Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellows Visited Campus

Last week, Davenport University was honored to have Anil Singh-Molares, a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellows (WWVF) visit campus. The WWVF program, operating for more than 40 years, brings prominent artists, diplomats, journalists, business leaders and other nonacademic professionals to campuses across the U.S. for substantive dialog with students and faculty members. “This is a tremendous honor for Davenport University,” stated Dr. Pamela Imperato, Dean for the Donald W. Maine College of Business at Davenport.  “Mr. Singh-Molares shared his unique perspectives on global business issues and entrepreneurship with our students, faculty and guests. We are excited for the opportunity this represents for our students that will further enhance their studies.”

Throughout the week, students had the opportunities to engage with Singh-Molares on topics of entrepreneurship, ethics and compassionate globalization within their classrooms and at events on the W. A. Lettinga, Lansing and Holland campuses.  In addition, he presented at three events held on the Davenport’s W.A. Lettinga Campus for all students, faculty and staff, alumni and members of the larger community.

Learn more about his Anil and the overview of his talks on the DU website.

Alumni Success Story – Guy Davis ’92

Guy Davis ‘92 has spent his entire career in claims at Farmers Insurance. “Claims has given me the opportunity to help people all around our country. The work is extremely challenging but there is a great sense of accomplishment and service when you help someone begin to rebuild after a life altering event.” Guy will be featured in the next issue of the DU Review magazine, but in the meantime learn more about Guy and his role as the Liability Branch Claims Manager below.

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Tell us about yourself, Guy!

I am a husband and a father of three. My wife, Shelly, and I celebrated our twenty fourth wedding anniversary on October 10th. Yes, we met at Davenport! We spend much of our time at our children’s various activities. Hailie, a freshman at DU is a violinist for the Grand Rapids Youth Symphony, Camden a junior at Caledonia High School, is a percussionist with the marching band as well as a percussion team “Strike Percussion Ensemble,” and Maddie, is a sophomore at Caledonia High School, plays soccer for Cal and a club team. I also enjoy fishing and hunting, football (“Go Blue”), and futbol (“Go Man U!”) and spending time with family and friends.

How did you get started at Farmers?

I was working part-time right out of college and one of my friends, who was working for Farmers at the time, mentioned that they were looking for claim representatives.  I applied, interviewed and was fortunate to be selected all those years ago.  I’ve worked here for more than 20 years.

What do you do in a nutshell?

I’ve spent my entire career in claims and don’t know how those 20+ years went by so quickly. Claims has given me the opportunity to help people all around our country.  The work is extremely challenging but there is a great sense of accomplishment and service when you help someone begin to rebuild after a life altering event. Currently, I manage the Farmers Specialty Bodily Injury team.  We are an inside operation responsible for all 50 states and all claims, homeowners or landlord, written by Foremost Insurance Company. I work with a great group of people who share my passion to help others and philosophy that “We will be there when our customers need us.”

When you started at DU where you already interested in the field of insurance?

Short answer, no.  I wanted to see and experience many of the different programs that Davenport had to offer.

Do you feel like Davenport helped you land your role at Farmers?

Yes, they helped me prepare for the business world I was entering.  The professors helped me with business acumen, how to look at situations from various view points or perspectives, and how to collaborate with others.

You’re a DU alum – any family members who have attended as well? How have you seen the University change since you attended?

I have a cousin who studied accounting, a nephew who studied business and played rugby, and my daughter Hailie is currently in the nursing program. Davenport has changed in many ways including campus locations, student make-up, athletics, and most importantly the expanded curriculum. Davenport has embraced change and that’s exciting because the needs of its students, the community, and the businesses tied to its curriculum are always evolving and Davenport is adapting to those needs.

What would you share with someone considering a career in the insurance sector and particularly about Farmers as an employer?

It’s a company with so many different career choices. Here you have the opportunity to take on a new challenge or career and even the opportunity to travel to different parts of the country.

Alumni Success Story – Megan Collison ‘12

As a Family Medicine Physician Assistant at Metro Health Hospital, alumna Megan Collison ’12 is devoted to providing comprehensive care for people of all ages. “I care for patients who need anything from a basic check-up to taking out stitches to treatment of chronic health conditions.” Learn more about Megan and why she enjoys being in family medicine below.

