Grand Valley Lanthorn staff wins 12 MPA awards

The Grand Valley Lanthorn staff won 12 awards in the 2016 College Better Newspaper Contest sponsored by the Michigan Press Association. Audra Gamble, who was editor in chief and graduated in the fall, won 4 writing awards, the most of any single college journalist in the state. The GV Lanthorn competes in Division I with student newspapers from Central, Eastern and the University of Michigan.

Best Photographer, honorable mention, Emily Frye

Best Writer, honorable mention, Audra Gamble

Feature Story, 1st place, “Fighting through Fear,” Audra Gamble

Feature Story, 2nd place, “Finding Happiness in Heels,” Audra Gamble

Investigative Reporting, 3rd place, “Following the Battle of Valley’s Funds,” Audra Gamble.

Judge comments: “One wonders whether, if not for the push from the student newspaper, anything would have been done with funds collected for charity. The staff deserves credit for not only letting the GVSU community know that funds had not been distributed but also letting those in need know how to apply.”

Front Page Design, 2nd place, layout staff, Chase Hasper, layout editor

News Photo, 2nd place, “Flint Lives Matter,” Kevin Sielaff

News Photo, 3rd place, “Bernie Sanders,” Emily Frye

News Photo, honorable mention, “Trump,” Kevin Sielaff

Sports Feature, 3 rd place, “Junior Nickelback Stepping into Primetime Role for GVSU,” Adam Knorr

Single Advertisement, 1 st place, “Enclave,” Kelsey Kolokowski

Special Advertising Section, 2 nd place, “Housing Guide,” Kelsey Kolokowski


GV students form new club: The Animation Guild

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Animation is the process of bringing something man-made to life, giving it action.   A new club called The Animation Guild is being brought to life at Grand Valley State University to give students interested in animation a common space and to help students gain more experience in the technique.

“By forming a club and building a community, we can start to create this collaborative energy where we can work together,” said the club’s adviser, Assistant Professor Julie Goldstein. “And a lot of the times, the jobs that you get when you graduate is from your classmates. So building those relationships outside of the classroom is really important and so is the opportunity to get involved in the community.”

Goldstein encouraged several students at the beginning of the Winter 2017 semester to start the club and has helped them keep it running.  The club has grown to include about 17 members.  Goldstein said in addition to providing students opportunities to get to know each other, the club provides the opportunity to gain real-world experience.

“I would always tell students ‘create the reality you want when you graduate while you’re here.’ Get some practical experience, get hands-on,” Goldstein said. “This is hard to do in the classroom because you’re kind of doing assignments to form more technical skills.”

The group has already begun to engage the community and practice in some hands-on work.  On March 17 the group visited North Park Montessori Academy in Grand Rapids to run an animation workshop with sixth grade students.  Ten students from The Animation Guild went to the school and helped the sixth graders design their own flip books.

“We think it’s a great way to reach out to kids and say ‘hey the film community and the animation community exist and this is totally something you can do with it in the future,’” said the club’s president, Alex Faber.  “It was cool to see the kids basically take paper cutouts and create animations. Some of them get very complex with it and get that same kind of sparkle in their eye that you had when you were a kid seeing that kind of thing.  It’s really cool. You see yourself in it.”

In addition to community outreach, Faber said he is excited to be able to start collaborative animation projects with the club.  He explained that animation is an arduous process that involves a lot of work, and wants to see what sort of products the group will be able to create as a collective.

Faber said one of his goals for the future of the club is to see them take on clients and be commissioned to do animation work.

“We’ve been approached by a couple of clients already,” said the club’s event coordinator Ty Hendry. “One animation student would not be approached by a client, but a collective might be.  And has been.

“I’ve spent my two years shoehorning animation into every class because I wanted an excuse to do it for credit.  But having a club and having clients, that’s a really natural way to build a resume and build experience.”


Members of the new Animation Guild pose for a photo in Lake Superior Hall.

Kayla Hardy, The Animation Guild secretary, said she hopes that getting clients and real-world experience through this club will help her gain professional experience to show potential employers.

“I really want to get clients.  It’s so hard to get your foot in the door in this world,” Hardy said. “I’m applying every day to places, trying to get an internship, trying to get a job.  So having clients, that would really help.”

