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Across Campus

April 25, 2016

New initiative offers perks to preceptors

Allyson Stokosa, center, is pictured at Holland Hospital, where she is completing a clinical rotation with her preceptor, Meggan Hefferan.

Allyson Stokosa, center, is pictured at Holland Hospital, where she is completing a clinical rotation with her preceptor, Meggan Hefferan. Photo by Amanda Pitts.

Many of Grand Valley's nursing and health professions students are mentored and taught during their clinical experiences by preceptors, the professionals in hospitals, clinics and other health care settings who serve as student supervisors.

Through a new initiative from the Office of the Vice Provost for Health, those preceptors will earn additional benefits. The Preceptors Perks program offers preceptors benefits like a gratis faculty appointment for the academic year, access to Grand Valley's Fieldhouse and library system, community discounts, and free registration to the annual West Michigan Interprofessional Education Initiative Conference.


Jean Nagelkerk, vice provost for Health, said the Perks program is a small way to thank the preceptors who play an important role in a student's clinical assignment.

“The opportunity for students to experience an exceptional clinical learning environment helps shape their disciplinary knowledge and skills that are essential for future career success," Nagelkerk said.

Several students are finishing clinical assignments at Holland Hospital this semester. The hospital is the first clinical affiliate model under the new Perks program.

Allyson Stokosa, a nursing major, is working closely with her preceptor, Meggan Hefferan, for 160 hours over the course of the semester, mostly on the Spine/Orthopedics floor. Stokosa said patients have been very receptive to having a student nurse take an active role in their care.

"Meggan and I have a routine, a plan before going into a patient's room," Stokosa said. "We will split the duties. I'll do the assessment while Meggan handles the medication.

Occupational therapist Amy Parker supervisors the work of Joseph Tan, who is working with patients at the hospital and at outpatient facilities. 

"It's been amazing watching how much Joseph and other students develop," Parker said. "By the second six weeks of their internship, they are much more independent and working very effectively with patients."

Dani Treffers is not working directly with patients but her assignment in the medical records office gives her an overview of how a hospital operates. Treffers is a health information management major and will graduate in April. 

"Right now, I'm helping with projects related to coding, billing, quality assurance, it's a wide spectrum," Treffers said, adding she will also shadow people in human resources and information technology.

Her preceptor, Michelle Carter, is Holland Hospital's health information management manager and privacy officer. Carter said the internship experience helps students understand the daily aspects of the job.

"There is book experience and classroom experience, but students need the practical experience to help them understand the problem-solving and collaboration that makes up a large part of the day," Carter said.


Grand Valley ranks high in composting category of national competition

Grand Valley ranked first in the state and in the top 15 nationwide (for universities with more than 20,000 students) in the composting category of the nationwide recycling contest Recyclemania.

The eight-week competition aims to reduce waste and increase student awareness about the importance of recycling. More than 300 colleges and universities participated in the competition that took place February 7-April 11.

Grand Valley also ranked 55th in the nation in the waste minimization category, compared to 80th place in 2015. The category is based on producing the least amount of recycleables, food organics and trash on a per-person basis.

In total, 221,986 pounds were recycled during the two-month span of the competition. In one year, from July 2014-June 2015, more than 2.7 million pounds of materials were recycled, a 31 percent increase from June 2013-July 2014.

This is the eighth year Grand Valley has competed in Recyclemania. Campus Dining, Housing, Office of Sustainability Practices and Pew Campus Operations helped Facilities Services during the contest. 


HTM students to work at Cannes Film Festival

Sixteen students in the hospitality and tourism management program will spend two weeks in France working at the 69th annual Cannes International Film Festival.

The invitation-only festival previews new films of all genres and is considered one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world. This year's film festival runs from May 11-22.

Students will coordinate events and run press panels at The American Pavilion, including the Emerging Filmmaker's Showcase, a competition which highlights the works of the next generation of filmmakers. Students will also be outsourced to various country pavilions and private companies showcased in the Marche de Film.

"Grand Valley students are among the select few who will be on site with full access for the duration of the festival," said Lorie Tuma, visiting assistant professor of HTM. "They will hold official positions in international pavilions, host press panels, assist A-List celebrities and coordinate exclusive events."

Students attending include Allison Bis, Taylor Brock, Alexis Brown, Julia Dilliard, Sarah Gonzales, Kelsey Job, Anna Koetje, Jake Kowalski, Morgan LaBarrie, Weston Lohman, Taylor Losee, Rachael Marilyn Van Gennep, Alyssa Neelis, Kelli Pastor, Ashley Pipe and Nakaria Williams. 


Students, employers celebrated at annual internship awards

Students who received practical experience in the workforce were celebrated, along with their supporters, April 13 at the Internship Recognition Luncheon held at Eberhard Center.

Hosted by the Career Center, the event is held annually as a way to thank those involved in internship programming at Grand Valley. 

"Internships can only truly be successful if the student, employer, faculty and staff members are working together, and quite often that means going above and beyond traditional job requirements," said Rachel Becklin, assistant director of the Career Center. 

The recipients of the Outstanding Internship Employer of the Year Award were West Michigan Environmental Action Council and Northwestern Mutual, which hired 19 interns last year. 

Provost Gayle R. Davis was awarded the Internship Advocate of the Year Award, which recognizes a faculty or staff member who is dedicated to internship programming and development. 

More than 100 entries were submitted for the Outstanding Intern of the Year Award; it was given to Caitlyn Albrant, a marketing student who was an intern for Serendipity Media. The Outstanding Internship Supervisor award was given to Shaun Ferguson of the Naperville Police Department. 

Becklin said the number of internships have been steadily rising over the last 10 years. About 8,060 were completed during the 2014-2015 academic year, compared to 6,811 in 2009. Students completed more than 1.6 million hours of practical experience in the workforce at companies and organizations last year. 


Affinity group hosts graduation celebration

Co-chairs of the faculty/staff association are Yosay Wangdi and Kin Ma.

The Asian Faculty and Staff Association held its first Asian Student Graduation Celebration April 14 at Kennedy Hall. The event included cultural dances, a recruitment fair by area companies and awards. Nearly 200 Asian students will graduate in April. Co-chairs of the faculty/staff association are Yosay Wangdi and Kin Ma. Photo by Rex Larsen. 


Join Grand Valley team at River Bank Run

Faculty and staff members can join Grand Valley's team at the Fifth Third River Bank Run on May 14 for a reduced registration cost.

The university is participating in the Priority Health Corporate Challenge, a competition that uses the 5K walk, 5K, 10K and 25K runs as a way for employees to stay healthy, have fun and compete. President Thomas J. Haas and first lady Marcia Haas plan to participate in the 5K walk. 

Register for any of the competitions before May 9 to receive a $10 coupon off the registration cost. Visit and click on the River Bank Run Corporate Challenge button for details.

Questions can be directed to Lindsey DesArmo, health and wellness specialist, at