Grand Valley Lanthorn vol. 56 no. 17

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World of Winter Sculptures around the world unite

Belinda Lin Bardwell and her support of GV’s Native community Grand Valley Esports Rocket League shocks fans in conference debut



Courtesy of M O N D A Y, J A N U A RY 1 0, 2 02 2 // VO L . 5 6 N O. 1 7

@ GV L A N T H O R N


A2 | NEWS NEWS BRIEFS GV COVID-19 CAMPUS DATA UPDATE The Grand Valley State University community has had a cumulative total of 5,340 cases since Aug. 1, 2020. The university’s update for this brief was from Friday, Jan. 7. Through testing results this past week, GVSU’s Virus Action team have so far reported 467 current active cases including 17 faculty members, 51 staff members, 67 on-campus students, 188 “off-campus Ottawa” students, 127 “off-campus Kent” students and 17 “off-campus other” students with active COVID-19 cases. “Current active cases” is the count of positive cases reported to the Virus Action Team over the past 10 days. This is an estimate of those currently in isolation, assuming a ten-day symptomatic period following the reporting of a positive test result. Actual periods of isolation are specific to the individual and determined by the county health department.


GVSU encourages all students, faculty and staff to receive the COVID-19 vaccination as soon as possible. All students, faculty and staff are required to be fully vaccinated, barring a medical or religious exemption or postponement. According to the COVID-19 data dashboard, an 80% vaccination rate in the GVSU community is required to reach herd immunity and minimal virus transmission.


GVSU’s own testing program has performed 115,768 tests overall since Aug. 1, 2020, for a cumulative positivity rate of 16.77% from the latest update as of last week. A total of 495 tests were performed over the last seven days. “GV Surveillance” includes the GV/ Spectrum administered programs of randomized testing, regular testing of high-risk groups, and invited testing of individuals connected to potential clusters. A calendar is available. “GV Total” includes surveillance testing plus all symptomatic/exposure tests administered by Spectrum.



As students and staff return for another semester at Grand Valley State University, the campus community’s Student Senate is preparing to take action and return to legislating. Coming off the heels of the fall 2021 semester in which the Senate investigated issues from Open Educational Resources (OER) to the university’s latest tuition hike, new initiatives are coming into play. This semester, its legislative arms are gearing up for further outreach into the campus community. Vice President for Public Relations, Eldon Pearson, said the various committees will also be collaborating on hosting events and promoting Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Black History Month and Women’s Month. While various senators and committees resume their work, Senate leadership is aiming for collaborative action of its own. “President (Autumn) Mueller will also be hosting a past Presidents panel discussion with former Student Senate Presidents about Student Senate, work that has been done, what can still be done, etc.,” Pearson said. Changes within the university’s administration will also come into play as the Senate continues to work in tandem with officials. While still on the lookout for a new Provost, the university has hired Jennifer Hall-Jones as its first Vice President for

UPCOMING: The Grand Valley Student Senate already has plans in the works for the winter 2022 semester. More events will be hosted, panel discussions held, and action taken. GVL | ARCHIVES

Student Affairs. The move signals an attempt to amplify student voices in university considerations. According to the university website, Hall-Jones will work in part to bring student concerns to the forefront within the administration. This means that the new position will likely work closely with the Student Senate and is striking an optimistic tone amongst its members. “We are also enthusiastic to be working with the new Provost and Vice President of

Student Affairs,” Pearson said. In addition to future plans, the senate’s agenda will also include actions and discussions surrounding ongoing campus concerns. A priority set by the senate at the end of last semester is one that has proven to be a persistent topic for the senate’s current administration: campus dining. LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE


GV appoints first VP for Student Affairs BY PAYTON BRAZZIL NEWS@LANTHORN.COM


Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. (DGRI) recently began a new pilot program tracking air quality in Downtown Grand Rapids and nearby neighborhoods. JustAir sensors have been set up around the area to measure air quality in neighborhoods, and give the community an ability to see, measure and report the air quality in their area. Due to there being differences in air quality between neighborhoods, JustAir hopes to use the data collected by the sensors to find ways to improve air quality for all.


NEW: GVSU appointed its first Vice President for Student Affairs, Dr. Jennifer Hall-Jones. She was chosen out of four candidates. COURTESY | GVSU

​​Grand Valley State University has appointed its first Vice President for Stu-

dent Affairs, Dr. Jennifer Hall-Jones. GVSU has recently transitioned the position of Vice Provost for Student Affairs to Vice President for Student Affairs. According to the GVSU webpage, this move will create the Division of Student Affairs which will elevate students’ voices and meet their diverse needs. The new position and the updated Student Affairs structure is meant to provide a more high-quality, equitable education that prepares students for a lifetime of learning. Acting Vice President for Student Affairs, and Dean of Students, Aaron Haight said the new position will help students by putting them and their voices first. “This prioritizes the student experience and student support for the university,” Haight said. “This position brings the student voice to the President’s senior leadership team.” Hall-Jones was chosen out of the four candidates that came to GVSU to interview for the new position. In a press release, President Philomena V. Mantella said that Hall-Jones’ focus on student-wellbeing and her experience is what distinguished her from the other candidates.

“Jenny has extensive experience working at all levels of student affairs,” Mantella said. “She has risen through the ranks at her current university, which gives her incredible depth. She is committed to inclusion and is an advocate for students, in keeping with our mission.” Hall-Jones said she discovered her passion of working with students when she became a resident assistant (RA) during her second year at Ohio University. Hall-Jones graduated from Ohio University three separate times with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with an emphasis in Criminology, a Master of Education degree in College Student Personnel and a Ph. D. in Higher Education. She has worked for 25 years at Ohio University beginning as a RA, moving through the Dean’s office and eventually becoming the Senior Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students in May of 2012. Haight said GVSU is excited to work with Hall-Jones. LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE




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VOL. 56

NO. 16


Videographer KATE KIRBY

Editor-in-Chief ZACK GOODROW

Layout Editor KHOI TRAN

Associate Editor AUDREY WHITAKER Associate Editor XAVIER GOLDEN News Editor MARY DUPUIS Sports Editor HOLLY BIHLMAN


Laker Life Editor JACOB DEWEERD A&E Editor



Image Editor MEGHAN LANGREN Multimedia Editor-

Business Manager MORGAN JOHNSTON Asst. Business Manager LUKE KREGER


At the Lanthorn, we strive to bring you the most accurate news possible. If we make a mistake, we want to make it right. If you find any errors in fact in the Lanthorn, let us know by calling 616-331-2464 or by emailing The Grand Valley Lanthorn is published weekly by Grand Valley State University students 31 times a year. One copy of this newspaper is available free of charge to any member of the Grand Valley Community. For additional copies, at $1 each, please contact our business offices.


