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

       Dean's Message


A thousand seagulls rise off the river
behind my classroom.
Facing the back windows,
I watch the birds fly
above my students’ heads, which—
turned toward me, or our text,
or their texting—
do not witness the synchronized ascent.
Sometimes remarkable things happen
inside a classroom,
but more often
outside it.

From Selected Poems, by Yehoshua November (Orison Books)
Mark Schaub signature

Mark Schaub
Dean of Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies

Winter (Re)Start Meeting
Save the date!  Our Winter (Re)Start Meeting will be held on the morning of Friday, January 13, 2023, in the Pere Marquette Room, within the Kirkhof Center.  More details to come.
Sustainability Month
October is Sustainability Month!  The Office of Sustainability holds an annual, month-long recognition of the sustainability efforts that take place on campus. They will host an assortment of community events, conversations, and activities highlighting the importance of sustainability on campus and in the community! Visit their webpage for a run-down of the events and happenings that all students and staff can attend this month.
GVSU Sustainability Month 2022, Encouraging sustainability through community and connection. Banner picture of decorative gords and pumpkins.
A Brooks Always Invited Event Tea Time Tuesdays at 1 pm and Wednesdays at 10 am, October 18 through November 22, Lake Ontario Hall Room 227, stop by to pick up a mug of seasonal tea, and feel free to stay a while to unwind and catch up with your colleagues

Always Invited

Introducing..."Always Invited"!  These casual drop-in style events will allow Brooks College to enjoy casual socializing paired with an enjoyable and simple theme.  From now through November 22, we will be having Tea Time in the gathering room, where we will enjoy seasonable teas and unwind while catching up with each other.  We hope to see you there!
TRIO McNair Scholars Program Recruitment 
Recruiting is currently underway for the next cohort of McNair Scholars. We recognize how important faculty and staff are in getting the word out and helping to recruit students. In fact, most McNair Scholars come to the program through a recommendation from a faculty member.  Virtual information sessions are currently being held every Thursday from 12:00 - 1:00 pm and Friday from 3:00 - 4:00 pm via Zoom.   

There are a few options for you to help with the recruitment effort, if you wish to support the program. We have attached this McNair Scholars Trio Program flyer that you may share with your students on Blackboard, during class, or how you best see fit to share. You can also refer specific students who you believe would be a good fit for the program to fill out an interest form on the McNair website. Lastly, you may share the flyer with your department and colleagues who may not be familiar with McNair. 

The GVSU McNair Scholars Program works exclusively with first-generation and limited-income students, and/or underrepresented students of color, to prepare them for all aspects of graduate level study. Each student receives extensive training and preparation for admission into and success within graduate school. Scholars participate in a paid summer research experience during which they earn up to $4,000. Scholars work one-on-one with a faculty mentor to design and implement a summer research project. The McNair Scholars Program also provides funding for the scholars’ research supplies, conference fees, and travel for graduate school visits.

Throughout the year, scholars participate in workshops addressing mental/emotional health, financial planning, and general graduate school preparation. All scholars take a free specialized summer writing course exclusive to the program as well. Importantly, scholars attend seminars that address imposter phenomenon, and they learn how to develop both cultural and intellectual community throughout their education. 

McNair has a rolling admission, with several spots still available. Applications are reviewed as they come in and until all spots are filled. McNair serves 34 students per academic year.  If you have any questions, you can visit the McNair Scholars website or contact Director Dantya Jennings. Your support is greatly appreciated!

