GRAHEN Awards Ceremony (2012)


Uploaded by GRCCtv on 19.04.2012

Transcript:
>> WELL, GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME.
IS THIS TOO LOUD?
AM I-- YOU GOOD?
ALL RIGHT, OKAY.
JUST LET ME KNOW IF THAT HAPPENS.
FOR THE NEXT THREE HOURS, I'M GONNA SIT UP HERE...
(audience laughing)
UM, REALLY QUICK,
IF ANYBODY NEEDS PARKING PASSES, WE HAVE THEM.
SO, IF YOU DIDN'T GET A PARKING PASS, WE HAVE THEM UP HERE.
UH, FEEL FREE TO GRAB THOSE.
BUT, UM...
GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO THE 13th ANNUAL OUTSTANDING ADULT LEARNER AWARDS.
I'M JAMES GRAFF WITH CORNERSTONE UNIVERSITY,
AND A MEMBER OF THE GRAND RAPIDS HIGHER EDUCATION NETWORK--
THERE WE GO--
ALSO KNOWN AS G.R.A.H.E.N.
UH, I WAS TOLD TO COME UP HERE
AND TELL A JOKE, 'CAUSE THAT'S USUALLY A GOOD ICEBREAKER...
SO I GOT ONE, IF YOU WANNA HEAR IT. (audience agrees)
ALL RIGHT.
HOW COME THE PIRATE COULD NOT TAKE HIS KID TO GO SEE THE MOVIE?
>> IT WAS RATED "ARRRRR." >> YEAH!
IT WAS RATED "YE-ARRRRR!"
THAT'S GREAT! (audience laughing)
ALL RIGHT, WELL, OKAY.
IT WAS-- WHAT'S A PIRATE'S FAVORITE SOCK?
>> ARRRRRGYLE.
(audience laughing) >> AW, COME ON!
OKAY, ALL RIGHT.
WHERE'S A PIRATE'S FAVORITE PLACE TO EAT?
>> ARRRRRBY'S. >> AW, JEEZ, YOU GUYS ARE TOO--
OKAY, WHAT'S A PIRATE'S FAVORITE SUBJECT IN SCHOOL?
>> ARRRRRT. >> ARRRRRT!
OKAY, I GOTCHA. (laughing)
OKAY, SO ANYWAY, WE'RE DONE WITH THAT. (audience laughing)
SITTING AMONG US TONIGHT ARE TEN NON-TRADITIONAL ADULT STUDENTS
WHO CAME BACK TO LEARN AND FULFILL A DREAM,
OFTEN AT GREAT SACRIFICE.
THEY'RE REAL HEROES--
ORDINARY PEOPLE WHO HAVE ACCOMPLISHED EXTRAORDINARY THINGS.
THEY SHARE ORDINARY VALUES AND EXTRAORDINARY DETERMINATION.
FOR THE PAST 13 YEARS,
G.R.A.H.E.N. HAS BEEN HONORING OUTSTANDING ADULT LEARNERS.
THIS EVENING, WE GATHER TO RECOGNIZE AND CELEBRATE INDIVIDUALS
WHO ARE EXCEPTIONAL INSIDE THE CLASSROOM AND OUT.
THESE ADULT LEARNERS FACE A DIFFERENT SET OF OBSTACLES
THAN OUR TRADITIONAL STUDENT-- AND WHEN I STAY "TRADITIONAL,"
YOU KNOW, RIGHT OUT OF HIGH SCHOOL,
GOING TO THE DORMS, ALL THAT FUN STUFF.
UM...
'CAUSE THESE STUDENTS ACTUALLY HAVE JOBS,
FAMILIES, COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT,
AND THEN ON TOP OF THAT, THEY HAVE TO DO HOMEWORK,
AND... (laughing)
BASICALLY, THIS GROUP OF PEOPLE HAS REALLY, REALLY PROVEN
TO SUCCESSFULLY BALANCE ALL THAT.
SO, IT SAYS A LOT ABOUT THIS GROUP IN THIS ROOM.
FOR MANY OF THE NOMINEES,
THIS IS THE FIRST TIME THAT THEY HAVE, PROBABLY, EVER HEARD OF G.R.A.H.E.N.
AND OUR CONSORTIUM.
FOR THOSE ARE YOU WHO ARE UNFAMILIAR WITH THIS GROUP,
ALLOW ME TO INTRODUCE YOU-- THE GRAND RAPIDS HIGHER EDUCATION--
THE GRAND RAPIDS AREA HIGHER EDUCATION NETWORK.
SEE, I EVEN HAVE A PROBLEM WITH IT. (laughing)
IT'S A CONSORTIUM OF 11 COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES
WHO ALL HAVE A PRESENCE IN GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN.
THESE SCHOOLS ARE NORMALLY THOUGHT OF AS COMPETITORS,
BUT WE COME TOGETHER TO PROMOTE HIGHER EDUCATION
AND ITS IMPORTANCE IN OUR GRAND RAPIDS COMMUNITY.
PLEASE, ALLOW ME TO INTRODUCE THE 11 SCHOOLS
AND OUR G.R.A.H.E.N. REPRESENTATIVES, STARTING OFF WITH AQUINAS COLLEGE--
IF YOU COULD PLEASE STAND WHEN I MENTION YOUR NAME-- BRENDA HENNINK.
BRENDA IS ALSO OUR G.R.A.H.E.N. TREASURER,
SO WE REALLY APPRECIATE WHAT YOU DO.
UH, CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY-- LACY OTTEMAN...
AND SHE'S ALSO OUR G.R.A.H.E.N. SECRETARY, SO WE APPRECIATE HER AS WELL.
UH, CORNERSTONE UNIVERSITY-- JAMES GRAFF, RIGHT HERE.
THERE YOU GO, OKAY. (audience laughing)
DAVENPORT UNIVERSITY-- RANDY MACK.
FERRIS STATE UNIVERSITY-- CYNTHIA BLASZAK.
>> CLOSE-- IT'S "BLAY"SZAK. >> BLASZAK-- SORRY.
I WAS GONNA BUTCHER THAT-- YOU KNOW THAT.
I JUST CALL YOU CYNTHIA, SORRY.
GRAND RAPIDS COMMUNITY COLLEGE-- ANGELA ZAINEA.
>> YOU GOT IT. >> YES!
ALL RIGHT.
GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY-- TRACEY JAMES-HEER.
NORTHWOOD UNIVERSITY-- BRETT BLYTHE.
WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY-- JEAN HIBBARD.
AND THAT IS THAT.
SO, THIS IS OUR GROUP.
SO, THIS OUTSTANDING ADULT LEARNER CEREMONY IS OUR CONSORTIUM'S--
IT'S OUR BIGGEST ANNUAL EVENT,
AND TONIGHT, WE CELEBRATE THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF ADULT LEARNERS
FOR THE 13th CONSECUTIVE YEAR.
OUR RECIPIENTS HAVE DEMONSTRATED THE ABILITY
TO SUCCESSFULLY MANAGE SCHOOL, FAMILY, COMMUNITY,
AND IT'S REALLY DEFINITELY A HEROIC FEAT WORTH APPLAUDING,
SO I WANNA GIVE EVERYONE A HAND. (applause)
HERE'S HOW THE AWARD SYSTEM WORKS.
EACH MEMBER'S SCHOOL ENLISTS THE HELP OF FACULTY AND STAFF
TO NOMINATE OUTSTANDING ADULTS WHOSE ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND CONTRIBUTIONS
IN HIGHER EDUCATION MERIT SPECIAL RECOGNITION.
OUT OF ALL THE NOMINATIONS, ONE CANDIDATE IS SELECTED FROM EACH INSTITUTION,
BASED ON THEIR PERFORMANCE IN A FEW CATEGORIES--
WRITTEN ESSAY, LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION, ACADEMIC ACCOMPLISHMENTS,
COMMUNITY SERVICE, AND LEADERSHIP.
BEFORE I ANNOUNCE THE WINNERS, I'D LIKE TO...
GIVE A BRIEF INTRO TO OUR SPEAKER FOR THE EVENING.
UM...
AND HIS NAME IS DR. RICK OLSEN, AND MR. OLSEN--
WE HAD A CHANCE TO TALK BRIEFLY BEFORE-- HE'S SOMEWHERE-- THERE HE IS--
SOMEWHERE IN THE ROOM-- ABOUT HIS BIO.
UH, I JUST GOT THIS BEFORE-- IT'S PRETTY IMPRESSIVE.
IN FACT, I FEEL LIKE I HAVEN'T DONE MUCH IN MY LIFE, LOOKING AT THIS.
(audience laughing)
SO, LET ME JUST TELL YOU A LITTLE BIT ABOUT DR. RICK OLSEN.
BASICALLY, HE COULD BE THE POSTER CHILD FOR THE ADULT LEARNER.
HE ENROLLED IN COLLEGE IMMEDIATELY AFTER GRADUATION FROM HIGH SCHOOL.
HE DIDN'T KNOW IT AT THE TIME,
BUT HE WAS NOT YET "ADULT" ENOUGH TO BENEFIT FROM THE OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN.
