Student Support Services  
 

Meet the Staff

 

Gary Karasinski, M.A.
Director Student Support Services
Office: WC109
Phone: (616) 632-2163
E-mail: gjk001@aquinas.edu

Gary Karasinski has been the Director of Student Support Services at Aquinas College since 2008. He also serves as an associate adjunct professor in the education department. Gary earned his B.S. in Biology from Western Michigan University and his M.A. in Education Leadership from Grand Valley State University. Gary spent 39 years in the Wyoming Public Schools as a teacher, counselor and high school principal prior to joining the Aquinas College team.
 
Jill Straub, M.A.
Peer Tutoring Services Coordinator, Program Specialist
Office: WC105
Phone: (616) 632-2170
E-mail: straujil@aquinas.edu
Jill Straub coordinates Aquinas’ Peer Tutoring Services program for Academic & Learning Services, as well as serves as a Program Specialist for TRiO Student Support Services. In this capacity, Jill connects students requesting academic assistance in specific classes with experienced, highly qualified and faculty recommended peer tutors. Additionally, she advises students in class scheduling and is a liaison for TRiO Student Support Services’ students in ensuring their academic needs are being met. As a staff member of Aquinas College since 2000, Jill also formerly taught Achieving Academic Success classes and in the Humanities department. Jill earned her M.A. in Public History from Western Michigan University and will be completing her M.L.I.S. in Library and Information Science, with a concentration on Archival Administration, from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaulkee in May 2013. An ardent lover of 19th and early 20th century culture, Jill serves on the board of the Grand Rapids Women’s History Council, the Aquinas College Historical Commission, volunteers at a nursing home, and is independently editing a collection of letters from a local homesteader’s wife to her Civil War Union soldier husband. Besides building a small collection of cookbooks from the 19th century, (and actually trying to cook from them!), antiquing in the summertime, and travelling, Jill lives at home with her two attention-starved cats, one crazy Golden Retriever, and a tiny, water-loving dwarf frog.
 
La Tonia Plunkett, M.A.

Disability Services Coordinator, Program Specialist

Office: WC103

Phone: (616) 632-2177

E-mail: lcp002@aquinas.edu

La Tonia Plunkett is the Disability Services Coordinator and a Program Specialist for the TRiO Student Support Services program. She earned a M.A. in Educational Leadership from Western Michigan University.
 
June Stevenson
Administrative Support Coordinator
Office: WC107
Phone: (616) 632-2165
E-mail: stevejun@aquinas.edu
June Stevenson started at Aquinas in 2001 as the Administrative Assistant for the TRiO Student Support Services grant program. Currently, June is the Administrative Support Coordinator for the Academic & Learning Services department. She has served on the Safety Committee, Staff Affairs Committee and Customer Services Committee of the Staff Assembly.
 
Sara Haviland, M.A.
Program Specialist
Office: WC108
Phone: (616) 632-2167
E-mail: smh006@aquinas.edu
Sara Haviland earned a BA in English, Sociology, and a secondary teaching certificate from Aquinas College in 1995. She did her graduate work in reading at Western Michigan University while teaching middle school for Grand Rapids Public Schools in 2000. Since 2002, she has taught as an adjunct professor at various colleges including Grand Rapids Community College, Davenport University, and Aquinas College. In the fall of 2014, she started her role as a Student Support Services Program Specialist. When she is not teaching, she can found spending time with her supportive husband Chris and three beautiful daughters, Marion, Nora, and Stella.
 
Julie Bevins, M.A.
Coordinator of the Aquinas College Writing Center, Program Specialist
Office: WC 110C
Phone: (616) 632-2168
E-mail: jlb006@aquinas.edu
Julie Bevins is the Coordinator of the Aquinas College Writing Center and an Aquinas TRIO/SSS Specialist. She earned her B.A. in English from Western Michigan University and her M.A. in Composition Studies from the University of Toledo. She completed her graduate work in Composition Studies and Writing Center Theory and Practice at Michigan State University. While teaching and consulting in the MSU Writing Center, she also coordinated a four-year longitudinal university study on undergraduate writing called The Portfolio Project. In addition to several years of teaching composition and student inquiry courses at the University of Toledo, MSU, and Davenport University, Julie has over a decade of work in Catholic student and young adult ministry. Julie is married to her best friend, David, and God has blessed them with four children: Cormac, Hennessey, Bridget, and Brennan.