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Strategic Plan for Kutsche Office of Local History

Mission

Giving voice to diverse communities through history

Vision

The Kutsche Office of Local History will be a regional and national model for fostering intentional and deep community connections through the collection, preservation, and dissemination of the diverse histories of underrepresented populations.

Value Statement

We value deep community connections, respect for storytelling and academic rigor to strengthen communities throughout West Michigan. These values involve bringing together faculty, staff, students, local historians, and community members to facilitate conversations and develop programs that leverage the lessons learned from the region's past. We value diversity in local and regional histories. We value interdisciplinary methods to unearth, collect, and preserve local and regional histories.

Strategic Priorities, outcomes, and key objectives

Strategic Priority Area 1: Actively engage learners at all levels.

Outcome A: Grand Valley's learning environment is personal, challenging, and transformational, supporting excellent academic programs and co-curricular opportunities.

Objective 1.A.1

From 2017-2020, at least 75% of programming supports undergraduate students' participation in at least one high-impact practice (e.g. research assistantships, internships, fellowships). In 2015-2016, we had undergraduate students supporting 75% of our projects. To continually ensure that we meet this goal, we will: 1) take an inventory of the various ways projects can involve students in high impact practices (Director, Office Coordinator); 2) explore different avenues to increase student involvement in programming (Advisory Council); c) ensure the longevity of the Community Collaboration Grant program (Director, Advisory Council).

Baseline

20% of programming supported HIL practices in 2015-2016

Progress

2019 Status
Achieved
The Kutsche Office of Local History offered a variety of opportunities for students to engage in high impact learning practices. Through our Community Collaboration Grant, our second recipient, Dr. Marilyn Preston hired an undergraduate research assistant (URA) for Winter 2019. The URA worked closely with Dr. Preston as part of the project, “L’dor v’dor: Oral Histories of the B’nai Israel Congregation,” which documents the histories of congregants at the B’nai Israel Synagogue in Muskegon, Michigan. A second URA was hired to support the project in Fall 2019, as Dr. Preston's Community Collaboration Grant was renewed for a subsequent year. As part of the Office’s National Endowment for the Humanities Common Heritage grant funded project, “Stories of Summer,” we worked with two undergraduate students and a special projects graduate assistant in Winter 2019. The work that semester included: 1) an undergraduate research assistant capturing the metadata associated with the more than 2,000 digitized objects of ephemera collected in summer 2018; 2) an undergraduate student designing the exhibit boards and working directly with the Kutsche Office staff and special projects graduate student; and 3) the Special Projects Graduate Assistant worked on oral history transcription. The exhibit was installed in the GVSU Mary Idema Pew Library in February 2019 and at the Saugatuck-Douglas History Center’s Old School House in June 2019. As part of our Michigan Humanities Council Third Coast Conversations: Dialogues About Water in Michigan grant-funded project, “Connections Along the Grand River,” we worked with an undergraduate student designer affiliated with University Promotions in winter 2019. We subsequently worked with a new student designer in summer and fall 2019. Beginning in summer 2019, we worked with an undergraduate student designer on materials related to our tenth anniversary celebration. An undergraduate student was also hired in fall 2019 to support administrative tasks while the office coordinator position went through a transition.