GV recommends, does not require booster BY ELIZABETH SCHANZ NEWS@LANTHORN.COM

With the recent increase in COVID-19 cases across the country, many universities in Michigan such as Michigan State University, the University of Michigan and Wayne State University are requiring their students to receive the COVID-19 vaccine booster as part of their vaccine policy for the semester. As of now Grand Valley State University is suggesting, rather than mandating, that students receive the booster shot. At the end of Dec. 2021, 87% of the GVSU community reported being fully vaccinated with the remaining individuals in compliance with the exemption or postponements approvals. However, additional precautions are being considered. Greg Sanial, Vice President of Finance and Administration and Director of the Virus Action Team (VAT), said the team is not opposed to making the booster a requirement, should they deem it necessary for the safety of the campus community. “The Virus Action Team will continue to monitor if boosters will be required, taking into account key indicators from our campus community and surrounding community,” Sanial said. Hannah Michalik, a sophomore at GVSU, has already received her dose of the

MANDATE: As of now, Grand Valley State University will not be mandating booster shots for the winter semester. The Virus Action Team recommends that students get the booster. COURTESY | GVSU

COVID-19 vaccine booster and said she hopes that it will help protect her as she has a weakened immune system. “I would feel better if the booster was required but I don’t think they can do that yet,” Michalik said. Even without a booster mandate, GVSU is offering a vaccine clinic that will take place

on Jan. 11 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the second day of the new semester. Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines will be available for students who have scheduled an appointment. LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE


GV set to resume in-person learning for winter 2022 BY GILLIAN HANTON NEWS@LANTHORN.COM

With the recent spike in COVID-19 cases, schools, businesses and other organizations have struggled to finalize their plans for 2022. Universities across the country have continued to debate whether or not to implement online instruction for the winter semester.

The new year has brought about a wave of COVID-19 cases, many of which have been identified as the new Omicron variant, to Michigan residents. Between Jan. 3 and Jan. 5, Michigan public health officials reported a 13,673 new case average per day, one of the highest reported since the start of the pandemic. In addition to this, the positivity rate skyrocketed to nearly 23% during the first

The Lanthorn is published on recycled paper and is printed with soy bean ink. This means that our newspaper is entirely compostable. Help us do our part to be kind to the environment by recycling or composting this newspaper after you enjoy reading it. POSTMASTER: Please send form 3579 to: Grand Valley Lanthorn 0051 Kirkhof Center Grand Valley State University Allendale, MI 49401

week of January, raising the COVID-19 alert level to “severe” in Michigan. Due to this increase in new infections, Michigan universities have responded by starting the winter 2022 semester with virtual learning. Michigan colleges such as Wayne State University, Oakland University and Michigan State University announced their classes will be held virtually for most of January to ensure the safety of students and faculty. However, other universities have opted to continue in-person learning, including Grand Valley State University. On Jan. 5, President Philomena Mantella announced via email that face-to-face instruction will continue as planned for the winter semester, with specified safety procedures. LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE

RETURN: Grand Valley will be starting the semester with in-person classes. According to the Virus Action Team, the university is currently at Alert Level 3 with some modifications. COURTESY | GVSU




Winter semester COVID-19 policy creates cause for concern


Review: “Spider-Man: No Way Home” is a web of nostalgia


As one of the most popular superheroes in the world, “Spi-

der-Man: No Way Home” was also going to be a commercial success. The film has already grossed over $1.16 billion. While a typical Spidey adventure featuring a brandnew villain would be profitable, “No Way Home” is acclaimed for its integration of several former actors in charters from previous Spider-Man series. The new Spider-Man film follows the typical Marvel format; dynamic action-sequences, clever one-liners and interactions between characters and villains from other series in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This formula has

been extremely successful for the MCU as the franchise led into the final Avengers movie. Several years later, the blueprint has run dry and “No Way Home” brings a superb idea to revitalize it. Integrating the likes of Andrew Garfield, Tobey Maguire, Willem Dafoe, Alfred Molina and Jamie Foxx to reprise their former roles makes this movie fresh and it’s extremely well done. “No Way Home” is a distinguished and entertaining film that is easily one of the best movies of 2021. LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE

One year after Jan. 6 insurrection, voter fraud narrative continues


Each year for the past fourteen years, my alma mater has brought the entire community together for one night and one night only. Thousands and thousands of people come together underneath the Friday night lights at

Bob Perry Field to raise awareness for something much larger than us. In 2008, the Lowell High School football coach at the time, Noel Dean, came up with the idea to turn our Red Arrows pink in an effort to raise money and awareness for those who have been affected by cancer. The concept was simple. A football game is played, with pink jerseys that honor loved ones who died, survived, or are currently fighting cancer, thousands of pink thundersticks roar in the air, and the entire stadium turns into a massive sea of pink. Thanks to the hard work of volunteers and members of the community, Pink Arrow raised $93,000 to give to charities its first year. Since then, Pink Arrow Pride has not only brought more awareness to cancer and how it has impacted our community, but demonstrates the

important values of family, kindness, service, and community. Simply put, there is more to life than winning a silly high school football game. Over the last fourteen years, their main focus has been to continue raising awareness in an effort to find a treatment and cure for cancer. A question to consider, how have they been raising awareness for something so powerful? Every year, the Pink Arrow Pride Project designs pink T-shirts that are sold to the community. The unique thing about these shirts is that every single year is a different shade of pink. LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE

