CLAS Acts Sept. 2012

Shak. Garden


September 2012
Vol. 6, issue 2

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is a student-centered and diverse learning community that engages in critical inquiry extending knowledge to enrich and enliven individual and public life. College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Faculty E-newsletter

Articles on Academe "In The College Advantage, we argue that college degrees have served as protection for Americans seeking shelter during a tough economic storm. "      

Now Open:  Speech Lab! Undergraduate tutors are available to assist with: Choosing a speech topic Developing a speech purpose statement Selecting source material for speech content Crafting an organized presentation Producing visual aids Effectively introducing and concluding speeches Speech delivery 240 LSH  

Drop/Add The last day to add a course (or receive 100% tuition refunds for a course drop) for Fall 2012 is Friday, August 31, 2012 (until 5:00 pm). After that time, the late add process begins for those interested in adding a course. Attached (attachment) are the steps to follow for the late addition of a course. Students can drop courses until October 26, 2012 and receive a grade of W (with a gradually. Requests to drop a course after that date. There are separate procedures for that process that do not involved the College Deans Office. Students need to write a letter specifically stating why they are dropping the course(s) so late in the semester and append any relevant documentation. A late drop/add form needs to be completely filled out by the student. The completed add/drop form & the letter needs to be presented to the unit head for approval. All documentation needs to be taken to the Student Academic Success Center (Mike Messner)  in 200 Student Services Building (STU) for review and final approval.      

Attend the Optional Sabbatical Forum: Thursday, September 27 from 3:30-5:00 in PAD 308. The fall Sabbatical Forum is being hosted by the Faculty Development Committee on Thursday, 9/27, from 3:30-5:00 pm in 308 Padnos Hall. This bi-annual event allows you to meet with members of the FDC to answer any questions you may have.           

Join our efforts to help our GVSU students Dream Big Nominate them for nationally competitive award advising:   You never know, your nomination may lead to a dream come true.  ~Amanda Cuevas, Director
Frederik Meijer Office of Fellowships


Frederick J. Antczak, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

"Six mistakes mankind keeps making century after century:
Believing that personal gain is made by crushing others;
Worrying about things that cannot be changed or corrected;
Insisting that a thing is impossible because we cannot accomplish it;
Refusing to set aside trivial preferences;
Neglecting development and refinement of the mind;
Attempting to compel others to believe and live as we do."

~Marcus Tullius Cicero

One of the things that I love about the College's start up meeting is the irrepressible and collegial clamor of our many conversations as we settle in.  Like Cicero in the quotation above, I had six suggestions to make, if not for mankind, at least for the college, in my remarks which can be accessed here. I hope your first week of classes started well.  There certainly are many signs that the academic year has begun-a loaded inbox, students asking for directions, a very large bowl of Tootsie Rolls in the CLAS Academic Advising Center, a blizzard of save-the-date flyers, and many other signs of AY 2012-2013. Please join me in making our students and new colleagues feel welcome.  I try to make an effort to use fewer acronyms and provide statements with a bit more context than usual. Over the last month some good news has come our way, and I want to share that with you.   Congratulations to Steve Mattox of Geology who was named the 2012 Outstanding Michigan Earth Science Teacher. Take a bow, Figen Mekik (also of Geology), for the $87,087 National Science Foundation grant to work on "Carbonate preservation in pelagic sediments: Developing a new aragonite preservation proxy".  The Laker Marching Band has reached a whopping 195 marchers.  The green chemistry certificate became a reality. The Haiti Project was recognized by GVSU's Trustees as outstanding work so please congratulate Peter Wampler, Azizur Molla, and Rick Rediske on this interdisciplinary approach to a huge problem (which you can read about in the hot-off-the-press CLAS Quadrennial Report).  To get a copy of your own, please e-mail or have a look online.  Much is coming up in September.  The Fall Arts Celebration includes the sort of high caliber events that faculty will not want to miss.  The CLAS Faculty Research Colloquium has its first meeting 2:30-5:00pm in 308 Padnos Hall on September 21-this is a great opportunity to meet colleagues outside of your own discipline and to learn unanticipated things in a highly collegial environment.  You owe it to yourself to check it out.  In the blue bar to the left are notices of other important events and reminders as we begin the fall term. September has a tendency to slip quickly past, so I'll mention some things coming up in October, too.  The Sustainability Spotlight will be on CLAS for October; if you'd like your event to be highlighted as part of this month-long focus on our college, please e-mail Shaily. Mindgating (our college's contribution to Homecoming on October 20) will feature Sociology, and CLAS will also have a table to help us stay connected to our alumni. The associate deans and I are walking the hallways these first weeks to welcome you back.  If we happen to miss you, please know that we'll make opportunities to see you over the coming weeks, and we're always contactable by e-mail.  I wish you particularly smart students, unflagging motivation, and the very best of hallway conversations. Oh, and a P.S.  Several people have commented to me on the "already legendary" polka that our colleague in English Sufen Lai and I danced at the Faculty-Staff Picnic. What, you didn't think "The Wanderer" was a polka?  I can report we've both fully recovered, suffering no long term ill effects!  But I've been thinking that it serves as a nice metaphor for how we work together.  Despite some steps and direction changes that, to less skilled partners, would seem surprising, and notwithstanding some of the centrifugal forces we generate for each other, which after all are part of the fun, we dance our genre busting dances together pretty well.  And no innocent onlookers were harmed in the production of that polka!

