Campus News Spring 2013

GVSU selected to run police academy for veterans

Grand Valley was selected as the first site in Michigan to launch a new law enforcement training program designed to draw upon and focus on the talents of military veterans.

The Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards selected Grand Valley for the Military Police Basic Training Program; only 10 states provide military police veterans with a formal training academy which allows for a smooth transition into civilian law enforcement.

The MPBTP will provide military police veterans with an abbreviated format of a traditional police academy training session. The format provides for the same areas of instruction, including classroom and skill area instruction, but with a reduced number of hours in each instructional block. Military police veterans who meet the eligibility requirements are invited to apply for the six-week training program.

Julie Yunker, director of Grand Valleys Police Academy, said: The benefits of this program extend beyond the veterans to include law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve. This is a great opportunity to leverage the talent of military veterans for the benefit of the public.

Participants of Grand Valleys program will not only gain the ability to become licensed officers, but will also earn university-level credits. The program will run from June 24-August 6. Applications and additional information for the MPBTP are available on the GVSU Police Academy website at

Alumnus chosen by Detroit Symphony Orchestra

Hunter Eberly, a 2009 graduate, was named principal trumpet for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

Grand Valley alumnus Hunter Eberly was named principal trumpet of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Eberly, 26, performed his first concert in his new position on March 7 in Southfield.

The DSO held a three-year, international search with candidates arriving from Canada, Germany, Mexico and across the U.S.

I am deeply honored and excited to be joining the incredibly talented musicians of the DSO, said Eberly. He said he and his wife, Kimberly, also a Grand Valley alumnus, trumpet player, and conductor, look forward to moving back to Michigan from Florida and being closer to their families.

Eberly received a bachelors of music degree in 2009; he studied with Richard Stoelzel, professor of trumpet. During his years at Grand Valley, he won first prize at the 2009 National Trumpet Competition College Solo Division, and was also a member of Grand Valleys 2008 trumpet ensemble when it took first prize in this same competition.

Eberly was also very involved in the performing ensembles offered at Grand Valley. He was principal trumpet of the orchestra and symphonic wind ensemble, and a rare student member of the GVSU Faculty Brass Quintet.

Hunter was rarely seen without a trumpet in his hand and, more importantly, planted on his lips, said Stoelzel. His work ethic is second to none. As a guest artist at the GVSU International Trumpet Seminar he inspired every student in attendance. I couldnt be more proud of his accomplishments.

Bus-sized mural made by charter school students unveiled

Pictured is the mural created by students in Detroit at a Grand Valley-authorized charter school.

A group of students at a Grand Valley-authorized charter school took part in a reception on February 22 that featured the unveiling of a bus-sized mural they created over the past year.

Eleven students from the Henry Ford Academy: School for Creative Studies created the mural under the guidance of Grand Valley alumnus and well-known artist Hubert Massey, 83. During the yearlong project, the students framed and stretched their own canvas, composed the original design and painted the entire piece.

Called Michigans Outreach: Evolving the Global Spirit, the mural measures 8 feet by 38 feet, and will make its permanent home in the L. William Seidman Center. The piece will also be entered in ArtPrize this fall.

The student artists were joined at the reception by Massey and Ellen Sprouls, Art Gallery curator of education.

HFA: SCS is Detroits premier college prep school focused on art and design, and serves nearly 800 students in grades six-12.

Football tops Division II attendance

Laker football fans are No. 1, again. Grand Valley topped attendance among Division II football leaders, averaging 12,034 fans per home game during the 2012 season, according to NCAA statistics. This is the second straight year GVSU has led home game attendance.

Miles College finished second (11,117) followed by Kentucky State (10,534), West Texas A&M (10,379) and Pittsburg State (10,055).

Students build power system for African hospital

A group of Grand Valley engineering graduate students designed a portable medical system for a hospital in a rural part of the southeastern African country of Malawi.

photo by Amanda Pitts From left are engineering students Ryan Gorby, Derek Dougherty, Matt Alberda and professor Heidi Jiao. The team built a portable medical system for an African hospital.

The Photovoltaic Emergency Power System, which was designed to kick on when the hospital loses power, was part of a class project led by Heidi Jiao, professor of engineering in the School of Engineering.

Jiao said the system has the potential to save lives. Sometimes a patient can be lost when the power goes out, and its devastating, she said, adding it could be especially life-threatening in the middle of surgeries.

The system was built by Ryan Gorby, Matt Alberda and Derek Dougherty. It is backed up by a battery and able to provide power for two consecutive days. Its portable and includes two emergency lights, one surgery suction system and two outlets for charging tablets and phones.

The group worked with Martha Sommers, an American physician who has been working in Malawi for more than 15 years, and her sister, Veronica Sommers, an engineer who has worked with Martha in Malawi.

Knowing our hard work may provide someone a second chance at life is the greatest reward for us, said Gorby. Every engineering project is rewarding to the engineers once it comes together. That is one of the aspects that draws people to the profession.

