Across Campus

January 26, 2015


Students recognized at State of City address

A group of was recognized by Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell during his 2015 State of the City address for their ideas on how to attract and retain talent. The event was held January 17 at DeVos Place in Grand Rapids.

The students spent the fall 2014 semester researching popular cities across the country and hearing from area neighborhood and community groups. They presented 10 recommendations to the city commission in December.

Heartwell thanked the students for their work and asked Hannah Fernando to address the attendees on their behalf. The mayor said he plans to implement three of the 10 recommendations, including the development of a smartphone app that will include information about city restaurants, stores, attractions, transportation and more. Grand Valley students will help develop the app.

The mayor said he will also form a Millennial Advisory Board, made up of representatives from area colleges and universities and from young professional organizations. Heartwell said his initiative, the Mayor’s 50, which offers work experience to area teens and young adults, will be expanded to the Mayor’s 100, to offer students more internship opportunities with local businesses.


Students who presented 10 recommendations about how to retain talent in Grand Rapids are pictured at the State of the City address January 17 at DeVos Place.


Hauenstein Fellowship presented to Cohen

The Col. Ralph W. Hauenstein Fellowship medal was presented to former Secretary of Defense William Cohen on January 19 by Grand Valley President Thomas Haas, Hauenstein Center director Gleaves Whitney, and Board of Trustees Vice Chair John Kennedy.

Cohen was given the award following a presentation by Cohen to the World Affairs Council of Western Michigan at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel.

The fellowship is one of the university’s most prestigious awards, and is periodically awarded to a distinguished public servant whose achievements are consistent with the ethical leadership and public service of Col. Ralph W. Hauenstein, the namesake of the university’s center for presidential studies.

The award has previously been given to Secretary of State James Baker, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft and President Gerald R. Ford, posthumously. Hauenstein served under General Dwight D. Eisenhower in an intelligence role in WWII and was one of the first Americans into liberated Paris.


John Kennedy, William Cohen, President Thomas J. Haas and Gleaves Whitney

Photo by Bernadine Carey-Tucker

From left are Board of Trustees member John Kennedy, William Cohen, President Thomas J. Haas and Gleaves Whitney. Cohen received the Hauenstein Fellowship medal January 19.

During his presentation, Cohen focused on the role of the United States in an increasingly interconnected and regularly unstable global political environment. He said that instead of a clash of societies that many experts used to expect between the global East and the global West, more clashes in current times are coming from within civilizations, specifically the Middle East.

Cohen said that an example is the success of certain Middle Eastern states succeeding in the global economy, including Qatar, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates while citing the instability of Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan.

Cohen also addressed the changing role of the United States as a world power, and changing perceptions of the United States as a reliable partner to foreign states.

“When I was in the Pentagon, we acted very much as the reluctant sheriff; we had our boots up on our desk and weren’t going looking for trouble,” Cohen said. “Then 9/11 happened. Then, we were the Texas Terminator, going out and getting the people responsible. It was a shift in the perception of the American people. But it was challenging to learn the lesson that you can’t take democracy and transplant it to a foreign country without regard for their culture, their environment and making sure that they have a system in place to allow that system of government to work.”

Cohen also said that the trust foreign nations have in the United States is waning, largely in part due to the failure of our own government to reach consensus agreements on many hot-button American political issues.


Nominations for AP awards sought

The deadline to nominate a staff member for an AP Award is March 13.

There are six categories: Achievement Award (two letters of support required), Commitment to Diversity Award, Commitment to Students Award, Innovation Award, Outstanding Team Project Award and Service to Community Award.

Any student, faculty or staff member may nominate an eligible AP staff member for any of the above awards. Applications and criteria are listed online at


GVPD finalist to receive security products

The Grand Valley Police Department has been announced as a finalist in STANLEY Security’s “Together for Safer Schools” grant program.

The program provides the opportunity to enhance safety and security by awarding winning schools a grant to receive STANLEY Security installed products and services.

Running through February 13, students, faculty and staff members are encouraged to vote for Grand Valley each day by visiting and search for gvsuedu, or by texting gvsuedu to 334455 or by tweeting using both hashtags #stanleysecurity and #gvsuedu.

The top two colleges or universities with the most votes in each of three size categories will be selected as grant winners. The college or university with the most votes will receive $200,000 in security products and services; the runner-up will receive $75,000 in security products and services.

Products and services provided to grant winners include security services and seminars for school officials on security threat assessment, video surveillance systems, fire systems, intrusion systems, mechanical and electro-mechanical door hardware, mass notification systems and other security technologies.