Student Achievements/Awards

Presidential Research Grants (GVSU)

Grant awards of up to $1,500 are available to support the research and scholarly projects of graduate students. Applicants must be degree seeking and in good  academic standing. The research must be connected to completion of some aspect of the applicant’s graduate degree.

Winter 2021: Darby Disselkoen: "Improving Adolescent Risk Assessment in Primary Care Using the Rapid Assessment for Adolescent Preventive Services (RAAPS) Tool"

Fall 2020: Desiree Palmer: "Medication Adherence among Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Patients"

Fall 2019: Laura Love: "Self-Monitoring of Blood Pressure in Community-Dwelling Senior Adults"

Winter 2019: Beena Philip:   "Implementation Strategies to Increase Uptake of Hester Davis Tool Tailoring of Fall Prevention Interventions"



The Glenn A. Niemeyer Awards

Provost Award

Named for the first Provost of Grand Valley State University, these awards honor faculty and students who strive for excellence in all aspects of a well-rounded academic experience.

Candidate Criteria:

Students selected for the Niemeyer Awards by the Provost Office are well-rounded individuals with demonstrated excellence in both the classroom and extra-curricular activities.  Recipients excel in the classroom and demonstrate a joy of learning as part of a community of scholars.  Along with intellectual achievements, recipients participate in activities outside the classroom that serve to enrich their lives and the lives of others. 

2020-2021 Cheryl Bos, DNP Outstanding Part-time Graduate Student

2019-2020 Matthew Smith, BSN student

2018-2019 Amy Veltman, DNP student



Gayle R. Davis First Generation College Student Emerging Leader Award

Provost Award

This award is named for Gayle R. Davis who served as Provost and Executive Vice President from 2002-2017, and who was herself a first generation student and a collaborative leader.  Dr. Davis retired from Grand Valley in Spring 2017.  The Davis Award is a tribute to the high regard the University has for Dr. Davis and to the many outstanding contributions she made throughout her tenure.  

The Davis Award recognizes a sophomore or junior who is the first generation in their family to attend college and shows a promising future as a leader.

2020-2021 Maira Hurtado, BSN

2019-2020 Bradley Barningham, BSN

Excellence in a Discipline Award

Provost Award

The Excellence in a Discipline Awards honor one undergraduate student and one graduate student in each academic major.


          Hannah Rojas, BSN

          Darby Disselkoen, DNP


         Kayeleigh Eder, BSN

         Lesli Teed, MSN

         Omoyemi Idowu, DNP

Thomas M. Seykora Award for Outstanding Contribution

Provost Award

The Seykora Award recognizes a number of seniors who, through their involvement, have made significant and outstanding contributions to the campus community.


Lilly Radke, Nursing

Travis Gort, Nursing and Psychology

Graduate Dean's Citation Awards

Academic Excellence in a Degree Program 2019-2020

        Amy Manderscheid, DNP

        Lesli Teed, MSN

 Outstanding Final Project  2019-2020

         Briauna Taylor, DNP

Excellence in Service to the Community/Profession 2019-2020

        Laura Love, DNP

Excellence in Sustainability 2019-2020

        Emily Kraus, DNP

Kirkhof College of Nursing Awards

Undergraduate Awardees: 2019-2020

Phyllis E. Gendler Gerontological Nursing Scholar Award: Jenna Leveille, BSN

This award was created to recognize outstanding performance in the nursing care of older adults by an undergraduate student.  Students who demonstrate an interest in, and focus on, geriatric nursing as evidenced by projects, clinical emphasis, and extra-curricular activities in the area of gerontology are eligible.

Mary Horan Nursing Scholar Award: Matthew Smith, BSN

This award was established in recognition of the significant contributions Dr. Mary Horan, the first Dean for the Kirkhof College of Nursing, has made to nursing and nursing education.  The Mary Horan Nursing Scholar Award, for a graduate or undergraduate student, recognizes both outstanding academic achievement and the potential for leadership and excellence in practice, particularly for promoting the health of families.

Dorothy E. Freeman Award for Outstanding Effort in Global Nursing: Brittaney Moldovan, BSN

The Dorothy E. Freeman Award recognizes outstanding effort in global nursing. This award actively integrates global awareness and cultural competence into the educational experience and professional practice, portrays extraordinary effort to incorporate a global experience into course and program objectives and pursues a global academic, research, clinical and/or service-learning project.

