School Psychologists Group Honors K Alumna

School Psychologists Group Honors Zoe Barnes
Zoe Barnes ’18 is being honored by
the National Association for School Psychologists.

A Kalamazoo College alumna, inspired by her experiences in diversity at K, has earned a special honor from the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP).

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.”

Social Justice, International Sports Expert to Visit K

A world-renowned expert on social justice and its role in international sports will visit Stetson Chapel at Kalamazoo College on Monday, Nov. 4.

Social Justice and International Sports Expert Richard Lapchick
Social justice and international sports expert Richard Lapchick will visit 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 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.

For more information on the event, please call 269.337.7398 or visit the Arcus Center on Facebook.

Arcus Center Invites Public to With/Out-¿Borders? Events

The public is invited to join the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership for two events related to its With/Out-¿Borders? gathering, which is scheduled for Oct. 8-15.

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

Sunni Patterson, Denenge Akpem and Shannon Haupt participate in a ritual performance of release and healing during the 2016 With/Out – ¿Borders? Afrofuturism breakout session “Breaking the Legacy, Conjuring Futures.”

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

Shared Grant to Proactively Prevent Sexual Violence

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.

Kalamazoo College Quad Shared Grant
Kalamazoo College 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 through the U.S. Department of Justice in a shared grant that will 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
  • support a K partnership with the Kalamazoo YWCA and the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety. The partnership will bring a victim advocate to campus for 20 hours a week and formalize response to incidents that involve students in the city.

“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.

For more information on the grant from the Department of Justice, visit its website.

Choral Concert Centers Around Love Affairs, Obsessions

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.

College Singers in concert
The College Singers will perform its concert titled “EXCESS: Shadows of Pleasure and Power” in two free, public performances May 30 and June 3 at First Congregational Church and the Dalton Theater at Kalamazoo College respectively.

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 or 231-225-8877.