GV alumna wins $50,000 prize for female artists

The Grand Valley State University art program has helped countless young, talented artists grow into highly skilled and successful professional artists. Recently, alumna Aneka Ingold has proved this through her achievement in winning $50,000 in the first Bennett Prize, the largest prize ever awarded to solely female painters. Ingold, who graduated from GVSU in 2013 with a degree in painting, works and teaches in Tampa, Florida depicting creative and subversive portrayals of the female experience through her colorful, detailed paintings. On her site, Ingold states that she attempts “to represent a shared female experience” through vibrant visual stories.

Courtesy // Nick Hoffman

GV Alumnus starts business that celebrates Michigan

Grand Valley State University alumnus Nick Hoffman recently started a business called Mitten on My Mind LLC (Limited Liability Company) with his brother Nate Hoffman. Mitten on My Mind is an online business that has allowed the brothers to share their passion for their state.  Mitten on My Mind sells a plethora of products such as apparel, coffee mugs and phone cases. 

Courtesy: David Theune

GV alumnus travels to Netherlands to promote anti-bullying

According to the American Society for the Positive Care of Children, 160,000 students skip school each day in fear of being bullied. A Grand Valley State University alumnus, David Theune, has made it his priority to defeat bullying in the classroom through promoting empathy.  Theune graduated from GVSU in 2009 with a Master’s in Education Degree and is currently a high school teacher at Spring Lake Public Schools. For the past three years, he has been sharing student stories of bullying throughout Spring Lake and surrounding communities. 

Courtesy / Elizabeth Stolz

GV alumna crunches numbers at Disney

GV Alumna Elizabeth Stolz uses statistics to help make guests’ experiences a lot more magical at Disney Parks and Resorts.  Stolz graduated from Grand Valley State University in 2014 with a double major in math and statistics, and is currently working as an experience insights senior analyst at Disney Parks and Resorts in Orlando, Florida. 

Courtesy: African American Alumni Chapter

Event set to discuss GV’s history of diversity

Grand Valley State University was established in 1960, right in the midst of the civil rights movement. At the time of opening, GVSU was predominantly white, and it wasn’t until the end of the civil rights movement that African Americans were truly integrated into the GVSU community. Years later, diversity is not only celebrated at GVSU, but is also a major priority.  To celebrate the diversity of the GVSU community, as well as recognize the history and bravery behind it, the GVSU African American Alumni Chapter is partnering with the Division of Inclusion and Equity to sponsor an event called “Paving the Way for Future Generations: Stories of African Americans Who Were Firsts at Grand Valley.” The event is taking place on Wednesday, Oct. 24 at 5:45 p.m. at the Alumni House Perry Dining Room. 

Alumnus Joe Howard III (left) and Kevin Schultz.  Courtesy / Junk King

GVSU alumnus donates cleanup services at football game

Cans and bottles strewn across the parking lots, wrappers and cups scattered in the stands, and so much wasted food. This massive mess often requires a team of volunteers who generally have to heap everything into a trash pile and dispose of it. Grand Valley State University is no exception, which is why on Sept. 22, GVSU alumnus and local business owner Joe Howard decided to volunteer his services to help clean up after the game against Michigan Tech. 

Joel Paauwe, '15, pictured in front of the Laker Marching Band during Fan Fest August 23. Courtesy / Bernadine Carey-Tucker

GV welcomes a new voice for the Laker Marching Band

After 23 years, Grand Valley State University is welcoming a new Voice of the Laker Marching Band. Joel Paauwe, GVSU alumnus, is here to step up and fill the shoes of Tom Yackish, who retired from the role after 23 years.  In the role of the “Voice,” Paauwe introduces the Laker Marching Band to the crowd during pregame and halftime at football games. Occasionally, Paauwe will also travel with the band to some of their other events such as Bandorama and Art Prize.