SAME THING HAPPENED TO ME, I SWEAR. (all laughing)
AFTER TWO YEARS OR LESS-- OF A LESS THAN STERLING PERFORMANCE AS A STUDENT,
HE ENLISTED IN THE UNITED STATES AIR FORCE,
WHERE HE FINALLY GREW UP.
UPON COMPLETION OF HIS MILITARY OBLIGATION,
HE ENROLLED IN THE UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT
AND GRADUATED TWO YEARS LATER WITH A BACHELOR'S OF SCIENCE DEGREE.
HE HAD THE INTENTION OF BECOMING A VETERINARIAN,
BUT VETERINARY SCHOOLS HAD A DIM VIEW OF A YOUNG MAN
WHO FRETTED AWAY HIS FIRST TWO YEARS OF EDUCATION.
SHAME ON THEM.
LIKE SO MANY OF US, DR. OLSEN HAD MET A MENTOR AND COACH AT THE COLLEGE--
DR. JAMES WELCH.
DR. WELCH SAW THE POTENTIAL IN THIS YOUNG MAN
AND ENCOURAGED HIM TO APPLY TO THE PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY
TO CONTINUE HIS EDUCATION.
HAVING FINALLY RECOGNIZED THE VALUE OF EDUCATION,
DR. OLSEN RECEIVED HIS PhD
AND BEGAN A CAREER IN SCIENCE AND EDUCATION.
HE ACCEPTED A POSITION AT THE UPJOHN COMPANY,
WHICH IS NOW PFIZER, IN KALAMAZOO AS A RESEARCH SCIENTIST,
WHERE HE WORKED ON THE DISCOVERY OF DRUGS
TARGETED AT IMPROVING THE IMPROVING THE PERFORMANCE OF DOMESTIC LIVESTOCK.
IT TOOK A DECADE FOR HIM TO REALIZE THAT HIS TRUE CALLING
WAS NOT IN RESEARCH BUT IN EDUCATION.
HE LEFT THE INDUSTRY AND BEGAN TEACHING AS NAZARETH COLLEGE,
A SMALL LIBERAL ARTS COLLEGE IN KALAMAZOO, MICHIGAN,
WORKING 13 YEARS, THEN-- I'M SORRY.
REWIND.
WHEN NAZARETH CLOSED, HE THEN WENT AND WORKED 13 YEARS
AT KALAMAZOO VALLEY COMMUNITY COLLEGE AS AN INSTRUCTOR.
HE WAS THE CHAIR OF THE BIOLOGY DEPARTMENT AND ASSISTANT DEAN OF LIBERAL ARTS.
HE CAME TO GRAND RAPIDS COMMUNITY COLLEGE IN JULY OF 2002,
AND HAS SERVED IN THE ROLE OF ASSISTANT DEAN,
AND THEN DEAN OF SCHOOL OF ARTS AND SCIENCES.
HE RETIRED JULY 1st, 2011, FROM THE POSITION
OF ASSOCIATE'S PROVOST FOR ACADEMIC TRANSITIONS.
HE HAS BEEN A LONG-TERM ADVOCATE FOR STUDENT SUCCESS
AND HAS, MANY YEARS, CHAMPIONED THE DEVELOPMENT
OF OUTSTANDING LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS AT THE COLLEGE,
INCLUDING THE DEVELOPMENT OF SNEDEN HALL ON THE DEVOS CAMPUS.
SO, WITHOUT FURTHER ADO, DR. RICK, PLEASE COME UP.
(applause)
HE'S PRETTY COOL. (scattered laughing)
>> AND I TOLD HIM I CAN'T STAND AT A PODIUM,
SO WE HAVE TO MOVE HERE A LITTLE BIT.
UH, THE ONLY IMPORTANT PARTS OF THE BIO YOU JUST HEARD
IS ONE, THAT I'M RETIRED,
WHICH MEANS I DIDN'T HAVE TO WEAR A SUIT HERE TONIGHT--
(audience laughing) SO I APPRECIATED THAT.
AND THE SECOND, THAT I'VE BEEN AN ADVOCATE FOR MANY, MANY YEARS
FOR STUDENT SUCCESS,
AND I'VE HAD A GREAT PLEASURE WORKING THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE SYSTEMS--
TWO SYSTEMS-- AND I'VE REALLY ALWAYS VALUED MY ADULT LEARNERS.
SO, I'D LIKE TO START WITH THIS--
IF YOU'RE ONE OF THE CANDIDATES HERE AS AN ADULT LEARNER,
IF YOU'RE AN ADULT LEARNER CURRENTLY AT ANY INSTITUTION, WOULD YOU STAND UP?
STAY STANDING FOR A SECOND, PLEASE?
AND LET'S GIVE OUR FIRST ROUND OF APPLAUSE FOR THEM TONIGHT.
(applause)
NOW, STAY STANDING UP.
IF YOU HAVE EVER BEEN AN ADULT LEARNER,
LET'S SAY AFTER THE AGE OF 18 TO 21, AND YOU ATTENDED SCHOOL,
WOULD YOU PLEASE STAND UP?
YOU CAN SEE YOU'RE ALL IN GOOD COMPANY.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH-- SIT DOWN.
WHEN I WAS INVITED TO SPEAK HERE TONIGHT,
I WAS SURE THIS WAS A MISTAKE.
I WAS SURE ANGELA HAD DIALED THE WRONG NUMBER.
(audience chuckling)
AND THE REASON I FELT THAT WAY WAS BECAUSE I DON'T THINK
I MEET ANY OF THE CRITERIA HERE TONIGHT.
I'M PRETTY SURE I'M NOT AN ADULT.
I HAVE SEVEN CHILDREN,
ALL OF WHICH THAT ARE OLDER THAN I AM...
(audience laughing)
AND EACH OF THEM WOULD TELL YOU I'M NOWHERE NEAR BEING AN ADULT.
SO, THEN, I THOUGHT MAYBE I'D QUALIFIED AT THE "LEARNER" PART,
AND IF YOU ASK MY WIFE, SHE WOULD TELL YOU I'M A VERY SLOW LEARNER,
SO I'M NOT SURE I QUALIFY THERE EITHER.
AND THE ONLY TIME I CAN REMEMBER BEING OUTSTANDING
WAS WHEN I WAS OUT STANDING IN MY BACKYARD YESTERDAY
TRYING TO REMEMBER WHERE I LEFT THE LAWNMOWER, BUT...
(audience laughing)
BUT GIVEN ALL THAT, I HOPE WHAT YOU DID HEAR FROM THE BIO
IS THAT I'VE BEEN THROUGH WHAT MANY OF THE ADULT LEARNERS
HAVE BEEN THROUGH.
I DID MANAGE TO BE SPECTACULARLY UNSUCCESSFUL
IN MY FIRST ATTEMPT AT COLLEGE.
THAT WAS THE TIME OF THE VIETNAM ERA,
AND YOU KNEW WHAT HAPPENED WHEN YOU LEFT COLLEGE,
AND THAT'S WHAT TOOK ME DOWN TO THE AIR FORCE RECRUITER.
AND I DID GROW UP IN THE AIR FORCE AND I CAME BACK TO, UM, FIGURE OUT HOW--
WHAT LEARNING'S ALL ABOUT.
SO, I'D LIKE TO TALK ABOUT THREE THINGS TONIGHT.
I'D LIKE TO TALK ABOUT THE THREE ELEMENTS
OF WHAT WE'RE HERE TO CELEBRATE TONIGHT-- OUTSTANDING ADULT LEARNERS.
AND I'D LIKE TO START WITH THE "LEARNERS" FIRST,
AND TALK ABOUT--
THROUGH THE EYES OF A COLLEGE PROFESSOR AND ADMINISTRATOR--
WHAT DO WE MEAN WHEN WE THINK ABOUT THE TERM "LEARNER"?
AND I HOPE THIS, UM... REGISTERS WITH YOU.
I TEACH A CLASS HERE CALLED "INTRODUCTION TO COLLEGE, C.L.S. 100,"
AND WE SPEND A LOT OF TIME TRYING TO HELP STUDENTS UNDERSTAND
WHAT KIND OF A LEARNER THEY ARE,
BECAUSE IT TURNS OUT YOU CAN'T BE SUCCESSFUL
UNLESS YOU UNDERSTAND THAT.
AND WE TALK ABOUT FOUR TYPES OF LEARNERS.
WE TALK VISUAL LEARNERS, AND MANY OF US ARE VISUAL LEARNERS.
WE HAVE TO SEE THINGS IN THE FORMS OF GRAPHS AND CHARTS AND PICTURES,
AND WHEN WE SEE IT THAT WAY, IT LEAVES AN IMPRESSION ON US,
AND WE KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH THAT PIECE OF INFORMATION.
NOW, UNFORTUNATELY, IN A LOT OF COLLEGE CLASSROOMS,
YOU MAY SIT THERE FOR TWO HOURS AND HEAR AN AWFUL LOT OF WORDS
AND NOT SEE MANY VISUALS,
AND THAT'S A TOUGH LEARNING ENVIRONMENT FOR YOU.
BUT THERE ARE WAYS TO GET AROUND THAT.
THEN, THERE'S THE AURAL LEARNER--
THE PERSON THAT HEARS THINGS AND IT REGISTERS.
