January 8, 2021

The Great Lakes Colleges Association is pleased to announce the winners of the 2021 GLCA New Writers Award for Poetry, Fiction, and Creative Non-fiction. Now in its 52nd year, the New Writers Award confers recognition on promising writers who have published a first volume in one of the three genres.  Judges of the New Writers Award are faculty members of creative writing and literature at GLCA’s member colleges.  Winning writers receive invitations to visit GLCA member colleges – where they give readings, meet with students and faculty members, and discuss technique and creativity in the writing process. 

The 2021 winner for Poetry is Marianne Chan, All Heathens, published by Sarabande Books. 

Our GLCA judges note:  This entire book is buoyant and richly drawn. It is funny, while not shying away from the complexities of colonizing history and its lingering presence. All Heathens feels full of love, but at the same time, a refusal to be boxed in. Chan takes risks, and in doing so, she speaks clearly, truthfully, sharply, all while singing beautifully. Her imagery –  at times crystalline, at times comical, always imaginative – strike the heart and the mind.

Chan’s clarity of language in combination with her exploration of Filipino American identity moved me to consider my own place in the world. Her poems seek very much to communicate, but do so with terrific structural integrity and variety, and I felt led through the poetic process in every poem. Her reflection on her family’s status as ‘heathens’ and the term’s implied savagery, her consideration of her family’s place in US culture, and her desire to be understood all give me a sense of intimacy. I felt as if a casual confidant, made to feel part of the poet’s circle of friends. 

Judges of the Poetry entries were:
Oliver Baez Bendorf, Kalamazoo College
Helena Mesa, Albion College
Pablo Peschiera, Hope College

The 2021 winner for Fiction is Gabriel Bump, Everywhere You Don’t Belong, published by Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill.

Our GLCA judges note:  Gabriel Bump has written a book that stands apart as a coming-of-age story that ventures into the absurd and is by turns darkly comic. It is funny and tough-minded.  The prose goes off like a rocket, powerful, a little shocking at times. The plot is big, but never overwhelms the characters, whose relationships are so poignantly drawn. The novel has astonishing narrative drive and control. Bump writes some of the most piquant, electrifying sentences and scenes. His prose seems self-assuredly his own. He draws characters who are unique and memorable. The Chicago scenes are especially compelling.

Bump positions his main character with a certain narrative distance.  Claude exists between the reader and the world, and he understands this.  He’s a messenger.  He’s a window.  He’s an Ishmael.  He’s bringing the news from one world to another.  While precise and particular to his time and place and telling needful stories, Claude McKay Love takes a position in American literature alongside Huck Finn, Esther Greenwood, Holden Caulfield.  I sense this writer going on to write more books. 

Judges of the Fiction Award were:
Emily Barton, Oberlin College
Robert Olmstead, Ohio Wesleyan University
Keija Parssinen, Kenyon College

The 2021 winner for Creative Non-fiction is Nina Boutsikaris, I’m Trying to Tell You I’m Sorry, published by Black Lawrence Press. 

Our GLCA judges note:  I’m Trying to Tell You I’m Sorry is both bold and spare, the troubling story of a young woman trying to find and lose herself in New York City. The prose has clear elegance like water, and the brief scenes are a testament to the power and pitfalls of being beautiful in a world all too ready to take.

I’m lost in Boutsikaris’s language, lost within these pages, lost between desire and wanting. Lost in a good way. Boutsikaris has an amazing control of lyricism, changing tone in a matter of sentences – from scholar to philosopher to character-in-the-moment. It is glorious to be witness to such precision. 

Boutsikaris blurs disciplinary boundaries by employing raw and at times profane language and personal storytelling to bring theory to lived experience. And she turns the notion of the gaze on itself: as a recipient of the male gaze, she takes it and turns it outward, boldly, sighting, siting, and citing art, philosophers, and herself through reclamation of language.

Judges of the 2021 award in Creative Non-fiction were:
Marin Heinritz, Kalamazoo College
Ira Sukrungruang, Kenyon College
Lili Wright, DePauw University

For more information on the New Writers Award, please contact Gregory Wegner, Director of Program Development ([email protected]), or Colleen Monahan Smith, Executive Assistant to the President ([email protected]) at the GLCA.

Additional information is available on the GLCA web site: GLCA New Writers Award

August 13, 2020

Events of the past five months have brought about changes to higher education – and to society itself – of unprecedented magnitude and impact.  Things that might have seemed unthinkable in late winter now define our shared existence as educators and inhabitants of a nation.

