A day in the life of GV professors


Courtesy / GVSU

Haileigh Huber, Multimedia Editor

Many students see their professors every class period, but beyond that, students have no idea what goes on in their lives. The Lanthorn spoke with two professors from the school of communication at Grand Valley State University to showcase what some professionals do when they’re not in the classroom.

Jeff Kelly Lowenstein, Associate Professor of multimedia journalism has been teaching at GVSU for six years but has been in the field of education for 22 years. A typical day for Kelly Lowenstein starts around 5:30 a.m.

He likes to start his mornings with meditation to center himself before he begins his day. After he finishes his meditation and depending on the day he’ll get into some kind of writing, he answers emails and prepares for the day ahead.

Nantucket Bakery in downtown Grand Rapids opens around 7 a.m. and most mornings Kelly Lowenstein walks to the bakery to get a scone for his wife and kombucha for himself. When he returns home, he eats his breakfast which consists of udon and soba, Japanese noodles and tofu.

Kelly Lowenstein is enrolled in a Japanese language course here at GVSU. His class begins at 9 a.m. and while he enjoys it, he finds it difficult. 

“I’m learning a lot because it’s a hard class, but it’s also a good reminder of what the experience of a student is like,” Kelly Lowenstein said.

When he isn’t teaching, he spends his time running the non-profit organization Center for Collaborative Investigative Journalism. It’s an international network of journalists all over the world where they carry out ongoing investigations about global matters.

Kelly Lowenstein enjoys staying active by taking walks with his wife, exercising at home or his local YMCA.

Teaching and encouraging his students every step of the way is one of the things that makes him feel so fulfilled in his professional career here at GVSU along with creating long-term student relationships.

“Setting up the foundations for those longer-term relationships is incredibly gratifying,” Kelly Lowenstein said.

Associate Professor Adrienne Wallace’s schedule is different from Kelly Lowenstein’s because she considers herself a second shift worker as she tends to work in the afternoons and evenings.

Wallace teaches undergraduate courses mostly in the public relations emphasis. She advises the student-run PR firm Grand PR and the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) while serving as the Ad PR Internship Director and has been a long-time employee at Black Truck Media and Marketing as an independent contractor.

“I’ve spent my entire career creating a career that I don’t want to escape from,” Wallace said.

Wallace uses her mornings to spend time for herself. She’ll walk her dogs, Rosie and Watson, prepare for the day ahead, drink her coffee and is an avid Peloton user. She heads to campus around 1 p.m. on Monday and Wednesdays and teaches usually from 3-9 p.m.

Once she’s done teaching, she could either have a meeting for PRSSA, Grand PR or work with students to help troubleshoot. 

“It’s a hodgepodge of fulfilling the needs of every group that you are a part of,” Wallace said.

Wallace loves what she does. Whether she’s researching, reading, writing, or teaching she’s constantly learning more and sharing that information to help her students and colleagues.

“I enjoy being helpful, whether it’s with my students or just somebody coming to me with a mental health crisis, or another class they’re struggling with and want to know how to be successful,” Wallace said.