Board of Directors

headshotDeveta Gardner
Associate Director, Career and Student Employment Services
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5160 USA
Office: (269) 387-2751
Fax: (269) 387-2555
Dr. Deveta Gardner joined Western Michigan University as a career advisor in 1996. Since then, Gardner 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 the Office of Career Exploration and Development. Gardner earned her Master of Arts in educational leadership from WMU in 2002 and a bachelor's 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. Gardner is committed and passionate about empowering students to identify their strengths and pursue their goals with confidence.

headshotDennis 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 
Office: (269) 387-1720
Dr. Dennis McCrumb is an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Leadership, Research and Technology at Western Michigan University. Previously, McCrumb spent 16 years as superintendent of schools in Marcellus, was assistant superintendent in Sparta, assistant high school principal in Connersville, Ind. and was a math teacher in Middlebury Ind. McCrumb 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. McCrumb is the former president of the WMU Alumni Association Board of Directors.

Judi BeamJudi Beam
Reading Consultant and Recovery Teacher, Portage Public Schools (retired)

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 bachelor's from WMU in 1966, M.A. in 1969 and an additional M.A. in 1994.
Maggie Hills Maggie Hills
Chair, Membership Committee
Reading Consultant
Portage Public Schools
Portage MI 49002
Office: (269) 323-5965
Maggie Hills joined the Board of Directors in 2004. Hills 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. Hills serves on the Curriculum Instruction Committee of the Portage Public Schools. Hills 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. Hills received her B.A. from WMU in 1962 and her M.A. in 1981.

headshotCharlotte Giscombe

Chair, Nominating Committee
Coordinator, Program Services
Academic Skills Center WMU
236 Moore Hall
Kalamazoo MI 49008
Office: (269) 387-4450
Fax: (269) 387-4418
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 degree from WMU in 1998 and a Ph.D. in 2008.

headshotHardy Figueroa
Liaison, WMU Alumni Association
Associate Director, WMU Alumni Association
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5404 USA
Office: (269) 387-8774
Fax: (269) 387-8770

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.

headshotDan Pratley
Executive Director, Van Buren Research and Development Foundation
750 S Paw Paw St
Lawrence MI 49064
Office: (269) 674-3426
Mobile: (269) 569-0762

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, Pratley 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 superintendent 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 Department of Teaching, Learning and Educational Studies and an adjunct professor for the College of Education and Human Services at Ferris State University. Pratley joined the Board of Directors in 2011.

headshotBetty Dennis
Membership Committee
Associate Dean, Extended University Programs
Extended University Programs
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5230
Office: (269) 387-4202
Mobile: (269) 270-4374

Dr. Betty 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. Dennis 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. 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. Dennis is a lifetime member of WMU's Alumni Association and is new to the College of Education and Human Development Board.

Heather RussellHeather Russell
Principal, Pullman Elementary, Bloomingdale Public Schools
Bloomingdale, MI 49026
Office: (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.

headshotJessica A Kerby
Counseling Psychologist
Apple and Associates, LLC
5955 W Main St
Kalamazoo MI 49009
Office: (269) 205-6339

Jessica Kerby received a dual B.A. in psychology and theology in 2001 from Quincy University in Quincy, Ill., 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 pre-doctoral internship at the Western Michigan University Counseling and Testing Center from 2008-09. Kerby 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.

headshotAmy Burns

Secretary's Assistant
College of Education and Human Development
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5229 USA
Office: (269) 387-2966
Fax: (269) 387-2882

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. Burns 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.

headshotTakunia Collins
Student Organization Liaison
Division of Multicultural Affairs
Mentor Michigan College Coaching Corps Member
Western Michigan University
2231 Ellsworth Hall
Kalamazoo MI 49008
Office: (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, Collins 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. Collins 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. Collins 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.

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



headshotLinda Law