Laker Connections


The Laker Connections programs include: Asian Student Achievement Program (designed for students who identify as Asian), Black Excellence 365 (designed for students who identify as Black/African American), Black Male Scholars (designed for students who identify as Black men), Laker Familia (designed for students who identify as Latino/a/x), and Mno’chigewin: Native Student Success Program (designed for students who identify as Native American). Together, these programs are designed to create an environment where students can achieve their potential at GVSU while being their full, authentic selves. These programs are open to all students and embody GVSU’s values of diversity, equity, and inclusion and the Office of Multicultural Affairs’ commitment to student success.

2022-2023 Registration & Meetings

We are excited to welcome new AND returning students for the 2022/23 academic year.

Laker Connections

Shared Programming

Study Tables - Every Tuesday (starting January 10) from 5-7PM in room 0008 Kirkhof Center

January 27 - Laker Connections Etiquette Luncheon from 11:30 AM-2 PM in Grand River Room, Kirkhof Center

April 17-21 - Exam Cram, 1240 Kirkhof Center, Office of Multicultural Affairs

April - Laker Connections End of the Year; time and room TBD

Asian Student Achievement Program

Register for Asian Student Achievement Program

Winter 2023 Programming

January 17 - Paper Lantern Making for Lunar New Year from 5:00-6:00 PM in 2259 Kirkhof Center

February 8 - AAPI & AOD from 5:30-6:30 PM in 2270 Kirkhof Center

March 23 - Tax Time from 5:30-6:30 PM in 2259 Kirkhof Center

April - RecWell TBD

May - Community Volunteering with West Michigan Asian American Association

June 9-11 - GR Asian Pacific Festival; all day at Calder Plaza, Grand Rapids

Black Excellence 365

Register for Black Excellence 365

Winter 2023 Programming

Welcome Back Mixer with Black Faculty Staff Association - Friday, January 20, from 11:30am-1:30pm in Pere Marquette (Kirkhof Center)

Black Excellence 365 is partnering with the GVSU Black Faculty Staff Association to host a Winter 2023 Welcome Back Mixer! Come enjoy lunch, meet faculty and staff from the GVSU Black Faculty Staff Association, and learn about the Black Excellence 365 programming for the Winter 2023 semester.

The Blackout: Black Student Organization Showcase - Friday, February 3, from 6:00pm-8:00pm in Kirkhof Center Lobby

Join us to engage with our Black and Afro led registered student organizations/and learn about how you can get involved. Food and refreshments will be provided!

Academic Success Panel - Monday, February 6, from 4:30pm-5:30pm in Kirkhof Center 2270

For the Culture: Quiz Bowl - Friday, March 17, from 2:00pm-5:00pm in Loosemore Auditorium (DeVos Center - GVSU Pew Campus)

First Friday: Paint & Soul - Friday, April 7, from 1:30pm-3:30pm in the Multipurpose Room of Holton Hooker Living and Learning Center


Black Male Scholars

Register for Black Male Scholars

Winter 2023 Programming

Thursday, January 19 - 5:30pm-7:00pm in 2263 Kirkhof Center

Thursday, February 2 - 5:30pm-7:00pm in 2215/2216 Kirkhof Center

Thursday, February 16 - 5:30pm-7:00pm in 2215/2216 Kirkhof Center

Thursday, March 2 - 5:30pm-7:00pm in 2263 Kirkhof Center

Thursday, March 23 - 5:30pm-7:00pm in 2215/2216 Kirkhof Center

Thursday, April 6 - 5:30pm-7:00pm in 2263 Kirkhof Center

Laker Familia

Register for Laker Familia

Winter 2023 Programming

January 12 - Laker Familia Kick-Off from 5:30-7:00 PM in 2215/2216 Kirkhof Center

January 18 - Study Abroad Fair from 10:00 AM-3:00 PM in Henry Atrium *Must be submitted to Blackboard*

January 21 - MLK Jr. Day of Service & Solidarity Volunteer Event from 8:00 AM-2:00 PM in Grand River Room, Kirkhof Center *Must be submitted to Blackboard*

January 25 - DACA Event from 6:00-7:30 PM in 2270 Kirkhof Center

January 27 - Laker Connections Etiquette Luncheon from 11:30 AM-2 PM in Grand River Room, Kirkhof Center

February 13 - Valentines Day Event from 6:30-7:30 PM in room 2266 Kirkhof Center

March 31 - Cesar Chavez Day Event, 2204 Kirkhof Center, time TBD

April 17-21 - Exam Cram, 1240 Kirkhof Center, Office of Multicultural Affairs

April 20 - Laker Familia End of the Semester Event; time and room TBD

April - Laker Connections End of the Year; time and room TBD

Mno'chigewin: Native Student Success Program

Register for the Mno’chigewin:  Native Student Success Program

Winter 2023 Programming

Every Friday 12PM – 3PM in KC 2259 is our Craft Series

January 13th, 20th, 27th, and Feb. 3rd will be sewing ribbons shirt/skirts for those interested in making one, we will have a special guest who will assist in designing and sewing of our ribbon fashion! 

