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Meet the Staff

Meet the Staff

The Office of Alumni & Development staff serves Davenport University by serving you. We look forward to meeting you and sharing the opportunities for you to become more involved in the present and future of Davenport – its students and its success!



Contact Michele:

 Michele Davis
Executive Director of Sponsored Programs & Grant Development 

Michele serves as Executive Director of Sponsored Programs & Grant Development, founding the Office in 2012. She is responsible for pre-award, post-award, financial administration and compliance of grants from government, foundation, corporate, and other non-profit entities. Prior to joining Davenport University, Michele spent more than five years as the Senior Grant Writer for Corporate and Foundation Relations at Kent State University. In addition, she spent nearly ten years in workforce development, fundraising and grant writing for a local non-profit agency as well as one year for a Fortune 500 company. While at Kent State, she co-chaired the Institutional Advancement Diversity Action Council and the University-wide 100 Commitments Diversity Initiative. Michele holds a bachelor's degree in English and Economics and has studied Cultural Anthropology at the graduate level. She also serves as the Alumni & Development Office representative for the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council and as the Co-chair of the DEI Data Sub-committee.


Contact Jon:

Jon Hankins
Director of Major Gifts

Jon serves as the Director of Major Gifts. He brings over 19 years of business development and corporate fundraising experience from community-based and higher education non-profits, where he secured significant contributions from businesses, corporate foundations, and individuals. He spent 12 years working in workforce development with Trillium Employment Services in Seattle, Washington, six years in community development and corporate fundraising with Habitat for Humanity of Kent County, and one and a half years of major gift fundraising at Aquinas College before joining the Foundation team at Davenport. He has held multiple leadership roles as a Rotarian with the Rotary Club of West Seattle and now the Rotary Club of Grand Rapids, where he will be the president in 2020. Jon graduated with a BA in Communications from Albion College.

Contact Alysa:

Alysa Hunton
Director of Prospect Research and Stewardship

Alysa is the Director of Prospect Research and Scholarship Stewardship.  She has worked in the field of fundraising development for many years in a variety of positions with a number of diverse nonprofits, including Children’s Hospital of Michigan and the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit.  She has a BA in English from Michigan State University and a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from Oakland University.  A former lifelong resident of the east side of the state, Alysa moved to West Michigan in 2017 when she began working at Davenport.  In her spare time, she enjoys world travel, cooking, volunteering, and exploring all the arts and culture that West Michigan offers. 

Contact Erik:

Erik Dane '07
Assistant Director of Alumni Relations and Events

Erik serves as the Assistant Director of Alumni Relations and Events. He rejoins the Panthers after working with Grand Valley State University in the Conference and Event Planning Department. A Davenport alumni himself, Erik spent seven years with Davenport in various event planning capacities. With over 11 years of event planning experience, he strives for events that consistently exceed the specified goals and create lasting positive guest experiences. Erik holds a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Management and graduated with his MBA in Strategic Management from Davenport University in 2007. He looks forward to working with fellow Davenport alum throughout the state.


Contact Megan:

Megan Sjolander
Assistant Director of Annual Giving

Megan joined Davenport University as the Assistant Director of Annual Giving. Megan recently moved to Grand Rapids from the Metro Detroit area. Megan holds her bachelor’s degree in hospitality business from Michigan State University and has spent all of her professional career in fundraising. Before joining our team, Megan served as an Onsite Program Manager with Wilson Bennett Technology, where she consulted and developed Phonathon programs for colleges and universities across the country. Most recently, Megan worked for Michigan State University as the Assistant Director for Leadership Annual Giving for the College of Law, where she connected with MSU alumni and implemented the colleges Leadership Annual Giving program. In her free time, Megan enjoys cooking, camping, hiking and spending time with family and friends.

Contact Laura:

Laura Macka
Director of Advancement Operations

Laura joined the Alumni and Development staff in 2014 in her role as the Manager of Data Systems & Gift Processing.  Before joining our team, Laura worked in education as a Middle School teacher and in Adult Education as well.  She also served as the Membership Manager at John Ball Zoo where she gained experience in maintaining donor records and data systems using Blackbaud’s Raiser’s Edge. The most rewarding aspect of Laura's job is connecting with DU alums and hearing their stories.

Contact Deb:


 Debra Bales '04
Executive Administrative Assistant

Deb has been with Davenport University since 2010, serving in Student Services, Executive Office, Human Resources and now for the Alumni & Development Office.  She is a DU Alumni with a Bachelor Degree in Marketing and Management.  Deb enjoys traveling, crafts of all kinds and spending time with family and friends. Deb and her husband Dave live in Jenison.

Contact Us:

6191 Kraft Avenue, S.E.
Grand Rapids, MI 49512

Phone: (616) 233-3412
Fax: (616) 233-3462