CoSAGE Directory

Associate Professor

Dr. Debra Schutte leads the CoSAGE Project in partnership with her collaborator and spouse, Dr. Brian Schutte. Debra has been a Registered Nurse since 1982, beginning her career as a staff nurse in adult critical care units in both community and university hospitals in Nebraska, Wisconsin and Illinois.

Associate Professor Microbiology and Molecular Genetics

Brian is the dual Principal Investigator of CoSAGE along with his collaborator and spouse Dr. Debra Schutte.  Brian earned his undergraduate degree in Chemistry (1983) from Creighton University in Omaha, NE, a liberal arts college run by the Jesuit Order.  Attending Creighton University not only provided Brian with a top-notch education, but was also a natural extension of his Catholic roots.  The other important milestone at Creighton was that Brian and Deb were married.  Brian earned his PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1988).

Research Nurse/ Project Coordinator

Jamie is the Research Nurse and Project Coordinator for CoSAGE. Jamie earned her BSN from Madonna University. After graduation she worked as a staff nurse in oncology, medical/surgical and hospice. She continued to work in hospice as an admission nurse, case manager and then as a Patient Care Manger for one of the largest hospice companies in the United States.

Co-Investigator

Jerry is a Co-Investigator on the CoSAGE team, serving as an audiological adviser. Although officially retired from Michigan State University after 21 years in a tenured position in the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders, he remains active in several research and service projects, including CoSAGE and membership on MSU’s Institutional Review Board. He is clinically certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).

Research Assistant

Emilie is a Registered Nurse and third year PhD student in the College of Nursing.  Her primary research interests are genetics of Alzheimer disease.  Her personal interests include spending time with her husband and puppy, being outdoors, and cooking.  Emilie became involved in CoSAGE when she started graduate school in the Fall of 2009.  She has been a graduate research assistant with Dr.

Research Assistant

Yanfen Zhai is a Research Assistant in the CoSAGE Genotyping Core. Yanfen was originally trained in traditional Chinese Medicine at the Hebei University of Medicine in her home country of China. Since moving to the United States, she has worked in several laboratories on the Michigan State University campus, involving a wide range of biochemical and molecular techniques. Yanfen has worked in Dr. D. Schutte’s laboratory for over three years, managing the laboratory analyses for Dr. D. Schutte’s Alzheimer disease research.

Post Doctoral Researcher-DREAM-M Investigator

Ellen is a postdoctoral researcher at MSU in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics.  She has been a bookstore clerk, high school biology teacher, and groundwater hydrologist, in Maine and New Mexico, before moving to Michigan in 1998.  A longstanding interest in human genetics resulted in a PhD from MSU in 2010 under the mentorship of Dr.

Community Research Ethics Committee

Leo is currently retired and enjoys working on anything with a motor – antique cars, tractors, etc.  He also enjoys riding his motorcycle (always with a helmet).  Leo got involved with CoSAGE in 2010.  His main motivation was to “support two family members who have hearing loss”.

Community Research Ethics Committee

Father K13 was a senior Catholic priest, but is now retired form being a pastor of a parish.  He resides in Fowler, his hometown, and still helps out at Most Holy Trinity parish when needed as well as in the neighboring parishes.  Fr.

Community Research Ethics Committee

Roy served as the superintendent of Pewamo Westphalia Community Schools for 24 years.  Currently, Roy operates a small farm and serves as the Riley Twp representative on the Dewitt Emergency Services Authority (Fire and Medical First Response), and also as a member of the Property Tax Appeals Board for Riley Twp.  Roy became involved with the Dream-M project in 2000 and was a founding member of CoSAGE in 2008.

Community Research Advisory Committee

Rose’s personal and professional interests have mainly been with the deaf and hard of hearing populations.  For instance, she was Departmental Analyst for the State of Michigan FIA Electronic Benefits Food Stamp program, where she ensured access to the EBT Program for Deaf people and people with disabilities.  She also served as Hard of Hearing Specialist for the State’s Division on Deafness.  And currently, she is the Director of Catholic Deaf/Hard of Hearing Ministry with the Diocese of Lansing.  In her free time, her interests include reading health related materials

Community Research Advisory Committee

I was born, raised and currently live in Fowler.  I have two children that attend Waldron Elementary School.

