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Across Campus

February 20, 2017


Kindschi fellowship will give students unique research opportunities

The Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship is seeking applications from students for a new research fellowship.

The P. Douglas Kindschi Undergraduate Research Fellowship in the Sciences will provide student fellows with a $1,500 fellowship, allowing student researchers to pursue rigorous scholarship and be mentored by a faculty member.

Biology Students

Biology students are pictured in a Kindschi Hall lab. A new fellowship supported by Doug Kindschi will provide undergraduate students with research fellowships. 

Funded projects must be in one of the following fields: aquatic sciences, allied health professions, biology, biomedical sciences, chemistry, computer science, engineering, geology, information systems, mathematics, movement science, physics, and statistics. Proposals related to the Barbara Kindschi Greenhouse are also encouraged. 

Doug Kindschi, who now serves as director of the Kaufman Interfaith Institute, said his and Barbara's interest in supporting this fellowship was driven by his longevity as dean, and his efforts to help shape Grand Valley's STEM departments. Kindschi served as dean of Science and Mathematics for 28 years.

"It was a privilege to create new programs and hire nearly 200 faculty in the sciences, engineering, mathematics and health sciences during my time as dean," he said. "My commitment to these fields and, particularly, to the students who want to pursue research in these areas continues."

Susan Mendoza, director of OURS, said the goals of this new fellowship are to encourage students through the process of research discovery, and better prepare them for graduate education. 

Successful applicants will have a GPA of 3.0 or higher, and be enrolled for at least one semester beyond the period of the award.

Mendoza said students can propose research projects to faculty members, or faculty can recruit an undergraduate student for a potential project. The fellowship supports research conducted during the fall or winter semesters.

Applications are due by May 1, details on how to apply are posted online at


Civic Engagement Showcase seeks presenters

Proposals are being sought for the Civic Engagement Showcase, which will recognize the work of students, faculty and staff members who have collaborated with community partners for a project.

The showcase will be held April 13, from 3-5 p.m., in the DeVos Center, Hager-Lubbers Exhibition Hall. Details about how to submit a proposal are online at; the deadline to submit a proposal is March 10.

Ruth Stegeman, assistant dean and director for Community Engagement, said Grand Valley's Civic Action Plan will be unveiled at that time by President Thomas J. Haas and Provost Gayle R. Davis.

The action plan follows Haas' signature on the Campus Compact Presidents’ Declaration, which includes commitments regarding the public purposes of higher education; it will also advance several university strategic objectives. 

The plan is designed to prepare faculty members and students for community-based work, align the university's initiatives with community interests, and reconfigure Grand Valley's infrastructure to support civic and community engagement. 


Grand Valley participates in national recycling competition

Grand Valley participates in national recycling competition

For the 10th year in a row, Grand Valley is participating in a national competition to collect the largest amount of recyclables and the least amount of trash.

Through April 1, Grand Valley will compete against hundreds of colleges and universities in Recyclemania. The 10-week competition includes categories such as Food Service Organics and Waste Minimization.  

During the 2016 competition, Grand Valley ranked first in the state and in the top 15 nationwide (for universities with more than 20,000 students) in the composting category. In total, 221,986 pounds were recycled.

Janet Aubil, operations supervisor for Facilities Services, said Grand Valley is striving to increase the amount of compost and recyclable materials this year. 

"It's important that students, faculty and staff make recycling and composting a daily, normal routine," Aubil said. "Food service areas on campus now serve food in nearly all compostable or recyclable materials. Our compost is sent to a facility that turns it into dirt for gardens and farms." 

Facilities Services is leading the contest, with support from Campus Dining, Grand Valley's Green Team, Office of Housing and Residence Life, Sustainability Initiative, Student Environmental Coalition and Pew Campus Operations.

For more information about Recyclemania, visit For more information about Recyclemania at Grand Valley, visit


Cybersecurity expert says dark web is expanding

A former FBI special agent and leader on national security policy said the "dark web," a part of the internet only accessible with special software in which personal information can be bought or sold, is bigger and more aggressive than anyone can understand.

