2023-2024 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog
- Applied Medical Device Institute
- Autism Education Center
- Center for Adult and Continuing Studies
- Center for Scholarly and Creative Excellence
- Design, Optimization, Evaluation, and Redesign Center
- EMC Center
- Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy
- Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies
- Kutsche Office of Local History
- Mobile Applications and Services Laboratory
- Muskegon Innovation Hub
- Regional Math and Science Center
- Robert and Mary Pew Faculty Teaching and Learning Center
- Robert B. Annis Water Resources Institute
- Seidman Business Services
Centers, Institutes, and Offices
Applied Medical Device Institute
The applied Medical Device Institute (aMDI) serves the medical device community as a focused service enterprise. Medical device innovation begins with an idea. The idea, often in the form of a napkin sketch, must cross a "development valley of death." Ideas need preseed funding; resources in the form of research clinicians, engineers, medical professionals, technicians, and their associated infrastructure; and an integrated process that includes technical, intellectual property, business review, and mentoring.
The aMDI exists as a bridge that spans the development valley of death by providing a means for the idea to be tested and, if technically feasible, a proof-of-concept prototype can be realized. Innovation is then furthered in collaboration with aMDI and other entrepreneurial, regulatory, investment, and business architecture entities. The aMDI provides design and development for manufacturing engineering as the prototype is productized, as well as connects to the regions existing commercialization and financing organizations. In addition to the physicians, nurses, and clinicians, the institute serves small companies as a contract research and development department and serves large companies by providing responsive intellectual capacity to meet the demands of unforeseen business cycles or emerging technologies.
The aMDI differentiates itself with an applied focus, where proof-of-principle and go/no-go criteria are balanced with a risk mitigation plan. This approach provides expedient response time, where cost models provide high value for early concept development and proof-of-principle answers that determine technical feasibility and commercially viability.
The aMDI services the medical device community, which is broad and includes many stakeholders, including but not limited to clinicians, interns, inventors, commercial researchers, engineering firms, integrators, medical device manufacturers and suppliers, research academicians, and students. Strategically located along Grand Rapids Medical Mile, the aMDI is immediately accessible to this broad community. The aMDI will build development teams across the academic, health care, and business communities to pursue funding at federal and state levels (NIH, NSH, DoD agencies, etc.).
The aMDI is West Michigan's medical device technology innovation hub that leverages the vast potential of the Grand Rapids region's academic, medical, technology, industry, and economic development resources. The aMDI's goal is to provide services at every stage of the invention-to-commercialization continuum.
Autism Education Center
The focus of the Autism Education Center (AEC) is to partner with families, educational providers, health care professionals, and community stakeholders to ensure that individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have access to resources, services, and opportunities so they can have a rich, meaningful life while being fully integrated in their communities.
The primary work of the AEC is conducted through the Statewide Autism Resources and Training (START) Project, a state-funded grant project designed to provide training and technical assistance to educators in Michigan who serve students with ASD. The START Project has been in place since 2001 through the support of the Michigan Department of Education, Office of Special Education. The START Project serves as a coordinating and supporting entity for schools across the State of Michigan to better serve students with ASD. One major emphasis of the START Project is coordination of 16 regional collaborative networks that serve as the infrastructure for collaboration and coordination across school districts and with community stakeholders. This allows shared training and resources and systemic planning on a broad scale that leads to more effective educational programming for students with ASD. The START Project addresses both the individual and system-wide needs of students with ASD including in the classrooms and buildings, as well as at the district and regional levels. All students with ASD deserve a high-quality education and services that enhance their potential to become fully participating citizens. School professionals working with students with ASD learn to implement and promote evidence-based practices such as early intervention, educational supports and strategies, positive behavioral interventions and supports, teaming and collaboration, and peer supports. Educators also need to provide programming that prepares students with ASD for paid work and community integration in adulthood through early job experiences in the community. Throughout the educational process, parents are included as active, contributing members of any team supporting a student with ASD.
