A L L E N D A L E & G R A N D R A P I DS , M I C H I G A N ST U D E N T- R U N P U B L I C A T I O N S // P R I N T · O N L I N E · M O B I L E // L A N T H O R N . C O M
M O N D A Y, J U LY 9, 2 0 1 8 // VO L . 5 3 N O. 1
Lunch forum identifies new themes for Inclusion and Equity BY MCKENNA PEARISO DIGITAL@LANTHORN.COM
Grand Valley State University has continued to update its 20162021 Strategic Plan with an emphasis on Inclusion and Equity. Several of the themes listed under this section of the plan were identified during a lunch forum held this past March. Co-hosted by the Black Faculty and Association and the Latino/a Faculty and Association, the lunch forum was dedicated to discussing campus needs of underrepresented groups. The luncheon was an opportunity for association members and Inclusion and Equity staff to share and learn about the experiences of employees of color. Vice President for Inclusion and Equity, Jesse Bernal, said the lunch forum was used to “strengthen our efforts and move forward with recommendations and actions.” One of the university’s goals that was established following the forum was to create more inclusive hiring and advancement opportunities. Grand Valley’s 2016-2021 Strategic Plan notes the minimal progress that has been made in improving baseline diversity rates of combined faculty, staff and administrators. According to the GVPlan numbers, diversity at Grand Valley was 82 percent non-Hispanic white. This percentage shows little change from the 2016 percentage of 81.9. Grand Valley has since created a task force to review inclusion and equity for hiring and promotion procedures. This inclusive hiring review task force is currently in the creation process and will be finalized this fall. Another objective from Grand Valley’s strategic plan is to continue and improve communication related to overall campus climate and any actions taken by the university following campus discussions. Grand Valley’s Campus Climate site lists annual employee focus groups as a pending recommendation to improve communication efforts. Student focus groups have also been proposed for the 2018-19 school year in an effort to address a broader campus climate. An annual Inclusion and Equity forum is currently being established by Grand Valley which will provide updates to campus climate and the work being done to improve the goals outlined in the Strategic Plan. SEE FORUM | A2
DOCTOR’S ORDERS: Former Grand Valley nursing student Meghan Jordan, who previously worked in the Kirkhof College of Nursing, enjoys checking in on a patient. GVSU’s new holsitic approach to nursing is aimed to help future applicants become the best nurse they can be while having fun. GVL | ARCHIVE
GVSU implements a new holistic approach to nursing applicants BY JAMES KILBORN NEWS@LANTHORN.COM
This fall, Grand Valley State University’s Kirkhof College of Nursing will implement a new holistic admissions process that focuses on increasing student diversity, emphasizing different backgrounds and life experiences with the hope that it will produce a more enriching learning experience. These changes follow a nationwide trend of added emphasis on diversity and race in the workplace and work toward producing nurses capable of providing quality care in changing workforce environments. Kristin Norton, Director of Kirkhof College of Nursing’s Office of Student Services, states that these changes in admissions are supported by the Association of Colleges of Nursing and are being implemented in universities across
the country. “Holistic admission review processes are being successfully and more widely used in other health profession admission processes,” Norton said. “The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) supports the practice and is challenging its member institutions to develop their own. Its aim is to produce a wellprepared health care workforce by assembling a diverse student body – diverse not only in race, ethnicity, and gender, but also in experience, socioeconomic status, and perspective. “Our admissions process to date relied most heavily on the academic success of an applicant. We saw a need to develop a process that still ensures students’ academic preparedness but takes other equally important factors into account as well.” She also emphasizes that students are not considered for
admission on academic standing alone, as a background that provides unique talents and perspectives along with strong interpersonal and other “soft skills” would set candidates apart. “A holistic admission process considers each applicant’s unique life experiences and personal attributes alongside traditional measures of academic achievement”, Norton said. “The process is designed to allow us to consider a broad range of factors reflecting the applicant’s academic readiness, contribution to the incoming class and potential for success both in school and later as a professional. Nurses must possess a unique skill set; it’s both an art and a science. The science side speaks for itself. The art side requires a level of competency in leadership, problem solving, interpersonal communication, decision making, intercultural awareness and
The process is designed to allow us to consider a broad range of factors reflecting the applicant’s academic readiness, contribution to the incoming class and potential for success both in school and later as a professional. Nurses must possess a unique skill set; it’s both an art and a science. ” Kristin Norton Director of Kirkhof College of Nursing
SEE NURSING | A2
WGVU General Manager to receive Lifetime Achievement Award BY DEVIN DELY DDELY@LANTHORN.COM
ACCOMPLISHMENT: WGVU General Manager Michael Walenta accepted the Michigan Association of Broadcasters award, recognizing his impact in the broadcasting realm. He has been with Grand Valley for the past 30 years. COURTESEY | GVSU
The Michigan Association of Broadcasters recently made the decision to present long time WGVU General Manager Michael Walenta with a Lifetime Achievement award, recognizing him for his impact on the world of broadcasting. The MAB describes the award as the highest award they give, meant for those who have “dedicated the majority of their careers to broadcasting in the state of Michigan.” Only one person receives the award each year. Walenta has been with WGVU Public Media more than 30 years and will receive the award in August. Tim Eernisse, Director of Development and Marketing for WGVU, said Walenta’s experience in broadcasting led to him being chosen as the award’s recipient, as well as his local and national impact. “He really deserves it,” Eernisse said. “When we submitted him (for the award), we felt that he epitomized what it meant to have a lifetime of achievements that were worthy of being recognized by the MAB. I spoke with their board of directors and they agreed with our sentiment and agreed
that he was an absolutely worthy candidate for this award.” Despite Eernisse’s praise, Walenta remained steadfast and humble in his gratitude for those at WGVU who played a role in his success. “At the end of the day, I wanted it for the team,” Walenta said. “I didn’t want it for me. I tried to give it back and say, ‘you need to give it to the team, because it’s a team effort.’ “I don’t know anybody who gets an award all by their lonesome.” As a former student of Central Michigan University, Walenta got his start in broadcasting at WCMU in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. For a time during grad school, he worked at WOTV in Grand Rapids and after a change in the station’s ownership, he was asked to move to Austin, Texas. His work took him all across the southwest before finally returning to Michigan in 1988 to begin his career with WGVU. Walenta’s receiving of the award also happens to coincide with his retirement. Eernisse says he didn’t know this when he submitted him for the award but feels that it’s appropriate timing. “It’s very fitting,” he said. “It’s kind SEE WGVU | A2
JULY 9, 2018 GRAND VALLEY LANTHORN @GVLNEWS
A2 | NEWS
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GVSU NAMES NEW ASSOCIATE VP FOR HUMAN RESOURCES
Human Resources at Grand Valley State University has named Maureen M. Walsh as the new associate vice president. Walsh began her duties as associate vice president on June 25. Walsh now fulfills the role of both the university’s chief human resources officer and as a President’s Cabinet member. She is also an active community member and serves a variety of organizations which includes Michigan Women Forward and Inforum Michigan. Walsh is no stranger to human resource work, prior to her placement at Grand Valley she held the position of director of human resources at Aquinas College. Prior to her service at Aquinas, Walsh worked for Global Human Resources at Bissell Homecare Inc where she was also named vice president. Vice president for Administrative Services, Scott Richardson, said Walsh is bringing diverse prior experience to her new position. “Maureen has held increasingly demanding roles and has always led with the organization’s mission central to human resource operations,” said Richardson. Walsh acquired a master’s degree in communication studies from Grand Valley State University after earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northern Illinois University. She was awarded a certificate in Human Resources from DePaul University. “I’m honored to be leading human resources at Grand Valley,” said Walsh. “The team is an exceptional group of HR professionals and together we will continue to focus on creating a positive campus culture in support of the university’s mission.”