The COVID-19 pandemic has unhinged many traditions once conceived as inviolate principles of how teaching and learning take place in our colleges; today there is all-but-universal awareness of the need to adopt different approaches to education.  The new reality has also underscored the fact that many students are at significant disadvantage in the colleges they attend, whether taught in class or on-line.  At the same time, the killing of an unarmed African American man by a police officer in Minneapolis has led to widespread national outrage, and intensified awareness of how much our societies and our institutions are imbued with racist traditions and thinking.

To address the unique challenges of our time and provide a useful resource to those who educate college students, The Great Lakes Colleges Association/Global Liberal Arts Alliance (GLCA/GLAA) Consortium for Teaching and Learning (CTL) announces a major recasting of its web site:  http://glcateachlearn.org

Both the organization and design of the newly configured web site center on three main categories, as highlighted on the home page: “Into the Fall Semester,” offering resources and advice on teaching across modes, including general advice and technical/technological support; “Inclusive Pedagogies,” applying Universal Design for Learning to the present moment, focusing on issues of access and responding to the different learning circumstances and needs of individual students; and “Anti-Racist Pedagogies,” offering resources and approaches for developing anti-racist pedagogies across the curriculum, and advice on making our classrooms truly diverse, inclusive, equitable, and welcoming. 

Each topic heading within these categories designates “2 Go-To Articles” as salient treatments that offer key concepts in treating a topic.  Other groups of articles address related subjects that give more texture for those who seek it. We hope this arrangement can help reduce the anxiety that faculty members can easily feel at the amount of materials to read, which can seem overwhelming. 

The materials are curated in a way that includes recently published pieces as well as resources published earlier in the Covid season and prior to that.  The entries include written articles and video clips.  The editorial approach does not set out to argue a specific thesis but to offer perspectives that can help readers reach decisions of how to structure their own courses. 

Steven Volk, the Co-Director of our CTL, has done a masterful job of designing and building our recast web site, and we are indebted to his vision and resourcefulness. 

If you would like to have your name added to the CTL mailing list to receive periodic updates, please find the inquiry form at the bottom of the home page of the CTL web site.  The form asks only for your name, e-mail address, and institution to receive regular updates.

We also reach out to all of you who would like to contribute to our repository of resources that could be valuable to readers of the CTL site.  Please write to us at the e-mail addresses listed below to recommend a citation for inclusion.  Just as important, if there is a subject that you would like to write about for submission to the CTL, please do not hesitate to contact us.


GLCA/GLAA Consortium for Teaching and Learning


Gregory Wegner ([email protected])
Steven Volk ([email protected])
Web site: http://glcateachlearn.org/

Banner photo credit:  Pittwire — University of Pittsburgh



July 9, 2020

As a consortium of thirteen residential liberal arts colleges in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania, the Great Lakes Colleges Association expresses deep dismay regarding the recent Department of Homeland Security rule that would prohibit non-immigrant international students from remaining in the U.S. if they take a full course of study through online classes. This means such students may not be in the U.S. or must leave the country if a college in which they are enrolled operates fully online this fall, needs to pivot to fully online during the year, or if a student needs to take all courses online for health reasons.

The presence of international students is an integral part of our campus and local communities. These students contribute to the diverse and vibrant learning and living environments of our small, residential campuses. Through their enrollment and their engagement in the communities, they contribute to our local economies.

In the spring, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) provided temporary exemptions for non-immigrant students taking online classes due to the pandemic. This recent rule either assumes the pandemic is over or cannot resurface in greater numbers (as we are currently seeing in many areas of the country), even though no vaccine exists or will likely exist until 2021; or it threatens international enrollment in our colleges and universities in an arbitrary, capricious and inhumane way.

We urge individuals, institutions, and other higher education organizations to demand a change in this new SEVP modification. Whether through legal or legislative action, we advocate that this rule be blocked and that the existing temporary exemptions be extended at least until we reach the end of this pandemic.

Michael A. McDonald, President, Great Lakes Colleges Association

On behalf of GLCA Member Colleges and their Presidents:

Mathew Johnson
Albion College
Lori White
DePauw University
Carmen Twillie Ambar
Oberlin College
Hilary Link
Allegheny College
Anne Houtman
Earlham College
Rock Jones
Ohio Wesleyan University
Thomas Manley
Antioch College
Matthew Scogin
Hope College
Scott Feller
Wabash College
Adam Weinberg
Denison University
Jorge Gonzalez
Kalamazoo College

Sarah Bolton
The College of Wooster

  Sean Decatur
Kenyon College

Lauren Bergeron, an Albion College student majoring in history, earned the distinction of having her poster submission accepted for inclusion in the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) Annual Posters on the Hill Event in Washington, DC.  Her research project is one of 60 selected from 350 applications to this year’s Posters on the Hill.

