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A word from the Provost

Dear Faculty,
As we approach the end of the Winter semester, and hopefully the end of the cold and snow, I take this opportunity to thank each of you for all the good work you have done this year. Several of you have completed your doctoral studies, others of you have actively participated in scholarly publication and presentations, and all of you have done an outstanding job of putting students first in your classrooms. With your help, all departments now have action plans that support their College’s balanced scorecards, the Excellence System assessment compliance has substantially increased, our academic student organizations have competed well in competitions, and the academic KPIs continue to increase.
I look forward to seeing you at end-of-year festivities and especially at commencement. As we wrap up another semester, your continued efforts in assessing and reviewing your curriculum will be coming to a close. With that closure will come your plans for the 2018-19 academic year—the cycle never ends. Remember, though, to take time to appreciate your accomplishments and those of your colleagues. Please enjoy reading this latest edition.
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:

  • March,  Dr. Saleela Hollingsworth
  • April, Dr. Marjolijn VanderVelde

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.



New Faces in Academics: 

  • Analise Johnson (April-Detroit/Warren Campus) Librarian for Research and Instruction.
  • Anna Hickman (April-Lettinga Campus) Full-time Accounting Faculty 

Academic Rank:

  • Mike Carey, Associate Dean for the Donald W. Maine College of Business, moved to the position of Associate Professor.
  • Denny Bobeldyk, faculty member in the College of Technology, moved to the position of Associate Professor.
  • Melissa Haswell, Associate Department Chair in the College of Arts and Sciences, moved to the position of Associate Professor.
  • Laura Harris, science lab coordinator in the College of Arts and Sciences, moved to the position of Assistant Professor.
  • Amanda Binge,instructor in the College of Health Professions, moved to the position of Assistant Professor.

You can have your cake....


CTE Co-Director Dr. Tammy Stachowicz has been hosting periodic faculty discussions to assess needs related to learning technology, pedagogy, and assessment. Called the “Eat Dessert First” series, data gathered at these informal, conversational lunch-hour meetings identify gaps in current knowledge and help the CTE plan and design targeted programming to improve faculty performance and student satisfaction. Follow-up discussions and training then take place virtually on Saturday mornings. Come join your colleagues to discuss best practices and many other topics. This program will begin again in the Fall 2018 semester.

Academic Writing Retreat Encourages Collaboration

The second annual Academic Writing Retreat was hosted on January 3, 4, and 5. In addition to work on scholarly writing, participants focused on a variety of academic projects including writing proposals for national conference presentations, submitting primary research projects for approval to Davenport’s Institutional Review Board, improving quality in course Required Assessment Assignments (RAAs), developing new experiential learning and domestic field opportunities, and locating new materials to add to the University’s existing classroom and library-based Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion resources.

New Services for Graduate Students

At a recent Graduate Council meeting, it was agreed that graduate students across all colleges should have access to the same academic services. These common services include writing help and assessment of thesis development. A statement regarding these services is being developed, and once approved, will be shared with every graduate student upon admittance. Some of these services will require the development of new processes to ensure equal access to resources for all students.

Global Campus

Quality Matters: Quality Matters continues to be a focus of the Global Campus Team. DATA742 and MKTG322 were submitted for certification. MKTG322 received a perfect score, and DATA742 became Davenport’s first graduate level course to receive Quality Matters’ certification. The Global Campus is now working on proposing a formal program for increasing the number of Quality Matters certified courses at the University.


The Center for Teaching Excellence hosted the DU Day of Research on April 4, 2018. Faculty presenters included:

  • Dr. Chris Hamstra: Research Across Borders
  • Denny Bobeldyk: Predicting Eye Color from Near Infrared Iris Images
  • Laura Harris: Predicting Targets to Reduce Vancomycin Resistance in Staphylococcus aureus Through Genome-Wise Computational Analysis
  • Dr. Melissa Haswell: Using Expert Skeleton Concept Maps to Enhance Student Reading Comprehension of Basic Genetic Concepts in an Undergraduate Pathophysiology Course
  • Dr. Brian Kowalczk: Implementing Composable Applications at the Network’s Edge Using Microservices in an Ad-Hoc Fog Computing Environment
  • Dr. Sharon Long: Diabetes Prevention Program: Exploring Spirituality and Spiritual Interventions on Outcomes
One hundred seventy students also registered to participate in writing and presenting papers, projects, and posters, on various subject matters in their fields of study.  
Three student submission winners were selected to receive $500 each.
  • Bareman, Hourani, Lownsbery, and Zeerip: Pressure Ulcer Prevention
  • Berkas, Frick, Korson, and Wassenaar: Staffed to Succeed
  • Park: Pseudomonas aeruginosa Antibiotic Resistance
Congratulations to all presenters on a job well done! Kudos to Kriss Ferluga her team for another successful year!

