The purpose of this scholarship is to provide financial support to diversity students who show a strong desire to pursue a career in the field of engineering.
Fred M. Keller was an entrepreneur, both industrial and philanthropic, with a distinguished career spanning most of a century. After starting and mentoring several tool and die companies, in 1962 he took over Paragon Die and Engineering Company, which he served as Chairman until 1999. GVSU’s Engineering Laboratories Building is named in his honor and reflects his lifelong support of skills education. With his wife Bernedine, Fred formed Keller Foundation to formalize their tradition of providing assistance to the community. He served on the board of directors of the Naples Conservancy, the Clark Retirement Community, the Shriners Crippled Children’s program, the First United Methodist Church, and the Meijer Gardens Foundation. Mr. Keller was inducted into the Greater Grand Rapids Business Hall of Fame, and received the first Philanthropist of the Year award, later renamed in his honor. To quote Mr. Keller, “… I think you owe it to the community to do something for what it did for you. That’s the biggest part of life… helping somebody else out.”
Mr. Keller’s intention was to see a greater increase in the number of persons of color who seek an education in engineering, and ultimately an increase in the number of persons of color working n the field of engineering. This scholarship is dedicated to his memory by his wife, Bernedine.
Betty S. Burton Groce
The Johnny C. Burton Memorial Scholarship was established in 1996 by his wife Betty S. Burton and their three daughters. Born in 1935, in Arkansas, Mr. Burton was raised in Muskegon Heights as one of five children of an African-American family. Due to his hard work, creativity and entrepreneurial skills, he became a successful and respected businessman, known throughout Grand Rapids and Michigan. He went on to create Wonderland Business Forms, Inc., a distributor of business forms and paper products, with customers ranging from world class corporations and public and government institutions to small, independent stores and offices. During his lifetime, Mr. Burton shared his success with family, church and community. His generosity included financial support, assertive leadership, and unlimited time. However, the mentoring of African American youth and showing them how to maximize an opportunity was Mr. Burton’s most important contribution and gave him the greatest pleasure.
“I believe God gave us each just a few talents. It’s our job to discover them. It’s our responsibility to maximize them to the fullest.” Johnny C. Burton
A native of Manistee, Michigan, Betty Burton is a lifelong resident of West Michigan. She has earned her Master of Education at Grand Valley State University (GVSU) in 1977 and received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 1999. Betty Burton currently serves as a director of the Grand Valley University Foundation Board.
In 1987, with failing health, Johnny C. Burton was identified as a heart transplant candidate. Soon after, Betty left the classroom and took over as CEO of the firm. In 1996, a year after Mr. Burton passed away, Betty established the Johnny C. Burton Memorial Scholarship Fund at GVSU, benefiting African American students pursuing business degrees through Grand Valley’s Minority Business Education Center.
Brandon and Denise Walsh
The Walsh VIP Scholarship was established by Brandon ’03 and Denise ’03 Walsh out of gratitude to their families for ensuring they graduated free of debt and for the benefits their education at Grand Valley State University has afforded them.
The purpose of this scholarship is to assist students from the Metropolitan Detroit Area who are the first in their family to earn a four-year degree.
Brian C. Walker
Brian Walker is the President and CEO of Herman Miller, Inc, overseeing the company’s global efforts to invent solutions that help create great places to work, to learn and to heal. Brian was the 7th Frederik Meijer Lecturer at Grand Valley State University.
Bruce and Ruth Ann Brintnall
Bruce and Ruth Ann Brintnall have lived in the Greater Grand Rapids Area for more than fifty years where both served their community as health care providers. They have strong ties to Grand Valley State University (GVSU) and their community. Ruth Ann graduated with her master’s degree in nursing and later earned a certificate as a nurse practitioner from GVSU before earning her PhD. She was employed in the Kirkhof College of Nursing for more than 30 years while Bruce practiced as an internist in private practice. Both have focused their practice on care of the adult patient and are cognizant of the health care needs of adults as they age and may develop life-limiting illness requiring palliative an/or hospice care. This scholarship aims to increase the number of providers prepared to deliver informed palliative and/or hospice care by providing financial support to a pose-baccalaureate student seeking a certificate in palliative and hospice care at GVSU.
