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Spotlights

Alumni Board of Directors

New members:

Existing members:

Deveta GardnerDr. Deveta Gardner
President

Associate Director, Career and Student Employment Services
Western Michigan University
1903 W. Michigan Ave.
Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5160
(269) 387-2751 | (269) 387-2555 fax

Deveta Gardner joined Western Michigan University as a career advisor in 1996. Since then, she has served various colleges of WMU including College of Health and Human Services, Haworth College of Business, College of Education and Human Development, and College of Fine Arts, providing career education workshops, career advising services, and career event management. She has also served as an instructor for Career Exploration and Development. Deveta spends a great deal of time integrating into the College. She is a member of the College of Education and Human Development Alumni Society Board of Directors serving as the president. Deveta earned her Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from WMU in 2002 and a B.A. from Howard University in Washington D.C. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in higher education leadership at WMU. Deveta is very active in numerous organizations locally, regionally and nationally and has been the recipient of several leadership awards. She is committed and passionate about empowering students to identify their strengths and pursue their goals with confidence.

Dennis McCrumbDennis McCrumb 
Past President

Department of Educational Leadership, Research and Technology
College of Education and Human Development
Western Michigan University
3426 Sangren Hall 
Kalamazoo, MI 49008 
(269) 387-1720

Dr. McCrumb is an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Leadership, Research and Technology. Previously, he spent 16 years as superintendent of schools in Marcellus, was assistant superintendent in Sparta, assistant high school principal in Connersville, IN and was a math teacher in Middlebury IN. He received his bachelor's degree from WMU in 1971 and his graduate degrees (M.S. '80, Ed.S. '82, Ed.D. '85) from Indiana University. Dr. McCrumb is the former president of the WMU Alumni Association Board of Directors

Judi BeamJudi Beam
Treasurer

Retired Reading Consultant and Recovery Teacher
Portage Public Schools

Judi is recently retired from the Portage Public School District where she held the positions of reading consultant and reading recovery teacher for Angling Road Elementary School for 19 years. She held many leadership positions and served on many committees in the Portage District prior to her retirement. Judi received her B.A. from WMU in 1966, M.A. in 1969 and an additional M.A. in 1994.

Maggie Hills
Chair, Membership Committee

Reading Consultant
Portage Public Schools
Portage, MI 49002
(269) 323-5965

Maggie Hills joined the Board of Directors in 2004. Maggie is a trained reading recovery teacher leader and works in Portage and surrounding districts with reading recovery teachers and students. She serves as a member of the Child Assistance Team and the School Improvement Team at Amberly Elementary. Maggie serves on the Curriculum Instruction Committee of the Portage Public Schools. Maggie teaches classes for WMU during the summer. She also teaches reading recovery graduate classes through Oakland University. In 2003 she presented a paper on reading recovery at Oxford and was nominated for the 2004 Michigan Teacher of the Year Award. Maggie is a member of Reading Recovery of North America, MEA, Phi Delta Kappa and The International Reading Association. Maggie received her B.A. from WMU in 1962 and her M.A. in 1981.

Charlotte GiscombeCharlotte Giscombe
Chair, Nominating Committee

Coordinator, Program Services
Academic Skills Center WMU
236 Moore Hall
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 387-4450  | (269) 387-4418 fax

Charlotte Giscombe has served as chair of the Nominating Committee for the last three years. She works for WMU as a program services coordinator in the Student Support Program. Charlotte received her bachelor's degree from Indiana University in 1978, a master's from WMU in 1998 and a Ph.D. in 2008.

Hardy FigueroaHardy Figueroa
Liaison, WMU Alumni Association
Ex-Officio

Associate Director, WMU Alumni Association
Western Michigan University
1903 W. Michigan Ave.
Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5404
(269) 387-8774 | (269) 387-8770 fax

Hardy is the director of regional and constituent outreach for the WMU Alumni Association. Among many other responsibilities, he coordinates alumni events around the nation and works with constituent groups on and off campus. He joined WMU in 1996 as an assistant director of admissions where he stayed until 2001 when he transferred to the Alumni Association. Hardy has been a part of the Alumni Society Board since 2003.

Dan PratleyDan Pratley
Secretary


Executive Director, Van Buren Research and Development Foundation
750 S. Paw Paw St.
Lawrence, MI 49064
(269) 674-3426 - office
(269) 569-0762 - cell

Dan Pratley earned his undergraduate degree in 1969 and a Master's Degree in Educational Leadership in 1972 from Western Michigan University. He earned his Ph.D. in K-12 administration from Michigan State University in 1992. Since his extensive career began in 1969, Dan has been a middle school teacher and middle school principal for Athens area schools and Lawton Community Schools. Prior to his retirement in 2003, Dan served as superintendant of Lawton Community Schools for 11 years. Currently, Dan is serving as Pupil Accounting Field Auditor for Van Buren Intermediate School District and Executive Director of the Van Buren Research and Development Foundation. He is also a part time professor for WMU's College of Education and Human Development's Teaching, Learning and Educational Studies Department and an adjunct professor for the College of Education and Human Services at Ferris State University. Dan joined the Board of Directors in 2011.

