’s not chasing snakes or turtles, Jen enjoys running, yoga, snuggling her dogs, and watching her daughter ride horses.
D’Shyla is from Flint, MI and excited to embark on her new journey at GVSU as a Master of Public Health student. Prior to her graduate education, D’Shyla graduated from Central Michigan University and received her BS in Psychology along with a Cultural and Global Studies Certificate in African and African Diaspora Studies. She aspires to give back to her community and become a leader in the public health field. D’Shyla enjoys watching movies, binge watching her favorite TV shows, and listening to music. Fun fact about her: she can juggle!
Danielle Uribe is a Master of Public Health student. She was born and raised in Midland, Michigan, and obtained her BS from Central Michigan University as a Community Health Education major and a Multimedia Design minor. Her dream is to become a research epidemiologist, and study adolescent health issues. She loves helping students find what inspires them, and hopes to continue doing so at Grand Valley. In her free time, she enjoys reading, listening to music, and doing yoga.
Emily is from Fenton, MI. She is a freshman at GVSU and is majoring in Biomedical Sciences with the intention of becoming a doctor specializing in fertility. She enjoys spending time with friends and family, playing with her dogs, traveling and baking. Emily loves to learn and wants to use the knowledge she gains at Grand Valley to help others.
My name is LaMaiya Wright. I am a junior at Grand Valley State University, majoring in elementary education with an emphasis in English. My biggest goal is to make a difference in children’s lives in any way I can. My favorite things to do in my free time is go shopping or watch movies.
OURS Student Ambassador
Research gives me a passion to help others, as well as drives me to better myself as a scientist and person every day. While research might seem intimidating at first, it is a great way to learn and equip yourself with skills that will benefit you tremendously in your personal life and career. As an OURS Ambassador, I would love to share my research experience with others and help them find their passion. If you have any questions about research at Grand Valley, please reach out!
OURS Student Ambassador
As an Ambassador I want to help students perform or get involved in research. Undergraduate research is an enriching experience that sometimes is not emphasized enough. I aim to help promote it further and help individuals understand the importance of research. I believe education is one of the greatest gifts we have, and I strive to help educate future generations. If you have any questions, ideas for future research would like more information about research here at GVSU please feel free to contact me.
OURS Student Ambassador
As an ambassador I would like to encourage more humanities students to become involved in research. Before I found out about the Office of Undergraduate Research I wasn't aware that research was even an option, and I frequently hear echoes of that from my peers. Undergraduate research has changed who I am, encouraging me to think critically about who I am, the social factors that have contributed, and given me a place to belong in a community of freethinkers. If you are considering undergraduate research please feel free to reach out!