Meet the Team
Photo credit: Amanda Pitts, University Communications
Kate became Director of Recreation in 2014 after working for twelve years overseeing day to day operations of the GVSU Recreation Center. Her work experience prior to GVSU included fitness and wellness promotion, personal training, group fitness instruction, and coaching soccer at youth and collegiate levels. Kate is a strong advocate for creating opportunities for students to engage in active learning. Kate sees the role of GVSU Recreation as an essential component of student success. By providing a variety of programs and services to satisfy the diverse needs of students,
Kate earned her M.A. in Sports Administration from Central Michigan University in 2000 after completing a B.S. in Sports Science from Northern Michigan University in 1998. Kate was also a standout on the soccer field for NMU. Kate is a certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist by the National Strength & Conditioning Association, and holds a United States Soccer Federation “D” Coaching License. When she is not at work, you will find her either spending time with her family enjoying the outdoors or coaching youth soccer.
StrengthsQuest | Strategic - Relator - Achiever - Arranger - Responsibility
Associate Director of Fitness & Wellness
Amy has worked as a professional with Recreation since 2003. She earned her B.S. degree from Hillsdale college in Health and Physical Education, and her M.Ed. from GVSU in College Student Affairs Leadership. Her responsibilities are to oversee all operations of Fitness and Wellness programs and services, including the Group Exercise program. She is also the co-director for the Injury Care Clinic. Amy also serves on a number of campus committees, to support efforts in improving the health and well being in and around the GV community. Amy is certified through NSCA-CPT, SPINNING®, TRX credentialing, Yogafit I, and an Instructor for CPR and First Aid through the American Red Cross.
Amy enjoys spending time with her family, trail running, camping, cooking, and spending time outdoors (especially the beach)!
StrengthsQuest | Relator - Restorative - Responsibility - Strategic - Futuristic
Associate Director of Sports Programs
Mike joined the Recreation team in May 2019 after his most recent work at Ferris State University as Coordinator of Athletic Event Operations & Special Projects. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education (emphasis on Sports Leadership) with a minor in Business from Grand Valley State University in 2012, while also competing on the Men’s Basketball team. Mike completed his graduate work in 2014 from the University of Arkansas with a M.Ed. in Sports & Recreation Management, before spending four years in Flagstaff, Arizona as Assistant Director of Campus Recreation at Northern Arizona University. Outside of work, Mike enjoys spending time with family and staying active in a variety of ways.
StrengthsQuest | Strategic - Focus - Achiever - Learner - Responsibility
Assistant Director of Outdoor Adventures
Joe was named the Assistant Director of Recreation overseeing Outdoor Adventures and the Climbing Center in 2016 after previously serving as the GVSU Climbing and OAC Manager since 2007. Joe received his bachelor's degree from Western Michigan University, where he majored in Recreation Management. Joe's efforts empower and inspire the GVSU community through outdoor and adventure based opportunities. Joe is avid rock climber and climbing instructor.
StrengthsQuest | Leaner - Includer - Harmony - Responsibility - Restorative
Assistant Director of Marketing
Kayla joined the Recreation team in 2017. Before arriving to GVSU, Kayla served as a Corporate Brand Specialist at Meijer, the Brand Account Manager at the University of Michigan, and the Brand Project Coordinator at Gordon Food Service. Kayla received her bachelor’s degree from GVSU, where she majored in both Marketing and Human Resources Management. During her undergrad, Kayla worked as a student catering manager for GVSU Campus Dining, participated on the Campus Dining Marketing Street Team, and was employed as both Event and Office Staff for Recreation. She is currently pursuing her Masters of Science in Communications at GVSU.
Kayla served on the GVSU Young Alumni Council from 2012-2018 as the co-chair of the Activities Committee, and has served as the Communications Co-Chair for the HighEdWeb Michigan regional conference. Kayla is a volleyball fanatic, and loves traveling, running, volunteering in Kids Ministry, and spending time with friends and family.
