Encore Magazine May 2017

Page 1

Tech’s Transformation of College Life

Socks to Dye For

The Invisible Need Project

May 2017

Southwest Michigan’s Magazine

SPECIAL ISSUE: Student Takeover WMU Journalists Take Charge

Today's Dorm Decor

up front encore

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The Experience You Need. The Dedication You Deserve.

Tech’s Transformation of College Life

Socks to Dye For

The Invisible Need Project

May 2017

Today's Dorm Decor

Southwest Michigan’s Magazine

SPECIAL ISSUE: Student Takeover WMU Journalists Take Charge

141 E. Michigan Ave., Suite 600 Kalamazoo 269.382.5300 kalamazoomichiganlawyers.com Publisher

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marie lee


alexis stubelt

Photographer brian k. powers

Contributing Writers

sue ellen christian, carolyn diana, samantha marzke, samantha may, jay penny, greyson steele

Copy Editor/Poetry Editor margaret deritter

Advertising Sales tiffany andrus krieg lee celeste statler


mark thompson

Office Coordinator hope smith

Encore Magazine is published 12 times yearly. Copyright 2017, Encore Publications, Inc. All rights reserved. Editorial, circulation and advertising correspondence should be sent to:

www.encorekalamazoo.com 117 W. Cedar St. Suite A, Kalamazoo, MI 49007 Telephone: (269) 383-4433 Fax: (269) 383-9767 Email: Publisher@encorekalamazoo.com The staff at Encore welcomes written comment from readers, and articles and poems for submission with no obligation to print or return them. To learn more about us or to comment, visit encorekalamazoo.com. Encore subscription rates: one year $36, two years $70. Current single issue and newsstand $4, $10 by mail. Back issues $6, $12 by mail. Advertising rates on request. Closing date for space is 28 days prior to publication date. Final date for print-ready copy is 21 days prior to publication date. The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by those interviewed and published here do not reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of Encore Magazine or the official policies, owners or employees of Encore Publications.

4 | Encore MAY 2017

encore Contributors

Carolyn Diana

Carolyn graduated in April from Western Michigan University with degrees in journalism and Spanish. She wrote for the Western Herald and is currently a newsroom intern at WOOD TV8 in Grand Rapids. Carolyn found that her love for talking to people and storytelling and her natural curiosity were a perfect fit for writing about the Invisible Need Project at WMU. She also contributed to the package of stories on dorm decor in this issue and on how technology has changed college life.

Samantha Marzke

Samantha grew up in St. Joseph, passionate about sports and following current trends. She covered the waterfront for Encore this issue, writing about a gifted cellist, a WMU staffer who works to make students’ first year successful and dorm room decor. Samantha graduated in April from WMU with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and is an aspiring freelance writer who plans to move to West Palm Beach, Florida, in the fall.

Jay Penny

Pay attention to the world around you — that’s Jay’s mantra. Always curious about people, places and ideas, he continually likes to try new things and meet new people. Before becoming a nontraditional student at WMU, Jay spent several years working as a musician, which allowed him to see many parts of the U.S. and the world. Jay graduated from WMU in April and will begin working on a graduate degree in communication at WMU this fall.

Samantha May

Samantha graduated from WMU in April with a bachelor’s degree in film, video, and media studies. She enjoys being creative every second she can, whether that be with writing, photography or video recording. She found ideas for her stories through her use of social media and interactions with her classmates. She says she hopes her stories paint pictures that help readers experience the yoga room at Milwood Elementary and the creative, colorful workshop of Bambüz’s Prashant Dault.

Greyson Steele

Greyson, 20, is a third-year journalism major at WMU and a first-generation college student. Growing up in a digital world, Greyson was eager to learn how the ever-growing digital climate is affecting universities and their students. In his reporting, he found that there is no definitive answer to whether technology is good or bad for the institution. "Like anything else, it seems that there are benefits and costs to the increased implementation of technology,” Greyson says. “It's a series of trade-offs — what you're willing to give up for something you've never had."

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FEATURES Digital Download

Technology has revolutionized the academic and social lives of college students


Dorm Decor over the Decades 42

DEPARTMENTS 5 Contributors

The amenities are better than before, but it's still about creating your own space

8 First Things Happenings in SW Michigan Up Front

13 About This Issue — Why we let WMU students take over our May issue


Stretching Their Minds — How Milwood Elementary uses yoga to improve behavior and teach life skills

18 Enterprise

Socks to Dye For — The creative hands behind Bambüz’s custom-dyed socks

23 Good Works

Invisible Need, Visible Compassion — WMU project helps students with food and financial emergencies

54 Back Story

Meet Toni Woolfork-Barnes — She helps students survive and thrive during their first year of college


34 Jordan Hamilton WMU cellist uses rap and new styles to make classical

music ‘relatable'

38 Joshua Diedrich The sculptor’s journey from homelessness to master


47 Events of Note

On the cover: The intrepid WMU journalists behind this month’s issue of Encore are, from left, Samantha May, Jay Penny, Greyson Steele, Samantha Marzke and Carolyn Diana. Photo by Brian Powers

51 Poetry

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First Things encore

First Things Something Entertaining

Grammy winners at State Theatre Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn, whose selftitled debut album won a Grammy Award as 2016’s best folk music album, will bring their brand of front-porch banjo and vocal music to Kalamazoo’s State Theatre at 8 p.m. May 11. Fleck and Washburn, who also happen to be married, are both formidable banjo players. Fleck has won 16 Grammy Awards and, with 30 nominations, has been nominated in more categories than any instrumentalist in Grammy history. Washburn brings her songwriting, theater and performance talents to the duo. Tickets are $35–$59.50 and available at the Kalamazoo State Theatre box office, 404 S. Burdick St., or at kazoostate.com. Jim Mcguire

Something Historic

Home tours and restoration tips Inspiration and information on affordable historic restoration of buildings will be presented at the 16th annual Preservation Celebration, 4:30–6:30 p.m. May 18 at the Prairie Edge LLC and American Hydrogeology Corp. campus, at 6869 S. Sprinkle Road. The event, whose theme is “Restoration for a New Era,” will be presented by the Portage Historic District Commission. It will include tours of an 1892 Queen Anne home and other restored homes on the site, as well as exhibits of historical cars and tools. Mick Lynch, owner and president of both the Prairie Edge historic restoration company and AHC, will share his knowledge of restoration techniques, as will Blair Bates of Building Restoration Inc. There will also be a “mini-expo” on resources for materials and craftsmanship. The event is free. For more information, visit facebook.com/PortageHDC or call 329-4400.

8 | Encore MAY 2017

encore First Things

Something Musical

Motown’s at Miller this month You know Motown’s songs, but do you know its story? Learn it when Motown the Musical hits the stage at Miller Auditorium May 9–14. This rocking musical will take audiences on a journey through Berry Gordy’s rise from featherweight boxer to the heavyweight music mogul who launched the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Smokey Robinson and more. With the musical featuring classic songs such as “My Girl” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” you know you won’t be able to keep from singing along. Tickets are $38–$88 and are available at millerauditorium.com.

Something Operatic KSO reprises Don Giovanni

Bringing in an international cast of opera singers, the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra will perform Mozart’s epic opera Don Giovanni for the first time since 1980. The event is set for 8 p.m. May 26 at Miller Auditorium. This operatic favorite about the infamous womanizer who must change his ways or burn in hell will be presented in a semi-staged production. The show’s soloists include Mark Walters, Aaron Sorenson, Charles Reid, Christina Pier, Nicole Heaston, Sydney Anderson and Evan Boyer. This performance will also be the last conducted by Maestro Raymond Harvey, who is retiring from the KSO after 18 years. Tickets are $24-$60. For more information, visit kalamazoosymphony.com.

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First Things encore

Something Inspiring

Glimpse the future at Stulberg

A dozen of the best young violinists, cellists and bassists in the world will converge on Kalamazoo May 13 to compete and perform in the Stulberg International String Competition. You can catch a glimpse of these potential worldclass performers during their semifinal performances, which begin on the half-hour from 9 a.m.–4 p.m. at Western Michigan University’s Dalton Center Recital Hall, or see the finalists perform at 7:30 p.m. at the same location. The semifinal performances are free and open to the public. Tickets to the finals are $20, or $5 for students. For more information, visit stulberg.org.

Something Delicious Rally for a late-night snack

If you’re a bit hungry after you’ve made the rounds of breweries and bars

or taken in a show downtown on May 5, then wander over to the Kalamazoo Late Night Food Truck Rally. The rally, running from 9–11:45 p.m. on Water Street between Church and Rose streets, will include nearly a dozen food trucks, artisans, booths, music and socializing. And if you miss your chance this month, don’t worry — there are additional rallies planned for July, September and October. For more information, visit facebook.com/KalamazooFoodTruckRally.

10 | Encore MAY 2017

encore First Things

Something Theatrical Pay a visit to The Heights

Before there was Hamilton, there was In the Heights.

In the Heights — created by Lin-Manuel Miranda, best known for creating and starring in the Broadway blockbuster Hamilton — is a Tony- and Grammy-winning musical that will be staged by Festival Playhouse of Kalamazoo College May 11–14. In the Heights is set in New York’s Washington Heights neighborhood, a vibrant Dominican-American community on the brink of change. It is seen through the eyes of a young storeowner who watches the joys and heartbreaks of his tight-knit community as they pass through his bodega. Show times are 7:30 p.m. May 11–13 and 2 p.m. May 14 at the Nelda K. Balch Theatre, 129 Thompson St. Tickets are $15, or $10 for those 65 and older and $5 for students with ID. For tickets, visit festivalplayhouse.ludustickets.com.

Something Soothing Engage in guided meditation

Not knowing how to meditate or not having the time are two of the mostcited reasons why people don’t meditate. Well, procrastinate no more. Unity of Kalamazoo is offering free weekly guided meditation sessions for the novice and the experienced. The sessions will focus on meditation as a method to increase your wellness, decrease stress and relieve your immune system. They are scheduled for 6–7:30 p.m. Wednesdays at Unity of Kalamazoo, 1024 Whites Road. For more info, visit unitykalamazoo.com or call 385-2239.

