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Connecting for a Lifetime


Last fall, the Padnos College of Engineering and Computing sent out an alumni newsletter with a request for feedback on ways to improve the program. The majority of responses spoke of how all the faculty helped shape their time at Grand Valley, and that the experience was transformative. Many past students shared stories of their time at the the School of Computing and Information Sciences (CIS).

Byron DeVries ’13 couldn’t say enough about Dr. Paul Jorgensen, Dr. Gregory Wolffe, and Dr. Christian Trefftz: “This level of knowledge, passion, and true investment in students’ lives sets the GVSU School of Computer and Information Systems apart in the best way possible,” he said.  

Byron noted how Dr. Jorgensen made time to be available to his students even after late classes, and how Dr. Trefftz was instrumental in his ability to enroll in the PhD program at Michigan State University. “Every single one of these professors impacted me while I was at GVSU and have continued to do so well after I left.”

Bruce Dungy ’86 stated that, “Dr. Philip Pratt, to this day, still stands out as much favorite professor.”  He shared how Dr. Pratt’s teaching methods went above and beyond to ensure every student was successful in understanding problems and solutions.

Today’s students continue to have that unique faculty/student bond, which for many endures long after graduation.  This is largely due to the generosity of Grand Valley donors.

Private gifts to the Computing and Information Systems Scholarship Fund enable Grand Valley students to focus on their academics and building these valuable relationships with their faculty and mentors. Gifts to CIS also support the growth of the program, in turn attracting great faculty while maintaining a small class size. This level of personal education has defined the high-quality experience many of our CIS graduates reported having.

“I loved the small class feel, the family atmosphere, where everyone knows who you are,” said Peter Tadros ’94.  “It’s been a long time since I was there, and I hope that has not changed.”  Thanks to our generous donors, the CIS program has continued to retain those special connections that improve learning and result in better opportunities for Lakers outside the classroom and after graduation.