Meet Our Staff

Professional Staff

Dr. Nykia D. Gaines, Assistant Vice President for Federal TRIO Programs

Nykia D. Gaines

Assistant Vice President for Federal TRIO Programs, Division of Enrollment Development and Educational Outreach

Nykia D. Gaines, also known as Dr. G., started her journey at Grand Valley in the fall of 1994. As a freshman from Detroit, she was enthusiastic about her new life as a Laker. After earning her B.S. in Criminal Justice in 1998 from Grand Valley, Nykia pursued an M.Ed. with a specialization in College Student Affairs and Leadership in Grand Valley's Higher Education Master's Program. During her master's program, Nykia worked as a Graduate Assistant in Health and Wellness and in the Office of Housing and Residence Life. She also interned at the University of Detroit-Mercy in the office of International Services. After graduating with an M.Ed. in 2001, Nykia accepted a full-time position at GVSU as a Living Center Director in the Office of Housing and Residence Life. In the summer of 2008,she pursued a doctorate full-time at Bowling Green State University (BGSU) in Bowling Green, OH. As a doctoral fellow, Nykia worked in the College of Education and Human Development as an academic advisor. In May 2012, she graduated from BGSU with a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration. Less than one-year post-doctorate, Dr. G. accepted her a position at GVSU. She is excited to be able to once again give back to a school that has continued to give to her, a Laker for a Lifetime. In her free time, Dr. G. enjoys caring for and playing with her rescue dog, Karma. She also enjoys traveling abroad, attending church, Skyping with distant friends, and spending time with her family.

You can email Dr. G. at [email protected]


Linda Rettig

Director, TRIO Teacher Prep

I am so excited to be the Director for the TPSSS program and look forward to this new role. I have been with Grand Valley State University since 2007. I have worked in a few other departments but mostly worked with first generation students. Each of my supervisors have encouraged me to grow and learn which have prepared me for this position. I am very eager to continue the work we are doing but to get our students more involved in our planning processes. My favorite event is the Alternative Spring Break which we haven't be able to do because of COVID. I like to travel with students so hold on as we find ways to do this together. 

Prior to GVSU, I was a K-12 educator. I am married with four grown children, one granddaughter, a dog, and a cat. Family is very important to me. As TRIO participants each of my students become my family. 

Being a first generation student myself I know the importance of having support and resources and that is exactly what I am here to offer. 

Email: [email protected]

Hannah Scholten

Hannah Scholten

Program Advisor 

Hannah graduated from the Grand Valley College of Education in 2009. She then went on to work in the education field for over ten years. She began running an after school enrichment program for a high school in the Detroit area. She then moved to the east coast and taught high school and middle school English and History in both the Baltimore and Washington, DC areas. Additionally, she worked as a Senior Program Instructor for the Close-Up Foundation. After having her son, she and her husband moved back to Grand Rapids and she continued her career in education by providing middle school reading intervention and extension services to 5th-8th grade students. She is now back at Grand Valley as the Program Advisor for TRIO TPSSS and is thrilled to be a Laker again!


You can email Hannah at [email protected] 

Student Workers


Micaiah White

Micaiah White is a student worker for TPSSS.

Page last modified June 25, 2024