I ENVY THOSE FOLKS 'CAUSE YOU CAN TALK TO ME FOR AN HOUR
AND I CAN'T REMEMBER ANYTHING YOU'VE SAID TO ME, BUT...
(chuckling) THERE ARE STUDENTS OUT THERE
THAT REALLY THRIVE BECAUSE WHAT THEY HEAR IS WHAT THEY REMEMBER.
THE THIRD TYPE OF LEARNER IS THE READ-WRITE LEARNER.
THEY HAVE TO PUT THINGS IN WORDS.
THE WRITTEN WORD MAKES SENSE TO THEM,
WRITING NOTES DURING CLASS MAKES SENSE TO THEM,
GOING BACK AND READING THOSE NOTES
AND REWRITING THOSE NOTES MAKES SENSE TO THEM...
AND THAT'S WHAT WORKS FOR THEM.
AND THEN, THERE'S THE KINESTHETIC LEARNER,
AND THE KINESTHETIC LEARNER'S THE PERSON THAT HAS TO BE MOVING.
YOU MIGHT HAVE FIGURED OUT ALREADY, I'M KIND OF A KINESTHETIC LEARNER.
I HAVE TO MOVE.
IF I DON'T MOVE, I CAN'T LISTEN.
IF I DON'T MOVE, I CAN'T THINK.
SO, I HAVE TO MOVE, AND YOU MAY BE IN THAT WAY.
BUT HERE'S THE POINT-- IT TURNS OUT LEARNERS COME IN AT LEAST FOUR FLAVORS,
AND ACTUALLY MORE FLAVORS THAN THAT,
AND IT'S IMPORTANT AS A LEARNER,
WHETHER YOU'RE 16, 18, 25, OR 65,
IT DOESN'T MAKE MUCH DIFFERENCE.
IT'S IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND WHAT THAT LEARNING STYLE IS.
AND BY THE WAY, IF YOU EVER WANT TO FIGURE THAT OUT--
YOU DON'T KNOW YET-- THERE IS A LITTLE THING ON THE COMPUTER
THAT'S REALLY EASY TO GOOGLE.
IT'S CALLED THE "VARK ANALYSIS."
V-A-R-K.
AND YOU CAN GO IN AND DO THAT WHEN YOU GO HOME TONIGHT,
AND TEN MINUTES LATER, YOU'LL HAVE AT LEAST SOME SENSE
OF WHAT SORT OF LEARNER YOU ARE,
AND THEREFORE, WHAT YOU NEED IN ORDER TO LEARN.
SO, LEARNERS-- LEARNERS COME IN DIFFERENT FLAVORS.
LET'S TALK ABOUT BEING AN ADULT.
I'M NOT SURE I'M AN AUTHORITY ON THAT SUBJECT,
BUT LET'S TRY ANYWAY.
FROM THE STANDPOINT OF A TEACHER--
AND I JUST CAME OUT OF A CLASSROOM 35 MINUTES AGO TONIGHT,
SO I HOPE YOU SENSE THAT I HAVE SOME SENSE
OF WHAT THAT LOOKS LIKE FROM THE EYES OF A TEACHER--
AND I'LL TELL YOU, THE BIGGEST THING THAT "ADULT" MEANS
FROM THE TEACHER'S STANDPOINT IS THAT MATURE ATTITUDE TOWARD OTHERS.
YOU'D BE AMAZED...
HOW INTOLERANT SOME STUDENTS CAN BE,
AND THAT DOESN'T HAVE MUCH TO DO WITH AGE
AND HAS A LOT TO DO WITH MATURITY.
I HAD TO... (clearing throat)
I DID SOMETHING NAUGHTY IN MY CLASSROOM TONIGHT.
I WAS DOING A REVIEW FOR THE FINAL EXAM
AND I HAD SCHEDULED A STUDENT INVOLVEMENT SORT OF THING,
'CAUSE I'M A BIG BELIEVER IN ACTIVE LEARNING,
AND I MADE THEM SIT DOWN AND DEVISE QUESTIONS,
AND THEN WE GOT TO DO A LITTLE CONTEST TO SEE WHO COULD ANSWER--
AND I GAVE POINTS TO VARIOUS TEAMS.
WELL, I HAD TWO STUDENTS GET UP AND WALK OUT
BECAUSE THEY WERE HOPING I WAS GONNA STAND THERE
AND YAK AT 'EM FOR 90 MINUTES,
AND I WON'T TELL YOU WHAT I SAID TO MY CLASS ABOUT THEIR DEPARTURE,
BUT LET'S JUST SAY ALL THE REST OF MY CLASS GOT EXTRA CREDIT TONIGHT.
SO... (laughing)
SO, THE MATURE LEARNER IS ONE THAT UNDERSTANDS THAT LEARNING
IS A PARTICIPATORY SPORT.
IT'S NOT SOMETHING THAT'S A ONE-WAY FLOW OF INFORMATION
LIKE I'M DOING WITH YOU TONIGHT,
BUT IT'S SOMETHING THAT YOU HAVE TO ACTIVELY DO.
THE OTHER THING THAT I FIND IN OUR ADULT LEARNERS
IS THEY'RE OPEN TO NEW IDEAS.
UH, THAT'S--
I TELL MY STUDENTS RIGHT FROM THE GET-GO IN ALL MY CLASSES,
"LOOK, WHAT'D YOU COME TO COLLEGE FOR?
"YOU DIDN'T COME TO COLLEGE TO LEARN WHAT YOU ALREADY KNOW.
"YOU CAME TO COLLEGE TO LEARN SOMETHING NEW.
"SO, I HOPE I STRETCH YOUR BOUNDARIES, I HOPE I MAKE YOU FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE,
"I HOPE I MAKE YOU HAVE TO CHALLENGE ME
"AND CHALLENGE YOUR OTHER STUDENTS
"BECAUSE YOU DON'T NECESSARILY AGREE WITH WHAT'S BEING SAID,"
BECAUSE IF WE DON'T DO THAT,
THEN YOU REALLY HAVEN'T LEARNED ANYTHING.
AND MATURE LEARNERS ARE QUITE OPEN TO DOING THAT SOMETIMES.
THEY'RE WILLING TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR ACTIONS.
IT'S ALWAYS TRUE.
I HELPED DEVELOP A PROGRAM HERE CALLED THE C.A.P. PROGRAM
HERE AT THE INSTITUTION,
AND THESE WERE ALL FOLKS THAT HAVE BEEN DISPLACED WORKERS,
AND THEY CAME BACK--
THEY COME BACK TO GET A COLLEGE EDUCATION AND MOVE ON.
EVERY SINGLE ONE OF 'EM IS SUCCESSFUL-- 95 PERCENT OF 'EM ARE SUCCESSFUL.
WHY?
BECAUSE THEY UNDERSTAND HOW TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY.
THEY UNDERSTAND WHAT WORK IS AND WORK ETHIC IS.
I'M SORRY TO TELL THAT'S NOT ALWAYS TRUE IN MY CLASSROOM, AT LEAST.
THEY UNDERSTAND THEIR PRIORITIES.
THEY UNDERSTAND WHY THEY'RE HERE.
THEY UNDERSTAND WHY IT'S IMPORTANT TO BE HERE.
THEY UNDERSTAND WHY IT'S IMPORTANT TO DO THAT NEXT ASSIGNMENT
AND DO IT TO THE BEST THAT THEY CAN POSSIBLY DO IT.
UM, THEY'VE DEVELOPED THE SKILLS OF TIME MANAGEMENT ALREADY
BECAUSE EITHER THROUGH THEIR OWN FAILURES OR OTHER CHALLENGES,
WHEN THEY DIDN'T MANAGE THEIR TIME,
THEY ENDED BACK UP IN COLLEGE FOR SOME REASON, IN SOME CASES.
AND LASTLY-- NO, I GUESS LESS--
I GUESS WAS REALLY BLENDED INTO THE LAST ONE.
SO, I LOVE ADULT LEARNERS IN MY CLASS.
I LIKE TO TEACH NIGHT CLASSES, IN PARTICULARLY,
BECAUSE I GET A HIGHER PERCENTAGE OF ADULT CLASSES.
I LOVE MY YOUNG STUDENTS THAT MEET THESE CRITERIA, TOO,
BUT I CAN TELL YOU I CAN SOMETIMES WORK 14 WEEKS
TO TRY TO HELP THE LESS MATURE STUDENTS DEVELOP THE ATTITUDES
THEY NEED TO BE SUCCESSFUL.
SO, YOU'RE IN A VERY UNIQUE GROUP OF FOLKS,
AND YOUR CHANCES OF SUCCESS ARE SO HIGH
THAT WE LOVE TO SEE YOU HERE AT OUR INSTITUTIONS.
SO, LET'S GET TO THE LAST POINT--
WE'RE TALKING ABOUT OUTSTANDING ADULT LEARNERS
AND WE'RE WORKING BACKWARDS HERE.
SO, FROM THE STANDPOINT OF BEING AN EDUCATOR,
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE OUTSTANDING?
