Skip to main content

What's Ahead

March 27, 2017


Lecturer to discuss issues of gender, globalization

An upcoming lecture will reveal new understandings of the central role that women and gender played in the traditionally male world of empires and overseas exploration. 

Allyson Poska, professor of history at Mary Washington University, will present "Reconsidering the Spanish Atlantic: How Women's Lives Reframe Spain's Early Modern Empire" on Monday, March 27, at 4 p.m. The event will take place in the Holton-Hooker Learning and Living Center, room 121. This lecture, sponsored by the History Department and College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, is LIB 100 and 201 approved for students.

Poska's work primarily demonstrates how new historical knowledge of women's lives in early modern Europe and the Atlantic World changes the understanding of early modern imperialism and the Atlantic World, defined as the rim of settlements in America populated by Europeans and Africans from the 15th century forward.

"Issues relating to gender and globalization are very relevant to our times as the interaction between peoples with very different resources, cultures, and access to power create conflicts and moral dilemmas as difficult to resolve today as they have ever been," said Paul Murphy, professor of history and lecture co-coordinator. 

Poska's book, Women and Authority in Early Modern Spain: The Peasants of Galicia, won the Roland H. Bainton Prize given by the 16th Century Studies Association in 2006. 


Wesorick Center, KCAD partner to host artist for lecture, exhibition

Nationally recognized artist Ted Meyer believes in the power of art to heal both physical and emotional scars.

Through a collaboration between The Bonnie Wesorick Center for Health Care Transformation at Grand Valley and Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University (KCAD), Meyer will visit West Michigan to discuss his journey and share stories of the patients he has chronicled on canvas.

Ted Meyer

Ted Meyer

He will present a lecture at Grand Valley in conjunction with an exhibit of his artwork at KCAD. Details of these events, which are free and open to the public, are below.

• "Scarred for Life: Healing Through Art," the Distinguished Wesorick Lectureship, sponsored by the Wesorick Center, is Tuesday, March 28, from 1-2 p.m. at the DeVos Center, Loosemore Auditorium, on the Pew Grand Rapids Campus. RSVP online at

• Meyer will give an informal presentation on March 28 from 5-6 p.m. at the Mary Idema Pew Library on the Allendale Campus. This event is sponsored by several Grand Valley departments and colleges.

• "Art and Healing," a collaborative exhibition between KCAD students and Meyer will run March 21-April 8 at KCAD's Helen Miller Kendall Gallery, 17 Fountain St. NW in Grand Rapids. More information is at

At the lecture, Meyer will discuss his project, "Scarred for Life: Monoprints of Human Scars," which highlights the courage of people who have been in medical crises or accidents through artwork. Evelyn Clingerman, executive director of the Wesorick Center, said research shows that engaging with art has positive health and spiritual benefits.

"In the Wesorick Center we role-model and teach others how to create places where people can thrive, not simply survive, and how to apply a health care paradigm that is more than fixing a scar or a body part," Clingerman said. The Wesorick Center is an endowed center promoting interprofessional collaboration through the Kirkhof College of Nursing.

Meyer is the current artist-in-residence at the University of Southern California's Keck School of Medicine. His artwork has been displayed internationally at museums, hospitals and galleries. Learn more about Meyer at


MIPERC hosts annual health expo

Students from two universities and the Kent ISD Early College Program will host the fourth annual Midwest Interprofessional Practice, Education and Research Center (MIPERC) Health Expo on Tuesday, March 28.

More than 300 presenters and attendees are expected at the expo, which will run from 5-7 p.m. in the Kirkhof Center, Grand River Room.

More than 40 teams of students from Grand Valley, Ferris State University and the Early College Program will present research on an aspect of student wellness. Attendees will have opportunities to win prizes.

MIPERC is an organization founded by Grand Valley, Grand Rapids Medical Education Partners and Michigan State University-College of Human Medicine to develop regional infrastructure for interprofessional education, practice and research.

Details about the health expo are posted online at


Mosaic Lecture to explore historical importance of math to Native American cultures

An upcoming lecture will discuss number systems developed and used by the Native cultures of the Americas, and the historical importance of mathematics to Native American cultures.

Robert Megginson, professor of mathematics and associate dean for Undergraduate and Graduate Education for the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts at the University of Michigan, will deliver the fourth annual Mosaic Lecture on Wednesday, March 29, at 7:30 p.m. in Manitou Hall, room 122. The lecture is approved for LIB 100 and 201 classes.

Jonathan Hodges, professor of mathematics and Mosaic Lecture coordinator, explained that people often think about mathematics as being independent of culture, but Megginson's lecture will prove that's not the case.

"Throughout history, diverse groups have made significant contributions to the development of mathematics, and it's important to understand and appreciate how mathematics reflects broader cultural values and needs," Hodges said.

Before his current role at the University of Michigan, Megginson served as the deputy director of the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in California.


Campus groups will honor women at annual ceremony

Four campus organizations and departments will recognize the achievements of students, faculty and staff members at the annual Celebrating Women Awards on Thursday, March 30, from 3-4:30 p.m. in the Kirkhof Center, Grand River Room.

The Women's Commission will present three awards: Maxine Swanson Award to Jennifer Palm, assistant to The Graduate School; Unsung Hero Award to Autumn Gorsline-Davis, academic department coordinator for Modern Languages and Literatures; and the Community Impact Award to Allison Ford, head coach of Grand Valley's synchronized skating team.

Awards and scholarships also will be presented by the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Women's Center, and Positive Black Women.

RSVP for the ceremony online at


Hate crimes, discrimination topic of Sigal lecture

An upcoming lecture by a renowned interfaith scholar and activist will focus on hate crimes and religious discrimination in America.

Simran Jeet Singh, assistant professor of religion at Trinity University and senior religion fellow with the Sikh Coalition, will present the annual Rabbi Philip Sigal Memorial Lecture on Thursday, March 30, from 7-8:30 p.m. in the DeVos Center, Loosemore Auditorium. This event is LIB 100 and 201 approved for students.

"As we often see, religious, racial and ethnic minorities in America get lumped together as a categorical 'other,' and thus suffer similar acts of discrimination or violence," said Katie Gordon, campus interfaith resources coordinator and program manager for the Kaufman Interfaith Institute. "The way that many religious minorities are targeted and stereotyped calls for not only an intersectional understanding of race and religion, but also an intersectional response from the communities the discrimination affects."

Singh's expertise focuses on the history of religious communities and literatures in South Asia. He is a prolific writer who has contributed more than 50 opinion pieces to news outlets, including the New York Timesthe Washington Post and the Guardian

Simran Jeet Singh

Simran Jeet Singh

The annual lecture is named for Rabbi Phillip J. Sigal, a pioneer of the interfaith movement in West Michigan. After Sigal's death in 1985, a group of local academic and interfaith enthusiasts established the Sigal memorial lecture. 

This year's lecture is sponsored by Campus Interfaith Resources, the Community Reading Project through the Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies and Office of Integrative Learning and Advising, Division of Inclusion and Equity, Muslim Students Association and the Religious Studies program.

To register for this event, presented by the Kaufman Interfaith Institute, visit For more information, visit, or call x15702.