Zoe Barnes ’18, now a graduate student at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville (SIUE), has received the 2021 Student Leader Champion Award for her efforts in advancing social justice throughout her university, in the community and through her chosen profession.
“I’m very excited because it’s a wonderful honor,” Barnes said. “Social justice is a buzzword to some, but it’s a constant, ongoing process of challenging what we know and checking our own biases. In school psychology, social justice is important because if you look at a school and see who the teachers and staff are, you will often see groups dominated by white staff members. They don’t reflect the increasing diversity of students, especially in public schools. Social justice can help us challenge the status quo.”
Several students at SIUE, including Barnes, expressed their interest in social justice to faculty last summer. The professors sensed an opportunity to connect them all, leading to the formation of the Graduate Students for Social Justice, a group that talked about injustices on campus and developed ideas for addressing social justice within their respective programs.
Barnes is a member of that group and also recently served as the social justice chair of the Graduate Organization for Child and Adolescent Psychology Students (GOCAPS) at SIUE. Her service led a faculty member to nominate Barnes for the NASP honors.
Barnes said the K community helped her develop an interest in diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice after she arrived from a predominantly white community in Grand Rapids, Michigan. At that point, Barnes started seeing more peers who looked like her. Students of color provided an energizing space where she could discuss the discrimination and microaggressions she experienced on campus with others who could relate.
“Being at K, and just being surrounded by people who look like me and had similar experiences really helped me,” Barnes said. “Talking helped put a name to the discomfort.”
Barnes double majored in Spanish and psychology and minored in anthropology-sociology at K. After a gap year, Barnes looked for help in determining her career path. At that point, she talked with Suzie Gonzalez ’83, spouse of K President Jorge G. Gonzalez.
“I went down this route to school psychology because of Suzie Gonzalez,” Barnes said. “I was thinking about what I wanted to do with my life when I met up with her. She was a school psychologist and she definitely inspired me.”
Barnes earned her master’s degree through SIUE in December and now is seeking a clinical child and school psychology specialist degree with an expected graduation date of May 2022. She will be honored at NASP’s 2022 annual convention in February.
“I would love to make an impact however I can as a school psychologist,” Barnes said. “When I picture my career, I want to be firmly planted in a school district. I want to walk down the halls and recognize all the students and know their educational history. Early intervention is a huge part of school psychology and I would love to support them from the very beginning.”
A world-renowned expert on social justice and its role in international sports will visit Stetson Chapel at Kalamazoo College on Monday, Nov. 4.
Richard Lapchick, the endowed chair and director of the DeVos Sports Business Management Program at the University of Central Florida and the president of the Institute for Sport and Social Justice (ISSJ), will conduct a conversation about sports, justice and activism with Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership Director Lisa Brock. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. before the event, “Just Sport: A Conversation on Sports, Justice and Activism with Dr. Richard Lapchick,” begins at 7:30 p.m.
Lapchick founded the Center for the Study of Sport in Society in 1984 at Northeastern University. He served as its director for 17 years and is now its director emeritus. The center has attracted national attention to its efforts ensuring the education of athletes from junior high school through the professional ranks. The center’s Project TEAMWORK was called “America’s most successful violence prevention program” by public opinion analyst Lou Harris. The project won the Peter F. Drucker Foundation Award as the nation’s most innovative nonprofit program and was named by the Clinton Administration as a model for violence prevention.
Lapchick also helped form the National Consortium for Academics and Sport, which is now the ISSJ, in 1985. Nationally, ISSJ athletes have worked with nearly 19.9 million young people in the school-outreach and community-service program, which focused on teaching youths how to improve race relations, develop conflict-resolution skills, prevent gender violence and avoid drug and alcohol abuse. They collectively donated more than 22 million hours of service while member colleges donated more than $300 million in tuition assistance.
Lapchick has authored 17 books, received 10 honorary doctorates, and is a regular columnist for ESPN.com and The Sports Business Journal. He has written more than 600 articles, has given more than 2,900 public speeches, and has appeared several times on Good Morning America, Face the Nation, The Today Show, ABC World News, NBC Nightly News, The CBS Evening News, CNN and ESPN. From the sports boycott against apartheid to exposing the connection between sports and human trafficking, he has spoken before Congress, and at the United Nations, the European Parliament and the Vatican.
