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

       Dean's Message

There is no algorithm that can replace human dignity.

― Safiya Umoja Noble

BlackBoard Ultra. Digital Measures. OnBase. Concur. UltraTime. SAIL. The digital tools we learn and forget are too numerous to list. But they’re a big part of our work lives, and they impact the work we do to support student learning. The CourseDog scheduling platform can get students in the right place at the right time, and facilitate the learning. But a glitch can add to the stress and actually hinder the learning. Likewise, BlackBoard Ultra (for all of us, starting this May) can help students engage with new and interesting material or stand as a barrier to their understanding.

The growing program in Digital Studies (DS) provides an opportunity for students to not only understand how digital communities and technologies shape our lives and work, but how they keep the focus on equitable human interactions in these virtual spaces. The transformative courses in the DS program are regularly described to me by students as “opening my eyes” or “I finally got it, what google really is.” The ethical dimensions of how our individual data is used and abused by others really spurs DS students to insight. And action. It’s not enough to be part of the digital transformation of their workplace or organization; it is essential that they understand the impact of these transformations on the humans.

Complementing all our academic programs and existing supports is the new Digital Creator Lab in the Mary Idema Pew Library. This new resource—opened on January 10—is available to all students, faculty, and staff who wish to use technologies to create their own podcasts and videos and/or other deliverables that might be produced in response to innovative class assignments and projects.

All these tools are pretty cool. And thankfully, Brooks College and Grand Valley offer courses to help students use these tools for the good things they want to do in this world.

Mark Schaub signature

Mark Schaub
Dean of Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies

A Brooks Always Invited Event Tea Time Tuesdays at 1 pm and Wednesdays at 10 am, Lake Ontario Hall Room 225, Stop by to unwind and catch up with your colleagues over a cup of seasonal tea or hot cocoa

Always Invited

Continuing by popular demand, we present a Brooks College Always Invited Event: Tea & Cocoa Time!  Stop by the second floor gathering room in Lake Ontario Hall (room 225), to unwind and catch up with your colleagues over a cup of seasonal tea or hot cocoa. Tea & Cocoa Time will be on Tuesdays at 1 pm, and Wednesdays at 10 am. We hope to see you there!

Save the Date: Faculty Scholarship Showcase

The Brooks College 2023 Faculty Scholarship Showcase will be held on Wednesday, February 22, 2023 in the Kirkhof Center, Rooms 2215 and 2216, from 1:30 - 2:45 pm. Several Brooks College faculty members will be presenting on their recent sabbatical work and publications.  We hope to see you there to support them and enjoy hearing about the new and exciting work they have been doing!
Brooks College Presents Faculty Scholarship Showcase February 22 2023 Rm 2215-2216 in Kirkhof 1:30 - 2:45

Dr. Laura Portwood-Stacer holding two virtual workshops on publishing dissertations

Join us for a Virtual Speaker Event on Friday, January 20, 2023! Brought to you by the GVSU Center for Creative and Scholarly Excellence, Dr. Laura Portwood-Stacer is a publishing consultant and developmental editor for Academic Authors at Manuscript Works.  
She will be holding two virtual workshops on this day:
First Session
To attend, please RSVP for Zoom Link
This workshop will acquaint prospective authors with the key components of the scholarly book proposal, highlight common mistakes that first-time (and experienced!) authors make, and offer concrete tips on how to make your proposal stand out in the sea of submissions at your dream publisher. Even if you have written successful book proposals before, you will learn new information to take your future projects to the next level.
Second Session
To attend, please RSVP for Zoom Link
This workshop for early career researchers and their mentors will cover how to effectively pitch a revised dissertation project for scholarly publishers. We will discuss what scholarly presses mean when they say that they don't publish dissertations and how to ensure that your submission materials address the major concerns publishers have when considering revised dissertations. We will also address the common advice to "write your dissertation as a book" and when you should start approaching publishers about your project.  
Both workshops will be recorded, and will be available on the Brooks College website main page, under the Virtual Event Archive.
Dr. Laura Portwood-Stacer holding two virtual workshops on publishing dissertations

Padnos/Sarosik Center for Civil Discourse welcomes new endowed professor Greg Warsen 

Greg Warsen, assistant professor of educational leadership, was selected as the new Padnos/Sarosik endowed professor of civil discourse.