Since it was first detected in the U.S. on Dec.1, 2021, the COVID-19 omicron variant has become the most dominant strain of the virus in the country, making up over 95% of COVID-19 cases as of Jan. 1, 2022. Omicron is more contagious than previous COVID-19 strains like delta, and even those who have been fully vaccinated and received a booster dose of the vaccine may still become infected and spread the virus. COVID-19 infections have surged over the last month on national, state and local levels. While symptoms of the omicron variant have been described as “mild,” those who are unvaccinated or immunocompromised are more likely to be hospitalized due to the virus. In Ottawa county, the percentage of occupied hospital beds has remained between 60% and 80% for the last 21 days. As of Jan. 7, 79.7% of beds were occupied. 29% to 34% of those beds were occupied by COVID-19 patients. According to data from the Mayo Clinic, Ottawa County averages 375 COVID-19 cases per day, while Kent County averages 1,099. At the same time, Michigan is facing a shortage of monoclonal antibody doses, the

only effective treatment for omicron. In the college sphere, the debate between in-person and online learning remains, despite the pandemic having gone on for almost two years, and three full semesters. Due to the surge in COVID-19 in Michigan, Oakland University, Wayne State University, Eastern Michigan University and Michigan State University have delayed in-person classes at the beginning of the semester, opting to hold classes virtually. MSU, Wayne State and the University of Michigan are also requiring students and staff to receive a COVID-19 booster shot. After these decisions were announced, students and staff at Grand Valley State University wondered what the university’s response might be. On Jan. 5, President Philomena Mantella sent out an email explaining the university’s decision to return from break with in-person classes, without a booster mandate, as planned.


Letter to the editor should include the author’s full name, relevant title and a headshot, along with a valid email address and phone number for confirming the identity of the author. Letters should be approximately 500-650 words in length, and they are not edited by the Lanthorn staff except to fix technical errors or to clarify. Reader submissions on the opinion page appear as space permits. To make a submission, email or drop your submission off in person at:

The goal of the Grand Valley Lanthorn’s opinion page is to act as a forum for public discussion, comment and criticism in the Grand Valley State University community. Student and columnist opinions published here do not necessarily reflect those of the paper as an entity. The Lanthorn strives to be a safe vehicle for community discussion. With this in mind, the Lanthorn will not publish or entertain any forms of hate speech, but neither will it discriminate against any other views, opinions or beliefs. The content, information and views expressed are not approved by-nor do they necessarily represent those of-the university or its Board of Trustees, officers, faculty or staff.





In memoriam of Esther Padnos

e v i t a m r o f n i y l d d o the ! z i u q s w ne PHILANTHROPY: Esther and Seymour Padnos supported Grand Valley State University and other West Michigan organizations through the Esther and Seymour Padnos Foundation. COURTESY | GVSU BY GRACE SMITH NEWS@LANTHORN.COM

The Grand Valley State University community joined West Michigan in mourning the death of philanthropist Esther Padnos on Dec. 19, 2021, at 93 years old. A Grand Rapids native, Padnos touched the lives of those around her through her endeavors and her support of GVSU. Arend Lubbers, President Emeritus at GVSU, said the community will miss the light she emanated. “Esther’s gentle and compassionate nature, and her sincere interest in helping students and others in West Michigan, have marked her as one of the area’s philanthropic leaders,” Lubbers said. “We will always remember her with gratitude.” Padnos was passionate about bringing opportunities for advancement to West Michigan science, engineering, and mathematics students. With her late husband, Seymour K. Padnos, Esther’s philanthropic endeavors led to the creation of GVSU’s Padnos Hall of Science, and the Padnos College of Engineering and Computing. Padnos also devoted her time to combating the national shortage of nurses. In 2007, she established the Esther R. Padnos Nursing Scholarship. This scholarship has allowed many GVSU students in the accelerated nursing program to overcome financial barriers and complete their degrees. Over Esther and Seymour’s many years of support through the Esther and Seymour Padnos Foundation, GVSU was able to vastly expand their STEM programs, accelerating the regional talent pipeline

for these fields. Padnos was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letter from GVSU in 1996 for her support of the university and the greater Grand Rapids community. She was also awarded the Grand Steward Award at the annual Enrichment Dinner in 2011 for her significant leadership and service to GVSU. “Esther’s loyal support for Grand Valley students for more than 30 years has changed the lives of thousands of students,” President Philomena V. Mantella wrote in a Tweet. “She will be remembered as a significant part of our history, with a legacy that will stretch far into the future. She will be missed.” The Esther and Seymour Padnos Foundation also supported Hadassah (a religious women’s organization), Michigan Maritime Museum, Indian Trails Camps, the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation and others. In addition to this, Padnos was a member of the Temple Emanuel in Grand Rapids for more than 70 years. Along with being so involved in her community, Padnos was also a mother, and grandmother. She had four children, Mitchell, Shelly, Bill, and Cindy and a grandson, Louis. The Padnos Family legacy has continued on to them, as their charitable donations have allowed for the formation of the Padnos International Center, the Padnos/ Sarosik Center for Civil Discourse, and the Padnos Student Gallery. LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE

Saturdays at 10AM on WGVU NPR 88.5/ 95.3FM streaming online at



SUBMERGENCE: Art exhibits are now popping up in Grand Rapids for the annual World of Winter festival featuring art from creators around the globe allowing for an interactive experience. GVL | SABRINA EDWARDS

GR residents face the cold for World of Winter BY SABRINA EDWARDS ARTS@LANTHORN.COM

The familiar lights of World of Winter are back in Downtown Grand Rapids this year. However, in addition to those returning from last year, there are new installations. World of Winter is an annual event, spread out through Grand Rapids that features over 40 art installations and over 50 ice sculptures. Some sculptures have already been put up, with more being installed this upcoming week. Sculptures have been brought in from artists around the globe including from Spain, Australia, the United Kingdom and Germany. Currently, there are three featured sculptures up for attendees to see. All of the installations will remain until March 6 and have been put up already or will be installed on Jan. 14. The Light Maze is a hexagon-shaped neon-lit acrylic maze, in partnership with the Xiemenez Group from Spain. The exhibit is

located at 555 Monroe and offers attendees an immersive experience. The other interactive piece that is already up is titled “Submergence,” which is a walkthrough exhibit created by SquidSoup. This piece is on the Gillett Bridge, featuring hanging lights that attendees can walk under. Giant inflatable bunnies have taken over the lawn at Ab-Nab-Awen Park. “Bunnies of Intrude,” from Parer Studio in Australia has two stories behind their piece. Rabbits are a species that has been introduced to Australia and since have caused an imbalance to the counties ecosystem. However, Parer does mention on the World of Winter website that this piece is also a contradiction. Normally rabbits represent animals from their childhood but in this piece they also promote an environmental message. “As someone who works downtown seeing the exhibitions after I get off work is really cool,” said Shawna Mullenix, a World of Winter attendee. “I work at the GRAM so it’s fun to see a different type of art.”

