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Faculty and Staff Sketches

October 24, 2016


In the News

Peter Wampler, associate professor of geology, was interviewed by ClimateWire for a story about Hurricane Matthew and its damage in Haiti.

Leslie Muller, assistant professor of economics, was interviewed by WOOD-TV and WXMI-TV for stories about Affordable Care Act insurance rates rising in Michigan.

Kevin Callison, assistant professor of economics, was cited in The New York Times for his study that showed a reduction in Medicare spending. 


Walenta appointed to Holocaust education council

Michael T. Walenta, WGVU Public Media general manager, has been appointed to the Governor’s Council on Genocide and Holocaust Education.

Gov. Rick Snyder appointed 15 members to the council, which was created to enhance genocide education to students and train teachers in providing genocide education.

In 2010, WGVU produced two documentaries, Surviving Auschwitz: Children of the Shoah, and Defying Hitler. Both documentaries were distributed nationally through PBS, shown internationally and received a Michigan Emmy, along with several other national and international awards. 

Walenta, along with WGVU/PBS LearningMedia, has launched several educational assets being used as part of the Michigan Department of Education Genocide Holocaust Education curriculum.

Walenta will serve a two-year term that expires in 2018.


Michigan ACE begins senior shadow program

The Michigan ACE Women's Network has established a leadership shadow program for women who aspire to senior-level positions in higher education.

The first cohort of mentors and mentees met September 15 at Grand Valley for orientation. The program matches mentees with senior-level administrators from a different institution for an experience that will last about 100-150 hours.

The mentees are Michelle Allmendinger, Michigan State University; Christine Benson, Madonna University; Colleen Croxall, Eastern Michigan University; Anne Hitt, Oakland University; and Lisa Miller, Grand Valley.

Mentors are Christine Hammond, Mid Michigan Community College; Nick Piccolo, Alma College; Diane Anderson, Western Michigan University; Gayle R. Davis, Grand Valley State University; and Cameron Brunet-Koch, North Central Michigan College.

Applications and more information about the leadership shadow program are posted online at


KCON hosts visitor

The Kirkhof College of Nursing continued its partnership with the University Cape Coast in Ghana by hosting a faculty member last week. 

Tricia Thomas,Jerry Paul Ninnoni, Mike Burritt and Karen Burritt.

From left are Tricia Thomas, Jerry Paul Ninnoni, Mike Burritt and Karen Burritt.

During his visit, Jerry Paul Ninnoni, professor of nursing, discussed future collaborations for faculty, undergraduate and graduate students. He also toured the GVSU Family Health Center and Mercy Health Saint Mary's Hospital in Grand Rapids. 

KCON and UCC established a partnership five years ago. Ninnoni said the faculty exchange between the universities has been successful and he hopes to someday bring UCC graduate and undergraduate students to Grand Valley.

Karen Burritt, associate dean for graduate programs, traveled to Ghana in March with students to explore opportunities for graduate student learning. She said the first graduate nursing students will visit Ghana in March 2017.



Occupational therapy faculty members Jennifer Friesma and Jeanine Beasley participated in the American Occupational Therapy Association and American Society of Hand Therapists Capitol Hill Day in Washington, D.C., to meet with legislative staff on congressional bills related to provision of occupational therapy services.

Jeremiah Cataldo, associate professor, Honors College, wrote an article, "The Radical Nature of 'Return' in Zechariah," published in Journal of Hebrew Scriptures.

Robert Deaner, associate professor of psychology, and Aaron Lowen, professor and chair of economics, wrote an article, "Males and Females Pace Differently in High School Cross-Country Races," published in Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 

Elena Lioubimtseva, professor of geography and sustainable planning, was named an editor of  the Journal of Earth Science and Climate Change, OMICS International open access journal.

Beth Macauley, associate professor of communication sciences and disorders, was an invited speaker at the Riding for the Disabled Australia National Coaches Conference in Geelong, Australia. She gave two presentations, "Hippotherapy for Children with Communication Disorders" and "Synthesis of Hippotherapy Research 2016," and was part of a panel discussion.

Mary O'Kelly, associate librarian, gave a webinar presentation for the Carterette Series, "Getting Started with Assessing Student Retention," hosted by the Georgia Library Association.