Dr. Chris Hamstra gives his presentation with the help of Dr. Kriss Ferluga.

The alumni panel speak about Research at Work during the Day of Research.

Left to right: Robin Barrett ’11 & 14, Nick Kraska ’05, Mary Stanko ’10 & ’13, Derek Fedewa, and Ed DeVries ’17.

Publications and Achievements

  • Dr. Todd Pitts, Professor in the Sports Management Program, recently earned his Doctor of Education (Ed.D) Leadership emphasis from United States Sports Academy. The subject of his dissertation was "Student-athletes' preferred leadership styles in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference.”
  • Dr. Sharon Long, Nursing Faculty, completed her Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Health Services through Western University. Her dissertation title was “Diabetes prevention program: A study exploring spirituality and spiritual interventions on outcomes.”
  • Dr. Wayne Sneath, Director of Experiential Learning, and Dr. Tammy Stachowicz, Associate Department Chair, presented a paper titled Reflective Practices and Assessment Strategies in Humanities-Based Experiential Learning at the 2018 Humanities Education Research Association (HERA) Conference in Chicago on March 9.  Their research examines the practical matters of evaluating the effectiveness of experiential learning assessment approaches and the process of improving these assessments to create better learning experiences for students.   
  • Dr. Susan Gunn, the Dean of theCollege of Urban Education, was a guest speaker and panelist for Leadership Grand Rapids on February 15.  The focus of her presentation was Education and the Talent Pipeline. The Leadership Grand Rapids program is sponsored by the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce. Each year, a class of leaders are accepted to take part in an intensive community and professional leadership program. Monthly, key community issues and topics are explored by participants with the goal of deepening their understanding of the Grand Rapids’ community.
  • Dr. Roque Neto, Department Chair for the Master of Urban Education program, attended the 2018 Eastern Educational Research Association (EERA) in Clearwater, Florida, February 9-10. He presented the paper Creative thinking and entrepreneurial behavior among K-12 teachers and chaired a session focused on teacher education.
  • Dr. Tamara Stachowicz, Associate Department Chair, has authored the book Melungeon Portraits: Exploring Kinship and Identity.  The book is available for purchase through McFarland Publishers.
  • Dr. David Gillespie, Associate Department Chair, was featured in The Twentieth Mental Measurements Yearbook (2017) as a reviewer of The Transferable Skills Scale, second edition, an assessment used to help individuals identify learned skills that are transferable to the workplace as they enter the workforce or change careers. 
  • Dr. Chris Hamstra, Associate Department Chair, presented Flying Faculty: Unpacking a Case for Autonomous Learning at the International Symposium on Self-Directed Learning on February 9 in Cocoa Beach, Florida. His presentation was a case study based on his summer 2017 teaching experience in Iceland.
  • A repeat session of Overcoming Math Anxiety was presented at the Warren Campus by Dr. Alex Israetel, Faculty.  Math anxiety can be difficult to quell.  
  • Got Lactase? Blood Glucose Data Analysis Adapted for a Physiology Course was Campus Associate Department Chair Melissa Haswell’s presentation to the National Association of Biology Teachers at their annual conference in St. Louis in November.
  • Samer Hanoudi, faculty from the College of Technology’s Computer Science department, has co-authored an article published in the journal Nature Scientific Reports. The article is titled Detection of Cystic Fibrosis Serological Biomarkers Using a T7 Phage Display Library and was published in mid-December. The goal of this paper is to identify biomarkers in cystic fibrosis patients and is part of Samer’s doctoral research.
  • Brian Holda, Digital Services Librarian, conducted two webpage usability-testing sessions, one at the Grand Rapids campus and one at the Lansing campus. Participants included a mixture of students, faculty and staff. The purpose of the sessions is to improve the usability of library resources available through the library’s webpage. Feedback received in these sessions has been very valuable to library staff and has resulted in a number of improvements to the library’s webpage. Brian also gave an online presentation on behalf of the Michigan Academic Library Association (MI-ALA). The title of the presentation was Making Your LibGuides Shine. Brian serves as the chair of MI-ALA’s Web Development, Design and User Experience Interest Group.