National First Generation College Day 
National First Generation College Day is November 8th!  As part of the celebration, you are welcome to share your own first generation story along with a photo to Linda Rettig, to be featured at the celebration event.  We hope to see you there and encourage you to inspire others with your story!
First Generation College Day flyer, November 8 2022, 6:00-8:00 pm, sponsored by USDE Center for First-Generation Student Success, First-Gen Forward. Save the date! Grand Valley State University
Dr John Kilbourne on a traditional arctic sled in winter
Final Year of Arctic Games

An Exhibition of Early Arctic Games
Wednesday, November 30, 2022 
10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Kindschi Colonnade and Lawn 

Students from the Frederik Meijer Honors College Integrated Seminar, In Search of the Meaning of Games in Life:  A Journey to the Circumpolar World, will present an exhibition of early Inuit and Sami games and toys.  Students in the class have selected an early game, researched the history, created a model, and learned how to teach and play the game.  The exhibition will also feature live reindeer!  Hot chocolate and cookies will also be provided.  The GVSU and surrounding community are invited to attend.  Support has been provided by GVSU’s Division of Student Affairs, GVSU’s Office of Student Life and Campus Activities Board, and the Frederik Meijer Honors College.  

 The Exhibition will be Dr. John Kilbourne’s final curtain call at Grand Valley State University.  He is currently a professor of Movement Science. After 19 years at GVSU and nearly 40 years of teaching in higher education, he will retire in December, 2022.  He will mount a reindeer and fly away to Infinity and Beyond!       
John Noltner looking off into the distance of a scenic landscape

Civil Discourse Symposium

The 9th Annual Civil Discourse Symposium is coming up on November 7-9! This year’s Padnos/Sarosik Civil Discourse Symposium is a three-day event that will culminate with an interactive keynote address from John NoltnerA Peace of My Mind's founder, photographer, and storyteller, on Wednesday, November 9, from 6:00-8:30 pm, in the Eberhard Center on the Robert C. Pew Grand Rapids Campus. Noltner’s presentation will include sharing images and quotes from his conversations with members of the Grand Valley and Grand Rapids communities about their hopes for our country, as well as material from Lessons on the Road to Peace, a multi-media project featuring conversations with ordinary Americans he met during his 40,000-mile drive across the country. Other highlights of the symposium include a curated photography exhibit, a photography studio experience for students, faculty/staff, and community members, and a studio workshop with Seeds of Promise, a community organization partner of the Center for this special event.
For complete details on the photography exhibit and studio workshops, please visit the Fall 2022 Symposium page.
Flyer for Civil Discourse Symposium, Sharing our stories moving from division to hope

Sustainability Spotlight

On Monday, October 3, the Sustainability Spotlight was held at the Kirkof Center, in the Pere Marquette Room. The Office of Sustainability Practices showcased the projects of their students as a way to connect with the GVSU community about current and future sustainability opportunities.  The event also highlighted sustainability-related travel experiences available through the Center for Undergraduate Scholar Engagement (CUSE).  


Amanda Buday, professor of Sociology, presented updates regarding the work in the GVSU Social Science Lab. The Lab assists area watershed and conservation organizations in an effort to assess the public's knowledge about threats to water quality, as well as their use of property management practices that protect our water resources.  You can learn more about this work on the West Michigan Water Stewardship website.

