March 2023 Newsletter
March 2023 Newsletter
Grand Valley State University
Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies Newsletter Header March 2023
Headshot of Mark Schaub, Dean of Brooks College

Dean's Message

Preventable disasters

The strongest quake I’ve experienced was in Chile. It was memorable in its power, and how the bed in my ground floor room of a motor lodge hopped around in a circle. I was in Seoul for the March 11, 2011 temblor that unleashed the tsunami that destroyed
Fukushima. Though the effect in Seoul was the gentle sway of a dog’s tail, I was on the 27th floor of a high-rise hotel, where the tip of that tail was still a wild ride. Memorable, for sure, because of some of the students our university had in Japan—one in the midst of that devastation. But it was my first, and maybe weakest quake that is seared in my memory. On October 10, 1992, my students and I fled from our “temporary” classroom building in central Cairo, a French colonial era crumbling villa slated for razing. Plaster dust and bits of concrete fell on our hair as we rushed into the crowded street. Sheik Rihan street was already full of parents who’d come to retrieve their children from the overcrowded public elementary school next door. That shift was just ending and the kids were scrambling down the packed, open-air stairwells, panicked to get out of the creaking structure. The collective animal howl from the parents, watching helpless from the street, is something I’ll never forget.

Our colleague Dr. Feryal Alayont reminded us at the February 15 earthquake vigil that “natural disasters are not preventable,” but that we can prevent much of the harm that results from them, even if it’s through mundane actions like building code enforcement. Also on our minds that day was the earthquake so many of our students and friends experienced a few days before: the senseless murder of students at MSU. Even among the generation of young people who are used to active shooter drills, nobody was inured to the effects. We are fortunate to have selfless and highly competent colleagues here GVSU who are charged with our collective safety. They provide our community with first-rate planning and education against similar threats on our campus. Yet even they cannot prevent the next event that will shake and shatter lives. That part is up to all of us.

Mark Schaub signature

Mark Schaub
Dean of Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies

Faculty Scholarship Showcase

The Brooks College 2023 Faculty Scholarship Showcase was held virtually on Wednesday, February 22, 2023. Several Brooks College faculty members presented on their recent sabbatical work and publications.  In case you missed the event, the recording is available on our Brooks College virtual event archive.  This does require a GVSU log in.  If you would like to receive the direct link to the recording, please email Maureen Strand at  Thank you to those who attended, it was great to see you virtually to support our faculty and engage in thoughtful questions and dialogue!

Sustainability Showcase

The Sustainability Showcase Winter 2023 edition kicks off March 19 and goes through March 25. Check out student projects online anytime throughout the week and share your feedback. Then, join us on Friday, March 24 for in-person student presentations and the Sustainability Champion Awards Luncheon.

March 19 – 25

Friday, March 24 
Allendale Campus

10:00 - 11:30 am: Interactive Presentations, Sustainability Showcase (Pere Marquette Room)
11:30 am - 1:00 pm: Sustainability Champion Awards Luncheon (Grand River Room, RSVP required)

***Contact or to request a parking permit (needed for community members who are not GVSU faculty/staff/students)***
Sustainability Showcase flyer

Sustainability Champion Awards

Join campus & community members on Friday, March 24 as we recognize our 2023 Sustainability Champion Award winners.  Lunch will be served at 11:30 am, followed by award presentations.  Please RSVP by March 17th.

The ENS Sustainability Showcase will feature presentations before and after the awards luncheon.  

To nominate someone for recognition as a Sustainability Champion, please complete this form.  Nominations close on Thursday, March 16.  

"For The Culture" Quiz Bowl

Our African/African American Studies program is hosting a “For The Culture” Quiz Bowl! The quiz bowl will focus on Africa and the Diaspora as it relates to history, language, geography, culture, music, and more. This tournament-style event brings the campus together and brings some additional excitement to the program.

Everyone is invited to participate. Teams must include 4-5 people and can be comprised of faculty, staff, and students, but each team must have at least two students (graduate or undergraduate). There will be food and prizes. Brooks College, Enrollment Development, and HR have already offered to support the event.  We hope to see you in March to cheer on the participants, or join in the fun as a participant yourself!  

For The Culture Quiz Bowl flyer

Talking Together Series Schedule

The Padnos/Sarosik Center for Civil Discourse, Kaufman Interfaith Institute, Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies, and WGVU Public Media are pleased to partner for Talking Together: Strengthening our Communities through Conversation, a dialogue initiative aimed at interrupting polarization and investing in the principles of civil discourse and respectful conversation. Each month will feature at least one structured activity for students, staff, faculty, and community members to engage in conversation with one another across differences in perspective, identity, and life experiences.


