Temporary academic policies, COVID-19, Start-up Meeting, new colleagues
Temporary academic policies, COVID-19, Start-up Meeting, new colleagues
Grand Valley State University
Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Newsletter July 2020
Headshot of Mark Schaub, interim dean of Brooks College
Interim Dean Mark Schaub

Dean's Message

At my first convocation as a full-time faculty member 30 years ago this month, I remember some level of surprise as I scanned the rows of robed colleagues. I hadn’t expected to see university staff members bolstering the ranks: human resources administrators, records managers, admissions counselors, and residence hall directors. “They’re not faculty,” I remember thinking, as they stood for applause at the cue from the dais for recognition of the university’s faculty.
Admitting this belief, three decades later, is uncomfortable.
Many of the decisions I make in my day-to-day work revolve (as they should) around the education of students. But they are also anchored in the foundational belief that the core business of the university is faculty teaching those students through an intentional curriculum that leads towards degrees. The rest of the operation supports that primary effort. I have now spent more of my academic career as an administrator than as a full-time faculty member. Over the years, I’ve had countless experiences that have led me to gain a much richer appreciation for that support, such that I’m the first to admit that without the support of those many fellow educators, I couldn’t be the least successful in my administrative work. And, I must add, faculty couldn’t be successful in their work.
Paula Krebs¹ wrote that “Colleges are set up . . . to encourage faculty members to think of ourselves as the center of the enterprise, the reason all of the others, including the students, are there. The result can be that we end up viewing other college employees the way upper-class Victorians thought of their servants. We ignore them when they are doing their jobs well."
That assessment is likely overly harsh, but provides those of us in tenured faculty appointments a useful reminder of our place in the larger institution.
There will be a convocation on Friday, 28 August. I hope you will join us virtually. Appropriately, in this pandemic year 2020, it will be livestreamed rather than live. There will not be a procession. There will not be a moment in which the faculty are asked to stand for applause. But the entire event is a reminder of our collective efforts to support our students in their education—regardless of our specific role as educators.
[1] Krebs, P. The faculty-staff divide. The Chronicle of Higher Education (14 Nov. 2003).

Temporary Academic Policies for Fall 2020 

The Provost's Office has approved the following temporary academic policies due to COVID-19. The temporary policies are effective for the Fall 2020 semester only.
Deadline extensions:
  • The late withdrawal date is extended to November 20, 2020
  • The Credit/No Credit date is extended to September 11, 2020
Student Absence and Attendance:
The University has a published Class Attendance Policy in the GVSU Catalog that details what is expected of both students and faculty. COVID-19 related absences should be “excused,” according to the current policy. Students should also have the ability to quarantine at any point in the semester if they are concerned about COVID-19. Class participation may still be part of a student’s grade as engagement can be accomplished in multiple ways which do not require students to be “in-seat” during the course.
  • Faculty are prohibited from having an attendance policy that directly affects grades.
  • Notes from health care providers are not necessary for “excused” absences.
The current Class Attendance Policy covers the options for faculty members:
“Coursework missed because of excused absences should be made up to the satisfaction of the instructor. Although makeup work will not remove the full adverse effect of the absence in all cases, faculty members will make reasonable accommodations for students when an absence is excused. The accommodations available will vary with course and program. The degree of the effect upon grades will vary with the nature and amount of work missed and must be measured according to the instructor’s best judgment. In the case of excessive absences, the instructor may refuse to grant credit for the course. Under some circumstances, an incomplete grade followed by a resolution according to university policy, or withdrawal from the course, is appropriate.”
Specific examples and resources include:

Self-Assessments and COVID-19 Training

Beginning August 17, 2020, all students, faculty, and staff are required to complete the daily COVID-19 risk self-assessment. This is required seven days a week whether you are coming to campus or not to more completely track the virus. The self-assessment should be completed each day before noon.
All faculty and staff are also required to complete GVSU's COVID-19 employee training
For any questions regarding your work schedule, work expectations, the needs of your area, and to discuss your personal circumstances, consult with your supervisor. Regularly visit the Lakers Together site for the most up-to-date information.
All Brooks College faculty and staff are invited to our Fall 2020 Start-up Meeting. This will be a virtual event hosted on Zoom on Thursday, August 20, from 10:00 - 11:30 a.m. The program will include a welcome, remarks from Interim Dean Mark Schaub, messages from President Mantella and Provost Cimitile, new colleague introductions, and breakout sessions. RSVP for the Start-up Meeting.
The President and Provost will include a Q&A as part of their presentation. Due to the size of the meeting, questions must be pre-submitted. If you have a question you’d like the President and Provost to address, please email it to brookscollege@gvsu.edu by Monday, August 17.

Leadership Lessons from T-Haas

This fall, we have a new instructor that you might recognize... That's right! President Emeritus Thomas J. Haas is teaching an online course, INT 341: Leadership for Social Change.
"I'll guide students' understanding of themselves as I bring the perspectives of servant-leadership I have experienced throughout my career as an educator, while in service to the Coast Guard, and other leadership roles in society, where I also learned from effective leaders," Haas said.
The course meets online on Thursdays from 6:00 - 8:50 p.m. Limited space is still available if you know a student, alum, or colleague who may be interested in joining the course.

New Faculty Introductions

A warm welcome to the following colleagues who are joining Brooks College this fall!
Crystal Scott-Tunstall headshot
Max Counter, visiting assistant professor in the Integrative, Religious, and Intercultural Studies (IRIS) Department, completed his Ph.D. in Geography at the University of Colorado-Boulder in 2019. His research addresses human rights law and the restitution of stolen land in 'post-conflict' Colombia. As a scholar-activist, Dr. Counter has also worked closely with Colombian human rights organizations to claim reparations for disabled landmine victims. His research has been published in Social & Cultural Geography, Antipode and the Journal of Latin American Geography. He lives in Grand Rapids with his spouse Daniela Marini, with whom he enjoys going camping as much as possible.
Kate Fairman headshot
Kate Fairman joins the IRIS department as an affiliate professor. Kate completed an M.S. degree from the University of Michigan where she studied Environmental Behavior, Planning and Management. Her academic interest in sustainability, action research and “small experiments” has been applied through community-based, problem-solving courses like “Wicked Problems in Sustainability” but also over the last 20 years while forming and living in an intentional community in Cedar, MI. Some of the experiments of her Telford Farm community have included designing a clustered development surrounded by a conservation easement, building stray clay constructed homes, adding renewable energy systems, and implementing various agricultural projects on an 80 acre farm. Kate’s intentional community includes 8 other families. She lives with her husband, Bill, and has three children, Clayton, Lucy and Tamanna. Kate has also worked part-time for the IRIS department since 2007 and served as the advisor for integrative studies students at the GVSU Traverse City Regional Center.
Alisha Karabinus headshot
Alisha Karabinus, assistant professor of writing and digital studies, recently completed her Ph.D in English (Rhetoric and Composition) at Purdue University, where she also received an MFA in creative writing in 2014. During her Ph.D studies, Alisha focused on games, digital public rhetorics, and technical communication, and her dissertation explored the need for contextualized metric analysis to combat exclusionary publication practices in game studies. She co-hosts the long-running Not Your Mama’s Gamer podcast and serves as a member of the Digital Aggression Studies working group. In her spare time, Alisha enjoys reading, cooking, and playing digital and analog games. Alisha lives in Grand Rapids with her partner, Terry, their two children, Jack and Charlotte, and one anxious dog, Banjo.