AND I THOUGHT I'D PUT THIS WITHIN A CONTEXT OF SOMETHING
THAT'S VERY IMPORTANT IN EDUCATIONAL WORLD--
IT'S CALLED BLOOM'S TECHNOLOGY.
AND REALLY, IT'S A WAY OF CLASSIFYING KNOWLEDGE,
AND I'M GONNA WORK KINDA FROM BOTTOM TO TOP HERE, AND HELP YOU--
I HOPE-- SEE WHY THIS IS SO IMPORTANT, TO ME ANYWAY, AS I TEACH.
BLOOM STARTS WITH THE CONCEPT OF THE LOWEST FORM OF, UH...
OF COGNITIVE THINKING OF KNOWLEDGE IS KNOWLEDGE.
THAT IS, I SAY, "THIS IS RED," AND YOU SAY BACK TO ME, "THIS IS RED."
I SAY, "THIS IS BLUE," AND YOU SAY BACK TO ME, "THIS IS BLUE."
UNFORTUNATELY, A LOT OF STUDENTS FEEL VERY COMFORTABLE THAT THAT'S LEARNING.
I'M REMINDED OF A STORY I READ MANY YEARS AGO
OF A STUDENT WHO WENT TO HARVARD--
VERY, VERY BRIGHT STUDENT, ATTENDED CLASS RELIGIOUSLY EVERY DAY,
PAID ATTENTION EVERY DAY... GOT THE EXAM.
HE WAS JUST DELIGHTED WITH THE EXAM, 'CAUSE HE KNEW EVERYTHING ON THE EXAM.
SO, HE WROTE DOWN EVERYTHING HE HAD LEARNED IN THAT CLASS,
TURNED THE EXAM IN, IT CAME BACK A "C-",
AND HE WAS ABSOLUTELY AMAZED.
HE WENT TO SEE HIS INSTRUCTOR.
HE SAID, "I DON'T UNDERSTAND.
"I TOLD YOU EVERYTHING YOU TOLD ME."
AND THE INSTRUCTOR SAYS, "I ALREADY KNOW WHAT I KNOW.
"I WAS INTERESTED IN WHAT YOU KNOW."
AND THAT'S THE PROBLEM WITH KNOWLEDGE.
IF ALL I CAN DO IS TRANSFER SOME OF WHAT'S IN MY HEAD TO YOU...
"YES, I KNOW WHAT A MITOCHONDRIA IS,
"AND YES, I KNOW WHAT A CELL MEMBRANE IS,"
THAT REALLY ISN'T VERY USEFUL TO YOU.
I SAY TO MY STUDENTS, "THAT'S THE BUILDING BLOCKS."
IF WE CAN DEFINE THE BUILDING BLOCKS, THAT'S A GREAT START.
IF YOU CAN'T BUILD A BUILDING WITH THE BUILDING BLOCKS,
IT'S REALLY NOT MUCH USE TO YOU.
SO, BLOOM SAYS, "KNOWLEDGE IS THE LOWEST FORM OF LEARNING,"
IF YOU WILL.
AND THEN, THERE'S COMPREHENSION, AND BELIEVE ME,
THERE'S A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN KNOWLEDGE AND COMPREHENSION.
I HAVE LOTS OF STUDENTS THAT KNOW STUFF AND DON'T UNDERSTAND MUCH,
AND THAT UNDERSTANDING IS CERTAINLY THE NEXT STEP UP.
SO, TO BE ABLE TO EXPLAIN-- I SAY TO MY STUDENTS ONCE IN A WHILE,
"IF YOU CAN TELL YOUR GRANDMOTHER WHAT OXIDATIVE PHOSPHORYLATION IS,
"YOU NOW UNDERSTAND," BECAUSE BELIEVE ME,
YOUR GRANDMOTHER DOESN'T, SO YOU HAVE TO KIND OF WORK THROUGH THAT WITH 'EM.
SO, THAT'S THE SECOND LEVEL.
THIRD LEVEL IS APPLICATION.
IN MY CLASSES, I WORK A HARD-- UH, REALLY HARD TO HELP THEM APPLY--
"NOW YOU KNOW SOMETHING, NOW YOU UNDERSTAND SOMETHING.
"APPLY IT TO A NEW SITUATION."
YOU SHOULD SEE-- WHEN I ASK THEM TO DO SOMETHING ON THE EXAM, THEY SAY,
"WELL, YOU DIDN'T TELL ME THAT."
I SAID, "WHOA, WHOA, WAIT A MINUTE.
"WE DID DO THIS, RIGHT?" "YUP."
"AND WE DID PRACTICE KINDA PUTTIN' THOSE PEOPLE TOGETHER, RIGHT?"
"RIGHT."
"AND NOW, ALL I ASKED YOU TO DO IS MAKE A NEW COLOR.
"WHY IS THAT NOT OKAY?"
AND IT TAKES 'EM A LITTLE WHILE, BUT THEY GET IT.
SO, APPLICATION.
SO, THE FOURTH LEVEL IS ANALYSIS,
AND THAT IS BEING ABLE TO SEPARATE SOME OF THE MORE COMPLEX CONCEPTS
INTO THEIR COMPONENT PIECES.
HERE'S THE VALUE OF DOING THAT-- IF YOU CAN FIGURE OUT A CONCEPT
AND WHAT MAKES UP THAT CONCEPT,
AND NOW YOU HAVE TO CREATE A NEW CONCEPT AND YOU KNOW THE PIECES,
THEN YOU CAN DO SOMETHING WITH THOSE PIECES.
SO, ANALYSIS IS A BIG STEP.
SYNTHESIS IS GREAT.
CAN YOU CREATE SOMETHING NEW FROM WHAT YOU'VE LEARNED IN THIS PARTICULAR COURSE?
CAN YOU CONSTRUCT NEW KNOWLEDGE?
CAN YOU CONSTRUCT A NEW IDEA?
CAN YOU DO SOMETHING WITH THAT IDEA THAT'S USEFUL TO FOLKS?
AND LASTLY, IS THE EVALUATION.
AND IF YOU DON'T THINK THAT'S IMPORTANT, LOOK AT THE INTERNET THESE DAYS.
I'LL TELL YA, MY THINKING HAS CHANGED A LOT.
I'M GLAD I WAITED TILL NOW TO GET INTO EDUCATION,
BECAUSE I CAN'T REMEMBER SQUAT. (chuckling)
BUT THE GOOD NEWS IS, IF I NEED TO FIND OUT A PIECE OF INFORMATION,
I CAN GET IT IN 30 SECONDS ON GOOGLE,
SO I DON'T HAVE TO REMEMBER THAT ANYMORE.
(audience laughing)
I CAN LEAVE ROOM IN MY BRAIN TO DO SYNTHESIS AND ANALYSIS
AND THAT SORT OF THING,
AND NOW THAT I'M RETIRED, I CAN DO A LOT OF THAT.
SO, IT'S KINDA FUN.
SO, WE'RE CELEBRATING TONIGHT THOSE SORTS OF FOLKS.
WE'RE CELEBRATING OUTSTANDING STUDENT LEARNERS,
AND I JUST WANTED YOU TO THINK ABOUT EVERYTHING THAT WENT INTO THAT,
AND CONGRATULATE THESE FOLKS FOR THE HARD WORK THAT THEY'VE DONE,
BECAUSE THEIR CHANCE OF SUCCESS IS PHENOMENAL
BECAUSE THEY HAVE PUT PIECES TOGETHER
THAT THE LESS MATURE, LESS OUTSTANDING STUDENT
JUST CANNOT FIGURE OUT HOW TO DO.
SO, MY CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OF YOU.
THANK YOU.
(applause)
THAT'S THE HARD PART. >> YEAH, IT ALWAYS IS.
ALL RIGHT, WE'RE STILL ON-- OKAY, GOOD.
UM, SO NOW, IT'S MY PLEASURE TO INTRODUCE TO YOU THE WINNERS
OF THE 2012 OUTSTANDING ADULT LEARNER AWARDS.
THANK YOU AGAIN, DR. OLSEN.
UM, AWARD RECIPIENTS, AFTER YOUR NAME AND BIO IS RATTLED OUT,
PLEASE COME TO THE FRONT OF THE ROOM.
YOUR SCHOOL'S REPRESENTATIVE WILL THEN MEET YOU,
PRESENT YOU WITH YOUR CERTIFICATE,
AND WE'D ASK A PAUSE THAT WE TAKE A PICTURE OF YOU ONSTAGE.
SO, WITHOUT FURTHER ADO...
YOU WANNA START IT OFF?
ALL RIGHT.
SO, HERE WE GO.
>> GOOD EVENING, EVERYONE.
AS JAMES SAID, MY NAME IS BRENDA HENNINK FROM AQUINAS COLLEGE,
AND I'M HERE TO TALK ABOUT KARYL.
AND IF YOU LOOK IN YOUR PROGRAMS,
YOU'LL SEE SOME BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION,
BUT WHAT I'M GOING TO DO INSTEAD IS READ A FEW WORDS
THAT WERE WRITTEN BY THE PROFESSOR THAT NOMINATED HER, DR. DAVE WEINANDY.
UM, AN INTERESTING STORY ABOUT COMMITMENT I'LL TELL YOU NOW.