Two more featured installations will be put up on Jan. 14, both are in partnership with Amigo & Amigo from Australia. The Trumpet Flowers will be at Ab-Nab-Awen Park. Each individual trumpet will have interactive keys that allows the user to play them, turning the flowers into a musical instrument. The other Jan. 14 installation is another interactive piece, which will be outside of the Grand Rapids Public Museum; the Crank Zappa Jellyfish, a giant sculpture made out of plastic waste. 1,000 plastic bags, straws and 800 bottles went into making the jellyfish, which lights up and animates when touched, it also works to educate the public on plastic waste. “I was most excited to see the jellyfish, but we didn’t look at the dates before we came down so I will definitely be coming back to see that,” said Marcus Eckert, a World of Winter attendee. While the art exhibits are a main event to World of Winter many are drawn to smaller events that are put on during this festival of

BUNNIES: The rabbits at Ab-Nab-Awen Park have two meanings, showcasing the childlike whimsy of rabbits and their impact environmentally. GVL | SABRINA EDWARDS

ENVIRONMENTAL: These inflatable rabbits also bring awareness to the issues they bring to the environment in Australia as an invasive species. GVL | SABRINA EDWARDS

frozen fun. There are events for people of all ages, whether that be drag shows, ice sculpture tours, silent discos or ice skating. “I didn’t even know this event was a thing because I don’t come downtown a lot,” said Nina Wolterstorff, a first-time attendee. “I was looking at all the events and I was surprised to see how many events there are. I’m most excited to check out the drag show.” This festival celebrates different cultures and has many events about the new Chinese Zodiac Year of the Tiger. All of these events are free to the public and will last until March. Those who are interested can view for dates and times of every event.

LIGHT MAZE: With many of the sculptures being interactive, the light maze is as well. World of Winter attendees can walk through the maze, taking in the changing neon lights and the reflection from the other sections, creating an immersive experience for all involved in the maze at the same time. GVL | SABRINA EDWARDS




Office of Student Life moves forward with ‘ReIgnite’ program BY LAUREN FORMOSA NEWS@LANTHORN.COM

Grand Valley State University’s Office of Student Life is moving forward with their plans to hold “ReIgnite,” the official group training and resource program for members of student organizations’ executive boards. The event will be held in two sessions, the first on Jan. 14, and the second on Jan. 24. The Office of Student Life requires at least one executive board (eboard) member of each student organization to attend the program, not including club sports or graduate organizations. ReIgnite’s program includes five different interactive workshops student leaders can attend, such as finance and funding, event planning, officer transitions, on-campus volunteering and leadership skills. Brianna Slager, Assistant Director of Student Organizations, said based on feedback from fall semester’s Ignite program, the Office of Student Life has made adjustments to better fit the needs of its students. “We got a ton of feedback on doing more presentations that were specific to operations of student organizations and what they’re handling,” Slager said. “We’ve noticed, due to the pandemic, that a lot of our student leaders have not traveled, they have not had a

fundraiser on campus and there’s this gap of knowledge of what the Office of Student Life can provide and help them with and what they have access to.” Although ReIgnite has been moved to a virtual format due to COVID-19 restrictions, Slager and the Office of Student Life are still working to make the workshops as interactive and engaging as possible for student leaders. The Office of Student Life is encouraging any and all eboard members to attend and get involved with the ReIgnite workshops, especially now that the event has moved online and can host more attendees. During the session, student leaders will be able to rotate into different breakout rooms for each workshop. While student leaders can expect to gain information such as how to properly fill out funding forms, they can also expect to connect and network with other student organizations. “Looking at it from a student development perspective, having that connection piece is so important to see that there are other students on campus that are going through the same thing as me, that are trying to plan events, that are trying to find funding to go to this conference or try to find different things,” Slager said. Slager said she is hoping to get construc-

ORGANIZATION: Grand Valley State University eboard leaders of student organizations are required to attend the virtual ReIgnite event held by the Office of Student Life this January. COURTESY | GVSU

tive feedback from ReIgnite attendees about how the program can evolve and better suit student organizations’ needs next year. “Moving forward, we are trying to make ReIgnite more relationship-based and connection-based,” Slager said. “We know how important student orgs are to campus, they’re the light that makes our campus so vibrant.” While ReIgnite does focus on commu-

nication, networking and other important leadership skills, Slager wants attendees to understand just how important of a resource the Office of Student Life can be for student organizations. LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE


Belinda Lin Bardwell and her support of GV’s Native community BY JAMIE WILSON NEWS@LANTHORN.COM

Belinda Lin Bardwell, a member of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Natives and program coordinator with the Office of Multicultural Affairs at Grand Valley State University since 2019, has spent her time on campus inspiring youth and young adults to embrace their heritage, and grow confident

in who they are. However, she endured many challenges to get to where she is today. Bardwell started her journey in Grand Rapids Public Schools in the Native American Education Program in the early 2000s. Bardwell said she struggled, like so many other Native American students, to complete college while having to overcome the various common struggles of Native

CULTURE: Belinda Lin Bardwell, program coordinator for the Office of Multicultural Affairs at GV, has made it her mission to help Native students throughout their educational journey. COURTESY | GVSU

American students. Some of these struggles include unconventional family dynamics, intergenerational trauma from boarding schools that abused and attempted to assimilate Indigenous students and the absence of Native American culture and history in school curriculum, Bardwell said. In time, Bardwell obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and now uses her experiences to help students that are now in the position that she once was. “I’m trying to be that person I didn’t have in all my attempts at finishing my degree and a big part of that is just having your own community on campus,” Bardwell said. Bardwell has gone on to work with both Indigenous and Non-indigenous faculty and staff members, as well as Indigenous community members, in a group formally known as the Native American Advisory Council at GVSU. The Council’s momentum helped it to gain support from the Division of Inclusion and Equity, which contracted Bardwell to conduct research on how to best support the council at GVSU. Bardwell said this work has fostered

relationships and programs in which communities for Native American students could be built, and allowed Bardwell the opportunity to form the Mno’Chigewin Student Success Program. The program began by supporting high school students on their journey to higher education and in 2017, launched the first Anishinaabe Summer Leadership Camp. During their first year, a Native American student in the camp committed to going to GVSU. Today, he is in his junior year at the university. Bardwell hopes to reopen this program this summer. “When students leave their home communities, they come to an all-white, colonial-style institution in which their innate ways of being are frowned upon,” Bardwell said. “I’m trying to offer cultural, spiritual and linguistic guidance to our students within the Native communities in Western Michigan.” LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE



A LOOK AT LIFESTYLE LEARN INDOOR ROCK CLIMBING AND BELAYING AT THE CLIMBING CENTER On Wednesday Jan. 12, students can get a formal introduction to the world of indoor rock climbing. The instructional session will take place from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Climbing Center. Topics like routes, rating systems, basic equipment, and movement fundamentals will be covered. Students will also receive training on belaying before the end of the session. No previous climbing knowledge or equipment is necessary for participation, and equipment will be provided as needed.


