Speeches and Writings

President Mantella at SXSW EDU 2024

President Mantella at SXSW EDU 2024

Grand Valley State University President Philomena V. Mantella traveled to Austin, Texas to take part in a panel at SXSW EDU. SXSW EDU is an annual event that attracts a wide range of attendees from the education sector to share their expertise, learn from each other, and engage in thought-provoking discussions about the future of education.

Read more about the panel in this GV Next article.

Mantella and statewide business leader in op-ed: partnerships key to well-prepared graduates

President Philomena V. Mantella and Jeff Donofrio, the president and CEO of Business Leaders For Michigan, co-authored a piece for the Detroit News on how higher education and the business community need to work together to retain the talent Michigan needs both now and in the future. The piece highlighted several current partnerships at GVSU has that allow students to develop the skills that business say they need.  

Read more about the op-ed in this GV Next article.

Read the entire op-ed at this link available to subscribers.

Screenshot of Op-ed article by President Mantella with her photo and the beginning of the article

Mantella OP-ED: Silicon Valley needs the Heartland

It's easy to be jealous. For decades, San Francisco, Seattle, and New York have had a lock on nearly all the high-tech companies and the tens of thousands of jobs that they generated. "Fly-over country" was left out. 

Things have changed.

The COVID-19 pandemic opened the door to remote work for millions of Americans. Many in coastal tech hubs realized they were fed up with the high cost of living and long commutes. Today there are some promising signs the high-tech economy so long associated with Silicon Valley is coming to our backyards. The question is: Are we ready to meet this extraordinary opportunity?

Read more here

President Philomena V. Mantella spoke to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Higher Education and Community Colleges on March 17, 2022 in Lansing.

President Mantella envisions Grand Valley as leader in returning adult education

President Philomena V. Mantella spoke to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Higher Education and Community Colleges on March 17, 2022 in Lansing.

“There are two million Michigan residents with some college credit but no degree,” said Mantella. Addressing this gap should be a priority for these persons and their employers, Mantella told lawmakers. “We are talking about keeping our talent in the state and keeping our economy competitive. Our university embraces the opportunity to think about education in different ways and how we can give people opportunities in all ages and phases of their lives,” said Mantella.

Read more here

President Philomena V. Mantella was one of 50 women honored by the Grand Rapids Business Journal as West Michigan's most influential women.

Mantella honored as one of West Michigan's most influential women

President Philomena V. Mantella was one of 50 women honored March 10 by the Grand Rapids Business Journal at its 50 Most Influential Women event in West Michigan.

As the first woman president at Grand Valley, Mantella is leading the fourth largest university in the state. She also has a strong commitment to more opportunities for women and other underrepresented groups.

The event held at GLC Live at 20 Monroe in Grand Rapids honored women across industries of academia, nonprofit, healthcare, law, business, financial and media. 

Read more here

President Mantella

Mantella: Increase investment in educated workforce

President Philomena V. Mantella wrote a commentary published in Bridge on February 25: “Michigan is dead last in Midwest in college funding. That must change.” 

Mantella wrote: "When it comes to public investment in public higher education in the Great Lakes states, Michigan is dead last. Michigan cannot deliver on that vast potential while dead last in educational investment. We need an educated workforce so we can compete and win in the new economy. Only then can we attract new and high-tech jobs to our state." 

Read more here

The HATCH Podcast with President Mantella

In their very first episode of The HATCH Podcast, host, Tate Chamberlin, discusses the future of education with HATCH education lab coordinator, President Philomena Mantella of Grand Valley State University, and esteemed lab guests, Ty Hobson-Powell, and Zineb Mouhyi. President of Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan, Philly Mantella brings 30 years of higher education experience to both her university role and her work transforming inter-institutional collaborations and designing partnerships for diversity in learning.

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President Philomena V. Mantella

President Mantella named one of Crain's most influential women in Michigan

Crain’s Detroit Business selected Grand Valley State University President Philomena V. Mantella as one of Crain’s 2021 Most Influential Women. The publication’s editors said the award is given every five years to 100 of the most influential women, calling it Crain’s “most competitive and prestigious awards programs.” 

Mantella was chosen from hundreds of nominations and newsroom suggestions of the region’s most talented and powerful women. The list consists of women in business, public policy, nonprofit work and higher education, whose work has had a significant impact on the state. 

Read more here

T4 Logo - Large blue letter "T" and number "4" with green torch and flames with words "Leadership Resilience Community Equity" next to torch

President Philomena V. Mantella announced a gift to create new T4 Scholarship

Grand Valley State University President Philomena V. Mantella announced a gift to create a scholarship program designed to give access and a full-ride scholarship to underserved students who participate in a unique summer program and national pitch event.  

A $2 million gift to the university by an anonymous national foundation will build a scholarship program around students identified through REP4.org, an initiative GVSU founded. The T4 Scholarship program will assist students who demonstrate passion for education, are the first in their family to go to college and have limited means. The donor was inspired by GVSU and its commitment through REP4 to identify promising students in a unique way.

Read more here

Mantella op-ed: Colleges, universities need to provide better services for veterans

President Philomena V. Mantella called on colleges and universities to provide better support for veterans who enroll in classes and degree programs after leaving the military, saying higher education must recognize the value and skills this student population adds to a campus.

Mantella wrote an op-ed, "Education must do more for our veterans," published October 12 in the Evolllution, a publication for higher education.

Wood Radio Interview | Mar 8, 2021

President Mantella joins West Michigan's Morning News to talk about being the first female president of GVSU, getting a black belt in Taekwondo, and more.


President Mantella appears on the Stories of COVID with Veronica Kirin podcast. In her interview, she discusses the role in technology as an accelerant for many in higher education. She also shares a wonderful story about how GVSU has motivated their students to serve others and make a difference. 


President Mantella joins Guy Gordon on the WJR College Tour.


President Mantella makes the case for in-person instruction with this op-ed in Crain’s Business Detroit. Crain’s opinion page is a top outlet for Michigan’s leaders in business, government, and education.

Mantella demonstrates her bold leadership style by pushing readers to consider the “why” behind higher education’s COVID-19 response. Mantella’s proactive approach ensures that underserved populations like first-generation students, students of color, and low-income students can continue to pursue education despite the challenges of the current moment. A hybrid approach, she asserts, is the way to keep her campus safe without leaving anyone behind.


President Mantella interviews with EdUp to discuss her role at Grand Valley State University in a time of massive social and cultural change. She discusses the university's trajectory, the changes induced by COVID-19, and her perspective on the future of higher education, among other topics.

Page last modified March 14, 2024