A Message from Dean Anne L. Hiskes
In 2016-2017, Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies was adept and agile, timely, relevant, and effective. I trust that overarching message is conveyed by the 2016-2017 Brooks College Annual Report.
This year, Brooks College again lived up to its reputation as a center of interdisciplinary innovation by launching four new academic programs: the global studies and social impact major, human rights minor, Latino studies certificate, and a certificate in liberal education and professional skills (LEPS). Each program prepares students for living and working in a globally connected and diverse world. A
“pop-up” Black Lives Matter course provided students with the opportunity to discuss current events in historical perspective.
Here we see an adept and agile, timely, and relevant Brooks College.
Three of the college’s signature community engagement events — the Community Reading Project, the Padnos/Sarosik Civil Discourse Symposium, and the Kutsche Office of Local History’s “Local History Roundtable” — provided students, faculty, staff, and community members with opportunities for dialogue around issues of immigration, refugees, and belonging, all of which assumed great importance in context of the 2016 presidential election. Once again, Brooks College is obviously adept and agile, timely and relevant.
Addressing complex local and global problems requires a sustainability mindset that respects the interdependence and equal value of environmental, economic, social, and cultural considerations. Brooks College, through its Office of Sustainability Practices, promotes this mindset throughout Grand Valley and West Michigan. Grand Valley’s work with sustainability education and best practices earned the university a national gold star ranking and is calculated to have an economic impact of $250 million. I call this adept, timely, relevant, AND effective.
Ultimately, the measure of a college consists in its transformative effect on students and their success. Testimonials of the Brooks College alumni and the list of student successes included in this year’s annual report indicate that Brooks College has been effective in empowering students to be engaged global citizens and leaders in their communities. For this I am grateful to the college’s leadership team, faculty, and staff for their imagination, skill, dedication, and hard work.