Community Research Advisory Committee

Tony and Mary Ann retired from farming in 2005.  Tony’s outside interests are woodworking and playing cards, while Mary Ann’s personal interests are to continue learning.  They got involved with CoSAGE in 2010 and 2011, respectively.  Tony writes, “I think this area with a mostly constant population is a great area to do research which may benefit the area and all peoples.”  Mary Ann’s reasons for supporting CoSAGE is that, “I feel it is important to continue to learn how to be healthy and learn the causes of ill health.  The more involved people are, the more info

Community Research Advisory Committee

Jane got involved in CoSAGE in 2009.  She writes, “My main and original interest is because of my grandson, Brenden's hearing loss. However, since my involvement I am learning about this area and how many of us are affected by health problems that are the same in other communities. We are fortunate to have MSU research this area, and try to find what can be done to help the next generations.  I appreciate the dedication and commitment of the MSU research team as well as the community members on the CoSAGE advisory and ethics committees.

Community Research Advisory Committee

Before retiring, Millie was in the nursing profession for over 25 years.

Community Research Ethics Committee

Although Pat grew up in Portland, she moved to a farm in Pewamo after her marriage and has been there ever since.  Pat and Don raised three children who all graduated from PWHS.  Then, she went back to school as a secretary for PWHS.  She retired two years ago and enjoys spending time with grandchildren, traveling, golfing, quilting and being involved on various school and church committees.  Pat became involved with DREAM-M in 2002 and was a founding member of CoSAGE in 2008.  Pat writes, “CoSAGE is a very interesting topic as so many people in our families and co

Community Research Advisory Committee

Dean grew up in Westphalia and graduated from PWHS and Ferris State University with a degree in Engineering. He currently works in Lansing for a commercial contracting company (Nelson Trane). Megan grew up in Rochester Michigan and got her Teaching Certificate from Central Michigan University. They enjoy spending time outdoors with their two children.  They have been working with DREAM-M and COSAGE for 3 years.  Dean and Megan explain, “Our son was born with severe hearing loss.

Community Research Ethics Committee

Monica has been a practicing nurse for 36 years with experience in hospital, outpatient and public health settings.  Currently, she works at Sparrow Hospital as a staff RN on the Mother/Baby Unit.  Her outside interests include reading, spending time at their cottage, and spending time with her immediate and extended family.  She is married and has two adult children.  Monica is a founding member of DREAM-M in 1999 and of CoSAGE in 2008.

Community Research Advisory Committee

Mike is retired and enjoys outdoor activities (hunting and camping) and high school sports.  On Friday nights in the fall, Mike combines both past-times as the time keeper for the PWHS home football games.  Mike was a founding member of CoSAGE in 2008.  He supports CoSAGE because, “I am looking to do whatever I can to protect current and future members of our community from ever having to worry about medical problems.”

 

Community Research Ethics Committee

Clare has been a self-employed businessman for 40 years and served in community, government and church organizations in Fowler.  In addition to his passion for restoring barns, Clare was a founding community partner with DREAM-M in 1999 and with CoSAGE in 2008. He stated, “I became involved in DREAM-M and CoSAGE because I am interested in community history, and I believe that the involvement of my generation can benefit future generations.”

Community Research Ethics Committee

Beth grew up in Pewamo (currently Muir), attending the Pewamo-Westphalia Community Schools from 1955 to1968.  Beth received her BSN from Madonna University in 1972 and was a staff nurse in Ionia County Hospital and Ionia County Health Department.  After further education, she worked in several leadership positions in nursing administration and education.  Currently, she is a faculty member at Montcalm Community College where she is the Nursing and Allied Health Coordinator and Nursing Program Director.  Beth is also a wife, mother of two sons and grandmother of two boys

Co-Investigator
Co-Investigator
Community Research Advisory Committee
Community Research Ethics Committee
Co-Investigator

Rachel Fisher was born in Ireland and moved to England shortly after the end of WWII. She and her two brothers were sent away to boarding school where they learnt the rules for survival: “Rely on yourself before you rely on someone else.”  “Don’t follow the crowd, they’re probably going the wrong way.”  “If you want to eat cake, you have to eat the stale bread first.” “Matron will get you if no one else does.” and so on.  

Volunteer/Photographer

Emilie is an elementary  student who often volunteers for the CoSAGE project.  Emilie volunteers by helping prepare for the parades and parish festivals. Emilie enjoys reading, photography, soccer, Girl Scouts, and spending time with her family and friends. Some of her photographs can be found throughout the CoSAGE website.  She adds, “When I grow up I want to be a professional soccer player and find a cure for cancer”.

Co and Sage are two cute and affectionate kittens and are the CoSAGE mascots.  Both are sand-colored, although Sage wears a stylish white ascot and matching boots on all four paws.  Co prefers the all-blended look.  They are brothers that were adopted from Debra Schutte’s family farm in Nebraska. They made the long and arduous trip from Nebraska to Michigan by car in September, 2011 and have been expert travelers ever since. Co and Sage travel to Pewamo nearly every weekend with Debra and Brian.