2018 Status
Substantial Progress
The Kutsche Office of Local History offered a variety of opportunities for students to engage in high impact learning practices. In Winter 2018, Dr. Kathryn Remlinger, the inaugural recipient of the Community Collaboration Grant, continued to work with her undergraduate research assistant on the project, "How Much Dutch? The Linguistic Landscape of Holland Michigan.” Additionally in winter 2018, as part of the National Endowment for the Humanities Common Heritage grant project, “Growing Community: Oceana County,” an undergraduate research assistant worked on transcribing and translating oral histories collected in English and Spanish. Her work was supervised by that project’s primary investigator, Dr. Melanie Shell-Weiss. We also completed the design of the exhibit, “Standing Rock: Photographs of an Indigenous Movement.” This exhibit was first held in the GVSU Mary Idema Pew Library in Winter 2018, and has since traveled to multiple locations in the Midwest. This project reflects a partnership with Levi Rickert, editor of Native News Online, and features 53 photographs on 21 panels documenting the Standing Rock resistance to the Dakota Access pipeline. An undergraduate design student created the exhibit boards, which were finalized in January 2018. Through our Community Collaboration Grant, our second recipient, Dr. Marilyn Preston hired an undergraduate research assistant (URA) for Fall 2018 and Winter 2019. The URA worked closely with Dr. Preston as part of the project, “L’dor v’dor: Oral Histories of the B’nai Israel Congregation,” which documents the histories of congregants at the B’nai Israel Synagogue in Muskegon, Michigan. In addition to working with the URA, Dr. Preston and a group of undergraduate students enrolled in a special topics course collected the oral histories of 18 members of the congregation. B’nai Israel has been in operation for nearly 130 years, and the congregation has been shrinking in the last three decades. As the membership ages, the temple itself is at risk of closing completely in a few years. The project examines the unique experience of living as a Jew in Muskegon, the rise and decline of the congregation, and the relationships between congregants and their religious and cultural identities. As part of the Office’s National Endowment for the Humanities Common Heritage grant funded project, “Stories of Summer,” we worked with two undergraduate students and a special projects graduate assistant in Fall 2018. This work continues into Winter 2019. This project documents the voices of Saugatuck-Douglas residents and their memories of summering in the region in the mid-twentieth century. Our undergraduate research assistant is capturing the metadata associated with the more than 2,000 digitized objects of ephemera collected in summer 2018. Our undergraduate student designer is designing the exhibit boards and working directly with the Kutsche Office staff and special projects graduate student. The Special Projects Graduate Assistant is transcribing the more than twenty oral histories collected. The exhibit will be in the GVSU Mary Idema Pew Library in February 2019 and at the Saugatuck-Douglas History Center’s Old School House in June 2019. Finally, the Kutsche Office received a Michigan Humanities Council Third Coast Conversations: Dialogues About Water in Michigan grant in 2018 to support our project, “Connections Along the Grand River,” which captures the histories of the communities and towns along the Grand River—how they came into being—and the role of the river in their survival and revitalization. We are working with nineteen organizations and five individuals interested in local history as part of this project. An undergraduate student designer affiliated with University Promotions is supporting the design of exhibit boards and materials associated with our March 2019 symposium. This work began in Fall 2018.

Outcome B: Grand Valley is diverse and inclusive.

Objective 1.B.1

From 2017-2020, at least two students affiliated with the office (e.g. interns, Community Collaboration Grant research assistants) per academic year are first generation or non-traditional undergraduate students.

Baseline

We previously have worked with non-traditional and/or first generation undergraduate students in 2015-2016.

Progress

2019 Status
Achieved
In 2019, Community Collaboration Grant undergraduate research assistants identified as a non-traditional undergraduate student. We also worked with two first generation undergraduate students. One supported our work with the Stories of Summer project, while the second student supported our Connections Along the Grand River project.

2018 Status
Substantive Progress
In winter 2018, our undergraduate research assistant supported the Growing Community: Oceana County project. In fall 2018, our undergraduate research assistant supported the Stories of Summer project. The undergraduate research assistant identifies as first generation.

Objective 1.B.2

We will implement at least one program in the next three years (2017-2020) that focuses on using local history as a way to teach leadership skills, promote positive identity formation, and enhance self-esteem among diverse undergraduate students (e.g. first generation, veterans, non-traditional, underrepresented communities).

Baseline

We currently engage undergraduate students through our campus events and developed a new project in Fall 2016 that examines student experiences while at GVSU.

Progress

2020 Status
Achieved
In lieu of implementing a 1-credit IDS course focused on oral history methods, we developed our digital oral history series (available on our YouTube channel https://tinyurl.com/kutscheoralhistoryplaylist). These videos are introductory content to oral history methods and best practices. This will allow students (in addition to community members or others interested in oral history) to learn more about how to design and execute an oral history project. We see this content as a first step to engaging additional oral history methods scholarship. These videos are complemented by our ability to offer on-demand trainings, workshops, or technical support. Additionally, we continue to support working with undergraduate research assistants and undergraduate designers/videographers annually. We also continue to cultivate a donor base to support these high impact practices for students.

2019 Status
Substantive Progress
In 2019, we held our tenth anniversary celebration event in an effort to update our donor base as part of our efforts to cultivate a donor base to create a stipend for undergraduate students to make intentional connections via fellowships/internships. This was our second year sending out a fall appeal letter with our new donor tiers. We look forward to seeing whether our not this tier system is successful as we continue to explore ways to encourage targeted donations to support students' ability to engage in local history initiatives. As noted in our update to 1.D.3, we also continue to seek ways to consider how to better integrate the work of the Kutsche Office with existing academic programs (e.g. students conducting OURS research).

Outcome C: Grand Valley has mutually beneficial relationships, partnerships, collaborations, and connections with local, state, national, and world communities.