Warsen is the fifth faculty member to hold the position, which includes responsibilities of teaching a course in the Fall 2023 semester and working with students to host a public symposium and other events. These events fall under the theme, "When Political Divides Become Personal: Healing the Wounds of Polarization in Our Everyday Lives." The announcement was made November 9 at the 2022 Civil Discourse Symposium.

Lisa Perhamus, director of the Padnos/Sarosik Center for Civil Discourse and associate professor of educational foundations, said Warsen's application stood out for several reasons, including the timeliness of highlighting how PK-12 board of education meetings have become entangled in culture wars. 

"Board of education meetings have become contentious in many places across the country with families, students and stakeholders voicing divergent perspectives about issues concerning educational curriculum and policy," Perhamus said. "In many ways, these meetings have become entangled with what mainstream media calls 'culture wars,' and there is a pressing need for civil discourse in these spaces."

To read more about Greg Warsen and what he will bring to his new role, see the full article on GV Next.   
Greg Warsen, assistant professor of educational leadership, addresses the audience during the Civil Discourse Symposium. Image Credit: Valerie Hendrickson
Greg Warsen, assistant professor of educational leadership, addresses the audience during the Civil Discourse Symposium.
Image Credit: Valerie Hendrickson
Crystal Scott-Tunstall to speak at Food4Thought: What is Healthy Food?
Crystal Scott-Tunstall, affiliate professor in Environmental and Sustainability Studies, also serves as a co-chair for the Kent County Food Policy Council, and is involved in many other organizations addressing food systems.  She will be a virtual speaker for the panel at Food4Thought on January 18, at 5:30 pm.  The in-person event will be held at the Bamboo Place Cultural Center. The panel topic for the evening will be "What is healthy food?" 
If you are interested in attending, please use the promo code bipochealth2023 on Eventbrite to RSVP.   
Photo of Crystal Scott-Tunstall, Grand Valley State University and Kent County Food Policy Council

Brooks College Photo Montage  

Check out these fun events that have been happening around Brooks College!
ENS Sustainability Showcase
Photo of Walk and Talk Art Prize host Kelly Parker pointing to a sight out of view, with Carlos Calderon, while they are overlooking the Grand River in the city of Grand Rapids

