News briefs: Jonestown Massacre survivor to visit GVSU

Why Michigan’s water matters

Alan Steinman, director of the Annis Water Resources Institute, will give a presentation highlighting the importance of Michigan’s fresh water supply in relation to our economic growth.

Titled “Michigan’s Blue Economy: Why Water Matters,” Steinman’s presentation will focus on how Michigan is at an advantage to grow its economy due to the fact that the Great Lakes hold 20 percent of the world’s surface fresh water.

In addition to directing the Annis Water Resources Institute, Steinman is also responsible for more than 135 scientific articles and book chapters. In his work on scientific and engineering grants, Steinman has helped earn more than $50 million in grants.

The presentation is scheduled to take place from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Oct. 15 in the L. William Seidman Center. Breakfast will be served at 7:30 a.m.

For more information, contact the Seidman College of Business at (616) 331-7100.

Jonestown Massacre survivor to visit GVSU

Johnston Kohl is set to make a presentation at Grand Valley State University to discuss the “Jonestown Massacre,” an event in 1978 in which more than 900 members of an American commune informally called “Jonestown” died in a mass-suicide. Kohl was one of the 87 to survive.

The Jonestown Massacre occurred on Nov. 18, 1978 in the nation of Guyana, located in South America. After a Jonestown gunmen killed U.S. Rep. Leo Ryan along with four other members of his delegation, the congregation leader Jim Jones instructed the rest of his members to drink a fruit liquid laced with cyanide. This resulted in the largest death of U.S. civilian lives before Sept. 11, 2001.

In the presentation, Kohl will discuss both her time during the Jonestown Massacre on Nov. 18, 1978 as well as her present-day life.

The presentation is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Oct. 12 in the Mary Idema Pew Library Multipurpose Room.

For more information, contact Heather Van Wormer at [email protected] or (616) 331-8673.

String Orchestra Leadership Day

At this year’s String Orchestra Leadership Day, Grand Valley State University’s Symphony Orchestra is inviting more than 60 students from 23 different Michigan high school and home school orchestras to attend a day full of instructional classes that will sharpen their playing skills as well as a free evening concert by the GVSU Chamber Orchestra.

Throughout the day, students will rehearse with both GVSU music faculty and guest conductor Raphael Jimenez, orchestra director at Oberlin Conservatory of Music.

At the evening concert, the students who were named “Best of the Day” can perform a solo on stage for the live audience.

The String Orchestra Leadership Day will take place 9 a.m. on Oct. 17 inside the Performing Arts Center. The free evening concert will begin at 7 p.m. in the Louis Armstrong Theatre, located inside the PAC.

For more information, go to

“Rethinking Columbus: A Movement Toward Indigenous Peoples Day”

As a part of Native American Heritage Month, Grand Valley State University will host a panel discussion focusing on ways to rethink the history of the colonization of the Americas on Columbus Day, Oct. 20.

Titled “Rethinking Columbus: A Movement Toward Indigenous Peoples Day,” the discussion panel will be moderated by Native News Network’s Levi Rickert. Cultural teachings as well as a drum circle will follow this discussion.

The LIB 100/201 approved event will take place from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 12 in the Loosemore Auditorium in the DeVos Center on the Pew Campus.

For more information about the discussion panel, go to

“A Conversation with Nancy Hickey”

Nancy Hickey, previous Chief Administrative Officer of Steelcase, will speak about her career on Oct. 13.

Beginning her career as a high school English teacher, all of Hickey’s hard work culminated when she got the chance to serve as the CAO of Steelcase for 28 years up until her retirement in June 2014. As the CAO, Hickey managed global business centers, served as a member of the board of directors at such places as Meijer Inc. and Fifth Third Bank and was responsible for various global corporate functions.

“A Conversation with Nancy Hickey” is scheduled to take place at 5:30 p.m. in the Loosemore Auditorium located at the DeVos Center.

For more information, contact the Honors College at (616) 331-3219 or [email protected].