February 17th, and 24 we will have fashion designer Jillian Waterman join us for some crafting

Jan. 11th – Field Trip: MnoBmadsen

Mno-Bmadsen is the non-gaming investment arm of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi (the “Tribe”). This will be a great professional opportunity where we will learn more about their internships and job offerings. We will leave campus at 9:30 and will return around 3:30, lunch and transportation will be provided.

Jan. 14th – Central Michigan University’s Social Round Dance – 5PM – 9PM

We will be caravanning to Mt. Pleasant for their student sponsored round dance and meet their Indigenous student group! 

Jan. 18th Mno’Chigewin – Winter 2023 Kick Off Event (Neimeyer Living Center’s Multipurpose Room) 6PM – 7:30PM

This will be our first Mno’Chigewin meeting of the semester, don’t miss out on our Engagement Grant opportunity, come and join us for a social gathering, get to know more about the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Mno’Chigewin programming.  Find out what we have planned this semester! 

Feb. 9th – @ Aquinas: Native Author and Ojibwe Professor, Dr. Anton Treuer

Dr. Treuer (pronounced troy-er) is Professor of Ojibwe at Bemidji State University and author of many books. He has presented all over the U.S. and Canada and in several foreign countries on Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians But Were Afraid to Ask, Cultural Competence & Equity, Strategies for Addressing the “Achievement” Gap, and Tribal Sovereignty, History, Language, and Culture. 

Feb. 16th Mno’Chigewin Meeting

This month we will be taking a closer look at some of the academic resources we have on campus.  Our Student Academic Success Center will be joining us for some activities.  Maybe you need some tips on time management, or study skills, or just another space to find some assistance, Liz Chase will give us all the details on how this office can help! 

Feb. 21st – NASA and Mno’Chigewin hosts an evening with Adam Kahlil (Space/Time TBD)

We will be watching his movie, TITLE, and having a short discussion with all in attendance that evening.  Then we have carved out some special 1:1 time with the artist so that we can share in a meal and get to know him and his work a bit better. 

Mar. 16th – Mno’Chigewin Meeting (KC room 2263 @ 6PM – 7:30PM)

We will be joined by Michigan Department of Civil Rights’ Melissa Kieswetter who will be sharing the history and status of the Michigan Indian Tuition Waiver (MITW).  We must understand why we have it so we can prepare to protect it for future generations. 

April 13th – Mno’Chigewin End of Semester Celebration (Niemeyer Multipurpose Room, 6:00PM - 7:30PM)

This is the last meeting and we will be celebrating the end of another academic year and those that have achieved the Louie and Anchor UP Engagement Grant with food and community!


The purpose of the Laker Connections Student Success Programs  is to help students achieve success at GVSU. As a participant you will:

  • Engage in intentional communities that foster a sense of belonging; importantly, you will engage with caring faculty and staff and develop meaningful relationships with other students.
  • Receive academic support through intentional outreach and partnership with university services and resources.
  • Explore passion, purpose, and career preparation opportunities.
  • Develop leadership skills and/or identify leadership opportunities.

Students will…

  • Develop a sense of belonging and deeper connections to students, faculty, and staff 
  • Connect with campus and community networks of support
  • Build relationships with faculty and staff mentors

Students will…

  • Feel a sense of confidence and agency in their ability to lead
  • Understand their strengths and growth areas
  • Identify opportunities on campus and/or in the community to serve as leaders

 Students will…

  • Understand the academic rhythm of the year and key milestones
  • Connect to academic resources
  • Develop confidence in their ability to succeed as a student

 Students will…

  • Explore what brings them joy and meaning
  • Find pathways to explore career interests
  • Develop skills necessary for life after graduation

Program Leads

Kin Ma

Kin Ma, Asian Student Achievement Program



Glenn Valdez

Glenn Valdez, Asian Student Achievement Program



Bobby Springer

Bobby Springer, Black Male Scholars



Phillip Todd

Phillip Todd, Black Excellence 365 & Black Male Scholars



Thalia Guerra-Flores

Thalia Guerra-Flores, Laker Familia



Lin Bardwell

Lin Bardwell, Mno’chigewin: Native Student Success Program



Office of Multicultural Affairs
Grand Valley State University
1 Campus Dr., 1240 KC
Allendale, MI 49401
(616) 331-2177
[email protected]

Page last modified March 21, 2023