Bryan and Lauri DenBleyker
This scholarship was established in loving memory of Kendal J. DenBleyker on behalf of his parents. Kendal was a junior studying Criminal Justice with a goal to become a probation officer and ultimately become a lawyer. While studying at Grand Valley, Kendal worked to pay for school and commuted to campus to save money. Family members described him as a “driven and determined Christian man who expected much from those around him, but even more from himself.”
Business Ethics Center (BEC) at the Seidman College of Business
The Castro Scholarship in Business Ethics honors Barry Castro, who at the time of his death in 2005 was Professor of Management at Grand Valley. Professor Castro’s career at Grand Valley spanned over three decades, during which time he developed and taught Business and Society and Business Ethnics courses, founded the Business Ethics Center, and spoke and published widely on what a business education should and could mean. In all his endeavors and accomplishments Castro drew on his expertise in Economics and Management, to be sure, but first and foremost Barry was a philosopher in a tradition of Plato and Socrates. He believed in the examined life, in asking and attempting to answer philosophical questions as they pertained especially to thinking about business, and he took seriously the injunction to live a good life, a life that sought wisdom in one’s self and in others.
Professor Castro had a unique gift for bringing seemingly disparate ideas and people together in conversation. He was respected and loved not only by students but by the west Michigan business owners, executives, lawyers, and professionals he brought together to discuss ethical issues on an ongoing basis through the Business Ethics Center. Barry’s wide reading in history, philosophy, and literature combined with his natural affinity for people in ways that allowed him to play the gentle Socratic figure who brought others to realizations about themselves to establish this scholarship in his name.
Candace Otte (Ingram) began her healthcare career at Butterworth Hospital working in the new ICU. Candace Otte was a devoted wife, mother of three children and a friend to many. In the spring of 2007 Candace Otte passed away due to complications from heart surgery.
In the late 1960’s, Candace Otte, R.N., an ICU nurse, and her cardiologist colleague C. Mark Vasu, M.D., believed that a newly introduced CPR procedure could save lives. Otte began teaching the then-new technique of CPR to physicians and nurses in area hospitals. While today it is standard practice for doctors, nurses, and emergency workers to be trained in CPR, it had never been done before Otte and Vasu initiated the training. For example, doctors could treat you after a heart attack but most could not help revive you while you were in the midst of one because they had never received CPR training.
In the 1970’s, Otte was persuaded to try her teaching techniques with police officers in Kent County. A group of physicians who called themselves the Crash Squad were responding to emergency calls in their own vehicles to treat victims on the scene of an accident or illness. Otte and Vasu created a training program for ambulance attendants, fire and police officers, doctors, nurses and others which over the next two decades evolved into a nationally and internationally-recognized paramedic training program. Otte traveled abroad on many occasions to provide her EMT program and to assist emerging countries improve pre-hospital care.
Otte spent much of her professional life teaching in West Michigan and lending her expertise to the State of Michigan in the design of rules, regulations, and licensure exams for pre-hospital care providers. Otte served as the Program Director for both Grand Valley State University Emergency Medical Services Training Program and the Davenport College Center for the Study of Emergency Medical Services Program.
Through Candace’s groundbreaking CPR and EMT training work, and her personality which was infused with flair and humor, she had the ability to affect people in a profound way. After a forty plus year career in healthcare, Candy had many friends and colleagues who wanted to do something in her memory after she passed away in 2007. It was fitting that they chose to establish the Candace Otte Scholarship for Nursing to create a lasting memorial to honor her life and achievements in the health care field.
Carl and Claudia Bajema
Carl and Claudia Bajema share a commitment to the City of Grand Rapids, the Grand Rapids Public School District, and Grand Valley State University (GVSU). Four of their children are graduates of the Grand Rapids Public School (GRPS) District, and three are also alumni of GVSU. Claudia, too, is an alumna having earned both a B.S. and M.B.A.
Claudia retired in 2015 as Director of Graduate Business Programs for the Seidman College of Business; and Carl, Professor Emeritus, taught biology at GVSU for more than 40 years. Both have long and varied histories of service to Grand Rapids, GRPS, and GVSU.
Carl and Delores Arendsen
The Carl and Delores Arendsen family has been affiliated with GVSU for over 35 years. During his tenure at GVSU, Carl taught a variety of courses in the mathematics area along with a few computer science and statistics courses. Delores taught clinical nursing practicum part-time for three semesters. Their family has also experienced GVSU from a student’s perspective. Delores has three degrees from GVSU: a Bachelor of Science with a major in Nursing and two Master’s degrees – Nursing and General Business. In addition, their daughter has a Bachelor’s degree from GVSU.
