Graduates, Service Awards, Quality Education Initiatives, and more!
Graduates, Service Awards, Quality Education Initiatives, and more!
Grand Valley State University

Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies
2018 - 2019 Newsletter, Issue 4

Message from Dean Hiskes

The month of December is always a whirlwind of activity for students, faculty, and staff alike as we all wrap up the semester with final reports, papers, grading, and multiple celebrations. On December 6, we recognized milestones in the careers of thirteen faculty and staff in Brooks College programs at the University Service Awards celebration. On December 8, we celebrated the graduation of our majors, minors, and Honors students at the GVSU December Commencement.

As important and enjoyable as these events are, I most enjoy the end-of-the-year showcases that highlight the culminating projects of students. This December, I was able to attend the Sustainability Showcase with presentations by students in Professor Danielle Lake’s course LIB 322 “Wicked Problems of Sustainability” and Professor Nancy O’Neill’s entry-level course ENS 201. The Showcase also included posters by students in Professor Amy McFarland’s ENS 401 capstone course “Environmental Problem-Solving” and her courses ENS 311, with Anne Marie Fauvel, “To Bee or Not to Bee: Honey Bees & Social Impact," and ENS 392 “Sustainable Agriculture: Ideas and Techniques." Once again, I was impressed with the rigor and creativity of the group projects, the application of design thinking in many cases, and the professionalism of student posters and presentations. Our students truly are amazing and well-prepared to succeed in their careers and contribute to their communities. What is the GVSU secret?

Well, there really is no secret formula at work here, but instead a lot of intentional planning around designing courses and programs relevant to 21st century issues and careers while remaining true to the values of liberal education, professional development opportunities for faculty and staff, and a culture of student-centeredness. All these work together to provide GVSU students with opportunities for a high-quality education. As the Sustainability Showcase demonstrates, our programs provide high-impact, experiential learning opportunities at each stage of a program, from an entry-level course such as ENS 201 through a capstone course such as ENS 401.

Providing and maintaining high-quality educational programs is a continuous process of assessment and redesign of the curriculum, co-curriculum, and ourselves to improve student learning outcomes and adapt to the ever-evolving needs of students and society. Brooks College faculty and staff are doing this every day. In this newsletter, as we celebrate milestones of faculty, staff, and students, we also highlight some of the myriad ways in which Brooks College programs, faculty, and staff are working to ensure that GVSU students have high-quality educational opportunities.

Congratulations to all for a job well done. Now take a few weeks off to refresh and re-energize during a well-deserved break.
Leah Fast is the winner of the inaugural Stanley Krohmer Outstanding Senior Project Award

Celebrating Our Graduates!

Join us in celebrating our Fall 2018 Brooks College graduates, including two Liberal Studies award winners:
  • Shanna Turner won the Wendy J. Wenner Oustanding Thesis Award for her work, "Crimes Unreported."
  • Leah Fast won the inaugural Stanley Krohmer Outstanding Senior Project Award for her work, "Identity."
Above: Leah Fast receives the inaugural Stanley Krohmer Outstanding Senior Project Award. Below: Graduates from the Human Rights pose with their stoles.

University Service Award Winners

Brooks College would like to honor and congratulate the following faculty and staff members who have reached a milestone in their years of service to the University:
  • 35-year award recipients:
    • Edward Baum, Meijer Honors College
    • Jonathan White, Meijer Honors College
  • 20-year award recipients:
    • Steeve Buckridge, Area and Global Studies and History
    • Paul Lane, Meijer Honors College and Marketing
    • Robyn Toth, Meijer Honors College
    • Gary Van Harn, Padnos International Center
    • Shinian Wu, East Asian Studies and English
  • 10-year award recipients:
    • Jeremiah Cataldo, Meijer Honors College
    • Danielle Lake, Liberal Studies
    • Louis Moore, African and African American Studies and History
    • Rachel Peterson, Liberal Studies
    • Justin Pettibone, Liberal Studies
    • Andrew Schlewitz, Area and Global Studies and Political Science