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encore Up up Front front

We love potential. I

n a time when journalism is under fire and people wonder about its future, Encore is proud to introduce you to the future. May’s issue of Encore has been written almost entirely by a team of junior and senior Western Michigan University journalism students taught by Professor Sue Ellen Christian. These five aspiring journalists — Carolyn Diana, Samantha Marzke, Samantha May, Jay Penny and Greyson Steele — are a mighty team that conceptualized, reported, researched and wrote the feature articles that appear on these pages and even, in many cases, took photographs that accompany the articles. Encore has a proud mission of showcasing the area’s best people, places and things, and with this issue we doubled down on that tradition. Not only do these young writers give us great stories about people and initiatives at their own university, but this issue spotlights their talents and the outstanding journalism training they are receiving through WMU’s School of Communication. With stories on topics such as student hunger and economic need, modern dorm decor and how the digital world has changed the face of higher education and college life, these student journalists have created an issue that’s as informative, interesting and engaging as any Encore ever has been. Enjoy, and know the future of journalism is in good hands. Above: WMU Professor Sue Ellen Christian, center, meets with our team of student journalists, clockwise from bottom left, Jay Penny, Samantha May, Greyson Steele, Carolyn Diana and Samantha Marzke.

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up front encore

Stretching Their Minds

Yoga used to improve behavior, teach life skills by

Samantha May

14 | Encore MAY 2017

encore Up Front


Brian Powers

n energetic third-grader at Milwood Elementary School in Kalamazoo got into some trouble with a teacher for talking during class, but rather than having to skip recess or receive a detention, the student was invited to attend a lunchtime yoga class to practice mindfulness and self-reflection. Yoga teacher and Western Michigan University special education major Olivia Suski teaches the lunchtime classes as part of her training with Yoga Ed. The organization provides yoga training to educators, who pass the mindfulness, movement and social/ emotional learning on to their students. Yoga Ed. offered a class at WMU last summer on how to incorporate yoga into elementary school classrooms. Suski and four other teachers from Kalamazoo Public Schools took the course. Now, when Milwood’s teachers notice disruptive behaviors by students in class, they suggest the students spend their recess attending yoga class instead of playing outside. Although the idea is suggested to them, students always have a choice. The talkative third-grader opted for yoga, where Suski provided the student with instruction on how to take a few moments to calm down with relaxing breaths whenever he is feeling hyper in class. “(Students) really focus on being mindful and thinking about what they did and what they can do next time," Suski says. "Rather Fourth-grade teacher Pam Phillips leads her Milwood Elementary School class in yoga poses.

than just punishing them, we're teaching them strategies to use."

Yoga for youngsters The room where students practice yoga at Milwood is also used for indoor recess on days with inclement weather. Tables and chairs are pushed to one side, leaving a majority of the room open. When students arrive, they are instructed to unfold yoga mats. The mats were provided through a mat drive held at Down Dog Yoga Studio in September. Pamela Phillips, a Milwood fourth-grade teacher, practices yoga at Down Dog and asked for the studio’s help. The mat drive ran for two weeks and collected six mats for the Milwood program. Uplifting music, such as “Happy” by Pharrell Williams, plays in the background as Suski and the students prepare for class. Suski says she likes to start with "animal breaths," such as “elephant trunks, “ where students attempt to breathe deeply, extend their arms above their heads, clasp their hands together and wobble like elephants. After animal breaths, students suggest yoga poses to practice and follow the form taught to them by Suski. She then leads them in a game in which she has the students walk around the classroom until she calls out "Stop!" and names a pose. The students go back-to-back with a partner and do that pose. Another game students enjoy, Suski says, is standing in front of their partner and mirroring each other's poses. Class ends with Suski turning the lights down to begin the relaxation phase of the

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class. Students lie on their backs or stomachs and focus on their breathing in an attempt to wind down. Suski visits Milwood twice a week, on Mondays and Fridays, to teach two 30-minute classes, one for students in kindergarten through second grade and the other for third-, fourth- and fifth-graders. She started with 12 students in her classes, but because of scheduling conflicts and the option of recess, she now teaches about six or seven students, she says. She hopes that student interest will grow and more students will attend.

In the classroom Yoga has a place in schools beyond just these lunchtime sessions, says Candis Ogilvie, a Yoga Ed instructor who trains teachers like Suski and Phillips to use yoga as a “brain break” in their classrooms. For example, after recess Phillips’ students may choose between reading or practicing yoga poses that are designed to support mindfulness. Phillips also practices yoga with her entire class three times a week. She says she feels “the energy” of her students to determine which yoga poses to do. Sometimes she chooses the mountain game, in which

students stand tall in a mountain pose with their hands stretched toward the floor. Phillips goes around and tests how strong their mountain is. She says the pose is used as a metaphor for life. “We talk about mountains and how they get beaten on but yet they still stand and they don’t change,” Phillips says. Phillips says she would like to see yoga practiced more in schools so children can benefit from learning self-control. "I've noticed a huge difference, even with a student I didn't think was really on board with it.," Phillips says. "Later he did a writing piece about what he does to help with selfcontrol, and he actually wrote that he goes to his inner adviser, which is a relaxation reading I've done with him. I got so excited. It is one of those things with kids that even if you don’t know it is having an effect, you’ll find out later it had a huge effect on them." To support its Yoga Ed program, Milwood Elementary applied for and received a $2,000 grant from the John E. Fetzer Fund, a fund housed at the Kalamazoo Community Foundation, says KCF community investment officer Sandy Barry-Loken. Although it is only a one-year grant,

Samantha May

up front encore

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Left and above: Milwood Elementary students do yoga with instructor Olivia Suski.

Barry-Loken says the program is making a long-lasting impression on students at Milwood because of the education and training teachers are receiving. She hopes that yoga will spread to other schools in the district. “Few kids have the opportunity to be introduced to yoga and Milwood students are learning to use it as a tool to help them cope with the effects of stress in their lives and also are learning strategies to support their overall academic success,” Barry-Loken says.


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Enterprise encore

Socks to Dye For

WMU student aims to knock people’s socks off, a pair at a time by

Samantha May

18 | Encore MAY 2017

encore Enterprise


a shop in their hometown of Lawrence. It was there that the young Dault first began selling his hand-dyed cotton socks, to which he gave the ambitious name Presto Magic Socks. Hand-dyeing socks was a hobby that brought him a little extra cash, but last year, when he turned 19, Dault decided it was time to turn his hobby into a viable business and Bambüz was born.

Distinctive design Although his socks may look tie-dyed, Dault prefers to call them “hand-dyed” because of tie-dye’s association with 1960s hippie culture. Dault wants his socks to appeal to all types of people. “’Oh, it’s like tie-dye,’ (people say). ‘I want to have a tie-dye party.’ No, I get that a lot, and that is not what I am trying to do. I am trying to build something unique but also modern,” Dault says. Bambüz’s designs have a distinctive rippling pattern with soft edges between the colors that remind one of looking at

Brian Powers

lastic, see-through squirt bottles of various colors of fabric dye line a plastic sheet like so many soldiers ready to unfurl a barrage of rainbow-hued artillery. The sheet is draped over a simple foldout table in an upstairs sunroom of a Stuart neighborhood duplex, where there are more windows than wall and shimmering natural light plays over splattered drops of the colorful dye. Citrus yellow, crushed-berry blue, eyepopping orange — these colors will soon penetrate pristine white bamboo socks as Prashant Dault creates another batch of his custom-dyed creations. Dault, a 19-year-old university studies major at Western Michigan University, is the sole employee, owner and founder of a company called Bambüz. He sells his socks, also called Bambüz, online and in local retail shops. Although he started Bambüz in July 2016, he began doing his colorful handiwork long before. Dault has been dyeing socks since he was 8, learning the art of hand-dyeing from his mother, Maria, who owned Seeded Earth,

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Brian Powers

color underwater. However, Bambüz’s colors are dynamic and bright, with names like Peacock and Majestic. It’s not just the designs that make the socks different. Dault uses socks made from bamboo because, he says, the material is softer than cotton, wicks moisture to help keep sweat away from the feet, is naturally odorresistant and is sustainable, since bamboo can grow up to one foot per hour. “It kind of feels like you’re not wearing any socks at all,” he says. “They are super soft and not restrictive (compared to cotton socks), so they really allow you to breathe.”

The creative process Dault grabs a pair of white socks from a box. He deftly laces rubber bands around one sock — in and out, in and out, to form a spiral — while the sock’s mate waits its turn. Snap! Dault tends to break a lot of rubber bands during this step. He shrugs. “I barely feel them anymore.” Once the origami-like folding is done, Dault places the sock on the plastic sheet and begins squirting dye onto sections created by the rubber bands and lightly pushes down on the

20 | Encore MAY 2017

Bambüz's Prashant Dault has been dyeing socks as a hobby since he was 8.

encore Enterprise

dyed section to ensure all white areas are covered. Now the sock will rest for a day, soaking in its new colors. When all of the dyed socks are ready, Dault will unravel them and wash them three times to remove excess dye. Once the socks are dry, he’ll ship them to customers or deliver them to local stores.

Starting online When Dault launched his online store in July 2016, he said he made only one sale in the first month. While he knew that building a website wouldn’t immediately mean business, he hoped to make an “emotional appeal” to customers by emphasizing the socks’ value and his passion and hand-dyeing creativity, he says. “You have to work really hard and make the customer feel like they are not just buying another pair of socks,” Dault says. ‘You have to make them feel like they are buying a part of the work and long hours you’ve put into creating the business and creating the product.”

The socks sell for $10–$14. Last year they generated nearly $12,000 in sales. Dault credits social media “shares” and word of mouth with building the popularity of his socks. He once bought a Facebook ad for $15 and was surprised to earn $500 in sales as a result.

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They empower and protect the people and causes you love.

Prashant Dault dyes a pair of his custom sock in his studio.

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Back in the “Golden Age” of radio, weekly radio programs brought families to their living rooms to listen to adventurous, mysterious and comical tales. Dedicated to promoting this rich history, All Ears Theatre performs newly scripted radio programs for live audiences, complete with old school sound effects. Shows are later broadcast on 102.1 WMUK-FM. Performances are at 6:00 pm at the First Baptist Church and are FREE TO THE PUBLIC.