In partnership with the Ottawa County Department of Public Health, Recreation & Wellness is offering monthly free, confidential STI testing at the Holton-Hooker Living Center. The first testing session is Wednesday Jan. 12 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., and testing will continue to be offered on the second Wednesday of each month at the same time. Testing will continue as university protocols and testing supplies allow. Students will need to wear a face covering and complete their self-assessment before getting tested.


The Frederik Meijer Office of Fellowships is hosting weekly virtual information sessions on fellowships and study abroad opportunities. The first session is being held Wednesday Jan. 12 on Zoom and will take place from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Topics covered at these information sessions will include competitive, federally funded support programs for undergraduate students studying abroad. The Office of Fellowships will also discuss non-GVSU opportunities for studying abroad and intensive language study.

LEARN HOW TO PRACTICE AND PREPARE FOR JOB INTERVIEWS The Career Center is giving a presentation in the Kirkhof Center on interview preparation and practice. The event is hosted by the Pre-Radiologic and Imaging Sciences Student Organization. The presentation, which is scheduled for Thursday Jan. 13 from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. will cover any questions students have about the interview process and will also allow students to practice interview questions with presenters. As job interviews start ramping up in the next few months, this is a great time to start practicing.


GV Esports Club hosting Davenport for grand opening BY JACOB DEWEERD LAKERLIFE@LANTHORN.COM

The Grand Valley State University Esports Club is hosting the Davenport University Esports team to celebrate the grand opening of the Laker Esports Center (LEC) on Tuesday, Jan. 18. The two clubs will face off at the LEC, located in the basement of the Kirkhof Center, and compete in an exhibition Rocket League match. President Mantella will attend the event and make remarks. The Esports Club, which is composed of casual and competitive esports teams, has seen growth in several areas over the past year, the most notable being the structure of the club. Esports Coordinator Chris Bilski, who arrived at GVSU in October, has been focused on organizing the many esports clubs on campus into one cohesive group. “It was a bit scattered before I came here, and since I have, the clubs have all unified under one esports club and moving forward, we’re cleaning up a lot of the things that were a bit messy surrounding esports here on campus,” Bilski said. Bilski, who has worked in esports since 2016, was the Director of Esports at Muskingum University where he led the team to two ECAC Championships. He was also a part of the 2020 Collegiate League of Legends Selection Committee and brings consulting expe-

rience from working with other high schools and universities. “The students finally have somebody who has experience in building and managing esports programs, so they finally have an ally on campus,” Bilski said. “They have somebody that they can turn to for help and questions, so I’m here to help and support them.” Second-year student Ryan Forman, who is a member of the Rocket League club’s A Team, joined the club before Bilski’s arrival. He spoke about how special the program al-

ready was when he joined in 2020. “When I was looking for colleges, I was actually being actively recruited for esports,” Forman said. “I was enticed to see what kind of program was held at GV. It was a club at the time, but I was able to join the Discord and meet the people in the club. I loved many of the connections that I had made, and since then I’ve participated.” LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE


Student organizations ready for Campus Life Night MELIA WILLIAMS LAKERLIFE@LANTHORN.COM

Campus Life Night gives Grand Valley State University students a look into all of the clubs and organizations available for them to join. The event is held twice each year at GVSU, once during both the fall and winter semesters. On Jan. 14, more than 300 registered student organizations and their leaders will have tables set up in the Fieldhouse Arena to explain the benefits of joining

GET CPR, AED, AND FIRST AID TRAINING On Friday Jan. 14, Recreation & Wellness, in partnership with American Red Cross, is providing blended learning courses on CPR, AED and First Aid training. The first course of the semester will take place from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., and more courses will be offered weekly in January and February. Attendees can choose between three different blended learning courses: • Adult CPR and AED • Adult First Aid, CPR, and AED • Adult and Pediatric First Aid, CPR, and AED

COMPETITION: GVSU Esports Club is hosting their first in-person match against the Davenport University Esports team to celebrate the grand opening of the Laker Esports Center. GVL | GV ESPORTS

CLUBS: Students can browse tables set up by more than 300 organizations. GVL | ARCHIVES

clubs and encourage student involvement in their organizations. The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on a number of organizations this past year, resulting in some being put on hold or shut down altogether. After a semester of relative normalcy compared to last year, many of the organizations that were put on hold are now ready to return to where they once were. One of those organizations is the Black Student Union (BSU) of GVSU. “The group went separate ways during COVID,” said BSU President Trey Wyrick. “Come this semester, we will host events starting with the BSU week in February.” Starting the week of Feb. 6, this eventpacked week will be full of different speakers and events including movie nights, guest motivational speakers and sporting events. BSU has weekly meetings on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. in the Kirkhof Center that are full of open discussion. Wyrick said that anyone who wants to be a member is welcome, and that they love the support “whether you’re Black, Brown or not.” All students who participate in BSU have

the opportunity to gain new knowledge and make friends. With BSU starting up again, their table at Campus Life Night is the perfect place to sign up. “BSU is back, we want everyone to participate and show up for events,” said Wyrick. While there’s an abundance of clubs at GVSU, many community service-focused organizations struggle to attract members. One of those organizations is the Campus Lions Club. Lions Club is unique in that it’s an international organization, said Lions Club President Cazmir Sarnacki. “The fact that it has a global reach is what makes it so special,” Sarnacki said. Lions Club puts on many volunteer events with an emphasis on vision projects. These projects include vision screenings for children all over the world and fundraisers such as “Dinner in the Dark” where volunteers experience what it would be like to eat dinner blind in order to raise money for those who are vision impaired. LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE



ARTS AT A GLANCE DECORATE MUGS WITH THE HONORS STUDENT COUNCIL Wednesday Jan. 12 students can join the Honors Student Council in decorating coffee mugs. The event is from 8 to 9 p.m. in Niemeyer multipurpose room. The event is free to attend.