A customized myGVSU Climate Survey has been created for all academic colleges to continue to monitor campus climate. GVSU is also increasing inclusion and equity train-
ing, as stated in the Inclusion and Equity section of the Strategic Plan. According to the Campus Climate site, the President’s Cabinet hiring officials will be receiving training this summer on how to effectively use Affirmative Action data. Efforts to expand this training to other university
staff requires further discussion according to the Campus Climate website. A statement from Grand Valley State University regarding the Inclusiveness section of its 2016-2021 Strategic Plan: “Grand Valley is committed to strengthening our living, learning, and working en-
NURSING CONTINUED FROM A1
TWO SHOT OUTSIDE GVSU OFF CAMPUS APARTMENT
On Tuesday, June 12, two men were shot outside Copper Beech Townhomes, an apartment complex near Grand Valley State University’s Allendale campus. Ottawa County dispatchers received several calls to report the incident at 11:45 p.m., following the shooting. Sheriff’s deputies and GVSU police arrived on the scene to find the two victims each with a single gunshot wound. One victim suffered a head wound and was taken to the hospital, Ottawa County sheriff’s deputies said. “It’s not something you’d expect to happen in Allendale,” said one Copper Beech resident. Police are still searching for the gunman and the complex failed to release a statement on the incident.
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Lan thorn EDITORIAL STAFF
Digital Editor MATT READ
Editor-in-Chief BRADY MCATAMNEY
Layout Editor RACHEL SPRING
Associate Editor MCKENNA PEARISO
Layout Designer MAX GELDHOF
News Editor JENNY ADKINS Sports Editor KELLEN VOSS
ADVERTISING STAFF Advertising Manager IAN BORTHWICK
Laker Life Editor AMY MCNEEL A&E Editor
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vironment by recognizing and removing the barriers to full participation and providing a safe, inclusive, vibrant community for all.” More information about the efforts for Inclusion and Equity outlined in the 2016 to 2021 GVPlan can be found at www.gvsu.edu/spaa.
LEARNING: Students of the Kirkhof College of Nursing work together to conduct their clinicals to obtain life experiences in the hospital as part of their studies in the nursing program. GVL | LUKE HOLMES
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of the perfect send-off for him in his retirement to say, ‘thank you for all you’ve done for public media.’” WGVU has grown steadily over the years, helped along by many individuals, including former Grand Valley State University president Don Lubbers. Walenta has overseen plenty of that growth, contributing to major moves such as the acquisition of more television and radio stations and a large switch from analog to digital broadcasting in many of WGVU’s stations. “I’ve always maintained that we, WGVU, whether it’s the AM, the TV, or the FM stations; we’re in the program delivery business,” Walenta said. “That’s the real big thing we do, so the more ways we have to deliver those programs, the better.” Aside from just broadcasting content from NPR and popular PBS shows, WGVU also has a long history of influencing GVSU and the surrounding communities. Stu-
dents regularly participate in the production of a news show titled West Side Stories that airs through WGVU and have found many other opportunities throughout their involvement there as well. “We average probably 30 to 50 students a year that come through WGVU Public Media, and a lot that have started their careers at WGVU,” Eernisse said. “They’ve gone on to all kinds of things across the country. Michael is the one that led that charge, continually reinforcing the idea that the most important thing we can do is help serve the students and get them ready for their careers. That just shows you the type of person he is.” Walenta hopes that WGVU’s tradition of serving the community will continue long after he is gone. However, he thinks they will eventually need to adapt to the changing media climate in order to maintain their same level of success. “I think whether it’s WGVU or any four call-letters in the country, it’s key to be able to be nimble and proactive for the program deliv-
ery services that are going to become available,” Walenta said. “The usual follow up question to that is ‘what kind of changes?’, and the answer is that I don’t know. Nobody really knows where this is going right now; you can get everything you want now on
empathy/compassion for each patient-to name a few.” Norton states that the ever-changing demographics of the United States plays a part in this decision, as hospitals and other medical practices increasingly desire qualified individuals who are aware of cultural differences and customs. “There is an understanding at the local and national level that nursing students should possess the background, qualities and skills to provide culturally-effective care and meet the needs of a rapidly diversifying patient population,” Norton said. “Holistic review can help us identify applicant experiences and attributes that will contribute to a more effective nursing workforce.”
your phone or on your tablet. You’ve gotta be flexible, but you’ve gotta be true to your core beliefs, which (for us) is to deliver the kind of content that PBS and NPR have always delivered. “It’s an exciting time to be in broadcasting.”
ACHIEVEMENT: Michael Walenta has retired from WGVU, leaving a lasting impact on the broadcasting world. COURTESEY | Dottie Barnes
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. The Grand Valley Lanthorn is published twice-weekly by Grand Valley State University students 62 times a year. One copy of this newspaper is available free of charge to any member of the GVSU community. For additional copies, at $1 each, please contact our business offices.
