Town Halls, faculty awards, Founders, staff update, Laker Effect map, CSCE
Town Halls, faculty awards, Founders, staff update, Laker Effect map, CSCE
Grand Valley State University
Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Newsletter February 2021
Headshot of Mark Schaub, Dean of Brooks College
Dean Schaub

Dean's Message

The Lake Sturgeon of Poygan
“Race doesn't really exist for you because it has never been a barrier. Black folks don't have that choice.”
          ― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Americanah
Growing up in Ripon, Wisconsin, my forays onto the ice-covered lakes in February were an adventure. You could drive around in your car on one of those thick lids of ice. And Lake Winnebago or Lake Poygan were well-known sturgeon lakes. We would look for the large rectangles sawn into the ice, used by people to spear sturgeon. I never wanted to spear a sturgeon; I just wanted to glimpse one of these ancient torpedoes glide by. The flat white expanse up above, sometimes blinding in the dry winter sun, belied the soft glow below.
Like so many of my generational peers, and fellow white people who’ve benefitted from unearned privileges, I’ve had to learn history all over again. Our elementary and secondary education from the 1970s mostly didn’t do us much service in fully understanding our own places in the world. My own genealogical understandings of the previous generations of my own family led me to understand that all four quadrants of my family tree—the Siekmanns, Petzolds, Spörls, and Schaubs—were part of the 1840’s chain migration of German peasants to Eastern Wisconsin. It wasn’t until I was well into college that I bothered to read up on the land these “48ers” were handed by the newly created state. Reading about the 1848 Treaty of Lake Poygan was a revelation to me; it caused me to re-calibrate… everything. This was before I started in with my adult education through Eduardo Galeano and Howard Zinn.
One of our many wonderful privileges of working at a university is the bounty of educational opportunity around us. We’re at different places and points in our education, and some of us have further to travel on our journeys.
The opportunity presented by the IDI—Intercultural Development Inventory is one that most of you should consider. Brooks College will cover the cost for any GVSU employee who wants to complete the IDI instrument. I have completed this three times, each time followed up with the critically important consultation, over the past 17 years. Each time I’ve learned more about myself, my growth as an individual, and areas on which I can intentionally focus for the future. I recommend it highly, particularly if you follow-up with a trained consultant. In the coming weeks, the dean’s office will be providing more details on financial support for you to participate in the IDI and other modules of the Inclusive Excellence series.
In my obsession with Lake Sturgeon, I read a few years ago about a huge old female that was captured in Lake Winnebago. I couldn’t help but think about my Grandma Schaub, as she was born about the same time as she was (about 125 years ago). Grandma has been gone for quite a while now, but that sturgeon was released—healthy—back into the Winnebago-Poygan watershed. I think she’s still there, learning new tricks.
Mark Schaub signature

Mark Schaub
Dean of Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies

Brooks Town Halls

All Brooks faculty and staff are invited to participate in one of two “town hall” style discussions about organization of our academic programs in Brooks College. The focus will be to consider alternative approaches to organizing the College’s majors and minors, with faculty and staff that deliver these curricula aligned in optimal ways. The sessions are scheduled:
  • Friday, February 12, 2:00 – 2:55 p.m.
  • Monday, February 15, 4:00 – 4:55 p.m.

Reach Higher 2025: Draft Mission, Vision & Values Feedback

Using input from last year's campus huddles, the Reach Higher 2025 (RH2025) Steering Committee has developed draft Mission, Vision, and Values statements for the University's next strategic plan. The steering committee is now seeking feedback from the GVSU community. The draft statements are available for you to review and to provide feedback on the RH2025 website.
For any Brooks faculty and staff who would prefer a larger discussion on these draft statements, Dean Schaub will host a meeting on February 18, from 10:00 - 11:00 a.m. RSVP here.

