Staff Directory

Valerie Jones

Assistant Director of Student Life, Leadership and Service Initiatives

Valerie Jones 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.

Jeffrey Mutch
Community Service Learning Center 
1110 Kirkhof, #128

Jeff joined the GVSU Student Life staff in August 2011. As the Coordinator of the Community Service Learning Center, Jeff is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the CSLC and its staff, programs, and services, as well as growing and supporting institutional and community partnerships and service/service-learning opportunities. Among the programs and initiatives that Jeff is responsible for are; GVSU's Service Tracker online system, GVSU Campus Blood Drives, and the College Positive Volunteer training program. He also oversees the Service and Advocacy Registered Student Organization Council and Funding Board and serves the direct advisor for several student organizations.

Jeff earned his Bachelor of Science in Liberal Studies from GVSU in 2007 and his M.Ed. in College Student Affairs Leadership from GVSU in 2013. Jeff grew up in Cadillac, Michigan and now lives on the northwest side of Grand Rapids with his partner, Lisa, and their cat, Liz Lemon. When they aren’t working at GVSU, Jeff and Lisa enjoy golfing, fly fishing, running, kayaking, cooking, visiting with family and friends, and traveling. Liz Lemon enjoys napping, chasing lasers and eating plastic bags.

Laura Murnen
Graduate Assistant, Service Initiatives

Laura joined the GVSU Office of Student Life in August 2013. Prior to Grand Valley, Laura earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Wittenberg University. While in undergrad, she was involved in Student Senate, Greek life, and new student orientation, as well as worked in the Offices of Admission and Alumni Relations. Laura will be 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 Service Initiatives for the upcoming year! 

Kate Thome
Graduate Assistant, Leadership and Service Initiatives

Kate Thome joined the Office of Student Life staff in August 2013.  She earned her undergraduate degree in English with a minor in Elementary Education from GVSU and is excited to be a Laker for a second time!  Kate worked in K-12 education for several years, as a classroom teacher and youth program coordinator, before returning to Grand Valley to pursue her M.Ed in College Student Affairs Leadership.  In her free time, Kate enjoys spending time with family and friends, shopping, and being crafty!  Whether it is running, yoga, camping, or going to the beach, she loves to be outdoors in our beautiful mitten state.  Kate is looking forward to exploring new opportunities at Grand Valley and working with students to support service-learning and leadership programs!

Community Service Learning Center Consultants

Kelsey Rice 
Kelsey Rice is a Senior studying Liberal Studies with a minor in Psychology.  She is the Vice President of Alternative Breaks, the Sibs & Kids event coordinator on the Laker Traditions Team, and the Community Service Learning Center Staff Assistant.  Kelsey has served as an Americorps member twice and is pursuing Graduate School for Student Affairs.  She loves meeting new people, watching her favorite TV shows, and being a Laker for a Lifetime!

Rosa Fleming

Rosa is a junior majoring in both biomedical sciences and Pre-Dental with minors in Chemistry and Business.  She hopes to attend a Dental school after graduating.  Rosa is Treasurer of the Pre-Dental Club, a member of Senior Citizens Club, a consultant at the Community Service Learning Center, a tutor in the Math Lab and a waitress at TGI Fridays. She loves hanging out with friends, volunteering and staying involved on campus. She also loves helping others and giving back to her community!

Callie Higgins 

Callie Higgins is a Junior majoring in Human Resource Management with a minor in Statistics. She is Vice President of Society for Human Resource Management, Vice President of Events for the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Financial Officer of Stars for Make-A-Wish Foundation, and a member of GVSU Ski and Snowboard Club. In her spare time, Callie enjoys hanging out with friends and family, skiing, and lately running. She is very excited to be on the E-Board of Stars for Make-A-Wish Foundation, a non-profit agency that she is very passionate about, because of their exciting plans and events for the school year. 

Shannon Riffel 

Shannon is a Junior at GVSU, majoring in Public and Nonprofit Administration with an emphasis on Community Development and Planning and a minor in Women and Gender Studies.  She is very involved with Greek Life, holding the Service Chair position in her own chapter and being VP of Scholarship for the Panhellenic Community.  She also leads a freshman Life Group through Campus Ministry, and loves being able to guide new Lakers in the right direction.  Shannon has a passion for serving all people, especially inner-city populations, and hopes to turn this love for people into a career some day.  Her favorite part of serving is seeing the smile on someone's face and feeling the warmth of their hug, knowing how thankful they are that she chose to spend time with them.

Alison von Werder

Alison is a Secondary Education Group Social Studies major with a Mathematics Minor in her fourth year at Grand Valley. She is the President and passionate supporter of Alternative Breaks. In her free time (what is that?), Alison like to read and watch her favorite TV shows. She also spends a lot of time volunteering and, though it was hard to choose, her favorite experience with a nonprofit was her service learning study abroad trip to Ghana. While there, she worked with Challenging Heights, teaching math to fourth, fifth, and sixth graders. 


Community Service Learning Center (and Laker Leadership Program Interns

Bios to come! 

Page last modified November 21, 2013