PCEC Advising Staff

picture of Dr. Tim Born

Timothy L. Born, PH.D.

Associate Professor, Associate Dean, Padnos College of Engineering and Computing

Office Address: 332 Kennedy Hall of Engineering
Phone: (616) 331-8643
Email: bornti@gvsu.edu

Tim is excited to be part of the Padnos College of Engineering and Computing advising team. He received his BS in Biochemistry from Calvin College in 1990 and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the Mayo Clinic Graduate School in 1996.  He joined the Chemistry faculty at George Mason University in 2000, after spending four years as a post-doc at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.  In 2013 he moved back to Grand Rapids and joined GVSU. His research interests include the development of novel antibiotics and the effect of post-translational modifications on enzyme activity and function.  But he mostly enjoys working with students and setting them on a path to their degree.

Tim spends most of his spare time chasing (and picking up after) his three small children. He also tries his best to avoid yard work and has been known to go out for the occasional jog. He recently started biking and is looking forward to his first 100-mile ride. He’s a fan of the Washington Nationals and the Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals.

Sara Wheeler, Director of Advising

Sara Wheeler, M.Ed.

Director, PCEC Advising Center

Office Address: 101 Eberhard Center & C-2-210 Mackinac Hall
Phone: (616) 331-6025
Email: wheelesa@gvsu.edu

Sara is proud alumnus of Grand Valley and brings over a decade of student services experience to the Padnos College of Engineering and Computing Undergraduate Advising Center!  Having lived and worked in various regions of the United States, Sara is a strong advocate for student and academic success.  What does Sara like best about her job?  Engaging with students to learn their stories, challenging students to do their best, and cheering graduates as they cross the stage during commencement.   

Sara is proudly married to a US Marine turned Sheriff Deputy.  After 16 years of active duty, she is thankful to not have moved for four years (this is a record!).  Sara has two very animated children and two sneaky but brilliant pups, Max and Lady.  She cherishes family time, reading, and traveling.  Sara is addicted to chocolate, Broadway, and come August, may display a borderline obsession with Fantasy Football.

photo of Jessica Noble, Academic Advisor

Jessica Noble, M.Ed.

Academic Advisor, PCEC Advising Center

Office Address: 101 Eberhard Center & C-2-210 Mackinac Hall
Phone: (616) 331-6025
Email: noblejes@gvsu.edu

Jessica became a part of the Grand Valley State University family over 13 years ago.  She has held various advising and outreach roles throughout her time with the Padnos College of Engineering and Computing (PCEC). She enjoys being able to combine her BSE in Industrial Engineering from Kettering University with her M. Ed. in Adult and Higher Education from Grand Valley to advise and connect students within PCEC.  As she has pursued a non-traditional career pathway for herself, she appreciates and encourages students to find the educational path that best integrates their lives inside and outside the classroom.


Most of her time is dedicated to raising three future engineers with her engineering husband, Ryan. Her interests include cooking new foods, scrapbooking and traveling.

Photo of Mary Nuznov, Academic Advisor

Mary Louise Nuznov, M.A.

Academic Advisor, PCEC Advising Center

Office Address:  C-2-208 Mackinac Hall & 101 Eberhard Center
Phone: (616) 331-6025
Email: nuznovma@gvsu.edu

Academic advising is one of Mary's passions and she enjoys working at her alma mater. She received her B.A. in Communication Studies from Grand Valley State University in 2009 and her M.A. in Communication Studies from Ball State University in 2011. In 2017 she completed a graduate certificate in Academic Advising from Kansas State University. She previously worked at Indiana University where she received a departmental distinguishment for her service in academic advising. Mary also taught public speaking and interpersonal communication courses at Ivy Tech Community College. She is proud to teach the R.I.S.E. Grant section of University Studies Career Education Course (US 102). Outside working at universities, Mary has worked at several museums including; The Henry Ford – Greenfield Village, Minnetrista and the Dearborn Historical Museum. Her projects often included fundraising, collections management, public speaking, museum blogging and conducting educational tours.

When she isn’t working she enjoys reading mystery novels, camping, writing, and knitting. Mary is an avid Harry Potter fan and a proud Hufflepuff.

Image of Elizabeth Brand, Academic Adviser

Elizabeth Brand, M.Ed.

Academic Advisor, PCEC Advising Center

Office Address: 101 Eberhard Center & C-2-210 Mackinac Hall
Phone: (616) 331-6025
Email: brandeli@gvsu.edu

Elizabeth is a proud Laker for a Lifetime! She graduated from Hope College with a B.A. in Communications and earned her Master’s degree from Grand Valley in College Student Affairs Leadership in 2015. During graduate school, Elizabeth worked as a Graduate Assistant in the Career Center and completed a graduate internship in the CLAS Advising Center. Elizabeth returned to GVSU after advising First Year Engineering students at Michigan State University. She is passionate about student success and wants to be a resource for students to help them be successful inside and outside of the classroom. 

In her spare time, Elizabeth enjoys volunteering at an animal shelter, working out, and spending time with her husband and their two cats, Jax and Opie. 

Audra Pretty-Smith

Audra Pretty-Smith, M.A.

Academic Advisor, PCEC Advising Center

Office Address:
C-2-212 Mackinac Hall & EC 101
Phone: 616-331-6025
Email: prettyau@gvsu.edu

Audra is thrilled to be working as an academic advisor with the Padnos College of Engineering and Computing. Audra first joined the GVSU community in 2016 while working as a Counselor in the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships.  She received her B.A. in Social Work and Psychology from Hope College in 2013, and her M.A. in Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education from Ball State University in 2015. She previously worked as an Assistant Residence Hall Director while at Ball State, and with the Academic Advising and Support Office at Elon University in North Carolina.  In her variety of roles, Audra has found a passion for advocating for her student’s success.


Outside of work, Audra enjoys traveling ‘up north’ as often as possible, yoga, spending time with her husband and family, watching a variety of sports, and all things Disney-related.

Colin Dekuiper University photo

Colin DeKuiper, M.ED.

Academic Advisor, PCEC Advising Center

Office Address: EC 101 & C-2-210 Mackinac Hall 
Phone: 616-331-6025
Email: dekuipec@gvsu.edu

Colin is excited to join the PCEC Advising Center and support student success within the Padnos College of Engineering and Computing.  Colin received his B.A. in Communication from DePaul University and worked extensively as a touring and recording musician before returning to DePaul University where he earned his Master’s degree in Counseling (College Counseling and Student Affairs).  He has previously worked as an Assistant Director with Northwestern University’s Office of External Programs, Internships, & Career Services within the School of Communication.  He also served as a Career Advisor at Columbia College Chicago and as a Technical Trainer at DePaul University.  Colin looks forward to supporting the academic experience for PCEC students.

In his spare time, Colin enjoys thumbing through stacks of new and used LPs and building out his record collection.  He will also take any opportunity he can to play golf and still actively performs and records music. 

Lora Moomey

Lora Moomey

Secretary, PCEC Advising Center & Outreach

Office Address: 101 Eberhard Center
Phone: (616) 331-6025
Email: moomeyl@gvsu.edu

Lora joined the Seymour and Esther Padnos College of Engineering and Computing to support Advising and Outreach activities as Secretary for Student Services. Prior to this she was a manufacturing Administrative Assistant for a local manufacturer of automotive dies, molds and automation systems. Her focus is to assist the PCEC Student Services staff as they expand their programs and activities to accomplish their goals.