Congratulations to the 2021 Faculty Awards Recipients

C. Griff Griffin headshot
C. "Griff" Griffin
Jack Mangala headshot
Jack Mangala
Krista Benson headshot
Krista Benson
Congratulations to all the 2021 Faculty Award Recipients, and especially to these Brooks College faculty members who have been recognized for their excellence in teaching:
  • C. "Griff" Griffin, Director of the General Education Program and Professor of General Education and Biology, received an Outstanding University Service Award 
  • Jack Mangala, Chair of Area and Global Studies and Professor of Area and Global Studies and Political Science, received a Distinguished Contribution in a Discipline Award
  • Krista Benson, Assistant Professor for Integrative, Religious, and Intercultural Studies, received a Pew Teaching with Techology Award
The 2021 Faculty Awards Convocation will be held in a virtual format on Tuesday, February 9 at 12 p.m. RSVP for the Convocation Ceremony.

Design Thinking Classes Partner with Founders to Create New Beer

In March, beer aficionados can sip a new brew crafted by Grand Valley students who, because of the pandemic, barely stepped foot inside a brewery.
Design thinking students in Darien Ripple's classes have partnered with Founders Brewing Co. in Grand Rapids to create a new beer for the company. It's the first time in Founders' history that an outside group has picked the ingredients and created marketing plans for a product.
Ripple, assistant professor of integrative, religious, and intercultural studies, proposed to Founders the idea of a two-semester project. He said the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed it to a three-semester project but added there has been plenty of work for all students, and Founders team members, many of whom are Grand Valley alumni, join students regularly via Zoom.
"I stressed to the Founders team the importance of collaborative creativity," Ripple said. "Our students have gone through the entire design thinking process, from empathy to defining ideas to ideation, and will soon put out a pilot product." Read more on GVNext.
Michael Hinkle with his cat

Staff Introduction: Michael Hinkle

Michael Hinkle, the new Farm Manager and Educator at the Sustainable Agriculture Project (SAP), is a recent GVSU graduate with a B.S. in Natural Resources Management and a minor in biology. Michael was a Meijer Honors College graduate, served as the GVSU Farm Club President, and received the Nichols Sustainability Scholarship.
Michael grew up working on a conventional agriculture farm. He fell in love with sustainable agriculture while volunteering at the SAP as an undergraduate, where he was awarded the Dave Feenstra Lead Internship. Michael is passionate about the connection between regenerative agriculture, community, and health. In his free time, he bakes, cooks, ferments, and draws American traditional style illustrations. Welcome, Michael!

Laker Effect Map

The Laker Effect Map is an interactive tool showing the impact of community engagement by students, faculty, and staff members. More than 550 locations are highlighted on the heat map.
The map enables GVSU faculty and staff to connect with one another in order to better serve their communities, and it helps GVSU students search for opportunities of engagement. Only GVSU faculty and staff can view names and locations of organizations and contact information for the GVSU person who maintains the relationship. The public can only view the generalized heat map.
If you have a current partnership you are willing to share, fill out this form to have it added to the map.

Catalyst Grant for Research and Creativity

The Center for Scholarly and Creative Excellence is accepting applications for the Catalyst Grant Program. This program encourages faculty to establish and maintain programs of research, scholarly, and/or creative activity. Projects should display potential for having a significant impact in one's field or chart a new trajectory in one's scholarly, creative, or artistic development. Apply by March 15.


Jeremiah Cataldo, associate professor of history, Meijer Honors College, gave a presentation, "Bargaining Hosea's Children," at the virtual Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature/American Academy of Religion. 
Jeff Kelly Lowenstein, Padnos/Sarosik Endowed Professor of Civil Discourse and assistant professor of multimedia journalism, wrote an opinion piece, "How a little-known incident in 1956 unnerved MLK," for Jeff also spoke to Shelley Irwin on the WGVU Morning Show about the upcoming Civil Discourse Symposium.


Faculty Calendar

February 9: Faculty Awards Convocation
February 19: Promoting Academic Integrity and Avoiding Academic Misconduct Workshop
March 1 – 5: Mid-terms
March 9: Mid-term grades due by 12:00 p.m.
March 10: Break Date (no classes will be held and no assignments will be due)
March 15: 2021 Faculty Activity Plan (FAP) due to Unit Head - only F21 required
March 15: CSCE Catalyst Grant Program applications due by 5 p.m.
April 1: Break Date (no classes will be held and no assignments will be due)
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