Alumni Spotlights

Undergraduate Spotlights

Faculty Spotlights


Alumni Spotlights

Emily Sharland

Major: Liberal Studies


Class Year: 2007
Hometown: Williamston, MI; attended Dansville High School

Current Position and Employer: International Programs Advisor at the University of Michigan College of Engineering

What campus did you attend? What drew you to the liberal studies major there?  Allendale Campus.  When I first entered GVSU as a freshman I tried taking courses across several disciplines but nothing felt like it was a good fit for me.  When I heard about the Liberal Studies major, I knew right away that it was for me.  It would allow me the flexibility to take a range of courses that I was interested in and let me chart my own educational path. I always assumed I would have a career that would span a variety of interests and the Liberal Studies major helped me hone in on that.

What did you like most about the program?  It made education fun and I was constantly engaged.  I had the opportunity to take interesting classes that most people didn’t have the flexibility to pursue.  Because I had so much freedom in developing my academic plan, I felt like I really owned my educational experience.

What was your emphasis area and how did you choose the courses to complete it? My emphasis was “Public Relations regarding Social and Cultural Issues.”  At the time I declared my major, I was leaning towards non-profit or international work. I thought that an emphasis in Public Relations would allow me to develop some practical and business related skills. On the other hand, I had a strong interest in social justice issues and in particular the exploration of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and other markers of identity.  I also had a minor in Spanish.  As a student, I interned at the Women’s Resource in Grand Rapids where I contributed to the agency’s fundraising goals.  I received this position because of my background in public relations, but also my Spanish language abilities and my interests in women and gender issues.  As a student I studied abroad in Barcelona for a semester and when I returned, I worked as a peer advisor at the Padnos International Center.  This was really the turning point for me.  Until this time, I had no idea that there was an entire profession dedicated to international education.  I think it was the combination of my coursework and this experience of working in an international center that ultimately made me realize that higher education was the perfect way to pursue all of my interests simultaneously.  

How did your liberal studies degree and emphasis area prepare you for your current career?  I work as an International Programs Advisor for the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan. I’m the lead advisor for our international programs in Asia, Australia and the UK.  I also am working to develop an Alumni Network, an organization that will merge past student experiences with professional and personal development opportunities.  Sometimes I find it ironic that I ended up working with students in a STEM field.  However, after seeing the efforts at the University of Michigan to promote a culture of interdisciplinary education within the context of engineering, it’s made me realize how much I appreciate my own educational background.  The opportunities I had as a Liberal Studies major to take courses across disciplines helped me expand my own knowledge and worldview, both as someone who works with overseas partners on a daily basis and also as someone who strives to be an ally and advocate for students.

The breadth and depth of my courses also thoroughly prepared me for graduate school.  Three years after graduating from GVSU, I pursued a Master’s degree in Higher Education at the University of Michigan. The Liberal Studies major teaches students how to think, how to analyze data and how to practically apply knowledge from a variety of disciplines to a problem or subject area.

What post-graduation accomplishment are you especially proud of?
When I worked as a graduate assistant in my current office, I had the opportunity to coordinate a short-term program for students on exchange from one of our partner programs in Shanghai, China.  This was a great experience and I got to develop and teach a one-credit seminar called “American Culture.”  That summer I was able to develop my own research project in China.  I spent two months in Shanghai where I followed a group of UM students and studied the correlation between experiential learning and the development of intercultural competencies among engineers abroad.  When I got back from China, I landed a full-time position in the office.  Having the opportunity to once again create my own learning experiences was a reflection of skills I gained during the Liberal Studies major.  I knew that I wanted to travel abroad and there was no program or internship in place to do it so I was able to chart my own experience.

Would you recommend a liberal studies major to prospective GVSU students? Why?
I would absolutely recommend a Liberal Studies major to prospective GVSU students.  It’s so common for students to pursue majors that they perceive will lead to a concrete profession.  Yet the reality is that today’s graduates will change careers multiple times.  A Liberal Studies major teaches students how to adapt to a rapidly changing world and how to apply knowledge from a wealth of backgrounds to an issue or subject.   These are the skills that will allow someone to grow and advance within any field they chose.  It’s allowed me pursue a career path that I find incredibly fulfilling and stimulating.