The title of her poster is “‘This Insolent and Inhuman Race’:  White Union Soldiers’ Thoughts about White Southerners during the Civil War Era.”  The poster derived from research that Lauren conducted in the summer of 2019 as a member of an Albion College team participating in the GLCA-Library of Congress Faculty-Student Research Initiative in Washington, DC.  Other members of the research team were Destiny Styles, a Kinesiology major, and Dr. Marcy Sacks, Professor of History at Albion College. The title of the team’s project is “White Supremacist Thought and the Struggle for Union in the Civil War Era.”  

Most of Lauren Bergeron’s research had centered in the Library of Congress manuscript division.  She observed that “The experience of researching at the Library of Congress allowed me to find relevant information in one place which was unavailable anywhere else.  It also gave me the opportunity to expand my research beyond manuscripts.

“I was able to spend two days of the program in the Prints and Photographs Division looking through images from the Civil War and clippings from Harper’s Weekly. Though the bulk of my research is focused on what I found in manuscripts, one of the clippings I found in the Prints and Photographs Division fit perfectly into the topic of my research and it is now the focal point of my poster.”

Destiny Styles (left) and Lauren Bergeron

Destiny Styles, another student member of the Albion College team, has a strong interest in African American history.  Her project also drew from original manuscripts of the Library’s collection, including diaries of African Americans, who express the consciousness of being human beings while also being regarded as property by their white owners.  “Working with the African Americans and seeing that they are just human beings who are oppressed changed the views that the soldiers had about them. I worked to find how African Americans felt after going through this war with people who looked down on them and thought of them as property and not humans.”   

Marcy Sacks, Destiny Styles, with Kedar Kulkarni of FLAME University

Marcy Sacks was the faculty leader of the Albion College research team.  Asked about her decision to apply for the summer program with the Library of Congress/GLCA program, she said:  “My interest in participating derives from my long-standing effort to introduce students to archival research.  For the past number of years, I have taken students, mostly underrepresented students, with me to conduct original research at libraries throughout the east coast. In each case, I have witnessed the students develop a self-confidence that is not possible to achieve in a classroom. 

“The travel involves learning how to navigate cities and public transit systems, overcoming the intimidation of entering a research library and utilizing its resources (including the human resources by asking for help from archivists and librarians), and taking ownership of a research project. The experiences are always empowering for the students, and they always reinvigorate my commitment to the act of teaching and providing profound learning opportunities for students.”

A total of three project teams participated in the GLCA-Library of Congress Faculty-Student Research Initiative in the summer of 2019.  One team, led by Dr. Kedar Kulkarni of FLAME University in Pune, India researched a project entitled, Poetic Modernisms, Gender, and Sexuality in Four Indian Languages.”  Another team, led by Dr. David Tresilian of the American University of Paris, researched a project entitled, “Coming to America:  The Early Arab-American Generations.”

The Great Lakes Colleges Association held a Presidential Summit on Mental Health and Wellness December 11-13, 2019 in Ann Arbor.  Approximately 100 people in 12 campus-based teams attended, including presidents, chief academic officers, deans of students, directors of counseling/health/wellness, athletic directors, faculty, and students.  The purpose of the summit was to provide ideas, resources and tools to support campuses as they continue to foster a campus climate of wellness and deepen their understanding of student mental health issues on campus.

Throughout the summit, participants were encouraged to learn from outside speakers and panelists as well as from each other, share with others in similar positions both formally and informally and work together on campus-based plans of action.

Presidents Mauri Ditzler (Albion), Greg Hess (Wabash) and Jorge Gonzalez (Kalamazoo) confer during the summit.  

The summit started with a keynote from Sara Abelson of the Healthy Minds Network at the University of Michigan. She shared national data and trends gathered from the Healthy Minds Network annual survey of college and university students. The following morning, participants heard from national organizations, including Nance Roy of the JED Foundation, who gave an overview of JED’s comprehensive approach for campuses; Laura Horne of Active Minds about frameworks for engaging students in this work; and Carlton Green of the University of Maryland, representing The Steve Fund to share their Equity in Mental Health Framework. Following meetings of those in like positions across GLCA institutions, two afternoon panels focused on Innovations and Best Practices and Building Institutional Capacity for Inclusive Mental Health and Wellness with specific focus on students of color, LGBTQ+ students, and student athletes. More information and resources gathered through the summit will be added to the GLCA website soon and speakers are listed here. All panelists and presenters were accessible during the summit for consultation and networking.