When artists create, they express a piece of themselves. Art, therefore, can provide an outlet for underrepresented people to communicate their feelings, struggles and realities with those who will listen. That makes ARTifact, a program offered through Kalamazoo College’s Center for Civic Engagement (CCE), an empowering resource.
ARTifact, fueled through K students serving as civic-engagement scholars, is a weekly studio-workshop series for high school students interested in visual art and social justice, while otherwise having limited access to art instruction. The program creates a space in which participants communicate about complex social issues and express their identities through art.
The program, including the cost of materials, is offered at no cost to participants thanks to the CCE. Since its founding, the CCE has provided service-learning courses, research opportunities, internships, and student-led programs, engaging more than 10,000 K students in partnerships that foster academic learning, critical problem-solving and a lifetime of civic engagement. Through the CCE, students, faculty and staff have worked with thousands of community residents, more than 50 organizations, and in more than 30 community-based courses across K’s academic disciplines.
The CCE employs 25 civic-engagement scholars including Angela Pastor ’21 who are student leaders facilitating programs with community partners in which they and their peers learn from communities. The scholars are supported by generous endowments and grants.
The culmination of the ARTifact workshops for the academic year came in an exhibit at the June 7 Art Hop, a fun evening of art exhibits and events in and around Kalamazoo, sponsored by Arts Council Kalamazoo, that takes place during the first weekend of every month. ARTifact’s exhibit during Art Hop was stationed at the Park Trades Center, a former manufacturing facility on West Kalamazoo Avenue that houses a creative community of more than 100 designers, entrepreneurs and small business representatives.
The ARTifact workshops gathered participants for three hours every Saturday, where they created art, physically crafted their displays and created advertising posters before spreading word of its Art Hop show.
“It’s an honor to be able to provide this experience,” said Pastor ’21 of Los Angeles, a Posse student at K who also benefited from participating in a similar experience as a high school student. “When I went through it, it taught me a lot about what I could create. I know high school is a time for questioning for a lot of people. Art, I think, is a way to figure out yourself.”
Pastor said she enjoyed ARTifact week to week, although long term success would mean expanding the program to more high school students by getting more K students to volunteer. That would also mean realizing ARTifact’s full potential.
“I know some of the high school students explore their identity through sexuality or mental health,” Pastor said. “It’s a way to use art as a tool that educates and helps students explore their identity. It can be used to support their social justice issues and anything they’re passionate about. There was one workshop where we used only recycled materials. We also talked about what makes art worthy of being exhibited and we questioned what art is and what it can be. It makes me feel proud (the high school students) were able to learn about art and have all these experiences.”
A leading voice in the Black Lives Matter movement and one of Fortune’s World’s Greatest Leaders is the 2018 William Weber Lecture speaker.
Civil-rights activist DeRay Mckesson will deliver his talk, titled “On the Other Side of Freedom: The Case for Hope,” at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24, at Stetson Chapel. Doors will open at 7:30 p.m. and seating will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Mckesson will conduct a short book-signing event after the lecture. Some copies of his book will be available for sale in the lobby before and after the lecture.
As a civil-rights activist, Mckesson focuses on issues of innovation, equity and justice. He has advocated for issues related to children and families since he was a teenager. He is a leading voice in the Black Lives Matter movement and the co-founder of Campaign Zero and OurStates.org.
Mckesson has become a key voice in the effort to confront systems and structures of justice since the death of Mike Brown and the subsequent protests in Ferguson, Missouri. He is also the host of Pod Save the People, a weekly podcast focused on activism and social justice.
Mckesson was named as one of the World’s Greatest Leaders by Fortune Magazine in 2015 and one of the 30 Most Important People on the Internet by Time Magazine in 2016. Mckesson, a Baltimore native, graduated from Bowdoin College and has an honorary doctorate from The New School.