The AEC is involved in other projects to support individuals with ASD in the community, including implementation of the Michigan ASD State Plan, program development with state autism organizations, and applied research projects. Presentations are provided to the community on various topics related to ASD.
Visit the center online at gvsu.edu/autismcenter.
Center for Adult and Continuing Studies
Center for Adult and Continuing Studies
Through an ever-changing, ever-evolving array of programs, the Center for Adult and Continuing Studies serves a broad continuum of adult learners. Offerings range from a full degree completion program to short noncredit professional development programs. To learn more about programs offered, visit gvsu.edu/learn, email [email protected], or call (616) 331-7180.
Noncredit Professional Development
Adult and continuing studies noncredit professional development serves adults who are looking to refresh their skills, renew their licenses, or earn certificates primarily for the following types of positions: educators, marketers, physical therapists, safety specialists, and social workers. The department typically partners with academic departments, licensing agencies, or external content experts to provide market-relevant programs. A complete list of programs offered can be found at gvsu.edu/learn/professional.
Center for Scholarly and Creative Excellence
Vice Provost for Research Administration and Executive Director: Robert P. Smart, Ph.D.
The Center for Scholarly and Creative Excellence (CSCE) promotes a culture of active, engaged, and ethical scholarship through supporting innovative faculty and student research and collaborative partnerships across disciplines and in the broader community. The CSCE encourages innovation and enterprise, facilitates collaboration, and serves as an advocate for university scholarship and creative practice. The CSCE provides help with developing a scholarly agenda, mentoring by senior faculty members, assistance in finding collaborations, and publishing as a scholar.
The center coordinates the efforts of the following units within Grand Valley.
- The Office of Sponsored Programs serves faculty and staff members by identifying funding opportunities to resource their scholarly and creative activity and by supporting them in the development, submission, and nonfinancial administration of their externally sponsored programs.
- The Office of Research Compliance and Integrity supports faculty, staff, and students by providing guidance and oversight in the areas of research compliance: human subjects research, animal care and use in research and educational activities, export controls, responsible conduct of research, and conflicts of interest in research.
- The Center for Undergraduate Scholar Engagement (CUSE) serves students interested in pursuing academic and creative feats outside the classroom. CUSE houses the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (OURS) and the Frederik Meijer Office of Fellowships (FMoF). OURS provides support for undergraduates to pursue the research and creative practice in their discipline. The FMoF supports students and alumni in their exploration and pursuit of nationally competitive scholarships and fellowships.
- The Technology Commercialization Office is a resource and partner for university faculty, staff, and students developing technologies with commercial potential. The office acts as a bridge to coordinate efforts between industry and the Grand Valley community by advancing ideas through partnerships.
- The Office of Laboratory Safety is responsible for ensuring compliance with federal, state, local and institutional environmental, health, and safety standards in its academic and research activity in labs, studios, shops, classrooms, and field studies.
- The High-Performance Computing team provides server-class computing resources for university researchers and offers technical support for secure research data management.
Design, Optimization, Evaluation, and Redesign Center
The Design, Optimization, Evaluation, and Redesign (DOER) Center was founded in 2006 to draw upon the diverse knowledge of the School of Engineering to benefit local industry and to foster engagement in the community. The DOER Center matches industry partners with expert faculty members and students in short- to medium-term contracts in the furtherance of the School of Engineering's educational mission and to provide an avenue to directly engage expert faculty and students in projects of varying length, schedule, budget, and level of effort.
The DOER Center matches clients with a team of faculty members and students who apply their knowledge to solve advanced industrial problems. Students involved in the DOER Center gain experience in product development and applied research while clients enjoy top quality, highly supervised support at a negotiated, low university rate. In addition to helping prepare the next generation of engineers by providing real-world learning experiences, businesses enjoy valuable and tangible benefits. More information is available by contacting [email protected].
The EMC Center is a unique facility that has been made possible by an equally unique collaboration between Grand Valley and EMC practitioners from our community.