Crystal Scott-Tunstall headshot
Haixia Liu is an affiliate professor in the IRIS Department. Haixia received her Ph.D. in Education Psychology and Education Technology in the School of Education at Michigan State University in 2019. She also earned an M.A. in Applied Linguistics in 2005 and another M.A. in Japanese Language and Culture in 2010. Her research focuses on teachers' technology integration and professional development. Her work has been published in a number of journals including Computer Assisted Language Learning, Journal of Educational Computing Research, and British Journal of Education Technology. Before MSU, she was an associate professor in Beijing Normal University at Zhuhai teaching foreign languages.
Daniela Marini photo
Daniela A. Marini, assistant professor in the IRIS Department, completed her Ph.D. in geography at University of Colorado Boulder in 2020. Daniela’s dissertation, “Nature, Race and Nation in Argentina’s Soy Toxic Landscapes,” mobilizes a political ecological analysis to investigate racial dynamics in alternative food movements. The cultural politics of food and environmental activism are at the core of her research and teaching interests. In the Fall of 2020, Daniela taught “Geographies of Social Movements in Latin America” where students learned about critical linkages between ecological destruction, global economic forces, and social inequality in the region. Daniela enjoys cooking, gardening, practicing yoga, biking, and camping with her spouse Max.
Crystal Scott-Tunstall headshot
Crystal Scott-Tunstall is an affiliate professor in the Environmental and Sustainability Studies department. Crystal has a Bachelor of Science in Plant and Soil Science and a Master of Science in Urban Forestry and Interpretation from Southern Illinois University. Her thesis, titled The Social and Empowering Effect of Community Gardens on a Chicago Urban Area (North Lawndale), reported the results of a quantitative survey analysis done on people of color in an urban area, and how they view their local food system. In Chicago, Crystal has a community garden named in her honor. Crystal is also a member of the City of Grand Rapids Urban Agriculture Committee, the NAACP Environmental Justice Committee, the Kent County Food and Nutrition Coalition, New City Neighbors Urban Farm Board of Directors, and Access of West Michigan Board of Directors. Outside of work, Crystal enjoys spending time with her husband, Dwayne, and her son, Christopher.

Faculty and Staff Updates

Anne Caillaud, professor of French, will serve as interim chair of women, gender, and sexuality studies for the 2020-21 academic year.
Krista Benson, assistant professor of integrative, religious, and intercultural studies, is the new program coordinator of the Leadership Certificate.
Denise Goerisch, assistant professor of integrative, religious, and intercultural studies, will serve as an assistant department chair of the IRIS Department.
Tracy Flemming, associate professor of area and global studies, is the new program coordinator of African/African American studies.
Ginele Johnson is now supporting women, gender, and sexuality studies, in addition to digital studies, human rights, and university studies.
Justine Kibet is now assistant office coordinator of the IRIS Department, in addition to her role as academic coordinator for environmental and sustainability studies.
Sarah King, associate professor of integrative, religious, and intercultural studies, is the new director of environmental and sustainability studies.
Kin Ma, associate professor of geography and sustainable planning, is the new program coordinator for East Asian studies.
Anthony Meyer is a new affiliate faculty member of integrative, religious, and intercultural studies. For the past two years, Anthony was a visiting professor of religious studies.
Kim McKee, associate professor of integrative, religious, and intercultural studies, is extending her term as director of the Kutsche Office of Local History for the 2020-2021 academic year.
Diane Maodush-Pitzer, senior affiliate faculty of integrative, religious, and intercultural studies, is serving as interim coordinator of religious studies through the Fall 2020 semester.
Justin Pettibone, affiliate faculty member of integrative, religious, and intercultural studies, will serve as an assistant department chair of the IRIS Department.
Andrea Riley-Mukavetz, assistant professor of integrative, religious, and intercultural studies, is the new program coordinator of the Global Communications Certificate.
Darien Ripple is a new assistant professor of integrative, religious, and intercultural studies. Last year, Darien was a visiting professor in the IRIS Department.
Margaux Sellnau, environmental and sustainability studies graduate, '20, has been serving as interim farm manager for the Sustainable Agriculture Project since May 4.

Calendar and Deadlines

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