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June 05, 2020
Dr. Rui Niu-Cooper was recognized by Campus Compact of Michigan for her civic contributions to ESL learners in the community. She received the Community Engaged Teaching Faculty Excellence Award and will be considered for the CCMI Distinguished Faculty of the Year Award.
Niu-Cooper is an Associate Professor in the College of Education and director of GVSU's ESL and TESOL programs. She is a longtime advocate and supporter of ESL students. As communities adapted to remote learning and online classes, Niu-Cooper initiated specialized online ESL classes led by Grand Valley student teachers. More than 70 area K-12 students participated in the classes. Niu-Cooper’s "Tutoring for the Future" initiative facilitates tutoring services between GVSU students and the local African refugee population at the Learning Café in the Oakdale Neighborhood Association building.
Three other GVSU community members were also recognized: Collin Louis, a biomedical sciences major, and Stephanie Torres, who earned a degree in public and nonprofit administration, both received the Commitment to Service Student award. And Ryan Aldridge, operations manager for the Innovation and Design Center, received the Servant Leadership Community Engagement Professionals Award. They will also be considered for CCMI awards.
Travus Burton, director for Civic Learning and Community Engagement, said Grand Valley was scheduled to host the CCMI 2020 awards in April but had to postpone with the coronavirus. Tentative plans are to recognize 2020 and 2021 awardees next April, Burton said.
Campus Compact of Michigan is a 24-member coalition of institutions dedicated to expanding opportunities for civic engagement and community service.
Article photo shows Rui Niu-Cooper.