My Story Started at GRCC: David Lovell returns to his roots to help the next generations find success

David Lovell smiling,

One of David Lovell’s favorite memories as a GRCC student is of a certain table on the Student Center’s third floor. Fellow students from his home town always met there to hang out.

A decade later, Lovell is on that same floor, associate director of a U.S. Department of Education grant project designed to help more GRCC students achieve their goals.

Start at GRCC and go anywhere. Every former student has a story to tell about how GRCC gave them the education and opportunity to be successful.

Lovell knows first-hand the doors a GRCC education can open.

“I started here as a clueless 18-year-old fresh out of high school,” he said. “I left here with a formal education, a degree, applicable skills and personal drive to achieve my goals. This is where I began an educational journey that culminated with a master’s degree and, maybe one day, even more than that.

“Something ‘clicked’ while I was here, and I’m very thankful it did.”

While his two older brothers graduated from GRCC, Lovell enrolled for mostly financial reasons: His father had lost his job during the recession, and his full Pell Grant entirely covered tuition. That savings allowed him to pay off his student loans three years after his 2014 graduation from Ferris State University. 

But attending GRCC also bought Lovell the time he needed to figure out what he wanted to do.

“I started taking English and Journalism classes, but I really didn’t have a personal passion – and my grades reflected that,” he said. “During the summer between my first and second year at GRCC, I took an internship that really exposed me to the world of business. The next fall, I changed my degree and began pursuing Business. I found the subject matter to be very interesting and highly applicable in the job market.”

After receiving his bachelor’s in business administration from Ferris, he earned a master’s degree from Davenport University while working at GRCC helping to place manufacturing certificate recipients in jobs. He then became the project manager for the U.S. Department of Labor’s America’s Promise health care grant. In 2020, when that project was nearing completion, he became the project manager for the five-year, $2.1 million Department of Education Title III grant.

“Altogether, I’ve been working on different grant projects at the college for eight years and managing them for the last six,” Lovell said.

As someone who’s viewed GRCC as a student and a staff member, he has advice: “There are incredible opportunities and so much life here. But it’s a college, serving adult students. No one can force you to be successful. You have to make that decision for yourself. And when you do, you’ll be amazed at the opportunities that present themselves.”

Start your GRCC story today here.

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