LANTHORN CORRECTION We apologize for mispelling Sarah Ann Gorkowski’s name in the April Commencement issue, Vol. 52, No. 60.
FUN IN THE SUN: While most students travel away from campus for the summer, what most don’t realize is how Grand Valley State continues to blossom even more once classes have finished for the year. One spot in particular is the GVSU fountain. This is a great spot to read a book or soak up the summer sun.
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
PO DC AS TS PH OT OS VID EO S AR TIC LE S
SHEILA BABBITT GVL
JULY 9, 2017 GRAND VALLEY LANTHORN @GVLANTHORN
NEWS | A3
GV places top ten in national recycling competition BY MCKENNA PEARISO DIGITAL@LANTHORN.COM
Each year, universities from all over the United States compete in the nationally recognized competition known as “RecycleMania”. This past season, Grand Valley State University took eighth place in the recycling category as well as 12th in overall diversion rates. In 2001, RecycleMania began as a contest between Miami University and Ohio University as a way to promote recycling efforts on each school’s campus. The competition saw an in-
crease in campus recycling participation and has since expanded to more than 150 colleges and universities. RecycleMania takes place each spring over the course of eight weeks. During each week, universities report the amount of recyclables collected and are ranked based on their diversion rates. As the competition continues, participating schools can see where they stand compared to their competition and attempt to improve their ranking by reducing more waste. Within the competition there are also several different categories that measure various forms of diversion,
recycling and waste minimization. In sustainability terms, the diversion rate is the amount of waste that is diverted from a landfill and repurposed through recycling and composting efforts. In 2016, Grand Valley was ranked 47th for it’s 46.92 percent diversion rate. The university has since been able to climb up in the overall rankings to 12th place, with a now63.38 percent rate. GVSU placed even higher in the total recycling category, ranking eighth along with being only one of two universities in Michigan to break the top 10. The place-
ment was achieved thanks to the 1,091,619 pounds that the university recycled during the competition. GVSU has taken part in RecycleMania since 2012, and each year they have continued to improve their performance. GVSU Sustainability Waste Management Leader, Janet Aubil, said the reason for Grand Valley State’s quality performance is the volunteers. “People are the biggest initiative,” Aubil said. Several student organizations, along with participants from the sustainability team, put in the time and effort to help GVSU do well in
COMMUNITY: Green Team members gather together outside to sort through recyclables for the annual RecycleMania competition. The group is complied of student volunteers from Grand Valley State University who take part in the program. COURTESY | RECYCLEMANIA.ORG
the competition. Volunteers would assist students and faculty in dining halls and other parts of campus to ensure trash was being thrown into the correct bin and spread the word about the university’s recycling efforts at the same time. “Once people know about it and are making the effort to recycle during their busy day, it all helps the bottom number,” Aubil said. One of the student organizations that assisted Grand Valley State in the competition was the campus dining organization “Green Team”, whose volunteers were able to contribute to the recycling efforts by advertising the process to those on campus. The group also made a promotional video that demonstrated how to properly discard waste on campus. Chelsey Kaminsky, President of the Student Environmental Coalition and Green Team volunteer, said waste management on campus could “still use further prioritization.” Green Team plans to continue to educate more students and faculty on how sustainability can become a part of everyone’s daily life. Some members have found that the work done during the last school year has already started to make an impact. “People will still sort their trash correctly on their own with no Green Team
member present,” said SEC Vice President Francesca Ortisi. “This really shows that the Green Team has made a big impact on campus just by monitoring.” Moving forward, the coalition is continuing their efforts to push for more visibility and education of sustainability on and off campus. “Next year, I would like to focus on tackling waste from the source and hopefully convince Panda (Express) to adopt some compostable containers, as well as make our presence as a club and our message more well known,” Kaminski said. The group is also planning to hold events to promote living eco-consciously, as well as host a collaboration event with the Supply Chain Management Club. GVSU’s Sustainability Team hopes to expand off the progress that was made during the 2018 RecycleMania competition. “I would like to push harder next year,” Aubil said. The Sustainability Office looks for volunteers on projects year-round and offers internships for those interested. Students can also get involved with Green Team by visiting the GVSU Student Environmental Coalition Facebook page. Kaminski said the SEC and Green Team are happy to have anyone join the team no matter their level of experience; as they put it, “sustainability is for everyone.”
80th annual Boy’s State visits Grand Valley BY MCKENNA PEORISO DIGITAL@LANTHORN.COM
Ever wonder what goes on at Grand Valley State University after students have left for the summer besides construction? GVSU hosts several clubs and events on its campus throughout the summer months. During the last week of June, Grand Valley was chosen as a venue for the 80th annual Boys State sponsored by the American Legion. Boys State is a non-par-
tisan, non-political government exercise that combines classroom work, lectures and group projects. High schoolers from all over Michigan took part in this week-long program where they learned leadership skills, practical citizenship and the democratic process. This past Boys State saw a turnout of more than 250 student participants. Michigan Boys State chair of the board, Mike Stoll, oversees the program staff, curriculum and day-to-day
operation. Stoll is also an academic adviser in the Kirkhof College of Nursing. Stoll believes the Boy State event teaches the participating seniors many valuable skills. “For 80 years, Michigan Boys State has provided young men the opportunity to build friendships with people around the state, develop leadership skills and, most importantly, learn more about themselves,” Stoll said. Through the program, students experience democracy through an imitation
model state that mirrors the structure of a respective government. Students are elected and appointed to roles so they can experience how democracy works in action. Boys State intends to instill character, patriotism and the importance of civil engagement. “This week-long government simulation offers students the opportunity to work together to solve realworld problems and truly is a week that shapes a lifetime,” Stoll said.