Gorby, who works at GE Aviation as a hardware architect, said the team will train Sommers on how to use and set up the system, which can be disassembled in four parts. She and a youth group will transport it to Malawi within the next year.

Alberda and Dougherty work in West Michigan as full-time engineers. Alberda is a system engineer at GE Aviation and Dougherty is an electrical design engineer at Eaton Corporation.

Another group of Grand Valley students worked with Sommers to create a medical mobile app that provides instructions to help midwives in Malawi and Haiti deliver babies without the presence of a doctor. The app was based on the book, A Guide for Midwives, written by Mary Sommers, Marthas sister who is a midwife and childbirth educator.

The app was created by computing alumnus Olvi Tole, business alumna Kelsey Waldecker, and business students James Villar, Jennifer Mast, Holly Malinowski and Michael Angerbrandt.

Student races in X Games on adaptive snowmobile

Despite a motocross accident that left him partially paralyzed, mechanical engineering major Garrett Goodwin returned to the racing circuit, now racing an adaptive snowmobile.

photo by Wayne Davis Photography Garrett Goodwin is pictured at the Winter X Games in the adaptive snowmobile race.

In late January, Goodwin took third in the snocross event at the Winter X Games held in Aspen, Colorado. Goodwin races a Ski-Doo equipped with a special seat that he and his sponsors made.

Goodwin hopes to someday mass-produce the seat, which he said could fit on any Ski-Doo and allow recreational snowmobilers who are disabled to ride.

You cant go online and search for an adaptive snowmobile seat and buy one, Goodwin said.

With help from American Metalcraft in Goodwins hometown of Zion, Illinois, Goodwin designed a rigid seat that can be bolted to a sled. He and company designers telephoned and send many emails back and forth throughout the process. The chair pivots, allowing Goodwin  who is strapped in with a seat belt  to lean into turns.

There was a lot of trial and error, he said. The seat is like a race car with a shock under it that acts like my legs would.

Goodwin was racing a motorcycle in July 2011 when he hit a jump and the bike rotated forward. His motorcycle landed on top of him. He broke three vertebrae, suffered a concussion and a separated shoulder; Goodwin is paralyzed below his waist.

After four months of rehabilitation, he was already making plans to get back to the snocross circuit. I knew I could do it. I just had to figure out how, he said.

Goodwins father, Greg, and his uncle have raced snowmobiles for years. Greg, who owns Goodwin Performance, won the 1991 World Championships in Wisconsin. Racing sleds since he was 5, Goodwin said he took up motocross as a way to stay in shape and train between winters.

The X Games race was Goodwins second adaptive snocross event. The first was in March 2012, one day after receiving his outfitted sled from American Metalcraft, and seven months removed from his motorcycle accident.

We had one day to test it and make modifications, said Goodwin, who also works with local sponsors Stud Boy Traction from Ravenna and Grand Rapids Truck Center. I told my family, If I go out and it feels good, Im going to race. He took third place in that race.

X Games organizers invite participants to join the games. Goodwin said organizers comb the Internet, looking for exciting highlight videos. They also want participants who have a racing spirit, he said.

Along with his racing spirit, Goodwin said he brings special knowhow and mechanical engineering skills to adaptive racing. The whole adaptive industry is growing so rapidly, it helps having my perspective, he said.

Trustees approve new addition to Au Sable Hall

Grand Valleys Board of Trustees in February approved adding an addition to Au Sable Hall, increasing the classroom and office space in that building.

James Moyer, associate vice president for Facilities Planning, said the 22,000-square-foot addition should be complete in 2014. Moyer said the two-story addition will add eight classrooms and 16 offices. Projected cost is $6.7 million, he said.

photo by Amanda Pitts Students are pictured at the ELS Language Center, which is located at 48th Avenue, but will soon occupy space in Au Sable Hall when the building is renovated.

Part of the new space will be occupied by ELS Language Center, an English language program that has had a 10-year collaboration with Grand Valley.

Nicholas Ghiglia, center director, said about one-third of all ELS students enroll at Grand Valley following their program. The center enrolls about 130 students in any given session.

The center, one of 65 ELS Language Centers in the country, has been affiliated with Grand Valley since 2004. The center is now located on 48th Avenue.

Brian Copeland, associate vice president for Business and Finance, said the on-campus move fits with Grand Valleys strategic plan pertaining to inclusion and internationalization. An objective in the strategic plan calls for the university to increase its outreach efforts in order to enhance the diversity of the student body, Copeland said.

Ghiglia said ELS students will enjoy becoming more immersed in Grand Valleys culture. Students enjoy coming to campus now to use the Fieldhouse, library and computer labs, but they will get the most benefit from being on campus daily, Ghiglia said.

He added that the move to Au Sable will enhance the learning experiences of traditional Grand Valley students and ELS students.

Page last modified May 10, 2013