Across Campus

April 23, 2018

Chemistry professor earns top educator honors

Deborah Herrington, professor and interim chair of chemistry, has been named one of the top educators in the State of Michigan by the Michigan Association of State Universities.

Herrington was one of three educators who received the Michigan Distinguished Professor of the Year Award during a ceremony on April 20 in Lansing. 

Herrington is the co-founder and current director of Target Inquiry, a program that contributes toward improving the professional development of middle and high school science teachers while helping them create student-centered and inquiry-based classroom environments. Classroom materials developed by Target Inquiry have been downloaded by teachers in more than 40 countries.

She also leads the Retaining and Inspiring Students in Science and Engineering program, which financially assists academically talented, low-income undergraduate students seeking an education in science or engineering. RISE will create a set of progressively increasing four-year scholarships for at least 50 Grand Valley students who may not otherwise be able to afford a college education.


Deborah Herrington

The program came to fruition after Herrington and her team received a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation’s Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics program in December. 

Throughout her tenure at Grand Valley, Herrington has been the recipient of multiple awards, including the Glenn A. Niemeyer Award in 2014, which is the highest faculty honor at Grand Valley.


Students from four Grand Valley TRIO programs attended the Michigan Student Leadership Conference March 2-4. Hosted by Michigan College Access Programs and Personnel (MI-CAPP), the Rise Up Conference was held in Battle Creek and celebrated the value of TRIO programs on college campuses.

Four alumni named semifinalists for Fulbright ETA grants

Four Grand Valley alumni have been selected as semifinalists for the 2018-19 Fulbright U.S. Student Program to teach English overseas. 

The application process is a highly competitive nationwide search for the best candidates to complete the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant program.

The four alumni, with graduation year, hometown, major and intended teaching destination, are listed below.

• Nick Ortiz, '17, Canton; international relations, Czech Republic

• Christy Bectel, '17, Hudsonville; international relations, Germany

• Cullin Flynn, '17, Fowlerville; Spanish, Mexico

• Shannon Theis, '18, Holland; computer science and arts for teaching/education, Spain

Grant recipients will be selected from the pool of semifinalists.

The program places grantees in schools overseas to supplement local English language instruction and to provide a native speaker presence in classrooms. The Fulbright competition is open until the GVSU deadline on August 31. New graduates and alumni who are interested in applying for the U.S. Student Fulbright Program should contact the Frederik Meijer Office of Fellowships at

Page last modified April 20, 2018