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What's Ahead

March 12, 2018


Women's History Month events continue through March

March as Women's History Month will be commemorated on campus through lectures, panel discussions and annual celebrations.

Coordinated by the Center for Women and Gender Equity, events are sponsored by multiple campus departments and can be viewed online at Highlighted events are listed below.

• Community Reading Project Lecture; March 13, 7 p.m., Kirkhof Center, Grand River Room: Rebecca Traister, author of All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of the Independent Nation, will give a lecture followed by a book signing. 

• Faith and Feminism Panel; March 15, 7 p.m., Kirkhof Center, Grand River Room: Campus Interfaith Resources will host a panel discussion about the impact of faith on modern day feminism.

• Annual EqualiTEA; March 19, 3 p.m., Kirkhof Center, Grand River Room: The CWGE will host the 15th annual tea, providing time for discussion, entertainment and refreshments. RSVP online at

• Celebrating Women Awards, March 29, 3 p.m., Kirkhof Center, Grand River Room: The Women's Commission will host its annual awards celebration, recognizing campus members who have made positive impacts on the lives of women and girls. RSVP online at


Citizen University CEO to lead Wheelhouse Talk

The divisive politics of 2017 and 2018 have led to an increase in citizen-driven protest and political engagement not seen since the end of the Vietnam War, with citizens leading calls for change on various topics. 

With that political climate in mind, the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies will host Eric Liu, founder and CEO of Citizen University, a program which promotes and teaches the art of powerful citizenship, as the next speaker in the center's Wheelhouse Talks series. Liu was also a White House speechwriter and policy advisor for President Bill Clinton. 

"Eric Liu Wheelhouse Talk: Leadership and Citizen Empowerment Across the Political Divide" is set for Wednesday, March 14, 7 p.m. at the Eberhard Center. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is requested at

Liu is an author, educator and civic entrepreneur, as well as the executive director of the Aspen Institute Citizenship and American Identity Program. His most recent book is You're More Powerful Than You Think: A Citizen's Guide to Making Change Happen.


Professional School Fair free for students

The annual Professional School Fair is set for Thursday, March 15, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. in the Kirkhof Center, second floor.

More than 80 professional schools are expected. View a list of confirmed schools online at

The fair, free to all students, is sponsored by the Pre-Professional Council, CLAS Advising Center, and College of Health Professions. 


Workshop focuses on 'sandwich generation'

Health and Wellness will host a workshop for the "sandwich generation," people who are taking care of aging parents as well as children or grandchildren.

The event is set for March 20 from noon-1:15 p.m. in the Kirkhof Center, rooms 2215/2216. Dianne Green-Smith, director of the School of Social Work, will lead the discussion. 

People from the following area resources will also be available to answer questions: Age Wise, Alzheimer's Association, Area Agency on Aging of West Michigan, Crossroads, Encompass, Ottawa County, and Seniors Moving Smarter.

Faculty and staff members who participate are welcome to bring their lunches; RSVP for the event online at


Presenter at Wesorick Lectureship will discuss purposeful life

Participants at the fifth annual Distinguished Wesorick Lectureship will learn about living a purposeful life from someone who thought his world had ended.

Victor Strecher is the author of "Life on Purpose: How Living for What Matters Most Changes Everything." Strecher's life changed after his daughter, Julia, died from a rare heart disease. He coupled his grief with his research and background in behavioral science to pinpoint the impact of purpose in life and how it impacts overall health and happiness.

The event is set for March 21 from 6-7 p.m. at the DeVos Center, Loosemore Auditorium. The lecture is free and open to the public; it will be followed by an author reception and opportunity to purchase Strecher's book. It is approved for LIB 100 courses. Seating is limited, register online at

Evelyn Clingerman, executive director of The Bonnie Wesorick Center for Health Care Transformation, said Strecher's moving story links real-world experience with scientific evidence. 

"He explains how living a purposeful life increases our quality and longevity of life and diminishes our risk for certain long-term chronic health conditions," Clingerman said.

headshot Victor Strecher

Victor Strecher

Strecher is also professor and director for Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. He founded HealthMedia, a company that develops tailored health interventions; in 2008, the company was purchased by Johnson & Johnson.

The Wesorick Center is an endowed center promoting interprofessional collaboration through the Kirkhof College of Nursing. 


Performance of 'J.B.' set for Haas Center

Is there any meaning to human suffering? Is great wealth an indicator of anything? Is there a God or a Satan?

These are just a few of the moral questions that Grand Valley students will explore during upcoming performances of "J.B."

Performances of "J.B." will take place March 23, 24, 28, 29, and 30, at 7:30 p.m.; and March 25 and 31, at 2 p.m. All performances will take place in Louis Armstrong Theatre, located in the Haas Center for Performing Arts. For ticket information, contact the box office by calling x12300. Tickets are also available via

Written by Archibald MacLeish, winner of three Pulitzer Prize awards (including for "J.B."), the story takes place in an enormous circus tent. Two vendors, Mr. Zuss and Nickles, begin to perform a play by assuming the roles of God and Satan, respectively. The pair overhears J.B., a wealthy banker, describe his prosperity as a just reward for his faithfulness to God.

Scorning him, Nickles wagers that J.B. will curse God if his life is ruined. After numerous terrible life events happen to J.B., he is left living on the streets, but is later visited by three Comforters (representing history, science and religion) who each offer a different explanation for his plight. 

Roger Ellis, "J.B." director and professor of theater, said he has been hoping to stage this particular production at Grand Valley for many years.

"Not only is it unusual because it's a poetic drama, but it's also an epic religious drama on a level with the great Christian cycle and mystery plays of the Middle Ages," said Ellis. "I love the circus setting and the clowning enactment that reminds us all that 'all the world's a stage.'"

Ellis said that "J.B." is a "Brechtian-style" play that will challenge student actors with a cappella singing, direct addresses to the audience, and ritual ceremony juxtaposed with heavy metal music and dance.

For more information about "J.B.," visit


Alumni reporter who broke Nassar story to speak on campus

Larry Nassar will spend the rest of his life in prison, serving sentences for sexual abuse of more than 160 young women and possession of child pornography, but the road to justice started with investigative reporting by Marisa Kwiatkowski and her colleagues from the Indianapolis Star.

Kwiatkowski, a 2005 Grand Valley graduate, said she hopes to demonstrate the power of journalism and its role in explaining and uncovering complex systems during her presentation.

“Local Reporting, National Impact: Marisa Kwiatkowski on Breaking the USA Gymnastics Story,” is set for March 26, 6 p.m., DeVos Center, Loosemore Auditorium. This event is free and open to the public.

“The kind of journalism we do is not taking things at face value,” Kwiatkowski said. “What made our investigation different was we were able to show for the first time that there was a policy that USA Gymnastics executives had followed, and that policy had real implications for the safety of children in the sport.”

The event is hosted by the School of Communications Robert Mayberry COMM-UNITY series.

The Robert Mayberry COMM-UNITY Series celebrates Mayberry’s academic vision of diverse academic programs forging a productive connection for students and for the Grand Valley community.