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Academic Newsletter

A word from the Provost

Dear Faculty,

The Academic Newsletter is so timely as it comes out this Thanksgiving. Reading about all that you have accomplished for our students and DU creates feelings of pride and thankfulness. I want to take this opportunity to say thank you for all your efforts in educating students and looking out for their well-being. Your efforts are truly appreciated.


Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving and a much deserved break, enjoy the time with family and friends.

Warmest regards, 
Linda Rinker, EdD
EVP of Academics and Provost

Faculty Spotlight 


In case you missed the faculty who have made the Spotlight since the last newsletter, the following faculty have received this recognition:

  • May, Tony McCutchen

To find out more about these faculty members, and why they made the Spotlight, visit the CTE News page. Speaking of which…

The Center for Teaching Excellence has a new website!

Working in partnership with the DU Library, the new site located at contains curated resources from Davenport, DU’s Library databases, and the worldwide web. Users can find materials to support faculty work in the classroom, as well as in research, curriculum and pedagogy, training, and technology; have at-a-glance access to Davenport’s faculty awards and grant opportunities; and can easily connect to information about the CTE’s signature annual program, the DU Day of Research.




The Center for Teaching Excellence Blog

 It’s a new academic year, and the Center for Teaching Excellence continues to move forward in new directions. In what will surely be a rewarding partnership with our DU Libraries and our Institutional Review Board, the CTE presented a series of Understanding IRB workshops in September. Open to the entire Davenport community, these well-attended workshops provided participants with information about important human subject-based research topics, including risk and consent, and helped aspiring researchers complete the forms required to gain IRB approval for their projects. These workshops will be offered again in the Winter term, and will be supplemented at that time by an online Library guide containing on-demand resources that can be accessed through the CTE website.

 Also, in an effort to build community among faculty that supports and facilitates academic discourse, the DU Center for Teaching Excellence has launched a blog! Co-Directors and authors Dr. Kriss Ferluga and Dr. Tammy Stachowicz are working diligently to provide resources and dialogue about excellence in teaching practices that lead to superior learning while sharing positive affirmations that aim to recognize the expertise of and inspire the passions of Davenport’s faculty. It is our hope that revelations from the classroom, new ideas from conferences, research from specific disciplines, and goodwill/morale boosters will become a regular, consistent part of this effort.  

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To leave comments, register and begin a discussion!!  It's that easy ... 

Feedback is ALWAYS welcome - 

Kriss Ferluga and Tammy Stachowicz

College of Health Professions’ Nursing Making Connections In Our Communities

Deanna Dubay and Michelle Hagstrom from the Great Lakes Bay Campus conducted a nursing camp, which included CPR and Stop the Bleed training, for middle and high school students this summer. They arranged for the students to be able to inspect a medical helicopter and introduced them to flight nursing also, thanks to St. Mary’s of Michigan’s Flight Care. Students participated in a distracted driving accident simulation on the last day of camp as well.

Deanna Dubay also worked with Northern Bay Ambulance for a pre-hospital trauma life-support class.  She assisted with simulations and modulation for the scenarios.

Great Lakes Bay Campus faculty and senior nursing students also covered the first aid tent for the Bay Area Soccer Association at an elementary school-aged soccer tournament.

Andrea Shaw, nursing faculty, completed a high fidelity pediatric hands-on simulation with MiCareer Quest high school students.

Occupational Therapy, Allied Health, HIM and Nursing faculty collaborated in an inter-professional homecare scenario involving role playing for an admissions’ recruitment event at Innovation High School Academy for health science and technology students.Faculty from each College of Health Professions’ program highlighted the major responsibilities of each discipline.







Publications and Achievements

Dr. Marjolijn VanderVelde of the Management department presented at two conferences this fall.  The Internship Experience: More than Clocking Hours was presented at the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE) Regional Conference in Louisville, KY.  She also presented Using Simulations to Assess Student Performance in Capstone Courses at the Lilly Conference, Advancing Teaching and Learning in Traverse City, MI.

Management faculty Dr. Jim Gort presented his research on Does Classroom Engagement Lead to Enhanced Classroom Learning?at both the IACBE and the Lilly Conferences this fall.

Steven Stromp, DU Executive Director of Market Intelligence and adjunct faculty for the Marketing department, has authored a new textbook titled: Market Research Essentials. The e-text is published by Stukent, a digital courseware provider focused on improved education through up-to-date textbooks and simulations that allows students to experience content through technology.

Linda Sorensen, Chair of the Allied/HIM Departments presented Evolving within the HIM Profession and HIM Education I Want to Teach at the AHIMA National Convention in Miami, FL in September.

Susan Owens, Faculty, presented Brain Gym for the Central Florida Pediatric Association.

Dr. Kelly McCarron’s research project designed to mentor second year occupational therapy students using the Eduguide system began in September and will continue for the next eighteen months.

Aleta Pillai, Nursing Associate Department Chair, was interviewed and featured in the October edition of the Lansing Business Monthly, discussing Davenport University and simulation technology in nursing.

Deanna Dubay, Nursing Associate Department Chair, along with two students in the senior nursing class and one College of Technology student participated in a Pre-Hospital Trauma Life Support Simulation with Northern Bay Ambulance Service.

