CLAS Acts December 2016



We won’t easily forget 2016.  Some would consign it to the past as quickly as possible, but that would be an injustice to all we did here at GVSU and CLAS in particular.

Not only did we welcome a record number of students, we once again showed that in sports we are the number one Division II university in the country.  In CLAS we welcomed a cohort of new faculty who were remarkably active—some sending us news of their publications before they even received the key to their office door and others jumping into activities such as voter registration alongside the students.  

Thanks to Bill Ryan and the New Music Ensemble, we earned our first ever NEA grant.  Merritt Taylor and his team of student researchers are patent-pending on some exciting research.  Norwood Viviano had 20 pieces of his artwork featured at the Smithsonian.  Art & Design collaborated with SeoulTech on an ArtPrize entry.  Mathematics’ Lisa Kasmer is lead PI on a big NSF grant.  

Kevin Tutt, our Associate Dean for Curriculum, Pedagogy and Academic Opportunity and Professor of Music, has been named the Policy and Advocacy Chair for the Michigan Music Education Association—and under his direction, the Wind Ensemble launched a CD. 

Meanwhile, Theatre’s Karen Libman demonstrated that knowing about improvisation pays off when the location of your Fulbright changes abruptly.  

Rob Franciosi (English) led a study group to Ukraine, Poland and the Czech Republic to visit former Holocaust camps and ghettos, as well as museums and memorials.  Robert Talbert, Mathematics, was acknowledged for being at the forefront of a global movement to shift higher education classrooms to the flipped learning model of teaching.  Matt Boelkins, Mathematics, was named one of three recipients of the Distinguished Professor of the Year Award by the Michigan Association of State Universities.  

Our faculty was forever in the news.  Whether it was our Political Science faculty such as Erika King or Don Zinman talking about the election, or AWRI folks on our waterways or History’s Scott Stabler providing historical perspective on the Confederate flag, our faculty were helping the community better understand the nuance behind the headlines. 

And please don’t think for a moment that I don’t hear about your wonderful teaching.  You’d get big heads if we were to broadcast some of the things our Student Advisory Committee tell us, what I hear from student leaders who visit me, and what your colleagues volunteer about you in conversations with people in the college office.  

I was grateful to break bread with those of you who could make it to the vibrant discussions in our Teaching Roundtables event last week.  I hope the rest of you are planning to carve out the time to come by our Holiday Open House on December 9.  The food and friends make it a lovely event.  And did I mention tubas?  Wouldn’t be the holidays without the low brass and the carillon as icing on the 2016 cake.


Faculty for Faculty--Out of the Box Outcomes


The CLAS Faculty Council designs and produces the annual Out of the Box series (OOTB) to address issues for faculty that can be addressed by faculty.  Each series provides an opportunity to gather and results in a bank of resources that faculty can access afterward so that the benefit reaches beyond those who were available to participate directly and into the future.  To review the web-based resources assembled over the years, select from the list on the OOTB webpage.

The 2016 OOTB topic (Out of the Box and Beyond the Margins-Connecting with the modern student) suggested so many areas of interest to faculty, that the college office decided to commit most of the feature articles over the months since the OOTB discussions to topics raised by it so that faculty with special expertise in these areas could share their insights:

CLAS Acts November 2016   CLAS Acts October 2016  CLAS Acts September 2016

CLAS Acts July 2016  CLAS Acts June 2016  CLAS Acts May 2016

CLAS Acts April 2016

The Faculty Council also produced a downloadable PDF to help faculty find appropriate resources for students in distress.  It is a handy companion to the “Red Folder” produced by the Counseling Center (which is formally known as the GVSU Faculty and Staff ‘911’ Guide).  A webpage of live links to resources and the PDF download can be found here.

The upcoming 2017 Out of the Box series will be on the theme of Collaborative Teaching.  Faculty will be invited to participate on either Monday, March 20 or Tuesday, March 21 from 11:30am to 1:00pm in roundtable discussions on strategies, challenges and the rewards of collaborative teaching.   Mark your calendar and keep an eye out for an invitation by email during Winter term.  As always, the College Office will sponsor food for the event.