There are two open skating sessions at the Van Andel Arena on Tuesday Jan. 11 and Sunday Jan. 16. Both dates have three skating sessions. The first is from 2 to 3:30 p.m. followed by a 4 to 5:30 p.m. and finally a 6 to 7:30 p.m. All skaters are encouraged to wear a mask when not on the ice, regardless of vaccination status. Admission is free to skate as well as rentals. The public skating has been temporarily moved to the Van Andel while Rosa Parks Circle is being renovated.

ARTPRIZE: Suzanne Zack partnered with a team of animators creating their ArtPrize project over the pandemic. COURTESY | MEGHAN LANDGREN

PANDEMIC: The project featured feelings the team shared during the pandemic in a series of short animations. COURTESY | MEGHAN LANDGREN


The Grand Rapids Public Museum is hosting another concert in their planetarium. This is in partnership with three West Michigan musicians and visual artists. The music will be performed while spectators view the art broadcasted on the dome. One of the bands that will be performing at this is local band Normal Mode, a Grand Rapids trio who write lo-fi music about space travel. Tickets are $20 and the event is taking place Jan. 13 at 6 p.m. With a planetarium ticket attendees also have access to the first two floors of the museum which includes the “Bats: Masters of the Night” and the “Streets of Old Grand Rapids” exhibits. The event will take place in two segments with a brief intermission in between.

WATCH THE WORLD OF WINTER PERFORMANCES Friday Jan. 14 there will be two chances for viewers to see live outdoor performances. One being their Popup Performer Night and the other being a live beatboxer. The popup performer is not announced beforehand but will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Those who’re looking to attend should expect to explore the area to locate the performer. The other event is a performance from a local beatboxer, Ozealous, on the Gillett Bridge from 7 to 8 p.m.


There’s an ice park that will be lasting until Jan. 15 at 555 Monroe Ave. This event is reoccurring and runs from 10 to 11 a.m. There will be regular lawn games with an icy twist. Those who attend can play frozen shuffleboard, Plinko, foosball, chess, checkers, corn hole and putt-putt. All of the games are made of ice completely and will be left out until they melt. There will also be a throne made entirely of ice for attendees to take pictures on.

SHORT FILM: The short film in action with the aquarium as it was showcased for the 2021 ArtPrize, featured the feelings of those involved during the pandemic. COURTESY | MEGHAN LANDGREN

PROFESSORS: GVSU professor Suzanne Zack, the head of the project. COURTESY | GVSU


GV Professor explores pandemic blues at ArtPrize BY AYRON RUTAN ARTS@LANTHORN.COM

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, the lives of many faced a drastic change. Along with the panic, depression and boredom came an opportunity to explore new interests and virtual connections. Each one of these themes was explored by Grand Valley State University film professor and a team of animators from around the country at this year’s ArtPrize showcase in a short film entitled “Time Passing: Passing Time.” The team was composed of professor Suzanne Zack and fellow animators Deanna Morse, Gretchen Vinnedge and Jim Middleton. Zack said that the collaboration was born out of a desire to connect during the first lockdown in the spring of 2020. “There were three animators that lived in different parts of the country,” Zack said. “During the pandemic, they started to connect with each other. They decided to create animations with a theme and every month they would meet and share what they were making.” As the lockdowns progressed, ArtPrize was approaching. This gave Morse, Vinnedge and Middleton an idea to try and do something with the animations that they had created. This opened up the door to Zack, who was asked to serve as an editor for the team’s project. “We started meeting through Zoom, and we had conversations about the theme, what con-

nected all of it, and why it was important,” Zack said. “We talked about how the pandemic was so isolating, and that having this conversation through animation was a way to connect, keep spirits alive, and keep community.” Zack said that the project was a true collaboration of talents, with each animator contributing their own distinct theme and style. “They shared with me what they made, and it was really clear that through their art they were expressing the emotions that we were all going through during the various stages of the pandemic,” Zack said. The collection featured five segments, “Lockdown Shockdown,” “Pandemic Potluck,” “Time Passing,” “Passing Time” and finally “Stepping Out.” Each segment told its own story and conveyed a particular emotion felt during the pandemic. “Lockdown Shockdown” expressed the panic that ensued as the news of the virus began to travel. Businesses, schools and social lives were put on hold as people were confined to their homes. The animation shows a man roaming abandoned streets until what appear to be jail cell bars enclose the screen. “Pandemic Potluck” highlighted the culinary endeavors of those on lockdown. Both eating and trying new recipes out of boredom are depicted. The next two segments, and project’s namesake, “Time Passing” and “Passing Time” featured stop-motion and time-lapse animation styles that depicted images of the segment’s

theme. Finally, the end of the film shows “Stepping Out,” a triumphant outro signaling the end of the lockdowns and communities finally rejoining and rejoicing with one another. The film was shown at the Water Colors Aquarium Gallery behind a fish tank in an effort to give the project an underwater feel, as well as to have the colors of the animations pop behind the water, Zack said. “They had this very large aquarium with these Cichlid fish and we put a monitor right behind it,” Zack said. “The fish were reacting to our piece. During certain scenes, they would dart towards the screen and it was really an experience.” Overall, the film was received positively by ArtPrize attendees as well as Water Colors’ everyday patrons. Zack said that experiencing its showing with the other animators in person was the highlight of it all. “What was great was that we all came together,” Zack said. “We were all in different parts of the country, but we came together for ArtPrize and it all had this added effect of us being together while our piece was being shown.” While short and abstract, “Time Passing: Passing Time” took a deep dive into the thoughts and emotions of those stuck inside during lockdown, and ultimately empowered its animators through connection and collaboration. The animation is still available to view on ArtPrize’s website for those who were unable to attend.