Throughout the day Thursday and on Friday morning, campus teams met to share what each team member was learning and to develop specific steps for the campus action plan. At the end of the summit, teams presented their top take-aways from the summit that could impact their own campus as well as ideas for consortial collaboration.

Panelists field questions during the Summit.

As a result of the summit, seven campuses have indicated an interest in pursuing the JED Campus program in the coming years, in addition to four that have already begun this process. The GLCA will collect campus action plans and share them with leadership of all the institutions, and the GLCA will follow up with campuses to review progress made in about six months.

The rigorous schedule and impressive exchange of ideas among all participants created a rich environment and provided meaningful tools for each campus to utilize in order to help all students thrive.

This is the third presidentially led summit GLCA has hosted in the last decade, the first of these, on diversity and inclusion, took place in 2008 and a second Summit, on Title IX and sexual respect, convened in 2014.  


January 13, 2020

The Great Lakes Colleges Association is pleased to announce
the winners of the 2020 GLCA New Writers Award for Poetry, Fiction, and Creative Non-fiction. Now in its 51st year, the New Writers Award confers recognition on promising writers who have published a first volume in one of the three genres.  Judges of the New Writers Award are faculty members of creative writing and literature at GLCA’s member colleges.  Winning writers receive invitations to visit GLCA member colleges – where they give readings, meet with students and faculty members, and discuss technique and creativity in the
writing process. 

The 2020 winner for Poetry is Aaron Coleman, Threat Come Close,
published by Four Way Books.  Our GLCA judges note:

Aaron Coleman’s historical
imagination excavates racial history in this country, not veering from what is discovered, but inviting it, even dwelling in it personally.  The poems explore the lyric interstices of black experience in the U.S. and youth and coming of age – including a growing consciousness of sexuality and desire.  The book’s apt title, Threat Come Close, can be read as a statement of fact and also a provocation.  The poems learn by looking and loving outward, and there is much to learn by looking through the eyes of these poems.  There is superb lyricism and a fine balance between an unabashed celebration of words and a near-plain style voice of witness.  “I am made of what I am afraid to remember,”
he writes in the prologue poem, locating himself simultaneously in a cultural history inclusive of – yet never collapsed into – his own personal history.

Judges of the Poetry entries were:

Christopher Bakken, Allegheny College

Chanda Feldman, Oberlin College

Janet McAdams, Kenyon College

The 2020 winner for Fiction is Eric Schlich, Quantum Convention, published by University of
North Texas Press.  Our GLCA judges note:

Always humorous and wildly inventive, this collection is remarkable for the variety of characters and situations it portrays. In the title story, Schlich captures suburban malaise and our secret selves as the main character goes to a convention where every
possible alt self exists – and every possible alternative wife! The range of protagonists that Schlich convincingly portrays – a religious young girl, a neurotic adult loner, the actress who played the Wicked Witch of the West, and more – demonstrate impressive skill.  Movement between realist and speculative modes combined with imaginative and varied story structures make the stories compelling, both individually and as a whole.  These are very teachable stories that exemplify different facets of literary imagination and craft.  They make a reader see and feel in new ways even when dealing with old themes. 

 Judges of the Fiction Award were: 

Peter Grandbois, Denison University

Mary Lacey, Earlham College

Christiana Salah, Hope College

The 2020 winner for Creative Non-fiction is Sarah Viren, MINE: Essays, Published by University of New Mexico Press.  Our judges note:

Deeply inquisitive and probing, generous and judicious, Sarah Viren’s Mine is a series of meditations, memories buoyed to the surface by love and loss and wonder. She transforms and illuminates the world as she mines it, whether it be
accepting a murderer’s futon, becoming “unmarried” to her partner after crossing state lines, or singing the ballad, “Tom Dooley,” to her daughter.  She examines her world precisely and with startling self-awareness, threading her own experiences to conversations on contemporary culture, community, politics, and the arts.  Viren’s essays are extremely well-crafted, and her prose beautiful.  The voice is mature, full of wisdom and insight. A brilliantly rendered account of what it means to be of a place, Viren’s collection also answers what it means to be of the world and what it means, ultimately, to be here today. A ruminative, absorbing book.

Judges of the 2020 award in Creative Non-fiction were:

Amy Butcher, Ohio Wesleyan

Peter Graham, DePauw University

Bruce Mills, Kalamazoo College

For more information on the New Writers Award, please
contact Gregory Wegner, Director of Program Development ([email protected]), or Colleen Monahan Smith, Executive
Assistant to the President ([email protected])
at the GLCA.

Additional information is available on the GLCA web site: GLCA New Writers Award