September 2022 Newsletter
September 2022 Newsletter
Grand Valley State University
Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies Newsletter September 2022
Headshot of Mark Schaub, Dean of Brooks College

       Dean's Message

The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time.                                      
― Mary Oliver
Many of us spend too much time beating ourselves up about things we could’ve, or should’ve, done differently. More like second guessing ourselves than full-blown regret. Many of my own reflections focus on the irretrievable moments I could have been kinder, could have been more generous, could have been more present. There may be a fine line between healthy introspection and unproductive regret.
Regret is how Andrew Van Dam’s recent article in the Washington Post frames many people’s choices of college major. Unsurprisingly, the piece is from the publication’s Business section, as it’s framed primarily in ROI terms. Unsurprising. We’ve seen these articles countless times before, as have our students and the families of our students. Why, then, do students continue to choose the kinds of degrees we offer here in the Brooks College? We’re doing many things right or they’d turn their backs and walk away. But still, I wonder what we might have done differently for the alumni of our college who would express regret to a business reporter. Could we have provided a couple more interdisciplinary problem-solving projects in our curriculum? A more robust internship opportunity? Perhaps; and it’s our job to ask ourselves these questions. 
Mark Schaub signature

Mark Schaub
Dean of Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies

Fall Semester is in Full Swing!
Brooks College geared up for the fall semester with events to welcome new faculty and staff and prepare for the upcoming Fall semester. Meeting in person again was a delightful experience, and it was great to see the smiling faces of our colleagues once again!
Brooks startup meeting 2022
Dean Mark Schaub welcomed Brooks College faculty and staff during the Fall 2022 Startup Meeting, held August 19th at the DeVos Center in downtown Grand Rapids. The morning began with a breakfast iin the Hager-Lubbers Exhibition Hall, followed by a speaker portion in Loosemore Auditorium. The day concluded with collaborative table discussions back in the Hager-Lubbers Exhibition Hall.
Dean Mark Schaub, President Philomena Mantella and Provost Fatma Mili
Left: Dean Mark Schaub gave his remarks and introduced the special guest speakers during the Brooks College 2022 Fall Startup Meeting.
Right: Guest speakers GVSU President Philomena Mantella and Provost Fatma Mili addressed the Brooks College faculty and staff and answered questions.
Nora Salas, Jack Mangala
Left: Nora Salas, Director of the Kutsche Office of Local History, spoke about the Community Collaboration Grant that is being offered for the 2022-2023 academic year.
Right: Jack Mangala, Chair of the Global Studies Department and Brooks College Reorganization Task Force, provided an update from the reorganization task force meetings.
Mark Schaub and Melanie Shell-Weiss
Our fearless leaders Dean Mark Schaub and Associate Dean Melanie Shell-Weiss greeted faculty and staff with smiling faces at the Brooks College startup meeting.
welcome picnic
On August 18th, a welcome dinner was held at Millenium Park for new faculty and staff. Unit Heads and the Dean's staff were there to welcome our new cohorts in a relaxed setting.  
Welcome picnic games
Top: Roger Gilles, Patrick Johnson, and his wife Sarah play the viking game Kubb.
Bottom: Jack Mangala takes his turn, while Roger Gilles demonstrates proper Kubb form, beverage in hand.
Introducing the Brooks College Faculty and Staff Walk & Talk Series!
With campus life returning to some semblance of normalcy, we are eager to encourage the community building aspects of Brooks College. We are introducing a series of casual drop-in events called Walk & Talks. These events will be held twice per month. Anyone within Brooks College faculty and staff who want to participate will meet at a particular location. We will then travel casually on foot as a group to and from a specific destination. 
Some events will involve further distances or more physical intensity than others. We encourage you to dress for the weather and have comfortable footwear. For certain events you may want to also bring along additional items tailored to the occasion. For example, for the Harvest Party you may want to bring gardening gloves to keep your hands clean, or for the Ravines and Trails walk, bring binoculars for spotting owls and eagles.  
Feel free to browse the different destinations and dates, and decide which fits your schedule and preference. No RSVPs or registration are needed. Each Walk & Talk will be hosted by a Brooks College faculty or staff member. We have a full slate of events scheduled through the end of Fall semester, and we hope to see everyone at one or more of the walks. It is guaranteed to be a great time! You will get your steps in, get to explore the campus and community, and socialize with your colleagues all at once.  Win-win-win!    
If you have any ideas, suggestions, or would like to host a Walk & Talk in the future, please contact Amy McFarland, the creator of this series!
Walk and Talk Series Event List
Walk and Talk Farmers Market

