Anthropology in Action

Blog by Pasha Shipp, Communications Graduate Assistant, Office for Community Engagement A woman stands at the front of the room holding a car seat. She explains that it is a specific car seat for babies and lays a plastic doll in it to demonstrate. The room falls silent for a moment before it erupts with…

A Different Kind of Swagger

Blog by Pasha Shipp, Communications Graduate Assistant, Office for Community Engagement One hundred and twenty-seven. That number will serve as a salient reminder for GVSU student Sierra Dove for the rest of her career in hospitality. Dove had been spending her Saturday diligently working alongside fellow volunteers in preparation for LaughFest’s signature event at the…

Lessons from GVSU’s Ethnographic Field School

Guest blog by Deana Weibel, associate professor and department chair, Anthropology The Anthropology department at GVSU has a long history of providing Anthropology majors and others interested in ethnographic research with the opportunity to do real research in the local community. The field school has rich benefits to our department, our students, and the surrounding…

When Border Crossings Become Border Inspections

Guest blog by Brittany Dernberger, Assistant Director, GVSU Women’s Center Watching light bulbs go off for students as they begin to understand another person’s worldview, make connections between systemic issues, and reflect on their own lived experiences is a big part of why I love my job. Facilitating opportunities for students to engage in meaningful…

Real-World Ready

Students know the drill in a traditional classroom: listen, take notes, contribute to discussion, write imaginative papers, and master the material for exams. In contrast, community-based learning often requires competencies—knowledge, understanding, and abilities—for which many students are initially unprepared. Expectations and experiences. Jacob Schacht, a junior majoring in political science and minoring in public administration,…

GVSU engages West Side students in information literacy

Guest blog by Gayle Schaub, GVSU Librarian This fall two academic librarians, a public librarian, and a college professor and her students embarked on a brand-new initiative in Grand Rapids to improve a community by building academic success in a neighborhood. My name is Gayle, and I am one of the librarians. My idea was…

Students to advise mayor on retaining talent

“Every major city in America is trying to figure out how to retain bright young people,” Mayor George Heartwell told a class of public administration students on August 28, making good on one of three themes in his 2014 State of the City speech, in which he described a partnership with GVSU through a course focused…

Collaborative Research: Barriers and Strategies

Reflections from the Collaborative Research Faculty Learning Community, including the following participants: Christine Beaudoin, Mark Gleason, Deborah Lown, Azizur Molla, Shaily Menon, Rick Rediske, Linda Shuster, and Peter Wampler BARRIERS TO EFFECTIVE COLLABORATION “Silo” mentality between disciplines and colleges. Philosophical and discipline-specific barriers make it difficult for colleagues from different departments to collaborate. These barriers are often…

Food for Thought

Guest blog by Dr. Sarah King, Liberal Studies Department “The most successful parts of community work in class overall were connecting with other people, gaining new perspectives, and being brought out of my comfort zone. The least successful part was only the time constraints. I really loved how much I was able to connect with…

Soul of a GVSU Citizen

In Soul of a Citizen, Paul Loeb describes a conversation with a college student shortly after President Obama took office. When asked about the national mood, she said, “Everyone’s unsure of what’s going to happen in so many areas, so we’re waiting to watch and see.” Recently, the Office for Community Engagement hosted SynergyWorks, a…

Thank You for Making SynergyWorks a Success!

Special thanks go to the following contributors: Guest Speakers Mayor George HeartwellGVSU President Thomas Haas CCPS Dean, Dr. George Grant Jr. Panel Discussion GVSU Provost Gayle Davis Brooks Liberal Studies Chair, Dr. Wendy Burns-Ardolino CLAS Dean, Dr. Fred Antczak KCON Dean, Dr. Cynthia McCurren CCPS Associate Dean, Dr. WIlliam Crawley (Moderator) Creative Team Heather Wallace,…

We’ll Meet You at the Intersection of Accountability and Possibility

In his book Community: The Structure of Belonging, Peter Block defines three important concepts that determine whether our future is stuck or emerging: accountability, entitlement, and possibility: Accountability is the willingness to care for the whole, and it flows out of the kind of conversation we have about the new story that we hope will…