Laker Leadership Programs

Staff Directory

Valerie Guzman 
Assistant Director of Student Life - Leadership & Service Initiatives

Valerie joined the GVSU Office of Student Life staff in August 2008 as one of several Assistant Directors. She directly oversees the Laker Leadership Programs and the Community Service Learning Center staff, programs, and resources. Additionally, Valerie serves as a resource for all Service & Advocacy groups on campus and is the direct advisor of several service organizations at GVSU, including Alternative Breaks and Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honorary. Prior to arriving at GVSU, Valerie spent several years working at the University of Miami (Coral Gables, FL) in the service and leadership office. Valerie earned her undergraduate degree from Central Michigan University and M.Ed in College Student Affairs Leadership at GVSU. She is originally from west Michigan and resides in northwest Grand Rapids. Outside of work Valerie is a dance instructor at a local dance studio, enjoys cooking, and is working toward her EdD.

StrengthsQuest Signature Themes: Discipline * Achiever * Responsibility * Harmony * Focus

Nicole Wilson
Graduate Assistant, Laker Leadership Programs

Nicole was thrilled to join the GVSU Office of Student Life in August 2014. Prior to Grand Valley, Nicole earned her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Calvin College. While in undergrad, she was involved in residence life, new student orientation, weekend programming, and admissions. Nicole is pursuing her master’s degree in College Student Affairs Leadership at GVSU. She is looking forward to this new adventure and is excited to start working on Laker Leadership Programs for the upcoming year! 

StrengthsQuest Signature Themes: Positivity * Relator * Developer * Achiever * Strategic


Brendan Gallagher

Graduate Assistant - Leadership Development

Brendan joined the GVSU Office of Student Life in July 2014. Prior to Grand Valley, Brendan earned his bachelors degree in Elementary Education from the University of Michigan-Dearborn. While in undergrad, he was involved with the Student Activities Board, Student Government, Amnesty International, Alternative Spring Break, as well as taught at the UM-Dearborn Early Childhood Education Center. Brendan will be pursuing his master’s degree in College Student Affairs Leadership at GVSU. He is looking forward to working in the Office of Student Life at GVSU and making a positive difference in the campus community. 


Maria Beelen
Leadership Staff Assistant
Bio coming soon!

Laker Leadership Interns 2014-15

Kellie Howe

Kellie Howe is a junior studying Public and Non-Profit Administration with minors in Writing and Business. In the future, she hopes to work with non-profits that benefits children. Kellie is also involved in Residence Housing Association and the International House. In her free time, Kellie loves being outdoors and playing all kinds of sports including water polo, snowboarding,  waterskiing, and wakeboarding. 

Albert Hum

Albert is the first member of his family who attends a university in the United States. His major is in Religious Studies and minor in Philosophy. As a Leadership and Service intern, he uses his passion for working together to accomplish challenging tasks and duties. He play musical instruments at his church worship band and enjoys getting involved in the community. 

Kelsey Keipert

Kelsey is a sophomore majoring in Finance and Accounting, with a minor in Non-Profit Administration. After graduation, she hopes to go into non-profit financial management and is very excited to take part in this Leadership and Service Internship. On campus, Kelsey is a member of the Honors College, Future Alumni Association, Net Impact, and Campus Lion’s Club. In her free time she enjoys baking, reading, and spending time with her cats.


Danielle Tanner 

Danielle Tanner is a junior at GVSU. She is currently studying pre-medicine and international relations with the determination of joining Doctors Without Borders. Typically you can find her playing piano, painting, cooking, reading, or camping and hiking. She is also so excited to begin her internship with such lovely people in the Office of Student Life!


Emily Smigiel

Emily is a senior majoring in Liberal Studies with an emphasis in Health Care Leadership. She currently participates in Sigma Alpha Lambda, Omicron Delta Kappa, Leadership University and Aspiring Student Affairs Professionals. After graduation, Emily would like to further her education by pursuing a career within higher education and student affairs. She is very excited to join the Laker Leadership & Service Team!

Page last modified March 25, 2015