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SPRING 2017 · VOLUME 10 · NO. 2

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Stories about legacy, tradition and promise at Davenport University


Table of Contents

FEATURES

Donald W. Maine College of Business Building Opened its doors for the first time to students

Experiential Learning Kentwood District Court partners with DU’s Legal Studies program

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Building a Legacy of Purpose Pulling out of poverty through education

M.E. Davenport Legacy Endowment Supporting faculty innovation in teaching

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Spring 2017, Volume 10, No. 2

SECTIONS

05 University News News from around the University

08 Faculty See who is changing the world, one student at a time

10 Students Check out what our incredible students are doing

Faculty Spotlight Roque Neto

12 Athletics Senior athletes, national champs and more

14 Alumni Catch up with classmates and save the date for alumni events

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17 Giving Get to know our donors and why they choose to give to DU

DU Review is published by Davenport University. 6191 Kraft Avenue Grand Rapids, Michigan 49512 ©2017 Davenport University Alumni & Development Executive Vice President for Alumni & Development Peg Luy Executive Director of Grant Development Michele Davis Executive Director of Leadership Gifts & Donor Services Louise Kidd Executive Director of Alumni & Development Jason Madden, ’08 MBA Director of Major Gifts Nick Glaser Director of Prospect Research & Scholarship Stewardship Sarah Mitchell Assistant Director of Alumni Relations & Events Erik Dane, ’07 MBA Assistant Director of Alumni Communications & Development Sara Mooney, ’09 Assistant Director of Annual Giving Courtney Sorrell Manager of Data Systems & Gift Processing Laura Macka Executive Administrative Assistant Mary Nelsen

Marketing & Communications Executive Director of Communications Robin Luymes, APR, ’15 MM Executive Director of Marketing Steve Landrum, ’13 MBA Creative Director Richard Crispo Director of Communications Lyndsie Post, ’11 MBA Marketing Project Manager & Graphic Designer Nicole La Fave Graphic Designer John Teichman

o n t h e c o v e r Lobby of the new Donald W. Maine College of Business Building. Photo by Justin Maconochie. DU Review davenport.edu/DUReview

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From the President

LEGACIES AND TRADITION AT DAVENPORT

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Throughout our history, we have embraced the precept that change is a normal part of growth. We are constantly evolving to meet the demands and needs of the marketplace, to the benefit of students, their future employers and the communities that we serve. This was true in 1866 when Conrad Swensberg first developed his school to train skilled workers for the growing commercial sector of West Michigan, and it was true when M.E. Davenport enhanced the college’s business curriculum in the early 1900s and made the school a nonprofit institution in 1954—making it one of the few business colleges to do so and laying a foundation for sustainability into the school’s second century.

This spring, we dedicated our Donald W. Maine College of Business Building, celebrating the legacy of our Chancellor Emeritus, who brought bachelor’s and graduate degrees to the institution, developed one of the nation’s first online degree programs and laid the groundwork for the merger of three separate colleges into one Davenport University. What an amazing legacy!

As President of the institution throughout the ’60s and most of the ’70s, Robert Sneden pursued accreditation and formed a board of trustees to help guide the institution. After Don Maine completed his work to establish a united Davenport University, Randy Flechsig led development of the W.A. Lettinga Campus and the reintroduction of athletic programs that would draw traditional students. We’re creating new traditions and new legacies today as well, with an increased focus on quality and innovation. Davenport’s Employment Guarantee is now available to more than 1,200 students in the accounting, nursing and network

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ith the celebration of our 150th anniversary last year, Davenport University revisited its rich history, filled with the legacies of many great leaders and educators. We continue to build on the foundation of those legacies, including a tradition of excellence that is evident in our curricula, our campus locations and our community of students, faculty and staff, and alumni.

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management and security programs. We have new traditions being created with our athletic programs, including our new football program that begins competing in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) this fall under the leadership of new Head Coach Sparky McEwen. The list goes on and on as this University continues to ensure that we thrive in an every-changing world and prepare our students to Get Where the World Is Going! Thank you for your ongoing commitment to and support of Davenport University! We invite you to stay involved through our alumni events, through opportunities to contribute and by being a mentor to or new employer of our students and graduates. You, too, are contributing a legacy that will make a difference for generations to come! Richard J. Pappas, Ed.D. President


University News

ACROSS THE STATE Staff and students at the W.A. Lettinga Campus take part in a silent march.

Using Education to Honor the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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n his teachings, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., always stressed the importance of education, believing it would lead to understanding and that understanding would lead to progress against racism, prejudice and discrimination. On January 16, students across all Davenport campuses came together to honor the legacy of Dr. King and reflect on this year’s theme of using education to promote progress.

Holland Campus staff, faculty and students decorated lunch bags for Kids’ Food Basket of West Michigan, a nonprofit that empowers communities to attack childhood hunger. The Lansing Campus hosted a variety of events, with representatives attending the 32nd Annual Celebration Luncheon in memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., with keynote speaker Myrlie EversWilliams, the widow of slain civil rights activist Medgar Evers. Members of the Warren and Livonia campuses attended the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Holiday Celebration of Macomb County, themed “A Sense of Justice,” featuring keynote speaker Jocelyn Benson, CEO of Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality.

The W.A. Lettinga Campus held its annual MLK Jr. Day Celebration, which included a silent march, keynote speakers and the MLK Day Essay Contest. The event also featured a video by student Justice Postman, which included student remarks about how we each can honor Dr. King’s legacy in our daily lives. As one of the keynote speakers, Dr. Linda Rinker, Executive Vice President of Academics & Provost, stated, “Each one of you can make a difference; each one of you can make and build a dream,” much as Dr. King did in his work to promote equality.

“Through the power of education, even in the most turbulent of times we can find progress. Don’t be anxious, don’t be bitter, don’t be afraid … speak the truth in love through education to inspire progress, and to inspire change.” DR. SUSAN GUNN, Dean of the College of Urban Education

Congratulations to Kuana School from the Lansing Campus! She won a $1,500 scholarship through the MLK Day Essay Contest. To read her powerful essay, please visit bit.ly/mlkdayessay

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University News

STUDENTS PROVIDE FREE TAX FILING ASSISTANCE FOR LOW-INCOME FAMILIES Davenport students, faculty and alumni volunteered to provide free income tax preparation sessions to low- and middle-income tax-filers (less than $57,000 in total family income) at locations across West Michigan this past tax season. Davenport’s intercollegiate partnership with Cornerstone University, Aquinas College and Grand Rapids Community College annually provides tax assistance through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, a grantfunded effort with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and nonprofit groups to train volunteers to prepare basic tax returns in communities across the country. The IRS certifies all volunteers who participate in the program. “Our students are happy to serve their community and gain practical, professional experience,” said Judy Knapp, VITA Program Manager and Accounting Honors Program Coordinator at Davenport University. “The volunteers learn real-life skills and how to work with clients while also helping them receive an essential tax refund.”