Peter Wampler, professor of Geology, provided updates about the Making Waves Initiative.  In August 2022, the Making Waves group purchased kayaks and a trailer for events and class use.  Using this equipment, they embarked on a project to clean up the Grand River between the Allendale and Grand Rapids campuses.  The project involved over 100 students, faculty and staff and had a massive positive impact for our local environment.  Along the path of the cleanup, 1.51 tons of garbage were collected between September 18 and September 24.  Thank you to all the volunteers and partners for this impressive effort!  To learn more and get involved with future projects, visit the website for Making Waves.  
Photo of the group of people that comprises the Making Waves Initiative posing with their newly purchased kayaks that were used in the Grand River cleanup project Photo of the extra large construction dumpster that holds the 1.51 tons of garbage that was collected from the Grand River
Allysa Babcock, the sustainability manager for Laker Food Company at GVSU, outlined the efforts that they are making on campus to aid sustainability.  They dedicate their time to the local community, working with the Sustainable Agriculture Project to supply fresh produce on campus, as well as donating to local food pantries and volunteering in the community.  They are reducing their plastic use by eliminating plastic utensils across campus and investing in compostable utensils instead.  They will also be stocking reusable products, such as water bottles and bags in their retail locations.  They are also prioritizing food waste reduction, by introducing a meal exchange program where students can donate unused meals to other students in need.
A photo of some people from the Laker Food Company at the SAP farm A photo of produce growing at the SAP farm that will be provided to the Laker Food Company for campus dining
Michael Hinkle, farm manager and educator at the Sustainable Agriculture Project, shared that the SAP farm at 4539 Luce St is always working, even in the winter.  He announced the fall and winter visit & volunteer hours for this year will be Tuesdays from 12:00 - 3:00 pm, Thursdays from 9:00 am - 12:00 pm, and Fridays from 12:00 - 3:00 pm.  They are always in need of helping hands!
Flyer for SAP Farm Volunteer Hours. Visit and volunteer! Fall Winter 22 Open Hours: Tuesday 12 to 2 pm, Thursday 9 am to 12 pm, Friday 12 to 3 pm. Follow us at gvsusap and at gvsusustains
Elena Lioubimtseva, professor of Geography and Sustainable Planning, provided information on the Climate Change Education Solutions Network at GVSU.  They are focused on collaboration with schools and community partners in West Michigan to engage in climate change education, and they are also engaged in supporting research locally, nationally, and internationally, through partnerships and collaborative projects.  They hold events year round that give the spotlight to those partners and projects, and to help spread awareness of their network.  You can visit the Climate Change Education Solutions Network website to learn more and stay up to date on the events coming up.  You can also support climate change education by donating to their network online.  

A photo of a chalk mural on the campus sidewalk for GVSU Climate Change Education Solutions Network October 11 through 13 www.gvsu.edu/cces
Jodee Hunt, professor of Biology and Faculty Fellow at the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (OURS), presented ongoing sustainability-linked research at GVSU.  Her research is currently focused on improving conditions and sustainability for zoo populations of bobcats, lions, Amur tigers, Canada lynx, chimps, and bears.  Initially, the research focused on animal well-being and behavioral husbandry (how animals interact with their physical and social environment).  It has evolved to include current research in genetic diversity and pedigree analysis.  If you are interested in getting involved in sustainability-related research, visit the OURS website
A photo of Jodee Hunt holding two gathering nets near a brook
GVSU Votes
GVSU's mission is to "empower learners in their pursuits, professions, and purpose." One way we do this is by creating conditions for students to become active, global citizens.
As Lakers, we have the responsibility to actively engage in our communities and our democracy.  If you are eligible, we encourage you to vote. Election Day is November 8th!  You can visit the GVSU Votes website for upcoming events related to voter engagement on campus. 
Faculty, staff, and alumni can model civic engagement for the student community by making sure they are participating in the bedrock of our country's democracy by exercising our right to vote.   If you would like to do more, resources and opportunities are available on the GVSU Votes website.
You can also check out new swag in the office for Human Rights, Digital Studies, and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, located in Lake Ontario Hall Room 229.  Shout out to program coordinator Ginele Johnson and her brilliant student workers for their creative efforts!  
GVSU Women Gender and Sexuality Studies promotional pin, caption Pumpkin Spice and Reproductive Rights, picture of a pumkin spice latte GVSU Votes Web Page
Brooks College Faculty and Staff Walk & Talk Series
The Walk & Talk series is in full swing! 
Each Walk & Talk will be hosted by a Brooks College faculty or staff member. It is guaranteed to be a great time! You will get your steps in, explore the campus and community, and socialize with your colleagues all at once.  Win-win-win!
No RSVPs or registration are needed. 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 Flyer October 31 GVSU Ravines and Trails 11 am hosted by Peter Wampler, meet location Honors College front lobby. November 4 GVSU Social Justice Centers 1:30 pm hosted by Ayana Weekley, meet location Lake Ontario Hall next to the Padnos International Center, November 18 Downtown Tour with the Dean 3:00 pm hosted by Dean Mark Schaub, meet location Kennedy Hall of Engineering main door

Brooks College Photo Montage  

Check out these fun events that have been happening around Brooks College since the last newsletter!
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