The William Weber Lecture in Government and Society was founded by Bill Weber, a 1939 graduate of Kalamazoo College. Weber also founded the William Weber Chair in Political Science at the College. Past lecturers in this series have included David Broder, Frances Moore Lappé, E. J. Dionne, Jeane Bethke Elshtain, William Greider, Ernesto Cortes Jr., John Esposito, Benjamin Ginsberg, Frances Fox Piven, Spencer Overton, Tamara Draut, Van Jones and Joan Mandle.
The opening ceremony is slated for 5 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10, at the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership, 205 Monroe St. A community breakfast is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 11, in the Hornet Suite at K’s Athletic Fields Complex, 1600 W. Michigan Ave. Register for either event through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The third With/Out-¿Borders? invitational gathering will bring together land activists who approach social movement work in small grassroots organizations in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, South Africa, Canada, Colombia, Mexico and the Pacific Islands. They will discuss how land is essential to indigenous sovereignty movements, contested through forced dislocation, and an asset for strength and nurturance.
“The activists coming to Kalamazoo in October are engaged in some of the most effective and forward-thinking work around land sovereignty and protection in the world,” Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership Executive Director Mia Henry said. “We are honored to have the opportunity to use our resources to uplift and strengthen the work of each of our guests, living into our mission of capacity building on a global level.”
The purpose of the With/Out-¿Borders? gathering is to:
unite global grassroots activists who envision a world free from oppression while actively working toward that vision;
create an environment where activists can learn from and support each other; and
develop deep and meaningful relationships between the Kalamazoo College community, these activists and their work.
The Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership at Kalamazoo College develops and sustains leaders in human rights and social justice through education and capacity building. Kalamazoo College, founded in Kalamazoo, Mich., in 1833, is a nationally recognized liberal arts college and the creator of the K-Plan, which emphasizes rigorous scholarship, experiential learning, independent research and international and intercultural engagement.
For more information on the With/Out-¿Borders? gathering or either of its public events, contact Bailey Mead at 269-337-7398 or email@example.com.
Kalamazoo College is receiving nearly $300,000 from the U.S. Department of Justice through a shared grant to proactively prevent domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking on campus.
K is the only Michigan institution and one of just a few small private schools among 60 colleges and universities nationwide to receive part of the $18 million being distributed. K’s portion, totaling $298,698, will:
create a Campus Coordinated Community Response Team;
expand training for campus safety officers and Title IX investigators;
expand victim services;
hire a full-time project coordinator who will focus on culturally relevant prevention efforts;
further enhance the College’s focus on student safety; and
“This grant is very competitive, so we’re excited to have this additional funding and support,” said Ellen Lassiter Collier, K’s Title IX coordinator and director of gender equity. She added documented endorsements of existing efforts from students, faculty and staff likely were determining factors for the Department of Justice in securing the shared grant.
“This kind of grant traditionally goes to public schools,” Lassiter Collier said. “That speaks to the work the College is already doing and the support we receive from across campus.”
K’s existing efforts include programs such as Green Dot, which offers bystander training that statistically reduces the likelihood of dating and domestic violence, stalking and sexual assault. Green Dot at K is funded through the State of Michigan Campus Sexual Assault Grant Program, which gave the College about $18,600 in 2016 and $41,800 in 2017.
The Department of Justice grant, though, will enhance such efforts and others, including the creation of targeted online training programs for students, to ensure the programs and training materials are culturally competent considering K’s diversity, and relevant to its student experiences such as study abroad.
With study abroad, for example, “We want students to know that the College is still a source of support and potential investigation should something happen abroad,” Lassiter Collier said.
“Will try as hard as possible to get you to graduate in four years.”
Enables students, through its open curriculum, to “have more time to explore exactly what they want to learn, rather than being required to take classes in which they have no interest.”
Has “a huge culture” among alumni “of giving back to the school and being there for each other” and for current students.
Has professors who “view students as equals and peers, and are open to listening to everyone’s ideas in classes.”
Provides “good food and fun activities” for students and a wide array of clubs and athletics that are open to everyone.
Attracts students “who show creativity, ambition and motivation.” “You will never find any two students who are the same here,” one student says.