 

Marcelo Betti

Major: Liberal Studies
Class Year: 2008
Hometown: Beulah, Michigan, United States

Current Position and Employer: Law Student, Vermont College of Law

What campus did you attend? What drew you to the liberal studies major there?
I attended the Traverse City Regional Center. What drew me to the liberal studies program was at that point in my academic career I knew I wanted to go to grad school eventually. I knew I needed a bachelor's degree so I looked for programs available in the Traverse City area. Liberal studies sounded interesting, so I looked further into it. I have always been geared toward humanities and it seemed like a broad enough program to keep my interest.

What did you like most about the program?
The amount of classes that were offered was quite unexpected. I was able to take a variety of classes and was exposed to a lot of ideas that I could delve further into. It was a very good program to figure out what type of things I was interested in. For example, I became more interested in environmental issues. Safe to say, I wouldn't be here in law school if I hadn't done that program. I'm happy to be here.

What was your emphasis area and how did you choose the courses to complete it?
Environmental thought and social change. I just went along with what sparked my interest. In my first semester, I took a class heavily focused on environmentalism and I found it really interesting so that brought one element. The social change element goes back to my humanities background.

How did your liberal studies degree and emphasis area prepare you for your current career?
I think that in some ways most bachelor programs that are not scientific struggle with imparting skills on students. With that said, there are skills that I got from the liberal studies program. The class in dialogue that I took has been very helpful in law school. I am always trying to figure out how to present my own position or anticipate what my opponent's position is. I started law school a year and a half ago and understanding where my opponents come from puts me at an advantage.

What post-graduation accomplishment are you especially proud of?
I worked for a few years before I went back to school. I have mixed feelings about the experience I had after graduating. It was both rewarding and frustrating. I did help establish a non-profit organization in Northern Michigan called Grow Benzie.

Would you recommend a liberal studies major to prospective GVSU students? Why?
I would recommend it if the student is planning on continuing their education. I feel like it works as a good stepping-stone because it keeps you interested during all of your undergrad education. You need to have a plan for what you want to do with your life because it's definitely the type of program where you get out of it what you put into it. You can learn what you are interested in.
 

Kristopher Bull

Major: Liberal Studies
Class Year: 2011
Hometown: Holland, Michigan, United States

Current Position and Employer: Service Representative, Armstrong World Industries

What campus did you attend? What drew you to the liberal studies major there?
I attended the Holland Campus. I was taking some courses in the Seidman College of Business that I didn't think were applicable with my long-term goals, such as corporate finance. So I looked for another path that allowed me to still keep the business aspect applicable. Liberal studies allowed me to design the program I needed to fit my skills.

What did you like most about the program?
The biggest thing I found to be of benefit in liberal studies is the people. The format and the structure of the classes really allow people to have open dialogue with one another. So much of what I do in Armstrong has to do with communication. It is critical in today's business.

What was your emphasis area and how did you choose the courses to complete it?
Business leadership. Essentially, I tied in all the business classes I had taken with courses focusing on liberal science aspects, like visionary thinking and thinking outside of the box to find solutions. Being able to tie in business with the philosophy of such thinking is why I have been successful.

How did your liberal studies degree and emphasis area prepare you for your current career?
A liberal studies degree really builds confidence in individuals. I feel as though the liberal studies program is really tailored to people who want to do different things, who don't want to just be a follower. I feel that it empowers students to go on their own path. This was the best solution for my skill set. In today's world, I feel that if you possess the right skills, the right communication skills, a bachelor's degree in liberal studies opens doors. This program can work for anyone. You can make it whatever you want to make it.

What post-graduation accomplishment are you especially proud of?
My success I've had here in West Michigan. Last year I worked a full year in the company and had 45% growth in sales in this economy. As of today, for this year I have a 37% growth. I lead the nation in sales growth. To highlight that, they have expanded my role to cover Chicago, Northern Indiana, and all over Michigan. I'm proud of the responsibility and the support of the company.

Would you recommend a liberal studies major to prospective GVSU students? Why?
Yes, 100%. I would recommend it to anybody who wants to have more of an input in their education, anybody who really wants to refine their skills. This program helps you develop the skills that you already possess. The faculty members in this program are really great at bringing it out of you. They helped me realize skills I already had, but didn't necessarily recognize. The students in the program really embrace this too. It wasn't always easy, but good things come. I started in 1998 and I finished in 2011. I worked full-time the whole time and supported myself solely. I earned it, now I own it - you can too.

