News Briefs 9/16

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Lecture series to discuss water, media 

Grand Valley State University will host a “Democracy 101” series that focuses on PFAS, media literacy and the Freedom of Information Act. The series consists of 11 meetings with speakers including GVSU professors. These lectures are intended to engage students in conversations about global issues that also affect the local community.

Along with presentations by GVSU professors, the series aims to give students a voice. Student Senate will host a panel and several nights of student presenters will be included.

The first meeting takes place Sept. 18 and will cover PFAS in Michigan as part of the Making Waves Initiative that GVSU launched this year. It will also cover legislation that combats water contamination.

Each lecture takes place in the Mary Idema Pew Library Multipurpose Room on Wednesdays. Additional information and event details can be found on the GVSU website.

GV faculty studies park revenue

Faculty members in the Seidman College of Business partnered with Kent County Parks to study the impact of the parks on the west Michigan economy.

The study found that $33 million is brought in from 1.4 million visitors to the county’s parks in 2018.

“Parks, greenspaces and trails are vital to a thriving community,” said Kent County Parks superintendent Dan DeLooff. “This report illustrates how our park system improves the quality of life in our communities, creates jobs and spurs economic activity that ripples throughout our economy.”

$14.7 million was brought in by non-local visitors to the 42 parks, greenspaces and trails. The parks also created 317 jobs.

GV listed as top university

A U.S. News and World Report listed Grand Valley State University as the fourth top university in Michigan. GVSU was also listed with top programs in Engineering, Doctor of Nursing Practice, Master of Science in Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Physician Assistant Studies, Public Affairs Programs, Nonprofit Management and Social Work.

GVSU’s high graduation rate of disadvantaged students earned the university a place as a 2020 Top Performer for Social Mobility.