Meet The Staff

Dr. Nykia Gaines

Dr. Nykia Gaines

Office Address: 200 STU
Phone: (616) 331-5430

B.S., Grand Valley State University
M.Ed., Grand Valley State University 
Ph.D., Bowling Green State University


Hi, I'm Nykia D. Gaines, also known as Dr. G. Welcome to TRIO SSS S.T.E.M.! I started my journey at Grand Valley in the fall of 1994. As a freshman from Detroit, I was enthusiastic about my new life as a Laker. After earning my B.S. in Criminal Justice in 98', I pursued a M.Ed. with a specialization in College Student Affairs and Leadership. During my master's program, I worked as a graduate assistant in Health and Wellness and in the Office of Housing and Residence Life. I also interned at the University of Detroit-Mercy in the office of International Services. After I graduated with my M.Ed. in 2001, I 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, I decided to depart from my beloved Grand Valley to pursue my doctorate full-time at Bowling Green State University (BGSU) in Bowling Green, OH. As a doctoral fellow, I worked in the College of Education and Human Development as an academic advisor. In May 2012, I graduated from BGSU with a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration. Less than one year post-doctorate, I graciously accepted this position at my alma mater. I am excited to be able to once again give back to a school that has continued to give to me, a Laker for a Lifetime. In my free time, I enjoy caring for and playing with my rescue dog, Karma. I also take pleasure in traveling abroad, attending church, Skyping with distant friends, and spending time with my family.

L Rettig

Linda Rettig

Office Address: 200 STU
Phone: (616) 331-5430

B.A., Aquinas College
M.Ed., Grand Valley State University

I am so excited to be a program advisor for the TRiO STEM program and look forward to working with students. I have been with Grand Valley State University since 2007. I began in the Curriculum Materials Library with education students helping with lesson plans and other classroom needs. I left there to join the Office of Multicultural Affairs and follow my passion of working with underrepresented students. While at this position I was able to travel to Ghana, Africa and experience being in a culture completely different than my own. One of my duties was to work with the Freshman Academy Program, which later was renamed the Oliver Wilson Freshman Academy after our dean of OMA, Oliver Wilson. In 2011, I joined the Student Academic Success Center and began working with the Oliver Wilson Freshman Academy, Pre-Majors and Learning Skills as the Office Coordinator. There have been many great opportunities that have prepared me for this new position including the Academic Success Institute and teaching both the Laker Strategies for Success (LSS 180 and EDH 182 Strategies for Success courses. Prior to GVSU I was a K-12 educator. I am married with four children, 3 dogs, and a cat. 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. 


Care Allen

Office Address: 200 STU
Phone: (616) 331-5430

Care Allen currently serves as a Program Coordinator for TRiO Student Support Services & TRiO Student Support Services STEM & Health Sciences. Care graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Development and Family Studies from Michigan State University and a Master of Education degree in College Student Affairs Leadership from Grand Valley State University. During her time at Michigan State University, Care was a McNair Scholar and Liberty Hyde Bailey Scholar. As a Masters student at Grand Valley State University, Care was a graduate assistant in Housing and Residence Life, a mentor for the NIARA program, as well as an advisor for the Intercultural Resident Assistant Mentor group. She has published work in GLACUHO TRENDS Magazine as well as research on High Achieving African American students at community colleges. Care served as a college advisor in the Michigan State University College Advising Corp in collaboration with the National College Advising Corp. She dedicated her time as the College advisor in West Ottawa High School in 2013-2014 and helped over 1,000 students learn about and gain access to post-secondary education. Care has presented at the Michigan College Personnel Association conference, Grand Valley State Universities Leadership Summit as well as their Teach-In. Care has also participated in several case study competitions and presented to students all over campus about leadership opportunities.

“Support programs such as TRiO serve as a platform to develop knowledge and skills relevant to education and citizenship, but also provides a great opportunity for young people to achieve personal growth. Through my role as Program Coordinator, I will share experiences with students that I hope will ensure that they are fully equipped to be productive and active citizens in their local communities and the world.”

In her spare time Care owns a Fashion Consulting company.. She is also a Fashion and Beauty Blogger and Vlogger.

You can email Care at

Raven McClinon

Outreach Representative

Raven McClinon is a former participant of the TRIO Upward Bound Math and Science Program from GVSU. TRIO was instrumental in assisting her with college readiness.  She is a two time graduate of Grand Valley, and works as an Assistant Supervisor in the Facilities Services Department.  She hopes that through her work with TRIO she can guide other students to the resources available to them.   In her free time she serves as an advisor to the student group, Kpop Group Evolution, a Niara mentor, an extern in the Office of Multicultural Affairs, and is an active member of her church.


Chantelle Cook

Adjunct Program Advisor 


Phone: 616.331.5430

M.Ed., Grand Valley State University 

B.S., Central Michigan University 


Trevin Alexander

Graduate Student

Hometown: Benton Harbor, MI
Major: Masters of Social Work
Graduation: April 2019

Thuy-Thuong N

Thuy-Thuong Nguyen

Desk Assistant

Hometown: Caledonia
Major: Geology with Environmental emphasis
Expected Graduation: 2020


Darvell Reid

Desk Assistant

Hometown: Saginaw MI
Major: Allied Health Science with a concentration on Pre-physical Therapy
Expected Graduation: 2021

Angela H

Angela Harris

Desk Assistant

Hometown: Redford, MI
Major: Public and Non-Profit Administration; Minor in Business
Expected Graduation: Fall 2020

K'Mystry Taylor-Jackson 

Desk Assistant

Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada
Major: Nursing
Expected Graduation: Fall 2019

Page last modified May 8, 2018