Across Campus

March 9, 2015


Rowland named Title IX coordinator

Theresa Rowland has been named Grand Valley’s interim Title IX coordinator, following the departure of Dwight Hamilton.

Hamilton left Grand Valley in February to begin a new role as chief diversity officer at Smith College.

Rowland received Title IX certification through the Association of Title IX Administrators. Rowland joined Grand Valley in 2011 as the Violence Against Women Act grant coordinator, and served as victim advocate. She chairs the Campus Violence Prevention Team and co-chairs the Sexual Assault Response Team.

Staff members at the Women’s Center serve as victim advocates and have been trained to respond to student survivors of sexual violence or gender-based violence.

The Title IX coordinator is responsible for monitoring the university’s Title IX compliance, including training, education and administration of grievance procedures.

A new phone number has been dedicated to the Title IX office, 331-9530.

Theresa Rowland

Theresa Rowland


Average gift increases in United Way campaign

The average gift from Grand Valley faculty and staff members to United Way during the university’s 2014 campaign increased by $6 per person, according to campaign co-chairs Sue Sloop and Steve Lipnicki.

Overall, the campaign raised more than $165,000 to help fund United Way and programs like Schools of Hope, Stuff the Bus and Project Blueprint.

The response rate of faculty and staff was 72 percent, almost exactly on par with the five-year average. The giving rate ended at 47.5 percent, slightly down from 2013’s total of 49.9 percent, but donations were higher in 2014.

“We’re thankful for the time that everyone took to hear from their campaign captains and grateful to those who chose to help support the United Way,” Sloop said. “We hope to have an increase in responses and giving next year so we can continue to help the United Way do meaningful work in our local communities.”

Sloop and Lipnicki will not return as co-chairs for the 2015 campaign, but acknowledge and thank the campaign committee for its dedication, hard work and tireless efforts. The committee members are Darla Bennett, Brian Van Doeselaar, Michelle Holstege, Nate Hoekstra and Chelsea Wojes, from the Heart of West Michigan United Way. The new campaign co-chairs will be Ruth Stegeman, director for Community Engagement, and Damon Arnold, director of Laker advising.

For more information on the United Way campaign, visit



Faculty successfully explore Reeds Lake shipwrecks

Mark Gleason on Reeds Lake

Photo by Amanda Pitts
Mark Gleason, assistant professor of tourism and hospitality
management, aids in the deployment of an ROV February 20
on Reeds Lake.


A group of Grand Valley faculty members, students and community members braved single-digit temperatures February 20 to explore the depths of Reeds Lake in East Grand Rapids, hoping to digitally map two sunken steamboats, S.S. Hazel A. and S.S. Ramona.

Mark Schwartz, associate professor of anthropology, and Mark Gleason, assistant professor of tourism and hospitality management, are leading the collaborative project, funded by the Center for Scholarly and Creative Excellence. The team is also comprised of Matthew Daley, associate professor of history; David Cummins from the Marine Technology Program at Alpena Community College; and Mary Dersch from the East Grand Rapids History Room, among many others.


While some law enforcement and local divers have traveled beneath the water to these shipwrecks in the past, Grand Valley’s group is the first academic research team to explore the wrecks.

“We want to document these wrecks and learn more about the naval architecture that went into a steamboat designed for tourism versus a steamboat designed for trade,” Schwartz said.

Gleason added the February 20 survey cleared up some misconceptions about the Hazel A. wreck in particular. “I had been told that this wreck was lying on its side, but my remotely operated vehicle (ROV) dive last fall showed it sitting upright. Last Friday’s sonar image confirms the wreck is in one piece, sitting upright on the bottom [of Reeds Lake],” he said.

To reach the wrecks, the survey team first cut through ice estimated to be approximately 12 inches thick. Next, the team launched and guided a sonar unit through the ice, down to the wrecks off shore of Collins Park. While the temperatures may have been low, Schwartz explained that kind of weather is ideal for this type of project.

“The coverage made the launching platform of the ice for the sector scan sonar stable so that our results were as accurate as possible. The sonar imaging was great, especially when you consider the poor visibility in Reeds Lake,” Schwartz said.

The collection of sonar images may have been successful, but the group experienced technical difficulties during the latter portion of the exploration.

“Sadly, we did have trouble with the ROV,” Gleason said. “Problems happen often with this gear, which is why this type of work can be challenging. The most important part of the effort was to get the sonar images and we succeeded with that goal.”

The ROV is equipped with imaging sonar that allows the team to get an acoustic picture of the vessel even if the water visibility is poor. Schwartz said the next step in this project will be to attempt an ROV dive again to collect video and pictures of certain aspects of the wreck, including the name, boiler and below decks.

According to the East Grand Rapids History Room, regularly scheduled rides on excursion steamboats on Reeds Lake began in 1882.



Nominations open for Student Life Awards

The Office of Student Life is accepting nominations for its annual Student Life Awards April 16.

The awards ceremony recognizes outstanding achievement in the areas of individual leadership, organizational success and excellence in programming. Students, registered organizations, faculty and staff members, and campus departments can be nominated.

Nominations are due March 23 and must include a brief paragraph stating why the nominee deserves the recognition. Additional supplements, such as photos, articles and letters of support, may be submitted with the paragraph. The nomination form is on OrgSync, log in at

For more information, contact Josh Lee at



Call for art for Women's Center

The Women’s Center is seeking submissions of artwork from students, faculty and staff members, and community members to be displayed throughout the center next year.

The theme of the Women’s Center’s 14th annual call for art is celebrating diverse gender expressions.

The deadline for submissions is April 10, at 2 p.m.; entry forms can be found at