Aubrey Dull, Peter Wampler, Ginele Johnson, Becky Williams, and Ramya Swayamprakash enjoyed the fresh air and beautiful weather during the very first Walk & Talk to the Farmer's Market!  (Photographer Amy McFarland) 
Walk and Talk Farmers Market

Spotlight Feature:  Crystal Scott-Tunstall

Crystal Scott-Tunstall is an affiliate professor and internship coordinator with the Environmental and Sustainability program at Brooks College. Crystal is known to many of us for her vast knowledge of horticulture, her work with local non-profit organizations and committees, and her additional skills and passions, such as professional skill mentorship and food canning and preservation. She has recently been appointed as Co-Chair of the Kent County Food Policy Council. Her experience, connections, and insights bring a vast wealth to our learning community. Crystal’s background provides deep insight into what drives her, and how her life’s path has led her to where she is today.  
Crystal Scott-Tunstall
Read the full Spotlight Feature article to hear Crystal's fascinating history growing up in Chicago. Her grandparents and mother marched with Martin Luther King Jr., inspiring Crystal's passion for activism and advocacy. Crystal was nurtured by a rich community of neighbors and mentors who became family and inspired her to help others and always keep striving to empower people.
“I think all the things that I am involved with are connected. I was raised as a kid to be that bridge between community and business or entity. At GVSU, I hope to be a bridge between the students and the community.” Whether she is connecting students to internships that lead to jobs in their chosen field or sitting on a local committee being a voice for others in the community that she has formed connections and relationships with, Crystal is a tireless advocate for making the world a better place to live, now and in the future. “Crystal pours her love and sense of protection into those around her,” says Wende Randall.  “She nurtures and protects those around her to bring about a stronger community.” Crystal is a valued member of the Brooks College community and we look forward to watching her continue to share her gifts to those who she works with for years to come.
Crystal Scott-Tunstall at Juneteenth Celebration
Crystal Scott-Tunstall created the Sustainability Booth, which gives free vegatable seedlings to the community during the Juneteenth Celebration in downtown Grand Rapids.  

Upcoming Faculty Workshops 

The faculty workshops will continue throughout the fall semester. We encourage you to RSVP for and attend the workshops that are relevant to your position:
Thursday, September 22: 11:45 am - 12:30 pm
For Unit Heads: Providing Constructive Feedback (Facilitated by AVP Ed Aboufadel)
Thursday, October 6: 11:45 am - 12:30 pm
Thursday, October 20: 11:45 am - 12:30 pm
Thursday, November 10: 11:45 am - 12:30 pm

Padnos/Sarosik Center for Civil Discourse Collaborates to Develop University Initiative "Talking Together"

Four campus partners have collaborated to bring to Grand Valley and the community a yearlong series of programs designed to foster a culture of civil conversation and provide participants with tools to interrupt polarization.
"Talking Together: Strengthening our Communities through Conversation" is sponsored by the Padnos/Sarosik Center for Civil Discourse, Kaufman Interfaith Institute, Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies, and WGVU Public Media. 
September 21, reception and workshop at 4 p.m. at the Alumni House on the Allendale Campus; this event will include remarks by President Philomena V. Mantella followed by a “How To Talk To Your Neighbor” workshop.
September 22, Constitution Day Celebration at 7 p.m. at the DeVos Center, Loosemore Auditorium, Pew Grand Rapids Campus; John F. Kowal and Wilfred D. Codrington III will discuss their book, "The People’s Constitution: 200 Years, 27 Amendments, and the Promise of a More Perfect Union."
Lisa Perhamus (director of the Center for Civil Discourse), along with Kyle Kooyers, (associate director of the GVSU Kaufman Interfaith Institute), spoke to Shelley Irwin for an interview on WGVU radio, and explained how the initiative was conceived.  More information is also featured on GV Next and in the Lanthorn.    
Talking Together logo

GVSU Votes

Dan Cope, Affiliate Faculty, Integrative Studies Dept.
Over the summer, I have worked with a group called GVSU Votes to prepare for the Midterm Elections. GVSU Votes is a nonpartisan voter advocacy coalition dedicated to increasing student registration, turnout, and education. In 2020, GVSU had a student voter turnout rate of 72%. While a lofty goal, GVSU Votes wants to get that number to 100%! With opportunities to register, like National Voter Registration Day on September 20, and vote on campus at the Satellite Clerk’s office in Kirkhof Center (open two weeks prior to the election through Election Day), we’ve made efforts to ensure every student who wants to vote has the ability to do so. Check out to learn about how you can promote civic engagement in your classroom!

