Convocation rewards outstanding GVSU faculty

By Austin Metz | 2/10/13 5:55pm


GVL / Austin Metz
Robert Adams, Keynote speaker and recipient of the “GVSU Outstanding University Service Award” for 2013.

by Austin Metz / Grand Valley Lanthorn

Over two hundred faculty, staff, and spectators filled the Charles W. Loosemore Auditorium Thursday afternoon for Grand Valley State University’s 2013 Faculty Awards Convocation Ceremony.

“We are here for our sixth annual Faculty Awards Convocation, I can’t believe how the time has flown by,” said GVSU Provost Gayle R. Davis during her opening address. “We are here at the university ready to celebrate some milestone years for some of our outstanding faculty.”

Milestone awards were presented to faculty who served 25, 30, 35, and 40 years at the university along with Pew Awards for Excellence, CSCE Awards for Scholarly and Creative Excellence, and University Awards for Excellence.

Davis opened the event and began by presenting awards for the different milestones with the help of GVSU President Thomas J. Haas.

Davis made it clear that not only was the university proud of the faculty receiving awards, it was also proud of all the other faculty who have worked through the years.

“I would like to take a minute to just thank all of the faculty who are here for the hard work you do everyday on behalf of the university,” Davis said. “Whether you joined us 40 years ago or last fall, know that your work is so appreciated … Thank you for being such a dedicated and terrific faculty. I can’t tell you how proud I am to be your Provost. To support you, challenge you, plan with you, and today to honor you.”

Overall, seven faculty members were awarded the 25 year milestone award, two received the 30 year award, two received the 35 year award, and five were awarded the 40 year award.

The other three categories of awards focused on faculty who have made a difference through undergraduate and graduate mentoring programs, the top part-time faculty and to those who have achieved teaching excellence while teaching at the Pew Campus, and also the university awards for excellence.

The convocation address was presented by Associate Professor of Computing and Information Systems and graduate program chair D. Robert Adams and centered on how his perspective on service has changed through the years.

“As a way of framing my thoughts and my experiences in service, I came across this quote,” Adams said. “…The quote is by Ghandi and it says, ‘The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.’”

Adams credited being asked to serve on a committee and being asked to put in long hours of service for the university as the first step to bringing him to where he is today in regards to service.

“It was a lot of work, but it was also really satisfying work and I’m not sure if at that time I could have pointed my finger at a particular thing I enjoyed about it, but it really had to do with working with my colleagues and approving their proposals before it went off to the Dean and the Provost and the ECC,” Adams said. “…I found that what I really enjoyed was serving my colleagues and the university. So that is the first part – to discover something about yourself by serving others, but there is a last part – to lose yourself in the process.”

Adams explained that each faculty member at the university is serving. They put in long hours grading papers, changing lecture notes, and preparing for each class and they do it because they enjoy it.

“We serve out of love and not because we expect to get something out of it,” Adams said.

The event also featured a short scene presented by the GVSU Opera Theater performed by Anthony LaJoye and Alexandra Papas, with Robert Byrens on keyboard, and concluded with appetizers and drinks.

For more information on the faculty convocation, visit

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