Student Awards Convocation will recognize achievements in classroom, on campus

An exterior photo of the L.V. Eberhard Center, with the wording on the building visible.
The ceremony honoring the students will be held at the Eberhard Center.

Students will be recognized for their academic and co-curricular achievements at the Student Awards Convocation, which is Monday, April 11, beginning at 6 p.m. at the Eberhard Center on the Pew Grand Rapids Campus.

The annual ceremony recognizes students who will receive top awards and students who achieved excellence within a discipline. Profiles of several students are below and a list of all award recipients is online

Sam Menzie, Niemeyer Award

A posed photo of Sam Menzie

Sam Menzie is an occupational safety and health management major and one of five recipients of the Niemeyer Award, presented to undergraduate and graduate students who demonstrate excellence in the classroom and on campus.

Menzie will return to Grand Valley next fall to begin the master's degree program in biomedical engineering. He said he eventually would like to develop equipment that prevents musculoskeletal injuries in the workplace. 

The OSHM program offered Menzie a blend of engineering and working directly with people. "It also let me flex my love of writing more than a traditional engineering role would," he said. Menzie has volunteered at area high schools as a member of Young Life, and has worked as a consultant at the Fred Meijer Center for Writing and as a lab assistant for OSHM. 

"As a lab assistant, I had the amazing responsibility of helping support students who are doing project work to serve workers in the greater Grand Rapids area as a part of their curriculum," he said. "I don't know if I made the biggest splash during my time at GVSU, but I am proud of the impact that I have had."

Faith Kidd, Seykora Award

Faith Kidd smiles in a posed portrait.

A political science major, Faith Kidd will receive a Thomas A. Seykora Award for Outstanding Contribution.

Kidd said she was ready to be an active student after graduating from a small high school south of Traverse City with 28 other students. She is the current Student Senate vice president of educational affairs, and serves as a Meijer Honors College teaching assistant and Hauenstein Center Cook Leadership Academy fellow.

"All of the work I do on campus I do to connect students to opportunities and provide them with educational experiences," Kidd said. "I enjoy the work I do in each of these roles, I am able to be a resource to other students and I recognize the importance of taking the opportunities that are available to you."

Kidd will graduate next year and plans to pursue a master's degree after traveling in Europe.  "The long periods of quarantine throughout the pandemic have been tough on my adventurous spirit," she said.

Sarah Krishef, Niemeyer Award

Sara Krishef smiles in a posed portrait.

Sarah Krishef, a junior who is majoring in film and video, and writing, will receive a Niemeyer Award. She said she hopes the two disciplines will propel her to a role in the animation industry.

"I realized that I loved animation and saw a lot of potential in the medium for better representation of queer, disabled and religious minority communities, in particular," Krishef said.

Krishef arrived at Grand Valley with enough credits to graduate in three years. However, she stayed longer after finding she loved being in college, learning and being actively involved on campus. Krishef is a lead writing consultant for the Meijer Writing Center and editorial project manager for the Office of Student Life's Promotions team. She is a Cook Leadership Academy fellow and involved in Cinesthesia, an online film journal.

Krishef was a network leadership advisor for the 2020 Learner Engagement Challenge and mentored high school students. The initiative by President Philomena V. Mantella aims to position learners as co-designers of new strategies for higher education. "We learned a lot about design thinking, and we were able to come up with some really interesting prototypes for new ways of structuring high school class curriculums," Krishef said.

Alexis Krichevsky, Gayle R. Davis Award

Alexis Krichevsky smiles in a posed portrait.

Alexis Krichevsky, a junior who is majoring in political science, will receive the Gayle R. Davis First Generation College Student Emerging Leader Award. 

A native of Farmington Hills, Krichevsky said being a first-generation American has shaped her experiences. "I found my interest in politics after helping my father study for the U.S. Citizenship test when I was in the eighth grade," she said. Krichevsky hopes to attend law school and help other immigrants through, as she said, "the complex immigration process."

This marks Krichevsky's third year as a student senator; she serves as the vice president for senate resources. Being active in student government helped Krichevsky find her place on Grand Valley's campus.

"Starting my education at GVSU was a seamless transition for me. I have found my passions on campus and in my classes and am very happy to be receiving this award," she said.

Keith Abraham, Niemeyer Award

Keith Abraham, wearing a nursing lab coat, smiles in a posed portrait.

Keith Abraham, who will earn a doctor of nursing practice degree, will receive a Niemeyer Award.

Abraham has been a nurse for 11 years, working in a number of capacities for Mercy Health Muskegon. He enjoys being a nurse and values the holistic approach nursing brings to health care.

"Throughout my nursing career I always wanted more autonomy in practice," Abraham said. "I really enjoy the critical thinking involved with diagnosing and treating various health conditions.  I knew that pursuing a DNP degree would not only challenge me, but would allow me to step into a provider role, where I could have more autonomy in practice."

After graduation, Abraham said he will explore career options but said he would like to continue working in primary care.