Community Collaboration Grant

The Kutsche Office of Local History helps give voice to West Michigan's diverse communities through history. The Office uses historical perspective, deep community connections, respect for storytelling, and academic rigor to strengthen communities throughout West Michigan. It does so by bringing together community members, civic institutions, instructors, staff, students, historians, and others to facilitate conversations and develop programs that leverage the lessons learned from the region’s past.

The Community Collaboration Grant will be awarded twice in the 2022-2023 academic year, with due dates of October 3, 2022 and March 15, 2023. This grant provides up to $2,000 to Grand Valley State University instructors working on projects that help build connections between the university and community. It also seeks to provide meaningful experiential opportunities for students, helping them learn the practice of history and the ethics of engaging with public history work. Grantees may be eligible to receive additional funding to pay a student assistant to work on the proposed project.

Brooks Bash Fall Fest

Our next Brooks Bash is coming up! Our Fall Fest will be hosted by Environmental and Sustainability Studies. Brooks faculty and staff are invited to come socialize with colleagues and enjoy a tex mex buffet. Family and guests are welcome. Amy McFarland will be giving an overview of ENS, and by popular demand, Crystal Scott-Tunstall will be giving a live canning demonstration!  

Please RSVP by October 4th, 2022.  We hope to see you there!
Brooks Bash Fall Fest

Summer Shares!

Our Brooks College Faculty and Staff had a great summer. We invited Brooks faculty and staff to submit their summer shares, to give everyone a chance to see what they have been up to during these past few months.
Diane Maodush-Pitzer officiating at the wedding of our youngest son, Nick and his wife, Cauleen at Moraine Lake in Alberta, Canada
Diane Maodush-Pitzer (IRIS) officiated the wedding of her youngest son Nick and his wife Cauleen at Moraine Lake in Alberta, Canada.  Photo Credit:  Laura Barclay Photography
Maureen Wolverton
Maureen Wolverton (IRIS) walked in the Danish Festival Parade. She is running for one of two open positions on the Greenville Public Schools Board of Education. Good luck, Maureen!
Michael Hinkle
Michael Hinkle (SAP) enjoyed his summer with the summer interns, taking them on trips to other farms across Grand Rapids. He also got plenty of climbing time in!
Michael Hinkle
By visiting other farms in the Grand Rapids area, the SAP summer interns were able to see how different sustainable practices can be approached for different markets.
Michael Hinkle
The intern crew assisted Blandford at their garlic harvest and drying, as well as many other tasks and events as a part of their summer program. The interns got a whole new breadth of experiences this summer!  
Michael Hinkle
Michael's favorite climbing spot this summer was the Grand Rapids Boulder Project – a free-to-the-public outdoor climbing center in Highland Park. They have everything from kid-friendly routes to gnarly V10 boulders. A visit there is a great way to get into climbing for anyone who’s ever been interested! The photos below show their first route setting event.  
Darien Ripple with GVSU Women's Rugby team
Darien Ripple (IRIS) coaches the GVSU Women's Rugby team, and led them to an impressive 4th place finish in the NOLA National Division 1 Rugby 7's Championship! Congratulations!
Jack Mangala in the Swiss Alps
Jack Mangala (AGS Chair) went hiking in the Swiss Alps this summer.  
Jack Mangala in the Swiss Alps
Jack Mangala on the Daube Schynige Plate in the Swiss Alps.
Andrea Riley-Mukavetz living her best life fly fishing
Andrea Riley-Mukavetz (IRIS) lived her best life this summer. She saw Kehlani and Rico Nasty in concert as well as Slash, the Myles Kennedy Band and Bonnie Raitt. She was invited to a sponsored fly fishing trip for BIPOC community leaders.  
Andrea Riley-Mukavetz living her best life fly fishing
The organizers were James Mills (Joy Trip Project) and Alice Jasper (Color Out Here). 
Andrea Riley-Mukavetz living her best life fly fishing
Andrea is currently traveling throughout Michigan learning about the waterways. In one picture, she is standing in a canoe among wild rice. 
Andrea Riley-Mukavetz living her best life fly fishing
Lastly, Andrea and her family went to Memphis, Tennessee on vacation and stopped at the Garden of the Gods. Here is Andrea with a maple sapling as her walking stick, smiling and very sweaty from hiking to the very top in 100 degrees. 
Jenn Jameslyn
Jennifer Jameslyn (Brooks Advising Center Director) enjoyed a Michigan summer with her family: beaches, boats, concerts, campfires, sunsets. For Jen, summer is the absolute best time of year. 
Jen Jameslyn
Amy McFarland's garden
Amy McFarland (ENS Chair) enjoyed her beautiful garden over the summer!  
Amy McFarland's garden
Amy also enjoyed caring for her chickens and roosters, which are a part of how she lives in a sustainable way in her daily life.  
Joel Wendland-Liu with baby Julius
Joel Wendland-Liu (IRIS) visited the Guggenheim in New York City. Baby Julius was unimpressed by Kandinsky's abstract paintings.
Maureen Strand
Maureen Strand (Dean's Office) and her children Lily and James went to Van Gogh Live in downtown Grand Rapids at the DeVos Center. 
Maureen Strand at Van Gogh Live
Noreen Savage
Noreen Savage (Dean's Office) and her husband Tom always have a nice garden planted in the front circle plot in front of their home. While preparing the garden this year, Tom  spared the life of what looked like a little weed in the cucumbers raised bed, thinking it may be a flower.  He nurtured the weed just like any other plant in their garden. When it grew taller and thicker, he staked it for support, curious at how well it was thriving. It turned out to be a gorgeous sunflower plant that grew well over their heads and sprouted many flower blooms! This inspired Noreen and Tom, as well as many others who heard the story of their little weed.

