News Briefs 11/16/20

Olivia Fellows, News Editor

GV COVID-19 campus data update

Since GVSU began conducting random testing on campus Aug. 27, the cumulative total COVID-19 cases since Aug. 1 is 1,456. The university’s update of data used for this brief was from Friday, Nov. 13

Through testing results this past week, GVSU’s Virus Action team have so far reported 303 current active cases including 7 faculty member cases, 15 staff members, 55 on-campus students, 108 “off-campus Ottawa” students, and 100 “off-campus Kent” students, 18 “off-campus other” students with active COVID-19 cases.

“Current active cases” is the count of positive cases reported to the Virus Action Team over the past ten days.  This is an estimate of those currently in isolation, assuming a ten-day symptomatic period following the reporting of a positive test result. Actual periods of isolation are specific to the individual and determined by the county health department.

Testing and Incidence: GVSU’s own testing program has performed 24,685 tests overall since August 21, for a positivity rate of 1.08% from the latest update as of the last week.

GV Admissions creates referral program to foster student success

It’s no secret that word of mouth is the best advertising. Grand Valley State University’s Admissions office has taken that concept a step further into a new referral program designed to introduce prospective students to the university.

“Be a Laker, Bring a Laker” gives current students, faculty and staff members and alumni the tools they need to recruit students to GVSU.

Two information sessions on Nov. 18-19 are scheduled for participants to learn more about the program and have an opportunity to win prizes. Each Zoom session will last about 30 minutes.

Jodi Chycinski, Associate Vice President and Director of Admissions, said it’s a formal referral program that involves all parties.

“The program allows faculty, staff, students and alumni to notify Admissions of their recruitment work,” Chycinski said. “Doing that step will allow Admissions to share resources and support the efforts of the recruiter.”

GV professor personalizes online teaching for students

Michael Scantlebury makes a point to start his Hospitality and Tourism Management classes with music – anything from world music to pop. That custom has continued this semester with his online classes.

Scantlebury and fellow faculty members have found myriad ways to optimize the learning experience and connection to students as they conduct classes virtually. GVNext will be showcasing their stories.

“I find that music sort of sets the energy for the class and it gives a little bit of a lift, not just to me but to students as well,” said Scantlebury.

One avenue for that interaction emerged through the course content, which deeply explores heritage tourism. He described one discussion about culture and food in which students talked about their own personal culinary cultural traditions passed through generations.

A key feature in online pedagogy for Scantlebury is interspersing class discussions with short videos to help enhance what students are learning.

While Scantlebury laments that he won’t be able to hold his customary semester-culminating events, complete with food, he said it is always fulfilling to see students’ academic growth.

“What I recognize is that students get so close to the material, they don’t recognize how much they’re learning,” said Scentlebury.