Study Abroad, Civil Discourse Café, Books (Re)Start Meeting, and more!
Study Abroad, Civil Discourse Café, Books (Re)Start Meeting, and more!
Grand Valley State University

Message from Interim Dean
Mark Schaub

When he came to speak to students here at GVSU in 2003, as we were still reeling from the 9/11 attacks and ramping up the war in Iraq, championship basketball coach (and three-time NBA champion as a player) Steve Kerr provided a poignant personal perspective on study abroad. Noting that Americans, including undergraduate students, were actively avoiding international travel during the War on Terror, Kerr advised our community that “Now, more than ever, is the time we need to be going out and understanding others.” Coach Kerr acknowledged that it was a group of terrorists who had stalked and assassinated his own father, Dr. Malcolm Kerr, while he was serving as the President of the American University of Beirut in 1984.
I’m grateful that GVSU supports intercultural and international experiences for our students. Much of that support comes in the form of faculty sweat equity. Committed, often heroic, faculty across this university dedicate themselves to developing and leading groups of students on study abroad programs every year. For them, it’s not a junket. Their round-the-clock work, on top of the countless hours of preparation and budgeting and recruiting, is not fully compensated. They do it because they experience first-hand the transformative power of the opportunity for students live in another culture.
The Padnos International Center is also committed to extending the opportunity to more and more groups of students. The PIC’s strategic plan has been to increase study abroad participation by underserved student populations, including first-generation students, non-traditional students, and students of color. Last year, with the support of the Meijer Office of Fellowships, GVSU was celebrated as number one in the nation in terms of federally funded Benjamin Gilman scholarships for military veterans to study abroad. That’s number one for institutions of any size!
Progress has been made in the underserved population of students of color, and in the 2018-19 academic year, 18% of GVSU participants were non-white. One of several success stories on this front was the student exchange program between GVSU’s TRiO program and our partner in Chile, Universidad del Bío-Bío. None of the students who traveled either way had ever been outside their respective country. The enthusiasm of these Integrative Studies students is captured in this video.
Another Brooks College program targets yet another underrepresented population of students: NCAA student-athletes. The hybrid section of ITC 100 (Introduction to Intercultural Competence) allows these student-athletes to compete and train here in the USA for the first half of the Spring term, and then spend the last 16 days of the term in Spain, living with host families. After viewing the video about that program, you will be moved to support the new Irwin Club fund to make it possible for more student-athletes to take part.
In that GVSU visit, Coach Kerr told all students, faculty, and staff to stretch themselves, and go to the most “different” place they could imagine. The payoff, he said, is all the more significant. All Brooks College study abroad programs support these experiences, and all the Brooks College programs take students to incredible destinations: South Africa (WGS), Namibia (AAA), Ghana (Honors), Spain (ITC), Chile (INT), and Haiti (Honors).

Civil Discourse Symposium adopts conversational format

On Tuesday, November 19, Brooks College and the Padnos/Sarosik Civil Discourse Program will host the sixth annual Civil Discourse Symposium titled, Civil Discourse Café: Complicated Conversations, at the L.V. Eberhard Center on the Pew Campus.
The symposium is designed to create opportunities for students, faculty, staff, and community members to practice civil discourse. The topic of this year's event is water, which was chosen to coincide with Grand Valley's Making Waves Initiative. The event is free and open to the public. Hors d'oeuvres and refreshments will be served.
Elizabeth Arnold, Padnos/Sarosik endowed professor of civil discourse, said that this year's format has been changed to focus more on discussing, learning, and practicing the skills of civil discourse. “The use of the word 'café' is intentional to foster a more informal, casual conversational atmosphere rather than an academic presentation by experts,” Arnold said. The symposium will feature round table discussions facilitated by students from Arnold’s civil discourse class, as well as several guest speaker storytellers. “Storytelling is known to be an effective tool of civil discourse,” Arnold said.
The Padnos/Sarosik endowed professorship is housed in the Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies and was given as a gift to Grand Valley in 2013 from longtime university supporters Shelley Padnos and Carol Sarosik. Previous symposiums have addressed the topics of diversity, immigration, and climate change. Learn more and submit your RSVP on the civil discourse website.

New staff intro: Ginele Johnson

Ginele Johnson is the new office coordinator for the Brooks College for Community Partnerships and Student Professional Development. Ginele earned a B.S. from Grand Valley in Communications with a Public Relations emphasis. Ginele has worked in several areas of marketing, owned and managed a children's music business, and most recently worked for Coopersville Public Schools. She enjoys reading and being active in community theater. She lives in Coopersville with her husband, also a GVSU alumni, and their three children. Her oldest child is a proud 3rd generation Laker!

Brooks (Re)Start Meeting set for January 10

Save the date for our Brooks College Winter (Re)Start Meeting on Friday, January 10 from 8:45 - 10:30 A.M. This brief meeting will feature several Brooks students sharing their stories. Breakfast will be provided. Please submit your RSVP by noon on December 13.

Find collaborators for Making Waves

The Making Waves Initiative created a searchable database to promote collaboration across the University. Fill out this form with your water-related research and interests and search the database to find collaborators, speakers, and more!

Reminder on visitors to class

As faculty of record, we enjoy a level of autonomy in occasionally inviting guests to our classrooms. Appropriate visits for one or two class meetings include guest speakers or panelists, prospective students, faculty visitors from overseas partner institutions, and the like. However, visitors who are not formally enrolled (either for-credit or auditing) and on the official class roster should not be attending GVSU classes on a regular or recurring basis.

Faculty, Staff & Student Recognition

Jae Basilière, assistant professor of women, gender, and sexuality studies, was quoted in The Chronicle of Higher Education article, "How an Idiosyncratic Role-Playing Game Became a Popular Teaching Tool," about role-playing games in the classroom.
Aaron Eddens, assistant professor of area and global studies, won the 2019 Ralph Henry Gabriel Dissertation Prize for his dissertation, "Climate-Smart’ Seeds: Race, Science, and Security in the Global Green Revolution," from the American Studies Association. Aaron's work will be recognized on November 7 at the American Studies Association's Annual Meeting.
Yumi Jakobcic, director of the Office of Sustainability Practices, co-authored a paper with Patricia Stokowski, "The Role of Regional Park Districts in Strengthening Community Relationships" that was published in The Journal of Parks and Recreation Administration.
Cáel Keegan, assistant professor of women, gender, and sexuality studies, received the 2019 Trans/Gender-Variant Caucus Award from the National Women's Studies Association for a paper, "Getting Disciplined: What's Trans* About Queer Studies Now?" Cáel will receive the award at the National Women's Studies Association Annual Meeting in San Francisco in November.

Upcoming Events

Faculty Calendar & Deadlines

October 15: Mid-term grades due from faculty
October 20-22: Fall break
October 22 - November 6: Annual benefits open enrollment for 2020
November 27 - December 1: Thanksgiving recess
December 9-14: Examination week
December 14: Semester ends
December 17: Grades due from faculty
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