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Research Meets Practice

December 12, 2018 @ 11:30 AM1:00 PM EST

Please join us for a showcase of the research of alumni of the GVSU’s School of Public, Nonprofit and Health Administration. This presentation will fuel a discussion for how research can influence practice and how nonprofit organizations can be better consumers of research. The student papers were published in the SPNHA Review, and free copies will be distributed to all event attendees.

Presenters and their research topics will include:

  • Debra Barnum  //  Michigan Juvenile Waiver Law: Time for Repeal
  • Tammy Britton //  Engaging Low-Income Individuals and Communities to Advocate for Antipoverty Public Policies
  • Kaitlyn Kleibusch  //  Wayfinding and Dementia: How Design Can Improve Navigation Among Older Adults in Assisted-Living Facilities
  • Elizabeth Knape  //  Local Government and Affordable Housing Tools

Each speaker will present for approximately 15 minutes, followed by discussion and Q&A with the audience.

Attendees are welcome to bring a lunch to this event. Water, coffee, and tea will be provided.

Cost: Free!

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Click here to download a parking pass for this event.

Photo: Debra Barnum
Debra Barnum obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice with emphasis in Juvenile Justice from GVSU in 1998 and a Master of Public Administration degree with concentration in Public Management in 2017. As a Peace Corps Volunteer, Debra taught English to high school and middle school students from 1999–2001 in Pecica, Romania. Upon returning, Debra utilized her Criminal Justice degree as a Juvenile Probation Officer at Berrien County Trial Court – Family Division, where she wrote numerous juvenile waiver and designation reports with recommendations for the court. Since then, Debra has taught English in South Korea and, most recently, served as Community Services Assistant for the Area Community Services and Training Council (ACSET) – Community Action Program. Debra’s career focus and passion has been centered on working with juveniles and adults in various capacities to facilitate growth, education, accountability, independence, responsibility, and empowerment. Debra took her passion for helping others to new heights in 2011 when she left her job at ACSET to provide full-time care for her disabled mother.
Photo: Tammy Britton
Tammy Britton is a 2010 graduate of Austin Peay State University where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Corporate Communications and a 2017 graduate of Grand Valley State University where she earned a Master of Public Administration with a concentration in Nonprofit Management and Leadership. Tammy is currently working as a Project Manager for Talent 2025 in Grand Rapids, MI. She has previously worked for both nonprofit and government agencies in several areas of social service including low-income housing, workforce development, food assistance, and with children of active duty service members. Tammy is passionate about reducing poverty and plans to continue her education and career in social services, specifically inclusive economic development. Tammy lives in Grand Rapids with her husband and three kids, and currently serves as Secretary and Trustee on the board for the Kenowa Hills Education Foundation.
Photo: Kaitlyn Kleibusch
Kaitlyn Kleibusch received her Bachelor in Psychology with a biology minor from Aquinas College in 2015, and her Master of Health Administration with a concentration in long-term care from Grand Valley State University in 2017. While in graduate school, she participated in Grand Valley’s 12th Annual Art & Science of Aging conference, developed a social determinants of health learning module for students enrolled in health professions, and earned a certificate in Interprofessional Education. She is an active member in a number of nationally and internationally recognized academic honor societies including, Phi Kappa Phi, Upsilon Phi Delta, Omicron Delta Kappa, and Psi Chi. Kaitlyn currently serves as a Product Manager at Priority Health, and aspires to improve member health and well-being through innovative employer solutions, and hopes to increase health literacy throughout the state.
Photo: Elizabeth Knape
Elizabeth Knape is a 2017 graduate of Grand Valley State University’s Master of Public Administration program with an emphasis in Urban Planning. It was here she discovered her passion for the provision of affordable housing units that are safe, beautiful, and in the heart of the community. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Alma College in 2009 and majored in Psychology and Political Science. She currently works in Plainfield Charter Township’s Community Development Department as an Assistant Planner, where she collaborates with developers and home owners to make their proposed projects a reality.


December 12, 2018
11:30 AM – 1:00 PM EST
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Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy, Grand Valley State University


Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy
201 Front Ave SW, Suite 200
Grand Rapids, MI 49504 United States
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