Dale Dankert

Major: Liberal Studies
Class Year: 2004
Hometown: Kingsley, Michigan, United States

Current Position and Employer: Counselor, Women's Resource Center in Traverse City

What campus did you attend? What drew you to the liberal studies major there?
Traverse City. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do or be. It's a flexible degree so I wasn't locked in. I could create my own degree. I got to combine psychology and sociology, which no other degree offered.

What did you like most about the program?
The diversity of students. There were a lot of well-read, well-spoken, well-traveled people and a great amount of people from all walks of life. It was the first time I was ever exposed to such a great cross section of people.

What was your emphasis area and how did you choose the courses to complete it?
I called it social conflicts and created it by combining sociology and psychology. I took all the required courses and then searched for any social psychology courses I could find.

How did your liberal studies degree and emphasis area prepare you for your current career?
The two things I took most from it is first, a better knowledge of myself and second, a much better ability to think. Critical thinking is critical knowledge. You can use it everywhere and liberal studies is where I was able to take that ability to the next step.

What post-graduation accomplishment are you especially proud of?
I suppose going on to the master's degree in counseling. I was very well-prepared for that. I love the job that I have now and liberal studies opened the door for that.

Would you recommend a liberal studies major to prospective GVSU students? Why?
I always say that lib studies students are wonderful misfits because we are not easily defined. It attracts very intelligent, creative people who simply are not easily defined. That is what brought such impressive diversity to the classroom.

Jessica Doerr

Major: Liberal Studies
Class Year: 2010
Hometown: Grosse Point Woods, Michigan, United States

Current Position and Employer: Graduate Research Assistant, GVSU Master of Social Work; Staff Writing and Reading Center Consultant, Northwestern Michigan College

What campus did you attend? What drew you to the liberal studies major there?
Traverse City. I started out at another university on a local performance scholarship. I ended up having to move home due to a health condition. So when my health improved I wanted to get my undergrad degree, but I wanted to stay close to home. Also, I really liked the small class sizes and the academic program being individualized.

What did you like most about the program?
Again, I really loved the small class sizes. I loved the fact that my instructors really got to know who I was and that they took the time to know what my goals were. They helped me develop a program to meet my needs.

What was your emphasis area and how did you choose the courses to complete it?
Human development and communications. I was able to blend the coursework that I took at another university with the classes that I was interested in through the liberal studies program. I could really tailor my major to reflect the interests that I had, in things like psychology, sociology, and communications.

How did your liberal studies degree and emphasis area prepare you for your current career?
It really prepared me for graduate-level research. For my practicum I worked one-on-one with one of my instructors. That was one of the highlights of my experience. My goal is to work in higher education and through the practicum I was able to work as a teaching apprentice. I was able to use that experience as a springboard for the work I do as a graduate assistant.

What post-graduation accomplishment are you especially proud of?
Definitely receiving the position as the graduate assistant. I am incredibly proud of that. Also, I'm proud of my position at the local community college as a staff member. I am able to help students achieve their goals. It allows me to take my experiences and pass them on.

Would you recommend a liberal studies major to prospective GVSU students? Why?
I would definitely recommend the liberal studies major because I think it provides you with an opportunity to look at any issue from a bunch of different perspectives. And that skill is really important for whatever field you end up in. And I really loved the fact that instructors got to know who I was. During the program you come up with your own plan for your major and you work so much with your instructors that they become your advocates in and out of the classroom. Even now I stay in touch with them. They are still very interested and excited in what I am doing.

Daniel Kuipers

Major: Liberal Studies
Class Year: 2011
Hometown: Holland, Michigan, United States

Current Position and Employer: Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Sustainable Energy Financing, LLC

What campus did you attend? What drew you to the liberal studies major there?
Holland and Allendale, but I finished most of my classes in Holland. I switched over from natural resource management. When I was working with natural resource management as my major, I took an internship that dealt with renewable energy. The more I got involved with that, the more I found a parallel to the liberal studies program. Energy was just one part of the sustainability pyramid. I had to draw things form the social pillar and the economic pillar. Liberal studies helped me draw from a breadth of different programs allowing me to really further my studies and education.

What did you like most about the program?
The professors were all fantastic. They thought very similar in that they all recognized that it's important to have knowledge on many different subjects to be able to communicate many different ideas, to be able to be part of an informed discussion. For example, working with engineers I have to be able to talk a lot in numbers and be able to share ideas. Also, the flexibility of the liberal studies program was important. Being able to take classes online or at night was a huge draw for me.

