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Congratulations to the Fall 2013 Co-Curricular Award Winners!

Posted January 8, 2014 in Student

Incredible students abound here at KCAD, but each semester the Co-Curricular Awards recognize the truly exceptional - those who raise the bar when it comes to making the most of their talents and their education. Out of the many nominations for Fall of 2013, the three students below were singled out for creating tremendous impact both on and off campus:


Outstanding Student Mentor – Joseph Garber (Sophomore, Art History)

As a mentor to incoming freshman, Joe Garber helps new students acclimate on campus and in Grand Rapids by encouraging them to see volunteering as a means of discovery. When he came to KCAD from Sault St. Marie, Garber found that volunteering in the community was the perfect way to familiarize himself with an unfamiliar landscape. He began by helping Urban Institute of Contemporary Art run smoothly during the chaotic weeks of ArtPrize 2012 before getting involved with SiteLAB as an art installation assistant and becoming a volunteer intern in the Grand Rapids Art Museum’s docent program. In addition to being a mentor, Garber also lends his time on campus helping Art History Chair Anne Norcross manage the department’s online Visual Resource Connection.

Joe Garber

Coming to a new city and a new school can be intimidating, but Garber works hard to help new students find their place at KCAD by showing them the importance of getting involved, not just on campus, but also in community at-large. By preparing the next wave of students to be active about their education, he helps to nurture the College’s thriving volunteer culture.


Outstanding Student Organization Officer – Amanda Klein (Senior, Interior Design)

As President of the KCAD Green Council (KGC) for the past two academic years, Amanda Klein has been instrumental in helping the College further its sustainable goals. Her leadership in an initiative to populate campus with user-friendly containers for recycling and compostable materials helped KCAD to drastically improve its waste management, leading the College to phenomenal success in the 2013 Recyclemania competition, a national event that pits college and university recycling programs against one another to see which schools have the most efficient systems. KCAD won second place in the Grand Champion category and third place in the Waste Management category.

Amanda Klein

In addition, Klein developed the Take A Coat/Leave A Coat program that set up a station in the Activities and Resources Center where students could either donate a winter coat or take one for free if they were in need. She’s also organized and participated in several river cleanups that protect and preserve the health of the local environment.  Though Klein has recently stepped down as president of the KGC, she’s left behind a model of excellence that serves as an inspiration for all KCAD student organizations to follow.



Outstanding Student Volunteer – Amanda Carmer (MFA, Photography) 

Since beginning her MFA in Photography two years ago, Amanda Carmer has become an indispensable member of both the KCAD community and the larger creative culture of West Michigan. On campus, Carmer volunteers her time as a member of the KCAD Visiting Artist Committee, which works to bring special guest presenters and lecturers to the College. She’s also the graduate student representative on the search committee for the new KCAD Dean, and President of the MFA Collective, the student organization that unites MFA students across disciplines.

Amanda Carmer

Off campus, Carmer serves on the advisory committee for Avenue for the Arts, an organization that represents commercial and nonprofit groups working together in the thriving creative community of South Division in Grand Rapids. She’s also a co-founder and operator of Craft House, a gallery on South Division that serves as a collaborative exhibition space and resource for artists. She’s used her position within these organizations to create internships for KCAD students, and provide venues for local artists to showcase their work. Carmer’s volunteer efforts are special because they open up opportunities for others to get involved. That’s what true community building is all about.

Congratulations to the Fall 2013 Co-Curricular Award Winners, and thanks to all of the students, faculty, and staff who help KCAD move the needle here in West Michigan and beyond!