“Our students in the Princeton Review say it in their own words: Kalamazoo College provides a distinctive liberal arts education that is among the best available anywhere,” said Eric Staab, Kalamazoo College dean of admission and financial aid. “It’s a real testament to the enduring value of the K-Plan and the K experience.”
The Princeton Review says the college rankings are based on surveys of 138,000 students at 384 top colleges that includes a wide representation by region, size, selectivity and character.
The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations are a major supporter of private colleges and universities like K, based on their conviction that “an educated society strengthens democracy through principled, thoughtful and compassionate leadership.” The Center for Environmental Stewardship is consistent with Kalamazoo College’s strategic vision of integrating academic rigor with life-changing experiential education in a values-driven community.
Biology Department Chair Binney Girdler says the grant will allow the hiring of a dedicated director for the Center for Environmental Stewardship, a key element of launching a program with the breadth and depth envisioned.
Girdler, whose duties include serving as faculty director of the arboretum, says environmental studies are nothing new at K — the subject has been an interdisciplinary minor for about 30 years, and both biology and chemistry classes make heavy use of the arboretum for those and other courses. She also says the College has a record of sustainability initiatives dating back at least to the launching of a recycling effort in the 1990s.
“So we’ve had these bubbles of passion around the campus, but no one person to get their arms around the whole thing and to really center it, and enrich it, and expand it,” Girdler says.
The director, whose position will be half-time, “will be able to really do some connecting the dots and cultivating collaborations among” faculty in their classes, the College’s facilities staff, student organizations, the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership and the Mary Jane Underwood Stryker Center for Civic Engagement, she says.
“It will be more than the sum of the parts,” she adds.
Working with the director, she says, will be a student Environmental Leadership Corps, with paid positions dedicated to sustainability initiatives both on campus and involving the wider Kalamazoo community. She says those students will engage Kalamazoo-area residents “from pre-K to gray” through activities such as leading interpretive hikes at the arboretum, a 140-acre expanse of woods, meadows and marshes six miles from the College in Oshtemo Township.
“We’ll be cultivating a corps of students who themselves have gained from their connections with the natural world and their understanding of sustainability, and having them lead others to the understanding that we’re all in this together,” Girdler says.
Ultimately she expects efforts to acquaint students with environmental education and sustainability issues, and the related use of the arboretum, to spread far beyond science courses like the ones she teaches. She cites a music class that held a session at the arboretum, where it coaxed sound and rhythms from sticks, stones and other natural materials, and a philosophy class that used the forest to explore environmental themes.
“Our poets should go out, our musicians should go out, to experience the complexity of nature,” she says. “You have to see all those interactions, you have to feel it, you have to smell it. There’s no substitute for being outdoors.”
Grants will be available to faculty members across the College to help them design instructional modules that make use of the arboretum.
Mathew Holmes-Hackerd ’20, a biology major, shares Girdler’s enthusiasm for the arboretum’s possibilities. He will be conducting a survey there this fall of the invasive species colonizing the former farmland, a 1982 gift to the College by the late Lillian Anderson ’26.
“We’re really fortunate to have this,” he says as he searches along the Arboretum’s Meadow Run Trail for patches of Oriental bittersweet, an invasive vine that can overwhelm and damage native trees. “It’s going to be really amazing.”
The College Singers, a 24-voice choral ensemble that specializes in social justice-themed programming, will perform its concert titled “EXCESS: Shadows of Pleasure and Power” in two free, public performances in Kalamazoo. The first will take place at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 30, at First Congregational Church and the second at 3 p.m. Sunday, June 3, in the Dalton Theater of the Light Fine Arts Building at Kalamazoo College.
In the wake of an epidemic-level crisis around opioid abuse in the United States, the program explores genres from Broadway to folk, and from Renaissance songs to vocal jazz, each touching on those experiences that can enhance life in moderate quantities, but which quickly become destructive when taken to extremes. Chris Ludwa, director of the College Singers, described it as entertaining and educational, suggesting that audience members will experience a range of emotions as the concepts of indulgence, self-control and balance are explored as part of the human condition.
