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What's Ahead

February 12, 2018


Upcoming workshops focus on retention

Two upcoming workshops for faculty and staff members will focus on student and employee retention.

The Employee Retention Symposium is Wednesday, February 14, from 1-5 p.m. in the Eberhard Center. Hosted by the Affirmative Action office, the workshop will offer best practices and suggestions to foster retention of faculty and staff members. Scott Ayotte, director of affirmative action, said the event is geared toward search committee chairs and inclusion advocates, but all faculty and staff members are welcome.

Student Retention Training is a workshop led by various campus leaders from Admissions, Registrar's Office and Inclusion and Equity, among other offices. The workshop will explore systems, tools and connections faculty and staff members can use to increase student success.

Five sessions are offered in February and March, they are listed online at


Black History Month events continue

Black History Month events on campus continue through February. 

The annual celebration is organized by Grand Valley's Office of Multicultural Affairs. Events are free and open to the public. Visit to view a complete schedule.

• "Taste of Soul," February 16, noon-1 p.m., Kirkhof Center lobby. Event participants will taste-test and learn about traditional African American soul food.

• "Accidental Courtesy," February 20, 1-2:30 p.m., Kirkhof Center, Grand River Room. Author and musician Daryl Davis will discuss his encounters with members of the Ku Klux Klan and how racial tensions can be healed. Davis is author of Klan-Destine Relationships and is the subject of the documentary, "Accidental Courtesy." 

• "Racial Battle Fatigue Syndrome," February 27, 6-8 p.m., DeVos Center, room 302E. Lois Owens, professor of social work and liberal studies, will lead a seminar about ways to be an advocate for underrepresented populations.  



Screenings for eating disorders planned

Staff members from the University Counseling Center will be at several campus locations on February 21, National Eating Disorder Screening Day, providing information about signs and symptoms and offering screenings.

Allendale Campus: Kirkhof Center lobby from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., and Recreation Center from 2-6 p.m.; Pew Grand Rapids Campus: DeVos Center, 125C from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., and Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences lobby from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

More information is online at


Graduate School to host thesis competition

Eighteen graduate students will have three minutes to present their research during the third annual 3-Minute Thesis Competition on Thursday, February 15, hosted by The Graduate School. The competition will begin at 3:30 p.m. in the DeVos Center, Loosemore Auditorium. 

The competition provides graduate students with a unique opportunity to share their research in a competitive format. In order to participate, students submitted a synopsis of their research and a faculty letter of support. Participants were selected based on the nature and merit of their work. 

Participants represent a wide range of disciplines, including biology, biomedical sciences, cell and molecular biology, education, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, public health and social work.

The winner will receive $500 and the opportunity to represent Grand Valley at the Midwest Association of Graduate Schools Competition in Grand Rapids in April. The second and third place winners will receive $250 and $100, respectively.

For more information, visit


Event will spotlight early women in politics

Nationally, more women than ever are running for office; one tally has more than 500 women running for major offices or governorships this year. 

During an event on campus, Julia Bouwkamp and Jo Ellyn Clarey from the Greater Grand Rapids Women's History Council will discuss their research into the surprising number of women who ran for political office before 1920. 

"Links to the Local: Building a National Women's Elective History" is set for Wednesday, February 21, from 1:30-2:45 p.m. in the Kirkhof Center, room 2270. Bouwkamp and Clarey will report on how a crowdsourcing project, "Her Hat Was in the Ring," invited researchers to collect and share data on women in politics.

The event is free and open to the public; it is approved for LIB 100 and 201 courses.

Campus partners for the event are the Kutsche Office of Local History and the Community Reading Project, through the Brooks College Office of Integrative Learning and Advising. Visit for more information.


More than 230 employers attending career fair

The Winter Career Fair will take place Thursday, February 22, from 1-5 p.m. at DeVos Place Convention Center in Grand Rapids. The fair will attract thousands of students and representatives from more than 230 local and national employers.

The fair is free and will offer a range of job, internship, and co-ops opportunities. Students from eight area colleges are invited: Grand Valley, Aquinas College, Calvin College, Cornerstone University, Davenport University, Hope College, Kendall College of Art & Design and Kuyper College. 

Students should bring their ID and come prepared with resumes and portfolios.

The Career Center is hosting an event to help prepare students for the fair. "How to Talk to Employers" will take place Tuesday, February 13, from 5-6 p.m. in the L. William Seidman Center, room 2002.

For more information, visit


Faculty, staff members to host second free Repair Clinic for students

During a busy semester, it is not uncommon for students to rip their jeans, lose buttons, break their eyeglasses, or bust a zipper or backpack strap. 

An upcoming Repair Clinic will offer students a free opportunity to have all of the above and more mended by faculty and staff members.

The free clinic will take place on Thursday, February 22, from 6-8 p.m. in the Holton-Hooker Learning and Living Center, multipurpose room.

The clinic is a collaboration between the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Housing Department. Volunteers are from multiple campus departments, including Human Resources, Kirkhof College of Nursing, TRiO Student Support Services, University Libraries and more.

For more information, contact Monica Johnstone, director of communications and advancement for CLAS, at


Student-produced play to explore subjectivity of truth

A curious and questionable interaction between two fictional characters, a college professor and a student, during the professor's office hours, lead to a difference of opinion about what actually took place in that office.

This plot sets the stage for the upcoming performances of "Oleanna."

Jacob Molli, a senior majoring in psychology, is the student director; he said that if the above plot description seems vague, that's the point.

"The show is best experienced without reading a plot summary and coming in with strong opinions," said Molli. "I would say this show is a lot like a thriller; it is all about subtlety and allowing yourself to be surprised by what you see. There are no definitive answers to this play and the only truth is your own."

Molli said he chose "Oleanna" for the P.S. Series because the play is more relevant today than when it was produced in 1992.

"It explores complex, multifaceted issues without ever spoon feeding the audience and telling them what to think about those issues," he said.

Some of those issues explored in "Oleanna" include sexual harassment, censorship, the subjectivity of the truth, identity shaping interactions and how people deal with power. 

"Oleanna" is a part of the theater program's annual Performance Studio Series, which gives upper-level theater students the opportunity to use the practical skills they have learned in the classroom.

Performances of "Oleanna" will take place February 22-24, at 7:30 p.m., and February 25, at 2 p.m. All performances will take place in the Linn Maxwell Keller Black Box Theatre, located in the Haas Center for Performing Arts.

Tickets can be purchased for $6 through the Louis Armstrong Theatre Box Office in-person Monday through Friday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. or by calling (616) 331-2300. Tickets are also available at the 2020 Desk in the Kirkhof Center or at For more information, visit