College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

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Removing Impediments to Success with Colleen Lewis

Associate Professor of movement science Colleen Lewis likes to remove obstacles. When she noticed that her MOV 309 students were having trouble using a book-based assessment tool to track the development of children’s motor skills, she could see that it wasn’t easy to go from the printed page to the assessment of an actual child in motion.

Renee Zettle Sterling

Singing the body eclectic: Renee Zettle-Sterling teaching the alchemy of a liberal art

As an act of faith, in the liberal arts we hold as a truth, whether it is self-evident or not, that all of the disciplines contribute in their own unique ways to critical thinking.  In practice, we may only be able to speak to exactly how that works for a half-dozen disciplines which are usually related to our own. 

So when teachers of art and design speak of problem solving, it can be a little hard for the uninitiated to imagine what that looks like in the studio.  A single hour in the Intermediate Metalsmithing and Jewelry (Art 346) classroom provides a vivid picture.   more

Special Feature on the CLAS Budget

How CLAS Prioritizes the Budget and Resources 

"Budgets are a way of expressing over time a community's values and aspirations within the limits of resources," says Dean Antczak.  "So it's appropriate that the CLAS community know how our resources get distributed.  Forgive me for burdening you with specifics, but I think it'll help you see the scope and the progression of our budgeting process." 

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has an Annual Budget in FY 2010 of $58,609,090,of which 93% is dedicated to personnel expenses (big ticket benefits such as health for CLAS faculty and staff are included in the personnel allocation).   more 

First CLAS Teaching Roundtables

Many Voices of the Teaching Showcase Roundtables

In an often quoted line of the Faculty Handbook, the centrality of teaching at GVSU is underscored:Teaching in the liberal tradition, whether in general arts and sciences or the professional degree programs, has always been at the heart of Grand Valley's educational mission.”  The College’s mission is no different; CLAS is “a student-centered and diverse learning community”.  The nurturing of that community was at the core of a new CLAS event last week. more

Out of the Box

Out of the Box Consultative Collaboration in CLAS

Grace Coolidge, Associate Professor of History also wears the hat of chair of the CLAS Faculty Council, the peak body advising the dean from the faculty perspective.  In addition to running CLAS faculty elections, prioritizing the list of potential hiring  lines, and serving as a committee on committees, the Faculty Council diligently and creatively devises ways to consult CLAS Faculty on everything from feedback on the dean’s performance to proposed policy.

It is little wonder that new members of the Council quickly achieve a wide ranging knowledge of how things run at the university and what issues are under discussion at any given point.  more


A Strong Combination

If you missed the relevant season one episode of the TV series Numb3rs and if you aren’t a mathematician, you might not have heard of the field of combinatorics. Happily for GVSU, Akalu Tefera, Associate Professor of Mathematics, is not only studying this field involving the permutations of sets, combination and enumeration, he has been enthusiastically spreading the word to students. Akalu explains combinatorics as "how objects are arranged, the finding of formulae that minimize waste. For instance, how many ways can you line up 100 people? We design algorithms for that. Some of the expressions are very complex-so these days, computers help." more


Learning, Street Cred and the Cow Lady

Associate Professor of Mathematics, Pamela Wells, has been at GVSU since 1995 preparing pre-service elementary teachers to teach mathematics, improving the mathematical content knowledge of elementary and middle school teachers, and studying children's mathematical thinking.

Pam’s journey started with an interest in getting a PhD in Mathematics, but that plan was slightly adjusted when she became quite interested in pedagogy—how students do and do not learn.  So she received her master’s degree and then went on to study Higher Ed with an emphasis in Mathematics for her PhD.  As soon as she arrived at GVSU, a colleague interested her in working with elementary teachers. more


Shawn Bible

Perpetual Motion as Dance—One Term in the Life of Shawn Bible

Somehow Shawn Bible, our sole tenure-track faculty member in dance (as at August 2010), managed to find some time to sit down to talk with me about his work.  For Shawn, even sitting down is a fairly active pursuit, legs seeming to tuck underneath him in his desk chair in a way Steelcase probably never imagined. more

Jodee Hunt

Making Sustainability Ripples with Jodee Hunt and Friends

Jodee Hunt, Professor of Biology and self-described “wet person” knows better than most that a stone dropped into a pond creates many ripples.  Not only does her faculty web page show her sporting hip waders, her in-with-both-feet approach to sustainability has sent ripples as far as Nicaragua. more



Page last modified January 31, 2013