StrengthsQuest | Responsibility - Discipline - Includer - Woo - Futuristic
Assistant Director of Sports Programs
Mitch oversees the intramural sports and club sports programs. He began working with GVSU Recreation in 2015 as the Competitive Sports Coordinator. Mitch received his bachelor's degree in Communication Studies from San Jose State University in 2012. While at SJSU, he skipped a night class his second week as a freshman to attend an intramural sports flag football training and worked with intramural sports until he graduated. Mitch was a GA for Ohio University Campus Recreation, where he received his master’s degree in Recreation & Sports Sciences in 2015.
Born and raised in rural Northern California, Mitch began officiating when he was 14 years old as a little league and softball umpire. As his senior project in high school, Mitch officiated high school football. The first game he worked, he was on the sideline of his high school. Mitch roots for Bay Area sports teams, which means since 2010, he has rooted for champions.
StrengthsQuest | Context - Analytical - Arranger - Achiever - Responsibility
Assistant Director of Fitness & Wellness
John joined the Recreation team in May 2019, after previously serving as the Facility Operations Coordinator in the GVSU Athletic and Recreation Facilities Department. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and Health with a secondary education teacher certification from Eastern Illinois University, and a Master of Arts from Gonzaga University in Sport and Athletic Administration. John’s professional experience prior to GVSU includes serving as the Assistant Fitness Facility Director for Semper Fit on Camp Pendleton, California, as well as eight years in the United States Marine Corps. During his spare time, John enjoys spending time with his family, staying active, traveling, and being outdoors.
StrengthsQuest | Restorative - Achiever - Learner - Arranger - Relator
Student Health Promotions Coordinator
Katie joined Recreation and Wellness in November 2019. Katie hopes that her experience in community health will help guide her in supporting and improving the wellness of all GVSU students. Prior to GVSU, Katie’s work was in the realm of public health. She began her career as health educator and tribal fitness center coordinator for the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi Indians supporting nutrition and exercise programming for tribal members. After that, Katie spent seven years as a public health educator with District Health Department #10 working primarily in sexual health and substance abuse prevention among youth and young adults. Katie received her bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University majoring in Public Health Education and Health Promotion, Spanish, and minoring in Nutrition. She went on to get her Master of Public Health in Health Behavior & Health Education from the University of Michigan.
Katie spends her free time hiking, doing yoga, traveling and eating donuts (mostly in moderation).
StrengthsQuest | Empathy – Developer – Relator – Positivity – Individualization
Program Coordinator for Sports Programs
Brianna graduated from Ferris State University in 2016 with a B.S. in Marketing and an A.A.S. in Graphic Design. In her time at Ferris State, Brianna was a student leader on campus and worked within the Recreation Department in multiple positions. She has a background in photography, horseback riding, public speaking, and coaching. Brianna spends her time away from campus with her corgi, Colby Cheese, at the horse barn or walking trails on the lakeshore.
StrengthsQuest | Restorative - Strategic - Achiever - Command - Learner
Jody was named Office Assistant of the Recreation department in 2017. In 2010, she began working at GVSU within the Business and Finance Division. Jody enjoys the high level of student engagement, as well as assisting staff members with their many faceted programs. She is a graduate of Davenport College. In her free time, Jody enjoys working in her perennial gardens, walking along beautiful Lake Michigan, and spending time with family.
StrengthsQuest | Includer - Responsibility - Belief - Positivity - Developer
Program Coordinator for Outdoor Adventures
Kaileigh completed her undergrad degree in Outdoor and Environmental Recreation from Central Michigan University. In her time at Central Michigan University, her involvement as a student included working as a climbing instructor, and challenge course facilitator, teacher’s assistant within the outdoor adventure skills and leadership classes.
Kaileigh has a passion for nature, not just participating, but also educating others about all outdoor recreation opportunities. She is certified as Wilderness First Responder, Leave No Trace Master Educator, Climbing Wall Instructor, and a level 3 canoe and Kayak guide. When Kaileigh is not working, she enjoys traveling around the country exploring different national parks, mountain biking, and white-water canoeing.
