GV Hauentsein Center to Hold Wheelhouse Talk

Amy McNeel

GV Hauentsein Center to Hold Wheelhouse Talk

By Amy McNeel 

In recent years, Flint, Mich. has been in the spotlight due to major public health crises. On Friday, Aug. 31 at 4 p.m., the Grand Valley State University Hauenstein Center is hosting a wheelhouse talk to bring awareness to public health in Flint. 

“Our wheelhouse talk series is intentional about bringing leaders in west Michigan and the state of Michigan in to talk about their leadership experience and perspective, and then to use that as an opportunity for our fellows and the community to understand what aspects of leadership are important in that person’s experience,” said Chadd Dowding, Program Director of the Cook Leadership Academy. 

This week, the Hauenstein Center is bringing in Dr. Debra Furr-Holden to discuss leadership in Flint. Dr. Furr-Holden is currently Interim Director of the Division of Public Health and Director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities-funded Flint Center for Health Equity Solutions. She is also a Flint native, and with her work she has continued to give back and make a difference in the Flint community. 

“Certainly the topic of public health in Flint has been a sort of a lightning rod of topics in the public discourse in the state of Michigan for the last couple of years,” Dowding said. “So we thought it was important to bring someone in who could share some personal experience about what it has been like to be in a leadership position in Flint, attempting to respond to the public health crisis.” 

Growing up in Flint gives Dr. Furr-Holden an interesting look into the welfare and life of those in the Flint area. 

“We want Professor Furr-Holden to have the opportunity to share some of her own personal experiences and life perspectives based on the fact that she is a Flint native who then has continued to give back to her community and work in that space,” Dowding said. “So we want to hear from her about what her experience has been like and to express what leadership traits she’s gained from her life experience.” 

Dowding hopes that those who attend the event will leave with a greater, more diverse knowledge on the public health crises in Flint. 

“We hope that students at Grand Valley and our Cook Leadership Academy fellows, as well as the broader community, will have the chance to hear a new perspective or at least a different perspective on leadership from Professor Furr-Holden’s experience,” Dowding said. “The mission of the Hauentein Center is to create a new generation of ethical and effective leaders in the 21st Century,” Dowding said. This Wheelhouse talk will provide new perspectives and knowledge that will help this mission progress. 

The Wheelhouse Talk with Dr. Furr-Holden is not a singular event. The Hauenstein Center has a long lineup of speakers for the 2018-2019 academic school year, and will be covering many different topics. All the programs are free and open to the public.