The intent of the center:
- Provide a one-of-a-kind facility for teaching EMC principles and practices
- Provide GVSU students with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the regulatory and testing requirements for EMC compliance
- Support the local industrial community with design/redesign assistance and precompliance testing for products during the development cycle. (Such capabilities are beyond the scope of our local companies.)
- Support continuing education in EMC for practicing professionals
- Support practicing professionals via the IEEE EMC Chapter in West Michigan
Find more information at gvsu.edu/emccenter.
Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy
The Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy is an externally oriented academic center of Grand Valley, working with nonprofit and foundation practitioners, scholars and students, and partners in business and government to bridge the gap between the information communities need and the change they want to make.
The Johnson Center was established at Grand Valley in 1992, with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The center's mission is to be a global leader in helping individuals and organizations understand, strengthen, and advance philanthropy. The vision of this work is to support a smart, adaptive sector that helps create strong, inclusive communities.
The Johnson Center's core work includes the following:
- Competency-based professional development and capacity building for individuals and organizations. Programs include The Grantmaking School, nonprofit workshops and others.
- Applied research and evaluation of products and services designed to help organizations and individuals bridge the gap between the information they need and the change they want to make. This work includes contract and grant-supported research on the sector, as well as evaluations for individual organizations. We also publish The Foundation Review, the nation's first peer-reviewed journal of philanthropy, to disseminate learning across the sector.
- Resources and tools to make data and research useful to practitioners and students, providing context and insight for philanthropy. Through blog posts, webinars, articles, speaking engagements, data tools, and more, Johnson Center staff share core concepts and new frameworks to explore key questions that shape the sector. Community Insight, an online data platform for visualizing communities and advancing equity, is a key offering.
- Our archives and special collections provide scholarly resources related to philanthropy and philanthropists in Michigan. The collections support the research interests of visiting scholars, Grand Valley faculty, students in various degree programs, and the public.
The Johnson Center is home to the Frey Foundation Chair for Family Philanthropy and the W.K. Kellogg Community Philanthropy Chair. These distinguished scholars work with a network of partners to pursue comprehensive, international programs of applied research, speaking and writing, professional education and teaching, and other activities.
We also offer a variety of student positions, graduate assistantships, and fellowship programs aimed at preparing the next generation of social sector leaders to create meaningful impact. Visit JohnsonCenter.org/Careers to learn more.
Our offices are located in the Bicycle Factory on the Pew Grand Rapids Campus.
Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies
Inspired by Col. Ralph Hauenstein's life of leadership and service, the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies at Grand Valley State University is dedicated to raising a community of ethical, effective leaders for the 21st century. Our first-class initiatives and resources include the following:
Peter C. Cook Leadership Academy (CLA) is a leadership development program for exceptional undergraduate and graduate level students during the academic year. The program is co-curricular and cross-disciplinary, offering students unique opportunities for reflection, engagement, and learning with and from a diverse cohort of their peers. The students enter the CLA with a shared goal of developing a leadership ethos and preparing to build their future. The program strives to achieve this goal through access to resources, such as cohort workshops, individualized mentorship from campus and community experts, funding for leadership development opportunities, partnership with professional community organizations, and public speaking opportunities. CLA student fellow candidates are actively engaged in their development as effective and ethical leaders, dedicated to the public good, passionate about leadership, and committed to lifelong learning and growth.
The Common Ground Initiative (CGI) seeks to offer West Michigan's premier forum for the promotion of civic engagement and intellectual curiosity on the issues facing our region, nation, and world. In a time of political polarization, the CGI explores popular intellectual traditions and the pressing issues of the day through an ideological lens. The Common Ground Event Series invites leaders and scholars to engage in dialogue across political and ideological divides and model the common ground approach. The Open Minds Book Club and annual Progressive/Conservative Summit offer opportunities for students, faculty, and community members to engage with perspectives different from their own. The CGI advocates for consensus and compromise, with the goal of empowering attendees to act and lead on the issues they care about most.
