Starting the semester off right

GVL/Garrett Leon Bleshenski
- The Knowledge Market with the Mary Idema Pew Library provides students with the opportunity to have one-on-one tutoring sessions, free of charge. Students may begin using this resource once classes begin!

Garrett Leon Bleshenski

GVL/Garrett Leon Bleshenski – The Knowledge Market with the Mary Idema Pew Library provides students with the opportunity to have one-on-one tutoring sessions, free of charge. Students may begin using this resource once classes begin!

Audra Gamble

With students beginning to trickle on campus and classes looming ever closer, the academic year is about to begin. For some, doing well in their classes is as easy as anything. But for others, they could use a little help.

Grand Valley State University offers multiple resources for its students to use in order to succeed. However, not all students know about them. The following are just a few of the offices and resources available to students at GVSU.

One of the better-known places on campus for students to get help is the Writing Center. Switching from writing high school-level papers to collegiate papers can be a challenge for students, so many take advantage of the help they can receive at the Writing Center, which is located in Lake Ontario Hall, Room 120.

Along with the stereotypical editing of papers, the Writing Center also offers other services. The center can help students come up with ideas for papers, help organize and plan where a paper or story is going, help with cover letters and resumes as well as give aid to English language learners.

The Writing Center will also help students with non-school related writing. If students have a piece of creative writing, a play or other written work, the Writing Center welcomes them to take their work in to them.

All Writing Center consultants are students so that those who go there to seek help are receiving it from a fellow student rather than a professor.

“GVSU writing consultants exist as non-professor-peers, who know how to talk about writing so that students around campus have a safe and knowledgeable space to make writing more accessible and achievable for all students,” said Melanie Rabine, Writing Center coordinator.

For more information about the Writing Center, visit

While some students struggle with writing, others struggle with math. For those GVSU students, there is the Math Center as well as the Statistics Center.

Both centers can be found on the second floor of Mackinac Hall. The Math Center is located at MAK A-2-601 and the Statistics Center is at MAK A-2-101.

“(The Math and Stats Centers are) comfortable places to work on homework and ask questions,” said Marcia Frobish, director of the Math and Statistics Centers. “There is no appointment necessary, so students can stop by during our open hours and get help with anything related to math and stats.”

For more information about the Math and Stats Centers, visit

For a wider range of academic assistance, students may find what they’re looking for in the Mary Idema Pew Library. The library offers IT help, tutors at the Knowledge Market and subject specialty librarians to help students research effectively.

One of the lesser-known resources available to students is the research consultants that work in the library.

“Research consultants are available to assist students at three of our locations on the Allendale and Pew Campuses,” said Kristin Meyer, user experience manager at the MIP Library. “Research consultants are highly trained students who can help with any step of the research process, from brainstorming ideas to finding and evaluating resources.”

Additionally, students should not feel limited to the materials they find in the library.

“We can get materials for you from around the world through our document delivery service,” Meyer said. “Articles are often delivered electronically – we even scan and email articles from our own print journal collection.”

To schedule appointments, search the library catalogue and more, visit

Another resource that can be found in GVSU’s library is the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (OURS), located in Room 230.

“(OURS is focused on) connecting students with faculty mentors and former and current GVSU research and creative scholars,” said Susan Mendoza, OURS director. “Once those connections are made, we provide support along the way. Sometimes that support is through our scholar programs, which provide financial support for students to do research over the summer. We also provide conference travel grants, research supply grants and advising.

“Simply stated, our role is to help nurture your inner nerd through cultivating curiosity, connecting you with faculty, providing supportive programs and services, and celebrating your successes.”

For more information about OURS, visit

Grand Valley also provides support for students that want to plan ahead – especially if those plans include studying abroad. For those filled with wanderlust, the place to start is the Padnos International Center inside Lake Ontario Hall.

“Studying abroad was the most impactful and life-changing experience of my college career, and I love getting the chance to help someone else start their journey every day,” said Alissa Lane, outreach coordinator for the center.

The center also provides outreach and support to international students spending time at GVSU. There are currently over 380 international students at GVSU, representing over 80 countries.

For more information on the Padnos International Center, visit

While there are many different centers and programs at GVSU, there is another resource available to students that many overlook – the professors. When students need help with a specific assignment or need help scheduling their classes, they need look no further than their professors and academic advisors. Most professors have their office hours listed on the GVSU website or on their syllabi.

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