The program will touch on the love affair people tend to have with caffeine, alcohol, sex, power and relationships. There will be music from the musicals “Wicked” and “Chicago,” madrigals of Monteverdi, soul music by Sam Cooke, and more.
Both concerts are supported by a free-will offering to work toward the goal of local and Midwest touring to share these social justice concerts with an ever-increasing audience.
The College Singers includes music majors and non-music majors, offering a different approach to choral singing. Ludwa calls it “singing with a higher purpose,” a hallmark for which he is well known in the Midwest.
For more information on the concerts, contact Ludwa at firstname.lastname@example.org or 231-225-8877.
Already widely known on campus for their invaluable contributions to the community, 25 seniors have been honored with Kalamazoo College Senior Leadership Recognition Awards. They include talented athletes, outstanding students, dedicated resident assistants, members of the President’s Student Ambassadors and leaders of student organizations. In many cases, they fall into more than one of these categories. Senior leadership nominations came from faculty, coaches and staff throughout the College.
“Kalamazoo College students are, by definition, outstanding,” said President Jorge G. Gonzalez, who hosted the senior leadership awards dinner Friday for the honored students and their parents. “To be chosen for a Senior Leadership Recognition Award is to achieve a superlative distinction.”
Here are the senior leadership honorees and statements from their nominators:
Alexandrea Ambs (nominated for a senior leadership award by Jay Daniels ’13, swimming and diving coach)
“Lexi is a great teammate and leader … Almost everyone younger than her on the team were hosted by Lexi or she played a role in them choosing to swim at K … Always leads the team by positive example and has been committed.”
Hannah Berger (nominated by the Rev. Elizabeth Candido ’00, chaplain and director of Religious and Spiritual Life)
“I’ve watched Hannah grow and develop into someone who is articulate, confident and able to work across difference to bring about a great result. … She is an ego-less, diligent servant leader who moves the job forward.”
Mary Burnett (nominated by Ashley Knapp, Residential Life area coordinator)
“Mary has worn many hats as an RA, peer leader, orientation program assistant, Index writer and more. … She truly cares for her community invests in developing fellow students and creating a positive experience for all.”
Erin Butler (nominated by Sandy Dugal, associate director, Kalamazoo College Fund)
“Erin has been a president’s student ambassador since her sophomore year. … She has been actively involved in issues of student representation and student voice. …She strives to make K a richer community where everyone has a voice.”
Elan Dantus (nominated by Mark Riley ’82, men’s tennis coach)
“Elan is a co-captain of our tennis program and a two-time first-team All-MIAA selection. … Also a departmental student adviser and has earned many academic awards. … Kind, thoughtful and successful on and off the court.”
Leah Finelli (nominated by Knapp)
“Leah serves as a senior resident assistant and is an exemplary role model who has always been considered a go-to person. …There is no one I know better who lives their life in such a way that I believe exhibits enlightened leadership.”
Emily Good (nominated by Candido)
“Emily has been a dedicated participant and volunteer in Religious and Spiritual Life all four years and now is an intern. …I never hesitate to leave her in charge of a program, meeting or group. … Diligent, responsible and thorough.”
Andre Grayson (nominated by Amy MacMillan, L. Lee Stryker professor of business management)
“Andre is in the top 5 to 10 percent of students I have taught. … He stands out for internal drive, analytical skills and the ability to get people to see things from a different perspective. … He has an inner fire that drives him to go above and beyond.”
Griffin Hamel (nominated by MacMillan)
“Griffin has really stepped up as a leader in the classroom who takes initiative. …In any project he will work hard and dig in extensively to learn and share credit with those around him. … He remains positive even after tough feedback.”
Emily Kozal (nominated by Katie Miller, assistant athletic director and women’s basketball coach; and Dugal)
“Emily is a dedicated leader in the classroom, on the court, in the community and as a President’s Student Ambassador. … A force on the basketball team and in the MIAA. … Amazing role model, brings a tremendous work ethic.”
