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1997-1998 Annual Report Text
As much as each year is like the last, Don manages to find new challenges. In each semester he taught a brand new course, GEMS 210, The Science of Power. The GEMS program is General Education in Math and Science, part of the college's revised General Education Program. The format, content and approach are all new and Don is continually refining this course on the environmental consequences of electrical power production. Don also taught a section of the majors General Chemistry each semester and coordinated the program. His senior seminar, Science and Human Values is so popular that he yielded to a petition to teach it in the May Term. In the second semester, Don returned to the first-year lab and learned how to use the Mac's, now part of the program, from the students!
The summer of '98 is like that of '97, only more so. Don continues to take more leadership in the Hughes Foundation program for minority high school students. He also continues to have a faculty development grant. Last summer it was to create four special labs and three demos for the new GEMS course. This summer Don is to see if we can make the laboratory for our "pre-nursing" course more research oriented. He and our lab director, Tod Gugino, are determined to move from a cookbook lab program to one that is investigative.
Last summer Don participated in a GEMS workshop. This summer he has participated in two, one on Writing Across the Curriculum and one for the brand new First Year Seminars, another new part of the core curriculum. Don and Bill Mungall are each teaching a section of a course that they have created, The Discovers, a look at the social context for science and the social consequences of science. This summer, Don is conducting a workshop of his own on phosphates in Lake Macatawa for area science teachers. So this summer is like the last, Don is very busy. Still he has helped edit three textbooks and is active on college and community committees. Don helped author the State of Michigan's certification exam in chemistry and he still serves as chairperson for the states committee on low-level radioactive waste management.
As mentioned in the chair's introduction, Don won a cash prize from the American Nuclear Society for his skills as a public communicator. He showed off those talents as the keynote speaker for the Elderhostel institute Network when 250 of their leaders gathered here. He managed to make Nuclear Waste Issues exciting enough to generate requests for his program elsewhere in the Midwest this coming winter.