Faculty and staff sketches: AP award recipients

woman at podium
Pictured is Monica Johnstone, who received the AP Achievement Award. It is the highest honor presented to an AP staff member.
Image Credit: University Communications
people participating in a group walk
Pictured is a campus walk with President Mantella, one of many initiatives that secured a gold status for GVSU from Exercise is Medicine on Campus.
Image Credit: University Communications

Johnstone receives AP Achievement Award

Monica Johnstone, director of CLAS communications and advancement, received the AP Achievement Award, the highest honor awarded to an administrative/professional staff member.

Many nomination letters cited Johnstone's positive impact on campus. Elena Lioubimtseva, professor and chair of geography and sustainable planning, called Johnstone an "incredibly effective voice" for faculty members and students in CLAS.

"Monica has been instrumental in numerous Grand Valley and CLAS initiatives and projects," Lioubimtseva wrote. "She has been a true engine of faculty collaboration, community engagement, student and faculty research and creative activities, and a variety of vitally important events."

Senior librarian Debbie Morrow said Johnstone's passion and artistry for quilting quickly found a place at Grand Valley. Shortly after beginning her job, Johnstone gathered colleagues for quilting lunches that produced group quilts for the LGBT Resource Center and Marcia Haas. 

Johnstone's skills found their way to sewing clinics for academic regalia, which morphed into the Repair Clinic, Morrow said. Through three years of the clinic, hundreds of students have received free repairs to clothing or backpacks. 

Other AP awardees are listed below.

• Raven McClinon, assistant supervisor for Facilities Services, received the Commitment to Diversity Award.

• Jackie Rautio, Tutoring Center coordinator and senior academic advisor, received the Commitment to Students Award.

• Melanie Grover, assistant director of housing systems, received the Innovation Award.

• Christopher Swank, manager, Facilities Services Grand Rapids and Regional Centers, received the Service to Community Award.

• The Student Death Response Team earned the Outstanding Team Project Award.


In the News  

Scott Rood, chair and assistant professor of hospitality and tourism management, was interviewed by Gaylord Herald Times for a story about the impact of coronavirus on the hospitality industry in northern Michigan.

Kimberly McKee, associate professor of integrative studies, was interviewed by Native News for a story about the racial implications of labeling coronavirus as the Chinese virus.


Adriana Almanza, assistant director for the Office of Multicultural Affairs, was appointed to serve on the board of trustees for Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital.

President Philomena V. Mantella signed the Higher Education Presidential Commitment to Full Student Voter Participation, affirming Grand Valley's continued commitment to student civic engagement.

Grand Valley has earned gold-level recognition from Exercise is Medicine On Campus. Many partners, including Recreation and Wellness, Movement Science, and Benefits and Wellness, all offer services and resources to create a culture of wellness on campus.

Elizabeth Chase, student retention and special projects coordinator, Dean of Students; Gabe Pena, success coach, Student Academic Success Center; and a graduate student, gave a presentation, "Laker Strategies for Success: A Holistic Approach to Student Success," at the Great Lakes Regional Student Success Conference.

Suzeanne Benet, associate vice president for Academic Affairs; Elizabeth Chase, student retention and special projects coordinator, Dean of Students; Colleen Lindsay-Bailey, associate director of Housing & Residence Life; and Brian Hatzel, director of faculty initiatives for student success and professor of movement science, gave a presentation, "'Turf' is a Four-Letter Word: Cross Divisional Partnerships that Impact Student Success," at the Great Lakes Regional Student Success Conference.

The Executive Master of Business Administration offered through the Seidman College of Business for Spectrum Health executives won a Best Practice award from Training magazine.