In addition, Bambüz sales got a boost from a Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign. People who pledged a certain amount of money were rewarded with a certain number and type of Bambüz socks. Dault says the

Pick Up a Pair Online: bambuzsocks.com In stores: • People’s Food Co-op, 507 Harrison St. • Natural Health Center, 4610 W. Main St. • Sawall’s Health Foods, 2965 Oakland Drive • Amy Zane Store & Studio, 132 S. Kalamazoo Mall campaign was "a loss and a gain" — he lost money because Kickstarter takes 10 percent of pledges, but he gained recognition. Dault said placing his socks in local retail stores has also helped the company’s sales grow. Bambüz can be found locally in specialty food stores and a gallery shop. Dault is currently working in a space at his sister’s home. As his sock enterprise grows, he hopes to move Bambüz into a bigger space, not only to increase awareness of Bambüz as a business, but also to increase productivity and sales. Another key to Bambüz’s growth, says Dault, is his ability to network and bounce creative ideas back and forth with other people and companies. “It feels really good when you are around like-minded people, workplace and environment to create and come up with other ideas.”

encore Good works

Invisible Need, Visible Compassion

WMU project helps students with hunger, financial emergencies

Brian Powers

Carolyn Diana

Brian Powers



hree years ago, during the three-week winter break, a Western Michigan University student found himself without food. Dining halls at Western Michigan University close over the break, and during that period students who rely on university dining for food and do not leave for the holidays have to find food elsewhere. The student had signed up for a meal plan for spring, but that didn't start until university re-opened in two weeks. His money was tight, the days were getting long and he was getting more and more hungry.

From left, Julia Kuntz, Karen Lamons and Shari Glaser founded the Invisible Need Project at WMU.

He wandered into the Residence Life office and told Karen Lamons, the coordinator of housing assignments, “I just really need something to eat.” Lamons packed up whatever food had been left in the office’s kitchenette and handed it over to the student. But that hungry student and his need propelled her, along with Shari Glaser, WMU

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good works encore

director of family engagement, and Julia Kuntz, engagement manager for WMU Development and Alumni Relations, to create the Invisible Need Project to serve students’ unmet needs and create a culture of giving on campus. The Invisible Need Project, created in 2014, encompasses a food pantry, an emergency fund to help students in need, and a health emergency fund for medical assistance. The food pantry serves students’ short-term needs for food, while the Student Emergency Relief Fund helps them pay for items they need in order to progress toward graduation. The Staufer Health Emergency Fund, which had already been in existence for a decade and helps students who cannot pay for medical expenses at Sindecuse Health Center, became part of the Invisible Need Project as well. “We (wanted to) create something that helped students in their emergency needs,” says Glaser, who now chairs the Invisible Need Project. “Something comes up — you’re going to pay for your textbooks and, all of a sudden, your car needs new tires. You have to have the car or you can’t get to school.” The project is completely funded by donations from students, faculty, alumni, parents and the community. That hungry student’s request to Lamons in 2013 was not an isolated incident. In the first two years since the food pantry began, there have been 1,362 visits from 369 students. More than 25,000 pounds of food have been provided from donations to the pantry.

THE INVISIBLE NEED PROJECT Food Pantry Statistics for 2014-2016

25,000 POUNDS

4,000 POUNDS

Students’ ‘safety net’ The food pantry is the safety net some students need to stay in school. J. Gabriel Ware, 27, now a WMU graduate student, says he used the pantry every two weeks, which is the allowable limit, throughout his first semester as an undergraduate, in 2014. The cost of tuition, rent and books and a lack of financial support from family led him straight to the food pantry.

24 | Encore MAY 2017

— Graphic by Sue Ellen Christian

encore Good works

Carolyn Diana

Open to all students

Student volunteer Stephanie Platts stocks shelves in the WMU food pantry.

“There are some people who have to scratch and claw just to get to college, so it really helps them stay there, knowing there’s a food pantry — that there is somewhere they could go every two weeks to get food,” Ware says.

While some students use the pantry regularly, a majority of pantry users average only one or two visits per year, Lamons says. “So that tells us that it’s a safety net,” she says. “It’s for those things that can happen to anyone in life and they’re like, ‘Oh, my gosh, I don’t have anything to eat right now.’”

Student volunteers run the pantry, which is housed in the Faunce Student Services building on campus. Volunteer Stephanie Platts, a film, video and media studies major, recently spent a winter day stocking the pantry’s shelves and helping first-time users figure out the process. “You can come in and get what you need, and if you get paid next week, it’s no big deal,” Platts says. ‘It’s really convenient for students ’cause it’s on campus. You don’t have to go too far.” The shelves that line the pantry’s small but brightly lit room are stocked with peanut butter, soup, beans, cereal, macaroni and cheese, and more. The pantry recently purchased a freezer to be able to store frozen vegetables and healthy foods so students can have more nutritionally balanced meals. Students don’t have to apply or meet specific qualifications to use the pantry, but they must be enrolled in classes at WMU. Pantry users can fill a medium-sized grocery bag with whatever is in the pantry once every two weeks. The pantry has donation spots at 30 campus locations, including the Battle

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good works encore

Creek aviation campus and the Parkview engineering campus, and organizers say the pantry has been embraced by WMU staff and students, with various student groups holding food drives and donation days. In 2015, all of the university’s Greek chapters designated the Invisible Need Project as one of their charities for Greek Week. Their efforts generated two tons of food for the pantry and $2,000 for the Student Emergency Relief Fund. WMU Dining Services has also donated money for the purchase of healthy, fresh foods for the pantry and emergency meal tickets when students need a hot meal right away. The project also got WMU President John Dunn's attention, leading him to donate $1,000. The program, Glaser says, has helped WMU create a “culture of giving.” Karen Lamons and Shari Glaser check the supplies in the food pantry they helped create for WMU students in need.

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Help in emergencies Another component of the Invisible Need Project is the Student Emergency Relief Fund. Students may apply for aid from the fund after all other financial aid resources are exhausted. Lamons says among the items that have been funded are a pair of glasses, a car repair and an energy bill. The fund is supported through donations and through the sale of annual T-shirts such as 2016’s shirt displaying “Good as Gold” in bold letters across the chest. Sales of the shirts, which can be purchased for $10 each in the WMU Office of Residence Life, have so far generated $74,500 solely for the fund, say its founders. The shirts are also sold at events like student orientation, where parents and students alike donate. Many parents say they donate because they wish something like the Invisible Need Project existed when they were in college, Glaser says. The shirts resonated with students so much that the goal of selling 1,000 shirts a year skyrocketed to 8,500 shirts sold in two years. Glaser says that she was “astounded” by the response to “something that we thought was going to put a few cans on a shelf.” “We thought we would sell a few T-shirts,” she says. “We had no idea how deep the needs of the students that are using these resources.”

of food, along with tuition, books and living expenses, led to the rise of food pantries on college campuses nationwide, says Kuntz. The food pantry’s goal is to supplement students’ campus meal plan as well as help students who are living paycheck to paycheck or whose finances just do not meet their needs while attending school.

“When you look at a college student who is in the college environment,” says Glaser, “there’s an assumption there that because the student is in school, they have the money they need for their basic living needs — they have the money they need for tuition, they have the money they need for food — and that’s not always the case.”

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A national issue Food security and college affordability are not problems unique to WMU students. In fact, WMU is one of 447 institutions in the nation that belong to the College and University Food Bank Alliance. A major factor in the rise of food pantries at colleges is the cost of meal plans college campuses offer. A 10-meal-per-week plan at WMU costs almost $2,000 per semester, according to WMU Dining Services. The cost

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Brian Powers

The Download on How Technology Has Changed College Life

28 | Encore MAY 2017

story by

Greyson Steele

When Western Michigan University student Micah Edwards first set

foot in Western Michigan University’s Waldo Library in the fall of 2013, he remembered conversations he’d had with his family about how the building would be where he would be spending a majority of his time as a college student. Now a WMU senior, Edwards can count on two hands the number of times he’s been to the library. “Unless you want someplace quiet to go, you don’t need to go to the library anymore because it’s all online. All the projects I’ve ever done, I can just research them there,” Edwards says, gesturing toward his Surface Pro laptop. Edwards, 21, reflects how technology is altering the student experience at a traditional four-year university. At WMU, technological innovation is changing how students learn, where they learn and how they communicate with each another. The digital revolution is still underway at universities throughout the nation, and forecasts predict continued change. For better or for worse, there’s no going back. Faculty continue to adapt to 21st century innovations in teaching with technology in big and small ways. In a 2008 survey conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit, a research and analysis group, 63 percent of faculty in higher education believed that technological innovation would have a major influence on teaching methods in the coming years. They were right. Many faculty members now require proof that students have attended an out-of-class speech or presentation by asking students to take a selfie on their smartphones with the guest speaker. Other instructors use online discussion boards to prime students’ thinking about the week’s lecture material or post short videos explaining problematic content. One instructor asks students to tweet highlights of a lecture using the course number as a hashtag in order to compile instant lecture notes. And, of course, there’s the continued growth of online courses.

Rewiring brains The use of technology to assist students’ education is one thing, but technology is actually rewiring students’ brains in unprecedented ways. According to a 2011 experiment published in Science magazine, individuals are less likely to retain material

WMU students, from left, Donovan Smith, Mauseli Lopez, Krystl Sladovnik, William Edgerton and Danneisha McDole, use a variety of digital devices in their everyday lives. w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 29

when they believe they will be able to access the information in the future via the internet. The reality of hyper-connectivity — the ability to be connected digitally 24/7 — is changing students’ attention spans, according to Regena Nelson, chair of WMU’s Department of Teaching, Learning and Educational Studies. “Because they (students) want information instantaneously and they can get it instantaneously, they really don’t care for more laborious ways of gathering information, reading long texts. … We get a lot of pushback from that,” Nelson says. In addition, Nelson points to the fact that technology, social media in particular, is changing the way students write. The language used in social media communication constitutes an entirely different style of writing, says Nelson, and making the switch from writing on social media to writing academically has been difficult for many students. “We’re spending much more time on editing papers and editing their work to make it conform to academic writing,” Nelson says. “We don’t think that students are being defiant in doing this, but I just think once you get sort of trained in one way of writing it’s hard to make the switch back and forth.” Overall, Nelson says that the constant digital feedback students desire through social media and the internet is a major distraction in the classroom, hindering students’ overall ability to learn. “It’s just hard to have that flow when students are always distracted by their phones,” Nelson says. “I think every single professor has to have a policy in their syllabus now. You can’t assume that students will just be respectful.”

