President Mantella unites national, regional educators to activate change
President Philomena V. Mantella brought together education leaders from across the country and region, including representatives from Google, Coca-Cola and Sony Music Entertainment, to discuss how to transform education models to better serve students.
The first-of-its-kind education summit in Michigan, held November 13 at the Alumni House, is part of a series of inauguration events and the president's initiative, Reach Higher Together.
Mantella charged the group to focus on what elements of education need to change and what is required for success.
More than 100 people attended including superintendents, faculty, and deans from various organizations, including public schools, charter schools, education technology, funders of education innovation and capital investment.
"We need to think unbounded about our future and question traditional education models in order to serve agile learners in the 21st century workforce," Mantella said.
Jaime Casap, who works in global education for Google, said digitization is impacting everything, including education at all levels.
"Generation Z is a problem-solving generation and really the first digital generation," Casap said. "About 80 percent believe in higher education. We need to ask, 'What problem do you want to solve?' instead of 'What do you want to be when you grow up?'"
Corey Mohn, executive director of the Blue Valley Center for Advanced Professional Studies in Kansas, said it's important to know the difference between a job, a career and a calling, saying educators must help students find their passion and calling.
Jane Hopkins, president of Coca-Cola Scholars, said students who receive their scholarships have a desire to see a better world and go after it. "Our scholarships are not a reward of the past, they are an investment in their future and lifelong learning," Hopkins said.
Eva Amesse, manager of Learning and Development at Sony Music Entertainment, said their younger employees are inspired by playfulness and find emotional intelligence to be important.
Reach Higher Together
President Mantella's Reach Higher Together initiative aims to activate the entire community to lead change in higher education.
Find out more about Reach Higher Together at gvsu.edu/president.