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Startup Meeting 2019 (19 Photos)

Semester in Grand Rapids Showcase (9 Photos)

Students who spent a semester engaging with city leaders and working at internships with community organizations shared their experiences at a showcase August 6 at the L. William Seidman Center.

The Semester in Grand Rapids (SIGR) program completed its inaugural year. A cohort of seven students lived in the Grand Rapids area, studied the city's history, learned from city and business leaders and completed internships at organizations such as The Other Way Ministries, YMCA, Home Repair Services and the Cook Arts Center. 

The program is coordinated by the Office for Community Partnerships and Student Professional Development, housed in the Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies, and based on the Semester in Detroit model at the University of Michigan.

Kristin Moretto, director of the Office for Community Partnerships, said students actively applied classroom theories to their internships.

"SIGR allowed students to understand how community history is shaped and how it impacts the lives of residents," Moretto said. "They could see how classroom learning applies in the community and through their experiences at internship sites."

Anthony Hanline completed an internship at the Dwelling Place, an affordable housing and neighborhood revitalization organization. Through class readings and city tours, Hanline said he better understands why affordable housing is such a complex issue.

"I've never had to deal with a housing issue and didn't understand why they couldn't 'just pull themselves up by their bootstraps,'" he said. "I appreciated the opportunity to engage with neighbors and raise awareness of the city's west side and the issue of housing insecurity."

Bethany Joseph supervised a student intern at The Other Way Ministries and said the experience was very worthwhile.

"I'm passionate about college students engaging in the life of the community where they live and study," Joseph said. "I wanted The Other Way to be a part of a college student's life, to adopt them into our vision and show them the ropes of community development work. It is my hope that interns who spend time at The Other Way will be impacted the way I have been by working closely with neighbors."

More information about the program is online at

This story originally appeared in a GVNow Article by Michele Coffill.

Contemporary Stories of Saugatuck (23 Photos)

The Kutsche Office of Local History along with the Saugatuck Douglas History Center trained journalism students at Saugatuck High School in oral history methods, and those students interviewed their peers.

The outcome of this project is a series of portrait boards for each senior that showcases their photos throughout the year as well as a quote from their oral histories.

Learn more about the Kutsch Office at

Sabbatical Showcase & Book Launch Celebration (14 Photos)

Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies celebrated six recent book publications from the following faculty members:

  • Craig Benjamin, professor of history, honors college: his book, Empires of Ancient Eurasia: The First Silk Roads Era, 100 BCE–250 CE. Cambridge University Press, 2018.

  • Jeremiah Cataldo, associate professor of history, honors college. A Social-Political History of Monotheism: From Judah to the Byzantines. Routledge, 2018.

  • Roger Gilles, professor of writing and director of the Frederik Meijer Honors College: his book, Women on the Move: The Forgotten Era of Women’s Bicycle Racing. University of Nebraska Press, 2018.

  • Cáel Keegan, assistant professor of women, gender, and sexuality studies and liberal studies: his book, Lana and Lilly  Wachowski  : Sensing Transgender. The University of Illinois Press, 2018

  • Jack Mangala, professor of area and global studies, and political science: his book, Africa and its Global Diaspora: The Policy and Politics of Emigration. Palgrave Macmillan, 2017.

  • Kim McKee, assistant professor of liberal studies and director of the Kutsche Office of Local History: her book, Disrupting Kinship: Transnational Politics of Korean Adoption in the United States. The University of Illinois Press, 2019.

This event was hosted in Brooks College's new Interdisciplinary Salon, located in Lake Ontario Hall, Room 163. The Interdisciplinary Salon is a new space to promote interdisciplinary dialogue and inquiry within Brooks College and across Grand Valley State University on issues of academic and social importance. For more information on the Salon visit

Sustainability Showcase 2018 (9 Photos)

The Sustainability Showcase is an annual event to showcase student projects highlighting a variety of environmental and sustainability issues. Some classes presented while others displayed informative posters.

2018 Civil Discourse Symposium (23 Photos)

Over 200 Grand Valley faculty, staff, students, and community members participated in the 5th Annual Padnos/Sarosik Civil Discourse Symposium: Civil Conversations on Climate Change on October 25 at the L.V. Eberhard Center. Elizabeth Arnold, associate professor of anthropology and the current Padnos/Sarosik endowed professor of civil discourse, selected this year's topic of climate change and facilitated the event. Three panelists representing various views on climate change were Jordan Chrispell, West Michigan Clean Energy Organizer for the Sierra Club's Michigan Chapter, Steve Goreham, author and Executive Director of the Climate Science Coalition of America, and Kelly Parker, professor of philosophy and Director of the Environmental Studies program at GVSU. Attendees were then invited to practice civil discourse in roundtable discussions which were facilitated by hosts and focused on a unique climate change issue.

Housed within the Brook College of Interdisciplinary Studies, the Padnos/Sarosik Endowed Professorship of Civil Discourse was founded in 2013 through a generous gift from longtime university supporters, Shelley Padnos and Carol Sarosik with the mission to prepare GVSU students to be leaders in advancing respectful, informed dialogue around vital social issues in their communities.

Outstanding Alumni Panel 2018 (14 Photos)

On October 4, 2018 Brooks College hosted its second Outstanding Alumni Panel & Networking Event to bring alumni and current students together to discuss the value of interdisciplinary studies in the professional world. The six distinguished panelists represented a variety of educational backgrounds and career paths including ranging from Religious Studies, Liberal Studies, Honors, and African/African-American Studies.

Jen Jameslyn, Director of the Brooks College Office of Integrative Learning and Advising, facilitated an inspiring discussion with six distinguished alumni panelists that ranged from the benefits of study abroad opportunities, the honors college, internships, and guidance on navigating nonprofit, for-profit, and governmental sectors. As the panelists shared from their educational and professional experiences several themes emerged including the value of mentors and relationships and the importance of critical thinking skills. 85 students, faculty, and staff were engaged in the event which also included a resource fair and a time for networking.

A special thank you to six distinguished alumni panelists Brandy Arnold, Molly Barnard, Anne Marie Carson, Alicia Crawford, Alfredo Hernandez, and Megan Kiplinger.

Kick Off to a Great Year 2018 (13 Photos)

Our annual faculty and staff event to start the new academic year. This year's theme was "Celebrating Our Interdisciplinarity."

Winter 2017 Graduate Reception (11 Photos)

Winter 2016 Graduate Reception (9 Photos)

On Saturday, April 30th, the Brooks College Dean's Office hosted a reception for our graduates and their guests.