WMU News

Daniel, Van Hoeven named Distinguished Service Recipents

March 12, 1999

KALAMAZOO-- Two Western Michigan University employees who together have dedicated more than 50 years to the University have been selected as recipients of the 1998 Distinguished Service Awards.

Griselda Daniel, director of diversity recruitment and retention and assistant to the dean of the Graduate College, and Dr. Shirley A. Van Hoeven, professor of communication, were each awarded a plaque and a $1,500 honorarium at a dinner hosted by WMU President Elson S. Floyd in February.

The two were chosen from campuswide nominations based on such criteria as: service through innovative and effective programs; service in areas that contribute to the growth and stature of the University; and service that extends the impact and presence of the University into the larger community.

Daniel, who has been with WMU since 1976, was recognized for her contributions to the University's efforts to increase diversity among its students, faculty and administration. She has a long, successful history of leading programs geared at recruiting, mentoring and retaining minority students at WMU. Daniel's accomplishments include initiating the University's first merit scholarship program for undergraduate minority students. In addition, she designed and implemented a Diversity in Mentoring Conference in 1987, which gave birth to the International Mentoring Association, an organization that provides a forum and support for effective mentoring for faculty, administrators and institutions of higher education. The association, now in its 10th year, has 400 members worldwide.

"The sensitivity, insight and cheerful enthusiasm that she brings to our Diversity Program has been instrumental in the development of this program into one of the cornerstones of our minority education," wrote a University colleague in nominating Daniel for the award.

Daniel has taken her expertise into the community through her work with the Michigan Department of Education, Van Buren County Social Services Board, Kalamazoo Center for Independent Living and Goodwill Industries of Kalamazoo. She has made numerous presentations to community groups, including the Black Women's Roundtable Conference, Douglass Community Center, Black Ministerial Alliance, Benton Harbor Public Schools, Grand Rapids Urban League, Battle Creek Urban League and Black Women's Business Organization.

"Ms. Daniel's innovative service and activity contributed to the growth and stature of Western Michigan University in an important and unique way both locally and nationally," wrote the colleague.

Daniel received her bachelor's and master's degrees from WMU and a graduate certificate in administration from Bryn Mawr College. She began her career at WMU as assistant director for the Martin Luther King Jr. Program. She became director of the Diversity Program in 1988.

Van Hoeven, a faculty member since 1970, was recognized for her contributions to the Department of Communication and the University and community at large. Van Hoeven, who for the past 20 years has served as the department's Graduate Program Director and advisor, has established herself as an expert in many aspects of organizational and interpersonal communication. Her areas of specialty include bargaining, conflict management, leadership, gender communication and communication education.

Van Hoeven has dedicated much of her time to academic service activities, including serving with the Graduate Studies Council, Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnic Relations, Lee Honors College, Regional Education Council, Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the College of Arts and Sciences Women's Caucus, the Committee to Advise the President on Academic Priorities and the Minority Mentor/Mentee Program.

"I cannot imagine a more committed member of the university community," wrote one colleague in nominating her for the award. "Dr. Van Hoeven has worked 'in the trenches' on the committees, councils, and task forces where faculty influence the day to day operation of our enterprise. She has sought some of these roles and been called upon for others. In all cases, she serves energetically and creatively to advance the teaching and research mission of the university."

Van Hoeven's contributions outside the University include numerous volunteer and consulting activities. She has served on the Board of Directors for Kalamazoo Habitat for Humanity, holding positions as president and vice president of that organization. She also has played leadership roles with such organizations as Community Advocates for Persons with Developmental Disabilities, Western Theological Seminary, the YWCA, and the Michigan Department of Education. She has been a frequent speaker and presenter to community groups including school districts, American Business Women's Association and the Kalamazoo Consortium for Higher Education.

"Dr. Van Hoeven is committed to making our community a stronger, fairer and better place to live, and she has fought hard to make this a reality," wrote another colleague. "Her service contributions are grounded in and driven by her strongly held community values."

Van Hoeven, who is a graduate of Holland Christian High School, received a bachelor's degree from Hope College and master's and Ed.D. degrees from WMU. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Purdue University. She is the daughter of Bertha Bouwman of Holland and the late John Bouwman. She has announced she will retire from WMU at the end of June.

Media contact: Marie Lee, 616 387-8400, marie.lee@wmich.edu

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