Objective 1.C.1

By 2021, we will be a go-to resource for faculty and FTLC re: best practices for intentional, impactful community based learning (CBL) opportunities that reflect ethical engagement with underrepresented and diverse communities. We will facilitate relationships between GVSU faculty, students, and community partners through the Community Collaboration Grants. We will model best practices for deep, sustained, mutually beneficial community-university engagement.

Baseline

In 2015-2016, our programming involved 11 community organizations.

Progress

2021 Status
Achieved
Given the constraints posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, we created digital content to support GVSU faculty and staff interested in strengthening their intercultural competencies concerning the diverse communities in West Michigan. This has been accomplished through the creation of the video, "Building Intentional & Ethical Community Partnerships" available through GVSU Panopto for those affiliated with the university as a GVSU login is required. That video is made available on our website under "Faculty Opportunities" (https://www.gvsu.edu/kutsche/faculty-opportunities-41.htm). If GVSU faculty and staff are interested in learning more about training or educational resources available, please contact the Kutsche Office at [email protected] Faculty and staff should also review Marilyn Preston's "L'dor V'dor: Jewish Histories of Muskegon" video, which was created as part of our AY 2020-2021 digital content. That video provides concrete examples of building an ethical community-based project (https://youtu.be/35-V0hVDcHo). Additional videos premiering throughout 2021 underscore the importance of working closely with local communities and history organizations. Additionally, we encourage faculty and staff to review our Introduction to Oral History playlist, specifically our videos on "Oral Histories and Ethics" and "Developing an Oral History Project" (https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLLNrMaDekxPrMoyAIklQectzTF9-R_-RH). Our Archives Against the Grain Series contains information concerning how to use the Stories of Summer (Summers in Saugatuck-Douglas) collection available on the University Libraries Special Collections & Archives digital collection website. Those three videos underscore the broad reach of projects with local history organizations (https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLLNrMaDekxPr0PHnSTOuyavAEuYHN6sRb). That series also highlights the invaluable nature of working with community members and local history organizations on locating the voices of underrepresented communities through the historical record. Moreover, we have videos related to our Connections Along the Grand River project highlighting the role of various organizations and their communities in shaping West Michigan history (https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLLNrMaDekxPpWyUPXS3SFl0MrPNDalhcC). Taken together, these videos are designed to encourage reflection on what's necessary to build intentional and ethical community partnerships.

2020 Status
Substantial Progress
Due to COVID-19, we focused our efforts in developing digital content. This includes working with local historians and faculty on videos and webinars for our YouTube channel focused on community-based learning and the development of ethical and reciprocal partnerships. Much of this content was recorded in 2020 and will be available to the public on our website and YouTube channel in 2021. This content will allow faculty opportunities to access it on-demand and also offer graduate and undergraduate student researchers opportunities to enhance their skillsets.

Objective 1.C.2

By 2021 we will have worked with at least one community partner and/or on one project to enhance digital offerings (e.g. online primary source documents) and model online curriculum.

Baseline

In 2016, we developed plan to digitize two projects with University Libraries and Special Collections (Oceana County and Gi-gikinomaage-min)

Progress

2020 Status
Achieved
In 2020, our Michigan Humanities supported project, Connections Along the Grand River, was made available online. We have a magazine available for PDF download (http://gvsu.edu/s/1qK) and people can take a virtual tour of this program along the Grand River (https://uploads.knightlab.com/storymapjs/b0b554d9475e07a2e62c5ffef9c1a47a/connections-along-the-grand-river/index.html). Individuals can also visit our website to view interviews with those whose work is featured in the magazine. We also completed the metadata for all of the artifacts collected for our Stories of Summer project, funded by a National Endowment for Humanities Common Heritage grant. Those artifacts will become available in 2021 as they are processed by GVSU Special Collections and Archives. Current available materials can be accessed here: https://digitalcollections.library.gvsu.edu/collections/show/38. An undergraduate research assistant is currently working on developing videos to accompany those archival materials. Those videos will be available in 2021.

2018 Status
Substantive Progress
As part of our NEH Common Heritage grant funded project, Stories of Summer we digitized over 2,000 objects of ephemera and more than twenty oral histories. In Fall 2018 we began metadata processing for the ephemera and transcribing the oral histories. We also worked with GVSU Special Collections and Archives on the transcription of Gi-gikinomaage-min oral histories and ensuring the ephemera and oral histories from the NEH Common Heritage grant funded project, Growing Community: Oceana County, were available online (https://digitalcollections.library.gvsu.edu/collections/show/37). We are still working on the creation of a Library Guide for the work completed as part of Histories of Student Activism.

