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2014-2015 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog

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Community Resources

Robert B. Annis Water Resources Institute

The Robert B. Annis Water Resources Institute (AWRI) is a multidisciplinary research organization committed to the study of freshwater resources. The mission of the institute is to integrate research, education, and outreach to enhance and preserve freshwater resources.

AWRI seeks to accomplish this mission through:

  • Research into major questions about our water resources, including ecosystem structure and function; contaminants and toxicology; hydrology; land use; watershed, stream, and wetland ecology; water quality; and basic and applied limnology
  • Public education for a variety of groups ranging from school children to adults
  • Outreach to ensure that decision makers are equipped with the best available knowledge on environmental and water resource-related issues, to reduce the uncertainty associated with their resource management decisions

The institute occupies the Lake Michigan Center and Annex on Muskegon Lake in Muskegon, MI. Facilities include classrooms, conference areas, analytical labs, research labs, mesocosms, dockage, and ship support and storage. AWRI also promotes collaborative research and educational programming and offers research space and equipment, as well as ship support facilities to advance such collaborative efforts. AWRI operates its own research vessels, the D. J. Angus and the W. G. Jackson, and offers the Water Resources Outreach Education Program for K-12 schools and community groups.

The institute consists of three main programmatic areas:

(1) The Ecological Research Program, which consists of environmental biology and environmental chemistry groups, addresses questions about water resources, hydrology, watershed ecology and management, environmental chemistry and toxicology, aquatic ecosystem structure and function, aquatic conservation, land use change, pollution prevention, and aquatic food webs;

(2) The Information Services Center, which uses state-of-the-art geospatial technology to collect and analyze data, and condense it into useful information for those who make critical decisions about natural resource management; and

(3) The Education and Outreach Program, which includes the use of AWRI's two research vessels, and provides scientific information to K-12 students, policymakers, educators, college students, and community groups.

Grand Valley students and faculty members have the opportunity to participate in AWRI activities as volunteers, paid assistants, interns, research associates, or graduate students. The AWRI office is located at the Lake Michigan Center, 740 West Shoreline Drive, Muskegon, Michigan 49441. Telephone (231) 728-3601. More information can be obtained from the website:

Autism Education Center

The focus of the Autism Education Center (AEC) is helping individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) to become fully integrated members of their communities. The center is committed to developing and supporting the use of evidence-based practices in partnership with individuals on the autism spectrum and their families, educational providers, health care professionals, and community stakeholders to ensure that individuals on the autism spectrum receive effective supports and services that will assist them throughout their lives.

The primary work of the AEC is conducted through the Statewide Autism Resources and Training Project (START), a state-funded grant project designed to provide training and technical assistance to educators in Michigan who serve students with ASD. The START Project has been in place since 2001 through the support of the Michigan Department of Education, Office of Special Education. The START Project serves as a coordinating and supporting entity for schools across the State of Michigan to better service students with ASD. The major emphasis of the START Project is to develop a statewide collaborative that includes all counties with district teams that work together to provide a structure and philosophy based on effective practices that leads to more effective educational programming for students with ASD. The START Project addresses both the individual and system-wide needs of students with ASD including the classroom, building, district, and regional levels. All students with ASD have the right to a high-quality education and services that enhance their potential to become fully participating citizens. School professionals working with students with ASD need to understand evidence-based concepts and practices such as early intervention, educational supports and strategies, positive behavioral interventions and supports, teaming and collaboration, and peer supports. Educators also need to provide programming that prepares students with ASD for paid work and community integration in adulthood through early job experiences in the community. Throughout the educational process, parents must be included as active, contributing members of any team supporting a student with ASD.

The AEC is involved in other projects to support individuals with ASD in the community, including facilitation of summer camp integration, the GVSU Campus Links program for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders, implementation of the Michigan ASD State Plan, the development of the Autism Resources and Information Center website, program development with state autism organizations, and applied research projects. Presentations are provided to the community on various topics related to ASD.

The Autism Education Center's website is

Center for Scholarly and Creative Excellence (CSCE)

Vice Provost for Research Administration and Executive Director: Robert P. Smart, Ph.D.

The Center for Scholarly and Creative Excellence (CSCE) promotes a culture of active scholarship, encourages innovation and enterprise, facilitates collaborations, and serves as an advocate for university scholarship and creative practice. The CSCE sponsors workshops, colloquia, lectures, and discussions. It provides help with developing a scholarly agenda, mentoring by senior faculty members, assistance in finding collaborations, and publishing as a scholar.

