Stay informed on the latest happenings in PCEC!
Stay informed on the latest happenings in PCEC!
Grand Valley State University
Padnos College of Engineering & Computing Newsletter
Dr. Paul Plotkowski, Dean
Padnos College of Engineering
and Computing
Dean's Message:
Dear Colleagues and Friends,

It is always a pleasure to provide a message introducing the Padnos College newsletter. And, so it is for this edition. Below you will find several items on exciting and impressive activities in the Padnos College.

In these days of
COVID, I find myself ever more aware of my circle of friends and colleagues as well as attuned to their health and wellbeing. As such, I would like to recognize the great contributions of retired Physics Professors Jim Strickland and Don Hall in establishing engineering at Grand Valley. Without these leaders and stalwarts of the Physics Department, we could not have started down the road to what has become the Padnos College of Engineering and Computing. Sadly, we lost both of these fine scholars and gentlemen recently. Please see additional information below.

Jim and Don in mind, I encourage everyone to be attentive to their physical and mental health. Please take advantage of all the support resources available through GVSU and beyond so that you can enjoy lives as long and rich as they did.

As always, I enjoy hearing from you. If you have questions or comments, follow this link to
Connect with the Dean.

Vito Cannizzaro, a Grand Valley student, hands out wristbands to students who are using COVID-safe behavior
OSH student, Vito Cannizzaro, hands out wristbands
Students Hand Out Wristbands to Encourage COVID-Safe Behaviors
Students in Dr. Dave Huizen’s Occupational Safety and Health class are encouraging COVID-safe behaviors with a simple tool: a wristband. 

Dr. Huizen, the unit head of Grand Valley’s Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) program, has students in his OSH 350 class hand out wristbands that say "Lakers Together" and "Mask Up - Social Distance" on either side to other students they observe already social distancing and wearing masks. 

The students are learning about how recognition and feedback encourages safe behaviors that should be practiced on- and off-campus, Huizen said. The wristbands also serve as a reminder to continue practicing preventive behavior. "This program allows students to be rewarded for doing their part to keep the campus safe, and also allows the students in the class to practice skills they will need later in their careers," Huizen said.

View the full story.
GVSU Mental Health App
New App for GVSU Faculty, Staff Members Supports Student Mental Health Needs
Resources to support the mental health needs of Grand Valley students and help in the case of an emergency are now available at faculty and staff members’ fingertips.

The GV Mental Health app was developed by the University Counseling Center (UCC) in partnership with GVSU’s Applied Computing Institute and two Computing & Information Systems (CIS) students, Alvaro Perez and Ramell Collins. The app is free and available in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

Melissa Selby-Theut, assistant director of prevention and community education for the UCC, said an Institutional Analysis survey of GVSU faculty revealed more than 70 percent of faculty said it would be helpful to have additional information to address student mental health concerns. “We wanted to not only provide written information, but something faculty could pull up any time of the day or night,” Selby-Theut said.

The UCC submitted a proposal and was selected by the Applied Computing Institute to have the app developed — making it organic to GVSU. “I think the students involved felt passionately about the project and playing a part in saving lives,” Selby-Theut said.

For more information about how to download and use the app, the UCC has developed a short video

View the full story.
Student hugging a family member at move-in
PCEC Launches Website for Families & Supporters
Families and supporters of PCEC students, we know how important it is for you to have current information on the latest happenings at GVSU. That's why we created a Families & Supporters website full of resources just for you!

Sign up for the PCEC Advising newsletters, join the GVSU Laker Family Network, learn how to help your favorite student navigate university life, and more.

Visit the PCEC Families & Supporters website to explore the wide variety of resources we've gathered for you.
Campus Mourns Deaths of Retired Professors
The Padnos College of Engineering & Computing mourns the recent deaths of two physics professors emeriti, Donald Hall and James Strickland, who both had significant roles in helping the university grow and flourish.

Donald Hall died in September in Marquette, according to his obituary. The World War II veteran and Flint native was 93. Hall joined Grand Valley as a faculty member in 1963 and retired in 1992. During his time at Grand Valley, he also served as a scientist on the research boat D.J. Angus. He was also a central figure in bringing President Emeritus Arend D. Lubbers to GVSU.

James Strickland died in October at his home in Holland, according to his obituary. The Pennsylvania native was 90. During his time at Grand Valley, Strickland's duties included chairing the Physics Department. He also was a regular participant in the Science Olympiad. In his retirement, Strickland served as faculty project manager for several Allendale Campus buildings and also continued to support colleagues by attending research colloquia.
Donald Hall is pictured at left with an astronomy class; James Strickland is at right in academic regalia
Student taking an exam
School of Engineering Offers Credit-by-Exam Options for First-Year Engineering Courses
Engineering students may attempt to test out of the EGR 111, EGR 112, and/or EGR 113 courses if they have prior experience with the course content and have not previously attempted or completed the course in question at Grand Valley. Students who test out of these courses will receive credit for each course by passing each exam. 
The next exams will be held in-person at the Innovation Design Center on the GVSU Pew Grand Rapids Campus on January 11th, 12th, and 13th, 2021. Each test costs $50 per course credit. 
Visit the First-Year Engineering Course Credit-by-Exam website for details and to sign up for the exams.
PCEC students and employees wearing face masks
PCEC Faculty, Staff, and Students Promote Mask Wearing On Campus
GVSU students, faculty, and staff have been working hard to ensure a safe and healthy campus environment for learning this fall in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

We would like to express our sincere appreciation to all of the PCEC students who have been practicing healthy behaviors such as mask-wearing and social distancing and also promoting those behaviors among others. We would not be able to hold in-person classes without you!

If you would like to share a photo of yourself wearing your mask for an opportunity to be featured in PCEC social media, please email Casey Thelenwood, Assistant Dean, at
Michigan Lean Consortium and Grand Rapids Summit
PCEC Dean and Faculty to Share Expertise at Michigan Lean Consortium and Grand Rapids Lean Summit
On November 5, 2020, Dr. Paul Plotkowski, Dean of the Padnos College of Engineering & Computing, will provide the keynote address for the 4th Annual Michigan Lean Consortium and Grand Rapids Summit. The theme for this virtual conference is 'Innovation Through Continuous Improvement During the Pandemic.' Lean is a set of management practices that focus on effectiveness, efficiency, and elimination of waste. Dean Plotkowski will address both Lean approaches and Continuous Improvement in higher education.
School of Engineering faculty, Dr. Charles Standridge and Dr. Lindsay Corneal, will also lead a discussion and workshop, including an interactive simulation, about Lean education with a comparison to quick response manufacturing (QRM).

Participants of this all-day summit (8:30am- 3:30pm) may register to attend 2 different workshops. Lean experts in manufacturing, government, healthcare, banking, non-profit, and academia are only a few of the several groups that will be presenting throughout the day. Whether you are a beginner in your Lean journey or advanced, there is an opportunity to learn, grow, and network during this virtual event. 
Visit the MLC and GR Lean Summit website to learn more or register.
Just For Fun
Did you know that Dr. Scott Grissom is the most interesting professor in the world? Or at least in Mackinac Hall? Check out this creative video by the School of Computing & Information Systems encouraging students to attend class. Note: Some footage was shot prior to COVID-19.
Happy Halloween!
Some of the PCEC Advising Team's pets couldn't resist getting dressed up to celebrate Halloween. If you or your pet are dressing up, you can send a photo to for a chance to be featured on their social media sites. Have a safe, fun, and spook-tacular holiday weekend!
Dogs in Halloween Costumes Wonderdog!

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