11/18-Lecture — ‘The Education of Gerald R. Ford’ POSTPONED

“The Education of Gerald R. Ford”

To celebrate 50 years of quality teacher preparation programs at Grand Valley State University, the College of Education is hosting a 4-part lecture/panel series that will will take place throughout the 2014-2015 academic year. All events in the series will focus on the theme of REFLECTIONS & PREDICTIONS as we explore the past and look towards the future of education.

In this second event of the series, Susan Ford Bales and Dr. Hendrik Booraem will explain what education was like for her parents, President Gerald R. Ford and Betty Ford. The lecture will also discuss President Ford’s signing of the Education for All Handicapped Children Act in 1975, which provided equal access to education for children with physical and mental disabilities.

Open Reception from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Lecture/panel from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

This event is part of the College of Education’s 50th Anniversary Golden Lecture Series. For more upcoming events in the series, visit http://www.gvsu.edu/coe/50th/lecture-series-7.htm

***Updated time and location for this event coming soon!***



1/14-Wheelhouse Talks — Judge Sara Smolenski

January 14, 2015 – 12:30-1:30 PM Seidman College of Business – Charles W. Loosemore Forum Room

50 Front Avenue SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Hon. Sara Smolenski, Chief Judge of the 63rd District Court of Michigan.

A native of Grand Rapids, Judge Sara Smolenski is highly regarded as a community leader for her work both in and out of the courtroom. Not only the longstanding Chief Judge of the 63rd District Court of Michigan, Judge Smolenski is also a strong advocate for education, prevention of violence against women, and community engagement. Recognized throughout Grand Rapids for her public service and sense of humor, she will share her view of leadership from the bench and beyond.

To RSVP, click here:
Eventbrite - Wheelhouse Talk: Judge Sara Smolenski

1/22-American Conversations — Alfred Mele

January 22, 2015 – 7 PM, GVSU DeVos Center, Charles W. Loosemore Auditorium

401 Fulton St. West, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Professor Alfred Mele

Does free will exist? The question has fueled debate among philosophers, psychologists, and theologians. A popular argument among neuroscientists and social psychologists is that free will is illusory—that our words and actions arise not from rational choice, but from unconscious predispositions and social conditioning. But according to philosopher Alfred Mele, the case against free will actually leaves much room for doubt. In Free: Why Science Hasn’t Disproved Free Will, Mele examines the major experiments that free will deniers cite, and explains how they don’t provide the solid evidence for which they have been touted. Mele argues, instead, that conscious decisions play an important role in our lives, and knowledge about situational influences can allow people to respond to those influences rationally rather than with blind obedience. Mele’s clear-eyed exploration of the meaning and ramifications of free will, particularly on our moral and political decision-making, makes this an essential American Conversation.

This Hauenstein Center event is supported by the GVSU Department of Philosophy.

To learn more about Dr. Mele’s work and its implications for philosophy, neuroscience, politics, and ethics, please follow these links:

An interview about Dr. Mele’s recent $4.4 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation: http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/the-4million-dollar-philosopher/

BigThink video interview with Dr. Mele: http://bigthink.com/videos/big-think-interview-with-alfred-mele

Dr. Mele’s profile at Florida State University, with bibliography: http://myweb.fsu.edu/amele/almele.html

To RSVP, click here:
Eventbrite - American Conversations - Alfred Mele

2/3-Coffee House Debate — Is Citizens United Good for American Democracy

February 3, 2015 – 7 PM, GVSU DeVos Center, Charles W. Loosemore Auditorium

401 Fulton St. West, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Ian Millhiser from the Center for American Progress and Hans von Spakovsky from the Heritage Foundation.

Does unlimited political spending help or hinder democracy? The landmark Supreme Court Case, Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission, in which the United States Supreme Court deemed unconstitutional any government restrictions on political spending by nonprofit corporations, has deeply divided the nation. Some argue that the decision protects the First Amendment: anyone, including corporations, should be allowed to exercise their free speech rights through political spending. Others argue that the very spirit of the First Amendment—free speech for all, regardless of class and income—is undermined when corporations can spend exponentially more on political speech than the average citizen. Join us as two legal experts—Ian Millhiser from the Center for American Progress and Hans von Spakovsky from the Heritage Foundation—debate Citizens United and its implications on the role of money in politics and the nature of free speech in America.

To RSVP, click here:
Eventbrite - Coffee House Debate — Is Citizens United Good for American Democracy

2/11-Wheelhouse Talks — Rosalynn Bliss

February 11, 2015 – 12:30-1:30 PM Seidman College of Business – Charles W. Loosemore Forum Room

50 Front Avenue SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Rosalynn Bliss, City Commissioner for the 2nd Ward of Grand Rapids.