Quality Education Initiatives

In an effort to support the mission and vision of Brooks College, we are introducing a new section of the newsletter devoted to quality education initiatives. Quality education is enhanced by challenging, engaging, and relevant curriculum; intellectual community between faculty and students; and excellent student and faculty support. In this issue we are sharing initiatives from some of our academic programs and units. Future issues will feature initiatives from other units, programs, offices, and centers of Brooks College.
  • Area and Global Studies:
    • Offering its first accelerated course, MES 201, in Winter 2019 for Continuing Studies
  • Digital Studies:
    • Collaborating with the Data Inquiry Lab in the Knowledge Market and the Library Faculty Fellows to support students and faculty
    • Offering the first iteration of the capstone, DS 495, during Winter 2019 with projects that connect the DS minor to the student's major
  • Environmental Studies:
    • Implementing recommendations from the Brooks College community-based learning task force including a Code of Conduct, Learning Agreement, Responsibilities Agreement, and basic research ethics training for all students in ENS classes
    • Developing an online guide for students planning to do internships
    • Coordinating an ENS instructor meeting each semester to share materials and ideas
    • Developing a "Meeting the Faculty" series in the Interdisciplinary Salon to increase collaboration between faculty and students
  • Honors College:
    • Offering a new 12-credit Honors sequence next year tentatively titled, "Making Waves: Water Issues in a Changing World"
    • Developing a process to monitor the quality of all Honors courses on an ongoing basis
    • Created an Honors diversity task force of faculty, staff and students to improve diversity
    • Revising the curriculum to enhance problem-based and project-based learning
    • Starting in Winter 2019, the "Lightning Lectures" series where faculty make elevator speeches about their current research to an audience of faculty and students
  • Human Rights:
    • Offering the first online version of HRT/PLS 105, Introduction to Human Rights, in Spring/Summer 2019
    • Added "Sociology of Human Rights" and "Human Rights in Latin America" to the minor
  • Liberal Studies:
    • Strengthening communication between the department and Traverse City campus faculty
    • Increasing professional development opportunities and networking for all faculty
    • Increasing shared learning and networking opportunities to connect LIB majors on all campuses, as well as students commuting and learning online
  • Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies:
    • Organizing a celebration of 45 years of women studies at GVSU for Spring 2019 with a keynote speech, faculty workshop, and student workshop by Dr. Mel Michelle Lewis

Design Thinking Speaker Series

On November 27 and 28, Brooks College and the Design Thinking Academy hosted a series of interactive workshops led by design thinking expert, Ela Ben-Ur, of Olin College. Ela led students, faculty, staff, and community members through three sessions on the Innovators’ Compass, a framework she developed to creatively address challenges big and small, such as education, healthcare, planning a meal, and writing a paper.
Guests mingle and engage with student poster presentations

Sustainability Showcase

On November 30, Environmental Studies hosted the annual Sustainability Showcase. Students from six Brooks College classes presented or displayed their work exploring a variety of environmental and sustainability-related topics 

Honors Students to Be Stanford Innovation Fellows

Four Honors students have completed the initial stages to become University Innovation Fellows (UIF) through Stanford University:
  • Abigail Cooper, studio art/graphic design major
  • Drew Craven, mechanical engineering major
  • Meredith Hinz, product design & manufacturing engineering major and mathematics and marketing minors
  • Amanda Moy, cell & molecular biology major and chemistry minor
These students are set to become GVSU’s second “leadership circle" sponsored by Paul Lane and Kathryn Christopher. In March, the students will go with Paul and KC to Palo Alto for a four-day meet-up with hundreds of other UIFs for work at the design school and visits to Google, Microsoft, and other innovative companies.

Collaboration Grant:
Call for Proposals

The Kutsche Office of Local History is pleased to announce its third annual Community Collaboration Grant Program. Faculty are invited to submit proposals for local history projects that involve students and a community partner. Previous awardees were Professor Kate Remlinger (English) and Assistant Professor Marilyn Preston (Liberal Studies). Applications are due February 1, 2019. For more information, visit the Kutsche Office for Local History website.

