Skip to main content

Across Campus

December 5, 2016


Extended climate survey results released

While results from the 2015 campus climate survey showed the majority of students, faculty and staff members felt comfortable on campus, segmented groups reported negative experiences that led to feeling less comfortable.

Jesse Bernal

Jesse Bernal

The Division of Inclusion and Equity released extended results of the 2015 myGVSU Climate Survey December 5. The report, available online at, includes comparisons with similar questions from the 2011 climate survey, analyses of areas of strength, and an examination of how marginalized communities reported.

Jesse Bernal, vice president for Inclusion and Equity, said the overall survey findings indicate a campus with a healthy climate, but work to create an inclusive and equitable campus continues.

"We are proud of the areas where improvements have been made since 2011 but also understand a concerted focus where gaps and disparities exist is needed," Bernal said.

The Campus Climate Action Groups, representing students, faculty members, and staff members, will review and address the findings as next steps. 

Following are highlights from the report. A total of 9,996 students and 1,929 faculty and staff members responded.

• 87% of all respondents were "comfortable" or "very comfortable" with the overall campus climate.

• 78% of students were "comfortable" or "very comfortable" with the climate in living centers.

• A slight increase from 2011 (11% to 14%) in the number of people who "personally experienced a negative/hostile incident on campus."

• 40% of transgender or "other" gender reported personal higher levels of negative/hostile personal experiences.

• 78% percent of respondents believed the university is "committed to diversity."

• Higher percentage of employees (29% in 2015, 20% in 2011) reported observing "unfair and unjust hiring practices."


ScholarWorks downloads reach new record

Senior projects created by Frederik Meijer Honors College students have been downloaded more than 76,000 times through the ScholarWorks portal over the last year, setting a new download record. 

Matt Ruen, scholarly communications outreach coordinator for University Libraries, said the recent numbers are staggering. In 2015, senior projects were downloaded 48,709 times. In 2016, there have been 69,000 downloads so far.

“It makes us incredibly proud,” Ruen said. “These numbers can show students that the work they do has a direct impact on people throughout the world.”

ScholarWorks, created in 2008, enables Grand Valley students, faculty and staff to share their work online. Students can choose to share their work within the Grand Valley community, or they can allow that work to be accessible to anyone in the world.

Map with ScholarWorks Data

This image shows the number of downloads of Meijer Honors College senior projects through the ScholarWorks portal. Updated numbers are available online at

Since 2008, people in 201 countries and territories have downloaded an honors senior project from ScholarWorks. The U.S leads downloads with 75,752. Projects have been downloaded more than 5,000 times in the United Kingdom, and more than 3,000 times in Canada.

“At its core, ScholarWorks exists to share Grand Valley’s work with the world,” Ruen said. “By giving students a way to share their work, we are empowering their success.”

Jeff Chamberlain, director of the Meijer Honors College, said ScholarWorks is enabling honors students to share relevant research much more widely.

“Traditionally, you’d write a thesis, get it bound, and it would sit on a shelf gathering dust,” Chamberlain said. “With ScholarWorks, the projects are not static anymore.”

Honors senior projects are diverse: some students conduct original research, and they are encouraged to create something they are passionate about. They are given a choice to opt in to ScholarWorks, and they can manage who can access their project. 

Google and Google Scholar are the main ways readers reach ScholarWorks, Ruen said. While he encourages most students to share their work with anyone in the world, he said there are benefits to only sharing it within the Grand Valley community. 

For Chamberlain, the biggest benefit is giving students a way to share their work with anyone.

“It’s just phenomenal that we can help students publish their work for free,” Chamberlain said. “Now, I’m waiting for a download to pop up in Antarctica.”

Readership information for Honors Senior Projects in ScholarWorks can be found at


Writing programs promote linguistic diversity

An initiative by Grand Valley's writing programs will promote linguistic diversity across campus.

Patrick Johnson, director of the Meijer Center for Writing and Michigan Authors, said the initiative gained momentum after a January Teach-In session that examined policy statements by professional associations. Statements by the National Council of Teachers of English and American Association for Applied Linguistics affirm students’ rights to their own languages and advise educators to recognize the rule-governed nature and cultural value of multiple dialects.

Blue graphic

Lindsay Ellis created a graphic that illustrates how attitudes toward metalinguistics (the study of language in relationship to cultural behaviors) have shifted over decades.

