Padnos/Sarosik Endowed Professor of Civil Discourse

The Padnos/Sarosik Endowed Professorship of Civil Discourse is normally a two-year, nonrenewable appointment. The holder of the Professorship is selected competitively by the Advisory Board of the Padnos/Sarosik Endowed Professorship on the basis of programming proposals from applicants. Applications are open to any GVSU tenure-track or tenured professor with support of their unit head and dean.

A primary responsibility of the Padnos/Sarosik Professor of Civil Discourse is to develop and teach a 3-credit course to be offered during the fall semester. The course will focus on one or more vital social issues of the Professor’s choice and will include high impact learning opportunities enabling students to develop capacities in promoting and leading civil discourse.

The Padnos/Sarosik Professor of Civil Discourse is also responsible for planning a public symposium during the fall semester that engages the students and the community with course content and activities. 

Jack R. Mangala

Jack R. Mangala

Jack R. Mangala is the current Padnos/Sarosik Endowed Professor of Civil Discourse.  He is an Associate Professor of African and African American Studies and Political Science, jointly appointed between the Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies and the College of Liberal Arts and Science.  Dr. Mangala brings his background in international relations and global migration to the position.  He has lived and worked on 3 continents. Born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, he immigrated to and settled in Belgium in his twenties, then moving to US in his mid-thirties.

Dr. Mangala is the recipient of the 2010 Pew Teaching Excellence Award and the 2011 Outstanding Teaching in Political Science Award by the American Political Science Association. He has taught a course on the African diaspora, which takes a global perspective on the dispersal of people of African descent throughout the world.

Dr. Mangala did his doctoral research and dissertation at the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium on the crisis of the international refugee regime, after which he was awarded a NATO fellowship (1999-2001) to study the question of forced displacement of population as a new dimension of security. He completed post-doctoral work as a research scholar at the University of Michigan Law School’s Program in Asylum and Refugee Law, the world’s most comprehensive program for the study of international and comparative refugee law. He has served, for the past fifteen years, as the French Editor for its widely acclaimed Michigan Guidelines on the International Protection of Refugees, which offers the most authoritative interpretation of the rights of refugees under international law.

Dr. Mangala has participated in many projects and published numerous works on issues of immigration and refugees. He was part of the Oxford-based Interdisciplinary Group on Global Diaspora and authored a chapter in its edited volume Exploring Critical Issues: Diasporas (2009). He also authored two other chapters respectively on Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons: From Humanitarian to Security
(2010) and Africa–EU Partnership on Migration, Mobility and Employment (2012). He is currently putting the final touch on an edited book on
Africa and its Global Diaspora: The Policy and Politics of Emigration to be published next year by Palgrave MacMillan.

Dr. Mangala has also served as President of the Board of Directors for the African Community Center which seeks to help in the integration of new African immigrants in the GR area. He is the co-founder of the Midwest Center for Diversity and Inclusion which seeks, among other things, to contribute toward the building of welcoming communities.

Office Address: 101 Lake Ontario Hall
Phone: (616) 331-8512

Lisa M. Perhamus


Lisa M. Perhamus was the inaugural Padnos/Sarosik Endowed Professor of Civil Discourse at Grand Valley State University.  Dr. Perhamus is an Assistant Professor in the Foundations of Education Program in the university’s College of Education. Perhamus received her Ph.D. in Education with a concentration in Curriculum Studies from the University of Rochester, her Master’s degree in Sociology with a concentration in Urban Education from The New School for Social Research and her Bachelor of Arts degree from William Smith College. 

Her qualitative research asks questions about the human experiences of oppression across multiple contexts. She is particularly interested in how young children, their families and community members create emotional and material conditions of resiliency. Her teaching interests include anti-oppression education; the sociology of urban education; kinesthetic experiences of schooling; issues of race, class, gender and sexuality in education; and the role of civil discourse in community capacity-building. In her recent work, Dr. Perhamus has focused on the relationship between life narratives in the classroom, civil discourse and community-based public dialogues. 

Dr. Perhamus is a recipient of GVSU’s Early Career Scholars Grant. Recent scholarship includes: Collective resilience:  Integrating micro-publics in the re/patterning of a classroom’s social life (AESA paper); The rubricization of teacherhood and studenthood: Intertextuality, identity, and the standardization of self (co-authored book chapter); Grounded Theory (co-authored chapter, Handbook of Research Methods in Early Childhood Education, Vol II). Perhamus serves as a reviewer for a number of refereed scholarly journals and national conferences in the field of Educational Research and is a member of the American Educational Research Association, the American Educational Studies Association and the American Sociological Association.  

Office Address: 469 C DeVos
Phone: (616) 331-6736

Page last modified April 17, 2017