IN ATTENDANCE: Over 250 high school students from all over gather in GVSU’s Pere Marquette room for the 80th annual Boy’s State week-long program to learn about the deomocratic process and foster appreciation for civial engagement. COURTESY | AMERICAN LEGION
A4 | OPINION EDITORIAL
JULY 9, 2018 GRAND VALLEY LANTHORN @GVLANTHORN
GVL EDITORIAL CARTOON
By Max Geldhof
Nursing college hollistic approach is beneficial
rand Valley State University’s Kirkhof College of Nursing is taking on a refreshing new approach to how applicants are accepted into the program. The new holistic admissions process looks more into the individuals skills and values rather than academic standing alone. The nursing program at Grand Valley is arguably one of the most difficult programs to get into, requiring a minimum grade point of average of 3.5. With the program accepting only 80 students in the fall semester and 80 in the winter, many students aspiring to join the program often do not make the cut. “There will be like 200 applicants but only 80 spots at a time,” said one student admitted into the program. Prior to the updated holistic approach, students found the application process intimidating and extremely competitive. Those not admitted into the Kirkhof College of Nursing often have to choose new paths of study or transfer to different programs or universities. Admission into the program is based off of three components: grade point average, total number of credits and an interview with faculty. This means students who earn better grades are more likely to be admitted regardless of experience, values and perspective. This emphasis on academic excellence poses a problem that admitted students may not exhibit the type of compassion and drive that is beneficial for health care workers. Many students also find that the competitive atmosphere fosters hostility between
students, making the learning process that much more difficult. “Nursing at GV isn’t for sensitive people or people who have a big heart,” said one nursing student. Moving forward, this new holistic admission approach is geared more towards selecting students who exemplify quality interpersonal skills that will benefit them in the nursing field. While academic standing will still be a factor into the admission process, the student’s unique background and skills will also be taken into consideration. “We saw a need to develop a process that still ensures students’ academic preparedness but takes other equally important factors into account as well,” said Kristin Norton, Director of Kirkhof College of Nursing’s Office of Student Services. This change will foster more inclusion into the Kirkhof College of Nursing and produce a more enriching learning experience among students with a variety of backgrounds. The admission process follows a national trend that puts an emphasis on diversity in the workplace that in turn creates a healthcare environment that feels welcoming to all. Overall, this is a win for the program, the university and for students alike. More people can be considered for admission into the incredibly competitive program which drives up the desire for students to better themselves, better preparing them for the equally-competitive field after graduation. Obviously, this helps the program and GVSU by making their students smarter, obviously increasing the credibility of Grand Valley and their colleges.
Column: Reigning Coach of the Year Dwane Casey looks to improve Pistons the Toronto Raptors. June 11, 2018: Dwane Casey is hired by the Detroit Pistons.
BY D’ANGELO STARKS SENIOR MULTIMEDIA JOURNALISM DSTARKS@LANTHORN.COM
The newly appointed Detroit Pistons coach, Dwane Casey, has had a very peculiar few months. Here is a brief timeline of his year since April (the end of the regular season). April 11, 2018: The Toronto Raptors finished their regular season play with a 59-23 record, good enough for first in the Eastern Conference. May 7, 2018: The Raptors got swept be the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. May 11, 2018: Dwane Casey is fired by
June 25, 2018: Dwane Casey wins NBA Coach of the Year. In a two-month period, Casey: set a franchise record for wins, got fired and won an award for his prior coaching job. Although this is most likely not how Casey envisioned his season ending, it could not have turned out any better for the Pistons. Casey set four different franchise records for wins in his seven-year tenure with the Raptors and received praise from sources across the NBA last season after he completely revamped their offense and took a group that had seemingly hit their ceiling, and tapping in to an entirely new level. The changes Casey made weren’t colossal, but they were the right choices based on the pieces he had that led to the team being ranked top five in the league in offensive and defensive efficiency. That is the main reason Pistons fans should be excited about this hire.
Casey made a major change and upgrade to his team without any major changes to the roster. This makes him the ideal person to take over the Pistons job because they are not likely to have any major roster changes anytime soon. Power forward Blake Griffin was acquired at the trade deadline last year and his contract is virtually untradeable. Griffin is currently in year two of his five year, $271 million contract, so in short, he’s not going anywhere. The hope is that Casey can find out a way to creatively use Griffin and center Andre Drummond together and help them both maximize their star potential on the court together. Maximizing potential is something Casey did incredibly during his tenure in Toronto. It was not only his willingness to change that made him effective, but his player development was consistently one of the strongest parts of his resume. Toronto could not have gotten to where they were last year if it were not for their bench. They saw major contributions from players like Fred VanVleet, Jakob Poetl and Pascal Siakam.
VanVleet was even a finalist for the sixth man of the year award this past season. If this follows suit for Casey in Detroit, then he will have a chance to turn players like Luke Kennard, Stanley Johnson and Henry Ellenson into solid role players. These three are recent first round draft picks of the Pistons who all saw their fair share of neglect under the Pistons’ previous coach Stan Van Gundy. One can only hope that Casey is the man that unlocks their potential and does a similar revamp of the Pistons bench. Early reports indicate that Casey plans on scrapping the dribble-handoff system that Van Gundy implemented and will install a system similar to the one that Mike D’Antoni put in when he took over the Houston Rockets job. This game-plan places an emphasis on three-point shots and shots at the rim. Next season with Casey at the helm will, at the very least, be far more entertaining to watch for Pistons fans. The young players will likely see an elevated role in the offense, and look for Griffin and Drummond to work together in far more interesting ways.
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Editor-In-Chief Associate editor News editor Sports editor Laker Life editor A&E editor
WHAT IS A LANTHORN? Lant • horn, n. [Old English] A lanthorn is a lantern that was used in mid-to-late 16th-century Europe. It was constructed of leather and a single lens made from a thin
piece of ox or steer horn. It was used for illumination and as a beacon. The Grand Valley Lanthorn slogan is “Give light, and the people will find their own way.”
GVL OPINION POLICY 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.
Letters 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 email@example.com or drop your submission off in person at:
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FRESH START: Coach Dwane Casey watches his team execute a play in Toronto, Ont. at the Scotiabank Arena. After winning Coach of the Year with the Raptors this past season, Casey was hired by Detroit in June, and plans on leading the Pistons to glory. COURTESY | TSN
THIS ISSUE’S QUESTION
What is your favorite summer activity?
“Our diversity is our strength. What a dull and pointless life it would be if everyone was the same.”
LOG ON & VOTE www.lanthorn.com
QUESTION OF THE ISSUE
-Angelina Jolie WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SUMMER ACTIVITY?
“Going to the beach.”
