Meet the Leadership Team

SIS Central Leadership

Dr. Jack Mangala, SIS Director

Jack R. Mangala is Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies and of Political Science. His previous leadership positions and significant service at Grand Valley include Chair of the Area and Global Studies Department, Director of the African and African American Studies Program, Chair of Brooks College Personnel Committee and Endowed Professor of Civil Discourse. A former NATO-EAPC fellow, he holds a doctorate in international law from the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium as well as graduate degrees from the University of Montpellier in France and the Geneva International Peace Research Institute. He completed post-doctoral work at the University of Michigan Law School. Dr. Mangala’s scholarly interests center on the nexus between international law and human security. His current line of research explores the emerging global governance of migrations with a particular emphasis on diaspora engagement policies. He is the recipient of the Pew Teaching Excellence Award (2011), the Outstanding Teaching in Political Science Award (2011) and the Distinguished Contribution in a Discipline Award (2021). International commitments include Associate Professor, Laws and Migrations, Catholic University of Louvain and Visiting Professor, John Cabot University, Rome.

Justin Pettibone, SIS Assistant Director

Justin Pettibone is a senior affiliate faculty member and has taught full-time in the Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies since 2008. He holds a M.A. in Philosophy from Miami University (2007), B.A. in Liberal Studies from GVSU (2003) with academic certifications in Spanish and French language and culture from Universidad Pablo de Olavide in Seville, Spain, Université de Provence in Aix-en-Provence, France, and Université de Genéve in Geneva, Switzerland. Justin previously served as assistant chair of the Integrative, Religious, and Intercultural Studies Department from 2020-2023.

Each spring, Justin co-directs an annual study abroad opportunity in Spain, in collaboration with the Intercultural Communication Certificate Program. He is the Pew FTLC Faculty Fellow for Adult and Lifetime Learning, supporting faculty mentoring in LEADS for AY2023-2024.

SIS Program Support

Aubrey Dull, Administrative Assistant and Lead PSS

Aubrey Dull serves as the administrative assistant to the director and assistant director of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies and team lead for professional support staff (PSS) within the School.

She holds a Master of Social Work (2016) and B.S. in Integrated Science for Elementary Education (2009) from GVSU. Since 2018, Aubrey has worked in a range of support positions within Brooks College, including as coordinator of the Office of Community Partnerships & Student Professional Development and as an assistant in the Dean's Office. Prior to that, she worked as a clinical specialist for ProtoCall Services, a research coordinator for GVSU's Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy, and graduate assistant at GVSU's Center for Women and Gender Equity.

Ginele Johnson, Academic Program Coordinator

Ginele Johnson supports the following programs and program directors: Digital Studies & Data Literacy, Integrative Studies, Leadership & Professional Innovation, and Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies. 

Ginele is a Grand Valley alumna with a B.S. in Communications. Since 2019, Ginele has worked in a range of support positions within Brooks College, including office coordinator for the Office of Community Partnerships & Student Professional Development and as Academic Office Coordinator for Digital Studies and Human Rights.  Prior to joining the team in Brooks College, Ginele served as a marketing administrative assistant in the grocery industry and collegiate athletics, was a small business owner as well as working in the K-12 public school system. 

Justine Kibet, Academic Department Coordinator

In addition to facilitating the course scheduling for all programs within the School and managing it's website and social media, Justine Kibet (PSS) coordinates the Environmental and Sustainability Programs. Part of her time is also devoted to coordinating the Padnos/Sarosik Center for Civil Discourse, which is housed in the Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies as well.

Justine received her Master of Social Work degree from Grand Valley and a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from Aquinas College. She also earned her Zertifikat Deutsch als Fremdsprache from Europa Kolleg, a language institute in Kassel, Germany. She has a background in refugee and immigrant services, facilitating education in cultural awareness and LGBTQ allyship, and collaborating on a community response to domestic violence. 

Mary Williford, Academic Program Coordinator

Mary Williford (PSS) coordinates the Area & Global Studies Programs in addition to providing half-time staffing support for the Kutsche Office of Local History, also located in the Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies.

Mary joined Grand Valley in January 2020. A West Michigan transplant, Mary's background is in managing daily operations for museums, archives, and local history initiatives. She holds a BA in American Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MA in Museum Studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. In her spare time, Mary enjoys horror movies, exploring quirky regional history, attempting to understand Dungeons & Dragons, and unwinding with her cats.

SIS Program Directors

Majd Al-Mallah - Area & Global Studies Programs

Programs: Global Studies & Social Impact major (B.A., B.S.). African & African American Studies minor. East Asian Studies minor. Human Rights minor. Latin American Studies minor. Middle East Studies minor. Religious Studies minor.

Director: Dr. Majd Al-Mallah, Professor of Modern Languages & Literature, College of Literature, Arts, and Sciences
PSS: Mary Williford, Academic Program Coordinator

Faculty Program Coordinators - Area & Global Studies

Each of the minor programs within the Area & Global Studies Programs also has a faculty program coordinator. These include:

  • Dr. Jakia Maria, African & African American Studies
  • Dr. Meghan Cai, East Asian Studies
  • Dr. Karen Zivi, Human Rights
  • Dr. Andrew Schlewitz, Latin American Studies
  • Dr. Chad Lingwood, Middle East Studies
  • Dr. Brent Smith, Religious Studies

Denise Goerisch - Integrative Studies Programs

Programs: Integrative Studies major (B.A., B.S.), including LEADS. University Studies (US-prefix courses). Interdisciplinary Studies (IDS-prefix courses).

Director: Dr. Denise Goerisch, Associate Professor
PSS: Ginele Johnson, Academic Program Coordinator

Laurence José - Digital Studies & Data Literacy Programs

Programs: Digital Studies minor

Director: Dr. Laurence José, Associate Professor (jointly appointed with Writing, College of Literature, Arts, & Sciences
PSS: Ginele Johnson, Academic Program Coordinator

Julia Mason - Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Programs

Programs: Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies major (B.A., B.S.) and minor. LGBTQ Studies minor

Director: Dr. Julia Mason, Associate Professor
PSS: Ginele Johnson, Academic Program Coordinator

Amy McFarland - Environmental & Sustainability Programs

Programs: Environmental & Sustainability Studies major (B.A., B.S.) and minor. Sustainable Food Systems Certificate

Director: Dr. Amy McFarland, Associate Professor
PSS: Justine Kibet, Academic Department Coordinator

Santos Ramos - Leadership & Professional Innovation Programs

Programs: Leadership & Business Fundamentals major (B.A.S.). Professional Innovation major (B.A.S.). Intercultural Competence & Communication Certificate and Badge. Leadership Certificate.

Director: Dr. Santos Ramos, Assistant Professor
PSS: Ginele Johnson, Academic Program Coordinator

Dr. Santos Ramos is an Assistant Professor and Interim Director of SIS’s Leadership & Professional Innovation programs. He teaches and researches in the areas of Latina/o Studies, distance learning, digital studies, and food studies, receiving his PhD in 2018 from Michigan State University’s Department of Writing, Rhetoric and American Cultures. 

Page last modified September 7, 2023