Our Team

Center for Women and Gender Equity Staff


Jessica Jennrich, PhD

Headshot of Jessica Jennrich, Ph.D. Director and inclusion equity social justice project specialist

Director & Social Justice Project Specialist

Jessica Jennrich (she/her/hers) works at Grand Valley State University as the Director of the Center for Women and Gender Equity and as an adjunct faculty member in Education.  She is currently involved in a number of higher education and feminist organizations and is a reviewer for The Diversity and Higher Education Journal.  Jessica is a former grant partner and guest writer for the American Association for University Women policy magazine.  Jessica’s writing has been published in the Journal Progressive Policy and Practice, The National Women's Studies Journal, the Journal of the Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement, Paradigm Magazine, Demeter Press, Contemporary Philosophical Proposals for the University, and College Women’s and Gender Equity Gender Equity Centers. Jessica earned her bachelor’s degree at Bowling Green State University in English, her master’s degree from Eastern Michigan University in Women’s and Gender Studies, and her doctorate at the University of Missouri in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis. 

Full-Time Position: Director & Social Justice Project Specialist
Office Address: 1201 Kirkhof Center 
Phone: (616) 331-2748
Email: [email protected]

To meet with Jessica, click above to send an email or call and request a private appointment. 

Lariesha Lee, LLMSW

Photo of Assistant Director Lariesha Lee

Assistant Director

Lariesha Lee (she/her/hers) is the Assistant Director educating, supporting, and empowering students to lead their authentic lives, helping the campus and community with gender justice and intersectionality. Lariesha coordinates programs in the Center such as NIARA,  GVSU's student-parent advocacy, the annual Girls of Color Summit, and Replenish, the on-campus food resource. 

Lariesha received her Associate of Arts degree from Grand Rapids Community College, transferred to Grand Valley State University, and completed both Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Social Work from Grand Valley State University. She has received extensive leadership, advocacy, and community organizational training from the Urban Core Collective's Transformational Leaders Program. She is a volunteer mentor at the Women's Resource Center. As a Mentor, she provides one-on-one counseling and encouragement while helping mentees reach their goals and overcome barriers using community resources. 

Lariesha is passionate about impacting the 49507 community, uplifting and alleviating oppression with purposeful work and thorough research to tell the authentic narratives of ALL identities. Her goal is to allow those she serves to lead her practice allowing them autonomy, empowerment,  and reclaiming their lives. She uses multicultural inclusive techniques outside Western mental health and healing norms. Lariesha's personal and professional interests are disparities in minority women and LGBTQ+ health and infant mortality,  gender justice, decolonization of systems, criminal justice reform, promotion of mental health in communities of color, and racial equity in all areas of daily life. 

Full-Time Position: Assistant Director 
Office Address: 1201 Kirkhof Center 
Phone: (616) 331-2748 
Email: [email protected]

To meet with Lariesha, click above to send an email or call and request an appointment.

Rachel Dziabuda, BA

Photo of victim advocate Rachel

Victim Advocate

Rachel Dziabuda (she/her, they/them) received her Bachelor of Arts from Grand Valley State University in Women and Gender Studies and is currently pursuing her MSW (with emphases in clinical social work and evidence-based trauma treatment) at Michigan State University. They have extensive experience working with survivors of gender-based violence in a variety of roles, including peer education/advocacy, case management, and victim advocacy. Rachel utilizes a feminist, trauma-informed approach to working with survivors. She always puts victim/survivors in the driver's seat and aims to be empathetic & nurturing, yet human & approachable. Rachel also assists with violence prevention & education efforts across campus. Their professional interests center around sexual assault prevention and advocacy, trauma research, and advocating for policy & systems change relating to gender-based violence.

Full-Time Position: Victim Advocate 
Office Address: 1201 Kirkhof Center 
Phone: (616) 331-2742
Email: [email protected]

To meet with Rachel, click above to send an email or call and request a private appointment.

Brandy Thompson, MA

FLS Coach Brandy T.

Fostering Laker Success Independent Living Skills Coach (FLS Coach)

My name is Brandy Thompson and I am the Fostering Laker Success Independent Living Skills Coach (FLS Coach) at Grand Valley  State  University. 

I am a 2002 GVSU Alumni graduating with a BS in Biology.  Additionally, I earned a MA in College Counseling from Western Michigan University. 

For the past nine years I have served as an Academic/Transfer Advisor for TRIO Student Support Services at Lake Michigan College working  with first generation,  low income  and students with disabilities.  Within my advising role, I  had the opportunity mentor foster care youth. My students were great teachers of both challenges and resilience of aging out of the foster care system.
I  am so excited  to serve the Fostering Laker Success student body.  You will find in me a caring and compassionate advocate who seeks to collaborate with students in reaching academic and personal life goals.

