"Be the Change" Podcast


Every student at Grand Valley deserves to have their voice heard! This new student-led podcast will explore civic engagement and how students are using their voices to make change at GVSU and beyond.

Do you have a topic that you're passionate about and want discussed on our podcast? Submit your idea to us at (616) 331-3248 or service@gvsu.edu.

Jane and Liz Talk Into Microphone

Left: Jane Johnston, "Be the Change" host. Right: Liz Collver.

Be the Change Season 3

On this first episode of 2020, we're rewinding back to November of 2019 when Jane traveled to Washington D.C. for the annual Students Learn Students Vote (SLSV) Post-Election Summit. Over three days, she spoke to students, faculty and community organizers from around the country to see what they are doing to promote civic participation and voter engagement on college campuses. Then, Jane talks with Associate Director of Student Life for Civic Engagement and Assessment Melissa Baker-Boosamra about what the CSLC has planned for the year. Enjoy!

Listen to Episode One

On this episode, Jane chats with GVSU College Democrats President Lauren Rademacher, the club’s treasurer Ben Rozema and GVSU Young Democratic Socialists of America President Damian Martinez to kick off a four-part series on all things politics leading up to the Michigan Primary Elections on March 10. They talk about the platforms of both of their parties, the things they agree and disagree on, both with each other and those on the right. Plus, they chat about what they are doing on campus to gear up for this election season, and how you can get involved. 

Listen to Episode Two

On part 2 of this 4 part series, Jane interviews Andrew Nance, the President of Students for Liberty. They chat about how being aligned with 3rd party organization fits into the US political system, what kinds of issues he and the other members of his club are looking out for this election season, and how students can join in. 

Listen to Episode Three

In part 3 of my 4 part series leading up to the Michigan presidential primary, Jane sits down with senior member of GVSU’s College Republicans chapter Dorian Thompson. They chat about how he’s formed his identity with the Republican Party, why it’s important for Republicans to vote in a primary in which Democrats are dominating the news, and how he finds common ground with people he doesn’t agree with.

Listen to Episode Four

Today Jane breaks down the Michigan Primary. She's joined by Ottawa County Elections Coordinator Steve Daitch, Ottawa County Clerk Justin Roebuck, Professor Erika King from GV’s Political Science department, and GV student Collin Louis to talk about what happened last Tuesday and where we go from here.

Listen to Episode Five

Left: Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. Right: Jane Johnston, a student at GVSU.

Left: Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. Right: Jane Johnston, "Be the Change" host. 

Be the Change Season 2

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson talks about her work as the Secretary of State, how young people can get involved in our democracy, and why that all matters.

Listen to Episode One

Assistant Director in Grand Valley's office of Multicultural Affairs Adriana Almanza and Kevin Vazquez, a grad student in Western Michigan University's Organizational Change Leadership program, talk about undocumented and DACA students in West Michigan and how students are organizing around immigration reform. 

Listen to Episode Two

Siena Ramirez, a first-year student at Northview High School who leads the Grand Rapids Hub for the Sunrise Movement, and Kevin Holohan, a professor in Grand Valley’s College of Ed that focuses his work around an ‘ecocritical perspective’ in education chat with Jane about the work they do to fight climate change, why they focus their efforts on young people-- plus: the struggles and rewards of dedicating yourself to this cause.

Listen to Episode Three

On this episode, Jane sits down with Mackenzie Bronkema and Samson Lusamba, the president and vice president of the new Plogging Club at Grand Valley. They talk about what exactly plogging is and the positive effect it has on both personal health and the environment at large. Enjoy!

Listen to Episode Four

 

In the last episode of Season 2, Jane chats with Holly Tumbarello and Hannah Kirshman, the President and Vice President of Grand Valley’s Alternative Breaks program. They chat about what Alternative Breaks is and the impact it can have on students’ lives. They also talk about the challenges that can come along with running an organization, and how they deal with those challenges. Enjoy!

Listen to Episode Five

Student-led Podcast

Left: Jane Johnston, "Be the Change" host. Right: Renee Montagne, of NPR.

Be The Change Season 1

Liz Collver and Melissa Baker-Boosamra define democratic and community engagement and explain how you can get involved.

Listen to Episode One

Dr. Brandy Lovelady Mitchell, Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Kent ISD; Eric-John Szczepaniak, Grand Valley Student Senator and Kenowa Hills School Board member; and Jessica Jennrich, Director of the GVSU Center for Women and Gender Equity and Inclusion and Equity Social Justice Specialist talk about how diversity, equity, and inclusion plays a role in education.

Listen to Episode Two

Legendary National Public Radio (NPR) host and correspondent Renee Montagne talks about her college experience in San Francisco and gives current college students some advice on how to start their lives after graduation.

Listen to Episode Three

GVSU Assistant Professor Danielle Lake, students Rachel Ocampo and Aaron Nelson, and the Director of the Heartside Gleaning Initiative Lisa Sisson talk about their GVSU class, Wicked Problems of Sustainability, and how they got involved in the Heartside Gleaning Initiative's mission to bring healthy food options to a Grand Rapids Community.

Listen to Episode Four

GVSU student Kyezie Bwanangela describes what his childhood was like growing up in the war-torn African country of Congo and what the country's government is doing now.

Listen to Episode Five

GVSU students Steven Scholten, Anthony Hanline, and Bridgett Schafer, along with their professor Danielle Lake talk about how the Accelerated Leadership Program, a program at GVSU designed for adult learners, helped them to create the Harrison Park Uniform Project.

Listen to Episode Six

On the last episode for the semester, the President and Vice President of GVSU's chapter of Universities Allied for Essential Medicine, Collin Trainor and Haley Sullivan, explain their organization and a set of guidelines they are trying to implement at the university to make medicine more affordable.

Listen to Episode Seven


The Community Service Learning Center is a part of the Office of Student Life, which is a department of the Division of Student Affairs of Grand Valley State University.