Online learning Along with altering the way in which students learn, technology is also relocating where that learning is occurring. Nationally, more than two-thirds of faculty in the 2008 Economist Intelligence Unit survey said that their institutions offered online courses, with online

learning being the key method in increasing educational opportunities going forward. Where students traditionally could take courses only in person on one of WMU’s multiple campuses, now courses can be completed either partially or entirely online. The demand for online courses has been increasing across all programs at WMU, with online education serving as the fastest growing segment of enrollment in terms of credit hour generation, according to Ed Martini, associate dean of Extended University Programs. “It really (is) becoming one of the driving forces in all of higher ed, including here at Western,” Martini says. Students’ growing demand for online programs stems not from want, but from need, says Martini. Students’ lives demand the flexibility that comes with online. The convenience of being able to access and complete coursework at any time allows students to pursue their education without having to sacrifice other commitments. And with some students now being older than the traditional student

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and having families and many students having jobs, flexibility in how they get their education is essential. Technology is also affecting employers' expectations regarding college graduates. Information technology application — the ability to select and use appropriate technology to accomplish a given task — is one of eight competencies that employers have identified as necessary for college graduates, regardless of major, according to Lynn Kelly-Albertson, executive director of professional and career development at WMU. The ways in which graduates apply for jobs are also changing due to technology, KellyAlbertson says.

Today's college students are rarely without their digital devices.


"The job application process, screening of candidates and review of resumes is commonly online now," she says. "Just to apply for a position a candidate needs to input information in an online application, submit electronic materials and communicate with employer representatives."

Study distractions Technology is also affecting students’ study habits. Sitting in the basement of Brown Hall on WMU’s main campus, sophomore Mara Minott, 20, is studying African literature when her LG smartphone starts to ring. She quickly reaches into her pocket to pull out her phone and swipes the red icon. Call declined. “I am the queen of declining phone calls,” Minott says, laughing and scrolling through her list of recent calls. “I need that minute to be by myself, to get in the zone.” Minott says technology is a common distraction in college students’ lives. Although she acknowledges her constant desire to listen to her favorite artist Beyoncé when it comes time to study, Minott turns all technological distractions off. It’s all about focus, she says. “If I’m in the zone, I find out that I get a lot more done than if I’m on my phone, on my laptop, sort of watching TV,” Minott says. “I’m that one friend that does not text people back.”

It’s not just a ping on a smartphone than can be distracting, though. Binge-watching Netflix — watching three to 10 episodes of a show at a time — is the ultimate procrastination, says Jennifer Machiorlatti, a WMU professor of communication. "Certainly for college students this is a way to relax, watch with friends and build social capital around certain shows such as Breaking Bad," Machiorlatti says. Two WMU first-year students, Emma France and Zoe Jackson, say they watched all eight episodes of the hit sci-fi thriller Stranger Things in two days when it came out. The show, however, was not just a means of procrastination and relaxation. It also provided some social benefits. France and Jackson had all their friends over, and the show provided something to talk about with friends, at parties, and in class, they say.

The impact on relationships Technology’s impact on students’ social lives and the way they communicate is not always beneficial, though. The growing popularity of instant messaging, for example, has created an interpersonal disconnect among students, says Diane Anderson, vice president for student affairs at WMU. “What I’ve heard from students and what I’ve observed is sometimes this” — she taps

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Face-to-face time With all the ways people can connect digitally rather than in person, students must

Brian Powers

a smartphone with her index finger — “can prevent students from actually feeling connected with each other,” Anderson says. “If you only talk via text, you don’t get into really in-depth interpersonal relationships.” Dating has changed, too. It no longer involves a doorbell ring and a nervous stance on a front porch; rather it’s a right-swipe and pickup line via smartphone. Social media apps like Bumble and Tinder allow college students to right-swipe someone they think is attractive and make plans to meet later. Or, instead of complimenting someone at a bar, students can simply “like” an individual's pictures on Instagram as a sign of interest. Asking someone out on a date might mean asking that person for their Snapchat username. Technology is also transforming how students connect for parties. No longer does a group of peers knock on a student's door to invite him or her to a party down the street; texting isn’t even necessary anymore. Hosts simply send a message via smartphone to a Twitter account specific to their school and that's the party invitation. Twitter handles of @PartyAtWMU and @WMUSocial let their thousands of Twitter followers know where the socializing is happening.

work to effectively engage interpersonally or they will put themselves at a disadvantage in their adult lives, Anderson says. “If students don’t know how to connect face-to-face, it is going to be a problem for them when they are out in the job market. According to the current data from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), employers rate verbal communication skills as the most important in an employee," Anderson says. Anderson also emphasizes the important benefits of the on-campus experience as opposed to strictly online learning. Through engaging with other students and staff in

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News: Sorting Fact from Fake Fake news has been around a long time — at least since Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press. That was around 1440. Sensationalism and bogus news have been used to sell newspapers for a long time as well. For example, the New York Sun sold plenty of copies with its hoax stories about aliens living on the moon. That was 1835. Yellow journalism and fake news helped spur the professionalization of journalism, and the 1900s saw the rise in journalism education, increased social responsibility on the part of journalists, organizing by working journalists and more systematic reporting on government affairs. By 2000, digitization had fully arrived and with it webbased news content. This has meant the loss of journalism jobs and revenues for traditional news outlets nationwide. Meanwhile, the computer algorithms that catapult muchread stories to the tops of news feeds and share lists aren’t tracking accuracy and facts. So, while the journalism profession continues to experiment with viable models of content and delivery to stay profitable and maintain high standards of accuracy and accountability, the creation of deliberate misinformation continues. In other words, dear readers, proceed with caution. — Sue Ellen Christian

Digital Students (continued from page 32)

To help encourage communication among students, the design of new WMU facilities emphasizes student interaction. In particular, the Western Heights residence halls, which opened in the fall of 2015, have been modeled to foster community. Rather than a long hallway of single rooms, the residence resembles a house, with a living room, kitchen and study nooks on each floor to promote student interaction, says Anderson. “There’s a home-like feeling,” she says. The purpose of these community spaces is to discourage students from segregating themselves in their rooms where they are prone to using digital devices. “We want to kind of push them out and get them to meet other people," says Anderson. Overall, the goal at WMU going forward is to create a community atmosphere, says Anderson, noting that some important life skills are developed solely through face-toface interaction. “No one wins if when students walk across the stage and get their diploma they walk out of here and they don’t know how to communicate with other people,” she says. Reporter Carolyn Diana also contributed to this story.


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Arts encore

Inventive Cellist

WMU student uses rap, new styles to make classical music ‘relatable’ by

Samantha Marzke


ordan Hamilton is a charismatic, wiry musician who uses his cello, a traditional classical instrument, in decidedly nontraditional ways. The 24-year-old Western Michigan University performing arts graduate plays hip-hop and rap on his cello to give his audiences a new way to listen to classical pieces. “I see a need for us to expand our boundaries (in ways that) we can express ourselves in music,” Hamilton says. “The art (classical music) is going to die. I don’t want to do what has been done before. I want to be relatable to a new generation.” Hamilton says it’s challenging for young people to experience cello music when they have grown up listening to electronically produced music on an iPod. He wants to bring what is viewed as an "old" instrument to a new generation of listeners, and if that means trying innovative ways to play and make sounds, all the better. “There is a need for us to incorporate all of our feelings and new ideas outside of music and bring it to the lyrics and style,” Hamilton says.

'Freaked out'

Brian Powers

Hamilton, who was born and raised in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, has played the cello since he was 8. He attended Thomas G. Pullen Creative and Performing Arts Academy in Landover, Maryland. “I freaked out when I saw the cello,” he says of his enthusiasm for the instrument upon his first official visit to the academy. He has played nearly every day since. Hamilton grew up listening to a variety of music, from Earth, Wind & Fire to Bob Marley to The Roots, and began experimenting in high school with new sounds on the cello. He wanted to transfer the rap, hip-hop and soulful sounds that filled his playlist to the music he made on his favorite instrument. One evening this year at Water Street Coffee Joint in Portage, Hamilton showed a small audience just how

34 | Encore MAY 2017

encore Arts

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he does that. Accompanied by Dede and the Dreamers members Dede Alder and Josh Holcombe, the ensemble played a mix of jazz, classical and Hamilton’s own specialty — playing the cello while he riffs raps he creates on the spot based on audience input. “The environment!” shouted one young woman from the back of the coffee shop. Hamilton nodded in acknowledgment, and in a few moments his baritone punctuated a rap: “We must stand together …” The audience was swaying, feet tapping, heads nodding. It was mostly young adults, mostly white. Around the coffee shop students were studying and other people conversing, but the rhythmic thrum of Hamilton’s music permeated the atmosphere. A mother grasped her young child’s arms to help her follow the beat that was projected out of Hamilton’s cello. For one tune, Hamilton easily hoisted his cello across his lap, plucking the strings as if it were a guitar. For the next song, he resumed a traditional cello-playing posture, with the instrument firmly between his knees, bow in hand.

Many musical hats Hamilton also displays his unique musicality as a member of a Kalamazoo hip-hop, funk, soul and rock band called Last Gasp Collective, which just released the album Agape.

36 | Encore MAY 2017

Samantha Marzke

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Hamilton performs at Water Street Coffee Joint’s Portage location with Dede and the Dreamers.

In addition to his solo and ensemble performance work, Hamilton volunteers two days a week teaching children at the Boys & Girls Club of Benton Harbor, giving private and group lessons in beginning strings. Hamilton also plays first chair in the cello section of Western’s University Symphony Orchestra, which performs traditional classical works, and he plays in the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra in St. Joseph. The man is busy. “My time engagements with USO require three rehearsals a week for a concert every two months, which averages out to 12 to 15 rehearsals per concert,” he says. “The time commitment for SMSO requires me to attend three to five rehearsals for every concert every one to two months.” Hamilton says he rarely goes a day without touching his cello — he usually has rehearsal with an ensemble, private lessons or a show. He says he practices at least an hour each day and aims to practice and write songs two to four hours every day. Hamilton isn't committed to one specific path after graduation. He knows for certain, however, that he wants to keep playing music for audiences, leading them to hear a classical instrument in modern ways.

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From Starving Artist to Mentor

Joshua Diedrich is molding students as well as figures story and photography by

Jay Penny

Left: Dancer Samantha Soltis rehearses Loïe Fuller’s Fire Dance. Above: Michael Arellano holds Timber Sides during a rehearsal of Antony Tudor’s Lilac Garden.

In an industrial area of Kalamazoo's Eastside neighborhood sits

a brick building with loading docks and steel doors. The original construction hints of the city’s industrial age, when such buildings created car parts or repaired heavy machinery. Now the space has half-sculpted rigid-foam sea turtles hanging from its ceiling, several Abraham Lincoln busts made of clay and a giant, concrete 9-foot-tall turn-of-the-century boot. This is 43-year-old sculptor Joshua Diedrich’s studio, where he both creates new works and mentors art students in his apprenticeship programs. 38 | Encore MAY 2017

From left: Joshua Diedrich works on a sculpture in his Kalamazoo studio, one of several Abe Lincoln busts Diedrich has created, and one of his pencil drawings.