On November 18, the Sustainability Showcase Presentations were held in person at the Kirkhof Center.  Environmental and Sustainability Program students were able to present their work for the Fall 2022 semester, including poster displays, visual presentations, and demonstrations of games that they created during their courses.  
an ENS student explaining their presentation
a game created by an ENS student
ENS professor Kelly Parker introducing students at the Sustainability showcase, top. Bottom information table
Dean Mark Schaub talking with ENS students
ENS students presenting their projects for the showcase
Soup's On!
Soup's On Event photo of soup buffet
On December 12 and 13, Brooks College hosted Soup's On!  This finals week event provided hot soups to the Brooks College community, and gave them a great opportunity to visit and catch up with each other.  
Soup's On Event photo of Brooks faculty and staff enjoying their soup and conversation at a table
Soup's On Event Photo Dean Mark Schaub chatting with faculty and staff who are enjoying their soup
Brooks College 2023 Winter (Re)Start
Winter restart meeting
The Brooks College 2023 Winter (Re)Start was held on Friday, January 13, at the Kirkhof Center's Pere Marquette room.  Faculty and staff gathered to kick off the winter 2023 semester. 
trio of jazz musicians
Winter restart meeting
The Winter (Re)Start featured a breakfast buffet, a live trio of musicians playing soft jazz, and several Brooks College faculty/staff speakers.
2023 Winter ReStart Speakers
Dean Mark Schaub gave remarks and presented four different speakers. 
Jennifer Jamelyn, the Director of the Brooks College Advising Center, gave a presentation on the top resources that faculty and staff can utilize to help students be successful. 
Roger Gilles, Director of Frederik Meijer Honors College, spoke about the evolution of the Honors College and their efforts at supporting and improving diversity. 
Jakia Marie, assistant professor of IRIS, spoke about her life journey from struggling GVSU student to becoming GVSU Faculty and how the interdisciplinary approach gave her a sense of belonging.   
Rebecca Williams, assistant professor of IRIS, spoke about joining Brooks College and how impressed she was to discover the unique and innovative ways that the college blends disciplines in order to foster collaberation.  She also expressed her enthusiam for how the new School of Interdisciplinary Studies will help Brooks College further its mission by allowing even further sharing of resources and talents to maximize the success of Brooks College.  
ENS Winter Kickoff Social
Amy McFarland, Director of Environmental and Sustainability Studies, and Justine Kibet, academic coordinator, greet attendees at the ENS Winter Kickoff Social.  Attendees enjoyed pizza, games, raffle prizes, and music while they networked and explored the tables for the different programs.
The ENS Winter Kickoff Social was held in the Grand River Room in the Kirkhof Center on Friday, January 13, and featured many academic programs within Brooks College.  Pictured to the far left, Julia Mason, Director of the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program, stands ready to give attendees information about what the program offers.
Aaron Eddens, assistant professor of Area and Global Studies (AGS), talks to a student about the AGS program.
Ginele Johnson, academic coordinator and Laurence Josè, associate professor and Director of Digital Studies, give students information about the Digital Studies Minor.
ENS students enjoy the games available at the Winter Kickoff Social.
Michael Hinkle, farm manager and educator for the Office of Sustainability Practices, chats with students about the Sustainable Agriculture Project farm.
Top: Jennifer Jameslyn, Director of the Brooks College Advising Center, and Brian Trager, Brooks College advisor, help attendees with their advising questions and concerns.
Bottom:  Crystal Scott-Tunstall, affiliate professor of ENS and ENS internship coordinator, discusses internships and practicums for the ENS program with a student.
Diane Maodush-Pitzer retirement party
Diane Maodush-Pitzer, senior affiliate professor of Integrative, Religious, and Intercultural Studies (IRIS), will be retiring after the Winter 2023 semester.  Her retirement celebration was held on January 13 in Lake Ontario Hall room 225.  Congratulations, Diane!  


Maureen Wolverton, senior affiliate professor for Integrative, Religious, and Intercultural Studies (IRIS), was elected to serve on the Greenville Public Schools Board of Education. Maureen serves as the Board of Education Secretary. Congratulations, Maureen!
Maureen Wolverton was elected to the Greenville Public Schools Board of Education, photo of the board members


Anthony Meyer Headshot
Anthony Meyer, affiliate professor for Integrative, Religious, and Intercultural Studies (IRIS), published his book, Naming God in Early Judaism: Aramaic, Hebrew, and Greek (Brill) in November 2022.  For more details on Anthony's book, and background, visit his feature on the IRIS website.  Congratulations, Anthony!
Jack Mangala Headshot
Jack Mangala, professor of African and African American Studies and Head of the Global Studies and Social Impact department, published a chapter, "The root causes of African migration to Europe: An African perspective," in Akinola and Bjarnessen (Eds), Words Apart? Perspectives on Africa-EU Migration.
Jack provided training on migration and mobility for the EU Commission/European University Institute's Young African Leaders Program, November 17.
Jack also presented a paper (in French) Diasporas et gouvernance des migrations: potentialités et limites at the International Symposium on Rethinking Human Mobility in Africa, Dakar, Senegal, on December 20.

Course Updates

University Approved Curricular Actions for Brooks College (12/09/2022-1/12/2023)
Course Change:  DS 350: Social Media in Culture (Delivery Method)


Faculty Calendar

January 16: Martin Luther King Jr Day Recess
February 20-24: Mid-term Evaluations
February 28: Mid-term Grades Due from Faculty
March 5-12: Spring Break
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