Dr. Theresa Leto, Occupational Therapy Faculty, was awarded a grant from the ME Davenport Legacy Fund for the Living Better project.  The Living Better program is designed to reduce food insecurity for community participants through an occupation-based program addressing their individualized needs.

Dr. Roque Neto received a grant from the M.E. Davenport Legacy Endowment fund for the Curiosity Project, which covers two research projects focused on the impact of curiosity on K-12 teachers and on their relationship with students.

Laura Harris, Science Lab Coordinator, received an M.E. Davenport Legacy Foundation Award for $5,000 to continue her research into drug-resistant mrsa. 

Dr. Susan Gunn also was awarded a grant from the M.E. Davenport Legacy Endowment fund for the CSI Davenport: Forensic Science Summer Camp Program. Funds from the grant will support three camps--two at the Lettinga campus and one at the Warren campus.  The camps are designed to introduce urban youth to concepts in forensic science through the application of different biological laboratory techniques to solve a mock crime.

Nora King, Associate Department Chair, successfully completed the Quality Matters Peer Reviewer training course. She is now eligible to apply to be a peer reviewer for online learning courses.

Inspirations and Aspirations

Distinguished Adjunct faculty member Steve Bayus blended real-life teachings and storytelling that inspired hands-on learning for MBA student Christina Flowers. Professor Bayus challenged and encouraged Christina in a marketing course to develop a magazine for her new business. Through the dedication of his efforts, Christina launched The Women Behind the Ministry magazine in August 2017 and started a scholarship fund, Single Parents Continuing Education, aiding single mothers and fathers pursuing a college degree or training program. 

Dr. Lonnie Decker, Department Chair for Networking and Information Assurance/Cybersecurity, has completed the requirements to be a CCNA Cyber Ops Instructor Trainer. By participating in the Phase 1 course and completing the final assessment and hands-on skills based assessment, Dr. Decker is among the first instructors in the country with the credentials to deliver this curriculum to other Networking Academy instructors for use in their schools. The CCNA Cyber Ops curriculum was recently developed by the Cisco Networking Academy.  The goal of the CCNA Cyber Ops curriculum and certification is to prepare someone to work in a Security Operations Center as an associate-level security analyst.

Joe LaMontagne, Faculty, was re-elected as the treasurer of the Michigan Developmental Education Consortium.

Melissa Haswell was the acting bird expert for Kid’s Day at the Chippewa Nature Center.

Laura Harris works as a volunteer on the grounds crew at Potter Park Zoo.

At the Great Lakes Bay region campus, Interim Associate Department Chair Deanna Dubay and Faculty Sarah Brooks collaborated with Michigan Health Improvement Alliance. Deanna works with the Population Health Workgroup and Sarah is working on the Opioid Initiative Workgroup. 

Department Chair and West Central Chapter Chair for AWHONN Kelli Leask continues to educate vulnerable populations supporting the Adult Immunization Grant Project.

Through the Legal Studies department’s Estate Planning Service program and under the leadership of Ron Foster, JD, Adjunct Faculty, students at Davenport University have provided about $100,000 worth of free legal estate planning services to low income families over the last five years. This program allows paralegal students to practice what they have learned in their course of study and to get feedback on their work. The program is a part of the academic experiential learning experience for students taking Estate Planning and Probate Law, LEGL308.

Students Make Their Own Opportunities Doing Community Service

A unique partnership has developed between the international students and the occupational therapy students. Through this interdepartmental relationship, occupational therapy students have been able to explore the influence of culture related to occupational choice and performance, develop skills in therapeutic communication, practice articulating the value of occupation, and promote occupational therapy for diverse individuals. In addition, occupational therapy students worked with Sheldon House’s clients who are living with mental illness. The students co-created the Photovoice Project to help other students understand the experiences of those with mental illness.

VITA Program Wraps Up Another Successful Year

The 2017 Tax Return VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) Program led by Judy Knapp and Tamara VandenBerg helped 6143 clients this year and garnered those clients $7,543,841 in refunds! Davenport University oversees 15 different sites and helps taxpayers complete their income tax forms free of charge. Many of the volunteers are Davenport University’s own students who use the opportunity to apply what they have learned and get experience working with clients in real world situations. Congratulations to the VITA leaders and staff for making a difference in their communities!


Sunday, April 29 at 2 pm, Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, MI

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