Alumni in 10
Ricardo Benavidez, '14 & '19
Executive Assistant for Community Relations, Office of the President, Grand Valley State University
Degree Earned/Emphasis Area
B.S. in History and Public & Nonprofit Administration
1. What has your journey been since graduation?
After graduating in 2014, I worked at a local economic development organization called Local First. There, I worked for the President and with the organization's board of directors and foundation board of directors. I was there for just over one year. I moved onto the Office of the President at GVSU where I have served in two roles, most recently working in community relations. I began the Master of Public Administration program in 2016 and will graduate with my MPA in Public Management in the Spring of 2019 - also from GVSU.
2. How has Grand Valley had a role in your journey?
I cannot count the ways that Grand Valley has shaped my journey. I began taking classes in high school as a dual enrollment student and knew from that first course that this is where I belong. I have grown as a leader, a student, a community member, a friend, and most importantly, as a person. Grand Valley and the people I have met here have left a lasting impression on me in so many substantial ways.
3. What is your favorite Grand Valley memory?
It is impossible to choose just one. I have so many fond memories of my time in the Laker Marching Band and on the Student Senate.
4. What three words describe your experience at Grand Valley?
Leadership. Humility. Community.
5. How, and why, have you stayed involved with Grand
Valley since graduation?
I have worked at Grand Valley since the fall of 2015. In addition to that, I began serving on the Young Alumni Council in the summer of 2014. I have served in multiple leadership roles on the YAC - development committee co-chair, chair-elect, chair, and YAC representative on the Alumni Association Board of Directors. I also mentor a student in the Future Alumni Association, Kim, who is proving to be one of the most amazing people I have ever met. I serve as an Alumni Champion - working to financially engage fellow alumni with the university. I will finish my masters program at GV in the Spring of 2019. I have stayed so heavily involved with Grand Valley because this institution has had such an impact on my life and it truly has been the people that I have met, worked with, and studied with, that had the biggest impacts. I can only hope that the work I do with GVSU leaves a fraction of the impression on someone else's life that it has on mine.
6. Why are you proud to be a Laker for a Lifetime?
For all of the reasons that I have already stated. Truly the three words above sum up my pride for the Laker Nation: Lakers are leaders, Lakers are humble in their leadership, and GVSU is a community that is community focused. This is home.
7. What do you like to do for fun?
GVSU still takes up a lot of my free time, especially those pesky classes and homework. When I am not on campus I can be found reading, hiking, or serving the community through various boards and committees.
8. What is your favorite quote/motto to live by?
Nada dura para siempre. When translated roughly means "nothing lasts forever." Similar to "this too shall pass," nada dura para siempre serves as a reminder that the bad times will not last so do not sweat the little things, and that the good times are not forever so do not take anything for granted. This is a life lesson that I learned here at GV.
9. What motivates you?
I find my biggest motivation in knowing that the work that I do is helping someone. If I can make even the slightest difference in someone's life, I will do all that I can to make it happen.
10. What book or movie have you recently enjoyed?
When I am not reading textbooks or case studies for class I have found myself really intrigued with Stephen King's writing. His thriller/horror books are great, but his short stories are even better.