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Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow Michael Markovits

n March, Davenport welcomed Michael Markovits, Leadership Consultant and Partner at AchieveMission, as its second Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow of the 2016–17 academic year. Through a series of talks and interactive sessions, including a Student Leadership Symposium that helped students explore their leadership traits and enhance their leadership skills, Markovits engaged students and the larger community in conversations about the future of leadership. He helped audiences explore the nuances of how organizational leadership is valued and evaluated while challenging current beliefs about leadership in order to stimulate dialogue. Having served in leadership roles for General Electric and IBM, Markovits currently works through AchieveMission to help nonprofit organizations significantly improve their leadership and talent management, as well as social change work focused primarily on the issues of peace, reconciliation and ending

racism. Markovits has written and spoken on topics related to leadership, training and other organizational development issues. His expertise in succession planning, employee engagement and leadership development have made him a highly sought-after consultant within many industries.

The Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellows (WWVF) program brings prominent artists, diplomats, journalists, business leaders and other nonacademic professionals to campuses across the United States for substantive dialogue with students and faculty members. DU’s first visiting fellow, Anil Singh-Molares, addressed global business and entrepreneurship during his October 2016 visit. The WWVF visits were made possible by funding from the M.E. Davenport Legacy Endowment Fund at the University that was established in 2015 with a $5.5 million commitment from the M.E. Davenport Foundation.


University News

Co-op Program Gives Students RealWorld Experience and Earned Income

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avenport’s new Bachelor of Computer Information Systems Co-op program is different from the traditional degree program in that the co-op program combines classroom-based education with three semesters of full-time work experience. It is designed as a cohort, and six students kicked off the first semester of the program in fall 2016.

“Our program is designed to be a four-year program, and that’s very intentional,” stated Dr. Wayne Sneath,

Program Director for Experiential Learning. “Similar programs at other universities take five years because students do not receive credit for their work experience. Our program gives students credit for the three semesters of work so they can finish their degree in a timely manner.” The program provides students with a broad range of computer programming skills while the students learn to work with subject matter experts in a business setting. Students also learn to analyze informational needs and determine ways in which computer systems can be used to meet those needs. “I was interested in the co-op program because I get the knowledge gained in the classroom and the experience from the job at the same time,” said

Brett Schmidt, a Davenport junior and President of the Student Veterans Association. “I can attend school fulltime and earn a decent income.” The first cohort interviewed with potential employers back in February to begin preparing for their summer work experiences. Three companies­— Amway, Farmers Insurance and Spectrum Health—visited the W.A. Lettinga Campus to interview the students to fill open positions. “This program is ideal for Amway because it aligns with our intern program,” stated Molly Murray, Lead Intern Program Manager and College Recruiter at Amway. “We have a beneficial partnership with DU, and the students we get are always great.”

ON INSTAGRAM

a b o v e There’s a new coach in town. Photo and caption courtesy of @tylertriemstra.

a b o v e Yaaaasssssss!!!!! Almost time to graduate!!! #davenportuniversity #graduation2017 #longestthreeweeksofmylife Photo and caption courtesy of @gmurray625.

a b o v e Exam day, equals cram day! #FutureRN #MentalHealth #DavenportUniversity Photo and caption courtesy of @clyons84. DU Review 7


FACULTY

JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT VOLUNTEERS MENTOR STUDENTS TO SUCCEED Junior Achievement (JA) of the Michigan Great Lakes is part of a global organization that offers economic education programs to more than nine

Jim Gort

million students in 123 countries.

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he Great Lakes chapter programs served more than 60,000 students in nearly 300 individual schools last year. JA trains mentors to guide K–12 students through a curriculum focused on work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy, as well as be role models and sharing their own experiences. For Jim Gort, volunteering with JA combines his love of learning with the chance to get involved and give back to the community, something Davenport encourages with its Volunteer Time Off (VTO) policy. Sometimes, that role even gives him access to exclusive events. In sharing his favorite memory of his time with JA, Gort talked about a fourth grader who invited him to her confirmation celebration. “When I walked up to the party, her eyes got wide and she turned to her mom and said, ‘He came!’ You make quite an impact on them,” Gort fondly recalled.

Gort is the Associate Department Chair of Management and Business Capstones for the Donald W. Maine College of Business. When he received the email 8

asking for JA volunteers six years ago, Gort saw the opportunity to encourage kids to go to college. His commitment is five weeks teaching a 45-minute unit on entrepreneurship. He also helps with the annual JA Titan Challenge, a student competition and business strategy simulation. For Gort, getting up and talking in front of students and forming relationships is what he does for a living. His ability to step into the role of mentor with young children and pass along his intellectual curiosity and passion for education is a natural fit. He spent his first few years volunteering at Harrison Park Elementary in Grand Rapids and is now at Townline Elementary in Kentwood. Laura Brizzolara, who teaches the fourth-grade class Gort currently volunteers with, shared her thoughts on what Gort brings to the classroom, “Jim has been wonderful to have as a JA teacher the past four years.” “He tries to connect with each and every child and has a way of making each student feel special and smart.

He is committed to getting the information to them in a fun and meaningful way. They look forward to his visits so much, and he is truly appreciated!” Bill Coderre, who has led the local JA chapter for the past 17 years, sums up the impact JA mentors have on area youth: “Students respond positively to working with caring, compassionate adults who freely give their time. These volunteer role models can help overcome negative competing environmental factors, such as peer pressure, lack of understanding or support in the community.” JA volunteers teach skills, such as critical thinking, collaboration, creativity and communication, but equally important is the effort volunteers like Gort make to instill self-confidence in the students they work with, as well as the belief that they can succeed.

If you want to learn more about making a difference in a child’s life, visit juniorachievement.org to get started!


( l t o r ) Paul and Melanie Reilly along with their daughter Katelyn, Bonnie, Ron and Carrianne Kopp

ALUMNI

LEGACY NOTE

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Refer a future Panther

A GLOBAL FAMILY LEGACY For more than 25 years, Bonnie Kopp, ’84, has worked to create legacies for others through her work as Senior Trust Advisor at Northern Trust. Kopp works with families to help build wealth, create estate plans and manage funds for those who have created trusts.

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opp’s philosophy is “it isn’t the number of years you spend on Earth that matters; it is the legacy you leave behind for those who follow you.”

Kopp is a member of a proud family legacy at Davenport University. She and her husband of 32 years, Ron Kopp, ’88, attended Davenport after high school. “I worked full-time at a bank during the day and went to school at night, while Ron worked in the Steelcase factory at night and went to school during the day. Our companies had tuition reimbursement so it was only natural for us to pursue our degrees.” She graduated with an associate degree in 1984 and a bachelor’s degree in 1994 while her husband graduated with an associate degree in 1988. Davenport continued to be a part of their life as their careers flourished and they started a family. Nearly 30 years later, their oldest daughter, Melanie (Kopp) Reilly, ’13, needed a school that offered a flexible online program to earn an MBA while

she worked in New Zealand. Kopp recommended Davenport. DU’s online program was exactly what Reilly needed. “Studying online at Davenport worked really well for me because of the flexibility offered,” said Reilly. “It didn’t matter that I was in a different time zone. The instructors were supportive and genuinely interested in my experience overseas; they were happy to help cater my homework and essays towards how it would apply to New Zealand. I enjoyed interacting with students all over the U.S.” Now, as an alumni board member, Kopp shares her passion with fellow alumni who want to give back to the University. “As an alum and now parent of a student, I have a better, well-rounded understanding of what Davenport has to offer. I hope that our story motivates others to share their experiences and passion for Davenport.”