Outcome D: Grand Valley supports innovative teaching, learning, integrative scholarly and creative activity, and the use of new technologies.

Objective 1.D.1

By 2021, create workshops and relevant trainings/content to support faculty interested in developing new CBL partnerships in their courses.

Baseline

We currently do not have developed CBL partnerships with faculty.

Progress

2020 Status
Achieved
In light of COVID-19, we shifted our objective to focusing on how to best provide training and support to faculty interested in creating ethical, intentional community-based learning opportunities. This shift from the development of partnerships to focusing on training is rooted in the fact that for much of 2020, faculty taught remotely. We also anticipate that many faculty will remain teaching remotely in 2021 due to COVID-19-related constraints. The revision of this objective reflects a commitment to ensure that we maintain the health and safety of community partners in addition to GVSU faculty, staff, and students while following public health guidance. In 2020, we worked with one of the recipients of our Community Collaboration Grant and interviewed her on best practices related to community-based learning. We also identified other faculty who have engaged in relationships with community partners for future interviews to create additional digital content. These materials will be available online in 2021. We also are available for on-demand trainings. We see that work as an extension of the "Conducting Research with the Greater Community" workshop the current director of the Kutsche Office co-facilitated with her predecessor as part of the Responsible Conduct for Research Workshop in February 2018, hosted by the GVSU Center for Scholarly and Creative Excellence.

2019 Status
Substantive Progress
Marilyn Preston's Community Collaboration Grant was renewed for the 2019-2020 academic year. We continue to promote the Community Collaboration Grant program. We also will work with faculty interested in developing partnerships with local history organizations as well as those faculty developing relationships with community partners to see the ways their work intersects with local history. We will assess the Community Collaboration Grant program to ensure its meeting the needs of faculty, students, and community partners.

Objective 1.D.2

By 2021, we will have created curricular materials based at least two of our project or programs. These materials will support existing course offerings and broader community members interests' in the histories of West Michigan. These materials will be available online and involve creating best practices for working with local history institutions.

Baseline

We currently do not have curricular materials available.

Progress

2020 Status
Achieved
Due to COVID-19, we pivoted our efforts to focus on the creation of digital content. This includes developing robust local history content on our YouTube channel and website. As noted in 1.C.2 we developed online materials for our Connections Along the Grand River project and are currently developing content for our Stories of Summer project, which will be available in 2021. Those projects were supported by Michigan Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities, respectively. Additionally, we developed an Oral History video series. We also will be launching a variety of videos related to archiving, community-based learning, and increasing people's understanding of diverse communities in West Michigan as part of our on-going digital programs in 2020-21.

2019 Status
Minimal Progress
We are still working on completing a library guide for Histories of Student Activism. More time was spent on the development of the Connections Along the Grand River exhibition concerning the exhibit's creation and execution, which meant less time was focused on potential ties to curriculum. With the development of an associated magazine booklet for that project, the Kutsche Office is considering ways to tie this in with potential curriculum after meeting with project partners. We will also reach out to faculty teaching in units whose work might overlap with Kutsche Office projects to assess whether they are interested in specific curriculum to accompany those primary sources available via University Special Collections and Archives, or if the Kutsche Office should center our efforts in promoting the existing materials and ways people may incorporate them in the classroom.

Objective 1.D.3

Develop a 1-credit IDS 180 course for 2018-2019 for students interested in oral history methodologies. This curriculum will also be web-based to allow for dissemination with faculty, graduate students, and community members. The curriculum will be adaptable for workshops/trainings. By 2020, the web-based components and offerings for non-undergraduates will be complete.

Baseline

Currently the Office does not engage in academic course offerings as a non-academic unit.

Progress

2020 Status
Achieved
Due to COVID-19, we focused exclusively on the creation of an oral history video series. That series is available on our YouTube channel (https://tinyurl.com/kutscheoralhistoryplaylist). We also will feature interviews with scholars who use oral history methods on that channel to demonstrate how oral histories are incorporated in various projects. We will continue to provide on-demand workshops or technical support on an as-needed basis.

2019 Status
Substantive Progress
We began conversations with faculty teaching in the history department concerning the implementation of a 1-credit IDS course focused on oral history methodologies. We also sought ways to consider how to better integrate the work of the Kutsche Office with existing academic programs (e.g. students conducting OURS research). We look forward to expanding on those initial, preliminary conversations and recognize that this work might not transform into a particular course. Rather, we may move to the creation of an online curriculum that can be used across campus and available on Panopto, for example.

