Janean '05 & '08 and Michael Couch '06
2022 Alumni Service Award Recipients
Janean '05 & '08 and Michael Couch '06, are the recipients of the 2022 Alumni Service Award. The honor is awarded to an alumnus or alumna who demonstrates outstanding service to the university and the Alumni Association. The awardee is selected by the GVSU Alumni Relations staff and the award is presented during Homecoming weekend.
Janean and Michael are true examples of Lakers for a Lifetime. They met in their very first class at GVSU and have been active in the University ever since, serving in leadership roles in their sorority and fraternity, mentoring current students, and returning to campus to participate and speak in numerous events and activities. They established the Michael and Janean Couch Black Excellence Scholarship which assists African American students who are the first in their families to go to college. Janean is a former member of the GVSU Alumni Association Board of Directors, and Michael previously served on the GVSU African American Alumni Association.
Janean graduated in 2005 with a bachelor's degree in public and nonprofit administration and in 2008 with a master’s degree in adult and higher education from GVSU. Michael graduated in 2006 with a bachelor's degree in movement science. He later earned a master’s in higher education and student affairs from Western Michigan University and a doctorate in education with an emphasis in Community College Leadership from Ferris State University.
Janean is a Program Director at the Grand Rapids Community Foundation. She provides leadership in grantmaking and prototyping for new ways to resource community organizations through the lens of racial, social, and economic justice. She is a founder and advisory board member of Business Leaders Linked to Encourage New Directions (BL2END), a previous board member at the YWCA of West Central Michigan, and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Janean served as a Big Sister for seven years.
Michael is Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management at Martin University. He is an award-winning student affairs professional with more than two decades of progressive leadership in higher education administration. Michael’s research and presentations focus on issues of diversity, equity, and financial literacy. He serves as a board member for the Indiana Association of Blacks In Higher Education, is a past board member for Michigan Student Financial Aid Association, and is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. They currently reside in Indianapolis, Indiana with their two children Clarke and Carter.