 "As we continue to reach for our goals, let’s be courageous. Take a chance to spread the seed of hope. And let’s bloom as bright as a sunflower!" - Noreen Savage
Noreen Savage's garden


Congratulations to Santos Ramos, Assistant Professor of Integrative, Religious and Intercultural Studies, for his $56,790 grant award from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to research and share the Mexican history of Battle Creek, Michigan. This community-engaged project will highlight the largely untold Mexican history of the greater Battle Creek region, culminating in a presentation by project researchers and a public exhibit highlighting key historical figures and artifacts.
 Jack Mangala, professor and and Chair of Area and Global Studies, has been invited to contribute to two European training programs.  An Interdisciplinary Certificate in Restorative Justice organized by the Free University of Brussels and the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium; and the Young African Leaders Program hosted by the School of Transnational Governance at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. In these programs, he will be lecturing and supervising students' work.
Andrea Riley-Mukavetz, assistant professor in the Integrative, Religious, and Intercultural Studies Department at GVSU and an enrolled citizen of the Chippewa Thames band, and her student Cam Stott, were interviewed by Michigan Radio. The interview was featured on Stateside on their August 16th episode, and they spoke about their summer project to help build the Three Fires Teaching Lodge on GVSU's campus. Check out the story and give it a listen!
Jeremiah Cataldo, associate professor at the Frederik Meijer Honors College, published a new book (Routledge Press), What the Bible Says About Sex:  Why We Read it The Way We Do.  Congratulations, Jeremiah!
Alisha Karabinus, assistant professor in Digital Studies, was quoted in an article featured in the Washington Post, Roblox wants to advertise to gamers ages 13 and up in the metaverse. She provided her opinion as a gaming researcher.  


Faculty Calendar

September 26: Brooks College Faculty Unit Heads Meeting (virtual) 9:00 am
October 1: Faculty Workload Plans (FWPs) due to Unit Heads
October 6: Affiliate Personnel Workshop 11:45 am - 12:30 pm
October 10-14: Mid-term exams
October 17: Brooks College Faculty Unit Heads Meeting 9:00 am (virtual)
October 18: Mid-term grades due by 12:00 p.m.
October 20: Personnel Workshop TT Faculty 11:45 am - 12:30 pm
October 23-25: Fall Break
October 28: Drop with a "W" grade deadline
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