Strategic Priority Area 2: Further develop exceptional personnel.

Outcome A: Grand Valley's learning environment is personal, challenging, and transformational, supporting excellent academic programs and co-curricular opportunities.

Objective 2.A.1

By 2021, we will host at least one workshop per year for GVSU faculty and staff concerning strengthening and building their skillsets in the areas of oral history, ethics in community-based learning, and sustaining ethical, intentional partnerhsips/projects with diverse community partners. These workshops will focus on what it means to unearth and contribute to building knowledges regarding local history in the region.

Baseline

We currently do not have workshops aimed exclusively at GVSU faculty and staff.

Progress

2020 Status
Achieved
The Kutsche Office developed an online video series focused on oral histories, which is available on our YouTube channel (https://tinyurl.com/kutscheoralhistoryplaylist). These videos are of interest to those interested in starting an oral history project or learning more about oral history methods. These videos should be seen as a starting point and the Kutsche Office is available to conduct on-demand workshops and provide other technical support related to conducting oral histories. The oral history video series is complemented by our Archives Against the Grain series, which shares the expertise of various archivists, local historians, and scholars on the value of archival research. We recorded interviews with three people in Fall 2020 and that content will be available in early 2021 on our YouTube channel, after being condensed and edited for clarity (https://tinyurl.com/kutscheyoutube). Complementing the launch of the Archives Against the Grain series is our February 2021 workshop in collaboration with GVSU Special Collections and Archives on community and family archiving. Finally, in 2020 we also created video content focused on community-based learning best practices and that content will be available online in 2021.

2019 Status
Substantial Progress
In winter 2019, we held an event for community members and GVSU students, faculty, staff concerning how to do a history harvest as part of our the Stories of Summer exhibition opening in February 2019. This workshop focused on best practices for oral history collection and working with a community partner. In fall 2019, we considered the feasibility and relevance for hosting workshops aimed exclusively at faculty/staff annually. We believe that hosting workshops for multiple constituencies similar to the event in February 2019 remains a best practice for the Office as it allows for peer-to-peer learning in ways that working with a single group may not.

Outcome B: Grand Valley is diverse and inclusive.

Objective 2.B.1

By 2021, we will create a workshop for GVSU faculty and staff to support their intercultural competencies concerning the diverse communities in West Michigan.

Baseline

We currently do not have workshops specifically for GVSU faculty and staff.

Progress

2021 Status
Achieved
Given the constraints posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, we created digital content to support GVSU faculty and staff interested in strengthening their intercultural competencies concerning the diverse communities in West Michigan. This has been accomplished through the creation of the video, "Building Intentional & Ethical Community Partnerships" available through GVSU Panopto for those affiliated with the university as a GVSU login is required. That video is made available on our website under "Faculty Opportunities" (https://www.gvsu.edu/kutsche/faculty-opportunities-41.htm). Faculty and staff should also review Marilyn Preston's "L'dor V'dor: Jewish Histories of Muskegon" video, which was created as part of our AY 2020-2021 digital content. That video provides concrete examples of building an ethical community-based project (https://youtu.be/35-V0hVDcHo). We also encourage faculty and staff to review our Introduction to Oral History playlist, specifically our videos on "Oral Histories and Ethics" and "Developing an Oral History Project" (https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLLNrMaDekxPrMoyAIklQectzTF9-R_-RH). These videos are designed to encourage reflection on what's necessary to build intentional and ethical community partnerships. If GVSU faculty and staff are interested in learning more about training or educational resources available, please contact the Kutsche Office at [email protected]

2020 Status
Substantial Progress
We began the process of creating digital content to support GVSU faculty and staff interested in strengthening their intercultural competencies concerning ethical community-based projects with diverse communities in West Michigan. This digital content will address the formation of community-based learning, high impact practices with students as well as considering how to ensure reciprocity is at the core of any partnership.

Outcome C: Grand Valley has mutually beneficial relationships, partnerships, collaborations, and connections with local, state, national, and world communities.

Objective 2.C.1

Facilitate and solidify relationships with at least one new community partner annually to build stronger partnerships in the region and continue our existing relationships with current and former partners.

Baseline

We formed new partnerships as a result of three projects in 2015-2016.

