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Our 2021 Award Recipients
for University Awards for Excellence, Pew Awards for Excellence, Career Center Awards, PIC Pineapple Award, and CSCE Awards for Scholarly and Creative Excellence
Burch, Jacobs & Moore Diversity Teaching Excellence Award
Reginald Blockett, Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership and Counseling
Blockett embodies the values and practices of equity and inclusion. Students in his courses achieve deeper and critical understanding of systemic power, privilege, and oppression. His syllabi honor and deconstruct seminal theories on college student development, by both respecting the history of the discipline, while simultaneously calling for reexamination of how these theories are founded upon the under representation of diverse subjects. Engaging students on Grand Valley’s Detroit campus and routinely inviting colleagues from all over the country to share their expertise with students, Blockett expands student perspectives, helping them to see experts as approachable scholar-activists.
Pew Teaching Excellence Award
Carrie Buist, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice
Buist specializes in queer criminology and LBGTQ issues within the criminal justice system. In 2016, with co-author Emily Lenning, she wrote the groundbreaking Queer Criminology (Routledge). Buist carries this expertise with her into the classroom, offering her students exposure to new and challenging theoretical concepts. Buist is guided by a clear sense of student learning outcomes from which emanate instructional and assessment strategies that engage diverse learners. Buist believes education “is a collaborative process, that provides the opportunity for students to achieve freedom. However, I am also aware of how, for some, education is an opportunity for positive growth, there are aspects to education that can cause pain and punishment to our marginalized students. This is way I assign non-traditional readings in most of my classes.”
Distinguished Early Career Scholar Award
Jaclyn Cwick, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice
Since joining the faculty in 2016, Cwick has publishing two peer-reviewed journal articles in top-tiered journals, produced two notable book chapters and a technical report, and presented at five national conferences, including the American Society of Criminology and the Western Society of Criminology. Cwick’s is studying the impact of neighborhood characteristics on crime and recidivism. Her biggest contribution to the field thus far is demonstrating that not only are deleterious effects of incarceration primarily working to further dismantle disadvantaged communities, contributing to harmful impacts to the neighborhood economy, education, job markets, marriage markets, family disruption, and reductions in child supervision, but that these consequences are gendered and highly concentrated among women residents who make up the majority of those who are 'left behind,' while the majority of those who cycle in and out of prison are men.
Padnos International Center Pineapple Award
Dianne Green-Smith, Professor of Social Work
GVSU Padnos International Center Pineapple Award recognizes Grand Valley faculty, staff, community members, and students who advocate for international students and enrich their experience while they are in West Michigan. Dr. Green-Smith says "I am honored to have been nominated by Marigold Cobbina for this award. She is a remarkable young woman that I’ve grown to value, loved and appreciate. Not only does she serve as my GA, but because of her culture and mine, we are connected beings. Additionally, having traveled to Ghana multiple times, I understand some of the nuisances and experiences Marigold brought with her. Amazingly, when I think of Marigold, and when I close my eyes, I see Ghana! Ghana is a beautiful country with a rich history. It’s people are welcoming and have embraced me and the students that travel with me with opened arms. They eagerly share their resources with us. Reciprocity is a part of the exchange as we too share our resources with them."
Pew Teaching Excellence Award
Erica Hamilton, Associate Professor of Literacy and Technology
Hamilton’s teaching excellence is praised by many in the College of Education. A Literacy and Technology colleague remarks, “Dr. Hamilton’s teaching and her performance is nothing short of spectacular. I cannot imagine… a more dedicated and excellent teacher at GVSU.” Students consistently concur: “Dr. Hamilton models teaching excellence as seen in her intelligence, kindness and authenticity.” Beyond the classroom, her creation of partnerships with public schools facilitate applied classroom opportunities for Grand Valley students that continue to garner praise. Recognized as a Distinguished Early Career Scholar in 2018 Hamilton collaborates with students in relevant research raising their educational experience to new levels.