The center coordinates the efforts of the following units within the university:

  • The Office of Sponsored Programs serves as the university's central office that supports faculty and staff members in the identification, development, submission, and administration of externally sponsored agreements for scholarly research and creative activity.
  • Research Protections oversees compliance awareness and accountability within the research culture of the university through assistance, education, and communication. The office is responsible for activities involving human subjects, animal welfare, biohazards, and chemical safety.
  • The Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship offers a variety of opportunities for undergraduates to pursue research and scholarship in various disciplines under the direction of a faculty mentor.
  • The Technology Commercialization Office is a resource and partner for university faculty members, staff members, and students developing technologies with commercial potential. The office acts as a bridge to coordinate efforts between industry and the GVSU community advancing ideas through partnerships.

Center for Adult and Continuing Studies

Through an ever-changing, ever-evolving array of programs, the Center for Adult and Continuing Studies helps the university expand beyond the classroom to build communities of lifelong learners who are more informed, better prepared, and uniquely engaged in their work, leisure, and the world in which they live.

Grand Forum

Grand Forum is an educational outreach program for adults 55 and older and is a division of the Center for Adult and Continuing Studies at Grand Valley. Grand Forum provides the opportunity for individuals of diverse backgrounds to meet in an academic setting for the purpose of intellectual stimulation and social engagement.

Led by university faculty members and administrators, community leaders, Grand Forum members, independent scholars, and local professionals, topics are offered in such fields as the arts, business, current events, history, and science.

Through presentations and discussions, held both on and off campus, Grand Forum provides a broad spectrum of stimulating programs in a setting that encourages lively discussion. An interest in learning is an essential part of membership.

Another feature of Grand Forum membership includes the monthly Grand Forum Book Discussion Group, which meets the first Wednesday of the month. Information on Grand Forum is available by calling (616) 331-6615 or visiting

Workforce Development

The Center for Adult and Continuing Studies sponsors select training and professional development activities to serve business and professional communities in West Michigan. Contract and custom training opportunities are available and can be offered on the site of the organization. Seminars and workshops are also available online. These programs are not for academic credit and are offered to meet professional and personal development needs of individuals, corporations, and organizations. For more information, please call (616) 331-7180 or visit

Professional Development Partnership Program (PDP)

Coordinated through the Center for Adult and Continuing Studies, the PDP creates and maintains partnerships with schools, agencies, and businesses throughout the state of Michigan. PDP offers the opportunity to receive graduate academic credit and State Board CEUs for educators and is a provider of continuing education for social workers through the Michigan Social Work Continuing Education Collaborative. For more information, please contact (616) 331-6522 or visit

Design, Optimization, Evaluation, and Redesign (DOER) Center

The Design, Optimization, Evaluation, and Redesign (DOER) Center was founded in 2006. The DOER Center serves as a community resource to facilitate the industrial application of technical expertise in the School of Engineering at Grand Valley. The DOER Center matches potential clients with faculty members and students capable of completing applied projects. Past clients of the DOER Center include Roman Manufacturing, Lorin Lighting, and Emerald Spa. Students involved in the DOER Center gain experience in applied research and product development. Faculty members are able to apply their knowledge to solve advanced industrial problems. More information is available via email to [email protected].

Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy

Established in 1992 with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and named for Dorothy A. Johnson in honor of her distinguished career, the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy is a university-based center serving nonprofits, grantmaking institutions, and others seeking to transform their communities for the public good. The Johnson Center helps grantmaking institutions, nonprofits and professionals across the country and internationally navigate the field. Through original research, tools, trainings, and more, the center provides trusted guidance for doing good. You can find out more about the center at

The Johnson Center is a department in the College of Community and Public Service. As part of the College of Community and Public Service, the center supports university efforts to promote the study of philanthropy and nonprofit leaders in the School of Public, Nonprofit, and Health Administration. As a public service and as a resource for classroom studies, the center provides resources for improving nonprofit leadership and management and assisting with acquisition of new community and regional information and technical skills.

