News Briefs 11/11

GV to host Alzheimer’s forum

Panelists from Grand Valley State University, Michigan State University and Spectrum Health will discuss Alzheimer’s disease Monday, Nov. 11. The forum will focus on the links between Alzheimer’s, care intervention and how the disease impacts communities.

Titled “Exploring the Latest in Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care,” the event is part of the Office of the Vice Provost for Health’s Your Health Series, which aims to educate audiences on both health care and available resources. 

Rebecca Davis, Associate Dean of Research and Scholarship for the Kirkhof College of Nursing, will represent GVSU at the forum. Davis will be joined by section chief for neurology and clinical neuropsychology Mary McPhail-Ciufo and professor of translational neuroscience at MSU Nicholas Kanaan. 

The event will take place from 6:30-7:30 p.m. in the L. William Seidman Center on Pew Campus. Local health care professionals will be available to provide resources from 5:30-6:30 p.m. It is free and open to the public, and those interested can RSVP at

Economist studies local growth, unemployment rates

Brian Long, Grand Valley State University Director of Supply Management Research in the Seidman College of Business,  said the West Michigan economy is slowly growing, although signs in the world economy suggest stagnation.

Long surveyed local business owners in the last two weeks of October and found that despite the layoffs that hit West Michigan, local unemployment remains low.

“Of the 83 counties in Michigan, Ottawa County still posted the lowest unemployment rate at 2.7 percent,” Long said. “At 2.8 percent, Kent and Allegan counties tied for third place.” 

Long anticipates that the local economy will continue to grow throughout November.

Speaker discusses Declaration of Independence

Political philosopher Danielle Allen visited Grand Valley State University to address the Declaration of Independence and its wording in relation to equality. The lecture was held at the Loosemore Auditorium Nov. 6 and was hosted by the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies. 

Allen’s lecture aimed to educate attendees about the language of the Declaration of Independence, as well as the context of when it was written. She challenged the wording and posited that its phrasing undermines equality today.

Allen also serves as the director of Harvard University’s Edmund J. Safra Center for Ethics. She also wrote a book called “Our Declaration” and is a winner of the Francis Parkman Prize, which is awarded annually to nonfiction authors that cover themes in American history.