GVSU alumnae reveal new research on West Michigan women of color

Many people have heard about the “glass ceiling,” the metaphor that symbolizes the invisible barrier that prevents many women from being hired to higher-level jobs because of their gender. But underneath the glass ceiling is another unknown barrier that hinders women of color specifically, a room with "Invisible Walls, Ceilings and Floors.” Roughly 120 women of color in Kent and Ottawa counties were surveyed by Grand Valley State University alumnae Shannon Cohen and Patricia VerDuin over the past year for a study that examined women of color in leadership positions and the difficulties they faced in the work force.

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GVL/Kevin Sielaff - Professor Louis Moore speaks during the Democracy: 101 event on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017.

'Protest and love'

Since its inception, protests in the U.S. has not come in blips, but in waves. From the revolution of 1776, to the call of abolitionism in the 1800s, to the widespread fight against the Vietnam War in the 1960s, protestors have fought at injustices in their cultures and lives since the beginning.

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GVL/Hannah Zajac - George Heartwell, a member of President Obama's Climate Change Adaptation Task Force and of the American Bar Association Task Force on Sustainable Developement, gives a presentation on adapting to climate change to a group of GV students on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017.

"Beyond the Paris Accords"

George Heartwell, former mayor of Grand Rapids, came to Grand Valley State University Tuesday, Feb. 21, for an event titled “Beyond the Paris Accords: Adaptation Planning and Local Government.” He spoke about his role in dealing with climate change at the local level, specifically as mayor.

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GVL / Courtesy - Alpine Elementary
Grand Valley student teachers working alongside Alpine Elementary School teachers and students.

GVSU co-teaching program enhances education curriculum, student experiences

The time and dedication a devoted teacher puts into their work is monumental. These educators put their students’ best interests first and try to create the best learning environment they can. The educators who dedicate extensive time to their students usually see the best results, which begs the question, shouldn't all educators to be this devoted? At Grand Valley State University, future educators are being trained to be just that.

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GVL / Sara Carte
Callie Spytman (left) and Lee Hewson (right) study for their exams in the Mary Idema Pew Library on Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016.

Looking out for each other

In the classroom, students put on faces of interest, of concentration and of engagement in order to be successful. But outside the classroom, many students battle hardships that make college more difficult in a different way. The loss of a parent or loved one, a bad breakup, a mental health or a physical health concern are examples of these difficulties that can weigh heavily on students, causing them to underperform in class, not come to class or worse.

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Building the budget

Year after year, Grand Valley State University puts out performance metrics that rank amongst the top three in public universities in the state of Michigan. Year after year, however, GVSU does not receive near as much funding as other institutions do. Last week, Gov. Rick Snyder released his proposed budget for the fiscal year 2018. In it was an across-the-board increase for higher education by 2.5 percent. Each school, however, received individual percent increases; GVSU was recommended for a 3.4 percent increase in state funding, the highest increase among all the universities.

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GVL/Kevin Sielaff - Heather Tafel, associate professor of political science at GVSU, presents during Grand Valley's first Democracy: 101 event inside the Kirkhof Center on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017.

Do third parties stand a chance?

The 2016 presidential election sparked fresh debate about the role and potential of third parties in the United States’ political system. Is it worthwhile to vote for a third-party candidate, or would that be throwing away a vote? Is there any chance for a third party to receive enough support to break the long-standing two-party system? To answer these and other questions, the Grand Valley State University Community Service Learning Center (CSLC) hosted its first Democracy 101 event, “Elections & Two-Party Systems: Why Third Parties Have It Rough,” Wednesday, Feb. 15, in the Kirkhof Center.

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GVL / Courtesy - Elizabeth Lienau
President Thomas J. Haas (left), and Wayne State University President M. Roy Wilson (right)

A step ahead

It was no accident that Roy Wilson, president of Wayne State University, picked out a Laker Blue tie the morning of Friday, Feb. 10. Gathered in the Grand Valley State University Detroit Center for the Board of Trustees meeting, leaders from GVSU and Wayne State's School of Medicine signed documentation Friday to put the "Early Assurance" partnership program into action.

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