Hauenstein Center provides educational programming in recognition of historic events including Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Constitution Day, Presidents'Day, and Veterans Day. In addition to these annual commemorations, and in the spirit of Col. Ralph W. Hauenstein's military service, the Hauenstein Center annually hosts The Hidden Wounds of War Conference. This conference brings awareness and education about treatments and resources for veterans and first responders, the silent epidemic of post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injuries sustained during combat, and other difficult situations that arise through leadership in military service, and on the front lines in their communities.
Lastly, the Hauenstein Center is home to the J. Randall Bergers rare and distinguished book collection, which has been recognized by the Library of Congress as a "uniquely valuable resource." The Hauenstein Center is the only organization in the world to house in one room a complete collection of books written by U.S. presidents. We are also proud to have one of the Midwest's leading espionage and intelligence collections, along with several books authored by many of our first ladies.
Learn more about the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies and our initiatives at gvsu.edu/hc.
Kutsche Office of Local History
The Kutsche Office of Local History is a humanities-based learning initiative that blends academics with community engagement. Through this office, students studying in all disciplines are offered opportunities to blend classroom knowledge with hands-on experience in the field of public, local history. Our mission is to use history to foster an earnest appreciation of our common challenges, common destiny, and common humanity.
Our strategy for achieving our mission is three-dimensional. First, the office assists groups that have been understudied and underrecognized to document, preserve, and disseminate their knowledge of history. Second, the office reinforces Grand Valley students' understanding of public, local history by engaging students in hands-on, history-driven, and community-based learning projects and internships.
Finally, the office will support the work of local history institutions and organizations in West Michigan by providing faculty and student research assistance, opportunities for networking and collaboration, and providing information to help local history organizations improve their delivery of public history to the citizens in West Michigan and beyond. For more information, call (616) 331-8099 or email [email protected].
Mobile Applications and Services Laboratory
The Mobile Applications and Services Laboratory (MASL) is an interdisciplinary initiative hosted by the GVSU School of Computing. MASL offers a unique environment to faculty and students who have interests in emerging mobile technologies from both a research and educational perspective. The emergence of open mobile platforms and thriving mobile application deployment ecosystems makes it possible to explore a variety of experimental in situ research themes in a number of different mobile application domains.
Our approach is unique in that while we engage in academic research in the traditional sense, we are also focused on creating an environment for our undergraduate and graduate students that approximates as much as possible the "real world" outside of the academy. To that end, we are engaged in several projects with external industry partners in which students and faculty members are working together to understand how mobile technology can be effectively applied in a variety of real-world situations. We like to call this "application research." Our research has ranged from building apps for patients with traumatic brain injuries to apps that are helping entomologists better understand the declining honeybee populations.
Muskegon Innovation Hub
The Muskegon Innovation Hub at Grand Valley serves as a beacon that celebrates the innovative spirit of entrepreneurs in West Michigan. The hub provides coaching, funding, networking, and a synergistic work environment to help businesses and entrepreneurs maximize their growth potential. As a key partner in the region's innovation ecosystem, the Muskegon Innovation Hub supports startup businesses, entrepreneurs, and corporate innovation teams. Through our business incubator and CoLaunch coworking space, we offer the breadth of support necessary for success, including funding assistance programs and training and event spaces!
The hub's business incubator fosters emerging entrepreneurs to transform their ideas into successful companies through support of a dynamic team specializing in an array of critical business skills. Clients of the incubation program receive ongoing support to spur innovative business growth, which may also include office space located at the hub when required. We understand that every entrepreneur and early-stage company has unique needs requiring customized solutions, which is why we provide tailored programming specific to each of our clients.
CoLaunch is a popular feature at the hub. Within the 4,200 square feet of CoLaunch space, members can experience an innovative workplace community culture. Whether you are a freelancer, entrepreneur, or a remote corporate professional, CoLaunch offers creative thinkers a community-driven work environment to spur individual or collaborative projects. Grand Valley students and alumni are always welcome to use CoLaunch for free during regular business hours. Visit us online at www.colaunch.works to find out more or stop by to experience firsthand our on-site business training tools and resources designed to turn your idea into a business.
