Award-winning WMU alumna is new Grand Rapids regional location director

Contact: Amanda Geer
Joanne Roehm

Joanne Roehm

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Joanne Roehm, former director of Strategic Initiatives and LaughFest for Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids, took on the role of director for Western Michigan University's Grand Rapids regional location on June 14.

As a two-time Western graduate and recipient of the Grand Rapids Young Professionals Raising the Bar Award, Roehm will lead the University's largest regional location. With a robust portfolio of nonprofit program development, operations and project management experience, Roehm will bolster the Grand Rapids location's mission of helping working adults continue their education in a flexible, part-time format.

"I'm honored to accept the position of director for the WMU-Grand Rapids regional location, and I am so excited to help WMU-Grand Rapids become the school of choice for students in the area who are pursuing professional success on their own terms," says Roehm.

In addition to helping chart the future of the Grand Rapids location by spearheading the development and implementation of a new strategic plan, Roehm will serve as WMU's regional representative. As director, she'll strengthen the University's relationship with the Grand Rapids community by collaboratively assessing its needs, exploring opportunities for growth and developing engagement initiatives.

"We're delighted that Joanne will be joining our team," says Dr. Ed Martini, dean of University College and associate provost of WMUx. "As a long-time member of the Grand Rapids community, Joanne is the perfect person to help us build thriving partnerships to better understand how to serve that region and how we can provide the academic programs they need the most."

About Joanne Roehm

Roehm brings 15 years of experience in the nonprofit sector with emphases on fundraising, project management, communications, operations and program development to WMU-Grand Rapids. 

Prior to her decade at Gilda's Club, she held roles with Grandville Avenue Arts & Humanities, the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids and Opera Grand Rapids. Roehm has been profiled in Rapid Growth and Grand Rapids Magazine, was an Athena Young Professional finalist in 2014 and was awarded the Grand Rapids Young Professionals Raising the Bar Award in 2015.

Roehm is a two-time graduate of Western, receiving a bachelor's degree in music and communication in 2004 and a master's degree in nonprofit administration with a concentration in nonprofit leadership in 2010. She was also a member of the Leadership Grand Rapids class of 2013 and remains engaged with the Grand Rapids Chamber’s Create Great Leaders programs. Additionally, Roehm is an active volunteer for MomsBloom and Girls on the Run of Kent and Muskegon counties.

About the WMU-Grand Rapids regional location

With more than 1,500 students, WMU-Grand Rapids comprises the largest regional location for the University. In 2009, WMU-Grand Rapids marked 100 years of service to this metropolitan community. 

WMU-Grand Rapids offers more than 20 graduate degree programs in areas including business, engineering, education, counseling, public administration, social work, public health and occupational therapy. These programs are designed for working adults who need to continue their education and professional development in a flexible format. Programs can be completed entirely at WMU-Grand Rapids, and classes are scheduled primarily in the evenings or on weekends.

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