Community Service Learning Center Staff


Melissa Baker-Boosamra

Melissa Baker-Boosamra

Email 
bakerbme@gvsu.edu

Title 
Associate Director of Student Life - Civic Engagement and Assessment

About 

Melissa loves to come to work each day! It is her passion to educate students to become informed and engaged citizens who are empowered to create the world they want to live in! Before joining the GVSU Office of Student Life in 2014, Melissa served as a faculty member in the GVSU Liberal Studies Department, a nonprofit professional, a community organizer and an ESL teacher for migrant farm workers. She has developed and led international and domestic community based learning courses and built multiple successful university-community partnerships. Melissa earned her Master of Arts in Public and Nonprofit Administration at Grand Valley State University. She received the Michigan Campus Compact Presidential Service Learning Scholar Award in 2010, led the team who received the GVSU AP Award for Outstanding Team Project at GVSU in 2017, was recognized by the Hispanic Chamber of Western Michigan in 2018 as a Bridge Builder and received the GVSU AP Award for Service to Community in 2019.  Outside of work, Melissa loves spending time with her three children, riding her bike, swimming, reading, traveling and dancing.

Top 5 Strengths

Connectedness - Input - Communication - Ideation - Woo

Favorite/Vivid Childhood Memory 

One of my first memories is standing on the beach with my dad in Grand Haven, as a little girl. It was a super windy day and there was a man who was there flying a big kite. He let me take the strings to fly it and it immediately picked me up off the ground and lifted me up in the air. I probably only got up 5 or 10 feet, but to me, it felt like I was flying! To this day, I love flying kites. It makes me feel like I can fly!


Tatiana Parsons

Tatiana Parsons

Email 
parsotat@gvsu.edu

Title 
Graduate Assistant for Service Learning

About 

Tatiana graduated from Spring Arbor University in 2015, where she received her BA in Psychology and BSW in Social Work. She completed an international internship in Mukono, Uganda with Compassion International and has worked professionally with Bethany Christian Services and Spectrum Health Hospital Group. She joins Grand Valley as a GA for Civic and Community Engagement in the Community Service Learning Center.

During her undergrad, Tatiana was very involved in Student Development and Career Services. She served as a Peer Advisor and Teaching Assistant to incoming freshmen. She was also involved in their leadership program and co-taught Introduction to Liberal Arts, Introduction to College Majors, and Introduction to Leadership alongside faculty and staff. Outside of the Classroom, Tatiana volunteered with an ESL program and worked as a preschool assistant. After graduating, Tatiana moved from Jackson, MI to Grand Rapids to pursue Social Work. She was certified in Child Welfare by the State of Michigan and worked as a Foster Care Case Manager with Bethany Christian Services. She also did administrative work at Spectrum Health Hospital Group. Tatiana is a proud cat mom and when she isn’t at work she likes watercolor hammocking, travel, indoor plants, walking around Grand Rapids with her fiancé and making a good pour-over coffee.

Top 5 Strengths

Empathy - Connectedness - Developer - Harmony - Arranger

Favorite/Vivid Childhood Memory

 


Kathryn Carey

Kathryn Carey

Title 
Civic Engagement Associate 

Major 

International Relations

Emphases

 African Studies

Hometown

 East Lansing, MI

Top 5 Strengths

Restorative - Context - Empathy - Adaptability - Connectedness

Favorite/vivid childhood memory

Growing up, my parents and I always went up north to Glen Arbor over the 4th of July weekend. We would go up with a bunch of our family friends and their kids. The whole week was always just super fun because we would float down the river all day and then cook by the campfire and have s'mores at night. Summer time in Northern Michigan is honestly my favorite part about growing up in Michigan. It was always a great time with family and friends and the Sleeping Bear Dunes are an awesome place to look at the stars. 


Jane

Jane Johnston

Title

Civic Engagement Associate 

Majors 

Multimedia Journalism & Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Hometown 

Alma, Michigan 

Top 5 Strengths 

Harmony - Arranger - Maximizer - Developer - Responsibility

Favorite/vivid childhood memory

Every Sunday when I was a kid my mom, my sister, and I would go visit my mom's family and during the summer I would try to get my mom to let us stay the night so I could spend more time with my cousins. We tried every trick in the book-- we would hide in closets and behind shower curtains, lock ourselves in the basement, or pretend to be asleep already (hoping our parents would just let us sleep). Once I even wore extra clothes underneath my own to convince my mom I was prepared to stay! 

 


Stephanie Torres

Stephanie Torres

Title 

Civic Engagement Associate 

Major

Public & Nonprofit Administration

Hometown 

Holland, MI

Top 5 Strengths

Restorative - Empathy - Adaptability - Connectedness - Developer 

Favorite/vivid childhood memory

It's hard to pick a single moment! The first that comes to mind is when my cousins and I were exploring in the backyard after it had just rain and my cousin thought it would be funny to throw mud right in my face. It was once I threw it right back at him and it broke out into a full mud fight between us all. 

Team Picture