What the Deans Are Doing in September

Dean Antczak is looking at a busy start to the academic year.  "In addition to teaching my seminar twice a week-a welcome rhythm to the week-I'll attend Ann Keister's big show opening in the Art Gallery September 6, chat with the Physics department about next steps in the wake of their external consultants' report, organize our first unit head meeting, be in a meeting about international hiring, go to the event greeting international students, attend the Area Studies Faculty Welcome, have my regular meeting with Dean Hiskes, be in meetings about the Hauenstein Leadership Academy mentoring program, attend the CLAS Personnel Committee startup meeting and CLAS Faculty Council, and of course participate in the events surrounding the Fall Arts Distinguished Lecturer Daniel Mendelssohn.  Also, I'll be the trailing spouse at the 10th anniversary celebration of the Grand Rapids Legal Assistance Center, of which my wife Deborah is Executive Director." Associate Dean (AD) Shaily Menon will work on various space and facilities related issues including steering committee meetings for the new building, data collection and meetings with units for renovation of vacated spaces, and ongoing facilities improvements. She will work with units who are developing their self-study and assessment reports. Shaily will implement the new faculty mentoring and seminar series and help with new unit head orientation sessions. She will work on implementing activities for the second year of the GVSU S-STEM grant and travel to Washington D.C. in late September to serve as a reviewer on a National Science Foundation S-STEM panel. AD Mary Schutten will be collaborating with the College of Education (COE) on a series of initiatives involving CLAS/COE related to the second phase of CLAS/COE supervision of student teaching, teacher tests, and the Professional Teacher Education Advisory Council (PTEAC). She will be participating in several student support initiatives related to orientation, academic advising, and admissions.  She continues to implement and assess degree cognate substitution requests, support the work of the CLAS curriculum committee ex officio which this fall includes an expedited process to approve the new general education Issues courses; participate in fall start up activities including Transitions, facilitate the curricular fast track process for study abroad course designations, and serve as a coordinator of the School Health Minor--including submitting the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) SPA report data--as well as serve as faculty mentor in Movement Science. She will also continue to work with Records to create more effective and efficient processes for students and units. AD Gary Stark will supervise and assist with course scheduling for 2013-14, distribute the list of personnel actions for 2012-13, and assist the CLAS Personnel Committee with personnel process, assist CLAS Faculty Council with governance elections, participate in new faculty and new unit head orientations, and serve on the Internationalization Task Force.