DAVENPORT’S GROWING GLOBAL CAMPUS Davenport’s academic programs available through the online Global Campus are receiving accolades from various organizations based upon a variety of criteria, including cost, value, accreditation, experiential training and curriculum. “We are excited about the growing recognition for Davenport’s high-quality academic programs available through its online Global Campus,” said Brian Miller, Dean for Davenport’s Global Campus. “Online learning allows students to better manage their time while pursuing their higher education degree and working. The Global Campus brings more than 50 high-quality programs to students wherever they live.”

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STUDENTS

CAREERFEST BRINGS EMPLOYERS TO STUDENTS S

On February 15, more than 70 employers took part in

Davenport’s annual CareerFest, filling the Student Center at the W.A. Lettinga Campus to network with students and talk about career opportunities at their organizations.

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Hire DU students as interns or employees

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT AWARDS Through the Student Spotlight Awards, peers and faculty recognize students for qualities that shine. The Nursing Program at the Warren Campus is proud to recognize their students’ 10

tudents from every college participated in the event and were able to find employers related to their degree fields, whether the students were looking for an internship or a career after graduation.

“The event helps students dive in and get rid of those nerves they sometimes have when talking to employers,” stated Brandi Melkild, Regional Internship Manager for Career Services. “Events like this help them learn how to make a good first impression and connect them directly with employers.” This year, the event debuted the Exploratory Hour, which allowed students to explore different job fields without the pressure of feeling as if they were in an interview.

abilities to work collaboratively, exhibit professionalism and stay dedicated to peer-to-peer mentoring. “Leadership and mentoring start in the classroom, and nursing students can gain great experience working with their current peers and faculty now in order to bring this to their nursing units and to the patient bedside,” stated Andrea Shaw,

Students network with employers at CareerFest.

Those who were not looking for an internship or near-term employment also participated, exploring what might interest them in the future. This year also featured a closet full of professional clothing available for students who might not have the resources to obtain appropriate attire on their own. “Events like this bring people and opportunities to you, and help you network,” said Connor Schilling, a senior. Another senior, Sean Cox, said that events like CareerFest are “great networking opportunities, and I get to spend my day learning from industry professionals.”

Associate Chair of Nursing for the Warren Campus. We are proud to recognize our students, and students love taking advantage of recognizing a peer. It’s a win-win!


STUDENTS

STEPPING OUTSIDE YOUR COMFORT ZONE

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Volunteer to speak at alumni & student events

On December 1, more than 300 students took advantage of the learning and networking opportunity provided by the third annual Comfort Zone Challenges at the W.A. Lettinga Campus.

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his Career Services event featured three sessions. The first, Building Authentic Connections, featured fast-paced networking led by alumnus Ken Fortier ’01, Co-Founder and author of NetPlus Connections. Fortier helped students learn how to build and maintain authentic connections.

Swim with the Sharks was the final session, and provided students an opportunity to prepare a pitch and sell a product to a panel of business professionals from around West Michigan. Winners of the competition were Parker Shmitt, Corwin Tobias and the two-person team of Corey Westenbrook and Justice Postman.

The second session, called The Power Hour, featured a panel of successful alumni who shared their journeys from class to career, offering career advice and answering students’ questions.

Students were encouraged to practice their networking and public speaking skills while thinking on their feet and adapting quickly to changes.

Thank you to all our alumni and employers who participated in these great events! BUILDING AUTHENTIC CONNECTIONS & SWIM WITH THE SHARKS Ken Fortier, ’01, Keynote Speaker Connections By Fortier LLC Joe Richards, ’11 Buffalo Wild Wings Jason Russell, ’13 Stream Cleaning

A networking lounge allowed participants to interact with employers throughout the day in order to find internships or employment, or simply learn more about different professions and gain tips for success in the industry. “I saw it as a growth opportunity for myself,” said business student Joel Murphy. “It gives students experience with public speaking and interviews which are critical to be successful. I would highly recommend everyone participate. It was not always fun; it was a lot of work, but totally worth it.”

Zach Booker Stream Cleaning

Wendy Zeigler-Hesche, ’06 Speedway

Brian Behler, ’03 JW Marriott Grand Rapids

Shaunna Lawrence Speedway

Norina Cadili JW Marriott Grand Rapids

Lisa Derr Employment Group

Ryan Prichard, ’18 Lake Michigan Credit Union

Jon Brickner Northwestern Mutual

Erin McLaughlin Auto Owners Insurance

Lisa Granger Northwestern Mutual

Sara Franks Auto Owners Insurance

Hanna Windberg Northwestern Mutual

Matt Bluekamp Walgreens

Edward Walter Aflac

Laura Frye Walgreens

POWER HOUR Pat McPherson, ’02 ITS Partners James Nelson, ’13 Spectrum Health Aldina Sedjovic, ’11 Lake Michigan Credit Union Kaylani Rubley, ’14 Metro Health Carlos Sanchez, ’07 Latino Business and Economic Development Center Jason Russell, ’13 Stream Cleaning

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ATHLETICS

PANTHER ATHLETICS: FROM THE SIDELINES Men’s & Women’s Basketball Teams Dominate the Court

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U could not have asked for a better tandem of basketball programs in the WolverineHoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) over the last decade.

The teams continued their success during the 2016–17 season as they concluded their time in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and prepared to move forward to National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) competition next year. The women captured their 11th straight WHAC regular season championship

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on February 4 with a win over Lourdes. They followed that by winning their eighth straight WHAC Tournament title, including a dominant 77–39 win in the championship game against nationally ranked Siena Heights. The team made the trip to Sioux City, Iowa, for the 13th straight season to take part in the NAIA Division II National Championship. They fell in the second round to 10th-ranked Jamestown (ND) and finished 31–4 overall. Along with their tremendous success on the court, many players found success in the classroom. Nine players were named WHAC All-Academic,

LEGACY NOTE

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Attend a Panther athletic event and eight of them were also named NAIA ScholarAthletes, tied for the most in the nation. Senior Molly Babbs was named First Team All-WHAC and to the WHAC All-Defensive Team. Freshman Jenna Falkenberg was named First Team All-WHAC and to the WHAC All-Freshmen Team. Senior Mallory Sewell and junior Emily Severn were also named Second Team All-WHAC. The men’s basketball team won 20-plus games this year for the ninth straight season. The team finished with a 24–9 record and placed second in the WHAC regular season with a 17–5 record. The team lost to Aquinas in the WHAC semifinals and dropped their opening game in the NAIA National Championships against Tabor (KS) after advancing to the national semifinals in the previous two seasons. Senior Kevin Rich had a banner year earning First Team Academic AllAmerican from the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). In addition, he received NAIA Scholar-Athlete honors for the fourth straight season.

Rich not only had success off the court but also was named First Team All-WHAC and even proposed to his girlfriend during pregame festivities on February 4! Rich finished his career as the all-time leader in threepointers made (278) and was third in scoring (1,765 points) and second in rebounding (737). Senior Nick Gamble also had a fine final season as a Panther earning First Team All-WHAC. Gamble had the second most assists in a game (15) in the regular season finale at Indiana Tech on February 18. He also set the school record for career assists (492) and is fifth alltime in steals (190) and sixth in scoring (1,185 points).


