Monthly Archive for August, 2015

Welcome Class of 2019!

Welcome Class of 2019!

Convocation is a new tradition at Davenport University that officially kicks off the new academic year. Yesterday, faculty, staff, and administration in their academic regalia gathered to welcome the incoming students. They clapped and cheered as students entered the gymnasium, helping them envision walking on stage at graduation as everyone is celebrating.  

The speakers including President Richard Pappas, Provost Linda Rinker, professors Brian Kowalczk and Denny Bobeldyk and student Caleb Adrianson, ’18.

Welcome future DU alumni, Class of 2019! We are very excited to have you here!

Alumni Success Story: Kaylani Rubley ’14 BSN

I wasn’t just a number, I was a name!

“Kaylani call 911!, screamed Kaylani’s father from the other room. Then she heard him say it again, “Kaylani, call 911, your mother is having a seizure!” From that day on, Kaylani knew she wanted to be an Emergency Room Nurse to help people like her mom. Her mother has had four brain tumors, three craniotomies, and two rounds of radiation and has been strong ever since. Kaylani was able to put her passion of helping people like her mom, into action right away as a nursing student.

“My experience at Davenport University was awesome! DU was a perfect fit for me. I wasn’t just a number, I was a name.” stated Kaylani. “I especially loved that I was admitted into the nursing program as a freshman.” said Kaylani. She also loved the hands-on experience and the amount of clinical hours that was required for the program, giving her the most amount of time as possible to be with patients.  The program is very unique, in that many of the professors are nursing professionals and share real-life experiences with the students.  Kaylani was also able to do an externship at Metro Health and worked for a few months as a Nursing Student while she studied for her nursing exam. After months of studying, she passed her nursing exam thanks to the amazing preparation of DU staff and professors. Today, Kaylani works at Metro Health as an Emergency Nurse.  She believes DU’s nursing program prepared her for all the types of patients she sees. Between broken bones to headaches, Kaylani is saving lives.

Kaylani loved her experience at DU and loves her job as an ER nurse even more! When she isn’t working or recovering from working a 3pm- 3am shift, she likes to spend time with family and friends, be outside, and play sports.

Do you know someone that has made DU proud? Submit their story to the alumni office at – we would love to hear from you!

Student Success Story: Emily Gatlin ’16

Genuinely Thankful

When Emily Gatlin’s student advisor, Terry Rostic, told her that she was receiving an additional $4,000 scholarship this year out of the general scholarship fund, her eyes watered with happiness. “$4,000 is a lot of money,” stated Emily as we interviewed her on her lunch break in the Panther Den. As a full-time student working three jobs to pay for tuition, she did not know how she was going to graduate on time without financial help. She knew she could personally manage a full class load, but she didn’t know how she was going to financially afford the extra classes to graduate next fall.  “I was awestruck when Terry told me I got a scholarship from DU,” said Emily with a big smile. “I am so genuinely thankful for all the amazing DU donors and supporters who donate the general scholarship fund. The scholarship I received from DU really made a difference not only in my education, but my life,” stated Emily. Emily plans to graduate in the Fall of 2016 with her Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing and hopes to work in hospitality management and plan events.

You can make a difference in students lives at Davenport University too! Hire a DU student as an intern, attend fundraising events, share your story with current students, or donate today!

Get involved and support student professional development

Looking for ways to give back to DU and support student professional development? We invite you to join us to:

-Become a guest speaker in classroom discussions
-Volunteer as an alumni mentor
-Host students interested in job shadowing
-Become an internship employer
-Host mock interviews

Sound interesting? Would you like more details? Email the alumni office at

Alumni Success Story: James Czerew ’07

There’s more to ‘networking’ than just routing and switching!

We are proud to feature our next alumni success story spotlighting James Czerew. James is a man of many talents and passions. He is an entrepreneur, business owner, technology consultant, public speaker, as well as an active board member in many local technology, business, and nonprofit organizations. He launched TechConnect, LLC in July 2011 with the goal of developing technology systems & networks that are stable, secure, and elegant for both local and national companies. “The inclusion of business courses in my IT degree path gave me a strong business foundation and the courage to launch my own technology and security company,” stated James.

