William Washington Ph.D.
Dr. William Washington, born and raised in Flint, is a Laker for a Lifetime. He returned to become the TRIO Student Support Services Director. Dr. Washington studied at Grand Valley State University for both his undergraduate and graduate degrees then went on to Eastern Michigan University for his Ph.D. in Educational Leadership. Previously he worked as a Graduate Assistant in housing and worked his way up to an Assistant Director of housing, so he knows his way around GVSU. He believes in the 5 F’s: faith, family, finances, friends, and fraternity which is a reflection of his life. He is married with 3 children (one currently a Laker) and a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity. Dr. Washington is a flourishing entrepreneur and co-owner of a local fitness center and has goals of owning his own restaurant. Everything in his life reflects his motto “I am not successful until I help the next person be successful.” His goals for TRIO SSS are to increase retention, persistence, and graduation by supporting all students, moreover, he has a special interest in African American male achievement.
Student Engagement Specialist
Tanisha Kuykendall is what Grand Valley likes to call a TRUE Laker for a Lifetime. She graduated twice from GVSU in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcasting and in 2017, a Masters of Education with an emphasis in Student Affairs and Leadership. Starting her career as a financial aid Counselor, Tanisha led FAFSA workshops on GVSU’s campus and in the community to prepare high school students for college. This past April she transitioned to TRIO Student Support Services at GVSU, which focuses on supporting first generation college students.
”Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.” -William James
Tanisha is committed to hosting events and programs designed to help SSS students in building academic, financial and life skills as well as explore their desired career possibilities.
Alyssa Gunn was born in Lansing and raised in Williamston, MI, a small town right next to MSU’s campus. She graduated with her Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Western Michigan University in 2017. She then went on to attend Grand Valley State University in the College Student Affairs Leadership program and graduated with her Master of Education in 2019. Previously, she worked as the Graduate Assistant for the University Counseling Center/Career Center and was the intern for TRIO-STEM and Health Sciences here at GVSU. After graduation, Alyssa took a position at SUNY Oneonta in Oneonta, NY, as a Residence Hall Director and Advisor for National Residence Hall Honorary. She is excited to now be returning to GVSU, “Be a Laker for a Lifetime”, and begin her work with TRIO Student Support Services and first-generation college students like herself. Her goals in coming to TRIO SSS are to weave Empathy and Equity in all her work with students in the coming months working as Program Advisor, inspire students to persist in higher education, specially at GVSU, and prepare students to find gainful, fulfilling work after graduation. Outside of work she lives with her partner and their dog Winston, a great dane/hound mix (she will show you pictures if you ask) and enjoys going to Lake Michigan, spending time with family and friends, gardening, reading, and painting.
Estefany Paniagua-Pardo is a current graduate student, obtaining her Masters of Education with an emphasis in College Student Affairs Leadership. Estefany was raised in Traverse City, Michigan. She received her Associate’s Degree from Northwestern Michigan College and then furthered her studies at Grand Valley State University where she completed her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with honors as a member of Phi Theta Kappa. Estefany’s career aspirations consist of providing services, support, and opportunities for all individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds within higher education, with a focus on supporting first-generation Latinx students. In Estefany’s free time, she enjoys spending time with family, running, hiking, reading, and baking.