Aaron Yore-VanOosterhout, Ph.D., is a research manager in the Community Data and Research Lab (CDRL) at the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University, where he designs, manages, and carries out a broad variety of community-based research projects in areas ranging from homelessness to prison-based, post-secondary education.
Alongside his work at the Johnson Center, Dr. Yore-VanOosterhout serves as a research consultant at Lighthouse Immigrant Advocates, a nonprofit immigration legal office in Holland, Mich. He also serves on the board of Humanity for Prisoners, a Spring Lake, Mich.-based organization that assists incarcerated people with a variety of needs, from helping them obtain medical care to advocating on their behalf before prison and state officials. In addition, he sits on the College Advisory Committee for the College of Community and Public Service at GVSU, and serves on the Institutional Review Board for Calvin University.
Prior to joining the Johnson Center, Dr. Yore-VanOosterhout taught history at a number of colleges and universities in the United States and Mexico. Most recently, he taught courses on race and rebellion in Latin America at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. Dr. Yore-VanOosterhout has published a book chapter and numerous articles and reviews in leading publications in this field. Outside academia, Dr. Yore-VanOosterhout has worked on issues of criminal justice for more than a decade. From 2017–18, he worked as an independent consultant for the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, conducting research on long-term incarceration in Michigan state correctional facilities.
Dr. Yore-VanOosterhout sees his work at the Johnson Center as an opportunity to pursue social justice in West Michigan. By listening to a broad spectrum of community voices — from nonprofit directors to the people whose lives they touch — he hopes to help area organizations strengthen their services and improve their reach.