Jessica Jennrich, PH.D., Director and 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.
To meet with Jessica, click above to send an email or call and request a private appointment.
Rachel Dziabuda, Victim Advocate
Rachel Dziabuda (she/her) received her Bachelor of Arts from Grand Valley State University in Women and Gender Studies and is currently pursuing her MSW with an emphasis in clinical social work and evidence-based trauma treatment at Michigan State University. Rachel has extensive experience working with adolescents and college-age students with diverse backgrounds and identities. She utilizes a trauma-informed and intersectional approach to empower and support survivors in pursuing the best options for them, and providing a space for healing and expression. Rachel’s personal and professional interests center around sexual assault prevention and advocacy, LGBTQ+ advocacy, and elevating voices of marginalized communities.
Full-Time Position: Victim Advocate
Office Address: 1201 Kirkhof Center
To meet with Rachel, click above to send an email or call and request a private appointment.
Leah Short, LLMSW Violence Prevention and Education Coordinator
Leah Short (she/her/hers) is the Violence Prevention and Education Coordinator who oversees campus programming and events on gender-based violence. Leah has a Master of Social Work from Loyola University Chicago and has been working to end gender-based violence for over a decade as a crisis intervention specialist, therapist, caseworker, and educator. Leah uses a trauma-informed approach and centers survivors when building programs, educational tools, and facilitating conversations on gender-based violence. Leah’s professional and personal passions are elevating survivor voices and creating spaces for survivor expression and healing.
To meet with Leah, click above to send an email or call and request a private appointment.
Brandy Thompson 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.
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.
To meet with Darrhonda, click above to send an email or call and request a private appointment.
CWGE Graduate Assistants
Kyle Holcomb (he/him they/them) is in their second year of grad school pursuing their Master’s Degree in College Student Affairs Leadership. Before joining the Center for Women and Gender Equity, Kyle was a Resident Assistant on south campus and received their undergraduate degree in Classics with a History minor from Grand Valley State University in 2020. Kyle is passionate about ending food insecurity and weight-based discrimination on campus. In their assistantship role they primarily oversee operations of Replenish. Outside of school and work Kyle loves collecting houseplants and all things nerdy from NPR to Dungeons and Dragons!
Jenna (she/her) received a Bachelor Degree of Social Work at Grand Valley State University. After serving two years in Americorp at a New Jersey middle school, Jenna is pursuing her M.S.W to become a school social worker. She believes all students deserve the opportunity to thrive academically and personally despite their life circumstances. Jenna is excited to use her passion in her role as a Graduate Assistant: Support Coach to support college students in overcoming challenges and achieving their goals. Outside of school and work Jenna loves to exercise her brain with puzzles, word searches, and making jewelry.
Megan Packer (she/her) is a Graduate Intern who assists with programming, events, and training for the Center for Women and Gender Equity. Megan is originally from Canton, Michigan and graduated from Grand Valley State University with her bachelors in Hospitality and Tourism Management back in 2018. She is now back at Grand Valley pursuing a MED in Higher Education concentrating on college student affairs and leadership. You can also find Megan on campus working within the Career Center as a Graduate Assistant on both the Allendale and Downtown campuses. Outside of academics Megan loves the outdoors, hanging out with her dog, and cooking (and eating) delicious food!
CWGE Student Staff
Lariesha Lee (she/her/hers) recently received a Bachelor in Social Work at Grand Valley State University in 2021. Lariesha is currently in the Advanced Master of Social Work program. She is happy to be a part of the Center for Women and Gender Equity team and can’t wait to get started in the role as the MSW Intern with a variety of tasks, including support coach for Fostering Laker Success, NIARA group facilitator, Violence Prevention and Education program member and planning and campus/community partnerships within the CWGE office. Lariesha is currently a Graduate Assistant in the Social Work department, doing administrative duties within the BSW and MSW programs. She is a mentor at the Women’s Resource Center in Grand Rapids, providing companionship and support for women to overcome barriers and become economically self-sufficient. Lariesha is most passionate about serving and empowering underrepresented and marginalized groups with personal, professional, and educational development. Outside of school, she loves to travel and go to new places, do DIY projects, going to events/concerts, and just hanging out with family and friends.
Kelly Dowker (they/them) is a social work intern with the Center for Women and Gender Equity, focusing on Violence Prevention and Education. They have been involved with several organizations during their time at Grand Valley, including Student Senate and the Bachelor of Social Work Student Organization. Kelly will be graduating with their Bachelor of Social Work in 2022, and they are looking forward to earning their Master of Social Work after graduation. You can find also find Kelly at the Career Center, where they work as a Student Assistant. In their free time, Kelly enjoys spending time outside, reading a good book, and playing with their cats.
Alyson Zdunczyk (she/her/they/them) is the Violence Prevention and Education Assistant who aids in creating programs and events focused on gender-based violence. Alyson wants to create a space where all people feel safe, heard, and supported. Alyson is a senior undergraduate student at GVSU majoring in Political Science and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies with a minor in Economics. After graduation, Alyson wishes to pursue a career in law or non-profit administration. Here at GV, Alyson is a member of the Gamma Phi Beta Sorority, formally volunteering as the chapter’s Philanthropy Chairwoman and Financial Vice President. Currently, Alyson is the Vice President of Campus Affairs for the GVSU Student Senate. Outside of work, Alyson enjoys spending time with her dog, painting, reading, and loving Star Wars.