Network of Advisors for Racial Equity

The Network of Advisors (NOA) members have been at work since summer 2020 to advance GVSU’s 15-point charge for racial equity. A second phase of work resulted in the adoption of eight high-level recommendations, including the creation of implementation and action plan development teams to further work to build a culture of educational equity. In Phase 3, six implementation teams were formed to focus on: (1) employee mentoring; (2) inclusive recruitment and hiring; (3) faculty pipeline development; (4) employee climate check-ins and exit interview enhancements; (5) understanding and recognizing employee contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion; and, (6) diversity, equity, and inclusion professional development for administrative and academic leadership. The implementation team leaders have been meeting throughout the summer of 2022 and have formulated over 40 recommendations for implementation. 

In Fall 2022, the advancement of work initiated by the network and broader advisory/coordination efforts for inclusion and equity strategies has been transitioned to and led by the Inclusion and Equity Activation and Accountability Team (AALT). The team includes leads from each division, other units, and shared governance representatives from across the university and will be coordinated by the Division of Inclusion and Equity. We want to express our deepest appreciation to all colleagues across the university who have ben tireless partners and supporters in advancing President Mantella’s charge for racial equity. And we look forward to working with the new AALT in the important next phase of our commitment to inclusion and equity, and welcome engagement and feedback from all members of the community. It will take each and every one of us to continue to create a culture of educational equity where all can thrive at GVSU.

  • Philomena V. Mantella, President
  • Jesse M. Bernal, Vice President for Inclusion and Equity & Executive Associate for Presidential Initiatives
  • Alisha Davis, Assistant Chair and Allied Health Sciences Program Director & Faculty Co-Chair of the Black Faculty/Staff Association
  • Jennifer Drake, Dean, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
  • Keri Becker, Athletic Director
  • Dianne Green-Smith, Professor, Social Work
  • Felix Ngassa, Professor of Chemistry & Chair of the University Academic Senate
  • Michael Scantlebury, Associate Professor, Hospitality and Tourism Management
  • Dwayne Tunstall, Associate Dean for Inclusive Excellence, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Annie Bélanger, Dean of Libraries
  • Mychal Coleman, Associate Vice President for Human Resources
  • Aaron Haight, Acting Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students 
  • Marlene Kowalski-Braun, Associate Vice President & Deputy Chief Inclusion and Equity Officer
  • Christine Rener, Vice Provost for Instructional Development and Innovation Director, Robert and Mary Pew Faculty Teaching and Learning Center, Professor of Chemistry
  • Michelle Rhodes, Associate Vice President for Financial Aid & Scholarships 
  • Kathleen VanderVeen, Associate Vice President & Deputy Inclusion and Equity Officer


  • Briette Bryant Phillips, Development Officer for Scholarship and Fellowship Giving 
  • Brandon DeHaan, Director of Public Safety & Chief of Police
  • Takeelia Garrett, Student Ombuds & Co-Chair, Black Faculty/Staff Association 
  • Koleta Moore, Assistant Dean, Student Engagement Graduate Program Operations, Seidman College of Business 
  • Valerie Rhodes-Sorrelle, Vendor Relations Manager, Procurement Services 
  • Aaron Turner, Development Director, WGVU PBS and NPR 
  • William Washington, Director, TRIO Student Support Services 
  • Quincy Williams, Undergraduate Program Director and Internship Coordinator, School of Public, Nonprofit and Health Administration 

No Students Representatives listed at this time.

  • Jackie Adams, Administrative Assistant, Office of Title IX and Institutional Equity
  • Megan Bravo, Employment Services Manager
  • Kristen Evans, Assistant Director of Recruitment & Training, Housing
  • Troy Farley, Director, Career Center
  • Kourosh Khatir, Assistant Director and Captain of Public Safety  
  • Salvador Lopez-Arias, Associate Professor of Social Work
  • Dana Munk, Inclusive Excellence Faculty Fellow (FTLC), Professor of Sports Management
  • Lisa Perhamus, Associate Professor of Education, Director of the Padnos/Sarosik Civil Discourse Program, Inclusion and Equity Faculty Associate
  • Melanie Shell-Weiss, Associate Professor, Department Chair of the Integrative, Religious and Intercultural Studies Department
  • Dwayne Tunstall, Associate Professor of Philosophy


  1. Faculty Mentoring
    1. Co-leads: Felix Ngassa, Christine Rener, Sherril Soman
  2. Staff Mentoring
    1. Co-leads: Shawn Jenkins, Joe VanArendonk, Kathleen VanderVeen
  3. Inclusive Recruitment & Hiring and Team Members
    1. Co-leads:  Annie Belanger, Mychal Coleman, Kathleen VanderVeen
  4. Faculty & Staff Pipeline Development (including cluster hiring)
    1. Co-leads:  Jesse Bernal, Mychal Coleman, Jennifer Drake, Mark Schaub
  5. Employee Climate Check-ins & Exit Interviews
    1. Co-leads:  Ed Adoufadel, Mychal Coleman, Connie Dang, Elisa Salazar
  6. Understanding & Recognizing Faculty & Staff Contributions to DEI
    1. Co-leads:  Ed Aboufadel, Jesse Bernal, Jessica Jenrich
  7. DEI Professional Development for Administrative & Academic Leadership
    1. Co-leads:  Alisha Davis, Marlene Kowalski-Braun, Christine Rener
  8. Promotional Pathways for Staff
    1. Co-leads:  Andy Beachnau, Mychal Coleman, Emil Delgado, Quincy Williams



  • Connie Dang, Senior Inclusion & Equity Officer
  • Linda Ray, Executive Assistant, Office of the Vice President for Inclusion and Equity 

Page last modified December 9, 2022