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WGVU Public Media and GVSU Leaders Honored

March 10, 2023

(L-R) WGVU's Shelley Irwin and GVSU President Philomena Mantella.

This past Wednesday (3/8), WGVU Public Media anchor/producer Shelley Irwin and Grand Valley State University President Philomena Mantella were honored for their impact on the community as part of International Women's Day.  The event, sponsored by SowHope, was held at Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapids.

Shelley Irwin is the award-winning host of WGVU's "The Morning Show." Her honors include the Fred Meijer Service Above Self Award and five consecutive Gracie Allen Awards from American Women in TV and Radio for excellence as a program host. Megan Davey, WGVU Assistant GM, said: "Shelley Irwin has been an integral part of WGVU Public Media for over twenty years. Her boundless curiosity and deep connection with her audience make our community stronger every single day."

When asked about how special it was to receive this honor, Shelley Irwin said, "What an honor to receive this recognition on behalf of SowHope and International Women's Day, a Day to Celebrate the achievement of women worldwide! As a "woman of social achievement,"  I am empowered to continue serving as a messenger and community advocate to support women's advancement and equity."

President Philomena Mantella is the first woman president of Grand Valley State University since its founding in 1960. Under her leadership, she has led efforts to launch several programs that have garnered state and national attention, including the Lifelong Educational Attainment for Determined Students (LEADS) program in 2020. In addition, President Mantella is a strong advocate for diversity at GVSU and in the greater Grand Rapids area, where she serves on several boards dedicated to education equity and economic development.

International Women' s Day has been celebrated since 1911, when 15,000 women marched through the streets of New York City demanding better pay, shorter hours, and voting rights for women. Historically, women worldwide celebrate IWD by walking through the streets, dancing, and holding flags of their native countries.

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