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

       Dean's Message

Pages are cavernous places, white at entrance, black in absorption.

--from “Whereas,” by Layli Long Soldier

Where to begin? That’s the short-term barrier for any writer facing the blank page. This is true, whether it’s a first year student intimidated into writer’s block by their first college paper assignment, or a dean wondering what to come up with—today—for their monthly message in the College newsletter. It’s likewise true for faculty colleagues struggling with so many things to cover in the next term’s syllabus or next class meeting. I doubt there’s any hesitation on the part of the AI mind of ChatGPT when it immediately spins algorithmically predictable language.

Provost Mili started the Winter semester by asking us all to consider the Buckminster Fuller question: “What is the most important thing we can be thinking about right now?” That question has been considered and discussed by Provost’s Cabinet, President’s Council, students, and faculty across a range of fora. In one of my discussions with colleagues, we ended up answering it along the lines of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Individuals and families concerned about their immediate safety and wellbeing, whether in terms of food security or being the target of racially motivated violence, answer that question quite differently from someone able to consider climate-driven extinctions. Fuller himself had the luxury to conceive and build structural answers to the problems of humanity, in developments like his Dymaxion House (that you can visit right here in Michigan).

Now that we prepare for the inception of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies (SIS) here in the College, let’s continue to ask ourselves that question: what’s the most important thing we can be thinking about right now?

Mark Schaub signature

Mark Schaub
Dean of Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies

Faculty Scholarship Showcase

The Brooks College 2023 Faculty Scholarship Showcase will be held on Wednesday, February 22, 2023 in the Kirkhof Center, Rooms 2215/2216, 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

"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
Semester in Detroit 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.


February 23, 2023 - See No Stranger: An Evening with Valarie Kaur
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. 
February 9, 2023 6:00-8:00 P.M., HON 148
Joel Stillerman, Ph.D. (Sociology, Honors-Faculty-In-Residence)
“Identity Investments: Middle-Class Responses to Precarious Privilege in Neoliberal Chile”

February 23, 2023 4:00-6:00 P.M., HON 148
Jakia Marie, Ph.D. (Area & Global Studies, African & African American Studies)
“Experiencing the African Diaspora: Exploring Migration and Identity”

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
Graduate School 
The Graduate School invites you to the 2023 3-Minute Thesis Contest in Loosemore Auditorium. The 3MT Contest will take place on February 16 at 3:00 PM.

The Graduate School will be providing one Virtual Project, Thesis, and Dissertation workshop in the Winter 2023 semester. Monday, February 20, 2023 from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. via Zoom. The workshop is required for 695 and 795 students. Please register on The Graduate School Website.

PACES will be hosting a series of virtual professional development lunch and learn sessions throughout the winter semester. Please check out our website to see the schedule and register for the sessions.  

Zulema Moret photo

In Memorium

Longtime Coordinator of the program in Latin American Studies, Dr. Zulema Moret, passed away last weekend after a battle with cancer. Brooks College fondly remembers Zulema’s energy and passion for student learning about the world and various cultures and languages, and mourns her passing.

We are grateful for her years of dedicated teaching, advising, mentoring and leadership across the university and for the countless student and alumni lives she touched.

The funeral mass will be Saturday, February 4, 2023, at 10 o’clock am at the Cathedral of St. Andrew, 215 Sheldon Blvd. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503. A luncheon will follow at the Cathedral.  As Zulema loved vibrant colors, please consider celebrating her life by wearing vibrantly colored clothes.  You may view her online obituaries on Echovita and Tribute Archive and share your memories.

Course Updates

University Approved Curricular Actions for Brooks College (1/12/2023-2/3/2023)
Course Change: WGS 495 Capstone (Delivery Method)


Melanie Shell Weiss, Associate Dean of Brooks College and professor of IRIS, and Laurence José, Director of Digital Studies and associate professor of Writing, published an article in the Susan Bulkeley Butler Center for Leadership Excellence and ADVANCE Purdue Center for Faculty Success Working Paper Series Fall 2022 issue: "What are We Fighting For? Ending Crisis Thinking to Consider the Future of Higher Education". Congratulations!     
Melanie Shell-Weiss portrait Laurence Jose portrait


February 9: Careers in Human and Public Service 2:00 - 4:00 pm
February 22: AAAS Presents: Wing Wednesday 11:30 am
February 24: ENS Internships & Practicums Info Session 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
March 17:  "For The Culture" Quiz Bowl 2:00 pm
March 22: AAAS Presents: Wing Wednesday 11:30 am 

Faculty Calendar

February 20-24: Mid-term Evaluations
February 28: Mid-term Grades Due from Faculty
March 5-12: Spring Break
Join our mailing list so you never miss a Brooks College newsletter.
View previous issues in our newsletter archive.
Twitter Facebook
Grand Valley State University and Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies combination logo
Unsubscribe from future emails.
Subscribe to our email list.