Community leader and advocate for the defenseless, Grand Rapids Second Ward City Commissioner Rosalynn Bliss is a fierce representative of her constituents and of homeless youth. Recognized by the Grand Rapids Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” for her local and statewide leadership in child welfare and community outreach, Rosalynn continues to positively impact the quality of life in Grand Rapids.

To RSVP, click here:
Eventbrite - Wheelhouse Talk: Rosalynn Bliss

3/11-Wheelhouse Talks — Hilary Snell

March 11, 2015 – 12:30-1:30 PM Seidman College of Business – Charles W. Loosemore Forum Room

50 Front Avenue SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Hilary Snell, Varnum, L.L.P.

Inquisitive with a strong legal mind, Hilary Snell has long been a prominent member of the Grand Rapids community. A graduate of Colgate University and the University of Michigan Law School, Snell serves at Varnum, L.L.P., where he has been a managing partner. He has also been chairman of the board at Spectrum Health, Priority Health, and the Michigan Natural Resources Commission. He currently chairs the Hauenstein Center advisory cabinet.

To RSVP, click here:
Eventbrite - Wheelhouse Talk: Hilary Snell

3/12- American Conversations–Andrew Kaufman

March 12, 7 PM “Andrew Kaufman: Give War and Peace a Chance”

Considered by many critics the greatest novel ever written, Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace is also one of the most feared. And at 1,500 pages, it’s no wonder why. War and Peace is many things. It is a love story, a family saga, a war novel. But at its core it’s a novel about human beings attempting to create a meaningful life for themselves in a country torn apart by war, social change, political intrigue, and spiritual confusion. The novel is, above all, a mirror of all times, even ours.

In this American Conversations keynote, Andrew Kaufman will guide us through Give War and Peace A Chance, his companion to Tolstoy’s mammoth novel. Kaufman will take his audience on a journey through War and Peace that reframes their very understanding of what it means to live through troubled times and survive them. Touching on a broad range of topics, from courage to romance, parenting to death, Kaufman will demonstrate how Tolstoy’s wisdom can help us live fuller, more meaningful lives. The ideal companion to War and Peace, Kaufman’s lecture will be enjoyable to those who have never read a word of Tolstoy, making that masterpiece more approachable, relevant, and fun.

Eventbrite - “Give War and Peace A Chance” with Andrew Kaufman

4/2- American Conversations–Cornel West and Robert P. George

April 2 “Creative Collaborations in the Academy: A Dialogue Between Cornel West and Robert P. George”

Cornel West and Robert P. George are both professors at Princeton. Beyond that, they seem to share little at all in common. West is a progressive race and political theorist; George is a conservative philosopher of Jurisprudence and Natural Law. An outsider would imagine these intellectual titans clashing spectacularly over the biggest issues—over politics, religion, and philosophy. Instead, George and West have developed a productive collaboration and friendship at Princeton. They teach classes together, dialogue together, and mentor students who report that the experience of seeing the two professors debate civilly has this effect: it reveals how two brilliant thinkers, each with immense goodwill, can examine a host of issues, disagree about well-nigh all of them, and still learn from and respect one another. Professors West and George, in their joint lecture, will talk about their productive friendship and its implications for the pursuit of common ground in politics and the academy.

4/30-5/1- Common Ground Summit on the Midwest

April 30-May 1 “The Midwest: America’s Most Common Ground”

What can the culture and history of the Midwest tell us about the development of democracy, the expansion of industry, and the flourishing of pluralism in America?

In comparison to such regions as the South, the far West, and New England, the Midwest and its culture—the history of its peoples and places; its literature, music, and art; the complexity and richness of its landscapes—has sadly been neglected. And this neglect is both scholarly and popular: historians as well as literary and art critics tend not to examine the Midwest seriously in their academic work, while the myth of the Midwest has not, in the popular imagination, ascended to the level of the proud, literary South; the cultured, democratic Northeast; or the hip, innovative West Coast.

Nevertheless, the Midwest has a history and culture well worth exploring, analyzing, and bragging about. The purpose of our conference, titled “The Midwest: America’s Most Common Ground,” is to excite interest in the Midwest as a region with its own rich, nuanced, and varied history and culture. Our conference will feature keynote addresses and panel discussions on the history, literature, and art of the Midwest, Midwestern leadership and statesmanship, and the budding field of Midwestern Studies. We are inviting numerous scholars—historians, literary critics, geographers—to present on their work on Midwestern life and culture. With this summit we hope to start a conversation on the Midwest that engages the scholarly and popular imagination; most importantly, we hope to start a conversation that lasts.

Share this page