Faculty Recognition

Wendy Burns-Ardolino, Professor of Liberal Studies and Graduate Director of the Professional Masters of Arts in Social Innovation program, was a speaker at the GVSU Women's Commission Fall Mentoring Reception.
Lindsay Ellis, Associate Professor of English and Director of Supplemental Writing Skills and the Lake Michigan Writing Project, gave a presentation, "Teaching Climate Change in English," at the National Council of Teachers of English 2018 Annual Convention.
Richard Hiskes, Director of Human Rights, was an invited participant at the Campus Human Rights Conference in the Donia Family Center for Human Rights at the University of Michigan.
Laurence José, Associate Professor of Writing and Director of Digital Studies, and Andrea Riley-Mukavetz, Assistant Professor of Liberal Studies, gave a presentation, "From analyzing to making sense: narrating the Brexit vote,” at the Cultural Rhetorics Conference.
Cáel Keegan, Assistant Professor of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Liberal Studies, published his monograph, Lana and Lilly Wachowski: Sensing Transgender (U of Illinois Press). Cáel also gave several presentations including “Managing Difference: Protecting Trans and GNC Faculty in the Age of Diversity, Multiculturalism, and the Alt-Right," and "Sensing the (Im)possible: Trans*/Cinematic Worlds, Bodies, Futures,” at the National Women’s Studies Association Annual Conference; and "Race-ing Transsexuality: Speed Racer and the Pace of White Time” at the American Studies Association Annual Conference.
Julia Mason, Associate Professor of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies presented "Mayhem and the Matriarch: US Popular Television’s Evil Mother," at the Evil Women: Women and Evil Interdisciplinary Conference in Vienna, Austria.
Kim McKee, Director of the Kutsche Office of Local History, moderated the session “Re-imagining Belonging in Asia and Asian America,” at the National Women’s Studies Association Annual Conference. Kim also presented her paper, "Constructing Adoptees as the 'Good' Immigrant,” at the American Studies Association Conference as part of the session, “Unsettling Asian/America: U.S. Citizenship and Transpacific Critique.”
Brent Smith, Associate Professor and Program Coordinator of Religious Studies, gave a presentation, "Sighting the Sacred Unseen: A Camouflaged Concept Retooled," at the Association for Interdisciplinary Studies Annual Conference.
Ayana Weekley, Associate Professor of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Program Coordinator of African and African American Studies, gave a presentation, “A Critical Analysis of Black Women in Essence Magazine, 1970-72,” at the National Women's Studies Association Annual Conference.

Upcoming January Events

Faculty Workshop: Inclusion & Equity in Faculty Personnel Evaluations

Friday, January 11, 2019, 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Kirkhof Center, Room 2270
The Brooks College Faculty Council invites you to a workshop presented by Dr. Maelea Powell, Professor and Chair of the Department of Writing, Rhetoric and American Cultures at Michigan State University, and a faculty member in American Indian and Indigenous Studies. Dr. Powell will present on implicit bias in student evaluations. Lunch provided.

BRRR (Big Reunion to Re-energize & Reconnect)

Monday, January 14, 2019; 11:45 AM - 2:00 PM
Kirkhof Center, Room 2204 (Pere Marquette Room)
Come celebrate the beginning of the new year with the Brooks College BRRR to connect, share, and learn from colleagues! This year's theme is, "Authenticity, Integrity, and Critical Thinking in Liberal Education." Jeff Kelly Lowenstein, investigative reporter and Assistant Professor of Multimedia Journalism, will facilitate a conversation on, "Fake News: Its Use by Authoritarian Rulers and Its Implications for Democratic Societies." An early bird raffle will start at 11:50 am. Lunch will be provided. Please RSVP by January 7.
Contact managing editor, Alex Priebe, to submit stories for future issues.
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