Success Stories 2019

Do you know a GVSU faculty or staff member who serves as a role model for others living a healthy lifestyle? Nominate your co worker for our next newsletter!

December 2019: Sandra Matthews & Christine Rener

sandra and christine

Both Sandra Matthews and Christine Rener know the power of kindness. Sandra has worked at GVSU since 2015, and is currently the receptionist/special events coordinator at the Kirkhof College of Nursing. Christine has been at GVSU for 10 years and serves as the vice provost for instructional development & innovation as well as the Director of the Robert and Mary Pew Faculty Teaching & Learning Center. Despite busy schedules, both decided to join Positive Organizations, and fell in love with spreading positivity throughout GVSU. Read more about Sandra and Christine.

November 2019: Tim Marroquin

Tim Marroquin

Tim Marroquin, director of Veterans Upward Bound, understands the importance of leading by example. In his position, he’s been able to help veterans pursue and obtain college degrees, and along the way, he’s also gained the skills of self-reflection and a dedication to personal wellness. Read more about Tim.

September 2019: Stacey Burns

Stacey Burns with the bees in her garden.

Stacey Burns, Programs and Operations Manager at the University Libraries, finds value in practice, not perfection. Starting at a young age, she observed the strengths and challenges of family members and friends. Taking this into her adult life, Stacey says, “I have a strong awareness of my mind/body connection and a long-held belief in holistic health that help keep me in check.” Read more about Stacey.

August 2019: Rafael Juarez-Yuen

Image of Rafael Juarez-Yuen

Rafael Juarez-Yuen, Records Assistant in the Registrar’s office—has become acquired with the ins and outs of riding The Rapid to work. Since starting his position with Grand Valley 4 years ago, Rafael has always wanted to take advantage of the bus system; however, driving to work was always a more convenient option. A few months ago, a medical event in Rafael’s life restricted his ability to drive, causing him to begin riding the bus every day. Read more about Rafael.

July 2019: Joy Gianakura

Joy Gianakura

Joy Gianakura—the associate dean of student academic services within the Seidman College of Business—says she has been “battling the curse of the short girl” her entire life. She has spent most of her life yo-yoing from being fit, to being in less than ideal shape. In an effort to stay away from medication and improve blood pressure, and with two neurological disorders that had been diagnosed within her immediate family, Joy decided it was time to take her health more seriously. Read more about Joy.

May 2019: Katie Lomas

Photo of Katie Lomas for her success story

About two and a half years ago, Katie Lomas—manager at the Laker Store—was inspired by one of her students to begin working out again, and has been dedicated to leading a healthy lifestyle ever since. She had not been involved with fitness for nearly seven or eight years prior, but now says that working out is one of her favorite parts of the day. Read more about Katie.

April 2019: Susan Strouse

Susan Strouse showing us her strength

Susan Strouse—an assistant professor in the Kirkhof College of Nursing—strives to be a role model for her students and others around her by actively leading a healthy lifestyle. Being a registered nurse, she has seen firsthand how not taking care of your body affects your overall health. Though she’s always been an active and healthy individual, wanting to set a good example for her students and patients alike helps to keep Susan focused on her health. Read more about Susan.

March 2019: Joseph Vugteveen

Joseph Vugteveen

Joseph Vugteveen—project coordinator on the university’s web team in Institutional Marketing—has always been an active individual, but found it hard to see progress by simply exercising on his own. Since getting involved in the faculty and staff group exercise classes on campus, he feels much happier and healthier. Read more about Joseph.

January 2019: Joshua Marko

Josh Marko

Before working with a Priority Health wellness coach, Joshua Marko - project manager at the Michigan Small Business Development Center within GVSU’s Seidman College of Business—felt he needed more exercise, better sleep, and an improved diet. When asked why he began working with a wellness coach, Josh says, “Honestly, the financial incentive is what spurred my interest.” Read more about Josh.


To view other success stories, click on one of the links below:

20202019 / 2018201720162015 / 2014 / 2013 / 2012 / 2011 / 2010


Page last modified October 5, 2020