Students to collaborate with Mantella in Grand Huddle sessions


COURTESY \ Amanda Pitts

Audrey Whitaker, Staff Reporter

A new collaborative series called the Grand Huddle aims to open a dialogue among students, staff and faculty at Grand Valley State University this semester.

According to President Philomena Mantella, Grand Huddles are part of the Reach Higher Together initiative to build GVSU’s future. 

“The idea is to spark creativity by working in agile, collaborative and diverse groups,” Mantella said. “I am relying on everyone to bring their best thinking to activate all our talent. Together, we’re going to strategize the best way for Grand Valley to serve students now and into the future.”

Mantella said she is hoping to harness the ideas and talent of everyone who lives, studies or works at GVSU to capture a culture of innovation.

“Change is inevitable in higher education,” Mantella said. “We must address change, and we must also stay true to the essence of Grand Valley. The ideas we all generate will help us plan our collective future.”

According to GVSU’s website, the series will feature 15 90-minute sessions beginning Sept. 25. Each meeting will be held at a different location on either the Allendale, medical or Pew campus, or online via Blackboard at varying times, making them accessible to a broad audience.

We know that students from a variety of backgrounds experience Grand Valley differently,” Mantella said. “We’re hoping that these different kinds of opportunities will give us the best feedback for what students want to see from their university moving forward.”

The deadline to register for any session was Sept. 18, but limited space is still available for some sessions, according to the website.  Each session is limited to 50 participants, with virtual sessions on Blackboard open to those who are unable to attend in person.

“There is only one of me and a lot of you,” Mantella said. “I want to hear from as many of you as possible. Every voice matters as we consider our future. I’m looking forward to meeting many new students and colleagues.”

Mantella said each session will be an opportunity to discuss, collaborate and share ideas that will shape the course of the university’s future. 

Registration information can be viewed at If you have ideas on other ways to engage or suggestions, please reach out to [email protected] or complete a survey to share your ideas at