Honors students make connections at Honors Life Night


GVL | Bri Conway

Melia Williams, Staff Writer

The Frederik Meijer Honors College at Grand Valley State University hosted an Honors Life Night for both honor students and students who might be interested in honors college this past week. The event was created with the intention of helping students connect with various resources on campus. 

“We’re hoping to sort of target towards first and second year honors students who might not know about all the different things at Grand Valley that they can take advantage of,” said Kary Wickham, the Honors Academic and Enrichment Advisor. 

Various important organizations from around campus had tables set up in the Niemeyer lobby that evening to offer advice, answer questions and support a variety of students. One organization was a brand new organization, The Professional Society of Minorities in Honors.

“We have a growing number of students in honors that are coming from all kinds of diverse backgrounds and they do need support and encouragement,” said Melba Velez Ortiz, a professor in the honors program. “There needs to be a cohort and a network of people who understand the pressures that they’re under and can help each other thrive,” Ortiz said.  

Ortiz said it can be harder for students of color to be in an honors program at a predominantly white institution, but the sense of community that comes out of the organization makes a big impact.

As feeling both mentally and physically comfortable is important for student success, the Wellness Information Team (WIT) attended the event to voice their support for students. 

Eva VanWyck, one of the honor students at the wellness cart, said the team has helped her in the past. 

“It’s nice as a student to be able to talk to other students and answer questions they have,” VanWyck said. 

Josie Kasmauskis, a GVSU student at the RecWell table, said the event was beneficial for students to connect with one another. 

“I feel like it’s just a fun way to come and talk about important things while also having a good time and getting cool things like stickers,” Kasmauskis said. 

The GVSU Career Center had a table at the event and aids students in making those first connections to careers outside of GVSU. The Honors College is associated with National Societies in Honors, so they have the opportunity to make connections and network with people from all over the U.S. 

There were many other tables filling the room including the GVSU Study Abroad Program, the Milton E. Ford LGBT Resource Center, the Center for Undergraduate Scholar Engagement and the Sustainable Agriculture Project.

“So the Honors College gives you the opportunity to take classes that have nothing to do with your major or minors, so you get a broader education and your classmates’ majors all play a role in how you learn,” said Zoe Schultz, a GVSU honor student. 

Wickham said any students curious about the GVSU honors program are encouraged to reach out with questions. 

“Come talk to us, we’re happy to talk about their academic plan,” Wickham said. “If they are curious and like to learn and academically motivated, we want them here.”