March 23, 2023 - Building Trust Across America, One Relationship at a Time
April 20, 2023 - Virtual Workshop (more info to come)

Talking Together Logo
Meijer Honors College Seminar Series 

Please join the Honors College for a series of faculty seminars this semester.  Invited faculty speakers will present for 30-45 minutes on (a) the theme and arc of their scholarship, (b) an exploration of a recent scholarly product, sabbatical accomplishment, or a newly launched endeavor, or (c) some combination of the two.  A discussion will follow.  Join us for a relaxed, informal opportunity to learn about and contemplate the questions and discoveries made by some of the current Honors Faculty; and to grab a cookie. 
March 23, 2023 4:00-6:00 P.M., HON 148
Ellen Adams, Ph.D. (Honors College)
“Cultural Patronage in the New Deal: Georgette Seabrooke and the Harlem Hospital Murals”

April 6, 2023 4:00-6:00 P.M., HON 148
Jeremiah Cataldo, Ph.D. (Honors College)
“Sex and Bibles Between the Covers”

The Kutsche Office of Local History's 14th Annual Local History Roundtable 
Save the date!  The Kutsche Office of Local History's 14th Annual Local History Roundtable will be held on Wednesday, March 22, at the Richard M. DeVos Center on the GVSU Pew campus. 
The keynote presentation will be given by Dr. Delia Fernández-Jones on migration, placemaking, and activism among Grand Rapids' Latino communities.

Panel presentations will include a look into the history and current use of County Poor Farm properties in West Michigan with Adam Oster from the Library of Michigan and local historians Marjorie Viveen, Charlie Brock, and Nancy Brock, and ongoing projects from Grandstand Pictures and the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office to document Civil Rights history in Grand Rapids and Muskegon.

There will be a light dinner served just prior to the keynote presentation.  Please RSVP on the event page to attend.  We hope to see you there!
14th Annual Local History Roundtable
Sustainable Agriculture Project Update
The sustainable Agriculture Project is gearing up for Spring! The farm will have open volunteer hours on Fridays from 12:00 - 3:00 pm starting on March 10, weather permitting.  Open hours will increase as the growing season progresses.   
Farm shares are available for purchase now!  A farm share is a weekly box of produce grown by students working at the Sustainable Agriculture Project, and funds from the farm share utilized for student experiences at the farm. Support local regenerative practices and student growth by purchasing a farm share on their website!
Volunteer harvesting farm produce at the SAP

Faculty and Staff Updates


Monika Moore photo

Monika Moore

Monika Moore will be joining our faculty teaching in the Environmental and Sustainability Studies program, beginning in the 2023-2024 academic year.  Monika is currently a Visiting Lecturer in the Department of English here at Grand Valley State University, and is also teaching in the First Year Writing program. She will complete her PhD in Higher Education at the University of Toronto later this month. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Geography from the University of California at Berkeley, a Master of Science in Geography with a minor in GIS from Oregon State University, and a Master of Arts in Writing and Publishing from DePaul University. Her dissertation is entitled, “Managing Tensions in Equitable Disciplinary Teaching.” It explores the challenges in teaching Earth Sciences field methods and other disciplinary norms in an equitable and inclusive way. Her research interests include equitable and inclusive teaching and learning, coastal landscapes and resilience to natural hazards, and intersections between the environment, literature, and creative writing.  


The following faculty members will be departing Brooks College at the end of the 2022-2023 academic year.  They have each provided special messages below.  Best wishes and thank you for your contributions to the success of Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies and Grand Valley State University!
Cael Keegan photo

Cáel Keegan

"As some colleagues in Brooks College might have heard, I will be leaving GVSU at the end of the 2022-23 academic year to join the faculty of Concordia University in Montréal, Quebec. In preparing to depart, I want to express my appreciation for the opportunities this community has provided me: to grow my research, expand my teaching skills, and deepen the questions I am pursuing in my scholarship. During my years at GVSU, I have had the privilege of doing what I consider to be my life’s work: teaching queer and transgender studies to wonderfully engaged and curious students. While it was not always easy, my time in Brooks College helped me clarify what I value in my pedagogy, refine my scholarly voice, and more sharply define why and for whom I practice my craft. It is these precise qualities that have opened this exciting new chapter in my life and career. I am leaving GVSU with gratitude for the supportive colleagues and friends I have encountered along the way. I wish you my best going forward. Bonne chance et au revoir!"  

Andrea in hat

Andrea Riley-Mukavetz

"It’s not easy making and taking up Indigenous space in academia. Yet, there are many—in Brooks and at GV—who made it possible for me to exist here. 

I am grateful to those who have served as accomplices, mentors, and friends especially those who fiercely supported the work I did at GVSU. I will carry every hallway interaction, every exchange of classroom or scholarly resources, and recipe swap as a reminder of our community. I will fondly look back on every conversation where I offered critique or new possibilities for inclusion that was understood as an opportunity for growth and cross-coalition work. In these situations, I also learned something about myself and how to effectively collaborate. I am indebted to those who read and taught my scholarship and upheld it as theoretical and scholarly. I will miss many of you. Hopefully, someone will still blast early 90s hip-hop from the second floor of Lake Ontario Hall and harvest paw-paws by the ravines. In the meantime, I am excited for my new adventure. Every experience and interaction at GVSU have led me to this new career shift. Gidoo-amiigawechiwiyin niijiwag. Ika-awaabiminim."

Course Updates

University Approved Curricular Actions for Brooks College (2/4/2023-2/28/2023)
ENS 183 – Sustainability as Lifestyle – Change Course Delivery Method


Ta'les Love, assistant professor of Integrative, African American, and Digital Studies, of was interviewed by Gabrielle Phifer of Wood TV 8 on February 23.  She provided insight into how African Americans have historically used comedy as a way to call out racism and connect with one another.  You can view the interview on Wood TV 8.  Well done, Ta'les! 
Ta'les Love interview


Faculty Calendar

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