YEAR: Senior MAJOR: Cellular and molecular biology HOMETOWN: Travserse City, Michigan
YEAR: Graduate MAJOR: K-8 Integrated Science HOMETOWN: Riverside, Illinois
YEAR: Senior MAJOR: Radiation Therapy HOMETOWN: Chesterfield, Michigan
YEAR: Senior MAJOR: Writing HOMETOWN: Eau Claire, Michigan
A5 | ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
JULY 9, 2018 GRAND VALLEY LANTHORN @GVLARTS
GVSU rings in 24th Annual Carillon Concert Series BY NICK MORAN ARTS@LANTHORN.COM
Behind the walls of the Cook and Beckering Family Carillon Towers is far more than just clockwork. Fortyeight intricately crafted bells fill the carillons on each of Grand Valley’s campuses – bells that fill the surrounding areas with sound throughout GVSU’s 24th Annual Carillon Concert Series. The series, organized by University Carilloneur Julianne Vanden Wyngaard, spans from July 1 through Aug. 19 between both of GVSU’s carillons. Vanden Wyngaard said that the series provides audiences with access to a style of performance that’s unique to the carillon. “It’s a little bit unusual because the instrument is outside, the audience is outside,” Vanden Wyngaard said. “A person sits in a carillon concert unable to see the performer or the instrument, so that’s unusual as well. And
we play rain or shine.” The concert on July 1 in Allendale, the series’ first, was performed by three of Vanden Wyngaard’s students due to knee surgery rendering her unable to play. Last Sunday’s concert featured carilloneur Lee Cobb from Cape Coral, Florida. Looking forward, other concerts will feature a variety of carilloneurs from around the United States. Vanden Wyngaard, who is also president of the Guild of Carilloneurs in North America, was able to use her leadership to assemble a diverse set of players throughout the network. “(As guild president), I have access to all of the carilloneurs in North America,” Vanden Wyngaard said. “Our membership on paper is less than 800, so we know each other... and you know who you want in your series.” Vanden Wyngaard said that the carilloneurs bring with them individualized programs that create con-
certs full of diverse music. Musical genres range from classical arrangements to popular music, but programs are often tailored to be generally agreeable due to the open nature of the concert. “You try to plan players who are going to take that (it’s a public concert) into consideration and not come with music that’s so esoteric that the person there on Sunday afternoon can’t enjoy it,” Vanden Wyngaard said. “I don’t want them to come with a total popular music program either, but you want a varied program that is well played so the average person can sit and enjoy it.” Between bringing various players to each carillon, Vanden Wyngaard said that each concert will have an individualized flair to it based on he bells themselves. “(The carillons are) like two cooks,” Vanden Wyngaard said. “You may like this restaurant or that restaurant, but the difference in restaurants are the cooks
and the way that they season the food.” The concert series follows a tradition set in stone since the creation of the Cook Carillon in 1994. With the Cook Carillon’s bells crafted in the Netherlands and the Beckering Family’s made in France, Vanden Wyngaard said that each carillon’s unique sound is one that she plans to continue to bring to the communities for many years to come. “The French bells are very rich, and you’d say they’re kind of luscious,” Vanden Wyngaard said. “On the outside, you don’t feel that, but we do. The Dutch bells are just clean, crisp and really quite wonderful to play. We’re very lucky to have these instruments.” The concert series will continue on the Allendale campus Sundays at 8 p.m. through Aug. 19 and on Wednesdays at noon through Aug. 1 at the Pew campus.
BELLS: The Cook Carillon Tower is located on Grand Valley State’s Allendale campus outside of the Kirkhof Center GVL | ARCHIVE
Microbiology students showcase artistic depictions of studies BY ARIE NIENHUIS ANIENHUIS@LANTHORN.COM
EXHIBITED: GVSU microbology students show off their artwork in Mary Idema Pew Library’s Exhibition Space. The pieces combine art and science in a brand new way. COURTESY | AGNIESZKA SZARECKA
When it comes to the various studies present at Grand Valley State University, one would typically not assume that art and microbiology would have much of a potential for crossover. However, students from CMB 150: Biotechnology and Society were able to depict their studies in the form of art, and these works are currently being shown in the Mary Idema Pew Library’s Exhibition Space. “Biotechnology Through the Artist’s Lens” is an exhibit highlighting the range of work that CMB 150 students completed this past semester. The work consists of a variety of artistic representations of numerous examples of biotechnology and microbiology, ranging from activism to agricultural technologies. Appearing in various artistic mediums such as clay models, the relevant biological topics are presented in a
visual and easily understood form. Agnieszka Szarecka, Associate Professor of Cell and Microbiology at GVSU, detailed some of these pieces. “When I look at what’s exhibited, I see work pertaining to modification of plants, an interesting piece related to heart diseases, forensic analysis and work related to viruses and bacteriophages,” Szarecka said. “CMB 150 is a very broad class. We cover a variety of topics from cells to entire organisms.” Szarecka said she sees this combination of art and science as a great way to foster understanding of the relevant subjects in the minds of those outside of the field of microbiology. “I think (art) is one of the most interesting ways of presenting science because everybody likes art,” Szarecka said. “It’s a way to convey more than the scientific information. There is a lot of thought, emotion and nonscientific motivation that drives the project forward.” Szarecka also said that the
exhibition will allow students to connect to the subject matter on a deeper level, as the scientific jargon that often accompanies these ideas is presented in a visual way, allowing for anyone to see how science relates to their daily lives. Some of the content, such as the possibility for gene editing to prevent disease, is something that could become highly relevant to the general public in the coming years. “Even if students are not interested in taking (CMB 150) or learning more about biotechnology, the topic is broad and controversial enough for them to want to see what’s out there, as well as what other students experienced in the process of creating this art.” Szarecka said. “Biotechnology Through the Artist’s Lens” will be shown in the Mary Idema Pew Library Exhibition Space from now until July 15. More information can be found on the GVSU Cell and Microbiology website, gvsu. edu/cmb.