ATHLETICS

Cheerleading Takes Third at NAIA Nationals

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he Davenport Cheer team took part in the Inaugural National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Cheer National Championship on March 10–11 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

The Panthers finished third out of 12 schools that qualified with a total of 80.97 points. The only all-female, and all freshman team competing against co-ed teams, the Panthers were the only team to have zero deductions in their routine! “It was an honor to participate, and I could not be prouder of this team for taking third in a highly skilled championship,” said Head Coach Celia Allen-Hames.

Soccer’s Sweet Kicks

“Just when I thought this group of freshmen hit their peak, they defied all odds,” stated Assistant Coach Amber Gniewek. “The work ethic of this team is one every coach dreams of. When we pushed them to their limit, they pushed back, after exceeding all expectations. I get chills thinking about what this group will accomplish come their senior year.” The Cheer team has earned four national championships through the National Cheerleading Association (NCA).

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he men’s soccer team turned in another great season as they reached the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) National Championship Semifinals in Delray Beach, Florida before losing on penalty kicks to Rio Grande.

The Panthers and Storm tied 0–0 after regulation and two 10-minute overtime periods. Davenport was outscored 4–3 in penalty kicks for a heart-breaking loss in their final NAIA National Championship. Davenport was second in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) regular season and lost in

the WHAC Tournament Championship, both times to Northwestern Ohio. Senior T.J. Ifaturoti concluded his brilliant career by earning First Team Academic AllAmerican for the second year in a row by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). He was also named an NAIA Scholar-Athlete and Honorable Mention AllAmerican in the NAIA. Senior Jake Love was named a Third Team All-American and earned All-American status for the second straight season. Ifaturoti and Love were also named First Team All-WHAC as were Tyler Collishaw, Stephen Carroll and Cam Cavanagh.

Sparky McEwen Hired as New Football Coach

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harles “Sparky” McEwen was named the new head football coach on Feb. 16 in a news conference at the Student Center. McEwen was chosen out of a pool of more than 100 candidates nationwide to take over a football program breaking new ground this fall as a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II and the formidable Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC).

McEwen spent the last five seasons at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan. He served as Passing Game Coordinator, Receivers Coach, Pro Liaison and Alumni Relations Liaison during his tenure. He helped guide the Bulldogs to back-to-back undefeated regular seasons as a member of the NCAA Division II and the GLIAC. McEwen, who played for the Bulldogs from 1987 to 1990, spent more than a decade as a professional football coach in the Arena Football League with the Grand Rapids Rampage and the Oklahoma City Yard Dawgz. He also served as a successful high football

head coach in Grand Rapids at Creston High School from 1996 to 2003. DU’s football program concluded its first year of competition in the NAIA and posted a 6–5 record. The team defeated two NCAA Division II schools this past fall: Kentucky Wesleyan (41–7) on September 17 and Quincy (14–10) on October 22. In 2016, Davenport ranked second in the NAIA in kickoff return average (26.6), third in rushing defense (85.9), fifth in total defense (270.2), eighth in scoring defense (17.5), 12th in opponent third down conversions (31.2) and 17th in total sacks (25). DU Review 13


ALUMNI

PARALLEL LEGACIES l e f t Sue and Rachel at the National Cheerleading Association competition. right (l to r) The Nemmers family: Casey, Dave, Rachel, Eric, Sue and Michelle

Nemmers worked in the alumni office at Davenport for five years and was concurrently a member of the first class at Davenport to earn a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 1985. Nemmers married Dave Nemmers in 1984 and settled in Caledonia. Four years later, they welcomed their first child, Rachel.

For Susan (Kitzrow) Nemmers ’85, Davenport University is a special place for two generations of her family.

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usan (Kitzrow) Nemmers started at Davenport after high school to pursue her associate degree in the executive secretarial program, with the help of grants and scholarships. She worked on campus as a work-study student in the alumni and development office. After graduation, she accepted a

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full-time role as the first Alumni Director of Davenport College. She admitted, “It was amazing that Davenport took a risk, hiring me as a 20-year-old.” Nemmers was responsible for growing the alumni association, running the phonathon program, hosting alumni events, creating marketing materials and managing the alumni board. “It was the best job,” Nemmers recalled. “It was truly a grassroots effort, and the University supported me 100 percent. We had an alumni holiday party in my parents’ basement.”

Almost 18 years later, Rachel (Nemmers) Payne’s ’10, ’12 MBA, journey at Davenport mirrors her mother’s. Payne started at Davenport in the fall of 2006 after receiving the W.A. Lettinga FullTuition Charter Scholarship. “At first, I was interested in becoming a collegiate cheerleader, and I knew Davenport didn’t have a program yet. I knew my mom had a great experience at DU and realized how impactful the full-ride scholarship was to my future. I couldn’t pass it up.” Almost immediately, Payne became an advocate for a new DU Cheer program. As a sophomore, she created proposals, wrote plans and met with the Athletic Director, Paul Lowden, about starting a cheer program. Payne recalled, “Looking back, I can’t believe I was that persistent!”


ALUMNI

“Both my daughter, Rachel, and I started at Davenport in pursuit of a business education but gained so much more. Though we attended 25 years apart, we gained very similar experiences, friendships and a foundation for our success. It is our home.” Her persistence paid off in February of her senior year when the head cheerleading coach position was posted. She interviewed and earned the head coaching role in early spring. During this time, Payne was a work-study student in the Human Resources department working in training and development. “It was perfect. After I graduated with my BBA in 2010, the HR department hired me as a student worker. I was able to earn my MBA as a full-time student, hone my HR skills as a part-time intern and grow the program from the ground up as the cheer coach.”

Payne spent much of her time promoting the program and recruiting cheerleaders, taking time to be selective and build the legacy of the program effectively. Payne enlisted her mother to help her with the program, too. “Mama Sue” traveled with the cheerleading team as they competed regionally and nationally.

roles, as well as staying active with the Alumni Association by attending events and activities.

During Payne’s six-year tenure as the cheerleading coach, she led the program to three national championships. “The best part about my time coaching at Davenport was seeing all of the athletes continue their passion for the sport of cheerleading at a school that was extremely supportive of the program. Davenport took a chance on me when they hired me to start the program from the ground up.I am so proud to see the legacy and success of the program continue on with some of the most talented coaches and athletes in the country.”

“It is amazing how alike Rachel and I are,” Nemmers said. “Our relationship has grown stronger because of our ability to relate and reminisce about our similar paths at Davenport.”

Today, Payne is a human resources professional at Spectrum Health, and Nemmers is an active community volunteer. Both serve DU in mentoring Sue Nemmers poses with results from the first Alumni Phonathon.

Because Davenport was such an integral part of Nemmers’ formative years, she and her husband, Dave, decided to leave a portion of their estate to Davenport in their estate plans.

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LEGACY NOTE

Plan ahead – leave Davenport in your estate

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ALUMNI Check out the full listing of events at davenport.edu/alumni

The Alumni Association and its clubs are hosting events across the country. These gatherings bring alumni

On January 28, more than 50 former basketball players scrimmaged fellow alumni at the annual Alumni Basketball Games.

together to socialize, learn

#PANTHERFOREVER ALUMNI EVENTS

p o s t e d b y Davenport University Women’s Basketball ▼

and connect over a shared passion for Davenport.

