Psychology Communicator Shelly DeJong earns 2023-24 Matt Hansen Award for Support Staff

April 10, 2024 - Emily Jodway

A close up headshot of Shelly DeJong. She wars a blue shirt with a green backdrop behind her.The College of Social Science Dean’s Advisory Committee of Support Staff recently announced Shelly DeJong as the winner of the 2023-24 Matt Hansen Award for Support Staff.

Shelly joined the College team in 2022 as the communications manager for the psychology department. She earned a master’s degree in Media and Strategic Communication from Calvin University, and spent 4 years working in their Communications & Marketing department. She also has communication experience in the small business and nonprofit sectors. For the Department of Psychology, Shelly spearheads strategic communications on behalf of the department through news articles, press releases, social media posts and website management.

“It has been a truly wonderful experience working with Shelly in planning out a strategy for enhancing our presence within MSU and beyond,” Kevin Ford, Chair of the Department of Psychology, commented. “As noted by one of the nominating letters, her dedication, creativity, and professionalism have left a lasting impact on both the department and in the personal research endeavors of many faculty and students. I could not have asked for a better communication manager. She has earned this well-deserved recognition.”

Shelly DeJong taking a video of a student at Mid-Sure 2023.Shelly works tirelessly to highlight the accomplishments of psychology’s outstanding faculty, staff and students. One of her favorite things to do is create fun Instagram Reels connecting faculty research with current students and alumni, or Q&A-style articles and videos that enlighten the public on popular psychology-grounded topics, such as how our personalities are formed throughout our lives or why coffee may not be the sleep substitute that we think it is.

"I love telling the stories of the good work happening in the Department of Psychology,” DeJong commented. “Not only do I get to learn about an interesting field every day, but I also get to share that with others in creative and strategic ways! It's really such an honor to be recognized for the work that I'm doing."

When not at work, Shelly enjoys making sewing creations and riding her bicycle throughout her hometown of Grand Rapids and is a board member of the Greater Grand Rapids Bicycle Coalition, spearheading their Spokes Up annual city-wide bike challenge. She loves living a short drive away from Lake Michigan and taking trips to the beach with her husband, Lance, and their dog, Scout.