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Tell us about yourself, Megan!

I was born and raised in Grand Rapids. I attended West Catholic and was involved in athletics – volleyball, basketball, golf and track. I knew I wanted to play basketball in college, and Davenport was the perfect fit. I graduated with my medical case management degree in 2012 and a year later, got into the competitive Physician Assistant program at GVSU on my first try. Now, I am a Family Medicine Physician Assistant at Metro Health Hospital.

Tell us about your experience at Davenport.

When I found out I received a full-ride academic scholarship and had the chance to play basketball at DU, I could not turn down the opportunity. I loved every minute of my time at Davenport and made some lifelong friends. I was involved as a Panther Pack Leader, student-athlete and student employee in the call center. I enrolled in the medical case management program because healthcare has always been a passion of mine. I knew I wanted to be a PA, so the medical case management program covered  most of the prerequisite classes for my next step in the masters program. I took nursing classes too, which I think helped me be successful in PA school.

In a nutshell, what do you do?

As a Family Medicine Physician Assistant, our team’s goal is to provide comprehensive care for people of all ages. The practice that I work with has one supervising physician and two other PAs. We work together, yet very independently. We have about 6,500 patients in our practice and I usually see about 20-25 patients a day. Patients visit our office for many reasons ranging from the care of a new baby, routine check-ups, post hospital visits, or treatment of ongoing disease like diabetes.

How did you decide on family medicine?

I decided a few months before I graduated that I wanted to go into family practice. My original plan was to go into orthopedic surgery. After I had a few practicums, I realized family medicine was my passion. I enjoy building relationships with families. I’m able to treat everyone from babies and their mothers to their grandpas & grandmas. One of the joys of my job is telling someone they are pregnant, caring for them throughout their pregnancy, and then caring for the baby once he or she is born and watch them grow up. It becomes very family-oriented.

What is your dream job?

This is my dream job! I love my job because every day is different, which keeps me on my toes! Also, the people I work with are great! It is a rewarding career.

What advice to do you have for students?

As long as you work hard and are motivated to do well, there are always opportunities for you regardless of what type of degree you have. Don’t settle. Don’t stop until you are where you want to be in life. It may be difficult, but it will be worth it.

What do you do when you are not working?

My boyfriend and I love to golf and ride bikes. I have a basset hound, Bentley, who is the best. I also enjoy golfing with my mom and my grandma, who is 85.

W.A. Lettinga Charter Scholarship Club Alumni Reunion

Alumni who received the full tuition W.A. Lettinga Charter Scholarship in 2006 gathered on Monday, October 10 to thank Mr. Wilbur Lettinga ’55 for his generous contribution.

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Pictured L to R: Back Row: Jeremy Venlet, Nick Venlet, Katie Bravata, Megan Stiffler, Nick Kuncaitis, Rachel Payne, Beth Kosc, Vinny Baldiga, Sara Mooney; Second Row: Amy DeKievit, Devin Pierson, Samantha Mol, Emily Przekadzinski, Lisa Boeve; First Row: Bill Lettinga and Wilbur Lettinga

Alumni Success Story: Bridgett Tubbs-Carlon ’01

Bridgett Tubbs-Carlon is an entrepreneur, innovator and leader, but most importantly, a mother. 18 years ago, Bridgett had trouble finding a place to care for her young daughter that she felt comfortable with, so she created AppleTree & Gildeon Woods Early Care and Preschool. Learn how Bridgett faced her challenges head-on along her journey by checking out her story on page 36 of the latest issue of the DU Review.

Alumni Award Recipients – 2016

On Friday, September 23, the Davenport University Alumni Association honored six outstanding alumni who have exemplified the vision and values of the university through their professional and community service. Congratulations to the 2016 award recipients!