KARYL HAD CLASS TONIGHT,
AND SO, WHEN SHE WAS NOTIFIED THAT SHE WAS THE RECIPIENT OF THIS AWARD,
SHE HAD A HARD CHOICE TO MAKE
BECAUSE THE PROFESSOR SAID THAT SHE COULD BE HERE TONIGHT
OR SHE COULD BE IN CLASS AND EITHER WOULD BE FINE.
AND SHE ACTUALLY CHOSE TO BE IN CLASS TONIGHT.
IRONICALLY ENOUGH, THAT CLASS WAS CANCELLED,
SO SHE IS HERE THIS EVENING. (all laughing)
SO, I THINK-- I THINK FATE DID US A FAVOR.
BUT I JUST WANTED TO LET YOU KNOW THAT I WAS REALLY IMPRESSED BY HER CHOICE
THAT SHE HAD THE FREEDOM TO BE ABLE TO COME HERE TONIGHT AND SHE DECIDED--
SHE SAID, YOU KNOW, "I HAVE TWO LOVES--
"TWO THINGS THAT I COULD DO THAT WOULD BE A WONDERFUL THING TONIGHT,"
AND SHE WAS GONNA MAKE THE CHOICE FOR THE CLASSROOM.
BUT HER PROFESSOR STILL HAD TO WORK WITH SOME STUDENTS THIS EVENING,
SO HE SENT A FEW WORDS ALONG ABOUT HER.
HE SAID, "KARYL IS ONE OF THE MOST ENJOYABLE AND MOTIVATED STUDENTS
"I HAVE EVER HAD THE HONOR OF TEACHING.
"THE MORE CHALLENGING THE WORK, THE MORE MOTIVATED SHE BECOMES,
"ALL WHILE BEING POSITIVE.
"I HAVE NEVER, EVER HEARD HER COMPLAIN.
"I HAVE WATCHED HER PATIENTLY AND INTENSELY LISTEN TO OTHER'S COMPLAINTS.
"CLASS IS NOT ABOUT INSTRUCTING HER--
"IT IS ABOUT HAVING A CONVERSATION WITH HER.
"SHE DOES NOT WAIT TO BE TAUGHT-- SHE TAKES AN ACTIVE ROLE IN HER LEARNING.
"KARYL IS AN EXCEPTIONAL WRITER AND ORAL COMMUNICATOR,
"ONE WHO CAN AND DOES ADAPT HER STYLE TO ANY AUDIENCE.
"I LOVE THE FACT SHE IS ONE OF THE FEW PEOPLE I HAVE EVER MET
"WHO ACTUALLY LISTENS SO OTHERS WILL SPEAK.
"USUALLY, IT IS THE OPPOSITE.
"HER POSITIVE ATTITUDE AND COMPASSION PROMOTE
"A VERY NON-COMPETITIVE CLASSROOM ATMOSPHERE.
"SHE HELPS OTHERS OUT AND CHAMPIONS FOR ALL.
"HER CLASSMATES' SUCCESSES ARE A SOURCE OF GREAT PRIDE FOR HER.
"LIKEWISE, PEOPLE IN HER CLASSES LOVE HER.
"NON-VERBALLY, SHE IS ENGAGED IN EVERY SECOND,
"WHETHER IN CLASS OR CONVERSATIONALLY.
"SHE MAY HAVE WORKED ALL DAY, TAKEN CARE OF HER FAMILY,
"BEEN INVOLVED IN HER COMMUNITY, BUT SHE NEVER LOOKS TIRED.
"YOU CANNOT HELP FEELING BETTER ABOUT YOURSELF
"AND YOUR INTERACTION AFTER SEEING KARYL.
"SHE ADDS ENERGY TO A CLASS, NON-VERBALLY."
AND IN THE "COMMENTS, QUESTIONS, AND STORIES" SHE SHARES,
"SHE IS RELATABLE TO ALL.
"SHE TRANSCENDS AGE.
"SHE ENJOYS THE CHALLENGE OF HER CLASSES
"AND PERFORMS AT AN 'A+' LEVEL ON ASSIGNMENTS,
"ASSESSED WORK, AND IN HER CLASSROOM INTERACTION.
"HER KNOWLEDGE AND TECHNICAL SKILLS ARE THE BEST...
"HER BEDSIDE MANNER IS EVEN BETTER.
"SHE HAS AN AMAZING SENSE OF HUMOR, MAKING IT FUN TO BE IN HER PRESENCE.
"SHE LOVES HER CLASS.
"IT IS HER RELEASE FROM HER ALREADY VERY ACCOMPLISHED PROFESSIONAL WORLD.
"SHE WOULD BE THE PERFECT COLLEGE PROFESSOR,
"WITH HER INTRINSIC MOTIVATION AND INTELLIGENCE.
"SHE LOVES THINKING AND THE CHALLENGE OF TAKING THE THEORETICAL
"TO THE PRACTICAL.
"WHETHER SHE REALIZES IT OR NOT,
"KARYL SERVES AS A ROLE MODEL FOR OTHER STUDENTS--
"HOW A PROFESSIONAL SHOULD ACT.
"SHE DEMONSTRATES THAT ONE CAN BE WARM,
"COMPASSIONATE, GRACIOUS, AND COMPETENT.
"SHE IS LIVING PROOF THAT NICE 'GUYS' CAN FINISH FIRST."
PLEASE, COME UP.
(applause)
(applause)
>> HELLO, I'M LACY OTTEMAN WITH CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY,
AND THIS EVENING, I HAVE THE HONOR
OF HONORING OUR OUTSTANDING STUDENT, ANNE BEEKMAN.
ANNE IS A STUDENT IN OUR MASTER OF SCIENCE AND ADMINISTRATION PROGRAM,
WITH A CONCENTRATION IN HEALTH SERVICES.
SHE HAS EXCELLED IN THE CLASSROOM WHILE PURSUING SIGNIFICANT CAREER OBJECTIVES.
ANNE WAS FUNDAMENTAL IN THE FOLLOWING WORK INITIATIVES--
OPENING OF THE MEIJER HEART CENTER,
LEADING AN ACCREDITATION TEAM FOR CORONARY CERTIFICATION,
COORDINATING A PROJECT TO REDUCE PATIENT EXPENSE FOR CORONARY PROCEDURES,
JUST TO NAME A FEW.
THERE WERE SO MANY LISTED BY HER SUPERVISORS
AND OTHER...
WORK MEMBERS, AND SO MANY MEDICAL TERMS,
I KNEW I WOULD NEVER BE ABLE TO PRONOUNCE UP HERE...
(laughing) ANNE AMAZES ME.
ANNE'S SUPERVISOR HAD THIS TO SAY ABOUT HER--
"ANNE MODELS LIFELONG LEARNING AND LEADERSHIP IN A RAPIDLY CHANGING DYNAMIC
"AND HIGHLY CHALLENGING ENVIRONMENT,
"NAMELY HEALTHCARE IN THE CARDIATIC--
"CARDIATIC-- CARD-- CATH LAB.
"ANNE IS ALSO INVOLVED IN HER COMMUNITY,
"SERVING AS A COORDINATOR FOR THE HOLY SPIRIT COMMUNITY FESTIVAL,
"AS WELL AS PARTICIPATING IN THE AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION WALK
"AND 'GO RED FOR WOMEN' CAMPAIGN.
"ALL OF THESE ACCOMPLISHMENTS ARE IN ADDITION TO HER FULL-TIME JOB
"AS A WIFE AND MOTHER.
"ANNE WILL FINISH HER DEGREE IN DECEMBER OF 2013
"AND PLANS TO CONTINUE HER WORK WITH SPECTRUM HEALTH."
CONGRATULATIONS, ANNE.
(applause)
(applause)
>> OKAY, I THINK EVERYONE KNOWS WHO I AM, SO NO NEED.
(laughing) BUT I'M HERE TONIGHT
TO RECOGNIZE ANNA NGUYEN.
UM, ANNA IS CURRENTLY A STUDENT AT CORNERSTONE UNIVERSITY,
AND SHE IS ENROLLED IN OUR BACHELOR OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION PROGRAM.
I THINK EVERYBODY HERE CAN READ,
SO I DON'T THINK I NEED TO READ OFF HER BIO,
BUT WHAT I DO WANNA SAY ABOUT ANNA IS... A COUPLE THINGS.
FIRST OFF, SHE WAS ONE OF MY VERY FIRST STUDENTS FROM PRIORITY HEALTH,
AND THAT MEANT A LOT TO ME...
BECAUSE I MET ANNA, LITERALLY, WHEN I WENT OVER THERE
TO MEET WITH THEIR H.R. TEAM.
UH, I TALK WITH ANNA BRIEFLY ABOUT OUR PROGRAMS.
AFTER I LEFT, SHE SENT ME AN EMAIL AND GAVE ME A PHONE CALL,
AND WAS LIKE, "HOW SOON CAN I START?"
THIS WAS AFTER BEING OUT OF SCHOOL FOR ABOUT TEN YEARS.
SO, ON TOP OF BEING-- AS EVERYONE ELSE HERE--
A FULL-TIME PARENT, FULL-TIME EMPLOYEE,
AND BASICALLY DONATING HER TIME WITH SAINT MARY MAGDALENE'S CHURCH,
A.E. BASKETBALL TEAM, HER TIME AT...
