Faculty and staff sketches

April 18, 2023 (Volume 46, Number 16)

portrait of Christine Rener, wearing a red wrap over a black shirt, she has glasses on

Christine Rener, vice provost for Instructional Development and Innovation and director of the FTLC, has been elected as the incoming president-elect of the POD Network in Higher Education. 

Photo Credit: Kendra Stanley-Mills

Faculty and staff members who have given presentations, were recognized for outstanding contributions or had their research published are detailed below. The campus community can submit a sketch online for future publication. 

In the News

Rener elected to POD leadership position

Christine Rener, vice provost for Instructional Development and Innovation and director of the Pew Faculty Teaching and Learning Center, has been elected as the incoming president-elect of the Professional and Organizational Development (POD) Network in Higher Education. 

Rener's term begins in June. She said giving back to an organization that has given her so much drew her to the nomination process.

 "I really see, very much like Grand Valley, that the POD Network lives into its values in a way that really resonates with my own values, and the strategic goals are very equity focused," Rener said. "I'm very excited to be able to contribute to the strategic priorities around diversity and inclusion in particular."

Paul Isely, professor of economics and associate dean, Seidman College of Business, was interviewed by Crain's Detroit Business for a story about developers building public trusts for large-scale projects.

Karen Ingle, associate vice president for Facilities Planning, was quoted in Crain's Grand Rapids Business in a story about the university's master plan in Grand Rapids.

Abdullah Alrebh, associate professor of sociology, was the subject of an episode of "Jossor" a documentary series produced by the Saudi Arabian National TV. Alrebh's life and academic journey were chronicled in the piece, which also includes interviews and footage from GVSU.

The 2023 North-Central Section meeting for the Geological Society of America is coming to GVSU May 4-5. GVSU geology faculty members Tara Kneeshaw and Ginny Peterson are chairing the local committee. Other faculty members chairing committees: Caitlin Callahan, Steve Mattox, Peter Riemersma, Peter Wampler and Ian Winkelstern.

The Ninth Annual Midwest Cognitive Science Conference 2023 is coming to GVSU on May 8-9, with Mario Fifi, associate professor of psychology, leading that effort with planning support from additional psychology faculty members Josita Maouene, Benjamin Swets and Michael Wolfe.

Grand Valley was named one of the top schools in Michigan in the 2023 Graphic Design School Rankings by Animation Career Review. The ranking team considered more than 700 schools nationwide for the ninth annual list.


Carl Ruetz, professor of water resources, gave a presentation, “Connectivity and Movements of Fishes Inhabiting Coastal Areas of Eastern Lake Michigan,” for the Department of Biological Sciences at Western Michigan University.

Al Steinman, professor of water resources, participated in briefings of the U.S. Senate Committee on Natural Resources, and the U.S. House subcommittee on Infrastructure and Transportation regarding the Everglades Restoration Progress report.

Public health faculty members Sarah Nechuta and Heather Wallace were co-authors of an article, "Improving Rural Cancer Prevention: Targeted Data and Understanding Rural-specific Factors and Lived Experiences," published as an invited editorial for the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Eric Covey, visiting faculty of history, wrote an article, "The Anti-apartheid Movement at Grand Valley State College in West Michigan" published in Safundi: The Journal of South African and American Studies.

Jason Durham, assistant dean of resource management and administration for University Libraries, was accepted into the cohort of the Society of College and University Planning (SCUP) Emerging Leaders program.

Joel Stillerman, professor of sociology and Meijer Honors College, wrote a book, Identity Investments: Middle-class Responses to Precarious Privilege in Neoliberal Chile, published by Stanford University Press. Stillerman was interviewed by the Sociological Annex podcast about the book.

William J. Neal, professor emeritus of geology, was a co-author of an article, “The Global Impact of Sand Mining on Beaches and Dunes," published in the journal Ocean and Coastal Management.

Annie Bélanger, dean of University Libraries, gave presentations, "Focusing on Candidate Experience to Decenter White Professionalism in Hiring and Onboarding," at the Joint Conference of Librarians of Color; "Building Inclusive Libraries One Step at a Time: Kindness, Equity, and Candidate Experiences in Hiring," at the Ontario Library Superconference; and "Care and Accountability in Library Leadership," at Ontario Library Superconference. Bélanger wrote an article, "Centering or Empowering: Shifting Power to the Library Members," published in International Information & Library Review.

Amy Russell, professor of biology, was a co-author of an article, "Genetic Structure of the Vulnerable Tri-colored Bat (Perimyotis subflavus) Across its Eastern Range," published in Acta Chiropterologica.


Faculty & Staff Sketches

This article was last edited on April 18, 2023 at 9:27 a.m.

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