As an additional benefit, CoLaunch members receive access to an array of innovative programs and events at the hub. From creative conversations with highly successful entrepreneurs to collaborative workshops and networking opportunities, CoLaunch creates the innovative atmosphere perfect for inventors and business owners at any stage.
Funding is always one of the most challenging, yet vital, parts of building a new business. The hub's funding assistance programs uniquely position us to help clients pursue competitive funding through programs such as the Business Accelerator Fund for high-tech and advanced technology companies and other state funding channels. With a history of guiding businesses from startup to success, the hub team welcomes entrepreneurs, inventors, and startups alike.
The hub is also proud to offer a more than 3,000-square-foot training and event space that area organizations and corporations can rent. Ready to be configured to meet your event needs, the hub's meeting spaces are equipped with state-of-the-art technology necessary to conduct modern presentations effectively.
Regional Math and Science Center
The Regional Math and Science Center (RMSC) serves the science and mathematics education needs of elementary and secondary schools in West Michigan. The center focuses on providing professional development opportunities for practicing teachers and enrichment activities for precollege students. Preservice teachers are also encouraged to participate in center activities. The Regional Math and Science Center supports the Michigan K-12 curriculum and standards in science and mathematics. The center's staff is available for consultation, professional development resources, and collaboration on grants and science and mathematics programs.
The center administers such popular programs as Science Olympiad, Discovering STEM kits, and STEM summer camps for students, as well as the Fall Science Update and professional development opportunities for teachers. These offerings are content-rich and utilize best practice in science and mathematics teaching and learning.
In conjunction with professional development offerings, the RMSC can provide graduate credit for participants: SCI 580 - Special Topics in Science and Mathematics (1 to 3 credits). These are lecture and/or laboratory courses or workshops in interdisciplinary studies relating to more than one science and/or mathematics discipline.
Robert and Mary Pew Faculty Teaching and Learning Center
Guided by the ideals of liberal education and the principles of inclusive excellence, the Robert and Mary Pew Faculty Teaching and Learning Center supports the university in carrying out its primary mission of teaching and learning. The center presents programs for faculty throughout the calendar year, including workshops, faculty learning communities, mentoring programs, conferences, and consultations. Its staff offers leadership on teaching and learning issues across the university, promotes scholarly and reflective approaches to teaching, and provides support to full-time and part-time faculty. The Pew Faculty Teaching and Learning Center also provides tangible support and recognition of teaching excellence through a grants program and campus-wide teaching awards. The Pew Faculty Teaching and Learning Center is located in Zumberge Hall. For more information, call (616) 331-3498.
Robert B. Annis Water Resources Institute
The Robert B. Annis Water Resources Institute (AWRI) is a multidisciplinary research organization committed to the study of freshwater resources. The mission of the institute is to integrate research, education, and outreach to enhance and preserve freshwater resources.
AWRI seeks to accomplish this mission through
- research into major questions about our water resources, including ecosystem structure and function; contaminants and toxicology; hydrology; land use; watershed, stream, and wetland ecology; water quality; and basic and applied limnology;
- public education for a variety of groups ranging from school children to adults; and
- outreach to ensure that decision makers are equipped with the best available knowledge on environmental and water resource-related issues, to reduce the uncertainty associated with their resource management decisions.
The institute occupies the Lake Michigan Center and Annex on Muskegon Lake in Muskegon, MI. Facilities include classrooms, conference areas, analytical labs, research labs, mesocosms, dockage, and ship support and storage. AWRI also promotes collaborative research and educational programming and offers research space and equipment, as well as ship support facilities to advance such collaborative efforts. AWRI operates its own research vessels, the D.J. Angus and the W.G. Jackson, and offers the Water Resources Outreach Education Program for K-12 schools and community groups.
