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…

Chicken Market as Change Agent?

Transformation can occur anywhere, and for GVSU students, it’s often in a community setting. One young man’s life changed at an open-air chicken market in Jordon. He realized there were huge inequities in the world, and he could do something about them. He is now working on international issues related to poverty and education. Another…

The Epistemology of Stone Soup

Most of us have heard the story of Stone Soup, in which a weary traveler happens upon a small village in search of shelter and a meal. When the villagers, one after another, inform him that they have no food to share—too little, in fact, to feed their own families—the traveler says that he will…

From the Balcony

Over the past three months, I’ve been all over campus to listen and learn about the best of GVSU’s community partnerships. To date, over 80 faculty and staff members have shared compelling stories about how their community engagement work has transformed their students, their communities, and themselves. In the process, I have had the opportunity…

The Community’s University

Our esteemed President Haas describes GVSU as “the community’s university.” Personally, I love this statement—it rings true to our entrepreneurial, community-initiated roots and is solidly supported with stories from individual faculty, staff, and students alike who believe we are called to be partners with our communities, whether they be in Grand Rapids or Ghana. But I’m…