Never have we been called more to do our part. Never has our creativity, human spirit, and instinct been called on so deeply to do what is right for all. We are called to bring our energy to serve humanity in new and expanding ways. President Philomena V. Mantella


Grand Valley State University is a community that moves swiftly to respond and care for one another. Even as we grapple with unprecedented circumstances, it’s in the nature of all Lakers to want to help. Following Michigan's “Stay Home. Stay Safe.” order in March 2020, President Mantella called on the entire community to harness our power, talent, intellectual capacity, and compassion to activate networks in key areas:

All of us can stay in close touch with friends, families, our classmates and colleagues, and others who are close to us who may live alone. Contact our students for check-ins and to provide feedback to the university. Those with specialized training might work with skilled nursing or senior care facilities to place phone calls to residents who may be at risk of social isolation.

Educate yourself and others on how to manage mental health during the COVID-19 crisis by checking out, using, and sharing resources from the Mental Health and Well-Being Index, UCC, or Human Resources, creating and maintain virtual social networks, checking in on student groups and classes, volunteering with the Trevor Project to provide virtual support to LGBTQ youth, and others. 

Support individuals, such as seniors, those with disabilities, and others at higher risk, in partnership with local organizations. 

Provide West Michigan Small Businesses with guidance, tips, strategies, and best practices to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Share the SCB Seidman Series webinars and recordings, join CEI LendGR, or connect with the Coronavirus Civilian Corps and others doing important work in this area.

If you’re able to support financially, please consider. If your skillset positions you to consult with or advise, please do. Check out the Johnson Center for additional opportunities and resources to share.

Work with the GVSU Simulation Center to coordinate medical supply donations. As needs change, join the PCEC Medical Mask Project and other development and design projects in response to the shortage of supplies for medical professionals responding to the coronavirus outbreak. 

Students interested in developing solutions in lab settings must have at least one faculty identified to make a proposal to the administration. If faculty are in agreement, If they should contact Associate Vice President Ed Aboufadel in the Office of the Provost.

Connect with alumni chapters, clubs, and other alumni connections to see where assistance is needed in local communities or consider supporting an alumni owned business. Lakers for a Lifetime are dedicated to a lifetime of service to the community. 

Although in-person volunteer opportunities are currently limited, share appreciation and support changing needs of essential and critical heroes serving on the frontlines of the pandemic virtually. 

Connect your passion for learning with the largest areas of need around K-12 and family supports as our community navigates instruction changes. Volunteer your time or contribute to and share the K-12 Connect free virtual tutoring program or Charter Schools Office Family Resources for Learning at Home resources.

Our shared challenge is to be even more creative in the ways we support our community. Wearing a face mask, physical distancing, and staying home are the best ways an individual can help. Yet, there are certainly other needs in our community and a range of ways we can still serve. While in-person volunteer opportunities have been greatly reduced, remote volunteers and contributions are still needed. We must also be ready to support more physically when circumstances allow. While we may be further apart physically today, we must now, more than ever, continue to act as one university and one community as we continue to reach higher together. 

  • Philomena V. Mantella, President
  • Elizabeth Doyle, Special Associate for Presidential Initiatives, Inclusion and Equity
  • Service Resource Connectors:
  • Travus Burton, Office of the Provost, CLCE
  • Melissa Baker-Boosamra, Office of Student Life, CSLC
  • Mental Health and Well-Being:
  • Lindsey DesArmo, Human Resources  
  • Jen Hsu-Bishop, Milton E. Ford LGBT Resource Center 
  • Vulnerable Population Support:
  • Kyle Kooyers‎, Kaufman Interfaith Institute
  • Zahabia Ahmed-Usmani, Kaufman Interfaith Institute
  • Economic Planning Support of Small Businesses:
  • Jaideep Motwani, Seidman College of Business
  • Aaron Lowen, Presidential Fellow
  • Support Local Nonprofits:
  • Tamela Spicer, Johnson Center for Philanthropy
  • Jessica Jennrich, Gayle R. Davis Center for Women & Gender Equity
  • Medical Supply Design, Development, Donations:
  • Casey Thelenwood, Seymour & Esther Padnos College of Engineering & Computing
  • Katie Branch, Simulation Center
  • Kevin McIntosh, Disability Support Resources
  • Connect with Laker Networks:
  • Chris Barbee, Alumni Relations
  • Frontline and Essential Workers Support:
  • Tina Barnikow, Office of the Vice Provost for Health
  • Andrew Bixel, University Development
  • K-12 Remote Education Delivery and Support for Parents/Guardians:
  • Amirah Vosburgh, Charter Schools Office
  • Elisa Salazar, Human Resources
  • Chasity Bailey-Fakhoury, Presidential Fellow
  • Bobby Springer, Veterans Upward Bound
  • Kris Pachla, Regional Math and Science Center
  • Sarah Keranen-Lopez, TRIO Educational Talent Search
  • Companion Support and Check-Ins:
  • Rebecca Davis, Kirkhof College of Nursing 
  • University Communications Liaison:
  • Michele Coffill 

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Page last modified November 19, 2020