GVSU again earns national recognition for committing to diversity, inclusion

Drone photo of Allendale campus with clock tower at center and lots of sidewalks
The GVSU Allendale Campus is pictured; the university has earned the HEED Award for its commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Image credit - Amanda Pitts

Grand Valley again received national recognition for its commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Insight Into Diversity, the nation's oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education, awarded Grand Valley and 100 other institutions the 2021 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award September 20. 

This marks the fourth time GVSU has earned the HEED Award, also receiving it in 2020, 2019 and 2012.

Jesse Bernal, chief of staff to the president and vice president for Inclusion and Equity, said he appreciates the recognition from Insight Into Diversity, as the publication received more applications for the HEED Award than any other year.

"It's a meaningful accomplishment for Grand Valley," Bernal said. "There were a number of factors that impressed the selection committee, including President Philomena Mantella's focus on diversifying university leadership, bold strategic planning goals and our REP4 Alliance focus on equity."

REP4 stands for Rapid Education Prototyping for Change, Learners, Community, Equity. In early August, Grand Valley and other REP4 partner institutions held a national convening during which high school students pitched ideas to higher education leaders ideas for making education more equitable and accessible.

Bernal said Grand Valley, as a historically white institution, is actively engaging in tough conversations and intentional movements within its community and nationally on making education more accessible to diverse learners. He cited the coalition with Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Hispanic Serving Institutions as an example.

The 2021 HEED Award recipients will be announced in the publication's November issue; visit insightintodiversity.com.


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