On February 1, more than 20 Davenport alumni who work at Spectrum Health gathered at the Information Systems building to connect and learn more about ways to get involved at DU.

More than 25 young alumni and recent grads gathered to learn more about personal finance. Alumni met at the Grand Rapids Brewing Co. to “Get Their Finances Brewing.” p o s t e d b y Davenport University Alumni Association

Meanwhile, 1,225 miles away, the Houston Alumni Club hosted a happy hour at 8th Wonder Brewery on Friday, February 10.

c a i t l i n m a c n e i l Rocking my 10-year-old DU sweatshirt for our alumni event!

McKenzie Gallagher, ’11 MBA, hosted the first Traverse City Alumni Wine and Food event on Friday, February 24. Nearly 25 alumni and friends joined in on the fun to support a fellow alumna in her debut year of winery and tasting room ownership!

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LEGACY NOTE

Join an alumni club or create one in your area

The Lansing Alumni Club hosted an alumni tailgate party on Friday, February 10 at the Davenport Hockey Game at Munn Ice Arena. More than 30 alumni enjoyed the action of the DII Hockey Team as they took on MSU.

p o s t e d b y Rove Estate

@ m a n d y d e n o m m e Davenport University Alumni Night at Munn. Go Panthers! #DUit #davenportuniversity #alumni


GIVING

THE POWER OF THE GIFT MEET THE DONORS “Alpha Iota of Grand Rapids has been a part of Davenport University since 1937, and we’ve supported a scholarship there since 1991. The main purpose of Alpha Iota, the thing that brings us together, is our dedication to service. Our commitment to the scholarship is the same as our commitment to our Alpha Iota sisters—to promote professional competence and leadership in women. It is a b o v e ( l t o r ) Abigail Meines, Rachael Bylsma, Betty LaCroix and Deanna Kerkstra

impossible to list all the ways Alpha Iota has enriched us and affected the schools and communities that we serve. While our projects and volunteerism constitute the purpose that binds the members of Alpha Iota and keeps us focused, the real cement is the friendship of our members.”

M E M B E R S O F A L P H A I O TA

MEET THE RECIPIENT

SCHOLARSHIP HONORS LONGTIME FACULTY MEMBER To celebrate nearly five decades of service to Davenport University, friends, co-workers and colleagues of Dr. Therese Tomaszek came together earlier this year to honor her with an endowed scholarship in her name. The Terri Tomaszek Endowed Scholarship recognizes her distinguished service as a faculty member in the College of Arts and Sciences since 1968 in a way that is meaningful to Terri— student scholarships. This scholarship recognizes the transformational value of education. The scholarship will be awarded to women who are first-generation college students and who maintain a GPA of 3.0 or better. If Terri made DU a special place for you and you’d like to honor her, please visit davenport.edu/give and write a note on the donor wall.

“The impact scholarships has had on me and my education is incomparable to anything else during my years of education. Having the scholarships that I currently hold, for both academics and athletics, helps me to achieve the higher education I desire. Without these scholarships, I would have been unable to attend Davenport University and work toward a finance degree.

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Give to the annual fund

I am very thankful for the scholarships I have received,

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Honor your favorite professor by creating a scholarship.

giving me the opportunity to obtain higher education and open many more doors for me in life.”

CHYNNA LONGMIRE ’19 DU Review 17


FEATURE

OPEN for BUSINESS p h o t o s Justin Maconochie

On January 9, 2017, the newly constructed Donald W. Maine College of Business building opened its doors for the first time to students.

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l e f t Ample private meeting areas allow for out-of-class collaboration between students and faculty. a b o v e Instructor Frank Novakowski teaches in a flexible classroom.

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he new three-story facility allows for continued growth of academic programs in the Donald W. Maine College of Business, providing students with a solid business education foundation while serving as a valuable resource for entrepreneurs, investors and service providers. It features more than 60,000 square feet and 23 classrooms that expand and retract depending on class size.

“What sets the new College of Business building apart from others is that it is technologically superior,” stated Dr. Rick Pappas. “It will house a business accelerator program, just one of a few in the state, to provide guidance and structure to entrepreneurs and

help them grow and develop their businesses in key markets. The students will have access to guidance and the expertise of notable business partners from the community.” Modeled more like a corporate headquarters than an academic building, the classrooms are organized around a central Hub where students interact, study and create. An open office environment offers permanent offices for faculty members along with workstations for adjunct instructors and private meeting space. In addition, a necessity in any office-like environment, the DU Hub, the building’s coffee shop, is housed in the building lobby.


Students studying in the lobby that features a coffee shop.

“My favorite thing about the new building is the different layouts of the classrooms.” Courtney Westenbroek,

“I love the building’s design. It is very modern and functional. I love the main lobby area (especially the Hub!) and the fact that we have access to open rooms for studying upstairs.”

SENIOR, ACCOUNTING

Stephanie Schaub,

FRESHMAN, MARKETING

“I like how open and studentfriendly the building is. It gives students a place to interact and work on projects together. It feels [like] a lot more of a social experience and more interactive than the other buildings.” Cameron Bredice,

JUNIOR, BUSINESS MANAGEMENT

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FEATURE

a b o v e Students work together in collaboration spaces.

A special thank you to our Generous donors! LEGACY NOTE

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Visit the W.A. Lettinga campus to tour the Donald W. Maine College of Business Building

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The Aboufadel Family Amway Corporation Anonymous Lori Baker Janice and Lachlan Beatson Hy and Greta Berkowitz Foundation Joel and Laura Blanchard Bluewater Ken and Stephanie Bovee The David A. Brandon Foundation Kimberly A. Bruyn Cascade Cement Contracting, Inc. Bob and Mary Clarkson Consumers Energy Foundation Peter C. and Emajean Cook Foundation Creative Dining Services Paula and Pete Cunningham M.E. Davenport Foundation Michele Davis Daniel and Pamella DeVos Foundation Dick and Betsy DeVos Family The Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation Estate of Richard Faber Rami and Rea Fawaz Fifth Third Bank Finix Kathleen Finkler Frey Foundation Dennis and Patricia Gillett Godwin Plumbing Services Grand Rapids Community Foundation— Mike and Sue Jandernoa Advised Fund Mitchell Haveman Doyle A. Hayes, Sr. Bob and Joyce Hetzler Brian and Tamra Hogan Michael Hubbel J. C. Huizenga and Tammy Born Dr. Pamela R. Imperato and Rev. Valdene Mintzmyer Interphase Interiors & Haworth

Craig A. Jenkins, Jr. Keith and Kathryn Klingenberg The Klopcic Family Foundation Nicholas Kraska Blake and Mary Krueger Jim and Clarine Lanting Donald Lawless and Sherri Jones David and Connie Lawrence Connie Lettinga and Robert Barto Wilbur and Sharon Lettinga William and Rochelle Lettinga Liberty Mutual Group Inc. Bruce and Deb Los Don and Peg Luy Donald W. and Kathleen Maine Meijer Foundation Frank and Susan Merlotti Jim and Nancy Meyer Barbara Mieras, Ph.D. Brian and Megan Miller Howard Miller Company Chris and Joan Panopoulos Dr. Richard and Pam Pappas Rockford Construction James and Jennifer Salloum The Peter F. Secchia Family Michael and Betsy Sleva John and Judy Spoelhof Foundation Jacqueline D. Taylor, Ph.D. Mary Tuuk David and Carol Van Andel Family Foundation Michelle and Mike Van Dyke Steven J. and Tana M. Wessell Shelly and Warren Westbrook Wolverine Worldwide Foundation James A. Wright Ken and Carole Yerrick


FEATURE

Kentwood District Court Provides Unique Learning Experiences for Students p h o t o s Michael Croff • i l l u s t r a t i o n s Deb Fraser

This past fall, students in the Bachelor of Legal Studies program participated in a mock trial in Kentwood’s 62-B District Court with

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District Court Judge William G. Kelly presiding.