What was your emphasis area and how did you choose the courses to complete it?
My emphasis area was sustainability, economics, and environment in society. I combined the courses I took in natural resource management with my full-time job. When I was a natural resource management major I took a job helping to write grants around energy projects. I found that there were a lot of things that I was learning in real-time that there wasn't a curriculum for. So I was able to have most of my higher-level classes be practicum-based because of this experience.

How did your liberal studies degree and emphasis area prepare you for your current career?
Probably the single most valuable tool that I learned was the ability to listen to other parties. Because I don't view myself as an expert in many fields, I am now able to take their viewpoint, their insight, and digest it from a liberal studies perspective. I can ask myself how would I view it from many perspectives - as a grant writer, as an economist, or from a political perspective. I'm able to approach an issue from many different ways and deal with the problem at hand.

What post-graduation accomplishment are you especially proud of?
As a student, my business partner Kyle Denning, another GVSU alumnus, and I were able to start and formulate a business operating on three different continents. One of the continents being Africa, I am especially proud of that. Since graduation, I have become certified to conduct dairy farm energy audits, which allows me to have the same weight as an engineer when dealing with energy projects on dairy farms.

Would you recommend a liberal studies major to prospective GVSU students? Why?
Yes, I would. I think the reason why is because I believe very heavily in the concept of sustainability. And sustainability encompasses such a wide variety of fields. We need to be environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable. And there is such a tendency to approach things laser-focused in what you learn in other disciplines. They don't allow enough time to let you learn and go through the thought processes that will actually bring about change.

Jana Lanning

Major: Liberal Studies
Class Year: 2008
Hometown: Kalkaska, Michigan, United States

Current Position and Employer: Kalkaska County Outreach Coordinator, SEEDS

What campus did you attend? What drew you to the liberal studies major there?
Traverse City Regional Center. I started out as an elementary education student. When I took my first liberal studies class, I was hooked. So I switched my major over to liberal studies. I am a returning student. One of the things I really wanted to do was return to college. At the time, I thought I wanted to teach, but that liberal studies class totally fit why I wanted to return - to expand my mind.

What did you like most about the program?
Each class was unique in its own way, but what I really liked most was that I could design my program around my interests, strengths, and where I really wanted to go as an individual. The other thing that I really appreciated is the sense of empowerment the program gave me. I appreciated really feeling like I could go out into the community and use the skills I learned in the classroom to actually make an impact in the community that I care about.

What was your emphasis area and how did you choose the courses to complete it?
My emphasis was on children and the natural world. I took courses at the community college and at the university center that had an environmental theme, but also some education courses to try to focus on place-based education. For my final thesis I developed a program in Kalkaska for families with preschool children. We took them out to natural settings and read to their children. The books were about nature as well. I live in a community that is struggling in many ways with the economics of our times and we would have up to 100 people coming to the programs. It was incredible.

How did your liberal studies degree and emphasis area prepare you for your current career?
I work with a pretty diverse population. I work with families that are very diverse, with business owners, and with public school staff. Also, I work with other organizations that offer assistance to families. There are a lot of different opinions and mindsets out there. One of the things my liberal studies degree developed, and one of the things I am most proud of with my work, is the ability to build, strengthen, and deepen relationships within my own community. It is vital to my success as an outreach coordinator with SEEDS.

What post-graduation accomplishment are you especially proud of?
I was able to travel across the U.S. presenting at several different conferences; such as, Dallas, New Orleans, Washington D.C., and Orlando. And I am very proud of what I am doing right now in SEEDS. We have several different after-school programs across Northern Michigan. The work that I do with families is just incredible. For example, yesterday we had a harvest celebration where the middle schoolers made homemade chili with local ingredients and cider with local apples. Then they served their families.

Would you recommend a liberal studies major to prospective GVSU students? Why?
Most definitely. This has totally changed my life; it really has. It has totally changed the way I approach my work and the way I interact and work with my co-workers and my community. It has been dramatic for me. I wish they would offer a liberal studies masters because I would definitely pursue it. The program was more than I dreamed of. I never would have dreamed that my college experience would have taken me this far.