Kelly Parker, professor of Environmental and Sustainability Studies (ENS), and Carlos Calderon (adjunct professor of ENS) enjoying the view of the city during the Art Prize Walk & Talk on September 22.  (Photographer Amy McFarland) 
Photo of Walk and Talk Art Prize host Kelly Parker and Carlos Calderon, while they are overlooking the Grand River in the city of Grand Rapids, walking down a row of outdoor art installations
A photo of Terence Miller gesturing while speaking during his human rights lecture
On September 12, Terence Miller traveled from Milwaukee to provide a fascinating human rights guest lecture where he spoke of his experiences as a human rights lawyer in Chili and how it relates to current global struggles.  The event was co-sponsored by the Human Rights program, Honors College, and Latin American Studies program.
A photo of GVSU president Philomena Mantella providing opening remarks at the kickoff of the Talking Together Initiative
On September 21, at the Alumni House, President Philomena Mantella provided opening remarks at the kickoff event for the Talking Together initiative.
A photo of Kyle Kooyers explaining the workshop activity during the
Kyle Kooyers, associate director of the GVSU Kaufman Interfaith Institute, hosted a "How To Talk To Your Neighbor" workshop following the Talking Together opening remarks provided by President Mantella and Lisa Perhamus.
Photo of Lisa Perhaumas interacting during the workshop portion of the event
Lisa Perhamus, Director of the Padnos/Sarosik Center for Civil Discourse, interacting during the workshop portion of the event.
Photo of Julia Mason giving remarks during the WGS open house
Julia Mason, associate professor and chair of WGS, gives remarks during an open house September 29 for the program. As it celebrates 50 years on campus, WGS has seen an increase in enrollment across the board!
Photo of books by bell hooks displayed at the WGS open house
Photo of the welcome tables for the Professional Society of Minorities in Honors Karaoke night
On October 2, the Professional Society of Minorities in Honors held a karaoke party. Fun was had by all, and silly costumes were available and welcome. Melba Velez Ortiz (professor of Communication in Honors) and Professor Chad even danced the merenge as bumble bees!
College of photos from karaoke night.
A photo of Nora Salas introducing Dr Ashley Johnson Bavery
On October 6, Nora Salas (Director of the Kutsche Office of Local History), introduced guest speaker Dr. Ashley Johnson Bavery for the guest lecture "Laying New Tracks: Syrian Immigrants in Grand Rapids and the Midwest."  Dr. Bavery spoke about the long history of Syrians in West Michigan.  Local Syrians were in attendance and enjoyed being able to share their family history and experiences.
A photo of the welcome banner for the SAP Harvest Party
On October 7, the Sustainable Agriculture Project (SAP) hosted their Harvest Party at the SAP farm.  Their was a large potluck of food, and outdoor games.  Everyone had a great time!
A photo of the food tent at the harvest party
A photo of the potluck buffet table at the harvest party
A photo of people playing cornhole at the harvest party
A photo of the outdoor mid-term for INT 310
On October 10, Ramya Swayamprakash (assistant professor IRIS/ENS/DS) held her INT 310 mid-term outdoors, challenging her students to get creative and invent their own column patterns.
A photo of the outdoor mid-term for INT 310
A photo of an ENS 201 student showing his board game
Becky Williams (assistant professor IRIS/ENS/AGS) also challenged her ENS 201 class to a unique mid-term. They created their own ENS board games.  Students were extremely engaged and dedicated a lot of time and detail to their games.  Becky stopped by the dean's office on October 14 with one of her students, who showed us his group's creation.
ENS 201 student's board game close up
A photo of Fatima Les and Crystal Scott-Tunstall
On October 12, Crystal Scott-Tunstall, affiliate professor in Environmental and Sustainability Studies (ENS), gave a canning lesson and samples at the Brooks Bash Fall Fest. She is a certified canning instructor and ServSafe Certified by the Kent County Health Department. Fatima Lee, a community partner from Baxter Community Center, was on hand to assist. Amy McFarland (chair of ENS) also gave an overview of their program following Crystal's presentation.
A photo of the Brooks Bash Fall Fest gathering
GVSU Peace Corps representative Emily Nguyen was also in attendance, and gave her own insights on sustainability while working in the Peace Corps.
A photo of Fall Fest goody bags and jam recipe display
Attendees enjoyed a fresh tomato jam sample, a tex mex buffet, and took home their own reusable produce bags and mason jars with the ingredients and recipe needed to make their own tomato freezer jam. 