Diedrich’s work is primarily as a draughtsman and modeling sculptor. He uses clay to create figures that are then cast in media such as metal and bronze. Diedrich has been interested in the human form and anatomy from an early age and says that he has been drawing naked people since he was 3 or 4 years old and growing up in Paw Paw. He trained in oil painting at the University of Michigan and often includes the medium in his drawings. In the last 10 years his interest in anatomy has developed into an appreciation of capturing animal forms.

encore Arts

Diedrich’s best-known work is likely “The Gathering Tree,” on Western Michigan University's campus, near the Bernhard Center. It’s a threedimensional version of the university’s crest, with a large, bronze tree rising skyward from the crest’s center. Diedrich came to WMU’s attention after he worked with Kalamazoo sculptor Kirk Newman in

Brian Powers

2012 on the installation of a 10-piece sculpture, “Words of Humanity,” at the Sherman Lake YMCA’s Outdoor Center. Creating “The Gathering Tree” took more than 18 months. WMU officials initially wanted a small tree with a simple bronze seal, but, as the project evolved, the piece grew larger. “It was a very organic process,” Diedrich says, “throwing things back and forth first between me and various people at WMU and then me throwing things back and forth between the architects and engineers.”

A homeless graduate Diedrich earned a bachelor’s degree in sculpture and drawing in 1995 from the University of Michigan. He says he remembers fellow students asking one of the master sculptors at the university what they would do upon graduating. Diedrich recalled the artist’s response clearly: “He turned around and said, ‘You get a job at a f---ing restaurant. What do you think you do?’ “It was probably the most honest answer that I got from anybody,” Diedrich says. Sure enough, after graduation, Diedrich embarked on a number of jobs to support himself, including freelancing in graphic design and selling prints of his drawings of nudes on what was then the emerging internet. Corporate gigs fell through, and Diedrich discovered that the internet, still in its infancy, wasn’t a good vehicle to sell work. Diedrich laughs as he describes the harsher side of trying to make a living in the fine arts. “Homeless, less than three months after graduating art school, living in a basement of an abandoned building,” he says. He moved back into his mother’s Paw Paw home, took odd jobs, saved all the money he could and looked far and wide for work in the fine arts. One day when he was leafing through a glossy art magazine, he saw ads for the art academies dotting Europe. He wrote to one — just one — of the schools, pitching himself as a teaching assistant for the coming term. No qualifications, no references. A month later, Diedrich received a letter from the school saying he was hired. For the next three years, he lived and worked in France, shuttling back to the U.S. when he needed to earn enough money to afford living in metropolitan Paris. When he returned to Southwest Michigan permanently, he once again found himself piecing together an income by working odd jobs: painting houses, doing general contract work, even working a stint at Toys R Us.

A studio of his own In 2005, he got a break when the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts hired him as an instructor in its art school. Within three months, Diedrich was heading the school’s sculpture department. Diedrich, who worked at the KIA for four years, credits his time there for developing his w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 39


teaching skills and allowing him to network courses indefinitely. One student has been attending classes since 2008. with art students. On a wintry day in February, several Several of his KIA students had inquired about the possibility of participating in a students pass through the steel door to more intense sculpture program, so Diedrich Diedrich’s studio, hang their coats and set to work arranging left the KIA in 2008 their work spaces, and started his own More on the artist against a backdrop teaching studio on • See a portfolio of Joshua Diedrich’s work of metallic hammthe Eastside. He calls it at joshuadiedrich.com. ering from the diesel The Figure Workshop: • For more information about his Figure repair shop next door. Drawing, Sculpture Workshop Atelier, visit figureworkshop.co Diedrich starts and Painting Atelier. There, he offers apprenticeships in sculpture the day’s drawing lesson. His generous and drawing as well as a figure drawing class approach to teaching is evident when he and sessions for drawing a nude model. In his hands his smartphone to a student and asks apprenticeship programs, students can take her to record video as he teaches the day’s

40 | Encore MAY 2017

Top left: Ellie Deleon, left, and Rachel McGuffin are students in Diedrich’s Figure Workshop. Above: “The Gathering Tree” sculpture on WMU’s campus.

lesson. The video is for another student, a retired architect living in Guatemala who takes the class online. Diedrich’s Figure Workshop attracts a diverse group of students — some are just out of high school, others are medical

Brian Powers

doctors looking to branch out. Of the latter group, Diedrich says, “They have done corpse dissections but never really had to think about how does the shapes of a living body all fit together and how to recognize all the parts just by seeing the skin.” Diedrich says he finds getting the word out about his classes to potential students has been difficult and that, as a result, many potential students don’t know a program like his exists. And if they do, he says, they might not think they have the talent for it. He encourages them to think again. “Really,” he says, “all you have to do to be worthy of it is be diligent, to work hard and be willing to look at yourself a lot.” Ellie Deleon, a student at The Figure Workshop, says she does just that. Deleon started taking classes with Diedrich at the KIA after a divorce led her to pursue art. At first making art seemed daunting to her, but she soon came to see the sessions as a form of therapy. She was persuaded by Diedrich to join his apprenticeship program in 2012 to work on more advanced artistic pursuits. “When I started doing this, my whole life was turned upside down,” says Deleon. “When your identity is wrapped in being a mom and a wife for so long, you really don’t know who you are anymore.” Deleon works in the mental health field, and she sees benefits with each class session. “I can really feel it when I haven’t gone for a week or two in my personal life and how I feel,” she says. In the last year, Deleon has become confident enough to post images of her work on social media sites like Facebook. Before that, it was more about the process of creating art than making something magnificent. “I didn’t care that I wasn’t good at it,” she says. “I was never doing this for the end product.” In his workshop, Diedrich strives to rewire his students’ thinking so that they open themselves to new ideas. That requires hard work and focus, he says. “It’s a difficult program, because we do a lot of really challenging things.” But Diedrich is used to that.

Kay WalkingStick, New Mexico Desert, 2011, oil on wood panel, 40 x 80 x 2 in. Purchased through a special gift from the Louise Ann Williams Endowment, 2013. National Museum of the American Indian 26/9250, courtesy American Federation of Arts

A citizen of the Cherokee Nation and one of the country’s most celebrated artists of Native American ancestry

June 17 – September 10


Community Welcome Party: Wednesday, June 14, City Hall Artist’s Talk by Kay WalkingStick: Thursday, June 15, KIA Opening Celebration: Saturday, June 17, KIA Kay WalkingStick: An American Artist is organized by the American Federation of Arts and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.

The exhibition in Kalamazoo is made possible by

Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian


Open Tuesday - Sunday. Admission $5 / Students $2 / Free for children through age 12

SUMMER ART CLASSES Adult classes start June 6 Youth classes start June 17

5-DAY SUMMER CAMPS June 19-August 4 for ages 4-17 Half-, full-day & specialty camps Register online at kiarts.org or by phone at 269/349-7775 Scholarship applications welcome by May 9, available at kiarts.org


Art sales 3-8 pm, Bronson Park Beer Garden 4-10 pm, at the KIA


Art sales 9-5 pm / Family activities 12-4 pm

FOOD TRUCKS & ENTERTAINMENT BOTH DAYS w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 41

r u o y Not daddy’s d n a gr dorm ers off r o c de ing g n a Dorm h f c o e s glimp times


hrough the decades, the utilitarian role of the college dorm room has remained constant: a place to sleep and stash clothes and books. But over the years, Western Michigan University’s dorm rooms have evolved. While tiny, these spaces house more than a bed; they reflect changes in social mores, pop culture and university housing policies. WMU students in the 1950s could smoke a pipe or a cigarette in bed. In the 1960s, students’ rooms were situated in clusters that shared a single phone, complete with a long, curly cord for privacy. Some dorms were single-gender. In the 1970s, residents could paint the walls of their rooms a color from the universityapproved palette. In the 1980s, dorm residents watched television or listened to the radio in the Common Room. Today there’s a no-smoking policy in all WMU dorm rooms. Posters, plants and colorful linens are allowed, but no painting. University-wide Wi-Fi allows binge-watching of movies and shows on one’s smart phone from a loft bed, and students listen to music through earbuds while studying. Students of all gender identities/expressions and sexual orientations have housing choices, including Spectrum House, which is described on the university’s website as “a safe and affirming environment.” And that common laundry room, where a roll of quarters would get you clean underwear for a week? So 20th century. New student housing at the Western View complex offers a stackable washer and dryer and kitchenette in each apartment. Here, we offer a photo album of dorms through the decades, interspersed with stories and photos of how some of today’s students are making their dorms their own unique spaces. — Jay Penny

42 | Encore MAY 2017

e to smoke Top: Students used to be abl their dorms. cigarettes and pipes in also formerly Incense and candles were ms. Now the permitted in the dorm roo ee. -fr entire campus is smoke cell phones, Bottom: Before the age of easiest way the student directory was the n for another to get contact informatio student. U Archives and Images courtesy of the WM on ecti Coll ory Hist Regional

It’s Marvel-ous Encountering the decor of Room 218 in Western Michigan University’s Hadley Hall is like blasting into a Marvel comic book shop on the Death Star. With the room displaying Captain America a France, right left, and Emm Zoe Jackson, posters, “Rogue One” paraphernalia, an action-figure collection, Marvel blankets, stuffed Spiderman dolls, comic mini-refrigerator magnets, a giant blue and purple tapestry, and Christmas lights, it is obvious the two freshman roommates are movie and comics fans. Emma France, 19, a film, video and media studies major who wants to direct and film the next Marvel movie, and Zoe Jackson, 18, a journalism major and staff reporter for the Western Herald, say their shared obsessions with everything Marvel brought them together when they were looking for roommates last spring. They describe themselves as “random and quirky,” and their room lends credence to that description. The two are not what you would expect Marvel lovers to be. Their room decorations include cards with quotes from Whole Foods, and their “thing” is their growing collection of Pop! dolls that covers the windowsill, a mound with favorite characters like Harley Quinn, Captain America and Luke Cage sitting at the bottom. The doll collection started after friends gave the roommates a couple of the dolls because they thought the duo would like them. The Pop! dolls and other decorative items that bring personality into the room were mostly brought from home. In addition to sharing a movie and Marvel mania, the roommates often binge-watch Netflix on their small TV that sits on their dresser in the middle of their desks. They finished one show, the hit sci-fi thriller Stranger Things in two days last semester. They got snacks and ordered totfilled wraps from Two Fellas and watched. They cuddled with their Marvel blankets, which they have laying on comfy chairs placed beneath a loft bed that they bought so they could have a hangout spot for friends. “It feels like a prison already. Why not decorate it?” asks France, an employee at Celebration Cinema. “Your dorm is like your home, so it’s nice to come home and see all of your favorite things,” says Jackson, wearing a Marvel star T-shirt and Wonder Woman socks. The two talked for weeks straight about superheroes after connecting on the Western Michigan Class of 2020 group website while looking for roommates. They say the rest is history. Their love for Star Wars, Captain America and binge-watching Netflix shows made them the perfect movie-loving, Marvel-loving duo. — Carolyn Diana w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 43