Banta Perkins Award: Katherine Holwerda, BSN

The Banta/Perkins Award is in recognition of two Kirkhof College of Nursing faculty who played major roles in the development of the College as it is today.  This award was established as a peer award for graduates of the BSN program.  Students are asked to select a classmate that typifies the best in nursing practice and exemplifies caring; someone to whom they would entrust themselves or their families should they be in need of excellent nursing care. The final candidate is chosen by their classmates through a peer nomination process. 

Graduate Awardees:

Graduate Student Award for Nursing Excellence: Kersten O'Brien, MSN and Briauna Taylor, DNP

The Graduate Student Recognition Award for Nursing excellence is a peer selected award that recognizes the graduate student who best represents nursing excellence. Students nominate a peer who best exemplifies the following characteristics: promotes lifelong learning; possesses passion, heart and leadership; and potential to move nursing to the next level. The final candidate is chosen by their classmates through a selection and voting process.

Bonnie Wesorick Future of Nursing Award: Omoyemi Idowu, DNP

This award was created to honor a nurse who has achieved advancement in nursing education. Faculty select the student who best exemplifies growth in attributes called for in the 2011 Institute of Medicines’ report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. The recipient will have shown innovation; leadership and advocacy skills; a focus on patient-centered care and interprofessional teamwork; and attention to safety and quality outcomes.




3MT (Three Minute Thesis Competition)

What is a three-minute thesis (3-MT®)? Oral communication of a student's research to an educated layperson is often lacking in graduate programs. The University of Queensland developed the 3-Minute Thesis® where students summarize their research in 3 minutes using pre-determined guidelines. The format is one where students make a presentation in less than 3 minutes and a panel of judges scores each student to determine a winner.


GVSU First Place

Darby Disselkoen, DNP student. Her presentation was titled : Teen Risk: The Provider's Responsibility?"

GVSU Second Place

Mary Chenge, DNP student. Her presentation was titled "Addressing Social Determinates of Health in Patients with Advanced Chronic Disease".

2019-2020 GVSU First Place

Afokoghene Odhu, DNP student. His presentation was titled " Improving Annual Dilated Retinal Screening in Type 2 Diabetic Patients".

2018-2019 GVSU Second Place 
Jenna Buchman, DNP student. Her presentation was titled, "The Evaluation of a Nerve Block Protocol in Patients with Hip Fractures".



The Laker Effect Challenge

The Laker Effect Challenge builds on the idea of collective impact   of the GVSU
 community on individual students, West Michigan, our state, and beyond. Lakers
 are driven by our passion for learning and using knowledge for the common
. We make a difference by focusing on others and making lasting

2019-2020 "Block Party in a Box" $1,475.00. Dr. Anne McKay and the nursing students in NUR 417/467 in collaboration with The Other Way.

2018-2019 “The Zombie Apocalypse” $5,000.00. Dr. Maureen Ryan, KCON student
                   Kenny Urena, The Other Way, and Servant’s Church

 2017-2018 “Cultivating the Garden of Eating” Kirkhof College of Nursing and residents of
                    the Southwest Area neighborhood (SWAN) $1,000.00



Grand Valley MSN alumna and clinical nurse leader, Michelle Smith, played an important role in the successful FUSE program at Bronson Hospital.

Bronson's FUSE program is a community collaborative, which provides homeless with wrap-around services through Bronson primary care, Kalamazoo Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services and Kalamazoo County Public Housing Commission. Michigan Health and Hospital Association honored Bronson Methodist Hospital for its program aimed at assisting homeless. 

In partnership with schools of nursing across the country, Jonas Philanthropies identifies and invests in high-potential doctoral nursing Scholars.

Jonas Scholarships aim to:

  • Support nurses who will address our nation’s most pressing healthcare needs.
  • Increase the number of nurses with advanced training filling leadership roles as faculty, clinical leaders and researchers.
  • Improve the health of veterans by supporting doctoral-level nursing candidates committed to advancing veterans healthcare.

2016-2018 Amelia Grayson, Christina Winkelman

2014-2016 Rachel Cardosa, Leda Evans

Page last modified September 23, 2019