Their involvement and support of athletics at GVSU dates back to 1973 when Carl began his teaching career. They regularly attend basketball and football games as well as several baseball and softball contests. Through personal contact with students in classes as well as on and off the fields, they have come to appreciate the level of talent, the amount of time and the large commitment university level sports requires for both academic and athletic success. Since the early 2000’s, they have become increasingly involved with both the women’s and men’s golf teams. Thus, with Carl’s retirement in 2008, they decided to leave a lasting tribute designed to promote and support both academic and athletic excellence.
Carl Erickson and Mary O'Neill
Carl Erickson and Mary O’Neill have a strong commitment to community. They have invested in their community through their time, talent, and treasure. As founders of Atomic Object, a local software design and development consultancy, they are proud to employ many Grand Valley State University(GVSU) alumni. It is because of this shared commitment to community and their long-time connection to GVSU that Carl and Mary want to support students in nursing, engineering, and computer science programs to finish their degree at GVSU.
Established by Carole Zoller in honor of her daughter Kristin M. Zoller Cooper BSN ‘94, MSN ’02 to assist single student parents pursuing a degree in nursing. This scholarship was established to enable a deserving student an opportunity to complete his/her Bachelor of Science in nursing (BSN) or Master of Science in nursing (MSN). Education is a priority in their family. As teachers in Michigan public school system bother her and her husband instilled a desire to learn and serve in their children. They also realize that there are deserving students for whom a college education may be a financial burden. Adding the criterion of single parent to the scholarship will hopefully provide a boost towards attaining this degree. In their personal and professional lives, they’ve seen the struggles single parents face when raising their families while attempting to succeed in their educational pursuits.
THeir daughter, Kristin M. Zoller Cooper, graduated from Grand Valley State University (GVSU) with both her BSN and MSN. As a Kirkhof College of Nursing senior affiliate faculty member, they believe she exemplifies the qualities of an exceptional educator while encouraging her students in the ethical standards of the nursing profession. Her professionalism is evident while her guidance and caring come through when observing her interaction with colleagues and students.
Carri Dykstra and the Oliver Products Company
This scholarship was established by Carri Dykstra and the Oliver Products Company in loving memory of Scott Michael Dykstra, a faithful husband, cherished son and brother, valued friend and colleague. This scholarship was established to give others opportunities similar to Scott’s for an education and career in the field of engineering. It is our desire in establishing this scholarship that we would be able to provide to the recipients a glimpse of the person Scott was and his love for always giving of himself for those around him.
Scott grew up in the Grand Rapids area where he graduated from Jenison High School in 1990 with “gold cord” honors. Scott was awarded the Kirkhof scholarship to the Padnos School of Engineering at Grand Valley State University where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering over the next four years. While at Grand Valley, his required internship was completed at Oliver Products Company, where he worked in the area of Medical Packaging. Following graduation, Scott was hired on full time as a Research and Development Engineer.
Within four months after graduation from Grand Valley, Scott was introduced to Carri Ter Haar; they were married in September of 1997. A bright and happy future together seemed within grasp. However, three short years later in October of 2000, at the age of 28, Scott was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Armed with the knowledge of the potential of a 95% cure rate and his unshakable zeal for life, Scott and Carri moved on without complaint and attacked their intruder with three months of aggressive chemotherapy treatments. After his three months of treatments ended he went back to work full time and was looking forward to the everyday activities that brought so much joy into Scott and Carri’s life. All the while not knowing the cancer had metastasized to his brain. Within four short months of finding the tumor in his brain, Scott was gone.
Scott Michael Dykstra loved life, which included first and foremost Carri and his family. He thoroughly enjoyed playing hockey, NASCAR racing, and being an engineer. Scott looked beyond himself and gave of himself not only in his personal life but also in his professional life. Scott was highly esteemed by his co-workers and by the management at Oliver Products Company. Scott’s professional efforts allowed him the opportunity to receive a United States patent for a Medical package design. It is in the spirit of who Scott was as a person and the effect he had on the many lives he touched that we, Carri Dykstra, the Dykstra family and Oliver Products Company provide this scholarship for the intent of giving to others and creating an opportunity for an education in engineering from Grand Valley State University’s Padnos School of Engineering.