Progress

2019 Status
Achieved
We continue to make connections with a variety of new community partners and strengthen our connections with existing partners in West Michigan. As part of our National Endowment for the Humanities funded project, Connections Along the Grand River, we connected with more than twenty local history organizations and local historians. Ten of those organizations represent new relationships. These organizations include the Grandville Historical Commission, Boston/Saranac Historical Society, Allendale Historical Society, Portland Area Historical Society, Lamont History, Ionia County Historical Society, Ottawa County Parks and Recreation, Lower Grand River Organization of Watersheds, Eastmanville History, and the City of Walker. We also strengthened our relationships with the Saugatuck, MI community as part of our Contemporary Stories of Saugatuck, which reflected a new partnership with Saugatuck High School and continuing work with the Saugatuck-Douglas History Center.

2018 Status
Substantial Progress
In 2018, we solidified our partnership with the Saugatuck-Douglas History Center as a result of our Stories of Summer project, which is funded by a National Endowment for the Humanities Common Heritage grant. This project resulted in a new project, Contemporary Stories of Saugatuck, which documents the voices of the Class of 2019 at Saugatuck High School. Contemporary Stories of Saugatuck reflects a partnership with the Saugatuck-Douglas History Center and Saugatuck High School. Additionally, as part of our Connections Along the Grand River project, funded by a Michigan Humanities Council Third Coast Conversations: Dialogues about Water in Michigan grant, we are working with nineteen local history organizations. Of those organizations, nine are new organizations that we have not previously been in contact with. The director of the Kutsche Office also visited the Tri-Rivers Historical organization, meeting with various organizations affiliated with that network in Fall 2018. Moreover, as part of the Community Collaboration Grant program, our second recipient, Dr. Marilyn Preston established a relationship with the B’nai Israel Synagogue in Muskegon, Michigan as part of “L’dor v’dor: Oral Histories of the B’nai Israel Congregation.”

Strategic Priority Area 3: Ensure the alignment of institutional structures and functions.

Outcome C: Grand Valley has mutually beneficial relationships, partnerships, collaborations, and connections with local, state, national, and world communities.

Objective 3.C.1

Increase engagement with undergraduate students by 70% from 2015-2016 to 2019-2020.

Baseline

In 2015-2016 our programming impacted 111 undergraduate students.

Progress

2021 Status
Achieved
During this most recent academic year (2020-21), more than 280 students registered for our webinar programs. This does not include students who have accessed our recorded programs on our YouTube channel. The Office also collaborated with two undergraduate courses to develop live local history presentations that related directly with the courses’ existing curricula. Since 2016, we have reached more than 850 undergraduate students through our programs. We look forward to continuing our engagement with undergraduate students.

2020 Status
Substantial Progress
Due to COVID-19 we shifted our programmatic efforts to digital offerings. This includes live webinars, which are also recorded, and the creation of video content for on-demand viewing on either our website or YouTube channel. Faculty have reported their students attended our events as part of co-curricular opportunities. It is more difficult to measure "student" attendance at online events as there is not a tool on Zoom's webinar feature to track this information. However, based on registrants for our events, we feel confident that we continue to maintain a strong reach with GVSU students. We look forward to continuing to engage students digitally until we are able to resume our face-to-face offerings.

Strategic Priority Area 4: Enhance the institution's image and reputation.

Outcome A: Grand Valley's learning environment is personal, challenging, and transformational, supporting excellent academic programs and co-curricular opportunities.

Objective 4.A.1

At least one program or project receives external recognition every 1-2 years.

Baseline

In 2015-2016, two programs received external media recognition.

Progress

2019 Status
Achieved
The Kutsche Office of Local History was a 2019 Michigan Humanities Community Impact Partner of the Year nominee. This nomination reflects the intentional, community-based work that informs the Office's projects and programs since its inception. Our National Endowment for Humanities Common Heritage grant funded project, Stories of Summer, received media attention at the state level in a segment on Michigan Radio's Stateside program (http://www.michiganradio.org/post/stateside-new-cyberbulling-law-kids-not-getting-mental-health-help-what-business-friendly-means#saugatuck). Grand Valley also highlighted the Stories of Summer exhibit in GV Now and the Lanthorn. The Holland Sentinel also featured a story on our Contemporary Stories of Saugatuck project (https://www.hollandsentinel.com/entertainmentlife/20190512/open-house-exhibit-showcases-graduates). That project documented the voices of Saugatuck High School's Class of 2019. The Community Collaboration Grant funded project, L’dor v’dor: Oral Histories of the B’nai Israel Congregation, directed by Dr. Marilyn Preston received external recognition in addition to coverage by GVSU. The Temple Project received some recognition, including both on and off campus. Michelle Coffil wrote an article on it, focused mostly on Joel Hill's work with SSS and the synagogue.