Naoki Kanaboshi, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice
Starting in 2014, Kanaboshi had facilitated "Comparative Social Organization and Control: Japan and U.S.," where students explore factors contributing to Japan’s lower rate of crime by studying culture and conducting visits to schools, courts, police facilities, and historic sites. David Bageris, a CJ student who participated in the 2018 study abroad, says Professor Kanaboshi “chose to go the extra mile to make my study abroad something I will never forget.” Although all study abroad has been postponed, Kanaboshi was able to continue with his internationalization effort within GVSU, particularly as co-chair of the of International Faculty & Friends (IFF).
Distinguished Early Career Scholar Award
Leanne Kang, Assistant Professor of Educational Foundations
Having previously taught in inner-city New Jersey, Leanne Kang’s scholarship and teaching focuses on racial justice in public education. Her book, Dismantled: The Breakup of an Urban School System (Columbia University’s Teachers College Press, 2020), details the recent dissolution of Detroit Public Schools, while illuminating connections between history and contemporary policy. Kang credits her instruction of teachers and administrators at Grand Valley’s Detroit Center with allowing her to test theories and ideas with people experiencing the upheaval first hand. Her book and ongoing scholarship on urban education have garnered attention from scholars, activists and educational reformers nationwide.
University Outstanding Teacher Award
Sally Pelon, Associate Professor of Social Work
Even with the disruptions of COVID-19, Associate Professor Sally Pelon is maintaining her outstanding reputation for fostering student-centered teaching and learning in the Bachelor of Social Work program. Senior BSW student Gerardo Vasquez explains that Pelon “approaches her students with poise, confidence, and a big smile, even if it’s behind a mask.” Sage Fahey, also a senior, is impressed that Pelon “finds new ways to make her online class fun and engaging. She makes me want to learn not only in general but from her teachings because I know how much she cares for all of us individually. I know I could go to her for help on an assignment or any type of advice on my career development.”
Distinguished Graduate Mentoring Award
Karyn Rabourn, Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership and Counseling
Rabourn has an exemplary track record of mentoring Grand Valley graduate students in the College Student Affairs Leadership program. She has held a number of roles dedicated to supporting graduate students and their success, including master’s project advisor, thesis chair, research partner, internship supervisor, and professional development facilitator. Rabourn approaches each of these roles as collaborative learning opportunities, working with students as partners in their own learning and professional development processes. Her approach to mentorship has encouraged students’ lifelong learning and continuous improvement of research-informed practices in higher education and student affairs.
Outstanding Internship Advocate of the Year
Amanda Stansbie, Internship Coordinator for Hospitality and Tourism Management
As we pass the one-year mark of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is not hard to see the impact the pandemic has had on the hospitality industry. Throughout this challenging season, Amanda has worked hard to ensure her students were still able to complete the required internships for their program and stay on track toward graduation. Amanda also planned and coordinated two networking and informational events this year to educate students on careers in hospitality and tourism management and to connect them with employers in the field. These types of events are so valuable to students as they navigate a difficult job market. Amanda also maintains strong and active relationships with HTM alumni and employers. These relationships are critical in helping connect students to excellent internship opportunities in the West Michigan area and beyond. For many years, Amanda had worked closely with the Career Center to coordinate efforts related to internships. Her energetic personality and genuine desire to help students make her a joy to work with.
Pew Teaching with Technology Award
Liz Storey, Assistant Professor of Teaching and Learning
Liz Storey is a leader within the College of Education in modeling the effective use of technological tools, including Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, Zoom, Flipgrid, Padlet, Google Classroom, GoReact, Weebly and Mursion virtual reality. By using these tools in their courses, students are able to transfer these online experiences into their own classroom teaching forays as pre-service teachers. Storey is currently working with the Smithsonian Learning Lab to pilot pre-service teachers’ creation and use of online resources and Smithsonian artifacts to engage learners. Colleagues refer to Storey as a beacon as they engage more fully with the pedagogically sound use of technology.