News Briefs 7/15

High school entrepreneurs pitch ideas to local professionals   

A group of students participating in Grand Valley State University’s Teen Entrepreneur Summer Academy (TESA) won $5,000 for their winning pitch idea presented to local businesses. Called Generation Connection, their idea involved combining senior citizen centers with daycares, with seniors serving as caretakers. 

The camp was held June 24-28 at the L. Seidman Center and hosted by the Richard M. and Helen DeVos Center for Entrepreneurship. TESA gives high school students the opportunity to experience hands-on, interactive workshops, simulations, lectures and research in order to better understand a topic. 

Two other student groups won prizes, including Project Code, a coding training and placement program for impoverished teens and Recharge, a job placement website for those in poverty. 


Physician graduates serving northern Michigan communities

Since moving the Physician Assistant Studies (PAS) program to Traverse City in 2015, GVSU students graduating from the program have increasingly remained in northern Michigan to work, with 75 percent of graduates serving those communities.

Some of our first graduates from the Traverse City satellite program are now giving back by taking current students for their clinical rotations,” said assistant department chair and PAS affiliate professor Nicholus Kopacki.

A draw for incoming students is the PAS pass percentage, which remains at 100 percent for GVSU, 3 percent higher than the national average. 2018 PAS graduate Savannah Micunek cited this as a reason for attending GVSU.

“I made my decision to attend Grand Valley based largely on the licensure exam pass rate and the university’s commitment to serving the health care needs of northern Michigan residents,” Micunek said.


GV alumnus leads Michigan geological efforts

Since graduating in 1993, GVSU alumnus Adam Wygant has become a director of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy. Focusing on oil, gas and minerals, Wygant supervises programs in oil and gas operations, gas storage and mining. He is also the state’s geologist and advises the Michigan Geological Survey. 

“It does, however, make me one of the state’s biggest geological cheerleaders in trying to educate about the importance of the role of geology and the need for greater geologic understanding as we face the future,” Wygant said.

Wygant cited GVSU’s geology program and its professors as a component of his success, stating that the “superstar lineup of professors” impacted his work. While studying at GVSU, Wygant had the opportunity to do fieldwork in Indiana, Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula.