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Incoming GVSU President Dr. Philomena Mantella attending SOTU Address. What are her expectations?

Dr. Philomena V. Mantella portrait

Grand Valley State University’s president-elect Dr. Philomena Mantella will attend tonight’s State of the Union Address as a guest of Michigan U.S. Senator Gary Peters. WGVU spoke with Dr. Mantella about Grand Valley’s role in the state’s workforce development and expectations for President Trump’s address.

“Well, this is a first for me. So, this will be exciting on a personal level.”

As Grand Valley State University’s incoming president, Dr. Philomena Mantella tells the story, she received a personal cellphone call from Michigan U.S. Senator Gary Peters welcoming her to Michigan with an invitation to attend the State of the Union Address. Mantella will officially become Grand Valley’s fifth president in the school’s history. She tells me Senator Peters shares her commitment preparing Michigan’s workforce for the 21st Century.

“And I hope that we’re going to be able to really dig deep on that when we’re together. We have an individual meeting as well as some time together through the course of the evening event. So, it is very important to me, and I think it’s very important to Grand Valley State, it’s the essence of Grand Valley State University it’s been about what West Michigan needs, and it’s very important to him and the public policy in Michigan. So, I think it will be a very rich conversation that we’ll be able to have together.”

And then there’s the State of the Union Address. What does Dr. Mantella hope to hear from President Donald Trump?

“Well, I’m hoping to see higher education really on the plan for the future. And, I think that you can look at higher education from its historic role, again supporting young professionals as they take on developing as individuals and developing in their careers. But I’ll also look for the way in which education can drive talent development in our nation, can drive our businesses and their prosperity in our regions and their prosperity. So, I’m going to be looking with a lens with a wide aperture.

Dr. Philamena Mantella president-elect of Grand Valley State University, thank you.

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.