The institute consists of three main programmatic areas:
(1) The ecological research program consists of environmental biology and environmental chemistry groups, and it addresses questions about water resources, hydrology, watershed ecology and management, environmental chemistry and toxicology, aquatic ecosystem structure and function, aquatic conservation, land use change, pollution prevention, and aquatic food webs.
(2) The Information Services Center uses state-of-the-art geospatial technology to collect and analyze data and condense it into useful information for those who make critical decisions about natural resource management.
(3) The education and outreach program includes the use of AWRI's two research vessels and provides scientific information to K-12 students, policymakers, educators, college students, and community groups.
Grand Valley students and faculty members have the opportunity to participate in AWRI activities as volunteers, paid assistants, interns, research associates, or graduate students. The AWRI office is located at the Lake Michigan Center, 740 West Shoreline Drive, Muskegon, MI 49441. Telephone (231) 728-3601. More information can be obtained online at gvsu.edu/wri.
Seidman Business Services
The center provides a forum for members of the local business community and Grand Valley faculty members to exchange ideas on ethical questions for the benefit of the university, business community, and the West Michigan community in general. Entrepreneurs, corporate managers, and faculty members interested in participating in the dialog groups should contact Michael DeWilde by email at [email protected].
Family Owned Business Institute
The mission of Grand Valley's Family Owned Business Institute (FOBI) is to champion and serve family owned businesses through scholarship, education, and advocacy. The creation of the institute was born out of the collective belief that family businesses are the cornerstone of a community's prosperity and a vital ingredient in its quality of life. Our national and regional history has demonstrated that it is in the best interest of communities to foster the creation, growth, and continuation of family businesses because they are the leaders in job creation, innovation, and in providing stable employment opportunities with superior wages and benefits to their employees.
Despite their tremendous contributions, family businesses face a unique set of challenges that can limit their impact and threaten their very survival. By providing support through research, curriculum, and knowledge management, FOBI serves to develop, retain, and expand the influence of family businesses within our communities. The institute fosters scholarship through its research programs, its professional relationships and data sources, and its affiliation with local organizations such as the Grand Rapids Family Business Alliance, as well as national and international organizations, like the STEP Project Global Consortium (www.thestepproject.org).
Michigan Small Business Development Center-West Michigan Region
The Michigan Small Business Development Center (MI-SBDC) West Michigan Region helps entrepreneurs launch and grow their businesses by providing no-cost business consulting, training, and market research. Examples of assistance provided by the SBDC include business plan development, market research, raising capital, technology commercialization, financial management, export strategy, strategic planning, and cybersecurity training. Michigan SBDC consultants provide professional consulting services at no cost through a partnership between the U.S. Small Business Administration, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, and Grand Valley State University. The West Michigan region serves small businesses in Kent, Ottawa, Muskegon, Allegan, Ionia, Barry, Montcalm, Mecosta, Newaygo, Oceana, Mason, Lake, and Osceola counties. Entrepreneurs and small business owners can access the services of the West Michigan region SBDC by calling (616) 331-7370 or visiting the website at www.sbdcmichigan.org.
Michigan Small Business Development Center-Lead Center
In 2001, Grand Valley became the host of the State Headquarters, now the Lead Center, for the Michigan Small Business Development Center (MI-SBDC). As host of the MI-SBDC Lead Center, the Seidman College of Business oversees the 11-region MI-SBDC statewide network. SBDC regional offices provide one-on-one business consulting, training, market research, and technology commercialization to Michigan businesses. Examples of assistance provided by the SBDC statewide network include business plan development, market research, raising capital, business workshops, technology commercialization, financial management, export strategy, strategic planning, and cybersecurity training. These services are available at no cost through the support of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, and Grand Valley State University. Entrepreneurs and small business owners can access the services of their nearest Michigan SBDC office by visiting the website at www.sbdcmichigan.org.
Richard M. and Helen DeVos Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
The Richard M. and Helen DeVos Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI) in the Seidman College of Business is dedicated to developing best practices in entrepreneurship education and community engagement that enhance and impact the creation of new ventures and opportunities.
