Photo Gallery

Fall '22 INT 310:Creativity Project (19 Photos)

Professor Ramya Swayamprakash had students in INT 310.01 Creativity and Innovative Problem Solving create a kolam design, a south Indian design like chalk painting but with rice flour for their midterm. Students did this on the walkway in front of Lake Superior Hall. Students, staff and faculty who walked by were able to watch the creative process.
Throughout the semester, students had been considering creativity and innovation through case studies worldwide and through historical examples. In so doing, they had been critically evaluating what makes an individual creative or not. A kolam is a floor pattern usually made with ground rice flour. Originally from Tamil Nadu, in South India, kolam has passed down generations for thousands of years wherever the Tamil diaspora went including Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia. Traditionally drawn by women of the family, at least once a day, the kolam is supposed to bring prosperity to the household.  Kolams are very structured. INT 310 students are studying innovation and creativity in space and time, applying those insights to innovate and improvise within the structure of the kolam.

The students did a couple of rounds of iterations on their designs. Students got feedback from Professor Swayamprakash. Students were very receptive to the idea and enjoyed reading about the history of kolams as well as watching videos about how they are made. During the process, they were challenged to work with the medium (wet rice flour and rags) on to the floor. "At the end of the process, they were really impressed by themselves, and so was I", shared Professor Swayamprakash. The students also received feedback from the GVSU Art Gallery as well.





The Three Fires Teaching Lodge (5 Photos)

The Three Fires Teach Lodge was built at the Sustainable Agriculture Project on June 25th and 26th. This lodge is the first of its kind at a public university in Michigan. This project began in Dr. Riley Mukavetz's course, Anishinaabeg Lifeways when she asked students how they can make Indigenous space and support Indigenous sovereignty while being a part of an institution. Students collaborated on writing a proposal and sought funding to make this lodge a reality. This lodge and the gardens are designed to make Indigenous space that supports the education and cultural continuance of Indigenous community members off and on campus. Students, alumni, community members, faculty, and staff from GVSU, GRCC, and Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College put in over 20 hours of work to harvest saplings and build the lodge. This teaching lodge will be managed by the Native American Student Association and the Native American Advisory Council. Special acknowledgement should go to IRIS alumni Braxtyn Lipponen and Natasha Stewart as well as ENS students Angela Haan and Eryn Hyma and Jacob Klanke (Anthro/Art History) who served as research assistants, advisors, and interns on this project. To learn more about a teaching lodge and the process please see this article.

Ducks Unlimited Field Trip - Winter 22 INT 323 (2 Photos)

GVSU and Ducks Unlimited have partnered to build mutually benefitting relationships with agricultural communities in order to preserve and restore healthy wetlands through sustainable farming practices. The catalyst of the partnership is a multiple semester project involving GVSU students enrolled in Design Thinking to Meet Real World Needs courses. 


Field trips and paper airplanes (5 Photos)

Fall 2021 brought numerous opportunities for students in Professor Anthony Meyer's INT 100 (Reflect, Connect, Engage), INT 301 (Interdisciplinary Research Methods), INT 310 (Creativity) and  INT 314 (Life Journeys) to experience the application of learning in the real world.

INT 100.09 and INT 301.02 students went on a tour of the Padnos Recycling and Sustainability Education Facility in Grand Rapids.

INT 310.03 found students collaborating through engaged learning activities.

INT 314.08 students found space to reflect on the theme of identity in relation to the natural world, making tea by boiling Basswood buds, White Pine needles, Rose Hip, Yellow Birch shavings, and Honey Locust pulp. With a little bit of honey, this made a delicious, nutrient-rich tea directly from mother earth.  

INT 380: Anishanaabek Lifeways (8 Photos)

During the Fall 2021 semester students have learned about Michigan Indigenous history through land based education. Led and taught by Professor Andrea Riley-Mukavetz, the class walked to the ravines to harvest paw paws, an Indigenous to Michigan and North America. Another day found them in the kitchen with Indigenous chef and GVSU student Cam Stott preparing and enjoying manoomin (wild rice) including the traditional harvesting practices and nutritional benefits.

Fall 2019 IRIS Senior Showcase (8 Photos)

Each semester students from LIB 495 Senior Seminar (Capstone) have the opportunity to share their thesis statement with family, friends and faculty at the Senior Showcase event. Students in the Integrative Studies program have been working on their integrative statements for 2-4 years developing and researching and area of interest that explores and defines their goals.

The variety of topics and students is a beautiful example of what interdisciplinarity in education looks like and the tremendously important impact it has on the lives of our students and the world in which they are ready to impact!

Fall 2019 LIB 100 Showcase (5 Photos)

Professor Maureen Wolverton's LIB 100.03 Showcase event!
LIB 100 is a course that examines the nature of liberal education, and the ways in which education can help students become empowered members of society. Students presented their culminating work from the Fall semester!

REL 310 and 340 Field Trips (4 Photos)

REL 310: The Sukkah is on the lawn behind KC, next to the pond. It was set up by the Jewish Hillel student group. The festival of Sukkot (also called feast of booths/huts) lasts from Oct 13-20 and was originally an agricultural festival celebrating the harvest, but the more symbolic meaning commemorates the Exodus of the people of Israel from slavery in Egypt. Just as the people lived in temporary shelters in the Sinai desert, today Jews build temporary structures as a ritual to relive the desert journey experience. Families have meals in the sukkah and some even sleep under it for 7 days of the holiday.

REL 340: Religion and Pop Culture in the United States  -  students traveled to downtown Grand Rapids to look at the murals remaining from ArtPrize years. They were asked to consider how they are interpreted through the lense of Religious Studies.

Dynamic Learning (25 Photos)

Students enrolled in classes across IRIS are regularly engaged in hands-on, interactive learning experiences. These photos feature some recent examples from classes in 2018-2019, including courses taught by Dr. Brent Smith (assistant department chair and associate professor, IRIS) and Dr. Santos Ramos (assistant professor, IRIS). 

2nd Annual "Get Sex(Ed)" Sexual Education Fair (November 2018) (4 Photos)

The Fall 2018 2nd Annual "Get Sex(Ed) Fair" was a huge success with 100% of event evaluation respondents reporting feeling more knowledgeable about safer sexual practices after the fair, and over 70% felt their knowledge about consent increased. More than 100 students visited during the event held in KC 2263 between 6-8 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 26th. Big thanks to sponsors, class participants and students! The Fair is organized annually by Dr. Marilyn Preston (associate professor, IRIS) with the collaboration of students in LIB/WGS 326 (Sexuality, Justice, and Advocacy).