The Academic Minute for 2019.06.17-06.21

The Academic Minute from 06.17 – 06.21

Monday, June 17th
Karen Zivi – Grand Valley State University
Menstrual Activism
Karen Zivi is an Associate Professor of Political Science in the Frederik Meijer Honors College at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan where she teaches courses on human rights, modern political thought, and feminist politics. She is the author of Making Rights Claims: A Practice of Democratic Citizenship (Oxford University Press, 2012) as well as articles published in journals such as Journal of Human Rights, Philosophy and Rhetoric, Contemporary Political Theory, and Gender & Politics. She is an editor at Contemporary Political Theory and serves on the editorial board of Citizenship Studies.

Tuesday, June 18th
Peter Wampler – Grand Valley State University
Water Treatment In Haiti
Dr. Peter Wampler is a broadly trained environmental geologist, geomorphologist, and surface water hydrologist with a background in both academic and government regulation of mining and storm water.  He received a PhD in 2004 for work on human- and climatic-induced changes along the Clackamas River in Oregon. Since joining the faculty at Grand Valley State University (GVSU) in 2004 he has worked with undergraduate and graduate students on applied geoscience research: 1) evaluating GVSU’s storm water runoff footprint and assisting in designing Best Management Practices (BMP) for GVSU (; 2) investigating water resources, water treatment, and groundwater contamination pathways in rural Haiti (; 3) evaluating human impacts to river systems resulting from dams and other structures and 4) Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to create household radon hazard maps for Michigan using geologic data. He has travelled to Haiti numerous times since 2007 to work on water resources issues and safe-water interventions.  Since 2016, He has led three groups of GVSU students on a 4-week study abroad to Haiti where students engage in service learning projects, ecotourism, and water resources investigations ( Beginning in 2019 Dr. Wampler is co-leading a two-year water initiative for GVSU called Making Waves about Water (

Wednesday, June 19th
Alan Steinman – Grand Valley State University
Phosphorus and Aquatic Ecosystems
Alan (Al) Steinman is the Director of Grand Valley State University’s Annis Water Resources Institute, a position he has held since 2001.  Previously, he was Director of the Lake Okeechobee Restoration Program at the South Florida Water Management District. Steinman has published over 175 scientific articles, book chapters, and books; has been awarded over $55 million in grants for scientific and engineering projects; and has testified before the U.S. Congress and the Michigan and Florida state legislatures.

Among his awards are Phi Beta Kappa; the 2017 Award of Excellence from the National Garden Clubs; the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Outstanding Planning Achievement Award; the Joan Hodges Queneau Palladium Medal from the National Audubon Society; Paul Harris Fellow; Keiser Distinguished Lecturer in Life Sciences from Ohio Northern University; and the Patricia B. Johnson Award for Leadership and Innovative Grantmaking from the Community Foundation for Muskegon County.

Thursday, June 20th
Ellen Schiller – Grand Valley University
Nurturing Elementary School Teachers as They Strive to Become Better Science Teachers
Dr. Ellen Schiller is a Professor in the College of Education at Grand Valley State University.  Prior to joining the faculty at GVSU in 2001, she served as an elementary teacher, instructional specialist, and district math and science coordinator for the Muskegon Public School District.  She holds a Ph.D. from Michigan State University in Curriculum, Teaching, and Educational Policy. Her doctoral dissertation involved the creation of an elementary teacher study group in Muskegon that provided professional development and peer support in the field of inquiry-based science instruction. She has continued this scholarly agenda during her career in higher education, directing five federal grants since 2006, which have all provided professional development in science instruction to local teachers.  She teaches courses in elementary science and math methods to graduate students and is the incoming chair of the Department of Teaching and Learning.

Friday, June 21st
Jeff Lowenstein – Grand Valley State University
The Lottery Industry
Jeff comes to GVSU from Columbia College Chicago in Chicago, IL, where he was a lecturer. Prior to his position there, he worked for a weekly newspaper on Chicago’s South Side, did investigative work around race and poverty issues for a bimonthly magazine in Chicago and was the first database and investigative editor at Hoy Chicago, the Chicago Tribune Company’s Spanish-language newspaper. He is a Fulbright Scholar (Chile 2013), Specialist (New Zealand 2015) and Teacher (South Africa 1995). His research focuses on telling stories about vulnerable individuals and communities that would otherwise not be told and on building collaborations to heighten quality and maximize impact. His recent projects include a compilation of his favorite blog posts, an expose’ of a reverse mortgage/home repair scam and a yearlong investigation into nursing home abuses.