Keeping It Simple Upon first glance, Room 313 of Davis Hall resembles

an office more than a dorm room. No string lights line the perimeter of the space. No posters cover the walls. Furnishings include only a desk, two chairs and a small fridge. The bed is off to one side. “I like kind of a simple space,” says Kodai Yano, pointing toward his bare dorm room walls. “Usually they (other students) have some lights right here, right?” Yano, a 22-year-old exchange student from Hitotsubashi University, in Japan, does not consider himself someone very interested in decorating. The lone item adorning his walls, an old Japanese flag, is a gift from the International Office at WMU. Nonetheless, he is proud to have the national symbol on his wall. “It represents my love for Japan. That’s my Kod ai Yano background, you know?” Yano says. “You can feel your home much more if you’re out of it.” What Yano misses most about his home country is the food. Although he admits that he has tried many American dishes, he often prefers to brew Japanese-style miso soup in his room, using a kettle pot, along with some curry rice his parents sent him. “I tried everything (all types of American food), but Japanese food is much better for me. I brew lots of miso soup because I love it,” Yano says. Overall, Yano says, he does not mind living in the dorms. He has no complaints about a lack of space. “In Japan, we didn’t have a big house,” Yano says. “We lived in a kind of small house, so I got used to it. I don’t care about space.” — Greyson Steele

d laptop dents ha tu s re fo e o-called Long b ckpacks, s a b ir e th in ere the computers dorms w ” y g lo o n ch when “special te computer a s s e c c to a best place . s s not in cla

In the 19 70s, the u niversity provided paint for students to use in their dorm rooms. Images co urte

sy of the Archives WMU Collectio and Regional His n tory

44 | Encore MAY 2017

High-flying Globetrotters WMU’s Western Heights residence halls, which are primarily for first-year college Josie Nason students, feel more like deluxe hotels than dorms. Three buildings are organized around central public spaces that connect the buildings on each of four floors. The layout on each floor includes modern furniture, three televisions, a kitchenette and a fenced-in balcony. Josie Nason, a 19-year-old aviation flight science major, and her roommate, Alexis Kwasniewicz, an 18-year-old occupational therapy major, didn't have much time to plan a room decor theme before they moved in. It worked out, though, since both arrived with items focused on geography and traversing the globe. Nason's decorations, including posters and art pieces depicting planes, are paired with Kwasniewicz's large cloth world map tacked to a wall. The map’s continents are different colors and patterns, while the oceans hide in the background with a subtle cream hue. Nason says she received many of her decorations as gifts from family and friends. A thick shaving of wood, a Christmas gift from a friend, hangs above her desk. It’s customized with an engraving of a small plane with the numbers JN110516 — a combination of letters and numbers representing Nason’s birthday last year. Nason and Kwasniewicz arranged their room to maximize the little space given to them. Their beds are stacked into bunk beds, and a futon is positioned to make that part of the room look like a living room. “It invites people in,” Nason says. ”It gives the room a lot more space so people can come in just to sit and chat.” Nason describes the room as “fun” because, when the lights turn down, the stars come out. Christmas lights encircle the world map, and a colorful strobe light above the door emits different patterns of brightly colored circles and spirals. “The other day we turned off all the lights and put the strobe light on and played Mario Kart, so that was fun," Nason says. "Every time people come in here it is a good time." — Samantha May

w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 45

‘Cute and Inspirational’ The two residents of a female-floor dorm room in WMU’s Western Heights West hand-painted the inspirational quotes that hang on the walls. "You are amazing,” says one. “You are the author of your own life story. So make it a good one," says another. Amanda Torello, pictured at right, and her roommate, Sophie Reinhard, in photo at left, spent a weekend painting blank canvases to create artwork for their room. “I wanted art in the room that was cute and inspirational,” says Torello. “I used Pinterest for most of my decorating ideas, like the color scheme and quotes on the canvas.” Torello and Reinhard wanted to give their room a consistent theme. Over the summer the two conversed via text message to agree on colors and what each would buy for the room. “I spent most of the summer buying my decorations for the room,” Torello says. “I shopped at Target, T.J. Maxx and Marshalls.” Bright turquoise feathered rugs are neatly angled on the floor, and the paintings’ color scheme of blues, black and gold adds pops of color to the room’s gray walls. Torello says the most comfortable spaces in her room are the futon facing the television and her loft bed. She says the blankets on the end of her bed are her favorite things to remind her of home. However, sharing a tight space with a stranger can be difficult, as generations of college students have learned. “Sharing a room is my least favorite part,” Torello says. — Samantha Marzke

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46 | Encore MAY 2017

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Man-Size in Marble — All Ears Theatre radio theater presentation, 6 p.m. May 13, First Baptist Church, 315 W. Michigan Ave., 342-5059. The Borrowers — Civic Youth Theatre production about a tiny family surviving in a big world, 7:30 p.m. May 19 & 26, 1 & 4 p.m. May 20 & 27, 2 p.m. May 21, 9:30 a.m. & noon May 24–25, Parish Theatre, 405 W. Lovell St., 343-1313. The Adventures of King Arthur — All Ears Theatre radio theater presentation, 6 p.m. May 27, First Baptist Church, 342-5059. Musicals

The Andrews Brothers — Three stagehands rescue an Andrews Sisters USO show in jeopardy, 7:30 p.m. May 4, 8 p.m. May 5 & 6, 2 p.m. May 7, Little Theatre, WMU, 343-2727. Sister Act — A comedy about a murder witness in protective custody as a nun, 7:30 p.m. May 5–6, 12–13 & 19–20; 2 p.m. May 7, 14 & 21, Civic Auditorium, 329 S. Park St., 343-1313. Motown the Musical — The story of Motown founder Berry Gordy, 7:30 p.m. May 9–11, 8 p.m. May 12 & 13, 2 p.m. May 13, 1 p.m. & 6:30 p.m. May 14, Miller Auditorium, WMU, 387-2300. In the Heights — Tony Award-winning musical about a neighborhood, 7:30 p.m. May 12 & 13, 2 p.m. May 14, Balch Playhouse, Kalamazoo College, 337-7333. Comedy Crawlspace Eviction Show: HLTH —Improv comedy about health, 8 p.m. May 19 & 20, Jolliffe Theatre, Epic Center, 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall, 599-4390. MUSIC Bands & Solo Artists Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo — The rock singer and her husband/guitarist, 8 p.m. May 2, State Theatre, 404 S. Burdick St., 345-6500.

Live Music Wednesday — Steve Pesch, guitarist and songwriter, May 3; The Sam Pilnick Project, modern acoustic jazz collective, May 10; Matt Smalligan Quartet, grooveoriented tunes and jazz, May 17; all shows 7–9 p.m., Arcadia Ales Kalamazoo, 701 E. Michigan Ave., 276-0458. Mike Posner & The Legendary Mike Posner Band — The singer/songwriter and his band perform hip-hop, R&B, folk and pop, 8 p.m. May 3, State Theatre, 345-6500. Calvin Hinds — 14-year-old guitar prodigy, 6–9 p.m. May 5, Arcadia Ales, 276-0458. Wayland — Rock ’n’ roll band, 7 p.m. May 5, Bell's Eccentric Café, 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave., 382-2332. May Erlewine — The singer/songwriter performs folk, country and rock, 9 p.m. May 6, Bell's Eccentric Café, 382-2332. Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn — Grammy Awardwinning banjoists and singers, 8 p.m. May 11, State Theatre, 345-6500. Samantha Crain — The singer/songwriter performs Americana, rock and indie music, 9 p.m. May 11, Bell's Eccentric Café, 382-2332. Jesse Cook and His Band: One World Tour — Canadian guitarist performs nuevo flamenco and other world music, 8 p.m. May 12, State Theatre, 345-6500. Dams of the West — Alternative/indie music, 9 p.m. May 12, Bell's Eccentric Café, 382-2332.

Sgt. Pepper's 50th Anniversary Show — The Mersey Beatles perform the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper album, 7:30 p.m. May 13, State Theatre, 345-6500. Yolonda Lavender — Gospel, R&B, hip-hop and blues singer, 9–11 p.m. May 13, Arcadia Ales, 276-0458. Vox Vidorra — Grand Rapids indie/soul quartet, 9 p.m. May 19, Bell's Eccentric Café, 382-2332. Donna the Buffalo — Zydeco, bluegrass, reggae and rock band, 9 p.m. May 20, Bell's Eccentric Café, 382-2332. Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas — Detroit vocalist and rock band, 8 p.m. May 21, Bell's Eccentric Café, 382-2332.

Mark Lavengood & Seth Bernard and The Lil’ Smokies — Two Michigan musicians and a Montana band perform folk and bluegrass music, 9 p.m. May 25, Bell's Eccentric Café, 382-2332. Joe Hertler & the Rainbow Seekers — Michiganbased folk-pop band, 9 p.m. May 26, Bell's Eccentric Café, 382-2332. Orchestra, Chamber, Jazz, Vocal & More Academy Street Winds — 8 p.m. May 3, Dalton Theatre, Kalamazoo College, 337-7047. The Erwins — Chenery Gospel Series presents the sibling quartet, 7 p.m. May 5, Chenery Auditorium, 714 S. Westnedge Ave., 337-0440. Calmus: “All the World's a Stage” — A cappella quintet performs music inspired by Shakespeare, 8 p.m. May 5, Holy Family Chapel, Nazareth Center, 3427 Gull Road, 382-7774. Kalamazoo College Jazz Band — 8 p.m. May 5, Dalton Theatre, Kalamazoo College, 337-7047. 2017 Bach Festival Week — Concerts and lectures highlighting the works of J.S. Bach, May 5–14, kalamazoobachfestival.org, 337-7407. Kalamazoo Singers 40th Anniversary Celebration — The choir performs selections from each decade of the its history, 4 p.m. May 7, Dalton Center Recital Hall, WMU, 373-1769. KSO Brass Quintet — Performing music by Malcolm Arnold and Eric Ewazen, 7 p.m. May 9, First Presbyterian Church, 321 W. South St., 349-7759. Stulberg International String Competition —Daytime semifinal performances, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. May 13; finals concert, 7:30 p.m. May 13; Dalton Center Recital Hall, WMU, stulberg.org or 343-2776. Kalamazoo Mandolin & Guitar Orchestra: Spring Gala Concert — Premiering Mandolin's Four Melodies, by Chris Acquavella, 3 p.m. May 13, Holy Family Chapel, Nazareth Center, 345-6664. J.S. Bach: B minor Mass — Bach Fest finale concert, 3 p.m. May 14, Chenery Auditorium, 337-7407. Llewellyn Sanchez-Werner — Gilmore Rising Star pianist, 4 p.m. May 14, Wellspring Theater, Epic Center, 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall, 342-1166.

