Karel Swanson

Karel Swanson

Senior Academic Advisor, Student Academic Success Center
(616) 331-3588
200 Student Services Building 
Allendale Campus

I came to what was then, Grand Valley State Colleges in 1974. I left in the middle of my sophomore year due to lack of focus and outside support. I returned after 15 years to complete my bachelor’s degree and then left for a second time, to return again 4 years later. I finally completed my bachelor’s degree with a BA in Group Social Science in 1999, 25 years after I began. My story exemplifies the meaning of desire and persistence. I then went on to complete my Master of Arts degree in 2005 in Education, with an emphasis in Adult & Higher Education.

I began my employment at GVSU in 2001 as a Program Coordinator for academic support programs. In 2008 I also added the role of academic advisor to my duties. I truly enjoy helping students “find their niche” in regards to a major/career. I am a strong proponent of Appreciative Advising, an advising approach which optimizes student/advisor interaction by intentionally building trust and rapport with students.

Outside of work I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, and I guess I’m what you would call a “nature freak”. I love collecting rocks, growing flowers & vegetables, taking walks thru the woods, and bird watching. I also enjoy cooking, reading and home decorating, and my dog. My belief is that dogs just make life better. I also love quotes; here is one for you now:  “I can do things you cannot; you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.” Mother Teresa

Page last modified August 29, 2016