Mantella: GVSU providing responsive education for today's students

President Philomena V. Mantella on stage during the the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce's West Michigan CEO Summit.
President Philomena V. Mantella leads the discussion during her presentation at the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce's West Michigan CEO Summit on June 14 at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel
Image Credit: Brian Vernellis

Grand Valley President Philomena V. Mantella joined hundreds of the region’s business and community leaders for the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce’s West Michigan CEO Summit on June 14 at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel. 

Mantella was one of the event’s featured presenters, discussing GVSU’s mission to provide education responsive to today’s extraordinary disruptions and the need for talent to lead and drive inclusive prosperity in the region.

“What drew me to Grand Valley and Grand Rapids was the opportunity to situate a university both as a contemporary, 21st century learning model and as an economic driver to the region,” said Mantella. “It wasn’t an ‘either-or’ proposition. Everyone saw both sides of that really important coin.”

Mantella said Grand Valley is positioned to help students, at any stage of life, by being responsive to their appetite for learning, building in-demand skills and meeting today's need for enduring competencies of a liberal education.

“In Michigan, we have two million people who have walked away from the current educational system with some college that we can bring back, we can appreciate the experience that they’ve had outside a formal educational model,” she said.

“Along with supporting students through completion, engaging communities underserved and importing students from other areas of the country are all ways to grow as birth rates decline.

At the forefront of reaching those students, said Mantella, are GVSU’s three commitments to the people it serves: empowering the educational experience of its students, appreciating a lifetime of learning and developing a culture of educational equity.

“We are a place and a space that believes that there’s not a juxtaposition between access and quality,” she said. “We can in fact serve, as is our mission, the public and draw talent to Michigan. We need to do that at the highest, quality level.”