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Celebrating Maestro Raymond Harvey — A reception honoring the retiring Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra conductor, 5:30 p.m. May 16, Jolliffe Theatre, Epic Center, 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall, 349-7759.

Snow White — Performed by Ballet Kalamazoo, 7 p.m. May 20 & 4 p.m. May 21, Wellspring Theater, Epic Center, 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall, 267-6681.

Arcadia Woodwind Quartet — Chamber music of Haydn, Stravinsky and Brahms, 7:30 p.m. May 19, Ladies’ Library, 333 S. Park St., 344-0158.

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts 314 S. Park St., 349-7775

Danny Gurwin — Farmers Alley Theatre presents the singer and actor, 8 p.m. May 19 & 20, WMU’s Little Theatre, 343-2727. Brian Oberlin & Evan Marshall — Mandolin duo, 7 p.m. May 20, First Congregational Church, 345 W. Michigan Ave., 345-6664. Kalamazoo Philharmonia — 8 p.m. May 20, Dalton Theatre, Kalamazoo College, 337-7047. College Singers and Women’s Chorus — 3 p.m. May 21, Dalton Theatre, Kalamazoo College, 337-7047. Kalamazoo Ringers Annual Spring Concert — The handbell choir performs, 4 p.m. May 21, Grace Harbor Church, 811 Gorham Lane, kalamazooringers.org. Community Sing — Sponsored by Michigan Festival of Sacred Music, 7 p.m. May 21, First Baptist Church, 315 W. Michigan Ave., 382-2910. Kalamazoo College International Percussion Band — 7 p.m. May 23, Light Fine Arts Building Portico, Kalamazoo College, 337-7047.

Don Giovanni — The KSO’s semi-staged production of the opera, 8 p.m. May 26, Miller Auditorium, WMU, 387-2300.


KIA Exhibits West Michigan Area Show 2017 — Works of artists from 14 Michigan counties, through May 28. High School Area Show — Artwork by area high school students, through June 4.

Pressed for Time: History of Printmaking — Historical survey of Western printmaking, through July 2. Impressions: Printmaking in Japan — Japanese woodblock prints, through July 23. KIA Events ARTbreak — Weekly program about art: 20th-Century Korean Art, talk, May 2; 100 Years Show: Carmen Herrera, video, May 9; West Michigan Area Show Artists, talk, May 16; America's Favorite Painting, talk, May 23; Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, video, May 30; sessions begin at noon, KIA Auditorium. Sunday Public Tour — Tour galleries with a docent: Pressed for Time: History of Printmaking, May 7; Mother's Choice, May 14; Tiffany Collection, May 21; sessions begin at 2 p.m.


Unreeled: Film at the KIA — Kevin Park discusses his script, A Starved Heart, about spiritualism in the Lincoln White House, 6:30 p.m. May 11, KIA Auditorium.

Ballet Arts School of Dance Recital — 2 & 7 p.m. May 20, Chenery Auditorium, 714 S. Westnedge Ave., 337-0440.

Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs — Book discussion of the memoir by Sally Mann, 2 p.m. May 17.

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Curator’s Talk — Nancy Sojka, curator emerita of Detroit Institute of Arts, discusses Pressed for Time: History of Printmaking, 6:30 p.m. May 18, KIA Auditorium. Richmond Center for Visual Arts Western Michigan University, 387-2436

17 Days: Vols. 8 & 9 — Works of 17 video artists play continuously on 50-inch plasma screens, through May 1, Atrium Gallery. Passages: Alchemy, Home & Hours — Broadsides created by Kalamazoo artists and poets, through May 26, MonroeBrown Gallery. Alchemy: An Artists + Writers Initiative — A collaboration of area artists and writers, through May 27, Netzorg and Kerr Gallery. (Below, see related reading at Kalamazoo Public Library.) Other Venues

Parchment Community Library 401 S. Riverview Drive, 343-7747

Medieval Faire — Weaving, blacksmithing, calligraphy, music, armored combat and music, 1–4 p.m. May 20.

Parchment Book Group — Discussion of The Girl Who Wrote in Silk, by Kelli Estes, 7 p.m. May 1.

Portage District Library 300 Library Lane, 329-4544

Yum’s the Word: Farm to Table Gala — Farmers and others explain how to eat better by supporting local farms, 6:30 p.m. May 10.

Science Fiction & Fantasy Discussion: Summer Movie Preview — Discuss upcoming movies, 7 p.m. May 1.

Where Do We Go from Here? Politics, Michigan and the Media in the Age of Trump — Presentation by Jack Lessenberry, Michigan Public Radio’s senior news analyst, 2 p.m. May 13, Parchment High School, 401 S. Riverview Drive, Parchment, 343-7747. Megan Dooley — Local singer/songwriter, 2 p.m. May 14. Getting Our Ducks in a Row: Preparing for the End of Life Holistically — Understanding death through perspectives of world religions, 7 p.m. May 15.

Westminster Art Festival — Art exhibit on the theme “illimitably earth,” 9–4 p.m. May 1–4, 8–11 & 15–18, 9 a.m.–noon May 5 & 19, 5–8 p.m. May 12, 3–7 p.m. May 21; Blarney Castle performs 4–6 p.m. May 21, Westminster Presbyterian Church, 1515 Helen Ave., 344-3966.

Michigan Notable Book Author: Bob Tarte — Meet the author of Feather Brained: My Bumbling Quest to Become a Birder and Find a Rare Bird on My Own, 2 p.m. May 6. Top Shelf Reads —Book group discussion of Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley, 7 p.m. May 8, Latitude 42 Brewing Co., 7842 Portage Road, 585-8711. What Some Are Reading: Chapter 12 — Last year's favorite titles and upcoming titles, 6:30 p.m. May 9. International Mystery Book Group — Discussion of China Trade, by S. J. Rozan, 7 p.m. May 11.

Art Hop — Art shows at locations in Kalamazoo, 5–8 p.m. May 5, 342-5059.

Accumulation — An exhibition by artists Ellen Nelson and Lyz Luidens, 5–9 p.m. May 5, noon–4 p.m. May 6, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. May 8–11, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. May 12 & 13, Park Trades Center, 326 W. Kalamazoo Ave., 823-2324. VanOrden and Kerr: Pen & Ink and Photography — Exhibit by Val VanOrden and Pamela Sue Kerr, May 8–June 23, Portage District Library, 300 Library Lane, 329-4544. Meet Artist Ann Rather – Meet the artist and see her exhibit of the chiaroscuro technique, 6 p.m. May 16, Kalamazoo Public Library Alma Powell Branch, 1000 W. Paterson St., 553-7960. LIBRARY & LITERARY EVENTS Comstock Township Library 6130 King Highway, 345-0136 End-of-Life Care — Speakers discuss funerals and legal issues, 1 p.m. May 3. Phone, Mail and eScams — Learn to recognize scams, 3 p.m. May 10; registration required. Community Yard Sale and Ice Cream Social — 9 a.m.–3 p.m. May 20. Kalamazoo Public Library Creating a Woodland Garden — A demonstration on incorporating native and non-native plants in a woodland garden, 6 p.m. May 1, Eastwood Branch, 1112 Gayle Ave., 553-7810.


Get to Know Your Muslim Neighbors — Learn about Muslims in the community and their culture, 6 p.m. May 15, Oshtemo Branch, 7265 W. Main St., 373-5141.

Mercantile Bank is happy to welcome Nancy K. Turtle as Community Bank President for the Kalamazoo market. With 20 years of commercial banking experience, Nancy is ready to continue to deepen customer relationships and deliver exceptional banking services throughout Southwest Michigan.

Indian Dance with Dolly — Learn freestyle dances of India, 6 p.m. May 22, Eastwood Branch, 553-7810.

Welcome to the team Nancy!

Hidden Figures in Kalamazoo — Discussion of race, gender and STEM inspired by the book Hidden Figures, by Margot Lee Shetterly, 6 p.m. May 23, Alma Powell Branch, 1000 W. Paterson Ave., 553-7960.


Alchemy Poetry Reading — A reading by Alchemy Initiative participants, 6:30 p.m. May 9, Central Library, 315 S. Rose St., 342-9837.

Viet Cuisine at the Square — Vietnamese cooking demonstration, 6:30 p.m. May 24, Washington Square Branch, 1244 Portage St., 553-7970. Urban Fiction Book Discussion Group — Discussion of The Streets Have No King, by JaQuavis Coleman, 6 p.m. May 30, Alma Powell Branch, 553-7960.

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Open for Discussion — Discussion of All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr, 10:30 a.m. May 16. PDL Writers Workshop — Hedy Habra examines magic realism's relationship with fantastic literature, 6–8 p.m. May 16. Must Be 21+: Game, Color, Doodle Night for GrownUps — 7–8:30 p.m. May 22. Afternoon Tea: A Sampling and Exploring of Popular British Teas — Learn about British teas, 4–6 p.m. May 23; registration required. Richland Community Library 8951 Park St., 629-9085

Michigan Rediscovered: A Dozen Destinations You May Have Missed — Presentation by author Ron Rademacher, 7 p.m. May 25.

Remembering Marvin Hamlisch: The People's Composer — A photographic journey through the composer’s life, through May 14.

Other Venues

And Still We Rise: Race, Culture & Visual Conversations — Works that draw on the tradition of storytelling through quilts, through June 4.