Cesar E. Chavez Unity Committee
The Hispanic Scholarship fund was established in 1992 to attract and assist Hispanic students to Grand Valley State University (GVSU). In October 2015, the scholarship was renamed by the Committee to Honor Cesar E. Chavez to honor the leadership of Lupe Ramos-Montigny ’79. Lupe Ramos-Montigny (D-Grand Rapids) is no stranger to hard work. Born in Weslaco, Texas, Ms. Ramos Montigny traveled to Michigan as a young girl to harvest beets in Caseville, cherries in Old Mission Peninsula, and tomatoes in Indiana. Her parents, Ysidro and Maria, traveled with six (6) daughters and one (1) son from Texas to earn extra money to help the family with expenses. This experience taught her the value of sustained effort, the importance of education, and the need for advocacy for minorities.
Her father, Ysidro, helped educate the family of nine children despite his limited education. The Ramos family produced a businessman, an attorney, nurses, educators, a legal secretary, and an auto mechanic. Ms. Ramos-Montigny earned her Bachelor of Science Degree at Pan American University in Edinburg, Texas. When her first born son, Gerard, was three years old she attended GVSU where she earned her Master of Science Degree in Allendale, Michigan, with an emphasis in Bilingual Education.
Most of her professional career was dedicated to the Grand Rapids Public Schools. She cultivates a harvest of another kind to serve as a role model of civic action, cultural awareness, gender equity, and dedicated leadership. The Committee to Honor Cesar E. Chavez was founded in the year 2000 by dedicated community volunteers. Ms. Ramos has served as the chairperson for thirteen (13) years. The Committee dedicates most of its work to advance the educational goals of Hispanic students pursuing a college education.
The Cesar E. Chavez Unity Committee was organized on January 24,2012 to partner with the Committee to Honor Cesar E. Chavez in order to enhance the mission in a broader scope united with Aquinas College, Davenport University, Ferris State University, Grand Rapids Community College, Grand Rapids Public Museum, Grand Rapids Public Schools, and Grand Valley State University. Many volunteers have come and gone but Ms. Ramos-Montigny keeps her eye on the prize …the students.
Christos and Joan Panopoulos
Christos was born in Greece and fled his homeland because of a conflict and came to the U.S. in 1955. After serving the U.S. Army Panopoulos moved to Grand Rapids, where he managed a hair salon. Panopoulos is the retired founder, Chairman and CEO of Salon Enterprises (Panopoulos Salons, Haircuts Plus and Chic Schools). He currently serves as a member of the board of the Grand Valley University Foundation.
Joan Panopoulos, long-time resident of Grand Rapids, cares deeply about education and the community in which she lives. Joan grew up on Staten Island, New York, where she attended Hunter College in Manhattan and graduated with a degree in education. Joan taught for several years specializing in working with gifted children. While visiting relatives in Grand Rapids she met Christos Panopoulos whom she eventually married.
Joan and Christos built a very successful business; Panopoulos Salons, Inc. Joan held several positions within the business and found that her background in education was valuable in developing trainings and workshops for employees.
The purpose of the Joan A. Panopoulos Scholarship is to provide opportunities for graduates of the Grand Rapids Public Schools to attend college. Joan’s wish is for the West Michigan area to grow and prosper through education of its young people, particularly students that demonstrate great promise and aspire to pursue a higher education degree but are challenged financially to follow that dream. This scholarship, therefore, is created to give qualified students assistance with the costs of their education at Grand Valley State University and to enhance their becoming knowledgeable, caring and contributing citizens. The scholarship is designated to benefit Grand Rapids Public High School students who have participated in the TRiO Upward Bound program with aspirations to receive a college degree.
The purpose of the Christos T. and Joan A. Panopoulos Physician Assistant Studies Scholarship is to assist students and fill the need for health care professionals. Both Christos and Joan are proud advocates of health care in West Michigan.
Clarke and Nancy Borgeson
Clark and Nancy Borgeson, officers of Huron Technologies in Leslie, Michigan, established a scholarship to encourage graduates of Leslie High School who have chosen to attend Grand Valley State University and to recognize the community where their business is located.