During winter break, Grand Valley State University cornerback Allante Leapheart’s name appeared in an article posted by Draft Diamonds. Specializing in NFL draftees that attend smaller schools, Justin Berendzen talked to Leapheart about what makes him a diamond in the rough. Leapheart’s unique background in both football and his life growing up has influenced his approach to the game of football in plenty of ways that make him stand out in a crowd. The quick-fire style interview allowed Leapheart to highlight his competitive nature on the field, his versatility as a corner back and safety that can go inside and outside, and a source for electric energy on a team. “If there needs to be a spark, I’m that spark,” Leapheart said to Berendzen. “(To prepare for the draft) I have a senior bowl, and then just training my butt off, and then going to a pro day and just showing I belong.” The 28-year-old football senior has certainly had a long journey on his way to live out his dream of being a pro, and with his last collegiate football season officially over, he’s now ready to move forward with his career and continue to give it everything he’s got.


In a last minute COVID-19-induced cancellation of a back-to-back weekend against Davenport University, the Grand Valley State University men’s DI club hockey team was able to swing in at the last second with Michigan State University’s Division II club hockey team. MSU also had their weekend against Oakland University canceled for similar reasons, and played against GVSU instead on Saturday, Jan. 8 in East Lansing. The game started with an early goal by junior wing Shane Haggerty with an assist from junior wing Zach Kippe just 1:44 into the first period. Before the end of the first, MSU came back with three goals in a row. To make a small dent in MSU’s lead, junior wing Zach Borchardt scored another GVSU goal 10 minutes into the second, assisted by junior defender Tyler Hofmann and freshman wing Josh Suzio. MSU rebounded with a goal one minute later, but sophomore center Nick Sommerfield put one more in the back of the net with an assist from junior defender Cam Beckwith to up the score 3-4. In the third and final period, MSU scored the first goal 13 minutes in to bring their lead up by two points, but Borchardt returned the favor with a goal of his own assisted by Suzio and sophomore wing Sam Lechel. With the score up to 4-5, Borchardt stole the game with less than one minute left, scoring a goal assisted by Haggerty to tie it up 5-5.


GV club lacrosse alumnus in the big leagues BY JAMES HERRICK SPORTS@LANTHORN.COM

On Nov. 29, 2021, the San Diego Seals of the National Lacrosse League (NLL) announced their roster for the 2021-22 season. Defenseman Cam Holding, a Grand Valley State University alumnus, was one of the names on the active roster. Holding has had a successful lacrosse career, playing at the collegiate, professional and international levels while having an accomplished coaching career as well. However, his spot on the Seal’s roster has come with its challenges as just several years ago, he thought an injury would prevent him from ever playing lacrosse again. Holding’s collegiate career started at GVSU where he was a member of the club lacrosse team from 2007-2009. He then played the 2009-2010 season at Florida Southern, an NCAA Division II school, which was a step up from GVSU’s membership in the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA). After that season, he returned to GVSU for two more years, while playing lacrosse for one more season. Holding decided that the GVSU club lacrosse program had a bigger influence on his life and decided that it was a better fit to finish out his college career. “The club program at Grand Valley is amazing,” Holding said. “They have NCAA caliber coaches, NCAA caliber players, and I think that it’s something that the school really needs to recognize, because they

have pumped out some incredible players through that program and they have a lot of people that really care.” After his time at GVSU, Holding began playing in the NLL for the Colorado Mammoth and for the Denver Outlaws in the Major League Lacrosse (MLL). Holding was even a part of Team Canada for the 2014 Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) World Lacrosse Championship. Team Canada went on to defeat Team USA in the finale and win gold. After the success in his first run with Team Canada, Holding decided to try out for the 2018 team so he could take part in the next installation of the FIL World Lacrosse Championship. However, during tryouts he planted wrong and tore his ACL, causing Holding to question his future as a lacrosse player. “During (rehab) I thought I was done,” Holding said. “I thought I was done playing.” Fortunately, Holding began coaching in 2010, and by the time his injury occurred he was the head coach of the Michigan State’s Club Lacrosse Team. It was only natural that as he was retiring from playing he would begin to focus his attention on coaching full-time. This move paid off when MSU won the MCLA National Championship the next season. Before Holding could start another season as the head coach, the NLL announced that they would be expanding and they were adding a team in San Diego. Despite his retired status, San Diego quickly became an appealing place to go and play.

PRO: Former GV defender Cam Holding graduated in ‘09 and now plays for the San Diego Seals after major injury. COURTESY | GVSU

“There was an expansion team that popped up in San Diego, so I was like, ‘I can’t believe there is a team in San Diego, California; that would be awesome,’” Holding said. LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE


GV sports regroup as COVID-19 affects scheduling BY BRIAN BLOOM SPORTS@LANTHORN.COM

The Grand Valley State University winter sports schedule was ready to kick off smoothly after winter break, until COVID-19 started causing familiar issues for several teams.

POSTPONED: Several teams taking hits in schedule before semester. COURTESY | GVSU

Due to an outbreak at Northwood University, the GVSU men’s and women’s basketball game scheduled for Jan. 6 was postponed and has yet to be rescheduled. Another outbreak at Davenport University forced the club men’s hockey team’s backto-back slate on Jan. 7-8 to be postponed, as well as GVSU’s swimming and diving meet scheduled for Jan. 8. So far, the club hockey teams has been able to replace their missed games with a game against Michigan State University on Jan. 8 in Lansing, Michigan, but aside from the rescheduling, it’s still a nerve-wracking start to the winter semester. For the swimming and diving teams, the postponement is disappointing, but not a total loss for their season as they try to remain optimistic. “(The postponement) had to happen,” said coach Andy Boyce. “We’re doing everything we can to get back going, get our athletes healthy and not have any more cases.” The team improved mightily throughout their fall portion of the season, consistently finishing in the top two for nearly every meet. However, Boyce said that there has

been no shift in their momentum. “(Our team) is strong; we’ll figure it out and get back at it,” Boyce said. “Ultimately, our goal is to win the conference championship.” Luckily for the swimming and diving teams, the postponement won’t count against them in their overall record for this season. They will instead square off against Davenport University and Saginaw State University in a tri-meet Jan. 22 at East Kentwood High School. “The tri-meet means that there’s just a little better competition,” Boyce said. “I’m excited to see how the athletes bounce back from being out of the water for so long.” On top of the disappointment that comes with the cancellation of games and meets, the swim and dive seniors missed out on their senior night as well. “It’s very disappointing because it was the senior night meet,” said senior swimmer Jesse Goodyear. “All of us were going to be recognized and having it postponed takes away the vibe. We were all really prepared, and it just got taken away from us.” LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE




Late surge leads GV Women’s Basketball to win BY JUSTICE STEINER SPORTS@LANTHORN.COM

The no. 16 ranked Grand Valley State University (11-1) women’s basketball team traveled to Midland, Michigan to take on Northwood University (6-6) this past Thursday, Jan. 6 as the Lakers defeated the Timberwolves 65-53. Although the Lakers won the game by double digits, the game was much closer than the final score indicates. Heading into the fourth quarter, GVSU held a slim three-point lead over NU. However, the Lakers began the fourth quarter with an imposing 11-0 run. Head coach Mike Williams said the key to the fast start in the final quarter of play was continuing the momentum they had built late in the third quarter. “I thought defensively we covered their shooters well; we didn’t foul them and put them on the free-throw line,” Williams said. “Offensively we were really aggressive, our eyes were up, we attacked the rim, and we made the extra pass which led to good looks, and they went in.” Prior to the fourth quarter, the game was tightly contested, and the Timberwolves controlled the game early in the first quarter as they jumped out to an early 14-6 lead over the Lakers. A potential factor in the slow start for the Lakers was a long break between contests, as the last game they played was on Dec. 20, nearly three weeks prior. The team had a game scheduled on Dec. 31, but it was canceled due to COVID-19 related issues within Central State University’s roster.

“The beginning of the game was definitely a slower start for our team,” said freshman guard Ellie Droste. “But I think we just need to get our feet under us and get a few of the nerves out just because we haven’t played a game in a really long time.” Heading into halftime the Lakers trailed 2425 before starting slow coming out of the break and falling behind 30-39 with 5:01 remaining in the third quarter. GVSU would go on to finish the quarter with two free throws in the closing seconds by freshman forward Rylie Bisballe to conclude a 15-5 run and give the Lakers the three-point lead before the dominating fourth quarter. Droste led the way for the Lakers, nearly doubling her season average of 9.5 points per game with a team-high 18 points, shooting eight of 13 from the field and making two of her five three-point attempts. “When I made my first three of the night, seeing that first shot go in its automatically a ton of added confidence,” Droste said. “It made me a lot more comfortable to continue taking those shots as well.” Disballe had a well-rounded night, finishing with 13 points, six rebounds, three steals and two blocks. Junior guard Emily Spitzley chipped in with 13 points and five rebounds, while freshman guard Hadley Miller added a nice spark off the bench finishing with 10 points, three rebounds, and three assists. Following the victory, the Lakers will now look ahead to an important week of their schedule as they take on a pair of rivals; Davenport University (1-11) and Ferris State Uni-

FINAL SCORE: After a close three quarters, the GVSU women’s basketball team increased their three-point lead starting in the fourth quarter to go on an 11-0 run for the game. GVL | ARCHIVES

versity (11-3). Williams said a big focus heading into this week is continuing to get better, as well as focusing on the teams’ competitiveness on the offensive end of the court. “Every game we talk about ‘let’s just keep

getting better’ so I think we have to keep doing that,” Williams said. Both games will take place at the GVSU Fieldhouse as the Lakers are set to host the Panthers on Monday, Jan. 10 before the showdown with the Bulldogs on Thursday, Jan. 13.


GV Soccer revels in their back-to-back championship win BY JOSH CARLSON SPORTS@LANTHORN.COM

The Grand Valley State University women’s soccer team knew that the road to winning a championship wouldn’t be easy heading in this season. Coming off a year without soccer and the hiring of new head coach Jim Conlon, the team’s success this season sets a new precedent for the strength of GVSU soccer.

CHAMPIONS: GV soccer brings home the National trophy again. COURTESY | GVSU LAKERS

Despite all the obstacles created by COVID-19 as well as regular season ups and downs, the Lakers battled through the year and achieved their back-to-back national championship in a 3-2 overtime victory against Saint Rose on Dec. 11 in Colorado Springs. The win marks the Lakers’ seventh national championship since 2009. The championship game started in the Lakers’ favor when sophomore forward Kennedy Bearden scored just four minutes into the match, making it 1-0 for the remainder of the first half. Saint Rose answered in the 61st minute to tie the game in the second. Senior defender Cecilia Stienwascher answered the bell in the 72nd minute to push the Lakers into the lead again. Saint Rose refused to go away easily, though, with an answer of their own in the 76th minute to tie the game once again. As the final goal in regulation, the championship was sent into the first of two overtimes. Neither team could find their way to victory, resulting in golden goal overtime, this being the second for the Lakers in playoff history. For the win, Bearden sealed

the game for the second time in the playoffs with a goal in the 100th minute of the match, making the Lakers the 2021 Division II women’s soccer champions. Bearden—a member of the 2019 national championship roster—grew her role throughout this season, becoming a key player on the offense that led to the Lakers’ victory. For Bearden, it made her second ring that much more exciting. “Honestly, it was really rewarding for me,” Bearden said. “In 2019, I was a freshman and still learning the game, and a lot of it just comes from experience. Playing with my seniors and just learning from them, they helped me a lot to step into that role.” The Lakers also achieved this victory with a new coach at the helm, who only had limited time in the preseason to get to know his players. For Conlon, he gives credit to his staff and the team for helping him along the way. “We have got great people here at Grand Valley,” Conlon said. “We were able to keep a couple of coaches on staff, have a great group of women, and I’m fortunate that Becca (Roller) came with me. We just

learned over the course of the fall that if you lean in on each other, that anything is possible. There is a lot of different things that we had to learn about each other, but at the end of the day, we were able to pull together as a team and get the results we wanted.” Not many teams in the country get to say that they are champions, let alone backto-back. Bearden said there was a turning point in the season that elevated the Lakers into second gear. “We always had that mindset that we wanted to win the national championship,” Bearden said. “But, when we lost to Ferris in the GLIAC Tournament, I think we all got motivated and realized, ‘okay, we really have to get in gear and focus because one loss and its over.’ After the second round of the tournament, I think we said, ‘okay, we got this,’ and just started playing true GV soccer.” The Lakers now get an entire off-season with Conlon to prepare for a three-peat. Conlon plans to continue to preach exactly what he did during his first magical year. LOG ON TO: FOR THE FULL ARTICLE