‘I am Grand Valley’ seeks nominations

Courtesy Photo / gvsu.edu

Courtesy Photo / gvsu.edu

Garrett Pelican

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With the deadline for nominations drawing close on Friday, the office of Student Life is encouraging Grand Valley State University students and faculty to acknowledge student leaders – employees, classmates, organization members, volunteers – contributing to their campus community by nominating them for the “I am Grand Valley” award.

Established by the office of Student Life during the 2003-2004 academic year, the program recognizes all students nominated up to a total of 1,000. Those nominated will be recognized with an “I am Grand Valley” shirt and certificate on Jan. 19, 2011 at a reception during Campus Leadership Week.

“Even though leadership is not stated explicitly in the mission, we educate students to shape their lives, their professions and their societies,” said Michelle Burke, associate director of Student Life at GVSU. “All of that is leadership. So what we try to do with the ‘I am Grand Valley’ campaign is help students realize even that little thing they may have done exhibited leadership and they’re helping to fulfill a mission of the university.”

Though students can nominate their friends for the program, Burke said the most gratifying nominations happen when faculty members nominate unsuspecting students.

GVSU alumnus and 2009 nominee Fred Danielson said his nomination was a pleasant surprise.

“It’s nice to know that the faculty themselves recognize other people actually putting forth effort above and beyond their academics in certain ways,” he said. “It’s kind of encouraging to know that by doing so they’re also helping out to make Grand Valley a better institution.”

The campaign has grown since its introduction by ballooning from 450 nominations in 2006 to 850 in 2009, a number it looks to surpass by a large margin this year.

“It’s definitely grown each year,” Burke said. “I’ll be really excited if we can hit that 1,000 mark – that would be great.”

To nominate a student, visit the “I am Grand Valley” website and answer a brief questionnaire asking for the nominee’s name, e-mail address and stating the reason for the recognition. Despite lacking criteria, the process acknowledges each student’s individual contributions.

“When the program is finished each year, we have a great portfolio of stories about all the good things that students are doing around campus and in the community,” Burke said.

According to the program’s website, all GVSU students, undergraduate or graduate, are eligible as long as they are enrolled in the Fall and Winter semesters of the school year they are nominated.

“To be able to surprise somebody in a simple way and obviously to acknowledge their leadership accomplishments—there’s no reason not to do it,” said Burke.

For more information, visit the website at www.gvsu.edu/iamgv or e-mail [email protected]

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