Working as a collective, The Animation Guild hopes to expand to include members from outside of the film & video productions program.  Hendry explained that animating is now applicable to a variety of disciplines.  From phone applications, to commercials, and billboards, Hendry said animation shows up in our everyday lives more than people realize.

“I think the best part about this club is that it doesn’t matter how much about animation you know,” said the club’s treasurer Justin Jarvis.  “We are accepting all skill levels because sixth graders can do animation. So literally anyone can do animation.  We just want everyone to come.”

One of the group’s goals for the future was to help make animation more known at GVSU and to help grow the program.  Animation Guild treasurer Christian Johnson said making animation more known will help students in other major programs understand how learning animation could be beneficial to them.

“It’s kind of crazy how overlooked animation is here at GVSU,” Johnson said. “We only have like three classes, but animation incorporates so many different aspects of the medium in general.  You have art, drawing, fine arts, you have the aspects of film, cinematography, and editing.  And it really gets into sciences because you have to get into physics, math and anatomy.”

In the future, the club plans to get more involved and already has plans to participate in Laker Experience Day. Goldstein said the reason she loves animation so much is because it combines so many different disciplines. She believes animation and media are applicable to all majors now because they are part of the way we communicate.

“I would love to see the club really expand,” Goldstein said.  “I would really like to see The Animation Guild be a club where students from all majors who are interested in animation can come to sort of see their ideas, collaborate, do workshops.

“We’re thinking about holding animation screenings, potentially our own little animation festival.  I really think it could be a great hub for a sense of community around the technique.”

The group currently meets at 8 p.m. every Thursday in LSH 112.


GV students win student media awards for TV, radio

GVSU students won several awards at the Michigan Association of Broadcasters Student Media Awards.  This year, student radio and television both were recognized with awards for news programs for the first time in their histories.

TV awards:

Hard news – Honorable Mention: “GVSU Walkout Protest” – Blair Thompson, Regan Blissett, Kyle Bindas, Montez Fennick

News feature – 2nd place: “Greek Philanthropy” – Jeana Gondek and Kyle Bindas

PSA – 1st Place – “Flint Water Crisis” – Olivia Smith

Radio Awards:

On-air personality or team – 2nd Place – The Shady Bunch – Patrick Mast, Logan Church, Maitlynn Mossolle, Cierra Prosser

Daily newscast/news feature – Honorable Mention – “Questioning Student Initiatives at the White House” – Meghan McBrady, A.J. Bedard

Sports Play-By-Play – 1st Place – Paul  McPherson, Nate Dreyer, Jacob Farah (This is the 3rd year in a row that GVSU is best in state in sports play-by-play)


GV Theatre joins the Ghostlight Project  

Grand Valley Theatre will join artists and communities nationwide in participation with the Ghostlight Project.   Across the country, members of the theater community – from Broadway to regional theaters to high schools and colleges and community theaters – have come together to launch the project.

Inspired by the tradition of leaving a “ghost light” on in a darkened theater, artists and communities will make or renew a pledge to stand for and protect the values of inclusion, participation, and compassion for everyone–regardless of race, class, religion, country of origin, immigration status, disability,  age, gender identity, or sexual orientation.

The project officially began on Jan. 19 at 5:30 p.m. and Grand Valley Theatre has begun their participation by filling out “I am” statements and posting them in the Theatre Lab space in PAC 1103.   The statements represent diversity within the community.

Grand Valley Theatre will continue their participation with ongoing projects. Some of the theatre classes will be talking about and participating in the project. The ReACT program within Grand Valley Theatre currently meets many of the values held by the Ghostlight Project.

For more information about the Ghostlight Project visit,

SoC faculty and staff receive service awards

For their time spent working at Grand Valley State University, several members of the School of Communications were recently honored with Service Awards.  The awards were given out at Grand Valley’s Service Award and Holiday Gathering on Dec. 1.

Receiving the 10-year Service Award: Affiliate Professor of Advertising & Public Relations John Stipe, Associate Professor of Communication Studies Danielle Leek, and Affiliate Professor of Advertising & Public Relations Peggy Howard

Receiving the 25-year Service Award: Associate Professor of Journalism Lawrence Beery and Academic Department Coordinator Deborah Barko

Receiving the 35-year Service Award: Professor of Photography David Rathbun