Laetitia Ndiaye (nominated by Brittany Lemke, Residential Life area coordinator)
“Laetitia has done wonderful work in the K community as a senior RA, as well as in Model UN, Latinx Student Organization and Kalama-Africa. … She is a fun, energetic, caring, inspiring and extremely kind person who takes great pride in her work.”
Skyler Norgaard (nominated by Riley)
“Skyler has been a responsible, independent and motivated person as he leads our team. … As a co-captain, he is positive, respectful and an excellent listener while also challenging his teammates with his thoughtful intellect.”
Alex Oswalt (nominated by Mark Murphy, women’s tennis head coach)
“Alex is one of the hardest workers I have ever coached. … Highly accomplished academically. … As a captain, she is a great communicator. … Upon graduation she will be sorely missed for her leadership, humility, kindness and heart.”
Khusbu Patel (nominated by Bruce Mills, professor of English; and Alison Geist, Teresa Denton, Moises Hernandez ’17, Emily Kowey ’17 and Paulette Rieger, Mary Jane Underwood Stryker Center for Civic Engagement)
“Khusbu possesses exceptional abilities to convene, guide and enrich fellow students, classrooms and/or civic engagement settings. … Biology major involved in Sisters in Science as well as on the Frisbee team and Frelon.”
Sean Peterkin (nominated by Lemke)
“Sean is a senior RA and such a motivating, goal seeking and respectful individual. … He pays attention to detail, always has a smile and never stops trying his best. …Everyone around him, including me, learns so much from him.”
Sep’Tisha Riley (nominated by Geist, Denton, Hernandez, Kowey and Rieger)
“Sep’Tisha has demonstrated leadership, deep dedication and skill as she has worked to promote educational equity and youth empowerment … also a student worker for the Registrar’s Office and very active in the Theatre Department.”
Benjamin Rivera (nominated by Amy Newday, director, Writing Center)
“Ben serves as a mentor for my students and has inspired them with his work at the Lillian Anderson Arboretum. … He dedicates himself to following his passions, sharing those passions generously and quietly making a difference in his community.”
Rumsha Sajid (nominated by Marin Heinritz ’99, assistant professor of English and journalism; and Geist, Denton, Hernandez, Kowey and Rieger)
“Rumsha is one who has made an impact since day one and not only grown exponentially since then, but has also catalyzed the growth and education of everyone around her…passion for social justice and civic engagement.”
Sivhaun Sera (nominated by Dugal)
“Sivhaun is a president’s student ambassador and a ball of energy. … She is a founding member of the computer science leadership team and serves as a TA and a departmental student adviser. … She is mature beyond her years.”
Danielle Simon (nominated by Miller)
“Dani is one of the hardest-working people I’ve ever met. …This amazing work ethic allows her to succeed and have a positive impact in the classroom, on the basketball team and in the community. …She always strives for excellence.”
Elyse Tuennerman (nominated by Dugal)
“Elyse is warm, poised and authentic. … Her leadership is evident on campus and in the broader community. … Co-editor-in-chief of The Index, a tour guide for Admission, peer leader and active in the Student Funding Board.”
David Vanderkloot (nominated by Deia Sportel, academic office coordinator)
“David is dependable, efficient, responsible and has a great positive attitude. … He is well liked by his peers and highly respected by the faculty. … Serves as a Departmental Student Adviser and a valuable source of assistance for students.”
Kiavanne Williams (nominated by Aman Luthra, assistant professor of anthropology and sociology; and Knapp)
“Kiavanne was among the brightest and highest performing students in my class. … Very impressive SIP research that I have encouraged Kiavanne to publish. … An incredibly mindful and compassionate senior RA who cares deeply.”
Lia Williams (nominated by Dugal)
“Lia is highly involved as a presidential student ambassador and also as a career associate, psychology research and teaching assistant, and interfaith student leader. …Outstanding ability to relate to differing perspectives.”
Cindy Xiao (nominated by Lemke)
“Cindy is such an intelligent, dedicated, respectful and jovial individual. … As a senior RA, she is full of energy, has a positive disposition and is always willing to help. …Her drive and incredible talent are powerful forces to her success.”