A photo of Daniela Marini
Daniela Marini, assistant professor of IRIS, published a piece in the Latin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies Journal titled "White spatial politics in mainstream agroecology activism in Argentina". The article, stemming from her dissertation work, explores how ideas of nature and proper human-land relations in progressive agendas for socio-environmental change are sites where racial hierarchies are maintained. Congratulations, Daniela!

"I engage with political ecology as an interdisciplinary framework to think about the politics of human relationships with the environment," says Daniela. "I am interested in understanding how social differences (e.g. race, gender, ethnicity, nationality, immigrant status) shape environmental advocates’ framing of problems and design of solutions. My recently published article, stemming from dissertation work, explores how ideas of nature and proper human-land relations in progressive agendas for socio-environmental change are sites where racial hierarchies are reproduced and maintained. My research nurtures my teaching. As a growing number of our students engage with complex environmental problems and set themselves to find solutions, providing them with a framework attentive to the naturalization of social difference in sustainability efforts is crucial for the design of socio-environmental just futures."  

A photo of Denise Goerisch
Denise Goerisch, associate professor of IRIS, released a book chapter titled “Safe Spaces or Spaces of Control? Racial Tensions at Predominantly White Institutions” published in Landscapes of Hate Tracing Spaces, Relations and Responses Bristol University Press. This chapter explores minority students’ experiences with university-sponsored safe spaces and programs designated for students of color, to develop a deeper understanding of the complex pathways students of color must navigate and negotiate to survive at Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs) in the US. Congratulations, Denise!
Dawn Rutecki portrait
Dawn Rutecki, associate professor of IRIS, was selected to be part of a collaborative synthetic research project called the Coalition for Archaeological Synthesis (CfAS).  The project will be focusing on the long-term role of religious ideas, practices, and institutions in human society. Bringing together 18 international scholars, the working group will assess how to incorporate large-scale cultural datasets into questions regarding religious histories and the challenges of using these data. Congratulations, Dawn!
Brooks College Costume Party Invite Link, Friday October 28 from 11:30 to 1 pm in the Honors Multipurpose Room. Join us for prizes and pizza.
New Event Request Form
A new Event Request Form is now available on the Brooks College website!  The link is found under our event calendar.  This form has been designed to help support Brooks College units and programs with their events.  Using this form, you can request your existing event be added to the main Brooks College event calendar, request socia media promotion or other marketing support, and even submit custom requests, such as volunteer or set up assistance.  We are happy to help make sure your events are successful!


October 28: Brooks College Costume Party 11:30 am - 1:00 pm
November 7: Brooks College Town Hall (virtual) 9:00 am
November 7-9: A Peace of My Mind Public Art Exhibit  See event link for hours (Symposium event)
November 9: 9th Annual Civil Discourse Symposium  6:00 - 8:30 pm (Keynote Address)
November 11: Religious Site Tour: Judaism 5:30 - 7:00 pm
November 18: Sustainability Showcase Presentations 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
December 1: Night Against Procrastination 8:00 pm - 2:00 am 12/2/22

Faculty Calendar

October 23-25: Fall Break
October 28: Drop with a "W" grade deadline
November 10: Personnel Action Workshop for Unit Heads 11:45 am - 12:30 pm
November 14: Leadership Council Meeting 9:00 - 10:30 am
November 23-27: Thanksgiving Recess
November 28: Unit Head Meeting 9:00 - 10:30 am
December 12: Unit Head Meeting 9:00 - 10:30 am
December 12-17: Exam Week
December 17: End of Fall Semester
December 20: Grades Due from Faculty (by 12:00 pm)
December 22-January 3: Holiday Break
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