Student support: Through a combination of courses, curriculum, peer-to-peer networking, competitions, and mentorship, CEI provides all students an environment that fosters entrepreneurship and enhances entrepreneurial activities.
Community support: CEI is committed to supporting and enriching the entrepreneurial community by providing an essential hub where entrepreneurs can connect to resources, mentorship, networking opportunities, regional and national conferences, and workshops, and gain access to capital.
Full descriptions of CEI's activities can be found at gvsu.edu/cei.
U.S. Department of Commerce Export Assistance Center
The U.S. Department of Commerce Export Assistance Center (USEAC) provides practical international trade information and export counseling throughout West Michigan. The Grand Rapids office of USEAC is located in the Seidman College of Business at Grand Valley. The USEAC regularly hosts student interns and works with the Van Andel Global Trade Center to hold trade education events for businesses such as the annual West Michigan World Trade Week.
Van Andel Global Trade Center
The Van Andel Global Trade Center is an outreach center of the Seidman College of Business. The mission of the Van Andel Global Trade Center (VAGTC) is to strengthen the community through increased global business by providing international consulting, training, and resources. Grand Valley founded the center in 1999, and it is located in the L. William Seidman Center on the Robert C. Pew Grand Rapids Campus.
VAGTC is recognized as an effective source of international resources, educational training, and assistance services for business and academic communities across Michigan. The center works in strategic partnerships with state and federal organizations, though a majority of the time is spent working directly with the business community across the state to accomplish global objectives supporting international growth.
VAGTC services include a series of seminars, workshops, programs, and conferences that encompass many different international business topics. In addition, the center provides vital customized import/export and consulting services for all types of businesses. The center has created global reference materials utilizing many international trade resources to assist businesses with international growth. VAGTC also offers a membership program that provides high-value, high-quality networking opportunities and services to businesses within Michigan and beyond.
Since its inception, VAGTC has assisted more than 12,056 businesses and more than 36,000 individuals through its services. In May 2019, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross presented the President's "E" Award to the VAGTC. The President's "E" Award is the highest recognition any U.S. entity can receive for making a significant contribution to the expansion of U.S. exports. With a growing membership base, the VAGTC is poised to continue expanding its international impact.
The center is a conduit for students, providing international career opportunities through employment as student assistants and internships (if needed for an academic program) within VAGTC, as well as with its clients. In addition, students are exposed to networking opportunities with businesses during center-sponsored events and programs offered to the community.
Benefits to businesses and the university include:
- Increased competency within organizations to be globally successful
- Strategic partnerships both inside and outside the university that enhance constituents and stakeholders
- Increased economic development of the region by growing international business
Services to the community include:
- International consulting services, training services, resource development, and facilities; job opening connector
- Cultural education, language center, and matchmaking/trade missions/business development
- Provider of foreign trade missions, speaker series, business referral source, and intermediary of international businesses
- Advocacy, service-provider broker, statewide resource center, and research provider
- Educating Grand Valley's student community on the importance of creating international business relationships, bringing hands-on experience to students who conduct international market research to help Michigan businesses
The Van Andel Legacy: As the founder and pioneer of international trade for Amway, Jay Van Andel was an inspiration for those in Michigan seeking to prosper in expanding overseas markets. It is in this spirit that the Van Andel Global Trade Center is named after Jay Van Andel and is quickly becoming the core facility dedicated to advancing international trade and supporting Michigan businesses as they prepare to enter and prosper in growing global competition.
While leading Amway to record growth through international expansion, Jay Van Andel became convinced the global marketplace would be pivotal in enhancing the prosperity of the region where he began his business. Recognizing that the Grand Rapids campus would be a focal point for international business education and activity, Van Andel became a major benefactor of the building where the VAGTC originally resided. Named in his honor and dedicated to international business assistance for local companies, the Van Andel Global Trade Center is the university's commitment to fulfilling the global vision of one of Michigan's most outstanding global leaders and entrepreneurs.