2018 Status
Substantial Progress
The National Endowment for the Humanities Common Heritage grant funded project, "Stories of Summer," received external recognition throughout summer 2018. This included the Kutsche Office director's interview with Shelley Irwin on her WGVU show in July 2018 (http://www.wgvunews.org/post/stories-summer). The project was also featured in the Grand Rapids Magazine article, “‘Stories of Summer’: Collaborative Project Aims to Bring Untold Stories of Summer in the Saugatuck-Douglas Area to Light" (https://issuu.com/grmag/docs/grm_06.18). The twin lakeshore communities' local paper, The Commercial Record, also featured stories about the project at different points in the year. When we received the Michigan Humanities Council (MHC) Third Coast Conversations: Dialogues about Water in Michigan grant to support our project, "Connections Along the Grand River," the MHC issued a press release (https://www.michiganhumanities.org/third-coast-conversations-dialogues-about-water-in-michigan-grant-awards/). The traveling exhibit "Standing Rock: Photographs of an Indigenous Movement" received news coverage from Native News Online, the Lakota Times, and WZZM13. Please see the links below: https://nativenewsonline.net/currents/standing-rock-photographs-of-an-indigenous-movement-exhibtion-opens-at-evanston-public-library/?fbclid=IwAR1cmSH7XKHtrCgoIgzniS7nc9ODRvhLZQojK6sIshpOI8purAujU3rrlWM https://nativenewsonline.net/currents/american-indian-center-of-chicago-to-host-native-news-onlines-standing-rock-photograph-exhibit/?fbclid=IwAR2zgagsaxtqUz4zyGxcAuIiErfLfYzpNoN_1PQeUSFZucg3RFGhxkZl8oc https://www.lakotacountrytimes.com/articles/standing-rock-water-protectors-exhibit-in-illinois/?fbclid=IwAR0ccJ2FmCGSpJZqOLFYmzG7Vptfx8KO_u3zo3XkHYN9sQShg8kEzK5-8NM https://www.wzzm13.com/video/news/standing-rock-exhibit-display-at-gr-library/69-8378349

Outcome B: Grand Valley is diverse and inclusive.

Objective 4.B.1

At least 75% of all programs/projects directly engage communities of color and Indigenous communities in West Michigan.

Baseline

In 2015-2016, four programs/projects directly engaged the histories of communities of color or Indigenous communities in West Michigan.

Progress

2020 Status
Substantial Progress
Due to COVID-19, we moved all of our on-going projects and programs to online content. This includes the creation of asynchronously available videos on our YouTube channel and website and live webinars, which are also recorded for future use. The implementation of new programs/projects focused on those that can be conducted virtually for the time-being given the public health crisis.

2019 Status
Substantial Progress
We continue to highlight the region's diversity. Our focus for 2019 included completing our work on the National Endowment for the Humanities Common Heritage grant funded project, Stories of Summer. This project documents the voices of LGBTQ individuals as well as other residents who spent their summers in the twin-lakesore communities of Saugatuck-Douglas in the mid-twentieth century. We also received a Michigan Humanities Third Coast Conversations grant in 2018 to support the work on our project, Connections Along the Grand River. Organizations that participated in this project highlighted their communities' respective histories that intersected with Indigenous communities in the region. The Kutsche Office also became Michigan Humanities Great Michigan Read 2019-2020 partner. This year's selection is Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha's book, What the Eyes Don't See, which explores the Flint, MI water crisis and the intersections of environmental racism and social justice. Our participation in this initiative aligns with our investments in elucidating the ways in which local history intersects with environmental justice and history, as seen in our Connections Along the Grand River project. The Standing Rock: Photographs of an Indigenous Movement traveling exhibit, part of our Gi-gikinomaage-min project, was displayed at the Grand Rapids Public Library (January 2019), the Downriver Council for the Arts in Detroit, MI (May-June 2019), and Little River in Manistee, MI (July 2019). In Fall 2019, we hosted the lecture “‘The World’s Greatest Minstrel Show Under the Stars’: Blackface Minstrels, Community Identity, and the Lowell Showboat, 1932-1977,” featuring Drs. Matthew Daley and Scott Stabler, along with George Bayard, executive director of the Grand Rapids African American Museum and Archive. The Lowell Showboat, named Robert E. Lee, entertained thousands each summer with well-known performers including Dinah Shore, Pearl Bailey, Milton Berle, and Louis Armstrong. Alongside these entertainers, minstrels in blackface humored audiences with racial stereotyping. This event was co- sponsored by Lowell Area Historical Museum. We continued to work toward identifying potential community partners to collaborate with on projects impacting communities of color and Indigenous communities. This included intentional outreach to organizations and individuals whose work aligns with the Kutsche Office's mission.