I'M SORRY, FOREST HILLS NORTHERN HIGH SCHOOL.
SHE HAS BEEN A GREAT STUDENT.
CARRYING A 3.62 G.P.A. UM, PROFESSORS LOVE HER.
OUR STAFF-- WE LOVE YOU.
AND WE'RE VERY, VERY PROUD OF YOU.
ONE OF OUR SAYINGS AT CORNERSTONE IS, "BUILD A LIFE THAT MATTERS," AND...
YOU'RE DEFINITELY BUILDING A LIFE THAT MATTERS,
SO CONGRATULATIONS, AND COME ON UP.
(applause)
(applause)
>> HI, EVERYBODY!
HOW ARE YOU DOING? >> (all) GOOD!
>> GOOD.
I'M MALIA ROBERTS, AND I'M WITH DAVENPORT UNIVERSITY.
I'M REALLY PROUD TO BE HERE THIS EVENING IN ORDER TO TELL YOU
A LITTLE BIT ABOUT WALLACE GAUNICHAUX.
HE IS A STUDENT WITH US WHO IS WORKING ON HIS ASSOCIATE'S DEGREE
IN PARALEGAL STUDIES,
IN HOPES OF THEN CONTINUING ON
FOR HIS BACHELOR'S DEGREE IN THE SAME AREA.
WALLACE REALLY IMPRESSES ME BECAUSE HE ALWAYS COMES TO THE OFFICE--
HE'S ACTUALLY ONE OF OUR STUDENT AMBASSADORS
IN THE OFFICE OF ADMISSIONS.
HE COMES TO THE OFFICE EVERY DAY WITH A BIG SMILE ON HIS FACE,
AND HE'S HAPPY TO BE THERE.
NOBODY WOULD REALIZE THAT HE GOT UP EARLY IN THE MORNING
TO WORK ANOTHER JOB AT MENARD'S, HAS SEEN HIS SON OFF TO SCHOOL,
AND IS NOW COMING INTO WORK A FOUR-HOUR SHIFT
AT THE UNIVERSITY BEFORE GOING TO CLASS UNTIL 9 O'CLOCK THAT EVENING.
HE DOES A REALLY NICE JOB
OF BALANCING WORK, LIFE, HIS PERSONAL SCHEDULE,
NOT TO MENTION DOING REALLY WELL IN HIS AC-- IN HIS CLASSES.
IT'S NO SURPRISE THAT HE'S GOT A GREAT WORK ETHIC.
IT'S EASY TO SEE WHY HE'S A GREAT ROLE MODEL,
AND HE INTENDS TO BE ON HIS BACHELOR'S DEGREE,
PURSUE LAW SCHOOL,
AND CONTRIBUTE BACK TO HIS COMMUNITY.
WALLACE, PLEASE COME UP.
(applause)
(applause)
>> GOOD EVENING.
I'M CYNTHIA BLASZAK.
I'M WITH FERRIS STATE UNIVERSITY IN GRAND RAPIDS,
AND IT IS MY PLEASURE TONIGHT TO INTRODUCE YOU
TO OUR OUTSTANDING ADULT LEARNER AT FERRIS STATE UNIVERSITY.
UM, THIS GENTLEMAN IS COLE WILLIAMS,
AND WHETHER OR NOT HE KNOWS IT,
OUR OFFICE IS PRETTY MUCH IN LOVE WITH HIM.
(audience laughing) ANYTIME HIS NAME COMES UP--
I MEAN, ANYTIME--
EVERYBODY JUST SEEMS TO BE LIKE, "OH, HE IS SO INSPIRATIONAL.
"HE'S SO GREAT."
AND LET ME JUST TELL YOU A FEW THINGS WHY THAT IS.
COLE WAS A SINGLE FATHER AT THE AGE OF 16.
WHEN HE BECAME A FATHER, HE DECIDED THAT...
"THIS IS PRETTY MUCH A LIFE CALLING,"
AND THIS WAS NOT SOMETHING THAT WAS JUST GONNA BE A PART OF HIS LIFE
THAT WAS A SIDE-JOB.
THIS WAS GONNA BE HIS FULL-TIME JOB,
AND HE'S WAS GONNA DEDICATE ALL OF HIS ENERGY
TO BEING AN AMAZING FATHER.
AND ON TOP OF HAVING HIS SON,
AFTER HE GOT MORE INVOLVED IN THINGS LIKE THAT,
HE DECIDED TO FOSTER A FEW CHILDREN AS WELL, STILL AS A SINGLE FATHER.
SO, IF THAT IS NOT INSPIRATIONAL, I DON'T KNOW WHAT ELSE IS.
ON TOP OF THAT, HE HAS CREATED WORKSHOPS
THAT ARE GOING TO END UP BEING CALLED "THE EVOLUTION ACADEMY."
AND THESE WORKSHOPS
ARE INTENDED TO HELP EDUCATE OTHER SINGLE FATHERS
ON HOW TO CREATE THAT RELATIONSHIP WITH THEIR SONS
THAT IS GOING TO BE FOSTERED AND CONTINUED ON THROUGHOUT LIFE.
HE-- HE GOES TO CLASS, OBVIOUSLY,
AND HE DOES VERY WELL IN OUR CRIMINAL JUSTICE PROGRAM.
AND...
A FEW OF THE WORKSHOPS, JUST FOR EXAMPLE,
ARE "NURTURING VERSUS COMPETITIVENESS BETWEEN A FATHER AND A SON,"
AND "ANGER STYLES OF AN INDIVIDUAL IN A FAMILY."
ONCE COLE COMPLETES HIS BACHELOR'S DEGREE,
HE INTENDS ON PURSUING A DOUBLE MASTER'S DEGREE
IN SOCIAL WORK AND PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION.
HIS VISION IS TO END UP BEING DIRECTOR OF "THE EVOLUTION ACADEMY"
AND TO CONTINUE MARKETING THAT ON HIS WEBSITE,
WHICH IS SONTOAFATHER.COM.
IF YOU GET A CHANCE, CHECK IT OUT.
SONTOAFATHER.COM.
IT'LL PROBABLY MAKE YOU CRY. (audience chuckling)
JUST WARNING YOU.
SO, COLE IS FUELED BY THE QUOTE FROM RALPH ELLISON'S "INVISIBLE MAN,"
WHICH MOST PEOPLE HAVE HEARD OF THAT BOOK, IF NOT ALSO READ IT.
AND THAT QUOTE IS, "I'M AN INVISIBLE MAN.
"I'M A MAN OF SUBSTANCE, OF FLESH AND BONE, FIBER AND LIQUIDS,
"AND I MIGHT EVEN BE SAID TO POSSESS A MIND.
"I'M INVISIBLE, UNDERSTAND,
"SIMPLY BECAUSE PEOPLE REFUSE TO SEE ME."
COLE, WE DO SEE YOU.
CONGRATULATIONS.
(applause)
(applause)
>> HELLO, I'M AMANDA BRAND,
AND I'M FROM GRAND RAPIDS COMMUNITY COLLEGE,
AND I HAVE THE PRIVILEGE OF INTRODUCING KELLER-- KELLY BUTLER.
I SAID I WASN'T GONNA COME UP HERE AND CRY--
I'M ALREADY WATERING. (all laughing)
SHE, UM, IS TRULY AN AMAZING STUDENT.
SHE IS MY "WHY" IN "WHY I TEACH."
UM...
TEACHING AT A COMMUNITY COLLEGE, YOU COME ACROSS A LOT OF ADULT LEARNERS,
AND IT IS SO INSPIRATIONAL TO SEE SOMEBODY
WHO JUST EMBODIES A LOVE OF EDUCATION,
A LOVE FOR HER FAMILY, AND A LOVE FOR HEALTHCARE.
I'M VERY PROUD OF YOU, KELLY.
AND I KNOW SHE'S GOING INTO MAMMOGRAPHY WHEN SHE'S DONE,
SO EVEN THOUGH SHE'S FINISHED HER DEGREE,
SHE'S GONNA CONTINUE ON
AND STUDY SOMETHING THAT'S VERY PERSONAL TO HER.
SO...
FROM ALL OF US IN RAD TECH, WE'RE VERY PROUD OF YOU.
CONGRATULATIONS.
(applause)
(applause)
>> GOOD EVENING.
I'M TOM OWENS FROM GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY.
I AM HONORED AND THRILLED TO INTRODUCE TO YOU GRAND VALLEY'S AWARD WINNER
FOR THIS GRAH-- G.R.A.H.E.N.--
I'M NOT EVEN SURE I'M PRONOUNCING IT CORRECTLY--
AWARD TONIGHT.
AND THAT IS ANNUKKA THELEN FROM GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY.
I HAVE WORKED VERY CLOSELY WITH ANNUKKA FOR THE LAST TEN YEARS,
AND I HAVE TO TELL YOU
THAT I AM CONTINUALLY IMPRESSED WITH HER WORK ABILITIES
AND ALL THAT SHE CAN ACCOMPLISH THROUGHOUT THE COURSE OF A DAY.
