See what's in store for 2020!
See what's in store for 2020!
Grand Valley State University
James H Zumberge Hall

What's Happening in Community Engagement

Winter 2020

Laker Effect Map Updates

example of map popup with video
If you are featured on the Laker Effect Map, please be on the lookout for an upcoming email requesting verification that your featured relationships are still active. In the meantime, you can check out the map to refresh yourself on which relationships are displayed. 
We will also be starting an initiative to capture Laker Effect Map relationships on video. If you believe that your partnership is a good candidate to be featured on video, please let us know.
As always, if you have new relationships/partnerships that you'd like to see on the map, you can submit them at any time by clicking below.
Submission Form

Community Spotlight: Refugee Learning Café 

Learning Cafe Learning Cafe
Learning Cafe Learning Cafe
In 2011, Lisa McManus, a retired marketing executive, began mentoring a Congolese refugee family. At that time, low skilled jobs were plentiful in Grand Rapids so refugees, first relocated to other cities around the country, came to join their African friends and relatives in West Michigan. The African community swelled to over 1,000 families and relocation agencies had very limited resources to help. Adults and children spoke only their native languages and came with education levels far below their American peers. So volunteers like Lisa stepped in to help. The Learning Café was established to assist children with homework, language, and understanding of American culture. 

Looking for tutors, Lisa contacted Dr. Rui Niu-Cooper, Associate Professor, and Coordinator of GVSU’s TESOL program in the College of Education. Dr. Cooper jumped on the opportunity to give GVSU students experience, not only in tutoring but also in working with people from another culture, a culture much different from their own. She established 'Tutoring for the Future' as the mechanism to recruit GVSU students. And so began a long-standing partnership. 

In 2018, the Learning Café program merged with Oakdale Neighbors, a community development non-profit. Oakdale Neighbors works to develop assets and strengthen neighborhood relationships through a variety of programs for both adults and children. If you're interested in getting involved, contact Dr. Niu-Cooper at (616) 331-6669 or Bruce Boman, Oakdale Neighbors Youth Director at (616) 291-5631.
Learn More

Ottawa County Groundwater Sustainability Initiative: Proactive Strategies Index

Ottawa County Groundwater Sustainability Initiative
The Ottawa County Department of Planning & Performance Improvement has been working tirelessly alongside its many partners to develop a series of strategies to address their current and imminent groundwater depletion.
With help from organizations like GVSU, the team completed their task in November of last year, and by December, had been awarded full formal support by the County Board of Commissioners for their document, entitled “Ottawa County Groundwater Sustainability Initiative: Proactive Strategies Index.”
It is now their distinct pleasure to present this document to all of their partners and stakeholders to read, review, and engage!  
Download the plan
Upcoming Events

Laker Effect Challenge 2020

Save the dates!
Submission Period: Feb 3 - Feb 18
Voting Period: Feb 19 - Feb 26
Presenters Announced: Feb 27
Challenge: March 26

CLAS Repair Clinic

Wednesday, February 19, 2020, 6-8 pm in the Holton Hooker Multipurpose Room.
Faculty and staff volunteers will be fixing students' rips and missing buttons, jammed zippers, broken glasses, backpack straps and much more.
Knitting instruction on-site with yarn and knitting needles learners may keep.
There will be snacks and small giveaways. 
Advisors will be on hand to talk about any academic or scheduling questions students may have.
Click here for more community engagement events

Don't forget about Semester in GR!

promotional video for Semester in GR
Semester in Grand Rapids (SIGR) is a cohort-based, undergraduate program designed to immerse students in a high-impact learning experience with the goal of cultivating deep engagement with each other and with the people of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Applications are now being accepted for the Spring - Summer 2020 cohort.
There are 3 main components to the program:
  • Classes
  • Community-based internships
  • Community-engagement activities (Community Leadership Seminar Series, Field Trips, etc.) 
While the priority deadline has passed, the application is still open, so please share it with any students that may be interested.
Learn More
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