Outcome C: Grand Valley has mutually beneficial relationships, partnerships, collaborations, and connections with local, state, national, and world communities.

Objective 4.C.1

By 2021, we will be recognized by the community as a leader in the interdisciplinary practice and teaching of local history and culture.

Baseline

In 2016 we have engaged 111 undergraduate students at events sponsored by the Kutsche Office. This does not include events where we were not the lead sponsor. In 2015-2016, two programs received external media recognition. In 2016, we had 60 community members attend the local history roundtable. In 2015-2016, 30 organizations engaged with Kutsche Office program.

Progress

2019 Status
Achieved
The Kutsche Office’s work was recognized by Michigan Humanities. We were nominated for their Community Impact Partner for the Year, as part of the inaugural statewide awards for 2019. While we did not receive the award, this nomination reflects the impact the Office has across the state of Michigan. An example of our work in the community teaching the value of local history is our efforts to support youth leadership. Throughout the first half of 2019, building on work that began in fall 2018, the Kutsche Office worked with students at Saugatuck High School as part of our project, Contemporary Stories of Saugatuck. This project emerged from work conducted as part of Stories of Summer. The Kutsche Office partnered with Saugatuck High School journalism students and the Saugatuck- Douglas History Center to capture the memories of the Class of 2019. The Kutsche Office trained 59 journalism students in oral history best practices and those students developed oral history questions to ask the senior class. The voices of 74 high school seniors were captured. The project culminated with an exhibition opening featuring the portraits and excerpts of oral histories from the Class of 2019 May 14, 2019 at the Saugatuck -Douglas History Center’s Old School House. Moreover, we continue to provide Grand Valley students access to high impact learning experiences, as seen through our work with four undergraduate student designers, one undergraduate research assistant, and one undergraduate student worker. The Community Collaboration Grant funded project also supported the work of an undergraduate research assistant. Due to the Office's work on the Michigan Humanities grant funded project, Connections Along the Grand River, we built relationships with more than ten new organizations and/or local historians. We also continued to strengthen our ties with community members through our annual local history roundtable and annual fall luncheon in addition to other programs.

2018 Status
Substantial Progress
We reached nine new organizations in 2018 as a result of our Michigan Humanities Grant funded project, Connections Along the Grand River. Our two signature events—Annual Local History Roundtable and Lunch with the Kutsche Office—continue to serve as cornerstone programs that continue to engage local history organizations and historians. These programs coupled with our Engaging the Community Series facilitate our continued connections with the community. We reached an estimated 100 K-12 students in 2018. These students attend the following schools: Black River Public School (Holland, MI), Holland Christian School, and Saugatuck High School. This work was part of our Youth Leadership Initiative.

Outcome E: Grand Valley strategically allocates its fiscal, human, and other institutional resources.

Objective 4.E.1

By 2018 we will develop a comprehensive marketing and communication print and online strategy that reflects our multiple constituencies (e.g. GVSU, local community, K-12).

Baseline

A case statement was finalized in 2015-2016.

Progress

2020 Status
Achieved
As we transitioned to offering fully online programs, we worked to enhance our digital brand. This included working with an undergraduate graphic design/video student on creating a YouTube banner and consistent intro and outro text for all of our videos. Please visit our YouTube channel here: https://tinyurl.com/kutscheyoutube. As we developed our YouTube channel, we created specific content related to oral history trainings, archival research, community based learning and featured speakers. We also uploaded all of our recorded webinars. The office coordinator refined our communications message as we revamped our Kutsche Chronicle, streamlined our electronic mailings, and enhanced our social media presence.

2019 Status
Substantial Progress
In 2019 we continued to streamline our communication materials. We also focused on our tenth year celebration in September 2019. As a result of these efforts, we focused on producing a magazine highlighting the office's various projects, grants, and initiatives undertaken since its founding. We developed a relationship with a student undergraduate designer and the student's faculty visual design mentor. Based on our on-going work with them, we anticipate the creation of a Kutsche Office symbol to occur in early 2020. We also are working to refine our communication materials with the recent hire of an office coordinator who brings experience with the creation of exhibitions for museums and local history organizations. Part of this work includes reflecting on the effectiveness of our communication plan to encourage sustained relationships and building new relationships with local historians, local history organizations, various community members, and members of the GVSU community.

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