Betty DennisBetty Dennis
Membership Committee

Associate Dean, Extended University Programs
Extended University Programs
3202 Ellsworth Hall
1903 W. Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5230
(269) 387-4202 - office
(269) 270-4374 - cell

Dr. Dennis is the Associate Dean for WMU's Extended University Programs. She has been at WMU for 24 years in various positions, primarily academic advising and other student service areas. She received a Ph.D. in Higher Educational Leadership in 2007, M.A. in Counselor Education Counseling Psychology and a B.B.A. in 1987 from WMU. Dr. Dennis specializes in student retention, presenting to students and parents on strategies to stay in college. She has completed training through the HERS Institute and WMU's Leadership Academy. She is a lifetime member of WMU's Alumni Association and is new to the CoEHD Board.

Heather RussellHeather Russell

Principal
Pullman Elementary
Bloomingdale Public Schools
Bloomingdale, MI 49026
(269) 236-5235

Heather Russell is a 2008 graduate from Western Michigan University with a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership: Organizational Analysis. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and Spanish from WMU in 2002. Heather has been an elementary educator for the past seven years with Kalamazoo Public Schools. She has held various leadership positions in the district and the community such as Writing Leadership team member, writer and developer of district curriculum, 2006 Rotary International Group Study Exchange team member, and 2009 coach for Girls on the Run of Greater Kalamazoo. Heather taught second grade in KPS' dual language school, El Sol Elementary, and is currently the Principal at Pullman Elementary at Bloomingdale Public Schools.

Jessica KerbyJessica A Kerby



Counseling Psychologist
Apple and Associates, LLC
5955 West Main St.
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
(269) 205-6339

Jessica Kerby received a dual B.A. in Psychology and Theology in 2001 from Quincy University in Quincy, IL, followed by a M.A. in Counseling Psychology in 2006 and a Ph.D in Counseling Psychology in 2010, both from Western Michigan University. She also completed her predoctoral internship at the Western Michigan University Counseling and Testing Center from 2008-2009. She currently works in private practice at Apple and Associates, LLC, providing individual, couples, and family counseling. Additionally, she is a part-time instructor in both the Department of Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology and in the Specialty Program in Alcohol and Drug Abuse.

Amy BurnsAmy Burns
Secretary's Assistant
Ex-Officio

College of Education and Human Development
Office of the Dean
Western Michigan University
1903 W. Michigan Ave.
Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5229
(269) 387-2966 | (269) 387-2882 fax

Amy Burns is the administrative assistant and building coordinator in the College of Education and Human Development. She has been with the University since 1980 and began working in the College of Education and Human Development in June, 1988. Her primary responsibilities include working directly with the Dean and planning all of the Dean's Office and Alumni Society events. She works closely with the faculty, staff, students and emeriti. She has been very active with the Alumni Society board for the past 23 years and serves as the liaison between the College and the Alumni Society board.

Takunia CollinsTakunia Collins
Student Organization Liaison

Division of Multicultural Affairs
Mentor Michigan College Coaching Corps Member

Western Michigan University
2231 Ellsworth Hall
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
269-387-4744

Takunia Collins graduated from Western Michigan University in 2010 with a B.A. in Secondary Education and English. After graduating from Western Michigan University, Takunia has been a critical component of the rebuilding and future success of a College of Education and Human Development honor student organization. This organization, known as Kappa Delta Pi Beta Iota Chapter, recognizes those who show exemplary work and leadership not only within their courses, but in the College of Education and Human Development as a whole. Takunia has been a regular building substitute teacher throughout the district of Kalamazoo for the last several years, as well as working closely with both the Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools of Kalamazoo and Western Michigan University’s Upward Bound Program. Takunia is currently serving in the United States AmeriCorps in the Division of Multicultural Affairs at Western Michigan University where he trains, mentors, and supervises individuals that are often going into the education field, to be placed as service learners within the Kalamazoo school district.

Ann Nieuwenhuis

Comstock Township Supervisor, Former Kalamazoo County Commissioner, and retired Michigan State University County Extension Director
 
5833 East HJ Avenue
Kalamazoo MI 49048
(269) 567-0983