Colette Seguin Beighley became director of the Grand Valley State University Milton E. Ford LGBT Resource Center in 2010 after holding the assistant director position for two years. Prior to her work at GVSU, Colette was director of communications for Triangle Foundation, Michigan's anti-violence and advocacy organization serving the LGBT communities. Her work at Triangle Foundation began as West Michigan field organizer where she opened their first field office which was located in Grand Rapids. Colette served as Michigan Safe Schools Coordinator for PFLAG (Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) prior to her work with the statewide organization. Colette holds an M.S. in Counseling and Mental Health and is licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist in both California and Michigan. In clinical practice, she has worked with individuals and families.
Colette has served as co-chair of the Great Lakes region of the National Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals and as co-chair for the Michigan Higher Education Consortium for Equality, an organization which serves existing as well as burgeoning campus LGBT Resource Centers in Michigan. She has also served on the board of Equality Michigan. Currently, she serves on the National Advisory Board for "Expanding the Circle: LGBTQ Studies and Services in Higher Education."
In 2008, Colette received the West Michigan Pride ACE Advocacy Award for her work on behalf of the LGBT community. In 2012, the GVSU Women's Commission presented her with the Maxine Swanson Award for leadership in support of the rights of women at Grand Valley State University. In 2014, Colette received the Milton E. Ford Leadership Award for service to the LGBT community at Grand Valley State University.
Carrie Simmons serves as the Program Coordinator and has been working for the center since it opened in the fall of 2008. Prior to this, she worked in GVSU's Housing and Residence Life department and at Rochester Institute of Technology in Residence Life. Carrie holds a Master's Degree in College Student Affairs and a Bachelor's in Elementary Education from Western Michigan University.
Carrie’s passion for justice issues arose in high school when she started the Recycling Club her junior year. Since then she has been highly passionate about many topics including environmental, LGBT, gender, economic, disabilities and food justice.
In the spring of 2012, Carrie traveled with 12 GVSU students and a professor to New Zealand to study eco-villages and experience collective living. This month-long trip, along with the experiences from helping to create, implement and participate in Change U: Social Justice Training, has been integral in shaping Carrie’s passions and professional work.
Emily West graduated from Hope College in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Women's Studies. At Hope, Emily was involved in extensive campus organizing. In the three years she worked for Hope College TRiO Upward Bound, Emily served as an Academic Coach and Resident Director. Emily completed a year of service with AmeriCorps at Goodwill Industries of Grand Rapids, working in the Youth Services Department. Emily has worked as a field organizer for both Holland is Ready and Unity Michigan. Emily's work with Unity Michigan focused on amending Michigan's Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act of 1976 to be inclusive of perceived sexual orientation and gender identity. Additionally, Emily has participated in both our social justice training series: Change U 1.0 and Change U 2.0.
Emily is currently pursuing a Master's of Education Degree with an emphasis in Adult and Higher Education.
Scott Burden is a graduate of Calvin College where he studied Special Education. Throughout his time at Calvin, Scott worked for the admissions office and new student orientation, which is where his passion for student affairs began. Upon graduation in 2012, Scott began working for a non-profit called Young Life in the Grand Rapids community and, through numerous personal growth experiences, realized his desire to pursue a graduate degree in higher education with hopes of empowering students to lead an authentic life within the context of their undergraduate experience. Scott looks forward to learning more about social justice as he is passionate about radical queer theory and exploring the intersection of athletics and sexuality. We look forward to working with Scott as he pursues his Master’s Degree in College Student Affairs Leadership.
Student worker staff photo credit: Zachary Carlson, 2014.
Rachael is a fourth-year Communications major with an emphasis in Journalism. She believes in the future of a just world and continuously strives to create an inclusive campus. She is co-facilitator of Loud & Queer and Change U Social Justice Training, an Ambassador for the LGBT Resource Center, a member of the Continuing Trial of Trayvon Martin committee, President of the International Socialist Club, and is a part of the Speak Up Against Bias team.
Andrew is a third year student at Grand Valley. They are currently pursuing a degree in the Women and Gender studies program. Andrew also has a passion for social justice and radical queerness. A proud member of Loud and Queer, a queer social group, they also look forward to doing meaningful work with the center. In their spare time they enjoy reading, running, and hanging out with friends.
Kayla is a second year student at GVSU. Kayla is a proud member of Loud and Queer, an LGBT student group on campus. Kayla's also the Junior captain of the Women's Ultimate Frisbee Team, the First Class Ladies.
Tyler is a psychology major who is passionate about social justice work. He is a co-facilitator for the First-Year Queer Alliance, an Ambassador for the LGBT Resource Center, a member of the LGBT Resource Center's Advisory Board, the undergraduate representative for the LGBT Alumni Association and is on the Speak Up Against Bias team.
Liam Bailey, Program and Office Coordinator, Gays in Faith Together (GIFT)
Scott Berlin, Director, BSW Program; Assistant Professor, Social Work
Lynn "Chick" Blue, Vice Provost and Dean of Academic Services and Information Technology
Danielle DeMuth, Assistant Professor, Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies
Kyle Felker, LGBT Faculty & Staff Association President
Takeelia Garrett-Lynn, Assistant Director, Housing and Resident Life
Kevin Gierman, Director of HIV Program Services, The Grand Rapids Red Project
Todd Heywood, Senior Reporter, American Independent News
Grace Hoyer, Academic Community Liaison, Kirkhof College of Nursing
Jessica Jennrich, Director, Women's Center
Tony Josephson, Senior Compensation Consultant, People Services - Herman Miller
Marlene Kowalski-Braun, Assistant Vice Provost for Student Affairs
Rhonda LeMieux, Student Services Assistant, Dean of Students Office
Steven Lipnicki, Assistant Dean, Director of Pew Student Services
Donald Mitchell, Professor, College Student Affairs Leadership
Matthew Mokma, Assistant Director of Development and Alumni Relations - University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Business Administration
Andrew Plague, GVSU Student Senate President
Mark Sampson, Clinical Director, Counseling Center
Colette Seguin Beighley, Director, Milton E. Ford LGBT Resource Center
Judith Snow, Therapist and Author
Kathleen VanderVeen, Director of Disability Support Services
Doug VanDoren, Pastor, Plymouth United Church of Christ
Gary VanHarn, Allies & Advocates Chair, Padnos International Center Staff
Emily West, LGBT Coordinator, Milton E. Ford LGBT Resource Center
Rick Westra, Product Specialist, Herman Miller