Cullin graduated from the Frederik Meijer Honor's College with a B.A. in Spanish, and Minors in Natural Resources Management and Applied Linguistics. After two years of study abroad in Costa Rica and Mexico, he is currently in South Germany as a participant in the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange. For the internship phase of this program, Cullin has chosen to work with cargo bike manufacturer Radkutsche. This year he was recruited to play as a striker for football club TSV Altingen and also secured two scholarships to attend Model UN conferences in Bonn and Nuremberg, both of which have given an international perspective to his interests in sustainability and agriculture.
During his first semester at GVSU, Cullin visited an Honors Sequence with his roommate and was blown away by the dynamic engagement and rapport between student and professor. After a couple of conversations with the legendary duo of Dr. J and Janaan Decker, he enrolled in the program. Cullin explored metaphor in early scripture during his Junior Seminar “Terror of Monotheism” and later used his Honors Senior Project to involve campus fraternities and sororities in a volunteer tree planting project at the GVSU Sustainable Agriculture Project. The result: an orchard of over 100 fruit and nut trees still managed at “The Farm.”
University Innovation Fellows
Four Grand Valley Students will travel to Stanford University to take part in the University Innovation Fellows Silicon Valley Meetup, an event that will feature experiential workshops and design labs all focused on improving higher education. Meredith Filter, Dean Geschiere, Haley Jennings and Madalyn Slubowski will be accompanied by GVSU Marketing and Honors professor, Dr. Paul Lane. This program is to help young university students learn how to apply design thinking in a wide spectrum of subjects. Each student had to apply and go through about six weeks of intensive work online to participate. The event is both an opportunity to connect with people from different backgrounds and tour Stanford's design school. The students were recently featured in the Lanthorn. See article here.
Leah Beaulac has spent nearly three years in various Middle Eastern countries, through study abroad, scholarships, volunteering, an internship, and now in a professional capacity. The combination of her educational pursuits (Biology) and language acquisition (Arabic) has led to her current position at REACH initiatives, an international, non-governmental organization. She is currently working on the Jordan team, where they partner with organizations such as the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), United Nations organizations, United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), and numerous other NGOs in order to assess priority development concerns throughout Jordan.
She graduated from the Frederik Meijer Honor's College at Grand Valley State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, and Minors in Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies, for which she was selected outstanding senior in those areas of study. During University, she interned at the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Amman, Jordan, focusing on Water, Sanitation and Health (WASH) sector needs. Here she was able to access the research tools necessary for the completion of her honors senior thesis The Impact of Syrian Migration on Water Demand in Northern Jordan, which was published in the Winter 2017 edition of Boston College Al-Noor Journal of Undergraduate Research. Leah hopes to continue to work on complex humanitarian problems by assessing the impact of limited water resources on key development issues such as education, agriculture, and long-term sustainability plans.
Emily LeFevere graduated twice from GVSU! In 2008 Emily was an Honors College student who earned her BA in Spanish & Information Systems, and in 2015 completed her M.S. in Computer Information Systems. Immediately after graduating with her undergraduate degree, Emily joined Steelcase as an intern. At the end of that summer, she was offered a full-time position with the company. For six years Emily worked in Infrastructure, where she enjoyed coming up with strategies to automate and improve Steelcase’s business processes. In the back of her mind however, she really wanted to do software development. After acquiring web development skills in her M.S. course work at GVSU, and with the encouragement of her management, she transitioned to a team that develops web apps and APIs within Steelcase. She has worked in this role as a web developer for three years now, and it is a job she thoroughly enjoys.
As an Honors College student Emily enjoyed the foundation courses that tied all the standard requirements together with an interesting theme and unique project. She felt like she benefited from being part of a smaller community that shared a living space and classroom space where she made a lot of lifelong friends. One of her favorite course was Honors Geology, which ended with a memorable three week hiking trip out West that tied together everything she learned that semester. Participating on the Honors Council was also a great opportunity, she felt, to work together with fellow students and collaborate with faculty.
Paige Baustert is currently a junior majoring in Allied Health Sciences. Last summer, she had the opportunity to study abroad through the honors college to Ghana, Africa. While in Ghana, she conducted a Qualitative Needs Assessment of Health Care at many of the health facilities around Winneba. This research examined the health care needs of Winneba’s residents from the perspective of both health care professionals and community members. Health care professionals and community members agreed that overall, Winneba is in need of more health care facilities, a better national insurance system, and more malaria prevention. Her research paper has recently been accepted to the National Conference of Undergraduate Research at the University of Central Oklahoma. This four-day conference in the first week of April hosts students from all over the country with research from all areas of study. She will be giving a twenty-minute oral presentation about her research.
Dr. Ellen Adams, Assistant Professor of Art in the Frederik Meijer Honors College, was selected as the 2018 recipient of the Pew Teaching Excellence Award. This award recognizes professors for their passion, teaching excellence and their ability to stimulate intellectual curiosity in their students. Dr. Adams teaches the sequence “Europe: Center and the Margins” and several Junior Seminars with art history as their central discipline. Dr. Adams’ innovative pedagogy includes a module called “Reacting to the Past,” a role-playing game in which a moment in history is learned through engagement with primary sources and collaboration with classmates. These student-centered games force students to think critically and creatively about history and culture. It gets students out of their seats and shakes up the traditional classroom. Her class was featured in GV Magazine and can be read about here. Dr. Adams’ students never forget her classes, and send her postcards from all across the globe detailing how her teaching has helped them appreciate art and culture.
Jeremiah recently published his fourth book, the topic for which is a social-political history of monotheism ranging from the 6th century BCE to the 4th century CE. The following is an abstract from Routledge Press:
In A Social-Political History of Monotheism, Cataldo shows how political concerns were fundamental to the development of Judeo-Christian monotheism. Beginning with the disruptive and devastating historical events that shook early Israelite culture and ending with the seemingly victorious emergence of Christianity under the Byzantine Empire, this work highlights critical junctures marking the path from political frustration to imperial ideology. Monotheism, Cataldo argues, was not an enlightened form of religion; rather, it was a cultic response to effluent anxieties pouring out from under the crushing weight of successive empires. This provocative work is a valuable tool for anyone with an interest in the development of early Christianity alongside empires and cultures.