Paid Opportunities for GVSU Students
The Kutsche Office of Local History helps support West Michigan's upcoming public history professionals by funding internship opportunities that might otherwise be unpaid. For the 2023-2024 academic year, we have teamed up with the Greater Grand Rapids Women's History Council. Conduct research on notable women from Grand Rapids' history, dig in the Grand Rapids Public Library archives, create original materials for online publication, and learn more about the local history scene in West Michigan.
See full details and application materials here or share with someone who might be interested!
**Fall 2023 applications are due by September 1, 2023.
**Winter 2024 applications are due by December 1, 2023.
INT 100/201 Approved Programs
GVSU's Integrative, Religious, and Intercultural Studies Department approves co-curricular programs for inclusion in INT 100 (Reflect, Connect, Engage) and INT 201 (Diversity in the U.S.) courses. The Kutsche Office maintains a playlist of our digital programs that have INT 100/201 approval and count as relevant co-curricular programs. These include:
- Public Health & Public Trust with Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha: Flint, MI pediatrician Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha and State Representative Rachel Hood discuss public health, environmental inequality, and the relationship between true democratic representation and healthy communities (Must be logged into a GVSU Blackboard account to view).
- Deconstructing Confederate Monuments: Using Allendale, MI's Confederate soldier monument as a jumping-off point, scholars Dina Bailey, Ashleigh Lawrence-Sanders, and Kevin Levin examine how memorializing the Confederacy became so widespread, how Confederate memorialization contributes to racism and historic erasure, and where we can go from here.
- Memories of Historic Woodland Park: Author Dianna Cross Toran shares the history and generations of stories from Newaygo county's Woodland Park, an historically Black family resort community.
- Black Tourism in West Michigan: Dani Willcutt (GVSU class of 2010) explores how race has shaped travel and leisure in the Great Lakes State.
- Becoming a Home for All: LGBTQ Tourism in West Michigan: G Angel (GVSU '21) discusses the flourishing of West Michigan's LGBTQ community during the 1960-70s.
- Newcomer Legacy: A Vietnamese-American Story in West Michigan: Alan Headbloom (Headbloom Cross-Cultural Communication) shares interviews with Vietnamese refugees, providing intimate glimpses into the lives of those who settled around Grand Rapids following the overthrow of South Vietnam and withdrawal of U.S. troops in 1975.
- With Dignity & Respect: Returning Indigenous Remains in West Michigan: In 1990, many Indigenous Americans were laid to rest for the first time in centuries. Congress passed the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), requiring museums, universities, and other institutions to return items that belonged to Indigenous Americans. J. Jay Sam (Director of Historic Preservation of the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians) and Dr. Janet G. Brashler (Retired Professor of Anthropology at Grand Valley State University) discuss their firsthand experiences with implementing NAGPRA in 1990s West Michigan.
- Laying New Tracks: Syrians in Grand Rapids and the Midwest: In the early 1900s, thousands of people emigrated from Greater Syria and settled in the Midwest. Grand Rapids had a large Syrian population of shopkeepers and railroad workers who founded Christian churches and Muslim societies in the city while building up key aspects of the area’s twentieth-century infrastructure. Dr. Ashley Johnson Bavery, traces the circuitous routes Syrian migrants took to reach Grand Rapids, where they established benevolent societies that provided medical insurance, immigration aide, and camaraderie. Dr. Ashley Johnson Bavery (Assistant Professor of History at Eastern Michigan University) discusses her research and the lasting legacy of this migration.
- The Lowell Showboat: Blackface Minstrels & Community Identity in Lowell, MI: GVSU professors of history Matthew Daley and Scott Stabler trace the history of Lowell, MI's popular blackface minstrel showboat performances, which lasted from 1932-1977. There are shorter excerpts from this video available, including reflecting on Jim Crow and the popularity of Showboats, what is Lost Cause mythology, the history of the Ku Klux Klan in West Michigan, and racial dynamics in twentieth-century West Michigan.
- Solidarities: White Women and Women of Color's Activism to Secure the Vote: The Nineteenth Amendment ostensibly provided women the right to vote; yet, access to voting was not equal as Black, Indigenous, women of color remained disenfranchised. This presentation will place women's suffrage in conversation with the broader movement toward civil rights for Black, indigenous, people of color. Nationally-recognized scholars Liette Gidlow and Allison Lange join Sophia Brewer from the Greater Grand Rapids Women's History Council in exploring white women and Black, indigenous, women of color's efforts to secure the vote.
- Lesser Known Women in West Michigan History: David M. McCord (Ionia County Historical Society), Brenda Nemetz (Lakeshore Museum Center), and Kristen Wildes (Ada Historical Society) highlight West Michigan women whose accomplishments might not be known outside of their communities, but who impacted an untold number of people as a result of their work in various industries. Recognizing their efforts reflects a commitment to preserve the stories of everyday Michiganders, and how women have leveraged their own abilities and interests to make change.
- Grand Rapids Women & Their Work During the Great War: Katelyn Bosch VerMerris examines both the paid labor and volunteer contributions of women in Grand Rapids during World War I. Utilizing rich primary sources, this presentation dives into how women used the upheaval of war to achieve their own training and goals, while also providing essential contributions to organizing for the war at home and abroad.