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he purpose of the mock trial was to give students the experience of a real court case from beginning to end.

“Judge Kelly and the Kentwood District Court have been outstanding partners in the education of the next generation of paralegals at DU,” stated Barb Craft, J.D., Legal Studies Department Chair. “Judge Kelly not only generously provides his courtroom, but [also] presides over the proceedings to give students a court simulation that most don’t get until the third year of law school.” The mock trial is the final project for the Advanced Litigation Capstone course. Students are given a scenario and evidence. Throughout the semester, they work through the entire process of preparing for a trial and learning about the challenges attorneys can face. DU staff, students and alumni volunteered to fill the witness and jury roles. Partners since 2014, the 62-B District Court has provided students with an unprecedented number of educational opportunities ranging from assisting with mock trials and witness examinations to providing internships and job shadow opportunities. ( l t o r ) DU Paralegal students Jennifer Wilcox, Danielle Nickelson and Katherine Eekhoff, Instructor Ron Foster, Judge William Kelly, DU Paralegal students Samantha Bohm, Melissa Donker, Lauren McFall and Stacy Tran

“We are always excited to help up-and-coming legal professionals in our community,” said Kelly. “We’ve supported this program for several years and are happy to play a role in law education. It’s something we look forward to.”

Additional real-world experiences come from the Estate Planning & Probate courses and Real Estate Law. In the Davenport Estate Planning Services (DEPS) program, under the guidance of a faculty member and licensed attorney, students assist with preparing simple wills and power of attorney documents for low-income clients who receive the service at no charge. This work provides students the opportunity to learn the practical preparation of legal documents while developing soft skills and professionalism. The Real Estate Law class partners with the Kent County Housing Alliance, providing opportunities for students to work with volunteer lawyers to assist tenants with housing crises. Students assist in interviewing tenants, reviewing cases, conducting research and summarizing legal advice provided by the lawyers. “It is because of partnerships like this that DU’s Legal Studies program is rated one of the best pre-law programs in the nation,” said Craft. “Our program is one of only a few to have been approved by the American Bar Association (ABA). We place a high priority on putting students in actual legal settings under the supervision of practicing, licensed attorneys.”

LEGACY NOTE

Mentor DU students

10 DU Review 21


FEATURE

A LEGACY OF

Faculty Innovation in Teaching with Funding from the M.E. Davenport Legacy Endowment Fund

Established in 2015 with a $5.5 million commitment to the University from the M.E. Davenport Foundation, the M.E. Davenport Legacy Endowment Fund at Davenport is intended to optimize the educational, professional and civic mission of the University.

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rojects funded by the endowment advance academic excellence, promote professional innovations and enrich the communities that Davenport serves. The fund supports academic and learningrelated initiatives that are a part of the University’s Vision 2020.

FEATURE “This is an extraordinary gift from the M.E. Davenport Foundation,” said Dr. Rick Pappas. “This investment by the Foundation will have a lasting impact on the University’s ability to develop innovative new programs. Some moments are truly transformational; this gift from the family foundation of our namesake, M.E. Davenport, is one of those moments.”

The M.E. Davenport Legacy Endowment Fund also funded the visits of two Woodrow Wilson Fellows this past academic year. Peggy Moceri, Chair of the Endowment Committee and a granddaughter of the foundation’s namesake, said, “The purpose of the endowment is to regenerate, in an enduring way, M.E.

Davenport’s founding motto: Make a Living, Make a Life, Make a Contribution.” Congratulations to these faculty members on their successful proposals that advance the legacy of excellent, innovative learning at Davenport University!

LATEST FUNDED INITIATIVES Connecting Across Borders: Cultivating Shared Learning

presented by Dr. Chris Hamstra, Associate Department Chair, English/Communications, College of Arts and Sciences

This project offers the opportunity for faculty to learn and contribute in the global environment by developing a model for short-term, two-to-three-week courses, for international teaching and learning opportunities.

Dr. Stephen Snyder, Associate Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, Director of the Global Programs Office

DU Summer Math Camp

presented by Dr. Tim Pennings, Department Chair, Mathematics, College of Arts and Sciences and colleagues

A basic camp will be offered at the Holland campus for students, grades 9–12, who need assistance in mastering basic algebra; an advanced camp will be offered at the W.A. Lettinga Campus for advanced students, grades 9–12, who quickly master mathematics and are seeking something more challenging.

Michigan Business Professionals of America (BPA) Middle Level State Leadership Conference

presented by Ronald Draayer, Associate Professor, College of Technology

With the national reputation of Davenport’s highly successful collegiate BPA, Draayer serves as the state advisor for BPA’s efforts to pilot new programs at the middle school level. The University hosted the state of Michigan’s State Leadership Conference in early March.

Advancing a Research Agenda on Teacher Education

presented by Dr. Roque Neto, Department Chair, College of Urban Education

The project has three parts all related to new perspectives on problem-solving, working in teams and innovation and creativity in teacher education for Master’s in Urban Education candidates. DU Review 23


l e f t Regina receives her diploma from Chancellor Emeritus Donald Maine

FEATURE

b e l o w ( r t o l ) Regina, Emmanuel, Tari and her husband, Adrian, Mari and Donte

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“I was the teacher, and we went through math problem after math problem because it was my favorite subject. I sought refuge in school.”

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Moore excelled in her studies. In the 10th grade, she was selected to be in the advanced honors English course. One of her assignments was to write a story about her life. “I was only 15 at the time,” Moore recalled. “My teacher pulled me aside after reading the paper and asked me if it was true.” Her story was honest, but Moore wasn’t sure why he had asked. To her, it was just the story of her life.

Building a Legacy of Purpose

The teacher encouraged her to share her story to inspire others. Moore said, “That was the first time I realized my story was not like anyone else in the class.”

Regina Moore was born in Boston, Massachusetts into poverty, turbulence and uncertainty. Statistically, her odds of breaking out of the cycle of poverty were slim, but determination and grit were on her side. Moore found promise at Davenport University and changed not only her own life forever, but also the lives of her entire family. 24 24

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t age five, Moore became the only parent to her siblings when their mother abandoned them. They were taken in by a previously unknown grandmother. Instability marked her early childhood as she moved from home to home. At times, Moore cared for her younger brother and sister while a guardian worked. By the age of eight and for the next five years, she and her siblings were in foster care. Through the chaos of multiple homes, Moore found serenity and purpose in school.

“School became my haven at an early age. Whenever there was turmoil or uneasiness at home, I would go to the library and read book after book. Then I would go home and make my brother and sister play school with me,” Moore said.

