Hauenstein Center Staff
Brent Holmes joined the Hauenstein Center in February 2018. He was named the acting director in September 2020. Prior to joining the Hauenstein Center, he worked as a Student Support Specialist with Gaylord Community Schools.
Brent is a 2007 graduate of Davenport University with a bachelor’s degree in Human Resource Management. He is a U.S. Army veteran with 20+ years of leadership instruction and training, as well as recruitment experience with young adults. Brent is passionate about all the things that Ralph Hauenstein saw were necessary in the presidential studies center – most of all, the development of the leadership, talent, and capacity for service in the rising generation.
In his free time, Brent enjoys spending time with his family, watching college sports, and traveling with his wife, Julie.
Program Manager, Peter C. Cook Leadership Academy
Grace Tummel joined the Hauenstein Center in August of 2019 as the Program Manager for the Peter C. Cook Leadership Academy. She received her Bachelor’s of Business Administration from Eastern Michigan University and immediately left for Florida to obtain her Master's of Science in Higher Education at Florida State University.
Her experience and studies have been centered around student leadership development and she finds energy working with college students. She is most recently moving from the Detroit Metropolitan Area and is excited to make Grand Rapids her long term home.
When Grace is not at work, you will likely find her on a hike or swimming in Lake Michigan with her husband, Justin, her daughter, Addision, and their two dogs. Once the weather has cooled off she enjoys time with friends and family, board games, skiing, eating good food, and sporting events.
Program Manager, Common Ground Initiative
Jakob Bigard joined the Hauenstein Center in June of 2019 as Program Manager of the Common Ground Initiative. He received his Bachelor's degree in Political Science with a minor in Anthropology from Grand Valley State University in 2018. He is currently in Grand Valley's Masters of Public Administration program with a focus on state, regional, and local governance.
During his undergrad, Jakob served two years on Student Senate’s External Relations Committee, and one year in the Peter C. Cook Leadership Academy. Jakob has worked on several political campaigns, both left and right, bringing his acquired skills to his role as Program Manager.
In his free time, Jakob enjoys basketball, film photography, thrifting, and spending time lost in conversation with friends and family.
Allie Goeddeke joined the Hauenstein Center in June 2018 as the Office Assistant. She is a graduate of Grand Valley State University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in biomedical science with a minor in biology. She supports the Hauenstein Center staff by working to ensure the office operates smoothly on a daily basis.
In her spare time, Allie enjoys laughing with her family and friends, floating around Hubbard Lake, hiking Michigan trails, testing new recipes, and cheering on the Laker football team.
Program Assistant, Peter C. Cook Leadership Academy
Abby Sachs joined the Hauenstein Center in May 2021 as the Program Assistant for the Peter C. Cook Leadership Academy. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from the University of Dayton, and recently graduated from Oakland University with a Master of Education in Higher Education Leadership.
Prior to entering the higher education world, Abby worked in a variety of roles in the social work field, and is passionate about supporting individuals as they develop into independent and empowered community members. As a higher education professional, she has built engaging campus programming for international students and improved research and service partnerships between institutions and the community. She is excited for the opportunity to create new programs and opportunities for growth with the Hauenstein Center team.
In her free time, Abby enjoys exploring Michigan's parks and forests (she's currently on a mission to visit every Michigan State Park), learning bird calls, and dancing.
Samantha York joined the Hauenstein Center in March 2020 as the Media Specialist. She graduated with honors from Grand Valley State University in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in Advertising and Public Relations and a minor in Environmental Studies.
During her undergraduate years at Grand Valley, Samantha helped found and launch the GVSU Debate Club. She served as the communications chair and eventually as the Vice President during her senior year. The Debate Club strives to encourage students to find common ground in debating for both the affirmative and negative sides.
In Samantha’s free time, she enjoys traveling abroad, reading anything science-fiction, baking new recipes, and solving Sudoku puzzles.