Coalition for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Education
Dr. Mary Jane Dockeray retired from her position as Curator of the Blandford Nature Center in June 1990. Many generations of school children received an early taste of “hand-on” science under the supervision of Dr. Dockeray and her presence was greatly missed throughout the community.
Due to this missed presence a representative group of Dr. Dockeray’s admirers was formed and they worked to establish an appropriate tribute for her years of service to the community. They began to collect donations to provide scholarship funds for students interested in careers in science. These donations were then used establish the Mary Jane Dockeray Scholarship.
Each year, the Mary Jane Dockeray Scholarships for Careers in Science are awarded to graduating high school seniors from public or private high schools in the Kent, Muskegon, and Ottawa Intermediate School Districts with an interest in pursuing a career in science.
Colleagues and Friends of H. James Williams
Colleagues and friends of H. James Williams provided financial resources to endow a scholarship to honor the “World Class” leadership James provided as Dean of the Seidman College of Business for eight and one-half years. In addition to his deanship, James Williams held prior academic position, was a Certified Public Accountant, and a Certified Management Accountant, in addition to earning his MBA, PhD, JD and LLM (Taxation) degrees.
Colleagues, Friends and Family of Thomas A. Butcher
The Thomas A. & Cheryl L. ‘91,’98 Butcher Non-traditional Student Scholarship was established by colleagues, friends and family of Thomas A. Butcher to honor his 30th Anniversary at Grand Valley State University. In 1983, Tom joined Grand Valley’s human resources team as its assistant to the personnel officer and legal affairs assistant and moved up the ranks to become Grand Valley’s first in-house general counsel.
A Fulbright Fellow, Tom has led Grand Valley through many milestones, which include the expansion of campuses in Holland, Muskegon, Traverse City, Detroit, Grand Rapids and Allendale. He has played a significant role in Grand Valley’s chartering schools across the State of Michigan. His leadership also included serving as a member of the Senior Management Team and representing the university in numerous professional organizations and on boards across the state. Tom’s wife, Cheryl L. Butcher, in addition to supporting Tom’s career, is a dual graduate of Grand Valley as she was a non-traditional student while also being a mother and school teacher. Tom and Cheryl are passionate about higher education and are longtime supporters of need based scholarships that reward students for their leadership on and off campus.
Colleagues, Students, Friends and Family of Joan Boand and Patti Irwin-Rowe
The Boand-Rowe Scholarship for Advancement of Women in Sports & Physical Activity was created as part of a celebration of 40 years of Title IX, but more so as a reminder of the work that still needs to be done relevant to equity and sport and physical activity.
This endowed scholarship has been named in honor of two extraordinary women whose leadership and passion for activities that encourage and promote the advancement and awareness of equality under Title IX has made a long-lasting impact on Grand Valley State University students, faculty and staff, as well as the community at-large. Those two women are Joan Boand, professor emeritus of physical education and Patti Irwin-Rowe, professor emeritus of movement science.
To view a video of Joan Boand and Patti Irwin-Rowe please click here.
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences established the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Scholarship to encourage faculty, staff, alumni and friends to help shape the lives and professions of students pursing liberal arts and sciences degrees at Grand Valley State University (GVSU).
Founded in 1195 Colliers has emerged as a respected name in the business by delivering innovative results for clients with Office, Retail, Industrial, Hospitality, Land, Investment, Property Management and other specialized property needs. With nearly 50 real estate advisors, the company provides a full range of real estate services, including transaction, management, financial and strategic services to users and investors worldwide. This is achieved by having offices located in Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Grand Haven and Holland, Michigan, as well as having national affiliation with Colliers International.
Current and Retired Staff of GVSU Plant Services
Established in 1993 and supported by current and retired employees of Grand Valley State University Plant Services. Recipients must be descendants of Plant Services Personnel (P.S.P.).
Dale Schriemer and friends of Marney Houseman MacAdam
Established by Dale Schriemer and friends of Marney Houseman MacAdam, to honor her as a lifelong performer and vigorous supporter of the performing arts, and as one of the founders of the Opera Association of Western Michigan (now Opera Grand Rapids).
Daniel and Pamella DeVos
Daniel and Pamella DeVos are the founders of DP Fox Ventures, L.L.C., a diversified management enterprise with investments in real estate, transportation, sports and entertainment. Entrepreneurs with global interests, the DeVos’s roots are here in Western Michigan. They support a myriad of organizations that improve the quality of life locally.