Johnson Center for Philanthropy Programs:

  • Capacity Building for Nonprofits: Grants are just one part of strong philanthropy. Organizations with healthy teams and good tools are also key. Our Nonprofit Services team works directly with nonprofit organizations and also helps grantmakers plan and manage grantee capacity building on strategic planning, governance, collaboration, and more.
  • Education for Grantmaking Organizations: As a staff member of a grantmaking institution, research becomes more meaningful when you can use it in your daily work. The Grantmaking School helps professionals bridge research and good practice with customized curricula and courses available nationwide.
  • Research Design and Analysis: The Community Research Institute partners with nonprofit and neighborhood groups to gather, interpret, and share national and local data. This original research assists local and regional leaders with decision-making, grant writing, program evaluation, and more.
  • Information and Insight for the Field:
    • The Foundation Review is the first peer-reviewed journal of philanthropy. It is written by and for foundation staff and board members, and those who work with them.
    • is an online marketplace of knowledge, tools, and connections to help philanthropic professionals learn about the field and improve their work.
    • We house the Frey Chair for Family Philanthropy, the nation's first endowed chair on family philanthropy. We are also establishing the W.K. Kellogg Community Philanthropy Chair, also the first of its kind. Both support original research in the field, with a focus on how new data and ideas can be put to work at grantmaking organizations across the country.

Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies

Ralph W. Hauenstein's life of leadership and service inspires the mission of the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies: we are dedicated to raising a community of ethical, effective leaders for the twenty-first century.

World-Class Resources
Cook Leadership Academy: A premier leader development program at Grand Valley State University that inspires, informs, and integrates a new generation of leaders. Each year, 40 competitively selected Cook Leadership Fellows take part in the academy's Wheelhouse Talks, Leader Lens seminars, and a variety of high-profile university and community gatherings. Working closely with peers, staff, and a network of mentors, Cook Leadership Fellows enhance their professional skillsets; expand their networks; and strengthen their understanding of self, community, and leadership dynamics.

Hauenstein Speaker Series: A renowned series of talks, debates, and conferences that increase civic engagement at Grand Valley and in West Michigan. Politicians, statesmen, scholars, and commentators from across the country and world gather to address issues of importance to our nation's past, present, and future. The Hauenstein Speaker Series has gained national exposure on C-SPAN and has brought Cook Leadership Fellows face-to-face with U.S. presidents, secretaries of state, governors, and other world leaders. A content-rich, social media integrated platform that brings the Cook Leadership Academy, Hauenstein Speaker Series, original scholarship, and Col. Ralph Hauenstein's legacy to the world.

Bergers-Hauenstein-Markle Collection: A "uniquely valuable resource," according to the Library of Congress, that features one of the world's largest espionage book collections and rare, first-edition books written by U.S. presidents.

Kutsche Office of Local History

The Kutsche Office of Local History is a humanities-based learning initiative that blends academics with service. Through this office, students studying in all disciplines are offered opportunities to blend classroom knowledge with hands-on experience in the field of public, local history. Our mission is to use history to foster an earnest appreciation of our common challenges, common destiny, and common humanity.

Our strategy for achieving our mission is three-dimensional. First, the office will assist groups that have been understudied and underrecognized to document, preserve, and disseminate their knowledge of history. Second, the office will reinforce Grand Valley students' understanding of public, local history by engaging students in hands-on, history-driven community service projects and internships.

Finally, the office will support the work of local history institutions and organizations in West Michigan by providing faculty and student research assistance, opportunities for networking and collaboration, and providing information to help local history organizations improve their delivery of public history to the citizens in West Michigan and beyond. For more information, call (616) 331-3692.

Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center (MAREC)

The Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center (MAREC) is a LEED Gold energy demonstration facility that principally serves as an economic development initiative and as a technology and business start-up incubator with emphasis on renewable and alternative energy related technology. Technologies demonstrated include a 30 kW photovoltaic thin-film integrated solar array on the unique barrel roof, and a 1.8 kW Skystream wind generator. In addition, solar energy credits are sold on the green energy commodity market.

In partnership with the City of Muskegon and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, MAREC promotes the development of business ventures in the Muskegon lakeshore and West Michigan region. MAREC offers 6,000-square-feet of space devoted to businesses incubation and technology development. Incubator tenants are chosen based on their capacity to develop new business activity and be a catalyst for economic development and job growth in the area. Five privately funded start-up companies presently operate at MAREC.

MAREC is involved in large-scale technology development projects. In 2010, MAREC received a combined $3.3 million in federal, state, and private grant funds to support a three-year offshore wind measurement research project in Lake Michigan that utilizes a unique state-of-the-art research buoy. Working in partnership with the University of Michigan; Michigan Technological University; the MSU Natural Features Inventory program; and We Energies of Wisconsin, a public utility; MAREC and the GVSU Seymour and Esther Padnos College of Engineering and Computing are leading the effort to develop a greater understanding of offshore wind resources on the Great Lakes.

