Milton E. Ford LGBT Resource Center Staff
Director - Jen Hsu-Bishop (she/her/hers)
Jen joined the Milton E. Ford LGBT Resource Center in July 2016. She has dedicated her professional career to LGBTQIA+ advocacy and education. Prior to joining GVSU, she served as the Director of LBGT Student Services at Western Michigan University and Executive Director of the OutCenter in Benton Harbor, Michigan.
Jen is committed to centering the voices of LGBTQIA+ students and co-creating intersectional, anti-oppressive spaces. She is passionate about intersectional social justice as a framework to understand and address issues of bias, discrimination and exclusion at the individual and systemic levels. She holds a BS from the University of Michigan and an MPA from Western Michigan University. In her spare time, Jen loves to explore, take road-trips and try new foods.
Associate Director - Marla Wick (she/her/hers)
Marla has worked in various aspects of higher education since 1998. After 10 years of teaching at three universities, she completed her graduate work and moved to California, where she transitioned into a career in student services and support. While working as an academic counselor in San Francisco, she developed a guide to LGBTQ community resources to help students access health care and other critical services. In California, she also volunteered for a community literacy program and worked with incarcerated students through the Prison University Project at San Quentin until she relocated to Grand Rapids in 2014.
Marla is passionate about education as a justice issue and about providing students with access to critical resources. She is dedicated to working collaboratively to create a supportive, challenging, and empowering learning environment for LGBTQIA+ students. Marla holds a BA from Montana State University, an MA from Ohio University, and PhD from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
Center Assistant - Mark Saint Amour (they/them/their)
Mark Saint Amour started at Grand Valley State University in 2014 working for the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy before transiting into their role at the Milton E. Ford LGBT Resource Center in early 2017. Previously, Mark spent over ten years in the for-profit industry as a upper level manager / director and business developer working both with entrepreneurs developing and opening start-ups and with established companies looking to expand into new territories. Mark has lived and worked in a wide variety of places and fields, from a movie theatre in Detroit, a financial institution in Lansing, a chocolate company in Portland, a popcorn company in Boston and Florida, a vegan food company in Chicago, and even a recycling plant right here in Grand Rapids.
Mark has also been active in the non-profit field, working with organizations through-out Chicago and Grand Rapids such as Arbor Circle, True Colors Fund, Family Promise, Fountain Street Church, HQ, GR Trans Foundation, and Common Pantry among others. Mark identifies as a pansexual queer and trans person of color, is passionate about animals, nature, music, film, and just about anything to do with cats.
Graduate Assistant - Chelsea Ortiz (she/her/hers)
Chelsea is a first-year graduate student in the College Student Affairs Leadership program and is thrilled to be returning to GVSU after obtaining her BS in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from GVSU in 2017. Throughout her undergraduate experience she worked for various offices on campus including the Center for Women and Gender Equity where she worked as an intern for the Gender Justice House, an on campus living center that focused on creating a community of students dedicated to social and gender justice.
Chelsea is dedicated to student success and the need to provide the necessary resources for students to obtain their own personal and academic goals. She is passionate about LGBTQIA+ students’ voices being heard both in and out of the classroom, and the importance of having an intersectional framework to navigate systemic challenges. When not working or in class, Chelsea can be found hiking, riding her bike on nature trails, or binge watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix.
Jaclyn Bohlen (she/her/hers)
Jaclyn Bohlen is a sophomore majoring in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. She is an avid participant in social justice discourse and very interested in having conversations about queer and trans representation in media. She enjoys reading comics, watching shows, and playing video games in her available spare time. Ask her about Mass Effect, Star Wars, Ghost in the Shell, Dragon Age, or Marvel if you want to get her talking for hours on end.
Eric Brink (he/him/his)
Eric Brink is a second year student at Grand Valley majoring in Spanish with a minor in Chinese. He aspires to become a document or media translator. He is from Northern Michigan and thoroughly enjoys cold weather. Eric can easily be identified by his tall hair. In his free time he enjoys building and fixing things, going to the gym, sending memes via paper airplane, and daydreaming about being in a rock band.
Jarred Daniels (he/him/his)
Jarred Daniels is a senior and a Women Gender Sexuality studies major. He has a deep love for reading and even more deep love for poetry. He loves the works of Nayyirah Waheed, Maya Angelou, and Alice Walker. He is more or less obsessed with The Color Purple as well as the actual color purple. You can catch him discoursing over Black Feminist Thought, pineapple on pizza, and RuPaul's drag race.
Sara Liz Juarez (she/her/hers)
Sara Liz Juarez is a film student at Grand Valley. She prefers to go by Liz. Her dream is to create powerful documentaries that inspire others to do good and make positive change, as well as raise awareness on important issues. She is passionate about serving her community and social justice. She is also very proud of her Mexican roots and of being a first-generation college student. Aside from film, she likes drawing, photography, singing, and playing the piano, guitar, and ukulele.
Finn Marcks (he/him/his or they/them/theirs)
Finn Marcks is a senior majoring in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, with minors in both Psychology and LGBT Studies. He is a co-facilitator for T2, a group for Trans and Non-binary Students, and the Founder/President of Grand Valley's Pokemon Club. He likes to create art, listen to podcasts, and make people feel loved and supported. Finn is extremely passionate about social justice, dogs, and memes.
Amarri Smallwood (she/her/hers)
Amarri Smallwood is a junior majoring in Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies with two minors in African American and LGBT Studies. In the future, she hopes to become a university professor teaching about Black history, queer communities of color and Black Feminist Thought. Amarri loves to read, engage in creative writing, and watch her favorite YouTubers and TV shows.