Committed philanthropists, the DeVos’ have an extensive history of funding initiatives that promote a healthier community, with a focus on the arts, health and children’s causes. Their foundation has touched countless lives.
By creating The Pamella and Daniel G. DeVos Musical Theater Scholarship at Grand Valley State University, the DeVos’ express their belief that a vibrant arts community contributes to the fabric of society. The arts cultivate the mind and encourage creativity, touching people regardless of differences in culture, educational background and ability.
The music program at Grand Valley is presented in the context of a broad liberal arts education and is committed to providing cultural enrichment to students in all departments. This scholarship, which supports students in music, dance or theater who aspire to high levels of performance, represents the Devos’s values and their personal commitments. Both Daniel and Pamella give generously of their time and talent – each has served on boards and committees for the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra, the Grand Rapids Art Museum and numerous other arts and cultural organizations.
Daniel serves on the Board of Directors of Alticor, Inc. He also is director of the governing board of the Orlando Magic, president and CEO of the Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL), Grand Rapids Rampage (AFL), and president and CEO of Fox Motor Group. Pamella is an award-winning clothing designer whose creations routinely are found on the red carpet. Her Pamella Roland line is available internationally and at Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom.
Pamella currently is a trustee of the GVU Foundation. Both Pamella and Daniel have received Grand Valley State University’s Leadership Award.
Daniel and Stephanie Hurwitz in memory of Nathan Hurwitz
This scholarship was established by Daniel and Stephanie Hurwitz in memory of their son Nathan M. “Nate” Hurwitz. As a proud student at Forest Hills Eastern (FHE) High School, Nate served in student government and played an active role with both the football and baseball teams. He was passionately involved in the community, serving on the board of the West Michigan Miracle League and as a member of the Grand Rapids Community Foundation’s Youth Grant Committee. Nate had a great sense of humor, loved sports and excelled in school. His ever-present smile and positive attitude brought joy to so many, and the impact of his contributions will be felt for years to come.
Sadly, Nate passed away unexpectedly during the fall of his junior year at FHE. This scholarship will be awarded to a graduate of Forest Hills Eastern High School to assist with their freshman year.
Darld and Joyce Black
The family of Darld and Joyce Black are very pleased to give this scholarship in the honor and memory of Mrs. Black’s brother, Robert L. Klein.
Robert L. Klein was born the third son of Leo and Laura Klein in Flint, Michigan on June 3, 1925. He was educated in the Flint school system before entering the service. Robert was a World War II veteran, who honorably served his country and was wounded in the Normandy Campaign in July 1944. He was awarded the Purple Heart and The Bronze Star for his valor. After being wounded in the Normandy Campaign, he was returned to the states where he spent many months in a veterans’ hospital.
Upon being released from the hospital, he attended Ferris State College and graduated with an associate degree in Auto Mechanics. He then worked for several years in this occupation in the Flint, Michigan area. In his later years, he moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he volunteered for more than ten years at the Veterans’ Facility repairing and cleaning wheel chairs for disabled veterans. He died June 7, 2003 at the age of 78 and was given a military funeral.
David Alan Bergsma
The scholarship was established in memory of David Alan Bergsma. David was a graduate of Western Michigan University and very much interested in young people and especially those interested in athletics. The scholarship was established for the benefit of deserving student athletes.
David and Diana Moore
David and Diana Moore are committed to helping students at Grand Valley State University succeed. They have a strong appreciation for nature and science and want to assist a graduate student in biology with their education.
David and Jennifer '95, '10, '15 Deamud
The Be the Change Scholarship was established by David and Jennifer ‘95, ’10, ’15 Deamud to open doors to higher education for children impacted by incarceration during their youth. Jennifer earned her bachelor’s degree from Grand Valley State University (GVSU) in Advertising and Public Relations and two master’s degrees in Communications and Public and Nonprofit Administration. Jennifer is the Associate State Director of the Michigan Small Business Development Center (MI-SBDC) and is passionate about serving her community. Her leadership as a volunteer includes serving as an alumni champion and assisting women and children in various organizations in West Michigan. While working with incarcerated women, she saw the impact on their children, who often times grow up to repeat the cycle. After learning that Michigan ranked third for highest rates of children with a parent in prison, Jennifer and David decided they would be the change with her generosity and encourage others in the community to join them in blazing a new trail to higher education for promising students.