Current Issue, Spring 2017


West Side story

Grand Valley joined Grand Rapids' West Side in 1986, when construction of the Eberhard Center began. The university's relationship with the West Side's 28,000 residents extends far beyond construction of Pew Grand Rapids Campus buildings; it encompasses collaborations and partnerships with residents, organizations and neighborhood schools.

“I poured so much of my heart into the West Side, learning about the disparities and getting to know the residents that I decided this is where I needed to be.” Megan Galvin

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Knowledge for all

The average college students spends $600 on textbooks annually. A team at Grand Valley is dedicated to decreasing the cost of textbooks and other materials through the Open Educational Resources (OER) initiative. OER makes education more accessible, sustainable, flexible and effective.

“I want to help provide options that enhance students’ education without breaking their banks.” Steven Henley, Student Senate

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Hopes and dreams for a better future

High school senior Anthony Martell got married a month before his son was born last fall. Martell was planning to drop out of high school to care for his new family, but conversations with a school counselor changed his mind. The counselor is a graduate student studying school counseling; a partnership among the College of Education, The Graduate School and Michigan College Access Network is working to increase the number of students who pursue postsecondary education.

“I want to be a good example for my son. He will grow up and see that his mom and dad went to college so that he could have a better future.” Anthony Martell


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Fund honors son's memory

It is important to Don and Nancy Lubbers to be open about their son's struggle with mental illness. Andy chose to end his life at age 43 after battling depression for decades. The family has been open about Andy’s cause of death, listing it in his obituary and, in February, making a public announcement that established the “Andy Lubbers be nice. Memorial Fund.”

"If the be nice. program saves a life because someone will find help, it was worth our efforts.” President Emeritus Arend "Don" Lubbers

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Q&A Jake Czerwinski

Jake Czerwinski, a mathematics graduate, spent more than a year living in a van he converted by adding a heater, solar panels and water service. He created a space for himself to live, and learned important life lessons along the way.

"You see people with such extravagant houses and cars and toys, and then you see people who are hurting, it just seems like we could all take a little bit less and give a little bit more." Jake Czerwinski

Page last modified June 9, 2017