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Grand Valley State University

Brooks College

of Interdisciplinary Studies

Message from the Dean

Within the rhythms of the academic year, the month of December begins with a frenzy of wrapping up the semester and ends with a quiet time for resting, reflecting, and regaining equilibrium. Somewhere in the middle of the frenzy, on December 10, Brooks College faculty and staff took time out to celebrate the graduation and commencement of 45 of our undergraduate majors and many of our minors. Our hearty congratulations and best wishes go with these graduates as they enter the next phase of their life journey. A big “thank you” of gratitude is due to the dedicated Brooks College faculty and staff who served as teachers, mentors, and guides as these graduates studied and developed while students at GVSU.
I hope that the anticipated quiet time between semesters will provide opportunities to connect with family and friends and engage in favorite activities so that you return to the winter semester refreshed and full of enthusiasm. 
Best wishes for the Holiday Season and a happy New Year! 

Meet New Colleague Nicole Brower

The Brooks College Dean's Office is thrilled to introduce Nicole Brower, who was hired into a reconfigured PSS position this fall. Nicole supports the Human Rights minor, IDS and US courses, the LEPS Certificate, the Semester in Detroit program and the Padnos/Sarosik Civil Discourse Initiative. Her position will continue to grow and evolve as Nicole will be supporting new programs in Brooks College.
Nicole comes to us with lots of previous office experience--most recently as a church office administrator in Hudsonville. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Liberal Studies from Grand Valley in 2015 and is excited to be back at the university and working in Brooks College. When she is not at work, she enjoys spending time with her family. They love to spend summer afternoons by Lake Michigan, fall evenings by campfires, and winter mornings dreaming of spring! 
Nicole's work station is currently in the Dean's Office; eventually, she will relocate to a suite in lake Michigan Hall, which will house the programs she supports. Please stop by 224 LOH and introduce yourself to Nicole! 

Meet New Colleague Justine Kibet

Please give a warm welcome to Justine Kibet, the new Academic Department Coordinator for Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies and Environmental Studies!
Justine joined Brooks College in October. Before coming to Grand Valley, Justine served as a Refugee Resettlement Program Supervisor at Bethany Christian Services. In her new position, Justine coordinates various departmental processes, projects and events to meet the needs of faculty, students and the GVSU community. 
When she is not working she enjoys Latin dancing, mini-adventures and movie nights with her family, sightseeing, keeping up with current world affairs, playing volleyball, and engaging in/with community groups on social justice issues.
Justine's work station is, of course, in the WGS and ENS office. So, stop by 229 LOH and introduce yourself to Justine!
Grand Valley Named a Bicycle Friendly University
Grand Valley has been named a Bicycle Friendly University by The League of American Bicyclists, a national organization that encourages the use of bicycles for health and well-being.

The university received a silver award and joined 164 colleges and universities across the country that are designated as Bicycle Friendly Universities (BFU). Grand Valley was judged on several factors including education, encouragement, engineering, enforcement, and evaluation and planning.
Campus Sustainability Coordinator, Yumiko Jakobcic said, "This award recognizes collaborative efforts across campus to support healthier and more sustainable transportation options."

Becoming a Bicycle Friendly University was one goal Grand Valley committed to in May 2016 as a participant of the Partnership for a Healthier America, Healthy Campus Initiative. 

Faculty Awards for Brooks College

Congratulations to the three amazing Brooks College faculty members who will be honored at the 2017 Faculty Awards Convocation in February:
Wendy Burns-Ardolino, Professor in Liberal Studies, has been selected as a Glenn A. Niemeyer award recipient. Wendy is honored for her excellence, enthusiasm and loyalty to teaching, scholarship and service. 
Danielle Lake, Assistant Professor in Liberal Studies, has been recognized for her mastery in her field by receiving the Distinguished Early Career Scholar Award. This award is given to those who have made major contributions to theory, research and creative practice, and have earned national recognition for their outstanding achievements.
Marilyn Preston, Assistant Professor in Liberal Studies, will be receiving the Pew Excellence in Teaching Award for her dedication to students and unique teaching style. Each year this award goes to worthy nominees selected by students, alumni, faculty, and academic units.  

Community-Based Learning at GVSU Colloquia Series

This winter’s Community-Based Learning at GVSU Colloquia Series will feature community partners, students, faculty and staff discussing their experiences developing and sustaining partnerships, evaluating CBL, surviving the integration of teaching, research, and service, and preparing for community-based research.

All sessions will be held in Bicycle Factory room 340 on Friday's from 10:00-11:30a.m.
Be sure to register for these sessions through sprout.
  • February 3: Surviving the Integration of Teaching, Research, and Service
  • February 24: Developing and Sustaining Partnerships
  • March 31: Evaluating CBL: What is success?
  • April 7: Preparing for Community Based Research and Scholarship at GVSU  

University Service Awards

The following faculty and staff were recognized with service awards at the annual Faculty & Staff Holiday Party:
  • Anita Benes, Office of Integrative Learning and Advising, 10 Years
  • Danielle DeMuth, Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, 10 Years
  • Cherilyn Denomme, Center for Adult and Continuing Studies, 10 Years
  • Judy Whipps, Liberal Studies, 20 Years
  • Sue Wierzbicki, Center for Adult and Continuing Studies, 20 Years
  • Jane Toot, Honors College, 25 Years 
Thank you for your service to GVSU and the Brooks College!

Faculty, Staff and Student Successes

Ellen Adams, Assistant Professor of Art History in the Honors College, published "At the Boundary of Action and Dreams: Surrealism and the Battle for Post-Liberation France" in the journal French Cultural Studies. Adams also presented "'It is of No Use to Dawdle over a Canvas:' How Mathias Alten Painted Michigan," at the Calvin College Center Art Gallery.
Cael Keegan, Assistant Professor in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies/Liberal Studies, traveled to St.Petersburg, Russia, Side by Side, an international film festival. There, he guided a discussion about the film We’ve Been Around. Professor Keegan also traveled to Finland where he presented "Imagining Transgender: Trans Aesthetics and the New Popular Cinematic Body" at the University of Turku.
Jakia Marie, a Liberal Studies alumnus, published her College Student Affairs Leadership ' Thesis in the Journal of Pan African Studies. The piece is titled, "Racial Identity Development of African American Students in Relation to Black Studies Courses." To read the article, click here
Several writing consultants from the Fred Meijer Center for Writing & Michigan Authors presented their research at conferences this semester. 
National Conference on Peer Tutoring in Writing (University of Puget Sound – Tacoma, WA) November 4-6, 2016
  • Meghan Forest “'’s my name again?' Time Management and Role Negotiation in the Writing Center"
  • Teresa Williams “If You Build It, they Will Come: Creating Space for Multimodal Projects in the Writing Center"
  • Annabelle Miller “Beyond Grammar: Rethinking Inclusion with Multilingual Writers"
  • Patrick Johnson “On the Right Side of History: How the Writing Center Can Be a Voice for Linguistic Diversity"
Michigan Writing Centers Association (MiWCA) Macomb Community College Oct 21-22, 2016
  • Brienne Forgette, Meghan Forest, Teresa Willams “Mother Tongue: Perspectives on Linguistic Discrimination and Inclusion in the Writing Center”
  • Annabelle Miller “Beyond Grammar: Rethinking Inclusion with Multilingual Writers”
  • Steven Karbownik "Consulting with Papers in Statistics"