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What's Ahead

November 20, 2017


Seidman event to focus on West Side transformation

Matt McLogan, vice president for University Relations, will be among three speakers at the Peter F. Secchia Breakfast Lecture talking about the transformation of Grand Rapids' West Side.

"West Side Story" will focus on partnerships and collaboration, the social and economic impact of the area and changes in the neighborhood during the past 16 years.

The event will take place November 29 at the L. William Seidman Center on the Pew Grand Rapids Campus. Breakfast begins at 7:30 a.m.; the presentation runs from 8-9 a.m.

The other speakers are Mike VanGessel, president of Rockford Construction, and Ryan VerWys, president and CEO of Inner City Christian Federation.

To RSVP, visit



Fall Arts Celebration to conclude with holiday celebration

On Christmas Eve in France, churches and cathedrals are lit with candles, church bellscan be heard ringing throughout the air and Christmas carols are sung by thousands of people. After midnight mass, French families traditionally celebrate with a feast called "le réveillon" — a cherished household tradition celebrating family, with food and wine that can last up to six hours until the dawn of Christmas morning.

Fall Arts Celebration at Grand Valley  will celebrate the holiday season with music of the French holiday with a large symphony orchestra performing selections including Renaissance composer Guillaume Du Fay’s “Magnificat,” Francis Poulenc’s “Gloria,” and France’s most beloved holiday carols, including “Pat-a-pan, Il est né, le divin Enfant” and “Minuit, Chrétiens” (O Holy Night).

“Noël, Noël, Joyeux Noël: A Celebration of French Music for the Holiday Season” will take place December 4, at 7:30 p.m., at Fountain Street Church in Grand Rapids (24 Fountain Street NE).

The GVSU Symphony Orchestra will accompany a 90-member chorus, including Grand Valley’s University Arts Chorale and high school choir students from East Grand Rapids and Hudsonville. The processional will spotlight eight Grand Valley dance majors who will be dancing in the aisles. The Grand Rapids Symphony Junior Youth Chorus will also be featured, and Ashley Neumann, ’08, will return to perform as soprano soloist in Poulenc’s “Gloria.”

"Music is an integral part of this wonderful time of year as hearing the ageless melodies of the Christmas season often transports us back to when the excitement of Christmas morning was the best time of the year," said Danny Phipps, chair of the Music, Theatre, and Dance Department.

For more information about Fall Arts Celebration, visit



Animal and human health subject of Health Forum

Antibiotics, agriculture, food safety and other issues surrounding animal and human health will be discussed at the next Health Forum of West Michigan event.

"One Health: the Intersection of Animal and Human Health" is set for Friday, December 1, at 8 a.m. at the DeVos Center, Loosemore Auditorium. A light breakfast will be served at 7:30 a.m.

Health Forum of West Michigan monthly events are sponsored by Grand Valley's Office of the Vice Provost for Health; they are free and open to the public. RSVP online at

Panelists are Shannon Briggs, toxicologist for the Department of Environmental Quality; Dr. Andrew Jameson, infectious diseases at Mercy Health Saint Mary's; Mary Grace Stobierski, state public health veterinarian; and Michael VanderKolk, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. The moderator will be Dr. Mark Hall, Kent County Health Department medical director.

Event partners are the Office of the Vice Provost for Health, MSU College of Human Medicine, Midwest Interprofessional Practice, Education, and Research Center, and the Michigan Center for Clinical Systems Improvement. The series is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.



ISIS survivor to give lecture on campus

Area and Global Studies will host an ISIS survivor and human rights activist who will discuss trafficking and the Yazidi genocide.

Nadia Murad Basee Taha, United Nations goodwill ambassador, will give a free, public lecture on Monday, November 20, from 5-7 p.m. in the DeVos Center, Loosemore Auditorium. The event is approved for LIB 100/201 courses.

She will be joined by Haider Elias, president of Yazda, a global organization established to support the Yazidi minority in the aftermath of the genocide campaign committed by ISIS against Yazidis in August 2014. 

Murad was captured by ISIS in 2014 in northern Iraq. More than 10 members of her family have been killed or captured by ISIS militants. She spoke in 2015 before the U.N. Security Council about the attack and was later nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2016.

Sebastian Maisel, associate professor of Middle East Studies, said he hopes the campus community learns more about the genocide and ways to support victims of trauma.

The event is co-sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Affairs, Human Rights, Global Studies and Social Impact, and Liberal Studies. For more information, contact Area and Global Studies at (616) 331-8110. 



Fifth annual Teach-In to feature 55 sessions

The fifth annual Teach-In on Thursday, November 9, will feature 55 sessions on topics meant to engage participants in dynamic and challenging conversations: microaggressions, Confederate monuments and resegregation, to name a few. 

John Bender, professor of chemistry and one of the Teach-In organizers, said addressing, discussing and learning about challenging subjects is at the heart of the event. 

"Nationally, social justice challenges for the U.S. have been evolving rapidly, and the Teach-In aspires to capture these conversations for the campus community," he said. "Students have come to embrace the Teach-In as a benchmark event in their academic calendar." 

Teach-In sessions, with the theme, "Power, Privilege, and Difficult Dialogues," will run from 8:30 a.m.-9 p.m. at the Kirkhof Center and DeVos Center. Each session was collaboratively created by teams of students, faculty and staff members, or community members. View a list of sessions, times and locations at

The event is co-sponsored by Student Senate and University Academic Senate. Participate during the day on social media by using the hashtag #GVTeachIn17.