Knowing How Way Leads on to Way

By Monica Johnstone, PhD, Director of CLAS Communications & Advancement 

With a bow to Robert Frost in the title, I depart from our usual feature format to bring you a sampling of some of the little wonders of our campus as told to me by faculty and staff.  So when next you itch to make a diversion from the path you have worn between your office and your various classrooms, here are some destinations (virtual and physical) that you might consider. Three things Amy Russell of Biology wishes she'd known about earlier  are the open access publishing support fund  ("Publishing can be expensive, but this can take away the sting."), the Faculty-Staff Dining Room  ("It's a wonderful oasis where you can eat without students watching or overhearing you. And the food isn't too bad, either!"), and Barter Board ("Because I need a larger audience on which to pawn off stray kittens!").  [ Deborah Herrington of Chemistry says she wished she knew sooner about the Work-Life Connections, in particular the convenience services.  "Having someone do the research for me takes at least a little of my already overflowing plate!" Of course, James Bell of Theatre in the School of Communications wishes more faculty knew about and attended the Shakespeare Festival productions ( Richard III coming soon!). "But thinking back over my years here, I'd have to say that I wish I had known about bringing my family to the pool and Fieldhouse facilities earlier in my time here. That is something we have enjoyed the last few years but didn't know to use sooner." Barbara Roos (Film & Video Production in the School of Communications) would like to pass along some campus history.  "The colorful first floor walls in Lake Superior Hall (south, west & north: NOT the east wall portrait of William James) were designed by an internationally-known Japanese-American artist, who led GVSC students in executing his design.  SACHIO YAMASHITA (1933-2009) completed more than 100 public murals throughout the Midwest. Examples: Milwaukee Museum, Universities of Wisconsin, Mich, and many others.  Lots of sponsored work in and around the City of Chicago.  Also Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, the Sacramento California Convention Center."  Barb also notes that there is a  memorial "gravestone" for Thomas Jefferson College  located at the Northeast corner of Lake Huron Hall.  "It's got a memorial statement on it.  Last time I looked (distant past!) it had a nice-looking frame of greenery growing behind it."  Patricia Clark of Writing suggested that the underappreciated aspects of GVSU are the arboretum and other nature retreats on campus. "Sometimes in WRT 219, the beginning creative writing class in the Writing Department, we go on a walk: the lesson is to start observing, to see things freshly. We walk to the arboretum, sit down, lie in the grass, look around. Sometimes students will say they never walk anywhere on campus 'without having a place to rush to.' I lament this. And I lament it for myself as well: we need to take a little time, walk in the months when campus is green and lush; also walk when campus is colder and snowy. Both times have their beauties. Both are under appreciated."  Patricia would also encourage us "to grab a book, a bottle of water or cup of coffee and head outdoors for an hour. Bring a poem or two along with a friend. Read to each other under the whispering pines behind Lake Ontario Hall or Au Sable, near Seidman House. Stay outdoors and watch the light fade.  (Just be sure to wear bug spray...!)." Tracy McLenithan of the College Office puts a quick plug in for everyone to highlight the alumni effort to assist in placing students with internships/practicums before giving her recommendation: "I feel a little like a traitor giving up this secret, but Seidman House is a great/quiet place to read - comfortable furniture, view of woods (no food or drinks allowed)." Assistant Dean Pat Haynes would like you to know a bit about how one of our more novel buildings got that way.  "The current Padnos Hall of Science represents half new construction (the east side of the building) and half old Loutit Hall of Science wrapped in new exterior walls (the west side of the building).  The columns in the ground floor west hallway were outdoor structures for about 30 years." Dean Fred Antczak invites you to have a look at "the great memorial stone behind Cook-Dewitt.  The back trails down to the river."  He also likes the lunch tables overlooking the pond on the second floor of Kirkhof and "the great eyeball" (south water tower). As a roving reporter for the college, I have a few of my own to share.  If you have the opportunity to witness a bronze pour in the Calder Art Center, don't miss your chance to see this dramatic and visceral event.  I also like the unusual and specialized areas on campus such as the Costume Shop-seeing how the magic is produced is a privilege.  There are also some amazing displays in our campus buildings such as the pottery project near Classics, the geological displays on the ground floor of Padnos (or even the one the Geology folks recently installed for us in front of the College Office doors), and the gallery and hallway displays in the Calder Art Center that change frequently enough to give you many reasons to return again and again.