AP Awards 2013

Service to Community (Posthumous)

We have two award winners for Service to Community. First is Santiago Zapata.

Santiago Zapata was the middle school advisor for TRiO's Educational Talent Search program. He visited targeted schools to provide students with information about how they could become first-generation college graduates. For 14 years, Santiago went far beyond that brief description of advisor. Here are a few examples:

  • Santiago organized a Thanksgiving dinner at Riverside Middle School. He and school staff members cooked a turkey dinner for students and then sent leftovers home with students to share with their families.
  • He took students on field trips to emphasize different careers available to them.
  • He coached middle school basketball teams at the YMCA.
  • Santiago would comb local newspapers for events that were free or low cost and then would send an email to each TRiO member, making sure they knew what cultural or educational events were happening.
  • He developed and implemented a tutoring and mentoring program within the College of Education.

Santiago was a victim of homicide last year. He is greatly missed at Grand Valley and in the community.

Service to Community

Also winning a Service to Community award is … Arnie Smithalexander.

Arnie has worked for 35 years to empower under-represented students and their families. As the TRiO Upward Bound director, she has worked with hundreds of students to help them achieve their dreams. Arnie is very active in the community and serves on many boards, including the Baxter Community Center, Grand Rapids Urban League, City of Grand Rapids Local Office Compensation Committee and the Interfaith Hospitality Network. She is also active on many campus committees, including co-chairing the College of Education's Faculty and Staff Campaign and the United Way Campaign.

Commitment to Diversity Award

Cindy Bartman

Cindy is the standard patient coordinator and worked to revamp the standard patient program … which plays a key role in the education of Grand Valley's nursing and health professions programs. Her combined years of experience in nursing and politics, as the previous mayor of East Grand Rapids, have given her the ability to select the most qualified people. Her work to enrich the program has given the university great community exposure. She has accessed the university's pool of students, faculty and staff members and community groups such as the veteran and home-school communities.

Commitment to Students Award

James Krikke

James serves as a strong mentor to students in the Chemistry Department. Besides being lab manager, he mentors students through their research projects. He has also applied for Student Summer Scholars grants with students, a task typically completed by tenure-track faculty members. James also participates in external grant writing to secure funding for new instruments for the Chemistry Department. He helped organize and participated in National Chemistry Week and organizes a Visually Impaired Science Camp for students in Greenville.

Innovation Award

Brian Van Doeselaar

Brian is the Business and Finance department’s “go-to” person for OnBase needs. He spearheaded the effort needed to develop workflows for check requests, daily cash reports, and transfer requests … three new workflows that have been rolled out to campus this year. Brian worked diligently to test and troubleshoot the process and developed training materials and videos for other departments. The results have been faster results for departments, a streamlined process for Business and Finance, and a reduction in paper usage for both processing and storage.

Outstanding Team Project

Laker for a Lifetime “I’m on a Boat” video
Tim Nott, Michelle Burke, Jill Dooley, Bob Brown, Leah Twilley, Fred Mooney, Jarrett Martus, Courtney Zudweg, and Chris Barbee(

The Laker for a Lifetime “I’m on a Boat” video involved staff members from News and Information Services, Development, Alumni Relations, Facilities, Student Life, and Athletics. Development came up the need for a student-focused video and approved the unique concept. Alumni Relations helped identify and schedule alumni to star in the video. Facilities Services and Student Life helped with the use of campus buildings and Facilities helped in the use of the construction crane that was outside the new library. Athletics helped coordinate appearances by Louie the Laker and athletes. NIS oversaw the entire production, which included site visits, casting, video shoots and editing. It took tremendous cooperation to complete the production on time and to ensure it generated buzz and fulfilled its mission of fostering loyalty to and support of Grand Valley.

AP Achievement Award

This year’s AP Achievement Award winner is a creative thinker who seeks innovative solutions that work for the benefit of students and save the university money. This person works diligently to build relationships and collaboration across the university. This person interacts with a wide range of students, staff and administrators to better understand their needs and serve the community. He has been involved in several projects over the years and was instrumental in developing and implementing changes to the Campus Dining program … and developing the new Laker Marketplace concept for the new University Bookstore. He continually seeks to learn new skills and understands that the role of auxiliary operations is to serve the needs of students and support the academic mission of the university. This year’s winner of the AP Achievement Award is Director of Auxiliary Services … Doug Wentworth.

Page last modified September 12, 2014