MAREC actively participates in energy-related public policy discussions and supports initiatives designed to introduce Michigan citizens to Smart Grid and other sustainable energy practices. MAREC contributes to Grand Valley's overall efforts to introduce principles of sustainability and interdisciplinary alternative energy education within its own campus and in collaboration with surrounding two-year and four-year educational partner institutions.

Regional Math and Science Center

The Regional Math and Science Center serves the science and mathematics education needs of elementary and secondary schools in West Michigan. The center focuses on providing professional development opportunities for practicing teachers and enrichment activities for precollege students. Preservice teachers are also encouraged to participate in center activities. The Regional Math and Science Center supports the Michigan K-12 curriculum and standards in science and mathematics. The center's staff is available for consultation, professional development resources, and collaboration on grants and science and mathematics programs.

The center administers such popular programs as Science Olympiad, Discovering STEM kits, and STEM summer camps for students as well as the Fall Science Update and professional development opportunities for teachers. These offerings are content-rich and utilize best practice in science and mathematics teaching and learning.

SCI 580 Special Topics in Science and Mathematics. Lecture and/or laboratory courses or workshops in interdisciplinary studies relating to more than one science and/or mathematics discipline. One to three credits.

Robert and Mary Pew Faculty Teaching and Learning Center

Guided by the ideals of liberal education and the principles of inclusive excellence, the Robert and Mary Pew Faculty Teaching and Learning Center supports the university in carrying out its primary mission of teaching and learning. The center presents programs for faculty throughout the calendar year, including workshops, mentoring programs, conferences, and consultations. Its staff offers leadership on teaching and learning issues across the university, promotes scholarly and reflective approaches to teaching, and provides support to full-time and part-time faculty. The Pew Faculty Teaching and Learning Center also provides tangible support and recognition of teaching excellence through a grants program and campus-wide teaching awards. The Pew Faculty Teaching and Learning Center is located in Zumberge Hall. For more information, call (616) 331-3498.

Seidman Business Services

The Richard M. and Helen DeVos Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

The Richard M. and Helen DeVos Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI) in the Seidman College of Business serves to champion and catalyze the vocation of entrepreneurship through development of talent and support for commercialization of new ideas. CEI concentrates on the development of talent by providing grounding in the fundamentals of entrepreneurial practice focused on the application of 21st century work skills: creativity, communication, collaboration, and critical thinking, which are crucial for new venture success.

CEI focuses on support for commercialization by providing an essential hub where new ideas can connect to regional and university resources to maximize conversion to value for the benefit of businesses and the community as a whole. Full descriptions of CEI activities can be found at

Center for Business Ethics

The center provides a forum for members of the local business community and Grand Valley faculty members to exchange ideas on ethical questions for the benefit of the university, business community, and the West Michigan community in general. Entrepreneurs, corporate managers, and faculty members interested in participating in the dialog groups should contact Robert Frey.

Family-owned Business Institute

The mission of Grand Valley's Family-owned Business Institute is to promote, preserve, influence, and impact family businesses through quality academic research, curriculum development, and the delivery of information services. The creation of the institute was born out of the collective belief that family businesses are the cornerstone of a community's prosperity and a vital ingredient in its quality of life. Our national and regional history has demonstrated that it is in the best interest of communities to foster the creation, growth, and continuation of family owned businesses because they are the leaders in job creation, innovation, and in providing stable employment opportunities with superior wages and benefits for their employees.

Despite their tremendous contributions, family businesses face a unique set of challenges that can limit their impact and threaten their very survival. By providing support through research, curriculum, and knowledge management, the Family-owned Business Institute serves to develop, retain, and expand the influence of family businesses within our communities. The institute fosters research through its research scholars programs, its professional relationships and data sources, and its affiliation with local organizations such as the Grand Rapids Family Business Alliance, as well as national and international organizations.

