News Briefs 9/4/20


Courtesy / GVSU

Olivia Fellows, News Editor

GV COVID-19 campus data update

The cumulative total COVID-19 cases since Aug. 17 is 271, with 261 current active cases. The university’s update of data used for this brief was from Sept. 7, as posted on its Data Dashboard page.

GVSU has cumulatively reported 2 faculty/staff, 16 on-campus students, 253 “near-campus” or “other” students. This means 0.93% of the GVSU community is COVID-positive as of the report.

“Near-campus students” are those living within a mile of either the Allendale or Grand Rapids campus locations when this can be determined. “Other students” includes students who live farther than a mile from the campus and those whose location was not determined.

Testing and Incidence: GVSU’s own testing program has performed 2,557 tests in the past 7 days with 85 positive results, for a positivity rate of 3.48%.


GV named No. 1 place to work in Forbes’ Michigan rankings

In its second annual ranking of “America’s Best Employers by State,” Forbes ranked GVSU at No. 1 in the state of Michigan for 2020. The list included the best 75 employers around Michigan, and is divided into 51 lists — one for each of the 50 states, plus the District of Columbia — and is compiled of surveys of 80,000 Americans working for businesses with at least 500 employees.

GVSU has about 1,760 faculty members, more than 2,050 support staff members, and attracts more than 24,000 students with high-quality programs and state-of-the-art facilities.

Over the years, the university has become dedicated to individual student achievement, going beyond the traditional classroom experience with research opportunities and business partnerships.

GVSU offers programming and classes from outreach centers in Battle Creek, Detroit and Traverse City, the Robert B. Annis Water Resources Institute, and the Muskegon Innovation Hub,  among many others.

Other Michigan employers ranked high on the list include Steelcase, DTE Energy, Consumers Energy, Wayne State University and JPMorgan Chase.


GV TRIO programs receive $4.5 million in grants

Three GVSU TRIO programs at received federal grants totaling $4.5 million over five years to continue supporting students who are first in their families to attend college or have limited incomes.

There were three programs that received grant funding: the Classic program (which supports students from any major), the STEM-Health Sciences and Teacher Preparation programs (which support students from those specific disciplines).

The three programs collectively serve nearly 500 students. The STEM-Health Sciences and Teacher Preparation programs each received grants of $261,888, renewable for five years; the Classic program received a $372,200 grant.

Nykia Gaines, director of TRIO STEM-Health Sciences, said that the U.S. Department of Education grants will help more students succeed during and after college.

“We have seen the pandemic disproportionately affect people based on their race and socioeconomic backgrounds,” Gaines said. “Students in TRIO programs successfully persist through college to earn degrees. This funding allows us to support them every step of the way.”


Division of Student Affairs reminds campus of free speech procedures

From the COVID-19 pandemic, a civil rights movement and adjusting to the monumental changes that have come to higher education, the GVSU Division of Student Affairs has been working to be sure students are aware of how to interact on campus.

In an email to students on Sept. 1, Vice Provost for Student Affairs Loren Rullman and Jesse Bernal, Vice President of Inclusion & Equity and Exec. Associate for Presidential Initiatives, laid out some words of encouragement for students.

“We are living in seemingly unprecedented times,” the email read. “The immense and multi-layered challenges of a global pandemic, combined with economic challenges, and civil unrest resulting from generations of racial injustice, have impacted all of us. Now, we return to campus as a community of learners, committed to GVSU’s mission of educating students to transform their lives, professions and societies.”

The message comes amid immense and multi-layered challenges of a global pandemic, combined with economic challenges and civil unrest going on resulting from generations of racial injustice.

The importance of discussion amid crises was highlighted, focusing on the idea that the GVSU community ideology is “rooted in a willingness to explore multiple perspectives, think critically, develop empathy and to be challenged.

“We are in this together – even when we don’t agree,” it read. “As we return midst so many challenges, let us remember that at the end of the day, we all belong to one another. It is our shared responsibility as members of the Laker community and the human family to continue to dialogue, ask questions, seek solutions, and look for the best in each other. As we do so, across differences and with respect and dignity for each other, we will become smarter, stronger, better and more human, together”.