Professor of Writing
Office Address: 117 Niemeyer
Phone: (616) 331-2540
Roger Gilles is Professor of Writing and currently serving as interim director of the Frederik Meijer Honors College. After growing up mainly in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, Professor Gilles earned a BA in creative and professional writing from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, and an MFA in creative writing and a Ph.D. in rhetoric and composition from the University of Arizona in Tucson. His scholarly work has focused mainly on issues relating to writing program administration. More recently, Professor Gilles has turned his attention to a very different subject: His book, Women on the Move: The Forgotten Era of Women’s Bicycle Racing, will be published by the University of Nebraska Press in early 2018.
Professor of Philosophy
Office Address: 125 Niemeyer
Phone: (616) 331-3748
Coeli Fitzpatrick is Professor of Philosophy in the Frederik Meijer Honors College and Chair of the Honors Faculty. Originally from Phoenix, Arizona, Professor Fitzpatrick received her B.A. in Philosophy from Regis University in Denver, Colorado and her Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Binghamton. She teaches several courses in the program, including the first-year sequence The Middle East Beyond the Headlines and a Junior Seminar on Islamophobia. Her publications include the award winning edited volume Muhammad in History, Thought and Culture as well as writings on Edward Said and Orientalism. Professor Fitzpatrick's current research focuses on the transmission of Arab intellectual history in the West, Muslim Spain and Orientalism.
Meijer Honors College Assistant
Office Address: 120 Neimeyer
Phone: (616) 331-3219
Robyn Toth has been working at Grand Valley State University since 1998. Originally from St. Joseph, MI she received her BBA in Human Resource Management from Western Michigan University and later completed a Master of Education in Higher Education as well as School Counseling from GVSU. Robyn enjoys spending time with her husband and daughters, watching her two daughters swim and play water polo, and read. As the Meijer Honors College Assistant she most enjoys talking with perspective students and their families as well as supporting current student and faculty in anyway that she can.
Honors Academic and Enrichment Advisor
Office Address: 132 Niemeyer
Phone: (616) 331-2838
Meg Marshall is an Academic and Enrichment Advisor in the Frederik Meijer Honors College and also facilitates a Live.Learn.Lead class in the Fall. Originally, from Tolland, Connecticut, Meg received a B.A in Psychology from the University of Rhode Island and an M.A in Pastoral Counseling from Loyola University in Chicago. Meg’s previous work has centered around the disciplines of higher education, humanitarian aid, human rights, and mental health support. Meg has lived abroad including significant time in Belize and El Salvador and pursues artistic hobbies like photography and printmaking.
Senior Honors Academic and Enrichment Advisor
Office Address: 116 Niemeyer
Phone: (616) 331-8155
Kelly McDonell is one of the Academic and Enrichment Advisors in the Frederik Meijer Honors College. She is originally from the east side of Michigan and earned both her B.A. in English-Language Arts and M.Ed. in College Student Affairs Leadership from GVSU. Kelly enjoys running, golf, and crafts of any kind and she has a love for travel and has been to Ghana, Thailand, England, and Costa Rica. She enjoys that her job helps to support students and contribute to their success.
Assistant Professor, Honors College and GVSU Art Gallery
Office Address: 126 Niemeyer
Phone: (616) 331-8134
Ellen Adams is Assistant Professor of Art History in the Frederik Meijer Honors College and has a joint appointment with the GVSU Art Gallery. Originally from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Professor Adams received her B.A. in Art History from the University of Delaware, her M.A. from Hunter College (City University of New York), and her Ph.D. in Art History from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. She teaches several courses in the program, including the first-year interdisciplinary sequence Europe: The Center and the Margins, Art and Money, and Modern Art and Modernity. Her publications and presentations concentrate primarily on modern and contemporary artists. Prof. Adams’ current research project focuses on American women artists active during the New Deal.
Professor of Chemistry
Office Address: 141 Lake Michigan Hall
Phone: (616) 331-3192
Professor of Chemistry Edward Baum received his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from U.C.L.A. and his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from U.C. Riverside. He teaches Chemistry in Perspective, The Human Body in Motion (with Professor Brad Ambrose), and Cosmology for Poets in the Frederik Meijer Honors College. He published one book and forty refereed publications on various topics in theoretical and in environmental chemistry. His current research is on advanced methods of teaching using active-learning methods.
