GV Graduate School prepares to honor graduating students


GVL / Meghan Landgren

Gillian Hanton, Staff Writer

Grand Valley State University’s Graduate School is preparing to host the Graduate Showcase and the Citations for Academic Excellence. 

These events serve to recognize and honor the achievements of graduate-level seniors who have produced outstanding academic work in their area of study. 

For over 10 years, the Graduate School and Center for Scholarly and Creative Excellence have hosted the Graduate Showcase, an event where graduate students get the chance to share the knowledge they have accumulated over their time in the program. 

Nominated students are asked to prepare a poster detailing their area of interest and present it to graduate faculty and other students. 

Irene Fountain, the Administrative Assistant to the Associate Vice-Provost for the Graduate School, said being selected for the showcase is a high honor. 

“Capstone projects, scholarly research, internships, graduate theses and dissertations, professional publications and conference presentations are some of the areas on which students present their experiences,” Fountain said. “These experiences represent the breadth, variety and rigor of graduate study at GVSU.”

In addition to the Graduate Showcase, the Graduate School and the Graduate Student Association are holding the Citations for Academic Excellence.

Since 2006, Citations have served as an opportunity to recognize exceptional students who have demonstrated diligence while completing their studies, and dedicated faculty who have helped students complete graduate school. 

However, Fountain said there are several additional categories to consider as well. 

“Graduate students are recognized for excellence in their degree programs, for their research and scholarly activity, in service to their communities and professions, in service to GVSU and for promoting diversity and inclusion or sustainability,” Fountain said. “Graduate faculty are recognized as mentors to their graduate students, for outstanding teaching and for their commitment to inclusion.”

Winners of the citation awards are selected from a pool of nominees by the Associate Vice Provost for the Graduate School and other graduate faculty. 

The event itself will include a preliminary reception and an awards ceremony where selected students will receive a certificate of recognition and an honor cord to wear during commencement. 

Although being invited to these events is a high mark of distinction, many students consider graduating with a master’s degree to be the best award of all. 

The Graduate School has produced a variety of successful alumni across all disciplines, preparing them for high-level careers and educational pathways. 

“GVSU graduate alumni are well-prepared to enter or continue their professions,” Fountain said. “Mid-career graduates are equipped with the knowledge needed for advancement to leadership positions in their chosen careers, while other alumni continue their education in Ph.D. programs.”

Fountain said the graduate school administration has made it their goal to keep education student-centered by offering research opportunities, connections within the community and service-based learning.

“We offer highly specialized instruction in small class settings that allow students to not only enhance their knowledge in their chosen field but also engage with their professors, mentors and peers in ways that expand their understanding of their academic community and discipline,” Fountain said. 

The Graduate Showcase is scheduled for April 12 from 3-5 p.m. and the Citations for Academic Excellence are scheduled for April 15 from 5-8 p.m.

Both events will be held at the Loosemore Auditorium and the Hager-Lubbers Exhibition Hall on the Pew Grand Rapids Campus.