Leading Lakers 2020

This year has proven to be an uncertain time for all. As we adapt to the changes around us, we are beyond grateful for the efforts of the GVSU community and Leading Lakers who keep us moving forward. 

Faculty and staff throughout the community have demonstrated their dedication to staying well, staying strong, and staying together during this time. If you know of any GVSU faculty, staff, groups of faculty/staff, or entire departments who you believe are serving as role models – or as we like to call them, Leading Lakers – please recognize them by completing a short online form or by emailing benefitsandwellness@gvsu.edu.

GVSU Human Resources will share these stories or recognition on this page, in our monthly e-newsletters, and/or on our social media accounts. Connect with us and recognize a Leading Laker below:

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Recognize a Leading Laker

October 2020: Christina Quick

Despite many changes in the past few months, Christina Quick has been able to stay resilient with a daily mindfulness routine. With this practice, Quick has been able to feel happier, think clearer, and improve her overall mental health. Coming from a 10-year career in trauma and emergency response, and later from her role as a nurse practitioner and Assistant Professor in the Kirkhof College of Nursing, Quick is familiar with caring for patients. Still, caring for her own wellness and mental health has not always been easy. Read more about Christina's journey here.

September 2020: Ed Spier

Ed Spier of Grand Valley's WGVU behind the mic

Before Ed Spier started in his current position, his career at GVSU began as a student back in 1985, combining his passions for music and public broadcasting by hosting a radio show, "Basically Big Bands," which still airs today under a different host. From there, his career led him through various broadcasting positions until he became the TV program manager for WGVU Public Media, where he schedules the programming on their four broadcast channels. Read more about Ed.

August 2020: Rence Meredith

Campus is looking a little different lately. Social distancing signs, mask requirements, and increased cleaning staff are among some of the changes popping up all over campus. While these may be pretty clear reminders of our current times, they’re also a reminder of Grand Valley’s commitment to safety and care for faculty, staff and students. No one personifies this commitment better than this month’s Leading Laker, Rence Meredith. Read more about Rence Meredith.

July 2020: Salvatore Alaimo

Salvatore Alaimo

It can be difficult to stay motivated and make healthy choices in our current times, possibly feeling as though we are alone in our wellness journeys as we social distance. Salvatore Alaimo, Associate Professor in the School of Public, Nonprofit and Health Administration, has been keeping connected to his wellness goals by continuing to work with his Priority Health wellness coach as part of the Thrive @ GVSU coaching program. Read more about Salvatore Alaimo.

June 2020: Institutional Marketing

Institutional Marketing team

While we may not be together on campus, there is still a lot we can do as a GVSU community to stay connected and active. We reached out to Dave Poortvliet, associate director of web application development in Institutional Marketing, about the steps Institutional Marketing have been taking to keep in touch while staying active at home. Read more about the Institutional Marketing team.

April 2020: Jennifer Cathey

Jennifer Cathey (left) and friend at Boston Marathon 2019

Feeling like going for a run? Jennifer Cathey, office coordinator for the General Education Program, is always read to say yes. Jennifer has run 16 marathons so far since picking up running in 2002. Today, she’s well on her way to running her 17th marathon as she trains for this year's Boston Marathon. Read more about Jennifer.

March 2020: Kevin Kotlewski

Kevin Kotlewski, March 2020 Wellness Feature

If you’re out and about at lunchtime, you may have already seen Kevin Kotlewski on his daily walk around campus. Kevin is a senior accountant for Business and Finance, and since he started working at GVSU in April 2019, he has taken it upon himself to be as healthy as he can – one step at a time. Read more about Kevin.

February 2020: Kayla Cupples

Kayla Cupples

After completing her master’s degree in December 2019, Kayla Cupples—assistant director of marketing for Recreation & Wellness—has begun to re-focus on her personal well-being. With the pressure of school, her normal exercise routine began feeling like a chore, leaving her in rut. Kayla has since started to implement new ways to improve her physical, emotional, and mental wellness. Read more about Kayla.

January 2020: Megan Bravo

Megan Bravo

Megan Bravo, employment specialist in GVSU’s Human Resources department, started working with a Priority Health wellness coach to help with her workout routine, but ended up finding so much more. Now, Megan can talk to her coach about anything, from workout motivation, to stress management and what’s going on in her everyday life. Read more about Megan.


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

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