Fountain Street Church exhibit pairs art and poetry BY NICK MORAN NMORAN@LANTHORN.COM
At the root of every creation is an inkling of inspiration, regardless of where it comes from. For Grand Rapids’ Fountain Street Church, its summer exhibition is directing that inspiration through one creative medium – visual art – and using it to fuel another: poetry. “Poetry Inspired by Art” will fill the church’s Keeler Gallery with a variety of different pieces of art, poetry and guests during its first reception Tuesday. Fountain Street Church Art committee member Edgar Marty said that using poetry and art to inspire each other is a unique concept that has brought guests to Fountain Street Chuch’s summer exhibition for years. “(We want to provide) just the experience of it,” Marty said. “To my knowledge, there are no other groups doing this kind of work. Last year, we even had a former poet laureate of Grand Rapids submitting work.” Poets that submitted work to this year’s exhibition were able to base their work off of 19 selected pieces of art, according to Marty. While the collection of art was available for live viewing, Marty said the church implemented the
website a few years ago to serve as a creative hub before and after the announcements of winning poems. “They can see the (art live), but they can also (use the database) to refresh their memory or write just based on the image they see online,” Marty said. “When the exhibit is over, we will add to the online records all of the poems that won in response to a specific piece.” This year’s exhibition is a collaboration between the church and other organizations, such as The Diatribe, Write616, Grand Rapids Poet Laureate Marcel “Fable” Price and the Nomad Gallery. Marty said Fountain Street Church’s art committee has had a long-standing interest in supporting collaboration between art and poetry. Throughout its long history, that relationship has varied but poetry and art have always been intertwined. “The Fountain Street Church has had an art committee for, as far as I can tell, nearly 60 years,” Marty said. “Some decades ago, the summer exhibitions at the church began to be dedicated to poetry and art. So, in some cases artwork was the inspiration for poetry and poetry was the inspiration for artwork.” Planning for this specific exhibition began one year
ago with selection which partners of the church would collaborate with, Marty said. After finalizing art selection in March, the reality of the exhibition hits the week prior when everything is assembled. “You start placing things around the room and deciding where things will go,” Marty said. “Once things move from the floor leaning
against the wall in the corners and on chairs to being (hung up) on the wall, presented the way it should, it’s a wonderful experience to see that.” By putting on exhibitions like this, Marty said the art committee aims to expand their circle of artists and poets to create a community. With that goal in mind, the team aims to create each exhibition
with a unique vigor that brings creative minds to Fountain Street Church. This year’s exhibition was especially ambitious in order to do that, but Marty said that very ambition always yields positive results. “Sometimes (creating an exhibition) is a stronger feeling than others, particularly when the idea initially is, ‘Gee, how are we going to do this?
What are we going to make of this?’” Marty said. “But it always comes together.” The church will also hold another reception July 17. Part of the reception will include the presentation poetry and awarding of scholarship money, courtesy of The Diatribe. The exhibition will be up in the Keeler Gallery at Fountain Street Church until August 29.
BEAUTY: Summer Light by Judy Tummino presents a green landscape with a blue waterfall. The painting is accompanied by several other beautiful pieces tha can be found at Grand Rapid’s Fountain Street Church during it’s summer exhibition. COURTESY | NOMAD GALLERY
A6 | SPORTS
JULY 9, 2018 GRAND VALLEY LANTHORN @GVLSPORTS
CALM UNDER PRESSURE: While the pocket is collapsing around him, quarterback Bart Williams steps back and delivers a rocket to the targeted GVSU receiver. Despite losing talented contributors on the offensive side of the ball, GVSU looks to improve upon an underwhelming 2017 season through tenacious defense, a strong recruitng class, lots of offseason preparation and a winning mentality. GVL | EMILY FRYE
Leaders, questions, legends and tests: 2018 GVSU football season preview BY BRADY MCATAMNEY EDITORIAL@LANTHORN.COM
The 2017 season did not go according to plan for the Grand Valley State Lakers football team. Coming off of a Division II playoff berth the previous season with more production expected to be gained than lost for the new season, the Lakers finished “only” 8-3 – a record most teams would call a success, but one that GVSU refuses to settle for. Luckily, it’s a new year and the winningest program in NCAA football history is ready to learn from their shortcomings. “We’re going to try and be a team,” said head coach Matt Mitchell who is returning for his ninth season at the helm. “Some of the parts are going to be better than the individuals and that starts a lot with accountability, trust and building that culture. Our culture is set by leadership. I’m a leader, our assistant coaches are leaders, but I’ve been working hard trying to develop team leadership, to make this a peer driven unit that’s playing together and not individuals achiev-
ing for statistics or trying to make it to the next level. “I think we’re going to be a true team and we’re working really, really hard to achieve that team culture and team chemistry. At points last year in our three losses we weren’t that way. We were a little individually operated. I think that cost us at times.” Mitchell expects his defense - which is anchored by returning key contributors Dylan Carroll, Mike Pettis, Tyler Bradfield, Isaiah Nkansah, Brendan McMahon, Kalen Dunham, DaMario Johnson, Jailyn Harden and Jacob Studdard - to be a key part of each Laker victory. Take the GVSU veterans and add defensive back Grant Postma, who missed all of 2017 with a torn ACL, and two defensive lineman Division I transfers in Jake Hlava from Northern Illinois and Johnathon Williams from Toledo and GVSU looks ready to improve on a unit that allowed opponents to score double-digits in only four of 11 games last season. The offense, though, has a few more questions to be answered. After the graduation of leading receivers Brandon Bean, Urston Smith and Nick
Keizer, the Lakers knew there would be holes to fill. Things became far more ambiguous once it was announced on June 29 that GVSU’s leading rusher from the two previous years, Martayveus Carter, would forgo his senior season to enter the NFL’s supplemental draft. “Obviously Marty has been a great player for us the last three years,” said quarterback Bart Williams. “We’re going to miss the big play ability that he brings to the table. We wish him the best of luck at the next level.” With Carter and his unmatched production suddenly out of the equation, it will be up to players like Bryce Young-Walls, Dre’on Kemp and Jack Provencher to step in and fill the gap. “(Our next starter) is to be determined. Spring practice was great for us. I think we’re always going to use three tailbacks at Grand Valley,” Mitchell said. “The biggest thing to lose with Marty not being around next year is that homerun threat. He could get in the back of the defense and just run away from everybody. I don’t think we’re going to have that with some of the guys we have coming back, but we have guys that are re-