Jessica Fasburg, CoHP Administrative Assistant, has completed two in-person training sessions for the Michigan College Access Network course GAA101: Building a College Going Culture for All Students.  This intensive professional development course focuses on methods of removing barriers and providing additional resources for marginalized students to make a college education more accessible.

Dr. Gabriela Ziegler, College of Technology Department Chair, presented at several conferences this fall. Most notably, she was invited to the International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI). Her research Journey to Project Management, Certification and Alignment in Higher Education was delivered at a symposium in Gothenburg, Sweden. While there, she also presented a case study on performance improvement to the city of Gothenburg. Additionally, Ziegler presented at a local symposium of ISPI held at Wayne State University. Dr. Ziegler also served in a leadership role in the coordination and execution of a workshop, developed by the Michigan Council of Women in Technology. Davenport has sponsored this event since 2012, and this year, hosted 22 young women from middle school grades to high-school seniors at the Warren Campus on October 13..

College of Technology faculty Mark McKinnon hosted a workshop on The Internal Structures of SQLite at the 9th Annual Open Source Digital Forensics Conference in Herndon, VA.

Melissa Lewis, MFA, Faculty, published several poems in various publications: "I Introduce My Son to Fire" in Linden Avenue Literary Journal, June 2018, "Migrant Mother" in Pink Panther Magazine, September 2018, "Medusa Unbound" in Panoply, September 2018, "Twitch" in SWWIM Every Day, September 2018, and "Bear the Weight" in Up North Lit, October 2018.

Melissa Haswell, Campus Associate Department Chair, published a peer-reviewed educational blog post for Howard Hughes Medical Institute BioInteractive entitled, Modifying BioInteractive Resources for an Anatomy and Physiology Course.  She also presented posters at two events: the 2018 Case Study Teaching in Science Conference at the University of Buffalo, Buffalo, NY on The Exploration of Case Studies as Summative Assessments for Undergraduate Biology Education, and at the Association of College and University Biology Educators Conference (ACUBE) at Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI on Assessing the Genetic Literacy of Nursing Students.

Dr. Tim Pennings, Department Chair, continued to ask the question “Do Dogs Know Calculus” at two venues: the National Science Foundation Midwest Annual Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program Conference, where he also talked about Mathematical Surprises, and at East Kentwood High School.

Dr. Susan Gunn was awarded a $10,135 grant from the Dow Chemical Foundation for the project Preparing K-12 Science Teachers for Engaging Students for STEM Careers. This grant will support a workshop hosted at the Midland campus for 10 teachers from the Great Lakes Bay area.  These teachers will receive $900.00 in equipment to take back to their classrooms to implement STEM activities based on the CSI: Davenport Forensic Science Summer Camp. These teachers will attend a three day workshop in which they will learn how to use the equipment, receive hands on training on CSI curriculum and learn about lesson planning based upon the Next Generation Science Standards.

Dr. Theresa Leto was selected as the new department chair of the MSOT program after the retirement of Dr. Chris Nelson, founding MSOT Department Chair. Dr. Leto co-authored and published an article in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy entitled “Promoting health through engagement in occupations that maximize food resources” in July. She also completed a presentation for Circles Grand Rapids on the topic of stretching food dollars in August.

Three members of the DU Office of Experiential Learning, Deb Crudele, Brandi Melkild, and Tonya Ransome, completed Certifications in Experiential Education from the Institute for Experiential Learning (IFEL) which is “a global service organization committed to promoting Kolb Experiential Learning through consulting, training, coaching, assessment, research and a community of practice” (IFEL, 2018). Certification involves successful assessment in EL areas such as determining learning style preferences, designing effective experiences, and EL and team effectiveness.

Judy Knapp, accounting faculty, procured another Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) grant for Davenport University to help low income families throughout West Michigan, and help our students and other volunteers gain experience in working in taxes. Last year Judy and her team helped 6143 clients and helped garner $7,543,841 in refunds for them!Experiential

Learning Hosts Diversity Field Trip to the Detroit Area

The Office of Experiential Learning conducted the annual Cultural Diversity Field trip led by Practicum Manager Lindsey Shull on October 17, 2018. Twenty students and two staff members participated where they visited multiple museums in Detroit followed by a dinner. The experience is an optional academic assignment for SOSC 201: Diversity in Society and other participating courses.

The agenda included the Holocaust Museum (and a private presentation by a Holocaust survivor), the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the Islamic Center, a walk through the Heidelberg Project, and dinner at the Blue Nile, an Ethiopian restaurant.

The Diversity Field Trip runs every October and planning has begun for the 2019 trip thanks to the Center for Campus Life, the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and the Office of Experiential Learning.

To learn more about this trip, please contact Lindsey Shull at


Davenport University Excellence In Teaching Awards This Year go to…

On August 18, 2018, at Davenfest, the Excellence In Teaching Awards were given to three instructors: Laura Harris (left), Kelli Baumgartner (right)and Scott Gumieny (not pictured)! The Excellence in Teaching Award celebrates our faculty who possess exceptional dedication to mentoring and engaging students, demonstrate mastery of effective learning delivery methods, and are recognized experts in their fields.


Thanksgiving Break- Thursday and Friday, November 22 and 23


Holiday Break- Monday through Wednesday, December 24-26


New Year’s Break- Monday and Tuesday, December 31 through January 1

Fall grades are due by 10 a.m. on Tuesday, December 18.

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