James credits his success as an entrepreneur to his applied experiences at DU. After he graduated from DU with dual Bachelor Degree Majors in Network Security and Network Engineering in 2007, he obtained a position as a Network/Security Engineer in the healthcare industry. “What I liked about Davenport University was the emphasis on practical hands-on learning and the access to advanced technology equipment and instructors who were experts in their fields.” Mentoring also became a passion of his while pursuing his degree. He was known by many of his former professors and classmates to have taken an active role in and out of the classroom as a leader helping other students.  After he graduated, he taught advanced Network Security & Wireless Security courses at DU for three years. Continue reading ‘Alumni Success Story: James Czerew ’07′

Call for Alumni Volunteers for Move-In

Attention all Grand Rapids area alumni volunteers — We need your help moving students on campus on Thursday, August 27th. We are looking for people to welcome new students, help direct traffic, and assist moving students stuff to their rooms. We are looking for alumni help on with shifts on Thursday, August 27th  9:30a.m. – 2:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Volunteers will receive an awesome DU Move-In Crew t-shirt, refreshments, and the opportunity to hang out with new, incoming students! Sign up here -

New Donald W. Maine College of Business Building

Necessitated by growing enrollment at the W.A. Lettinga Campus, the new three-story, 60,000-square-foot facility will allow for continued growth of academic programs in the Donald W. Maine College of Business while providing highly flexible space. The new facility will apply the flexibility and collaboration prevalent in progressive business environments to the college campus setting. Entrepreneurship is at the heart of Michigan’s historic success, with industries built upon the bold initiative and inventiveness of its early business leaders. Davenport University understands that the state’s continued well-being requires an environment that nurtures and supports emerging entrepreneurs who will create the growth industries of the future. A new Entrepreneurship Center will be developed to guide and advise entrepreneurs ready to build and expand their successful, high-value, high-growth companies and create more jobs. The new center will be located within a new College of Business facility named for Donald W. Maine on the University’s W.A. Lettinga Campus in Grand Rapids. The new facility will provide students with a solid business education foundation through the University’s undergraduate and graduate degree programs, while serving as a valuable resource for existing entrepreneurs, investors and service providers. In addition to fostering growth companies through a business accelerator program, the Entrepreneurship Center will promote women as entrepreneurs, serving an unmet need in West Michigan.  Classrooms will be organized around a central collaboration hub where students can interact, study and create. Faculty members will be housed in an open office environment that includes permanent offices, stations for use by adjunct instructors and ample private meeting space. Educational spaces also embrace a flexible environment where teaching styles and learning environments can easily change from class to class. The new College of Business facility will free up space within existing academic facilities to accommodate the continued growth of technology, health, and arts and sciences programs. Interested in seeing the architectural renderings? Check them out!

Alumni Success Story: Ignacio Perez, ’09, ’11

We are proud to feature our next alumni success story spotlighting Computer Science and Executive MBA graduate, Ignacio Perez.  Ignacio graduated from DU in 2011 with an Executive Master of Business Administration degree and a Bachelors of Science degree in Computer Networking in 2009. “I credit the hands-on technical undergraduate experience combined with the management acumen gained in EMBA program as a powerful combination that I am able to leverage everyday while leading international teams to implement complex programs.” DU acted as the catalyst for my career, helping me directly apply what I learned in the classroom to my personal and professional life,” stated Perez.

Ignacio leads global information system programs and projects for Whirlpool Corporation, the world’s largest home appliance manufacturer with $20B in revenue and 100,000 employees in 70 manufacturing and technology research centers throughout the world. Some of Ignacio’s largest programs at Whirlpool include transforming Whirlpool’s global e-commerce platform to the cloud for scalability and transforming legacy enterprise mainframe systems to cost effective commodity platforms.  Prior to joining Whirlpool, he led the creation of a regional Project Management Office (PMO) as Senior Project Manager for BlueWater Technologies; a company providing custom audio visual event and automation technology solutions. Prior to joining BlueWater Technologies, he led teams in the development, coordination and implementation of multiple cross-functional technology projects as an IT Project Manager with Davenport University. Previous roles at the University included technical project management and network engineering. Before joining the University, his background included manufacturing and skilled trades industry experiences.

Additionally, Ignacio serves part time as a Director of Operations in the Air National Guard, leading technology teams and projects in support of a global mission providing critical support to the United States Africa Command’s humanitarian and nation stabilization mission. As a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, he served as a Chief Information Officer (CIO) equivalent and Project Officer for an Army multi-billion dollar air/land/sea logistics unit and a transportation security unit in Southwest Asia. Continue reading ‘Alumni Success Story: Ignacio Perez, ’09, ’11′