Carrie Uthe

Major: Liberal Studies
Class Year: 2010
Hometown: Spring Lake, Michigan, United States

Current Position and Employer: MSO/Provider Relations Specialist, Lakeshore Health Network Affiliated with Mercy Health Partners

What campus did you attend? What drew you to the liberal studies major there?
Holland. I was looking for an opportunity to go back to school. I have 4 children, am married, and was working so it could be complicated. I got a letter from Grand Valley that was looking for new, nontraditional students and the letter really hit home. They worked with me and we were able to develop a curriculum around my passions and interests, so that really sold me on the program. I had already started a second degree in business and marketing years before and had stopped to have a family. This provided me the opportunity to go back.

What did you like most about the program?
The collaboration that brings the different entities together. In liberal studies you take in everyone's perspective in order to take in a new idea. For me, in my personal life, I do that everyday. It is about considering different ideas, cultures, forms of education, and perceptions. No longer is there just one way to look at something.

What was your emphasis area and how did you choose the courses to complete it?
I took the courses that I already had with business and marketing and integrated them with my health care experience. So I have it in business and health care administration.

How did your liberal studies degree and emphasis area prepare you for your current career?
My education really was more of an enhancement for me. It took a skill set I had, bringing groups together for collaboration and integration, and reinforced that. I already had a job when I went back to school, but it reinforced what I knew and helped me build upon it to be more successful.

What post-graduation accomplishment are you especially proud of?
I would say the Muskegon Area Medication Disposal Program. During my last semester at school we had to put together a program, I took the idea and brought it to fruition. At that time there was nowhere in the area for people to return their medication safely. This program incinerates the drugs so they don't simply get flushed down the toilet or left in the trash. This process creates steam and produces electricity so it is very environmentally sustainable as well. The program is very rewarding and successful. Initially, after the first collection event, we came up with idea to do five events in 2010. But, the response was so great we realized there needed to be daily programming. Seven retail pharmacies in Muskegon counties take back meds now through our organization.

Would you recommend a liberal studies major to prospective GVSU students? Why?
Most certainly. It is a study that encompasses many different areas. I think that other curriculums could look at liberal studies and learn from it. For example, doctors or engineers never take a business class or a marketing class, but these areas will impact their daily lives after school. With liberal studies you get the bigger picture about what to expect when you are done with school. It broadens your vision and lessons the shock value when out of school. I've been very pleased with my education, especially coming back at this time in my life. I would encourage anyone to go to school. It is doable. I did it.

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Undergraduate Spotlights

Ed Fable

Class Year: 2012
Hometown: Muskegon, Michigan, United States
Major: Liberal Studies

What campus do you attend? What drew you to the liberal studies major there?
Muskegon. I've always been in sales and business has always intrigued me. I saw the ads you ran in the paper and online for business leadership. I had always intended to return and get my degree as now a days it is very important to have a bachelor's degree. The nightly classes allow me to still work full time and through the day. And the location is convenient for me to work and attend class.

What do you like most about the program?
I am able to guide the program for what I think fits my career goals and objectives. Everybody at Grand Valley has been really great - from the counseling staff to the professors. Most of our professors have also owned businesses or been in the business field. They bring real-world experience to class. And we have great chances to meet local business owners. What I am learning in class, I can bring into my work life.

What is your emphasis area and how are you choosing the courses to complete it?
Business leadership. You always have your core classes obviously. Then I've tailored the program to what will be helpful to my career with courses like business leadership or business ethics. I do a lot of work with spreadsheets, so next semester I am going to take a course that works with Microsoft Excel.

How will your liberal studies degree and emphasis area prepare you for your future career?
Learning communication skills is a big one. There are about 15 to 20 people that have been in a cohort for the past couple years and there is a huge amount of diversity in the group. Also, a lot of the projects we do have to do with being a leader, taking on projects and making them happen.

Would you recommend a liberal studies major to prospective GVSU students? Why?
Absolutely. I would recommend it. I think some of the valuable skills we mentioned in previous questions have helped me face challenges in my career. This helps me provide better for me and better for my family.

Sherri Slater

Class Year: 2013
Hometown: Muskegon, Michigan, United States
Major: Liberal Studies

What campus do you attend? What drew you to the liberal studies major there?
Muskegon. It has always been in the back of my mind to go back to school. They did quite an aggressive campaign for nontraditional students for the new leadership program. It was because of the advertising that led me to believe that this could be accessible to me. Also, it helps that it is here in Muskegon and they made it very user friendly and accessible to nontraditional students.