MI-Small Business Development Center - West Michigan

The Michigan Small Business Development Center (MI-SBDC) West Michigan Region provides no-cost counseling, training, market research, and advocacy for small businesses in Kent, Ottawa, Muskegon, Allegan, Ionia, Barry, Montcalm, Mecosta, Newaygo, Oceana, Mason, Lake, and Osceola counties. It is a partnership between the U.S. Small Business Administration and Grand Valley. Companies receive business consultation services from an experienced team. Examples of assistance provided include: business plan development for funding, developing growth strategies, understanding cash flow/finance issues, marketing their products/services, and many other areas of business. Visit the website at

MI-Small Business Development Center State Headquarters

In 2001, Grand Valley was awarded the State Headquarters for the Michigan Small Business Development Center (MI-SBDC). As host of the MI-SBDC State Headquarters, the Seidman College of Business oversees the 12-region MI-SBDC network. Entrepreneurs and small business owners can access the services of their nearest MI-SBDC by calling (616) 331-7480. Visit the website at

U.S. Department of Commerce Export Assistance Center

The U.S. Department of Commerce Export Assistance Center (USEAC) provides practical international trade information and export counseling throughout West Michigan. The USEAC is housed in the Seidman College of Business at Grand Valley. The USEAC regularly hosts student interns, and works together with the Van Andel Global Trade Center to hold trade education events for businesses such as the West Michigan World Trade Week which is held annually.

Van Andel Global Trade Center

The Van Andel Global Trade Center is housed in the Seidman College of Business.

Mission, Objectives, and Activity Summary
The mission of the Van Andel Global Trade Center (VAGTC) is to strengthen the community through increased global business by providing international consulting, training, and resources. The university founded the center in 1999. It is located in the new L. William Seidman Center on the Pew Grand Rapids Campus.

Van Andel Global Trade Center is recognized as an effective source of international information, training, and assistance services for business and academic communities in Michigan. VAGTC enters into strategic partnerships with members of the university and the business community across the state to accomplish global objectives supporting trade.

VAGTC services include a series of seminars, workshops, certificate programs, and conferences encompassing many different international business topics. In addition, the center provides vital customized import/export and consulting services for all types of businesses, with a focus on small- and medium-size companies. The center has global reference materials utilizing many international trade resources to assist its clients. VAGTC also provides a membership program that offers high value, high quality services to those businesses within Michigan and beyond that choose to utilize it.

VAGTC has provided training for many different states across the nation. Since its inception, VAGTC has assisted more than 750 companies through its consulting services and provided training to over 14,000 individuals. With a growing membership base, the VAGTC is poised to continue expanding its service area.

The center is a conduit for students, providing opportunities for international careers through internships with its clients and opportunities to network with businesses at the events and programs it offers the business community.

Benefits to the Community and University

  • Increase competency within organizations to be globally successful
  • Develop strategic partnership both inside and outside the university to enhance constituents and stakeholders
  • Increase economic development of the region by growing international business

Services to the Community

  • International consulting services, training services, resource development, and facilities; job opening connector
  • Cultural education, language center, and matchmaking/trade missions/business development
  • Provider of foreign trade missions, speaker series, business referral source, and intermediary of international businesses
  • Advocacy, service-provider broker, statewide resource center, and research provider
  • Educating Grand Valley's student community on the importance of creating international business relationships bringing hands-on experience to students doing international market research helping Michigan businesses

The Van Andel Legacy

As the founder and pioneer of international trade for Amway, Jay Van Andel was an inspiration for those in Michigan seeking to prosper in expanding overseas markets. It is in this spirit that the Van Andel Global Trade Center was named after Jay Van Andel and is quickly becoming the core facility dedicated to advancing international trade and supporting Michigan businesses as they prepare to enter and prosper in an era of global competition.

While leading Amway to record growth through international expansion, Jay Van Andel became convinced the global marketplace would be pivotal in enhancing the prosperity of the region where he began his business. Recognizing that the downtown campus would be a focal point for international business education and activity, Van Andel became a major benefactor of the building where the VAGTC originally resided. Named in his honor and dedicated to international business assistance for local companies, the Van Andel Global Trade Center is the university's commitment to fulfilling the global vision of one of Michigan's most outstanding global leaders and entrepreneurs.

Kent-Ottawa-Muskegon Foreign Trade Zone

Van Andel Global Trade Center serves as the grantee administrator for the Kent-Ottawa-Muskegon Foreign Trade Zone (KOM-FTZ number 189). The center provides marketing, strategic planning, administration, and zone economic development support. The KOM-FTZ maintains a board of 12; three representatives from each of the counties: Kent, Ottawa, and Muskegon as well as three from Grand Valley State University. A Foreign Trade Zone is a secure and enclosed area, considered to be outside of the United States territory for purposes of customs duty payments. The FTZ program was designed to promote American competitiveness by encouraging companies to maintain and expand their operations in the United States. Communities that offer an FTZ see economic growth and development and are often stimulated by retaining and creating jobs in the community as businesses using the zone increase their cash flow, save taxes, and improve their bottom line.

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