The next year, Moore became a parent herself. She graduated from high school one year early and held the title of highest GPA among minority students which helped her receive a full-ride academic scholarship to college. Sadly, when administrators discovered that she had a baby, her scholarship was revoked, and she was unable to begin. At 17-years-old and only one month after graduation, Moore moved out of her adoptive parents’ home and got a job working as a nurse’s aide making $2.65 per hour. “Though it paid the rent, I realized that job wasn’t going to provide for my daughter the way I wanted to. I knew I had to go to college. My adoptive parents never talked about college. If it wasn’t for my high school counselor, I would have had no idea what college was.”


FEATURE A year later, the universe handed her a sign. She received a Davenport College pamphlet in the mail and told her two-year-old, “Let’s pursue computer programming, as I think computers are going to take over.” Moore also added a major in accounting. “I called the number and spoke with Admissions Representative Mary Kay Bethune. She helped me fill out the paperwork and find financial assistance through grants and scholarships. She was my saving grace.” In her first semester of college, Moore gained custody of her 15- and 16-yearold brother and sister. While maintaining a steady 3.07 GPA, she worked full-time and raised her daughter, as well as her 15- and 16-year-old siblings. Moore’s conviction about her education spilled over into her personal life. She remembers two conditions she set down before she married her daughter’s father: “I told him that no matter what, I’m going to school on time. Second, I don’t iron.” Moore earned her Associate Degree in Computer Information Systems and Programming in 1983. Six years and three children later, she separated from her husband. She decided to earn her Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Davenport to support her family. She worked full-time during the day, went to school at night and tutored other students. After Moore graduated with her bachelor’s degree, she moved her family to Atlanta to pursue a career as a staff accountant at National Linen Service, a Fortune 500 company. She was promoted to a systems manager role, which combined both of her degrees, after quickly learning the company’s new financial system. Next, she was recruited by The Home Depot corporate headquarters to be the

senior financial systems analyst, where she managed the Financial Systems Department, which included supporting nearly 2,000 accounting personnel. “My job at Home Depot was the best job I had ever had, but the time commitment conflicted severely with what was best for my family.” Moore moved back to Michigan so the boys could participate in sports with the help of their dad. She started working at Meijer as an internal auditor and then moved to the IT department where she helped to write the programs for the first gift card system. Concurrently, Moore started her own accounting and tax preparation company called Accurate Accounting to earn extra money for her family. Her business boomed, and she left Meijer to pursue entrepreneurship full-time.

at Ernst & Young in Chicago. Donte, Moore’s third child, has been with UPS for 12 years and serves as a Sunday school teacher. Emmanuel is in his 10th year at Stanley Steemer as a senior team leader and is planning to attend seminary school to become a youth pastor. Moore’s heart for educating children spilled over into the community as well. Her youngest child Emmanuel’s best friend RaSaun Knight needed a more stable home life and moved in with them while in high school. He was encouraged and inspired by seeing that all his friend’s siblings went to college. He graduated from the GR Police Academy and is currently a student at Davenport.

“Education was my family’s escape. I remember us studying as a family together. I learned at a young age that no one could take my knowledge away. They could take my home, my stuff and everything else I had, but not my knowledge. We found our purpose in knowing that knowledge would allow us to take care of ourselves.” Moore made sure to teach her four children the value of the education that she had received. One by one, she watched as they graduated high school and pursued higher education at notable institutions. After graduating from the University of Michigan on an academic scholarship, her eldest daughter Tari worked as a foster care coordinator in the same county where Moore had been a foster child. Her second daughter, Mari, moved home after college and worked for Moore’s accounting business—giving her a love for accounting that led her to pursue advanced degrees at DePaul University and the University of Illinois. She now works as a tax accountant

“The morning that I realized I was taking Emmanuel, my last one, to college, I cried happy tears. I fell to my knees in joy and thanked God. I did it … I broke the cycle.”

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Advance your education. Earn your next degree at DU! DU Review 25


FACULTY SPOTLIGHT

COLLEGE OF URBAN EDUCATION’S

Roque Neto Originally from Piauí, Brazil, Roque Neto arrived at Davenport University in the summer of 2014. He had learned about DU’s new College of Urban Education while attending the American Educational Research Association (AERA) annual meeting.

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hen I first heard Davenport was starting a College of Urban Education and hiring instructors, I became very excited,” Neto said. “I knew it was a once-in-alifetime chance to help build something from the ground up.”

With the first cohort now graduated, Neto recalled that his biggest challenge in the first year was forging a sense 26

of community among his students. Aware of how isolating teaching can be, Neto set out to turn the cohort into a community of trust where students bonded with each other. “Our candidates spend up to eight hours a day in the classroom with their own students, maybe having the chance to interact with other adults during lunch or a meeting, but maybe not,” explained Neto.


FEATURE “To have the first cohort be successful and set the stage for future cohorts, I nudged them to share more than the theories they were learning—to share something real, something personal.” Neto also reflected on the uniqueness of the program he now chairs. “We provide weekly classroom observations,” he declared. “That is a key differentiator from other programs. Recent studies show that classroom observations as part of a coaching process are the best professional development method for teachers.” With the fourth cohort set to begin this fall, Neto will teach four courses. One is a capstone-like course that discusses how to implement transformative change in schools. While the first cohort consisted exclusively of teachers from Grand Rapids Public Schools, this one will include candidates from several districts.

Neto’s work extends beyond the classroom. He received funding from the M.E. Davenport Legacy Endowment Fund for his Advancing a Research Agenda on Teacher Education project. This project includes three studies aimed at exploring new perspectives on problem solving, working in teams and innovation in teacher education. Neto’s main goal is to develop a body of knowledge that provides support to the learning processes developed by the College of Urban Education.

“I knew it was a once-in-alifetime chance to help build something from the ground up.” Roque Neto Neto working with the first cohort during a night class.

DU Review 27


DU Class Notes

Jenny Engelhard, ’09 BBA, joined Spectrum Health as a patient access representative in Grand Rapids. Robert Engle, ’01 AS, ’02 BAS, ’07 MBA, was nominated by the North Carolina District Export Council as an outstanding small business exporter in North Carolina. Kathryn Gadbois, ’12 BS, joined Kreis, Enderle, Hudgins & Borsos, P.C. as an associate attorney in Portage.

Ann Vidro ’91 AS, ’96 BBA, Beverly Wall, ’77 AS, Elizabeth Rosario, ’01 AS, ’05 BS, Leandra Williams ’08 BBA, ’12 MBA, were recognized as finalists by the Grand Rapids Business Journal’s Top Women Owned Businesses.

Jason Gless, ’05 ABA, ’09 BBA, ’16 MBA, is the president of Gless Industries in Grand Rapids. Sarah Gombar, ’13 BBA, joined Madonna University as the assistant director of residence life in Livonia.