Professor of History
Office Address: 130 Niemeyer
Phone: (616) 331-3469
Craig Benjamin is a Professor of History in the Meijer Honors College. Craig was a professional musician for 25 years in his native Australia before gaining his PhD from Macquarie University in Sydney and taking up an academic career. He teaches two Foundational Interdisciplinary Courses in Honors: Big History and Focus on Asia. Craig’s recent publications include Big History: Between Nothing and Everything (McGraw-Hill 2014); Cambridge World History Vol IV (CUP 2015); and Empires of Ancient Eurasia. The First Silk Roads Era 100 BCE-250 CE (CUP forthcoming 2018). Professor Benjamin’s current research focuses on ancient Eurasian globalizations, big history, and world history historiography.
Associate Professor of History
Office Address: 121 Niemeyer
Phone: (616) 331-3470
Jeremiah Cataldo is Associate Professor of History in the Frederik Meijer Honors College. He earned his Ph.D. from Drew University, a Master in Philosophy from Drew University, a Master in Ministry from Bethel College, and a B.A. in Religious Studies from Bethel College. He is the author of numerous books and journal articles, including his two most recent: Biblical Terror (Bloomsbury, 2017) and A Social-Political History of Monotheism (Routledge, 2018). Of late, his research has been on two related areas: how social and political desires shape monotheistic traditions, and how dominant interpretive traditions of monotheistic texts preserve cultural prejudices. A strong supporter of cultivating well-roundedness in mind and body, he enjoys woodworking, multi-day backpacking, running ultramarathons (he has completed 100 mile and 50 mile distances), training in Taekwondo as a third degree black belt, and has recently started training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He teaches Alliance and Conflict, Terror of Monotheism, and Textual Tease.
Meijer Endowed Chair of Entrepreneurship & Innovation
Office Address: 129 Niemeyer
Phone: (616) 331-2493
Linda Chamberlain is very proud to say that she is currently serving as the Meijer Endowed Chair of Entrepreneurship & Innovation in the Honors College of the Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies at Grand Valley State University. In this capacity she instructs Design Thinking to Meet Real World Needs, and Problem Solving Sustainable Solutions through Systems Analysis, as well as advises students in senior projects focused on innovation and entrepreneurship. In parallel she supports the GVSU Technology Commercialization Office in advancing the innovations of faculty, students and staff. These roles highly leverage Dr. Chamberlain’s 25+ year career in innovation, new product development and launch implementation. Dr. Chamberlain has led strategic business and product development at Fortune 200, mid-sized and start-up companies, including Shell Chemical, Honeywell, and Johnson Controls. Linda developed a keen sense of venture capital investing through her role as Director with the Michigan Accelerator Fund, and as CEO of NanoRETE, a grant funded start-up delivering new diagnostic technology for tuberculosis. Prior to this, she led global strategy and product commercialization for Global Forex Trading, which was acquired in 2012 for >$100M. Linda, as Executive Director, led the West Michigan Science and Technology Initiative, a business accelerator focused on commercialization of life science products and technologies, as well as led the relaunch of GVSU’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. She is owner and principal of InnoValuation®, a company that focuses on insuring companies have the processes and performance to extract the full value from their innovations. Dr. Chamberlain received both her BS and PhD in Chemistry from Purdue University, and has 19 patents issued for catalyst, polymer, and product/process development. Dr. Chamberlain is serving on the boards of Paragon Die & Engineering and Frederik Meijer Gardens.
Professor of Music
Office Address: 123 Niemeyer
Phone: (616) 331-8075
Kurt Ellenberger is a pianist, composer, and author from Windsor, Ontario, Canada. His writings include a jazz theory book, pedagogical articles, and many essays that appear in his arts and culture blog entitled Also Sprach FraKathustra, which is published by The Huffington Post–Arts and Culture. He has recorded on Innova Recordings, Ghostly International, and Challenge-A Records (the Netherlands). He performed on Grand Valley State University New Music Ensemble’s recordings of Terry Riley’s “IN C: Remixed” and Steve Reich’s “Music for 18 Musicians” which have been featured in The New York Times, as well as in many of the nation’s leading publications, including The New Yorker. Ellenberger teaches a variety of music-related courses including “Music, Culture, and Aesthetics,” Jazz History, Rock History, and others. He is also a Fulbright Scholar who taught in Austria at the Kunstuniversität Graz (University of the Arts in Graz) and serves as artistic advisor on the Board of Trustees for the city of Mannheim, Germany.
