First civil discourse professorship announced

Lisa M. Perhamus was named the first faculty member to hold the Padnos/Sarosik Endowed Professorship of Civil Discourse.
Lisa M. Perhamus was named the first faculty member to hold the Padnos/Sarosik Endowed Professorship of Civil Discourse.
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The first Padnos/Sarosik Endowed Professorship of Civil Discourse will be held by a College of Education faculty member.

Lisa M. Perhamus, assistant professor of education, will begin developing a course and public symposium in civil discourse through the Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies for the Fall 2014 semester.

Through her course, “Detroit’s Public Dialogues,” Perhamus said students will have the opportunity to participate in dialogues surrounding Detroit and travel there for community meetings to learn from city residents who are doing successful revitalization work.

Anne Hiskes, dean of Brooks College, said members of the advisory board selected Perhamus largely because of her dynamic proposal.

“I can’t think of a more effective venue for involving students in meaningful conversations about poverty, race, government, and communities than the proposed student visits to Detroit,” Hiskes said.

The endowed professorship was a gift to Grand Valley from longtime supporters Shelley Padnos and Carol Sarosik. Padnos chairs Grand Valley’s Board of Trustees.

Perhamus will be introduced during an inaugural lecture celebrating the Padnos/Sarosik Endowed Professorship of Civil Discourse, set for Wednesday, November 20, at the DeVos Center, Loosemore Auditorium.

Jack Lessenberry, senior political analyst for Michigan Radio, will give a presentation, “Now More Than Ever: Civil Discourse in an Age of Ranting.” The presentation will begin at 4:30 p.m. It’s free and open to the public; RSVP online by clicking here.