StrengthsQuest | Achiever - Learner - Ideation - Connectedness - Strategic
Registered Dietitian & Certified Wellness Coach
Lori is the registered dietitian and certified wellness coach for Recreation. She is passionate about helping people achieve their personal nutrition and lifestyle goals, and has been counseling GVSU students and employees for over 12 years. Lori is an intuitive eater who likes to cook and believes most foods can fit into a healthy pattern of eating. Sharing healthy eating tips and kitchen hacks brings her much joy. In addition to providing individual nutrition counseling, Lori also offers nutrition presentations and cooking demonstrations on campus.
Lori believes strongly in the benefits that yoga and mindfulness bring to her own and others' wellness. She loves to be outside whether it’s walking, running, hiking, biking, and embraces all seasons. Lori brings experience, knowledge, thoughtfulness and compassion to her passion for wellness - helping people eat well, eat mindfully, and be well through wholesome nutrition and joyful movement.
Licensed Massage Therapist
Sarah, a Michigan licensed massage therapist, received her massage therapy training and certification from the Chicago School of Massage Therapy, and brings with her over 20 years of experience. She believes massage can be beneficial to anyone from “a stressed-out employee behind a desk to the most seasoned athlete.” Having an advanced certification in Sports Massage, her specialty is working with active clients in chronic pain or who are recovering from a recent injury.
Sarah believes massage therapy should be more than a splurge or luxury - it should be an integral part of an individual’s holistic health program. As she says, “massage therapy, uniquely, promotes the mind-body connection. It relaxes the body, brings calm and clarity to the mind, and revitalizes the spirit.” She considers it a pleasure and personal challenge to customize each massage to the distinct needs of each client.
Beyond her daily commitment to seeking a balanced life and helping others do the same, Sarah enjoys cooking, travel, music, reading inspirational books, and spending time with her husband, Scott - especially exploring all things Michigan.
Program Coordinator for Fitness & Wellness
Malia was named the Fitness & Wellness Program Coordinator in 2019, overseeing Group Exercise, Adult Swim Lessons, and outreach. Malia received her bachelor’s degree from GVSU, where she majored in Clinical Exercise Science. During her undergrad, Malia worked as a student in Athletic and Recreation Facilities as a Student Building Supervisor and Lifeguard, as well as Recreation as a Swim Instructor and other positions across the departments. In 2017, she received the Recreation Leadership Scholarship and in 2019, she was awarded the Recreation Director's Award.
Even though Malia is a lover of science, she is also a strong supporter of the arts. She is a Laker Marching Band Alum and she enjoys drawing and playing the piano in her free time. She lives a very active lifestyle and loves participating in kickboxing, strength training, and swimming. When she isn't at work, you will find her cooking at home or spending time with loved ones.
Malia strives to build intentional relationships with people she encounters and is always looking for ways to enhance student experiences on campus.
StrengthsQuest | Relator - Developer - Woo - Positivity - Responsibility
Graduate Assistant for Fitness & Wellness
Connor has worked with Recreation during his fieldwork and internship in 2017-2018, and is now completing his Graduate Assistantship as he pursues his Masters of Science in Public Health emphasizing on Health Promotion & Education. During his undergrad, Connor majored in Exercise Science with an emphasis on Health and Fitness. Connor was an avid user of GVSU Recreation services, including, winning a national champion with the Men's Club Lacrosse team, and he is currently an assistant coach for the team following his playing years. Connor also works as a personal trainer in the Grand Rapids area, specializing in sport performance, strength training, and late stage rehabilitation. He is currently working towards becoming a certified strength and conditioning coach as well.
When Connor has free time, he enjoys paddle boarding, staying active with weight training, live music, and spending relaxing evenings with friends and family.
Our student employees keep our day-to-day operations running. They help create our inclusive and diverse community!
With over 50 Club Sport teams, our coaches lead our teams to reach their highest potential while helping students coordinate day-to-day operations.