CUSE Staff

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

Susan Mendoza Bitmoji

Susan Mendoza, Ph.D.
Director, Center for Undergraduate Scholar Engagement
Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship

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 Tooley Bitmoji

Brenda Tooley, Ph.D.
Associate Director, Center for Undergraduate Scholar Engagement
Frederik Meijer Office of Fellowships

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 Bitmoji

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 Gotham, Hogwarts, Westeros, and sporting events.

Courtney Sherwood Bitmoji

Courtney Sherwood, B.A.
Program Coordinator

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 Bitmoji

Jennifer Moore
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.

Teegan Galdeen Bitmoji

Teegan Galdeen
Graduate Assistant

Teegan is a graduate student in the Public Health program at GVSU. She previously attended Aquinas College where she received her BS in Health Science and worked as a student researcher. Upon completion of her graduate degree, she aspires to be an Epidemiologist. In her spare time, Teegan enjoys caring for her house plants, biking, and rock climbing.

D'Shyla Hodge Bitmoji

D'Shyla Hodge
Graduate Assistant

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!

Ben Kallemeyn Bitmoji

Ben Kallemeyn
Student Assistant

Ben is a freshman at Grand Valley and is excited to study Engineering. He loves sports of all kinds, enjoys hiking, camping, and hanging out in the outdoors, and loves to tinker with things. Ben wants to use the skills he learns in his engineering classes to help push society forward in innovation and science.

Emily Morrison Bitmoji

Emily Morrison
Student Assistant

Emily is a junior at GVSU and is studying Biomedical Sciences with the intention of becoming a Naturopathic Physician. She enjoys spending time with friends and family, playing with her dogs, traveling, and being outdoors. Emily loves to learn and wants to use the knowledge she gains at Grand Valley to help others. Fun Fact: Emily loves matcha and drinks it almost every day.

LaMaiya Wright Bitmoji

LaMaiya Wright
Student Assistant

LaMaiya is a senior at Grand Valley state university, majoring in elementary education with an emphasis in English. Her biggest goal is to make a difference in children’s lives in anyway she can. Her favorite things to do in her free time is go shopping or watching movies.

Seth Ockerman Bitmoji

Seth Ockerman
OURS Student Ambassador

I am a junior at Grand Valley studying Computer Science. I am also a student ambassador so feel free to reach out with questions. I enjoy running, spontaneous adventures, and reading. A fun fact about me is that I am really good at telling the depth of puddles : )

Noemy Parra-Cano Bitmoji

Noemy Parra-Cano
OURS Student Ambassador

I am currently a senior at Grand Valley double majoring in Sociology and Psychology. My hobbies include impromptu adventures with friends, going on walks, shopping, and baking. My goal is to become a researcher at a THINK tank that focuses on helping minoritized communities.

Lauren Proctor Bitmoji

Lauren Proctor
OURS Student Ambassador

I am currently in my junior year at Grand Valley studying Cell & Molecular Biology with an Applied Statistics minor. My hobbies include baking, hanging out with friends, and going for long walks or bike rides around campus.

Lizzy Sielaff Bitmoji

Lizzy Sielaff
OURS Student Ambassador

I am a senior at Grand Valley studying Biochemistry. My hobbies include listening to podcasts, buying way too many plants, and going down Wikipedia rabbit holes. My goal is to become a professor and PI of my own lab as well as a mentor for first-generation and underrepresented students in the sciences.

Page last modified March 24, 2022