AND I DO WANNA READ HER BIO,
BECAUSE I DO THINK THAT IT REALLY CLEARLY OUTLINES WHO SHE IS AS A PERSON...
IF I CAN GET MY GLASSES ADJUSTED JUST RIGHT.
"ANNUKKA THELEN IS WORKING ON HER MASTER'S OF EDUCATION DEGREE
"AT GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY
"WITH AN EMPHASIS IN ADULT AND HIGHER EDUCATION."
SHE ALSO, WHILE WORKING IN OUR OFFICE,
COMPLETED HER FULL BACHELOR'S DEGREE IN BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION AS WELL,
AND THAT'S NOT IN HER BIO.
"ALL OF THIS WHILE SERVING AS THE STUDENT SERVICES COORDINATOR
"AND OFFICE COORDINATOR FOR THE COLLEGE OF EDUCATION.
"ANNUKKA HAS SHOWCASED HER LEADERSHIP ABILITIES
"AS A MENTOR FOR SEVERAL UNIVERSITY COMMITTEES,
"AND ALSO COORDINATED ANNUAL DRIVES TO COLLECT BACK TO SCHOOL SUPPLIES
"AND BOOKS FOR GRAND RAPIDS PUBLIC SCHOOLS.
"WHEN THE COLLEGE OF EDUCATION PARTNERED
"WITH THE HISPANIC CENTER OF WEST MICHIGAN,
"ANNUKKA SERVED AN INSTRUMENTAL ROLE IN COORDINATING THE PROJECT,
"AND ALSO HAS VOLUNTEERED HER TIME TO HELP THESE STUDENTS.
"OUTSIDE OF WORK, ANNUKKA SERVES ON PLANNING COMMITTEES
"FOR THE LARGEST FUNDRAISER AT HER CHILDREN'S SCHOOL,
"CALLED 'AUCTION FOR EDUCATION.'"
ť IT HAPPENS TO BE THIS SATURDAY NIGHT,
AND SHE'S BACK THERE GIVING NOTES TO HER HUSBAND
ABOUT THINGS THAT HE HAS TO PICK UP AND DROP OFF YET, FOR THE AUCTION.
"SHE'S BEEN DESCRIBED BY HER SUPERVISOR," WHO HAPPENS TO BE ME,
BUT I TELL EVERYONE SHE'S ACTUALLY THE DIRECTOR OF OUR OFFICE,
AND I'M THE ONE THAT NEEDS SUPERVISING. (audience laughing)
BUT I HAVE DESCRIBED HER AS "ALWAYS UPBEAT AND POSITIVE
"AND SHE ALWAYS BRINGS A SMILE TO HER COWORKERS,
"DOING ALL OF THIS, WHILE BEING A LEADER
"AND ACHIEVING MANY TASKS EACH DAY."
I AM HERE TO HONESTLY TELL YOU
THAT I HAVE NEVER SEEN HER HAVE A DOWN DAY,
AND TRULY, WE ALL DO.
SO, I KNOW SHE MUST, BUT SHE'S JUST INCREDIBLY UPBEAT.
WHEN SHE WALKS IN AT 8:00 IN THE MORNING,
SHE IS REARING AND READY TO GO
AND VERY POSITIVELY UPBEAT AT THAT MOMENT.
I'M STILL NOT EVEN SURE I'M AWAKE AT THAT POINT,
AND I'VE DRIVEN 30 MINUTES.
SHE HAS DESCRIBED HER "OWN EDUCATION, WORK, FAMILY, AND COMMUNITY
"ARE WAYS THAT SHE HAS EMBODIED THE MISSION STATEMENT"
OF OUR COLLEGE OF EDUCATION AT GRAND VALLEY,
WHICH IS, "EDUCATING STUDENTS
"TO SHAPE THEIR LIVES, PROFESSIONS, AND SOCIETY."
SHE IS ALSO A WIFE, MOTHER, DAUGHTER, SISTER,
AND LASTLY, A FRIEND TO MANY PEOPLE,
AND I THINK THIS LAST STRING OF ATTRIBUTES REALLY TAKES
A GREAT DEAL OF TIME AND ENERGY,
AND I'M HERE TO TELL YOU THAT SHE TACKLES ALL OF THOSE THINGS WITH ENTHUSIASM
AND ENJOYMENT.
I WAS NOT SURPRISED WHEN ANNUKKA WAS NOMINATED FOR THIS AWARD,
AND FURTHER, I WAS NOT SURPRISED WHEN SHE WAS THE RECIPIENT OF THIS AWARD
FOR GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY,
AS I BELIEVE THAT SHE TRULY EMULATES ALL OF THE CHARACTERISTICS AND PARAMETERS
THAT THIS AWARD ASPIRES FOR ITS AWARDEES.
I AM PLEASED TO BE A COWORKER OF ANNUKKA,
AND I'M ALSO PLEASED TO CALL HER A FRIEND.
ANNUKKA, CONGRATULATIONS.
(applause)
(applause)
>> I'M GONNA GO AHEAD AND LET EVERYONE KNOW
I AM NOT A PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER, SO IF YOU SEE THOSE LATER...
I APOLOGIZE NOW. (audience laughing)
I'M DOING MY BEST, SO YOU'LL HAVE TO BEAR WITH ME ON THAT.
UM, MY NAME IS BRETT BLYTHE.
I'M THE PROGRAM CENTER MANAGER FOR NORTHWOOD UNIVERSITY,
HERE IN GRAND RAPIDS,
AND I HAVE THE HONOR OF COMING UP HERE THIS EVENING
AND INTRODUCING OUR WINNER.
I'VE KNOWN KEVIN FROM THE FIRST DAY
WHEN I PRETTY MUCH THREW HIM IN MY OFFICE
AND MADE HIM GO THROUGH THE ADMISSIONS PROCESS
BECAUSE WE WANTED HIM AT NORTHWOOD.
HE'S AN INCREDIBLE PERSON.
HE IS DEDICATED TO NOT ONLY HIS COMMUNITY,
HE IS DEDICATED TO HIS WORK, WHERE HE IS THE MANAGING PARTNER OF NuVESCOR,
WHICH IS A MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS COMPANY IN GRAND RAPIDS,
CONSTANTLY TRAVELING THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES,
WORKING TO GROW THE ECONOMY THAT WE ARE ALL SO DESPERATELY READY TO GROW.
UM, HE'S DOING A GREAT JOB HERE IN GRAND RAPIDS
AND MAKING THAT HAPPEN ON A DAILY BASIS.
HE IS MANAGING A 4.0
ON TOP OF MANAGING NuVESCOR ON A DAILY BASIS
WITH EMPLOYEES, STAFF, FAMILY, DINNER, FOOD, SUSTENANCE,
TAKING ONLINE CLASSES AND THRIVING ALL THE WAY THROUGH IT.
SO, NORTHWOOD UNIVERSITY IS PROUD AND HONORED
TO HAVE KEVIN AS A STUDENT AND A GRADUATE,
SO LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, KEVIN HIRDES.
(applause)
(applause)
>> HELLO, EVERYBODY.
SOMEBODY TALL WAS UP HERE JUST NOW. (all laughing)
MY NAME IS DAVID TARRIEN, AND I'M A PROFESSOR AT COOLEY LAW SCHOOL.
I RUN THE SCHOOL'S ACADEMIC SUPPORT PROGRAM
AND TEACH, AMONG OTHER THINGS, DISABILITY LAW.
AND IN THESE AREAS THAT I HAD THE PLEASURE OF MEETING AND GETTING TO KNOW...
CHRISTINE WELTON,
WHO IS OUR REPRESENTATIVE AT COOLEY LAW SCHOOL.
CHRISTINE WANTED TO BE A LAWYER FOR AS LONG AS SHE CAN REMEMBER,
BUT WORK, MARRIAGE, AND A FAMILY CAME FIRST,
SO CHRISTINE STARTED BACK TO SCHOOL LATER IN LIFE,
EARNED A BACHELOR'S DEGREE IN BUSINESS AND PARALEGAL STUDIES.
AFTER WORKING AS A PARALEGAL,
CHRISTINE FINALLY REALIZED HER DREAM AND STARTED AT COOLEY LAW SCHOOL.
DURING HER LAW SCHOOL CAREER,
SHE'S RECEIVED FIVE CERTIFICATES OF MERIT--
IT'S THE HIGHEST SCORE IN A CLASS--
SO THAT'S COOL. (chuckling)
SHE WAS A GOLD MEDAL FINALIST IN THE CLIENT COUNSELING COMPETITION,
SERVED ON LAW REVIEW,
WAS ON THE ENVIRONMENTAL LAW NATIONAL MOOT COURT TEAM,
SHE MENTORS STUDENTS IN THE ACADEMIC SUPPORT CENTER,
AND, IN THAT REALM, ALSO SHE PEER TEACHES
A FIRST-YEAR "LEGAL METHODS" CLASS CALLED "INTRODUCTION TO LAW."
SHE HAS SERVED ON THE MOOT COURT EXECUTIVE TEAM,
AND HAS HELD OTHER LEADERSHIP ROLES IN SEVERAL STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS.
