Stepping up

GVL / Courtesy - Tyler Kanczuzewski

GVL / Courtesy – Tyler Kanczuzewski

Tylee Bush

Two members of the Grand Valley State University Graduate Student Association (GSA) are stepping up to the plate to run for the roles of president and vice president of the organization. Both Tyler Kanczuzewski and Daniel Myers have been active members of the GSA and are eager to increase their responsibilities and obtain leadership positions. The GSA elections began Monday, March 13, and will run through Thursday, March 23.

Myers obtained his bachelor’s degree in fisheries and wildlife management from Michigan State University in 2011, and he is currently pursuing a master’s in biology, focusing on aquatic sciences, at GVSU. He intends to graduate in the spring of 2018.

Myers first joined the GSA after attending a picnic and feeling attracted to the positive, uplifting environment and graduate students involved.

“We can’t undervalue having people who push us to be better versions of ourselves,” Myers said. “To me, that’s what the Graduate Student Association is about. Come to a GSA event, and you won’t be able to escape the encouragement and generosity. 

“The enthusiasm that GSA members have when helping others is why I continue to participate.”

Kanczuzewski graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business in 2012 and is now pursuing an MBA. He also plans to graduate in the spring of 2018 and has a similar story about how he got involved with the GSA and how welcoming and encouraging he believes the environment to be.

“I also went to the graduate student orientation and picnic in the fall of 2016 and learned about the GSA and met some of the board,” Kanczuzewski said. “I got to meet the current president, Fred Lawrence, and he was very welcoming and inspired me to join GSA.”

Kanczuzewski sees a lot of value in the GSA program.

“I believe the GSA helps graduate students develop and connect with great people,” he said. “It is important to me, and I hope it’s important to everyone.”

Kanczuzewski is running for the position of president of the GSA.

“I chose president because Fred Lawrence, Dan Myers and Rajesh Sigdel (Kanczuzewski and Myers’ campaign manager) nominated me and gave me the confidence to do it,” Kanczuzewski said. “I have led people and organizations before, but this will be the ultimate test, and I am super excited for it.”

Myers is running for the position of vice president so he can work with both the student body and the graduate school.

“If elected, I intend to promote educational, professional development; networking; and social opportunities for graduate students,” Myers said. “I would like to help expand the Graduate Student Association’s social and networking events to give graduate students more opportunities to interact and help each other succeed.”

Myers and Kanczuzewski plan to work as one unit, supporting one another in their roles in the GSA board if elected.

“If elected, I’ll be a team player with Tyler and the GSA board to promote really cool opportunities for graduate students next year,” Myers said.

Sigdel, a fellow graduate student in the GSA, stressed Myers and Kanczuzewski’s appeal to a wide range of students.

“They are both awesome students (and) have created a difference in our community,” Sigdel said. “The graduate program at Grand Valley State University has a significant number of international students. Tyler and Dan both are not only liked by domestic students but also (international) students. These candidates value the bond and friendship.”

Most of the graduate students in the GSA spend their time on the Pew Campus downtown, while most undergraduate students are on the Allendale Campus, so another one of the candidates’ intentions is to unite these two groups.

“I have heard both Dan and Tyler talking with current GSA president about finding a way to connect graduate and undergraduate students more,” Sigdel said.

Although graduate students are the only ones who can vote in the GSA elections, “anyone can encourage graduate student friends to participate,” Myers said.

Myers also encouraged students to “check out the other cool students running in the election, too.”

Graduate students can place their vote at by logging in with their GVSU student username and password. The results and winners will be announced Friday, March 24.