ally good running backs. They stick to the plan, have great ball security and can do some things out of the backfield too. We’ll just have to find out who the best guys are who give us a chance to win.” The only certainty in the question-filled GVSU offense will be Williams himself, entering his fourth season as the Lakers’ starting signal caller. The nowLaker legend has thrown 105 touchdowns to go along with 9,854 career passing yards – both numbers that, barring an injury, will likely surpass Curt Anes’ school record of 114 and Cullen Finnerty’s 10,905, respectively. While having lost they several key contributors, Williams will still have Nick Dodson who led the team in catches, yards and touchdowns in 2016 but struggled last year before having his season end early due to injury, along with Austin Paritee and a handful of other pass-catchers poised to capture the spotlight. “I think Brandon Wadley had a really good freshman year,” Williams said. “He was really good in the return game especially and he had some moments on some jet sweeps down the field
and had some moments. I think we’re really going to need him to come on big time. Jalen Bryant has been there for a long time, he’s always reliable. Ethan Cortazzo, he was a transfer who was injured a little bit last year, he has a chance to get in the mix. I think that all the wideouts are very confident. Anybody who can get in there right now is going to be performing well and I think I have confidence in all those guys, even when it’s not Dodson or Paritee.” While the offensive questions can be solved, there is one major aspect of GVSU’s 2018 campaign that is – and will remain – an area of uncertainty: the schedule. “I think it’s a really challenging schedule,” Mitchell said. “I don’t know how many (Division II) teams have four playoff teams from the previous year on their schedule. We have three non-conference games and two of the three were in the playoffs last year. It’s going to be extremely challenging.” The four playoff teams are Delta State, Indianapolis, Ferris State and Ashland. The latter three schools accounted for all of the Lakers’ losses last season by a combined
eight points with each game being on the road. Luckily for GVSU, all three of those opponents will be visiting Lubbers Stadium in 2018, though the difficulty of playing the best of the best remains. “Speaking for myself, I came to play college football to play against good competition and play good football games,” Williams said. “The result of those games is definitely going to come down to who prepares more and who plays harder andv who makes better plays on the day of the game. Any time you have a chance to get on the field in front of some really good players, some really good teams, some really wellcoached teams, those are the fun games. They’re all a good time, they’re all important but the ones against top level talent, those are the ones that can define your season.” Though some questions loom large and others have been promptly erased, the Lakers are ready to begin the season and prove that last year was nothing more than a down season by re-establishing themselves as the playoff team opponents dread seeing on their schedule and not the other way around.
LEADERSHIP: Coach Matt Mitchell delivers a pep talking after the 2018 spring football game. GVSU opens its 2018 season with a home game against Indianapolis on Thursday, August 30. GVL | EMILY FRYE
JULY 9, 2018 GRAND VALLEY LANTHORN @GVLSPORTS
SPORTS | A7
Big things: 2020 forward Kaylee Bakker excited to join GVSU BY PAYTON MILOSER SPORTS@LANTHORN.COM
Recruiting isn’t just for high school seniors anymore. Kaylee Bakker, a high school sophomore from Zeeland West in Zeeland, Michigan, recently committed to Grand Valley State’s women’s basketball team. Though the forward still has two more years to prepare, it’s no wonder GVSU picked up on this 6-foot-one-inch superstar. Bakker played power forward for her school’s varsity girls basketball team as a freshman. After finishing her successful sophomore season, she committed to playing for Grand Valley State shortly after. “I feel like I belong there. Every time I have played there I have loved it.” Bakker said. “That is where I always wanted to go. As soon as I decided I wanted to play basketball, that’s where I wanted to go.” While she’s very excited to play for the Lakers, she is also aware of the difference between high school and college basketball. “I need to work on becoming a power finisher,” Bakker said during a recent interview with the Holland Sentinel. “I can finish pretty well, but in high school it is a lot easier. In college, every-
one is going to be my height.” With two more years to go and a spectacular two seasons behind her, there is no doubt that Bakker will be ready for the Division II team once she graduates. Bakker also a plays volleyball for her high school, but she chose to stick with basketball long-term since it comes more naturally to her. With some of the coordination from volleyball combined with her passion for basketball, she rounds out to be an asset every team should want to have. Additionally, she continues to be an anchor on the defensive end for her team. She attributes some of this from volleyball, but also to her height. “When we are able to play a zone and keep Kaylee in the middle of the floor, she’s a great shot blocker,” said Brooke Ross, who has coached Bakker in high school. “She doesn’t need to hit the ball into the stands, she just gets her hands on a lot of passes. She makes people adjust to her height.” Bakker even likes to say that she’s the best shot blocker in her family, even if her brother is also a basketball player on the boys team at the same high school. In her sophomore season, she averaged 10 points,
NEW BEGINNINGS: Future GVSU basketball player Kaylee Bakker stands with head coach Mike Williams and associate head coach Phil Sayers. The forward is heading into her junior year of high school and will attend GVSU in the fall of 2020. COURTESY | HOLLAND SENTINEL
7.1 rebounds, 5.7 blocks, 2.1 steals, and 1.8 assists a game. She was also named all-conference last season in the OK Green. Her attitude on the court is as great as her stats. Ross calls her determined and knows that when she puts
her mind to something she will make it happen for herself and her team. “I am just super proud of Kaylee and the strides she has made in her game,” Ross said. “She is a kid of high class that when she puts her mind to something, she is
going to make it happen.” She is not only excited about the basketball, but is also looking forward to working on her academics while at GVSU. “I need to get stronger and put more focus into my school work, which is also what they
emphasize,” Bakker said. “The opportunity (at Grand Valley State) is amazing.” With continued practice and two more years of high school ahead of her, there’s no telling the heights she can reach in high school and at GVSU.