Mike Rogers, who also served as a Michigan congressman and former chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, was the keynote speaker for the Peter F. Secchia Breakfast Lecture. The February 13 event was held at the L. William Seidman Center and sponsored by the Seidman College of Business.

Rogers said the dark web is hard to police because it's difficult to access and information sold on the site changes quickly. He said he is not a fan of bitcoin (an anonymous peer-to-peer payment system) as a way of protecting information during transactions because it is primarily used for illicit activity.

Mike Rogers discusses cybersecurity

Photo by Amanda Pitts

Mike Rogers discusses cybersecurity during a Peter F. Secchia Breakfast Lecture on February 13.

Rogers said, for many years, world leaders have perceived the U.S. as pulling back on national security, which has caused them to become more aggressive. "That is why you see, despite warnings from the White House, North Korea has launched another missile," he said.

The cybersecurity expert gave examples of how hackers are manipulating devices globally and privately. He cited the 2014 computer attack on Sony by North Korea that wiped out more than half of the company's network and included stealing a movie. 

"Sony lost more than $80 million in that attack," said Rogers. "And, that information isn't coming back. It couldn't be recovered.

"In the private sector, hackers have been able to do things like stop a self-driving car that was going 70 mph and talk to a child through an interactive Barbie doll while that child was playing in a bedroom."

Rogers added that the thought of cybersecurity can be overwhelming; he advises that people take a deep breath. "I don't think anything is ever as bad as you see it in the news, and it's probably not as good as the other team is selling it in the news," he said.


Wayne State agreement gives students enhanced admission opportunities

Leaders from two public universities signed a partnership agreement February 10 that provides Grand Valley premedical students enhanced opportunities for admission to Wayne State University School of Medicine.

Provost Gayle R. Davis, center, andJean Nagelkerk, vice provost for Health, are pictured with Wayne State University President M. Roy Wilson following an early assurance agreement withWayne State'sSchool of Medicine.

Photo by Elizabeth Lienau

Provost Gayle R. Davis, center, and Jean Nagelkerk, vice provost for Health, are pictured with Wayne State University President M. Roy Wilson following an early assurance agreement with Wayne State's School of Medicine.

The Early Assurance Program was introduced by leaders from Grand Valley and Wayne State's School of Medicine at the GVSU Detroit Center during a Grand Valley Board of Trustees meeting.

Jean Nagelkerk, vice provost for Health, said the program reserves up to five medical school spots for qualified Grand Valley students who are interested in practicing medicine. Recruitment will begin this spring for students who would be admitted to medical school in 2018. 

Nagelkerk said the program will provide enhanced opportunities for students who are interested in practicing in underserved areas or who are dedicated to careers in medicine.

Jo Ann Litton serves as the advisor for pre-professional disciplines. She said students accepted into the early assurance program would benefit mentally and financially.

Most students apply to about nine medical schools, which could add up to $2,500 in fees, Litton said. "So this will lessen the financial burden, but also lessen anxiety levels," she said.

Litton will arrange an information session with Wayne State representatives later this semester.


Trustees approve audiology doctorate, housing rates

Grand Valley's Board of Trustees members approved a Doctor of Audiology degree during their February 10 meeting held at the GVSU Detroit Center.

The 84-credit program will include clinical/experiential learning and a 12-month internship. The clinical degree is designed to educate students to be expert practitioners.

The program, to begin in fall 2018, will be accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology. Students who successfully complete the program will be eligible for the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology awarded by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, and for Licensure in Audiology awarded by the State of Michigan.

In other board action:

• Students will see a modest increase in room and board rates beginning with the fall 2017 semester; the board voted to increase the rate by 2.4 percent. The average cost for living on campus per semester will increase by $26 (or 1.7 percent); the cost per semester in a traditional living center will be $2,750.

• The board approved funding for the Mackinac Ravine Restoration Project on the Allendale Campus. The project will restore a ravine that has been degraded by excessive storm water. The project includes raising the level of the ravine bottom, and installing appropriate vegetation for protection of trees and other wildlife that could be affected by the project. Sidewalk and utility improvements will also be made on the south side of the Padnos Hall of Science. The budget for the project is about $4 million.