Across Campus

ACE leaders review internationalization goals

Internationalization Task Force presents its report to university leaders

After nearly two years of work, the Internationalization Task Force presented its report to university leaders after meeting with a review team from the American Council on Education.

Mark Schaub, co-chair of the task force, said the No. 1 recommendation from the task force is that global learning be taught to students in every major. Another major recommendation was to include global learning in more co-curricular student activities.

“More global learning in the curriculum and the co-curricular space would assure that every student at Grand Valley has the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to be successful in a globally-connected world,” Schaub said. He co-chairs the task force with Carol Sanchez, professor of management and director of international business programs for Seidman College of Business.

The task force held town hall meetings last fall and compiled results from a survey of the campus community regarding global learning. Survey results and more information is online at The recommendation report will be posted online before the end of this semester.

Schaub said discussion to implement the task force recommendations will continue in the fall semester. 


Niemeyer award recipients named 

Paul Isely and Deborah Herrington were recognized at the annual awards ceremony April 7.

Students and faculty members were recognized for their leadership April 7 at the annual awards celebration.

Deborah Herrington, associate professor of chemistry, and Paul Isely, professor of economics, were each named Niemeyer Award Winners.

Named for former Provost Glenn A. Niemeyer, faculty recipients of the award are honored for their excellence and loyalty to teaching, scholarship and service.

Herrington co-founded the Target Inquiry program, an innovative professional development program designed to improve the quality and frequency of inquiry-based instruction in middle and high school science classes.

Isely serves as a West Michigan expert in many facets of the economy. Policy makers at the city, county and state levels have shown that they value this work by appointing him to government committees exploring policies.

Two undergraduate students received Niemeyer awards: Katherine Braspenninx, a senior majoring in nursing; and Danielle Meirow, a double-major in women and gender studies and biomedical sciences who is enrolled in the Honors College.

Jennifer Bowling, a doctor of nursing practice candidate, earned the Niemeyer award for graduate students.


Horak named director of FOBI 

Joseph J. Horak

Joseph J. Horak has been named director of the Family Owned Business Institute in the Seidman College of Business.

Horak has been an adjunct faculty member in the Seidman College of Business since 2007 where he has taught a class in family business. He coached a Grand Valley team of students at the 2014 International Family Business Case Competition that won the award for Most Creative and Innovative Team. Horak’s doctorate is in counseling and leadership from the Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology Department at Western Michigan University where he was honored with the department’s Outstanding Alumnus Award in 2011. 

Horak was appointed to the Licensing Board for Marriage and Family Therapy by Gov. Engler and to the Licensing Board for Psychology by Gov. Snyder. Horak is a past president of the Michigan Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and previously was the senior director of Leadership Development and Family Business Consultation at DWH.  






Field Station earns LEED Gold Certification 

The new Field Station building at the Annis Water Resources Institute on Muskegon Lake has been certified as LEED Gold, demonstrating the university’s commitment to sustainable construction and building practices.

The Field Station was completed and dedicated in 2013, but LEED certification and review was not completed until early this year. LEED certification is based on several factors, including site sustainability, water efficiency, energy use, materials and resources, environmental quality and innovation in design.

LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is an internationally recognized certification system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council that certifies environmentally sustainable construction projects.

Grand Valley now owns and operates more than a dozen LEED certified buildings and facilities. LEED projects at Grand Valley account for approximately 10 percent of the LEED certified projects in the West Michigan area.  



Sustainability champions celebrated at annual breakfast

SCDI Director Norman Christopher presents the sustainability champion awards.

Grand Valley students, faculty, staff and community members were celebrated and recognized for their sustainable efforts at the sixth annual Sustainability Champions Awards Breakfast April 3.

President Thomas J. Haas, Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell and Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies Dean Anne Hiskes spoke about the importance of growing sustainable practices at Grand Valley and in Grand Rapids. Thirty-eight sustainability champions were recognized at the event.

“Sustainability is one of our core values at Grand Valley,” Haas said. “Our students told us that, so when it comes to student success, our collective efforts must focus on that mantra and core value.”

Hiskes said Grand Valley’s campuses serve as a living, learning model of sustainable best practices. “Our vision at Grand Valley is to make sustainability a part of everyone’s everyday job,” she said.

Recipients of the Nichols Sustainability Scholarship were also recognized at the breakfast. The scholarship was created in 2006 to reward students who are committed to making a difference in environmental, social and fiscal sustainability. Nichols, established in 1936, is a distributor of products to clean and protect the Great Lakes Region.


Faculty selfies sought for social media

Who are Grand Valley faculty members outside of the classroom?

University Communications is seeking “selfie” photos of faculty members enjoying activities outside of the classroom, like spending time with fami­ly or participating in a hobby. The photos will be shared on Grand Valley’s Facebook page and Instagram and Twitter accounts in April.

Send photos and a caption to Leah Twilley, communications specialist, at


Interfaith leadership celebrated

Douglas Kindschi, Sylvia Kaufman, and award recipient the Rev. Richard Rhem, pastor emeritus of Christ Community Church in Spring Lake. 

A special event to honor interfaith leadership was held at Grand Valley on March 27. President Thomas J. Haas and Douglas Kindschi, director of the Sylvia and Richard Kaufman Interfaith Institute, welcomed interfaith leaders and celebrated their impact in West Michigan and beyond.

The first annual Sylvia Kaufman Interfaith Leadership Award was presented to the Rev. Richard Rhem, pastor emeritus of Christ Community Church in Spring Lake, where he served 37 years.

“Rev. Rehm was an early supporter of interfaith understanding and an active participant in the Jewish/Christian Dialogues, which began in the 1980s,” said Kindschi, referring to the Muskegon program initiated by Sylvia Kaufman. She went on to establish the West Shore Committee and the Academic Consortium, and Grand Valley established the Kaufman Interfaith Institute in 2007 to honor and continue her efforts.

The event also included an interfaith presentation by David Ford, the Regius Professor of Divinity at Cambridge University in England and founder and director of the Cambridge Inter-Faith Programme. Ford has written more than 10 books, has lectured throughout the world, and co-founded Scriptural Reasoning, a practice of interfaith reading in small groups representing different faith traditions.

For more information about the Kaufman Interfaith Institute, visit, or call (616) 331-5702.


Alums happy with match

Alex Gilde learns his residency match

It’s called Match Day. On March 21, medical school students at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, and across the country, opened envelopes and learned where they would spend their residencies.

The group included Grand Valley alumni who were in the first cohort of the Early Assurance Program. The program is a partnership between MSU and Grand Valley that grants early acceptance of up to six qualified Grand Valley students to MSU-CHM.

Alex Gilde found out he was matched with his first choice: Grand Rapids Medical Education Partners in orthopaedic surgery.

Others in the inaugural cohort include Beth Fetzer, matched with Grand Rapids Medical Education Partners for obstetrics and gynecology speciality; Bobbye Koning, headed for Med-Peds in Grand Rapids; Caleb Ortega, headed for the University of Alabama at Birmingham Medical Center for anesthesiology; and Mitch Sydloski, Grand Rapids Medical Education Partners for family medicine.

The Early Assurance Program is for Grand Valley pre-medical students who are interested in practicing in an underserved area of medicine and with underserved populations.

Page last modified April 11, 2014