Design thinking, honors college, diversity, creative crew, service learning


Liberal Studies


In the later summer of 2017, our team was assembled from six individuals in the HNR 313 Design Thinking class at Grand Valley State University. In time, we would learn each other’s names, personalities, assign roles for the task ahead, and come to share life experiences. Alexis Ellis became our team writing lead, Darius Youngblood became the team leader, Lynn Doherty volunteered to be the scribe and recorder, Marisa Kahnt became a co-reporter and manager of human resources, Pierce Henderson became co-reporter and researcher, and Taylor Kooy became co-presenter and task manager.

With our team finalized, we were able to now tackle our challenge of creating a more distinctive Honors College at Grand Valley State University. Without a notion of where to begin, we started by reflecting on the local community and ourselves. Immediately, it was evident that there was a sharp contrast between the demographics of our team and the surrounding populous. Half of our team does not follow the standard Caucasian Grand Valley makeup. This is radically different from the population of GVSU in which roughly 83% of students are Caucasian. This statistic became a cornerstone of our project, it inspired us to research diversity within the Honors College. Unfortunately, our following research manifested into the discovery that there is even less diversity in the Frederik Meijer Honors College than the general student population.

Our team thus determined that this compelling issue was worth tackling, inspiring us to come up with our problem statement: we will shine light on the lack of diversity in the Honors College and promote a more well-rounded learning experience by bringing in a more diverse group of Honors students. Revolving around this problem statement, our team began using the Design Thinking process to come up with a solution, with diversity at its core, to make the Honors College here at Grand Valley more distinctive.


LIB 323 / HON 313 - Design Thinking to Meet Real World Needs