Full-Time Position: Fostering Laker Success 
Office Address: 1201 Kirkhof Center 
Phone: (616) 331-2748
Email: [email protected]

To meet with Brandy, click above to send an email or call and request a private appointment

Darrhonda Scott-Jones, BSBA

Darrhonda Scott-Jones

Administrative Assistant

Darrhonda received her B.S. in Business Administration from Ferris State University and has worked in the Center for Women and Gender Equity since 2004. In her role as the Administrative Assistant, she oversees all the daily functions of the Center for Women and Gender Equity and supervises the student staff. She also serves as the assistant to the director of the Center for Women and Gender Equity and works closely with the CWGE staff on various programs and projects. One of the things that Darrhonda loves most about her job is working with such an amazing staff and experiencing the compassion that they have for the work they all do for the students.

Full-Time Position: Administrative Assistant
Office Address: 1201 Kirkhof Center 
Phone: (616) 331-2748
Email: [email protected]

To meet with Darrhonda, click above to send an email or call and request a private appointment.


Graduate Assistants


Anna Obi

Photo of Anna

Anna Obi (she/her/hers) recently received a Bachelor in Criminal Justice with a double emphasis in Legal Studies and Juvenile Justice, at Grand Valley State University in 2022. Anna is currently in the Master of Social Work program. She is thrilled to be a part of the Center for Women and Gender Equity Team, as she begins her role as an MSW Graduate Assistant for the office.

Anna comes from a diverse social work background. She has been a Victim Advocate for the YWCA West Michigan for over two years, providing support for those who have been a victim/survivor of intimate partner violence and sexual assault. She is trained in case management, violence prevention, victim advocacy and crisis intervention. Anna is most passionate about creating a space where underrepresented populations feel heard, seen and cared for in every aspect of life. Aside from school, she enjoys relaxing, trying new foods, visiting new places and simply spending time around those she loves!

Nathalia Santos

Photo of Nathalia

Nathalia Santos(she/her/hers) is an international student from Brazil. She graduated from Hope College in May 2020 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Sociology. She is currently in her third semester of the GVSU Masters in Social work program. Prior to this Graduate Assistantship, Nathalia had the opportunity to intern at both Denver Rescue Mission and World Relief Chicago in their refugee department. She is a big extrovert,  loves hanging out with friends, going to the beach, and taking long walks.

Nathalia also speak three languages, so if anyone has any questions about how to say things in Portuguese or Spanish she is am happy to help you out. Nathalia is very excited to be working in CWGE and to help students reach their academic and personal life goals. She looks forward to meeting everyone during the Fall semester.

 


Interns


Reagan Woodward

Photo of Reagan

MSW Violence Prevention Intern

Reagan Woodward (she/her/hers) is the Violence Prevention and Education Assistant. She is passionate about victim advocacy and gender justice and looks forward to helping students with their struggles and empowering them to achieve their goals.

She recently received her B.S. in Psychology at Grand Valley and is currently in the third semester of their Master of Social Work program as well. Additionally, she will be the President of the Master of Social Work Student Organization for the coming school year. Outside of work and school, she enjoys being active by hiking nearby trails, thrifting, finding new arts and crafts to learn, and being around family and friends.

Alaiyah Arnold

Photo of Alaiyah

Public Relations & Outreach Intern

Alaiyah Arnold (she/her/hers) is the Public Relations and Outreach Intern. She is a senior, double majoring in Advertising & Public Relations and Communication Studies. Alaiyah is also a Peer Mentor for Grand Valley’s TRIO classic program, where she helps fellow first-generation college students adjust to college life. Her involvement in the TRIO program inspired her to pursue a career that serves the purpose of empowering and inspiring others. Alaiyah uses her acquired communications skill set and personal creativity to create impactful content and experiences for target audiences.

 

Sydney Wisniewski

Photo of Sydney

BSW Violence Prevention Intern

Sydney Wisniewski (she/her/hers) is an intern within the Bachelors of Social Work program at Grand Valley. Sydney is excited to become a Violence Prevention Peer Educator and Co-Advocate for victims of gender-based violence. Sydney is currently a senior majoring in social work and minoring in psychology. She is passionate about supporting survivors of trauma and victims on campus who experience gender-based violence. She looks forward to being an empathetic listener, providing care and compassion, and empowering individuals through victim advocacy and supporting students with their struggles. Outside of work and school, Sydney enjoys practicing guitar, going to local cafes and parks, making jewelry, and spending time with her friends and family.

 



Page last modified November 16, 2022