Two faculty members honored by ESP students

Mike Messner, director of the Student Academic Success Center, addresses the audience. The luncheon theme was the Cat in the Hat.
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Mike Messner, director of the Student Academic Success Center, addresses the audience. The luncheon theme was the Cat in the Hat.
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Two faculty members were honored by students in the Educational Support Program at an annual luncheon March 22 in the Alumni House.

Dave Huizen, assistant professor of occupational safety and health management, and Regina McClinton, director of the Intercultural Training Program, were named professors of the year. ESP students nominate a faculty member who was influencial and instrumental to their success. ESP, a TRiO program, provides resources and support to first-generation and underrepresented students.

Student awards were given to those with the highest and most improved GPAs, and students graduating in the winter and fall semesters were recognized.

Mike Messner, director of the Student Academic Success Center, said the ESP students were successful because of the collaboration at Grand Valley from staff and faculty members like Huizen and McClinton.

“You are the folks who push our students through the barriers that might come up and help them succeed,” Messner said.

Messner added that the six-year graduation rate for the ESP cohort was 72 percent. Also, 96 percent of ESP students are in good academic standing and the program had a persistance rate of 98 percent, according to statistics from the 2011-2012 reporting year.
 
The keynote speaker at the luncheon was Rosalynn Bliss, Grand Rapids city commissioner. Bliss, who also works for D.A. Blodgett-St. John’s as director of residential services, relayed her story of growing up in Sault Ste. Marie and moving by herself to Mobile, Alabama, to attend the University of South Alabama.

“My wish for you is to continue to use your will to succeed to positively impact your communities and neighborhoods,” Bliss said.