OURS Staff

The Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship is located in 230 Mary Idema Pew Library, atop the stairs on the second floor. Contact us or come see us today to inquire about undergraduate research and scholarship, schedule a meeting, or give us an update about your success. 


Susan as a bitmoji character.

Susan Mendoza, Ph.D.
Director, Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship
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Dr. Susan Mendoza is the founding director of the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (OURS). She earned her PhD at Western Michigan University, Master of Arts at Michigan State University, and two Bachelor of Arts degrees in political science and anthropology from Michigan State University with specializations in African Studies and International Development. Dr. Mendoza was also selected as a King, Parks Chavez Faculty Fellow in 2012. Prior to her role with OURS, Dr. Mendoza has held multiple roles at GVSU, Kalamazoo College, and Michigan State University in integrative learning, career development, academic advising, residence life, and internationalizing student life. As a practitioner, Dr. Mendoza focuses on employing innovative programmatic design networks as a mechanism to build equity for students across disciplines and social identities. Dr. Mendoza’s current research focuses on the intersection of disciplinary epistemology, high impact interventions, mentorship, and student agency.


David A. Martin

David A. Martin, Ph.D.
Associate Director, Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship
Program Director, McNair Scholars 
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Dr. David Martin graduated from Grand Valley State University in 2009 with a BS in sociology. He went on to earn his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Oregon in 2017. His areas of expertise include racial identity formation, racial stratification, and the experiences of students of color in higher education. He has additional research and teachings specialties in social media/Internet studies, digital ethnography, and traditional qualitative methods. Prior to joining McNair and OURS, Dr. Martin worked as a professor of sociology, and as a diversity, equity and inclusion coordinator. He is committed to student-centered and culturally relevant approaches to higher education, with a focus on connecting course/program content to the everyday lives of his students. Presently, Dr. Martin conducts research examining the role of social media communications in racial identity formation. He also teaches courses in the GVSU Honors College.


Shelley as a bitmoji character.

Shelley Sickrey, M.A.
Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Assistant
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Shelley Sickrey has been with the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (OURS) since its inception. She currently works with Dr. Mendoza on promoting OURS programs, managing budgets, and assisting students, among other roles. Shelley studied at GVSU as an undergraduate, earning her BA with majors in Legal Studies and English, along with a minor in Political Science. She went on to earn a Master of Arts in English Literature from Grand Valley State University. Prior to working at GVSU, she assisted attorneys in criminal law, family law, and intellectual property law. She enjoys being back in an academic setting, almost as much as she enjoys Westeros, the MCU, and sporting events.


Courtney Sherwood Bitmoji

Courtney Sherwood, B.A.
McNair Scholars Program Office Coordinator
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Courtney Sherwood came to GVSU in 2002. Prior to joining OURS as the McNair Scholars Program Office Coordinator, Courtney was fortunate to wear many hats at the university including records auditor, CLAS Dean’s office support (including grant support), and office coordinator for the Kutsche Office of Local History. Courtney holds a B.A. in Writing from Vermont College of Norwich University. She loves nothing more than traveling with her family (unless it's hiding from them with a good book).


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Rosario Parada
Graduate Assistant
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Rosario Parada was born in Oaxaca, Mexico in the countryside. She is a country girl, and city girl. She has a Bachelor’s of Science in Health Science from Marygrove College. Her work experience includes 3+ years of nonprofit administrative program assistance. Currently Rosario is pursing a Masters of Public Administration. Her passion is healthcare, programs, nonprofits, administration, mentoring students, and working with children. Her dream is that one day she would be able to manage a nonprofit program that provides health, social, and education programs to youth, children and families. During her spare time she loves to spend time with my love ones and travel. Rosario also loves animals and her favorite animal is a bunny. She loves to dream, and learn. Being a first-generation student education is very important to her.


Jamesha as a bitmoji character.

Jamesha Tiner
Graduate Assistant
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Jamesha Tiner is a graduate student in the School of Public Nonprofit and Health Administration. She was born and raised in Flint, Michigan, in which she received her BS with honors from the University of Michigan-Flint with a major in Health Care Administration and a minor in Health Education and Behavior. Jamesha is very passionate about helping others; having 3+ years of experience in a skilled nursing facility she has become increasingly passionate about Geriatric Care. Jamesha plans on becoming a licensed Geriatric Health Care Administrator; as a licensed Geriatric Health Administrator she plans to manage the business and patient care operations of her very own skilled nursing facility. Jamesha enjoys learning, spending time with her family, traveling, and creating life long  memories with family and friends.


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Danielle Uribe
Graduate Assistant
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Danielle Uribe is a Master of Public Health student. She was born and raised in Midland, Michigan, and obtained her BS from Central Michigan University as a Community Health Education major and a Multimedia Design minor. Her dream is to become a research epidemiologist, and study adolescent health issues. She loves helping students find what inspires them, and hopes to continue doing so at Grand Valley. In her free time, she enjoys reading, listening to music, and doing yoga.


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Hanah Allen
Student Assistant

My name is Hanah Allen. I am a freshman at Grand Valley State University, majoring in behavioral neuroscience hoping to work with children with disabilities. My passions are: reading, photography, watching the office, and helping others. 


Lavar as a bitmoji character.

Lavar Green-Jackson
Student Assistant

Lavar Green-Jackson is currently a senior at GVSU studying Behavioral Neuroscience with a minor in International Relations. He grew up in the Metro-Detroit area. Lavar plans on becoming a neurologist, but not just any doctor, a traveling doctor. He is passionate about learning about different cultures and helping people around the world. Considering this, he wants to study abroad in Central or South America before he graduates. Lavar is also studying Spanish, to hopefully become fluent in it one day and be able to communicate with people in both English and Spanish while helping them.


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Keaton Ruppert
Student Assistant

Keaton is currently a freshman here at Grand Valley pursuing his General business degree. Keaton plans on using his degree and prior certifications to get into an Architecture firm and work as an Architect. Keaton is also an avid golfer spending most of his free time on the course, he is also a member of GVSU's competitive golf team. Not only does he love to play golf but he enjoys reading, learning about history, myth and different folklore, as well as exploring and understanding the great outdoors.


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Emma Snook
Student Assistant

Emma is a Ravenna, Michigan native pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Social Work. She transferred to Grand Valley after two years at Western Michigan University and is hoping to obtain a Master’s in social work after she graduates. Emma is passionate about human rights, equality, and kindness. She loves to read, watch Doctor Who, and write.


LaMaiya as a Bitmoji

LaMaiya Wright
Student Assistant

My name is LaMaiya Wright. I am a junior at Grand Valley State University, majoring in elementary education with an emphasis in English. My biggest goal is to make a difference in children’s lives in any way I can. My favorite things to do in my free time is go shopping or watch movies.



OURS Partners

OURS has grown exponentially over the last few years. We have been fortunate enough to have colleagues who will be providing support and expertise for OURS programs.


Jodee as a bitmoji character

Jodee Hunt, Ph.D.
OURS Faculty Fellow
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Dr. Hunt completed degrees at the University of Arizona (B.S. Animal Health Science), San Diego State University (M.S., Biology with an Ecology emphasis) and the University of Kansas (Ph.D., Systematics and Ecology). She loved working with undergraduates from her first day teaching a Human Anatomy laboratory at SDSU in 1987, and knew soon thereafter that her career would emphasize working with undergraduates in the classroom, laboratory and field. She has mentored more than 50 undergraduates in diverse fields of inquiry since those early years. Learn more about Dr. Hunt.