Johnson and Lindsay Ellis, associate professor of English and director of Writing Across the Curriculum (SWS), said that respecting the legitimacy of African American language systems and celebrating multilingualism are not new concepts. The NCTE policy statement was first published in 1974.

Ellis said this initiative follows the university's inclusion values as it "teaches writing in ways that include and instruct speakers of all languages and dialects."

Johnson said encouraging linguistic diversity may not change what faculty expect from student writing, but raising awareness of other language varieties may change how both students and faculty discuss the writing process.

“Respecting the difficulty of code-switching and believing that all language varieties belong here will enrich campus for everyone,” he said.

Johnson said 100 peer consultants at the Writing Center, Speech Lab, Research Consultant Program and Data Inquiry Lab will undergo training in January on linguistic diversity and contrastive analysis. The sessions conducted by Inclusion and Equity staff members and campus linguistics experts will help peer consultants understand and respect the complexities of language, culture and identity, he added.

Training will also be held in the winter semester for faculty members who teach SWS courses.

Ellis called Academic Written English the language of power in certain circles. "We want all students to be able to wield this power, but AWE is only one of the dialects that students may need to transform their lives, their professions, and the communities that matter to them,” she said.    


Students win international business competition

Four students from the Seidman College of Business took first place at the eighth annual Bowersox Undergraduate Supply Chain Challenge held at Michigan State University in November.

Daniel Coblentz, Ryan Davis, Scott Dion and Rachel Travis competed against 13 highly competitive teams from universities across the country.

The Bowersox challenge incorporates a simulation-based approach to a business competition. Students must use their understanding of supply chain topics and apply it to a simulation. The simulation is designed to mimic some of the struggles experienced within the supply chain management business community. 

Team members worked through 13 business cycles related to the steps of supply chain management, including manufacturing, procurement, operations and demand management. The decisions had to be made within a set time frame to simulate a real-world business environment.

Four students standing together

Students who won the Bowersox Undergraduate Supply Chain Challenge are pictured, from left, Daniel Coblentz, Scott Dion, Rachel Travis, Ryan Davis and Anton Fenik, assistant professor of marketing.

"The talent of our business school students is consistently reflected in the relatively high placements at the Bowersox challenge," said Anton Fenik, assistant professor of marketing. "This year, our team members successfully synchronized their skills and through relentless preparations brought home the first place trophy." 

Schools participating in the competition included the University of Wisconsin, Western Michigan University, West Virginia University, Wayne State University, Ohio State University, Northeastern University, University of Miami, Duquesne University, Central Michigan University and University of Arkansas.


Arctic Games

Students hosting games

Photo by Jess Weal

Students from the Meijer Honors College taught arctic games to the campus community November 30 near Kindschi Hall. They spent the semester researching games of the Inuit (eastern Arctic region of Canada) and Saami (Scandinavia) people. Live reindeer completed the arctic scene.


Alumnus will use prize money to hire workers

Jermale and Anissa Eddie, owners of Malamiah Juice Bar in Grand Rapids, won the GVSU 5x5 Competition in late October and received $5,000 in prize money.

Jermale Eddie holding check

Jermale Eddie, ’03, holds the check he and his wife, Anissa Eddie, received after winning the GVSU 5x5 Competition.

Jermale pitched their idea, Malamiah Mobile, competing against four other Grand Valley teams at the L. William Seidman Center. Malamiah Juice Bar, named after the Eddie's three children, is located in the Downtown Market in Grand Rapids and offers fresh juices and smoothies. Malamiah Mobile would allow the company to expand into the community.

"Our goal is to elevate community health and wellness," said Jermale. "We want to enhance what we do by purchasing a truck for community catering, and educational demonstrations and to be part of area festivals."

Jermale graduated from Grand Valley in 2003 with a major in elementary education and said he didn't see himself as an entrepreneur.

"I worked in education for many years and was introduced to juicing and its benefits by a friend," said Jermale. "There was a lot of interest from family and friends about the nutritional aspects. We didn't have the financial resources or business background, but after a lot of prayer, Anissa and I decided to open the juice bar."

Jermale said they will also use the money to employ more youth, which is another focus of the company.

Grand Valley students, faculty and staff members who are engaged with community partners were invited to submit ideas for the competition. The public then voted for their favorites and the top five teams were given the opportunity to participate. Each team had five minutes to pitch their ideas to five judges.

For more information on Malamiah Juice Bar visit