SHE'S ALSO BEEN INVOLVED IN PRO BONO PROJECTS.
ONE, UH...
THAT SHE DID WITH ME, IN PARTICULAR,
THAT DISCUSSED WITH PARENTS
THE EDUCATIONAL RIGHTS OF CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES.
SHE'S ALSO A NEW VOLUNTEER AT THE GRAND RAPIDS GILDA'S CLUB.
CHRISTINE HAS ACHIEVED ALL OF THIS WHILE HER HUSBAND LIVES
AND WORKS IN ANOTHER CITY
AND SHE ATTENDS SCHOOL HERE IN GRAND RAPIDS.
DESPITE THESE CHALLENGES, CHRISTINE ALWAYS HAS A SMILE ON HER FACE,
CHEERFUL ATTITUDE, AND A HELPING HAND.
TO ME, SHE'S BEEN A BRILLIANT STUDENT, INCREDIBLE EMPLOYEE
IN THE ACADEMIC RESOURCE CENTER, AND A GOOD FRIEND...
AND I CAN THINK OF NO ONE MORE DESERVING OF THIS AWARD.
(applause)
(applause)
>> HI, THERE.
I'M SUZANNE HEDSTROM, FACULTY MEMBER AT WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
AT OUR DOWNTOWN GRAND RAPIDS SITE.
WE'RE NOT OFFICIALLY A CAMPUS.
WE'RE A SITE.
IT'S IMPORTANT TO HAVE THIS TERMINOLOGY CORRECT.
AND I AM...
DID I SAY DEPARTMENT OF COUNSELOR EDUCATION AND COUNSELING PSYCHOLOGY?
NOT YET?
OKAY, THAT'S WHO I AM,
AND JUDY JENNE IS BACK THERE IN THAT LAST ROUND TABLE,
AND SHE'S THE PERSON THAT I--
WHO I NOMINATED AND WHO IS THE RECIPIENT FROM WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY.
SHE TOOK HER FIRST GRADUATE CLASS WITH US IN JANUARY 2009,
AND IT HAPPENED TO BE WITH ME.
UM, THAT SEMESTER, SHE SAT IN THE BACK ROW...
IN THE SEAT THAT WAS NEAREST THE DOOR. (audience chuckling)
JUST IN CASE.
SHE WAS ALMOST SILENT THROUGHOUT THE SEMESTER.
SHE DIDN'T REALLY CONTRIBUTE MUCH, SHE DIDN'T TALK VERY MUCH.
UM, SHE WAS REALLY TESTING THE WATERS OF GRADUATE EDUCATION,
"IS THIS SOMETHING I CAN DO?
"CAN I BE SUCCESSFUL WITH THIS?
"IS THIS CONSISTENT WITH THE SELF THAT I KNOW?"
TURNS OUT... IT WAS.
SHE IS NOW NEARING THE COMPLETION OF HER 59 HOUR MASTER'S DEGREE
IN SCHOOL COUNSELING.
SHE'S GOT A COUPLE SEMESTERS LEFT.
SHE'S GOT HER 600 HOUR INTERNSHIP LEFT, BUT SHE'S...
SHE'S THERE.
IT'S WITHIN SIGHT.
SHE DID IT.
SHE'S BEEN IN THREE OF MY CLASSES,
BEGINNING WITH THAT FIRST ONE AND ENDING IN THIS CURRENT SEMESTER.
THE CHANGE IN JUDY AS A STUDENT AND AS A PERSON IS JUST INCREDIBLE.
IT'S BEEN AMAZING TO SEE.
THIS SEMESTER, SHE'S SITTING IN THE FRONT ROW IN THE CENTER.
SHE RAISES HER HAND, SHE TALKS, SHE CONTRIBUTES,
SHE'S GOT SOMETHING ON-TARGET TO SAY
OR SOMETHING ON-TARGET TO ASK, UM...
AND SHE SMILES.
SHE KNOWS SHE'S IN THE RIGHT PLACE.
SHE SOAKS UP LEARNING, ENJOYING HER CLASSES,
HER READINGS, HER ASSIGNMENTS,
AND HER FELLOW STUDENTS AND INSTRUCTORS.
HER SENSE OF SELF AND CONFIDENCE IN WHO SHE IS
AND WHAT SHE HAS TO OFFER HAS GROWN IMMEASURABLY.
SHE'S COMFORTABLE BEING WHO SHE IS,
AND ACKNOWLEDGING THE STRUGGLES THAT SHE'S HAD
THAT HAVE RESULTED IN THIS JOURNEY AND IN THE GROWTH THAT SHE'S HAD
TO GET HER GOING ON THE JOURNEY.
THIS PERSONAL GROWTH JOURNEY-- THE JOURNEY OF LEARNING--
WILL SERVE AS A WONDERFUL FOUNDATION FOR HER
IN HER WORK AS A SCHOOL COUNSELOR.
SHE HAS A GREAT EMPATHY FOR THOSE WHO STRUGGLE IN LIFE.
HER 11 YEARS IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS, MOSTLY AS A PARAPROFESSIONAL
AND NOW AS A "TEAM 21" COUNSELOR IN AN AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAM,
WILL ALSO PROVIDE AN OUTSTANDING BASE FOR HER EMPLOYMENT AS A SCHOOL COUNSELOR.
SHE'S WORKED WITH CHILDREN RANGING FROM PRE-SCHOOL TO HIGH SCHOOL,
INCLUDING AT-RISK KIDS.
SHE HAS A SPECIAL HEART FOR LATINO AND LATINA CHILDREN.
IN FACT, SHE'S WORKING NOW TO LEARN SPANISH,
SO THAT SHE CAN BETTER SERVE THEM.
WE SHOULD ALSO NOTE THAT SHE HAS MENTORED CHILDREN OVER THE SUMMER,
AND SHE AND HER DAUGHTER MADE OVER 50 PAIRS OF MITTENS
THAT SHE GAVE TO HER PRE-SCHOOLERS WHO NEEDED MITTENS.
JUDY JENNE HAS A PROMISING FUTURE AHEAD OF HER AS A SCHOOL COUNSELOR.
THOUGH THERE ARE NOT MANY JOBS OUT THERE RIGHT NOW,
I DO BELIEVE THAT HER BACKGROUND IN EDUCATION AND IN THE SCHOOLS,
AND HER GOOD HEART, WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOR HER.
IN SUM, I AM DELIGHTED THAT JUDY JENNE IS HERE
AS THE RECIPIENT OF THE W.M.U. G.R.A.H.E.N. AWARD
FOR OUTSTANDING STUDENT LEARNER.
(applause)
(applause)
>> ALL RIGHT, WE'RE ALL STILL HERE.
OKAY, GOOD.
UM, AT THIS TIME, ARE THERE ANY NOMINEES IN THE AUDIENCE HERE
THAT WERE NOMINATED
FOR THE OUTSTANDING ADULT STUDENT AWARD AT ALL?
ARE THERE ANY NOMINEES?
IF THERE WERE, WE WOULD RECOGNIZE THEM BY APPLAUDING,
BUT BEING THERE'S NO ONE HERE, I'LL JUST CONTINUE.
(laughing) ON BEHALF OF G.R.A.H.E.N.,
I WOULD LIKE TO THANK THE AUDIENCE FOR THEIR CONTINUING SUPPORT
OF THESE OUTSTANDING ADULT LEARNERS.
SUPPORT FROM FAMILY AND FRIENDS ALLOWS US TO ACCOMPLISH AMAZING THINGS,
AND I THINK THIS GROUP PRETTY MUCH SHOWS THAT.
UM, I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO THANK GRAND RAPIDS COMMUNITY COLLEGE
FOR HOSTING TONIGHT'S AWARD CEREMONY.
A BIG THANK YOU TO DR. RICK OLSEN...
THANKS AGAIN FOR COMING OUT AND SHARING YOUR STORY
AND YOUR THOUGHTS WITH US.
THAT WAS WONDERFUL.
UM...
I THINK ALL NOMINEES AND AWARD WINNERS SHOULD FEEL EXTREMELY PROUD
OF THEIR ACADEMIC AND PERSONAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS.
ALL OF YOU ARE TRULY MAXIMIZING YOUR POTENTIAL
AND SETTING AN EXAMPLE FOR FAMILIES, AS WELL AS OTHER ADULTS
WHO MAY BE SEEKING SOME ENCOURAGEMENT IN PURSUING THEIR EDUCATIONAL GOALS.
SO, I WANNA GIVE ALL THE WINNERS ONE LAST ROUND OF APPLAUSE.
(applause)
LASTLY, WE INVITE YOU TO JOIN US IN THE RECEPTION
HONORING TONIGHT'S WINNERS.
UM, PLEASE...
I'M GONNA HAVE TO ASK THE WINNERS, THOUGH, TO JOIN US AT THE FRONT.
DON'T GO FOR THE FOOD RIGHT AWAY.
JUST JOIN US AT THE FRONT, SO WE CAN TAKE A BIG GROUP PHOTO.
EVERYBODY ELSE CAN GO EAT OR, AS WE SAY "(indistinct)," IN ITALIAN.
THANK YOU ALL AGAIN, AND HAVE A GREAT NIGHT.
(applause)