Poems Inspired by Art — Poetry with the theme “illimitably earth,” 1–4 p.m. May 6, Westminster Presbyterian Church, 1515 Helen Ave., 344-3966. Dog and Poetry Show: Poets Unleashed! — A reading celebrating poetry and animals, 6:30 p.m. May 31, Meadow Run Dog Park, 900 S. Eighth St., Oshtemo Township, 767-8229. MUSEUM

May Book Group — Discussion of Our Souls at Night, by Kent Haruf, 7 p.m. May 11.

Kalamazoo Valley Museum 230 N. Rose St., 373-7990

Off the Ledge — Funk, folk, blues, alternative rock and jazz group, 6 p.m. May 5. Carolyn Mazloomi — The founder of the Women of Color Quilters Network and curator of the exhibit And Still We Rise: Race, Culture and Visual Conversations speaks, 1:30 p.m. May 21. NATURE Weekly Kal-Haven Trail Bird and Nature Walk — A five-mile walk along the trail, 8 a.m. May 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30; meet at the trailhead on North 10th Street, 375-7210. Birds and Coffee Walk — A walk to view birds of the season, 9 a.m. May 10, Kellogg Bird Sanctuary, 12685 East C Ave., Augusta, 671-2510. MISCELLANEOUS

Your Custom Resource

Great Lakes Nostalgia Convention — Celebrity guests from classic movies, TV and radio dramas, May 4–6, Four Points by Sheraton, 3600 E. Cork Street Court, 385-3922. North Burdick Street Block Party — Music, food and information on community resources, 5–7 p.m. May 5, 300 block of North Burdick, facebook.com/60thdso.

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Humane Society Dog Walk & K9 Festival — Walking trails, dog contests, kids’ area and entertainment, 9 a.m.–2 p.m. May 6, Prairie View Park, 899 East U Ave., Vicksburg, kazoohumane.org/dogwalk. Spring Arts & Crafts Show — 9 a.m.–4 p.m. May 6, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. May 7, Wings Event Center, 3600 Vanrick Drive, 345-1125.

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50 | Encore MAY 2017

Black Arts & Culture Community Awards Show — Live entertainment, cash bar and strolling appetizer buffet, 6 p.m. May 6, Jolliffe Theatre, Epic Center, 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall, 349-1035. Kalamazoo Marathon & Borgess Run for the Health of It — Full and half marathon, 10K and 5K runs, 5K walk, times vary, May 7, Borgess Nazareth Campus, 3427 Gull Road, 345-1913. National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day Carnival — Providing information on community services, 4–7 p.m. May 11, Kalamazoo County Expo Center, 2900 Lake St., 553-7122. 2017 TrailBlazer — A spring bike ride on the Kal-Haven Trail, 8 a.m.–4 p.m. May 13, 383-8778; registration at snapregistration.com/kalhaven. Touch-A-Truck — Hands-on exploration of fire trucks, police cars and heavy machinery, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. May 13, Kalamazoo County Expo Center, 815-0034. Antique Toy Show — Antique, vintage and collectible toys, 9 a.m.–2 p.m. May 20, Kalamazoo County Expo Center, 262-366-1314. Family Fishing Fair — Activities and instruction on fishing, environmental conservation and safety, 10 a.m.–1 p.m. May 20, Ramona Park, 8600 S. Sprinkle Road, 329-4522. Barn Quilt Painting Workshop — Learn to draft, tape and paint a barn quilt for outdoor display, 12:30–4:30 p.m. May 20, Vicksburg Library, 215 S. Michigan Ave., Vicksburg, 329-0481. Kalamazoo Dance — Monthly ballroom dancing at 8 p.m., with waltz lesson at 7 p.m., May 20, The Point Community Center, 2595 N. 10th St., 344-5752.

encore Poetry

I'm not going to say labyrinthine, but there are a lot more trails at Asylum Lake than show up on the map. The green dots and brown dashes do not conform to what you see before you—too many intersections to pinpoint if You Are Here. Instead, you find yourself at the edge of a brackish water unlike any lake you’ve ever seen, or up against a rusty fence that wasn’t there a moment ago—remnant of what gave this place its name. Your path turns in on itself, especially if you've gone there to

sort out your marriage or untangle some other knot in your mind. You try to think grass, sky, grass, sky, dirt, dirt, trees, but distractions throw you off course: a twig shelter you can't see inside of, a lone runner who could be fleeing, a dog barking from a distance, what's left from a party you're glad you missed, furred sumac horns the color of old blood, the feathery remains of a kill. No matter which thread you follow, you end up in the same place, which is not where you want to be. — Kit Almy The 274-acre Asylum Lake Preserve, which Almy likes to wander, has been owned by Western Michigan University since 1975. Almy is a freelance writer who has written more than 60 articles for Encore since 2009. Her poems and essays have appeared in several print and online publications, including City of the Big Shoulders: A Chicago Poetry Anthology and Great Lakes Review's Narrative Map.

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Invention Is the Mother of Necessity None of us would be here if it wasn’t for moms. We don’t always appreciate just how inventive mothers have to be. The trials of pregnancy and birth can test the strength of anyone, but that’s just the beginning. Being a good mother means years of tough decision making. Some people say necessity is the mother of invention. However, invention can be the mother of necessity. Just think about how much we rely on inventions the next time you pick up a phone or use a car. Any way you look at it, hardworking mothers make pretty good role models. We rely on mothers and the inventive solutions they find in times of need. In much the same way, inventive printing helps you turn your business into something others rely on again and again for solutions. If you want people in your community to see your work as a necessity, give us a call.

INDEX TO ADVERTISERS Advantage Cleaning Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 All Ears Theatre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Arborist Services of Kalamazoo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 The Ayres Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 The Beacon Club . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Betzler Funeral Home . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Bravo! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Bronson Health Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Catholic Schools of Greater Kalamazoo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 Centre Spa & Wellness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 The Civic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Clear Ridge Wealth Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 Constance Brown Hearing Centers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Consumers Energy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 Dave’s Glass Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 DeMent and Marquardt, PLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 DeVisser Landscape Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Family & Children Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Fence & Garden . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Food Dance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Four Roses Café . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

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Gilmore Real Estate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Great Lakes Shipping Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Greenleaf Trust . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Halls, Closets & More . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Hettinger & Hettinger, PC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Horizon Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Kalamazoo Community Foundation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2





Kalamazoo Institute of Arts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Lake, Parfet & Schau, PLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 LVM Capital Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Maple Hill Auto Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 Mercantile Bank of Michigan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17, 49 Naylor Landscape Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 Northpointe Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 People’s Food Co-op of Kalamazoo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Portage Printing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Principle Food & Drink . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Jeff K. Ross Financial Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Saffron . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12



Stulberg International String Competition . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Transformations Spirituality Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Tujax Tavern & Brewpub . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Varnum Law . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46


Vlietstra Bros. Pools & Spas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Wild Ginger . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Willis Law . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 WMUK . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Woodwork Specialties Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

52 | Encore MAY 2017

BACK STORY (continued from page 54)

life, served as a member of several different major student organizations, and I also worked as a student employee. I believe each experience facilitated my growth and development as a student and in several ways prepared me for graduate school and employment. I loved my college experience. What kind of student were you? I always loved school, so I was a very good student: always studied, made sure I took advantage of the resources (such as tutors), attended faculty office hours, etc. — all the things I encourage students to do. How do you think you got to where you are today? I must start with Mr. and Mrs. Thomas and Gladys Woolfork (her parents). They loved, encouraged, supported me and instilled the importance and value of education. I was always told that once you had an education, that was one thing that no one could ever take away from me. With that said, God, having a supportive family, supportive network, being persistent, and my love for education have contributed to where I am today. I recognize that I did not get here alone. There were many pushing me along the way, always offering a positive word and reminding me that I would be successful. What are you energized by? My husband, Dr. Ollie Barnes, who is my biggest cheerleader, energizes me. He always

motivates me to do my best. My family energizes me. I am energized by education. I do not take it for granted that I have benefited from post-secondary education and training. I am energized by the students and staff whom I am privileged to work with, and I am energized by the work that I do because it means working with diverse students and hopefully influencing students to pursue college with enthusiasm and a deep desire to maximize their college experience in ways that will lead to college persistence, retention and ultimately graduation. How do you know a program is working? I have a background in program evaluation and assessment, and, as such, I use this skill set to conduct program evaluations to determine whether programs are working or not. Based on the data or information collected, I am able make program modifications when appropriate. Do you have a favorite story about helping a student succeed? Without going into detail, there was a student who was trying to decide what to major in. The initial major was not a good fit. Long story short, the student chose a different major after exploring interests, and today that student is quite successful and still keeps in touch. I have been fortunate to have an ongoing friendship with the student. Because of the mentor/mentee-type relationship, I was able to walk alongside the student and assist where needed.

Why do you think this job is a good fit for you? This position allows me to tap into my love for people and allows me to be in an educational environment, where learning is never-ending. Therefore, it feeds my passion to learn. My position as director of firstyear programs allows me to work across the entire campus, with students, faculty, staff, administrators, parents and families. The staff I work with are second to none. They are the best, and thus we have one of the best departments on Western Michigan University’s campus. I am biased, of course. Where do you think your inspiration to help students comes from? My favorite scripture is Luke 12:48, which, in part, states that “to whom much is given, much is required.” I have been so fortunate and blessed, beginning with having loving parents who demonstrated the importance and value of supporting and assisting others. As a student, I had excellent faculty and staff who were committed to my personal and academic success. They offered advice, served as mentors, educated me and exposed me to so many opportunities. I have an obligation to be available and to help students. I think it comes from my heart and my passion for people. I have been given so much, and I hope that students benefit from what others have invested in me. — Interviewed by Samantha Marzke

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Toni Woolfork-Barnes Director, First-Year Experience Western Michigan University


he first year of college can be overwhelming for students, especially those from other countries and those who are the first person in their family to attend college. Toni Woolfork-Barnes would like to give every student, no matter their background, the opportunity to succeed in college and to fully experience university life. As the director of the First-Year Experience at WMU, Woolfork-Barnes, 56, oversees programs and activities that help students make the academic and social transition to university life. FYE is designed to prepare students for their first year and beyond at WMU. Barnes herself is a three-time alumna of WMU, having earned a bachelor's degree in psychology, a master's in industrial resource management and a doctorate in human resource development. What were some formative experiences you had in college? One of my mentors stressed the importance of being involved in different types of student organizations, which would help me to develop leadership skills. I was involved in sorority

Brian Powers

(continued on page 53)

54 | Encore MAY 2017

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