PROFESSIONAL Andrew Anderson, ’08 MBA, received a gold pyramid award for business to business promotional marketing excellence at the Promotional Products Association International Conference in Las Vegas, NV. Steve Axdorff, ’89 BBA, is a mortgage banker at Dart Bank in Grand Rapids. Marlene Beach, ’89 AS, ’93 BBA, was promoted from manager to senior manager at UHY Advisors, Inc. in Farmington Hills. Michael Biondi, ’72 BS, retired from Lockheed Martin/GE-Aerospace in April 2015 after 421/2 years. 28 28

Jodi Blystra, ’09 AAS, ’12 AAS, joined Spectrum Health Medical Group, Zeeland Pediatrics as a medical assistant in Zeeland. Tor’i Brooks, ’15 BBA, joined the Grand Rapids Urban League as a youth specialist in Grand Rapids. Nicole Cook, ’09 BBA, joined Spectrum Health as a senior event specialist in Grand Rapids. Lawrence Corser, ’16 BBA, joined the Kent District Library as a general accountant in Grand Rapids. Benjamin Dean, ’15 BBA, joined Service Express, Inc. in a sales and business development role.

Craig Hankinson, ’88 BBA, was recently appointed to the chief operating officer role at Macatawa Bank in Holland.


CLASS NOTES

Darlene Herndon, ’91 ABA, is a software quality assurance engineer at deciBel Research, Inc. in Huntsville, Alabama. Jessica Hodges, ’06 MBA, joined the National Cherry Festival as an administrative manager in Traverse City. Barb Huston, ’68 AS, ’90 BBA, ’12 MBA, retired from Davenport after a 32-year career as the director of academic services online and at the Traverse City Campus. Amanda Kerman, ’06 BBA, is a financial analyst at L-3 Avionics Systems in Grand Rapids. Derrick King, ’09 BBA, joined the Michigan Sports Academies as the director of basketball operations in Grand Rapids. Hannah Maroe, ’16 BBA, was promoted to account manager at ITS Partners in Grand Rapids. Daniel Moulton, ’08 BBA, joined WASH Multifamily Laundry Systems as a district sales manager in Grand Rapids.

Alex Merz, ’14 BBA, is a mortgage loan officer at Macatawa Bank in Wyoming.

Wendy Morrow, ’91 AS, ’93 BBA, joined Grand Haven Custom Molding as the chief financial officer.

James Nelson, ’12 BBA, is a communication specialist at Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids.

Kakha Urigashvili, ’11 BBA, joined Conversant LLC as a software engineer in Chicago, Illinois.

Laura Oblinger, ’00 BAS, ’16 MBA, joined Rehmann as director of client services in Traverse City.

Carrie Vosburg, ’08 BBA, joined Ranir in a trade marketing role in Grand Rapids.

Kathleen Paye, ’14 BBA, was named the executive director of the National Cherry Festival in Traverse City.

Justin R. Wheeler, ’12 ABA, ’13 BBA, joined Kreis, Enderle, Hudgins & Borsos, P.C. as an associate attorney in Grand Rapids.

Shannon Rose, ’07 BBA, ’10 MBA, joined the University of South Dakota as an accounting assistant. Don Scott, ’90 AS, joined Five Star Realty as an associate broker in Grand Rapids. Aldina Sejdovic, ’11 BBA, was honored as Employee of the Year at Lake Michigan Credit Union in Grand Rapids.

Dichondra Johnson, ’06 MBA, joined the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) as a business development manager in Wayne County.

Bryan Tilburt, ’89 ABA, ’91 BBA, is a controller at Acrofab, Inc. in Zeeland.

John Williams, ’94 AS, is a manufacturing manager at SAERTEX USA in Charlotte, North Carolina Marie Woodard, ’81 AS, ’94 BBA, recently started a marketing consulting firm called My Marketing Professional in Grand Rapids. Joellen (Geisenhaver) Wright, ’85 AS, ’88 BBA, was named senior vice president of the Michigan Bankers Association Service Corporation (MBASC) in Lansing.

DU Review 29


DU Class Notes

ENGAGEMENTS & MARRIAGES Karlee (Despres) Muilenberg, ’13 BBA, and Marc Muilenberg, ’14 ABA, ’15 BBA, married on Friday, September 2 in Grand Rapids. Holly (Smith) Engel, ’09 BBA, and Hunter Engel married on January 14, 2017 in Saugatuck.

IN MEMORIAM Malcolm Balk, ’69 AS, passed away on December 15, 2016. Fred S. Chivis, Jr., ’89 AS, passed away on February 1, 2017. Alice L. Lee, ’42 Diploma, passed away on February 15, 2017. Neva G. Taglauer, ’96 AAS, passed away on February 17, 2017. Joshua Valencourt, ’14 MBA, passed away on October 30, 2016.

Carl W. Eschels ’39, Davenport University’s longest-living alumnus, passed away at the age of 97 on December 23, 2016. Carl earned his diploma in accounting from then Davenport–McLachlan Institute. Carl served in the Army Air Corps. He earned six battle stars and was promoted to captain in the finance department. After the war, Carl went to work for Rapistan (now Dematic) ultimately advancing in the company for 38 years before retiring. Carl was an active community volunteer and was honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award in 1994. Carl was a true example of M.E. Davenport’s motto, “Make a Living, Make a Life, Make a Contribution.”

John Myaard was an alumnus of Davenport College, class of 1955. He served honorably in the U.S. Navy and had a successful career as a financial agent and advisor with Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company. As a certified life underwriter (CLU), he employed several Davenport graduates in his firm over the years. He received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 1991 for his professional accomplishments and service to the community and served on the Davenport University Board of Trustees. Through a planned gift, Mr. Myaard’s estate will add to the generous scholarship he established at Davenport during his lifetime.

KEEP IN TOUCH! LEGACY NOTE

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Stay connected! Update your information.

Share news with your fellow alumni by updating your alumni records. We know exciting things are happening to our graduates around the world, and we want to share! Email us at alumni@davenport.edu or visit davenport.edu/classnotes DUAlumni

davenport.edu/classnotes


14 WAYS TO LEAVE A LEGACY

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Mentor DU students

LEGACY NOTE

Throughout this issue, we’ve sprinkled our top ways to leave a legacy at Davenport University. Let’s get creative

05

Plan ahead – leave Davenport in your estate

in setting up your legacy!

LEGACY NOTE

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Refer a future Panther

02

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Join an alumni club or create one in your area

07

LEGACY NOTE

Hire DU students as interns or employees LEGACY NOTE

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Support future leaders by giving to scholarships & programs

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Advance your education. Earn your next degree at DU!

Give to the annual fund

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Volunteer to speak at alumni & student events

LEGACY NOTE

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Honor your favorite professor by creating a scholarship

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Stay connected! Update your information.

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Attend Homecoming

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Attend a Panther athletic event

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Visit the W.A. Lettinga campus to tour the Donald W. Maine College of Business Building

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Visit davenport.edu/alumni to learn more or email the Alumni and Development Office at alumni@davenport.edu

DU Review 31


6191 Kraft Avenue Grand Rapids, Michigan 49512

Save the Dates AUGUST

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DAVENPORT UNIVERSITY SCHOLARSHIP GOLF CLASSIC

OCTOBER

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HOMECOMING 2017 Alumni Awards Ceremony Friday, October 13, 2017 Robert W. Sneden Center; W.A. Lettinga Campus

Monday, August 21, 2017 Egypt Valley Country Club davenport.edu/golf OCTOBER

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Homecoming Tailgate and Football Game Saturday, October 14, 2017 Farmers Insurance Athletic Complex davenport.edu/homecoming

LEGACY NOTE

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Attend Homecoming

DU Review - Spring 2017  

Stories about legacy, tradition and promise at Davenport University

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