Assistant Professor of Food and Agricultural Studies
Office Address: 136 Niemeyer
Phone: (616) 331-8156
Amy McFarland is Assistant Professor of Food and Agricultural Studies in the Frederik Meijer Honors College. Originally from Houston, Texas, Professor McFarland received her B.A. in Psychology from Rice University and her Ph.D. from Texas A&M University. She teaches several courses in the program, including the first-year sequence Food for Thought and a Junior Seminar on Controversies in Food and Agriculture. Her current research focuses on the intersections of humans and the environment, primarily through gardening, food, and agriculture.
Professor of Physical Therapy
Office Address: 134 Niemeyer
Phone: (616) 331-8129
Jane Toot has been at GVSU 26 years. She came as Director of the Physical Therapy in 1991. Eventually she became Dean of the College of Health Professions. About 9 years ago she left the Deanship to become a member of the Honors Faculty. She teaches Medical Controversies, Systems Analysis for Sustainable Solutions, and an intergenerational course in Saging and Aging. Jane earned her baccalaureate at the University of Michigan, her masters at George Washington University, and her Doctorate at Wayne State University. She has held several administrative positions in both healthcare and in academia. Recently she serves on two boards and is a presenter at national and inter-national conferences. A die-hard U of M football fan, she holds season tickets and cheers for them through good and bad years.
Associate Professor of Geology
Office Address: 142B Niemeyer
Phone: (616) 331-3302
I am a broadly trained environmental geologist and geomorphologist with a background in both academic and government regulation of mining and storm water. I received my PhD in 2004 for work on human- and climatic-induced changes along the Clackamas River in Oregon. I accepted an assistant professor position at Grand Valley State University (GVSU) in 2004. As a professor at GVSU, I have worked with undergraduate and graduate students on applied geoscience research: 1) evaluating GVSU’s storm water runoff footprint and assisting in designing Best Management Practices (BMP) for GVSU; 2) investigating water resources and groundwater contamination pathways in rural Haiti; 3) evaluating human impacts to river systems resulting from dams and other structures; and 4) Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to create household radon hazard maps for Michigan using geologic data. I have travelled to Haiti numerous times since 2007 to work on water resources issues and safe water interventions. Since 2016, I have led two groups of GVSU students on a 4-week study abroad to Haiti.
Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies
Office Address: 131 Niemeyer
Phone: (616) 331-7243
Jonathan White is Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies in the Frederick Meijer Honors College. The former Dean of Social Science and Founding Director of the School of Criminal Justice, he has a Ph.D. in multidisciplinary social science from Michigan State University. He also holds a Master of Divinity degree from Western Theological Seminary and an M.A. and B.A. in history from Western Michigan University. He has received several teaching awards from GVSU, and his work and service have been recognized by the Michigan state legislature, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, the Institute for Intergovernmental Research, and the U.S. Department of Justice. Dr. White was placed on Michigan State University’s School of Criminal Justice “Wall of Fame” in 2007. After the attacks of 9-11, Dr. White was seconded to the federal government to run a counterterrorism training program in partnership with the FBI. He returned to GVSU in 2005, but continued service to DOJ until 2013. He returned to the government briefly in 2015 to complete an assignment for the White House. He has written several books and articles including Terrorism and Homeland Security, Defending the Homeland, and The Prussian Army: 1640-1871. He teaches courses on terrorism and military history.
Associate Professor of Political Science
Office Address: 127 Niemeyer
Phone: (616) 331-8157
Karen Zivi (Ph.D., Rutgers University) is an Associate Professor of Political Science in the Frederik Meijer Honors College where she teaches courses on human rights and feminist politics. This includes the first-year interdisciplinary sequence, Theory and Practice of Rights.
Professor Zivi’s research is in the fields of human rights and feminist theory and politics. She is the author of Making Rights Claims: A Practice of Democratic Citizenship (Oxford University Press, 2012) and has published in journals and edited collections such as Philosophy and Rhetoric, Journal of Human Rights, Contemporary Political Theory, Critical Perspectives on Human Rights, and Human Dignity and the Promise of Human Rights. She is an editor at Contemporary Political Theory and serves on the editorial board of Citizenship Studies. She also serves as Board Chair for the Progressive Women’s Alliance of West Michigan, an all-volunteer, women-led, nonpartisan PAC. A native of New Jersey, Professor Zivi lived and worked in Boston, Los Angeles, and Richmond, Virginia before landing in Grand Rapids.