L to R:

Outstanding Young Alumni Award – Jim VanDam, Class of 2012

Hy Berkowitz Outstanding Alumni Award – Tina Pietrangelo, Class of 2007

College of Business Alumni Award – Carlos Sanchez, Class of 2007

Hy Berkowitz Outstanding Alumni Award – Tina Pietrangelo, Class of 2007

College of Health Alumni Award – Monica Goodrich, Class of 1998

College of Technology Alumni Award – Michelle (Stonebrook) Seneca, Class of 2002

College of Health Alumni Award – Monica Goodrich, Class of 1998

Not pictured, Distinguished Alumni Award – Mike Ohlman, Class of 1988

View photos from the event on the alumni facebook page.

Alumni Success Story: Ashley Stoepker ‘15

Inspired by her father, Ashley Stoepker ’15, knows first-hand how important it is to deliver compassionate care to someone in need. “My father is a paraplegic. Ever since I was little, I remember him being in and out of the hospital for different things. I knew I wanted to be a nurse to help people, just like those who were there for my own dad.”  Learn more about Ashley’s story and her experience as a nurse in the Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit at Spectrum Health below.

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Tell us about yourself, Ashley!

I grew up in Middleville and went to South Christian High School. I graduated from Davenport University in 2015 with my BSN. I now work at Spectrum Health in the Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit as a nurse.

Why were you interested in the nursing program?

Before I was born, my parents were in a motorcycle accident that resulted in my father becoming a paraplegic. Ever since I was little, I remember him being in and out of the hospital, to doctor’s visits, and having home health care nurses visiting us at home. I was always interested in healthcare. Nursing was the only thing I wanted to do.

Tell us about your experience in the nursing program.

I enjoyed every minute of it, because I knew I was finally on the path to achieving my lifelong dream. Our class was a very close group, and we spent a lot of time together, even outside of classes. We became family and now I run into many of the people I went to school with at Spectrum. Not only did I get a great education, I also met the man of my dreams.

How did you meet your husband at DU?

My husband and I were friends and classmates for about a year before we even started talking. During summer break, a group of our nursing classmates went skeet shooting. He is a big outdoorsman, so he set up the event for us in May of 2013. We went down to Yankee Springs for the event and we invited everyone over to my parents’ house in Middleville for a cookout afterwards.

I will never forget the day he met my parents. He was extremely polite. He took off his cowboy boots before he entered our house and shook my dad’s hand. My mom said “You need to pursue him!” and the rest, is history! We graduated on April 26, 2015 and got married two weeks later. We then went on our honeymoon and came back to study for the nursing licensure exam, the NCLEX.  It works out great because he is a nurse at Butterworth as well and we work nearly the same schedule.

In a nutshell, what do you do?

I work at the Fred and Lena Meijer Heart Center, in the Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit. Our floor is responsible for taking care of a variety of patients, including those who just had major open heart surgeries and heart or lung transplants. I couldn’t ask for a better job because I’m an adrenaline junkie who likes to stay busy at work and think on my feet. We are able to treat critically ill patients with the incredible technology that is available to us. If a patient’s heart is failing, a temporary device may be used to help, or a ventricular assist device (VAD) may be implanted so they can live a fairly normal life again. This is just a small picture of what we do. It is amazing what can be done with medical technology and it is also extremely humbling.

What is your dream job?

I feel like I am already in my dream job where I am now! I never make it through a shift at work without learning something new, and I rarely have a “boring” night at work. I would love to become a flight nurse for AeroMed in the future if I get the chance.

What do you do when you are not working?

I enjoy backpacking, traveling, and going to our family’s cottage up north. We just visited the Smoky Mountains  for our anniversary, where we spent the week hiking.

Homecoming 2016 – THANK YOU!

Davenport University celebrated Homecoming 2016 on September 24! It was an exciting day to have so many alumni and friends on campus for homecoming festivities and traditions. Thank you to everyone who cheered our football team to victory and supported other DU teams as well who played throughout the weekend!

Check out the Homecoming photos on the alumni facebook page!

Alumni Success Story: Carl Eschels ’39

In celebration of our 150th Anniversary, we sat down with Carl Eschels ‘39, one of the oldest living Davenport graduates. Walk down memory lane with Carl as he recalls all of his great experiences he had as a student of Davenport into his long career and retirement. Check out his story on page 45 of the latest issue of the DU Review.