Junior college transfer Demetrius Lake looks to help Lakers on the hardwood BY KELLEN VOSS SPORTS@LANTHORN.COM
The dog days of summer have officially arrived. And while there are no varsity sports going on right now at Grand Valley State, it is the perfect time to look toward
the future and feature some of the newcomers that could contribute for the GVSU 20182019 basketball team. When it comes to fresh faces for GVSU, Demetrius Lake should be able to make an impact right away. The 5-foot11-inch guard has an ability to
score the ball, as well as play tenacious defense, being a pest for opposing guards all over the court. From the minute he was officially signed in November, Lake has been working hard to train for the upcoming season and saying he is excited to start
BROTHERS: Lake stands with future teammate Jake Van Tubbergen postgame . GVL | DEMETRIUS LAKE
playing basketball again is an understatement. “We got a great group of guys and a great coaching staff, and we’ll be well rounded this year with a lot of talent on both the offensive and defensive end,” Lake said. “I’m pretty excited to see what we’re going to do this upcoming season.” Previously playing four years of varsity basketball for Holland High School, Lake is a bit of a local legend in West Michigan. The prolific scorer averaged 36.2 points per game in high school, scoring more than 2,000 points at Holland. A first team all-state honoree, the three-time Holland Basketball player of the year ranks 32nd alltime in scoring in Michigan high school basketball history. Lake forced defenses to smother him as soon as he crossed half court, as he hit 230 three-pointers in high school, placing him 11th all-time among Michigan high schoolers. Lake has put a lot of time into the sport he loves, as he spent the majority of his childhood playing AAU basketball. He credits all that time playing AAU for making him the player he is today. “Playing AAU all those years really got me ready to play basketball at the Division II level,” Lake said. “The competitiveness I played with and played against in AAU really prepared me for this.” Lake graduated in 2017 and
spent last season playing at Schoolcraft Community College, where he averaged 17.6 points per game, shooting 44 percent from the field and 38.3 percent from beyond the arc. After the 2017-2018 academic year ended, Lake moved into GVSU where he has been practicing the game he loves while lifting every day and watching film of GVSU games, staying committed and getting a chance to bond with his teammates here in Allendale. “I like these guys a lot,” Lake said. “We see each other every day, we’re always working out together and cracking jokes. It’s been feeling more like a brotherhood here so far.” Lake is excited to reunite with his former AAU teammate and fellow Holland native Jake Van Tubbergen at GVSU. They have the same killer mindset when it comes to the game, and Lake knows they can do great things together in Allendale. “We started playing together on the West Michigan Lakers, playing as sixth graders on the seventh and eighth grade team,” Lake said. “I played against him a lot in high school, since Holland and West Ottawa are big rivals. Now we get the chance to reunite and showcase our talents, and I’m excited to see what we can do.” Although scoring was obviously Lake’s specialty in high school, he believes his energy and improvement on the de-
fensive end can be his main contribution to this team. “I play really wild defense, and it helps energize the guys around me.” he said. “I’ve gotten a lot better at talking on defense, and that talking will help me become a better player and help contribute at a Division II level.” Lake has been taking classes with his teammates all summer, but outside of the classroom, Lake’s main focus this offseason has been getting stronger and adding muscle to prepare himself for the season. “I’ve been adding more weight to my frame because there’s a lot of good, strong guards in the GLIAC,” Lake said. “I want to improve on my ability to create for my teammates as well, but I’ve been mostly focused in transforming my body and getting stronger this offseason. Anyone who has seen Demetrius Lake play the game knows that he never stops working hard. That drive and persistence got him to where he is today, and he looks to keep working hard at GVSU, doing whatever he can to help this team succeed along the way. “It’s not always about talent, hard work really does pay off,” Lake said. “It’s all about being the first one to the gym and the last one to leave. I’ve been that guy, and I’ve just been dedicating myself to the game.”
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JULY 9, 2018 GRAND VALLEY LANTHORN @GVLSPORTS
A8 | SPORTS BASEBALL
“It’s just playing baseball”: GVSU Pitcher Josh D. Smith drafted by the Texas Rangers BY KELLEN VOSS SPORTS@LANTHORN.COM
Summer is finally here, which for many of college kids means going right to work. That is exactly the case for Grand Valley State pitcher Josh D. Smith. While many of us are mowing lawns or mopping floors, Smith is spending his summer in a less traditional summer job: playing baseball professionally. Smith spent two years playing baseball for the University of Kentucky before transferring to GVSU prior to the 2018 season. Before he got hurt, he was an ace on the mound for the Lakers, posting a 2-1 record with 25 strikeouts and a 1.12 ERA in 24 in-
nings, mostly in relief. While Smith was obviously excited initially about getting drafted, he remains humble and feels the need to keep up the hard work that got him to where he is today. “It feels great, but I feel like we also have to get to work,” Smith said. “It’s hard to get into a routine with how everything’s changed, but I guess you just got to be ready for anything.” Smith is never going to forget that moment on Wednesday, June 6. He was at parents’ house sitting next to his dad, watching the draft tracker and beaming with anticipation. In the 25th round, Smith saw his name on the tracker and his heart skipped a beat. “We didn’t really know what was going on, with the
I’ve been preparing for this for most of my life, and now that it’s here, I’m ready to do whatever they want me to do to help the team. It’s crazy, but it’s just playing baseball. I just have to do my thing, and prepare for whatever place I get put in” JOSH D. SMITH GVSU PITCHER
THE NEXT LEVEL: After playing for the University of Kentucky for three years, Smith turned heads in his time with the Lakers and is currently training with the Texas Rangers. COURTESY I GVSU ATHLETICS
injury this year, we didn’t know what was going to happen,” Smith said. “It was a feeling I’d never had before. We were both thrilled, and I have never seen my dad react so happily like that.” Even though his time in Allendale was fairly limited, he still feels thankful for his time and credits the coaches for helping him improve as a ball player and a man. “When I decided I wanted to transfer, it wasn’t an easy decision,” Smith said. “But this whole year at GV was big for me. I feel they put in a lot of effort to prepare me (for the MLB) in the month and a half I was healthy for.” Smith now spends his days training with the Rangers and their minor league team in Arizona.
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“The MRI came back positive and everything felt fine, they just want to make sure it stays that way.” No matter what happens, the GVSU baseball team is rooting for Smith to succeed and hopefully make it to the majors one day. Smith seems very focused, and while he is excited about all this, his main goal this summer is to simply keep calm and play the sport he loves. “I’ve been preparing for this for most of my life, and now that it’s here, I’m ready to do whatever they want me to do to help the team,” Smith said. “It’s crazy, but it’s just playing baseball. I just have to do my thing, not let the situation get too big, and prepare for whatever place I get put in.”
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Based on his description of what his normal day is like now, it sounds like he truly is living his dream. “These days I wake up around 9:00 a.m. and chill until noon, and then I head to the field until 6 (p.m.) or 7 (p.m.).” Smith said. “I wouldn’t want it any other way.” Smith’s main focus this summer is healing up his left arm injury that was re-aggravated late in GLIAC conference play. He had Tommy John surgery on that same arm while at Kentucky, so the Rangers are taking every precaution to make sure that they get the best out of their new prospect. “I’m almost healthy, but they want to take it slow with my arm and I trust what they are telling me to do to get back,” Smith said.
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Issue 1, July 9, 2019 - Grand Valley Lanthorn