GV APR Alumnus Nominated for GRBJ Newsmaker of the Year

Seth Yon - Greener Grads Blog Header

Each year, the Grand Rapids Business Journal awards professionals in West Michigan the title of Newsmaker of the Year for the work they’ve done in their respective fields.  This year, Grand Valley Advertising and Public Relations program alumnus Seth Yon has been nominated for the Sustainability category.  Yon is the founder of Greener Grads, an organization that prevents high school and college graduation gowns from entering the waste stream by collecting and renting used gowns to students.

Last semester, Greener Grads was the client organization for a CAP 495: Advertising and Public Relations Campaign class instructed by affiliate professor Frank Blossom.  Divided into small groups, the students designed comprehensive Advertising and Public Relations campaigns incorporating social media and Google AdWords strategies.  Seth Yon visited the class several times throughout the semester to review the students’ work and give direction.

“The work of the students was truly comprehensive,” said Blossom when speaking about the assignment.  The process mimics the creation of actual campaigns by giving students an interactive experience of creating content for actual clients.  Greener Grads implemented several of the strategies constructed by the class showing the nature of the class can be beneficial for both the students and the client organization.

Through the CAP 495 class and opportunities like the one with Yon, the GVSU APR program aims to incorporate practical knowledge with theory to prepare students for the tasks they will complete upon entering the professional world.  The curriculum enables the students to excel for it is crafted with their futures as its primary concern.

16 nominees will be awarded “Newsmakers” Wednesday, January 27 at a breakfast award ceremony at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.

“Business Journal names Newsmaker nominees” Article:


For more information about Greener Grads check out:

Web: https://www.greenergrads.org/

Twitter: @Greenergrads

Facebook: Greener Grads

Post By: Alex Goodreau

Alex Goodreau is currently a senior at Grand Valley State University double majoring in Dance and Advertising/Public Relations. He works as an account associate at Grand PR and is a member of the Grand Valley chapter of PRSSA. He also manages public relations and social media for the student-run dance organization Momentum. Alex enjoys interacting with clients and assisting them in establishing realistic strategies to enhance their organization’s public perception.



More Than Teaching: Dr. Penning on JPRR 2016 Editorial Board!


A lot of students and professionals outside the university might not realize that professors at Grand Valley do more than just teach. It is common for professors to conduct and publish research and take on other tasks as part of their job. Recently, Dr. Penning was nominated to be on the JPRR 2016 Editorial Board. “It was my participation as a reviewer for [The Journal of Public Relations Research] that led the editor to name me as one of the members of the editorial board” said Dr. Tim Penning.

“It really is a nice honor and a distinction of the level of my own scholarship,” stated Dr. Tim Penning. The Journal of Public Relations Research is the premier academic journal in the field of public relations. It is the official journal of the Public Relations Division of the Association for Educators in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC).

If you have either worked with Dr. Penning or had him as a professor, you can attest to and appreciate the real world experience and scholarly research he brings to his teachings. Dr. Penning stated,  “I would hope that students appreciate that some of the faculty teaching them are not only speaking from their individual experience in the field, but also a very broad view of the public relations field based on scholarly research.”

For the APR students most of the articles from the JPRR and other journals may be assigned as readings in some PR classes, such as CAP 320. Dr. Tim Penning accepted the position on JPRR 2016 Editorial Board, but it was about more than just him. Dr. Penning states “I think this is also a nice recognition for GVSU and the Ad and PR Major because my name and school affiliation will be listed in the roster of editorial board members on the journal’s masthead, which will be read by those submitting articles and the readers of the journal from all over the world.”

The next steps for Dr. Penning will be engaging in reviews of articles, on the editorial board there will be discussions about the future direction for the journal in terms of content, potential special issues, and the nature of articles. This adds to his already heavy class load to teach at Grand Valley, consulting for his own PR firm (Penning Ink), conducting his own scholarly research, and acting as an Ad/PR Major counselor. We are lucky to  have him as a part of our Advertising and Public Relations program at GVSU.

Congratulations Dr. Penning!

Here is a link to the Journal of Public Relations Research’s page:


Post by: Sophie Klimkiewicz

Sophie Klimkiewicz is going on her second year as an Account Associate at GrandPR. She is currently a senior with an Advertising and Public Relation major and an emphasis on Advertising. Sophie has background knowledge in Public Relations from working on campus at the Career Center and Sports Marketing Department. She enjoys seeking opportunities within her major and conquers the challenges that life throws at her. Sophie values learning and challenging herself to be successful.