Staff Information

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Patrick Vrooman, Ph.D., Director
vrooman@bgsu.edu
419-372-9185

Born in Metamora, OH, to an “education family” (Dad taught high school social studies; Mom worked in the business office), Vrooman grew up at summer camp (specifically, Camp Lakota, Defiance, OH) where his parents worked in the summers.  When he was old enough, he started working on camp staffs and began developing his approach to teaching.  He didn’t know what he wanted to do in college, so he got on a bus to go cross-country to Eastern New Mexico University (ENMU) in Portales, NM, where he graduated with a degree in English and a minor in Anthropology.  He thought he’d be a teacher, but nobody told him he needed a degree in Education.  Without an appropriate degree but wanting to work with children, he moved to Portland, OR, to attend the Northwest Nannies Institute (NNI), to become a certified nanny.  While nannying, Vrooman explored masters’ degrees in teaching (career interest) and mythology (personal interest) and moved to Logan, UT, to study the Theory and Practice of Writing as well as Folklore Studies at Utah State University (USU).  Family needs brought him back to Metamora, and soon thereafter, he started the doctoral program in American Culture Studies at Bowling Green State University, studying youth culture.  As a graduate student, he worked with Dr. Kathy Farber’s office, Partnerships for Community Action (PCA), where they used a grant program to develop mutually beneficial partnerships between the university and the surrounding community.  One of his first projects was to research and write a section of a grant proposal called Partners in Context and Community—which became the PCC learning community, now called ECCO.  He continued to work at summer camps, worked for the Boy Scouts of America, eventually got married, became the assistant director of PCA, and graduated in 2007 with his doctoral degree.  His dissertation is titled, “Passing Masculinities at Boy Scout Camp,” where he explored the ways young men on Boy Scout camp staffs negotiate various identities as they become men.  Vrooman is married (Amanda) and has three children (Zoe, Emma, and Wyatt) and lives in Bowling Green near his work.

Ardy Gonyer

Ardy Gonyer

ECCO Graduate Assistant

gonyerh@bgsu.edu

Ardy Gonyer was born and raised right here in Bowling Green, OH.  Ardy completed his B.A. in Psychology at Bowling Green State University before moving on to complete a Master’s in Education in College Student Personnel at Ohio University.  Ardy then spent time working at Ohio University full-time in the area of Student Conduct Administration before returning to Bowling Green to join the doctorate in Higher Education Administration program.   

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Grant Toepfer-Gaver

ECCO Graduate Assistant

gaverg@bgsu.edu

Grant is originally from Ohio and completed a B.A in Psychology with a minor in Popular Culture at Bowling Green State University.  During his time here, Grant worked with the Office of Service Learning, BG Teen Center, and the Children's Resource Center.  Grant then moved to California and worked with students who had special needs and emotional disorders.  Grant is now enrolled in the Master's of School Counseling Program.  Grant is a recent newlywed who enjoys spending time with his wife, Carly and their dog, Taco. 

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Annie Huffman

Graduate Assistant

ahuffma@bgsu.edu  

Annie was raised in Bowling Green, OH and is an alum of Bowling Green State University.  She worked in the business world for four years before returning to Bowling Green to pursue a Master's in Mental Health Counseling.  Annie enjoys spending time with her son, Kolton while they raise chickens and turkeys!   

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Lisa Lucas

Graduate Assistant

llucas@bgsu.edu

Lisa is currently a graduate student in the Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling program.  She graduated from Southern Oregon University with her Master of Arts in Teaching in 2003, followed by a 2.5 year stint living in the South Pacific island nation of Tonga where she served as a Peace Corps volunteer.  Lisa has also worked as a high school Spanish teacher in the state of Oregon for six years.  While she dearly misses the Pacific Northwest and all it has to offer, she enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter here in Ohio. 

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Yifei Li

Graduate Assistant

yifeil@bgsu.edu  

Yifei is from China, and completed a B.A. in English Language and Literature at Xiangtan University in China.  She also has a Master's in Comparative Literature from Sichuan International Studies University in China.  Yifei taught languages at Hunan Institute of Science & Technology for ten years before coming to Bowling Green State University to pursue her PhD in Higher Education Administration.  Yifei spends most of her free time with her son, Zhancheng, who is four and a half.  

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Yihui Li

Graduate Assistant

liyihu@bgsu.edu  

Hello! My name is Yihui Li. I am from China. I received my Bachelors degree and Masters degree in China. My professional experience consists of 3 years as a teacher and 5 years as a senior administrator staff​ in the academic affairs office in the same university in China. Currently I am working on my Ph.D. degree in Higher Education and Administration from Bowling Green State University.