Crain's names President Mantella Newsmaker of the Year in education

Crain's Executive Editor Mickey Ciokajlo poses while presenting GVSU President Philomena V. Mantella with a Newsmaker of the Year plaque.
Crain's Executive Editor Mickey Ciokajlo presents GVSU President Philomena V. Mantella with a Newsmaker of the Year plaque at the Newsmaker of the Year Awards at the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park on Tuesday, February 27.
Image credit - Photo courtesy of Crain's Grand Rapids Business

Grand Valley State University President Philomena V. Mantella was named Crain’s Grand Rapids Business Newsmaker of the Year for education.

Mantella received the award at the annual Newsmakers of The Year breakfast at Frederik Meijer Gardens on February 27th. Crain’s chooses the winners based on their contributions to major stories in West Michigan in 2023. 

Mantella was selected in the education category for her work in leading GVSU’s growth, including plans to increase the size of the Robert C. Pew campus in downtown Grand Rapids. She was also lauded for local business collaborations like the Laker Accelerated Talent Link, which was announced last year and pairs students with one of five local employers to provide an enhanced co-op experience for the students while giving employers earlier access to the talent they need. 

Mantella took over as GVSU’s first female president in 2019. Under her leadership, the school has seen recent gains in enrollment while redefining the role higher education needs to play in building Michigan’s future. 

Mantella is also a member of the Executive Committee of Grand Action 2.0, an organization that received the overall Newsmaker of the Year Award for its work developing an amphitheater and a soccer stadium in downtown Grand Rapids.  Grand Action Co-Chair Carol Van Andel accepted the award on behalf of the organization. Van Andel is also a director of the Grand Valley University Foundation.


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