What do you like most about the program?
Well, first of all I love my cohort. We have a wonderful group of students. We are all adults, but at different stages. It is a really interesting group that brings a lot of experience and informed opinions. Everybody is dedicated, so it's really fun. Everybody really wants to be there. We really encourage each other because everybody has a lot on their plate.

What is your emphasis area and how are you choosing the courses to complete it?
I'm considered a junior right now. I'm only taking 9 credits per semester because I'm working too. I haven't declared my focus yet because it keeps evolving. I'm taking a public administration class right now that I find very interesting. I take a lot of general leadership classes. Also, I do like to write and have written a play and a lecture. It is great to go back to school and focus on both classic and current events.

How will your liberal studies degree and emphasis area prepare you for your future career?
There is such a broad base of fundamentals in liberal studies that all that I'm learning is going to be incredibly useful whether or not I apply it to my own business one day, for nonprofit, or even in the public sector. Also, you are writing all the time so it definitely improves your critical analytical skills and your ability to express yourself. My presentation skills are strengthening and I hope to strengthen them more. I have become much more succinct in my writing.

Would you recommend a liberal studies major to prospective GVSU students? Why?
Absolutely. I think anyone in my cohort would say the same thing. It's incredible for getting an education on the political, social, and humanist spectrum of things. It broadens your horizons. Now a days everyone talks about how a bachelor's degree is like a high school degree. If you have a liberal studies degree you know that you will have a much broader base for where you want to take it to specialize for your masters. Also, the whole idea of how you get your college going and on track as an adult returning to school can be very confusing. They eliminated all of that for me and helped me with my FAFSA and with my classes. It is great to know that you have the help to make it possible. They made it so simple to start again.

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Faculty Spotlights

Lisa Miller

Department: Liberal Studies

Educational Background: B.A. in English, Alma College; M.A. in English, Grand Valley State University; M.Ed.in Higher Education with an Emphasis in College Student Affairs Leadership, Grand Valley State University

What do you like most about teaching at Grand Valley?
I enjoy the variety of experiences that the students bring to the classroom. Teaching at the Meijer Campus in Holland has provided me with the opportunity to work with traditional aged freshman and returning adult students. This variety leads to fruitful dialog.

What is your favorite class to teach?
I love teaching LIB 100 Introduction to Liberal Education. As a philosophy and literature class it provides students the opportunity to really explore the concept of learning and the role that education plays in our lives.

What do students like best about your class?
I'd have to say that the comment I get most often from my students is that they appreciate my enthusiasm and passion for the subject matter. I love what I teach and I love working with students to create new ways of understanding the world around us. I think that positive energy is contagious and that really comes in handy in a three-hour night class.

How do you contribute to the success of your students?
I try to create a safe environment where students can take risks. Where they know it is okay to try something new and recognize that we don't always get it right on the first try. When we make mistakes, we learn. We reevaluate our process and try something new. If the environment isn't safe enough for students to feel like they can take a try and make a mistake, then they aren't necessarily learning.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
First, get to know your faculty and the staff members on campus. People work at GVSU because they love teaching and learning and want to provide students with opportunities to explore the curriculum, campus, country, and globe. Second, try something new. Don't just go to college and do all the things you already know you're good at.

What is the most rewarding aspect about teaching at Grand Valley?
For me, it is all about connections. The connections between the students, faculty, and staff at Grand Valley are tremendous. GVSU is a place where people genuinely care. This is a place where we want everyone to be successful and we help each other toward that goal.

Judy Whipps

Department: Liberal Studies

Educational Background: B.A. in Liberal Studies, Grand Valley State University; M.A. in Divinity Studies, University of Chicago Divinity School; Ph.D. in Philosophy, Union Institute

What do you like most about teaching at Grand Valley?
The emphasis on undergraduate liberal education. For me, it's important to put my energy into work that is ethical at all levels and it's important that the organization I work for is doing good in the world, making our community a better place to live.

What is your favorite class to teach?
Liberal Studies 100: Introduction to Liberal Education because of the change I see in my students' attitudes toward their own education.

What do students like best about your class?
I hope they say that I encounter them as individuals, respect their learning styles, and really hear them. I challenge them to develop their own thinking.

How do you contribute to the success of your students?
I'm most active in advising, but I also present with students at conferences, nominate students for awards, and set up internships, which is really important to the Liberal Studies Program.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Explore, take courses you don't know a lot about. It's your education. You want skills that take you beyond that entry level job to what will make you a good parent and community member.

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Page last modified March 25, 2014