SSD Speaker Series

GVSU Alumni Panel: Thursday, April 6, 2023, 4 p.m. via Zoom

SSD Alumni Panel: Taking Your Research into the World 

Join us as we talk with recent GVSU alumni about their experiences after undergrad. Learn from former students about how they utilize their undergraduate research experience in their current careers. This event will be a collaboration with Alumni Relations. Register to receive Zoom link. 


Photo of Alex Priebe

Alex Priebe 
Assistant Director, Digital Engagement and Communications for Alumni Relations

Moderator for the SSD Alumni Panel: Taking Your Research into the World.

Headshot of Hillery York.

Hillery York

Hillery is the Senior Collections Manager for the Division of Work & Industry at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. Hillery obtained a BA in History from Grand Valley State University before receiving her MA in Museum Studies from The George Washington University’s Museum Studies program. She is tasked with the care, collaborative research, and management of collections in the fields of work, history of technology, business, communications, food, energy, agriculture, numismatics, and visual cultures. The division cares for collections that originated in the 19th century and include the earliest known objects and images in the Smithsonian’s holdings.

Headshot of Jenna Hendershot.

Jenna Hendershot, Ph.D.

Jenna Hendershot is the Product Manager at Arbor Assays located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. As the world’s first employee-owned life sciences company, Arbor Assays researches, develops, and manufactures immunoassay kits for clinically relevant biomarkers. Jenna is responsible for managing products throughout the product lifecycle – gathering and prioritizing product and customer requirements, defining the product vision, working closely with R&D, and marketing the final product to ensure revenue and customer satisfaction goals are met. Prior to joining Arbor Assays, Jenna was a Senior Scientist at Cayman Chemical and then Associate Director of R&D Proteomics at Progenity.  

She received her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Michigan, where she studied the biochemical and biophysical mechanisms by which DNA damage is detected and ultimately repaired. During her graduate work at Michigan, Jenna participated in a Research and Development Internship at Dow AgroSciences through the Cellular Biotechnology Training Program (CBTP), where she optimized a wheat germ cell-free expression system to evaluate translation efficiency. She also served as Chair of the Work/Life Satisfaction Committee for the Association for Women in Science (AWIS). Jenna continues to serve on the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) Membership Committee. 

Headshot of Kristin Carlesso.

Kristin Carlesso

Kristin Carlesso is a Research Attorney for the Michigan Court of Appeals. She obtained her BS in Criminal Justice from Grand Valley State University before receiving her JD from Western Michigan Cooley Law School. She thoroughly reviews appeals from various trial courts. Kristin also conducts research, drafts research reports, and proposes opinions for panels of judges to reference during case preparation.  

SSD Keynote Panel: Tuesday, April 11, 2023, 4-5:30 p.m., 2204 Kirkhof Center

Native Truths: Recentering Who Tells the Story

This year, the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship is collaborating with the Field Museum to host a panel of museum staff, scholars, and community members. Moderated by Levi Rickert, Editor-in-chief of Native News Online, the panel explores the process the Field Museum took in creating the Native Voices exhibit as an example of decolonizing and the importance of storytelling. Panelists will discuss how researchers collaborated with Native and Indigenous communities and incorporated research and artifacts collected from a western and colonial methodology to reimagine the process of museum curation. Register Now. 

Photo of Levi Rickert

Levi Rickert (Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation)
Founder, publisher, and editor of Native News Online.

Rickert won a 2021 National Native Media Award from the Native American Journalists Association for Best Column in the print/online category. He serves on the advisory board of the Multicultural Media Correspondents Association. 

Photo of Alaka Wali

Photo credit to John Weinstein, Field Museum.

Alaka Wali
Curator emerita of North American Anthropology in the Science and Education Division of the Field Museum 

She was the founding director of the Center for Cultural Understanding and Change from 1995- 2010.  During that time, she pioneered the development of participatory social science research and community engagement processes based in museum science.  She curates the North American collection, one of the Museum's largest regional anthropology holdings.   Since 2000, she has worked closely with ecologists and museum educators to develop innovative community engagement strategies for people living in and around biodiverse regions of the Western Amazon and urban Chicago. These efforts are now centered in the Keller Science Action Center at the Field Museum. Her research focuses on the relationship between art and the capacity for social resilience. She has authored several books and monographs and published over 50 articles on a wide range of topics, including museum practice, political ecology, and urban anthropology.  She has curated numerous exhibitions, pioneering co-curated exhibitions with Native American contemporary artists.  She led the curation of the renovation of the North American Anthropology Hall, opened in May 2022, which broke new ground for the Field Museum with a deeply collaborative approach that privileges the perspectives of Native American scholars, artists and community members.   

Photo of Karen Ann Hoffman

Photo credit: Tom Pich

Karen Ann Hoffman, (Oneida Nation in WI), a Haudenosaunee raised beadwork artist whose work appears in the exhibition.

Logo of the Field Museum

Dr. Eli Suzukovich III (Little Shell Band of Chippewa-Cree)
Research scientist in the Negaunee Integrative Research Center at the Field Museum, working within the North American Collections curation unit.

Eli is an anthropologist with a focus on cultural resource management, ethnography, religion, oral history, and ethnobiology. Eli holds a PhD. in anthropology from the University of Montana-Missoula. His academic and professional work has included community-level research within the American Indian communities of Chicago, IL and Missoula, MT; archival collections management; applied ethnography/cultural resource management in collaboration with Tribal Nations in Montana and Wyoming and the Dept. of Defense; forensic field retrieval and laboratory research; and invasive pest inspection for the Montana Dept. of Agriculture. Along with his work at the Field Museum, Eli is a professor in the Environmental Policy and Culture Program at Northwestern University. Nationally, Eli serves on the National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council, a FACA council that advises the USDA in developing urban forestry programs, funding protocols, and policy recommendations.

Jason Wesaw

Photo credit: Field Museum, photo by Si Watson

Jason Wesaw (Potawatomi)
Multi-disciplinary artist, exhibiting works over the last 15 years in an array of media including ceramics, drawings, textiles, and traditional cultural pieces. His projects relate stories about the Potawatomi people’s ancient and evolving connection to this Land. He balances being a maker with working in his Tribal community as a Peacemaker, helping to sustain cultural ceremonies and traditional knowledge across the Great Lakes.
Jason is Potawatomi (Turtle Clan), living and working near the historic Pokagon Potawatomi settlement of Rush Lake in southwestern Michigan. His work is in the permanent collections of the Eiteljorg Museum (IN), Grand Valley State University (MI), and the Field Museum (IL). Jason is currently a Mellon Artist-in-Residence at the Newberry Library (Chicago, IL) and his first European show at Rainmaker Gallery (Bristol, United Kingdom) in the Fall of 2022 was a sold-out crowd favorite.

Page last modified December 18, 2023