West Shore launches water themed semester

February 10, 2014

wscc_west_shore_pondVICTORY TWP. – This semester, West Shore Community College is taking stock of its location in a water rich environment to focus student and community attention on the many ways water impacts our lives and about the ways our lives impact water.

“The timing seems particularly relevant this semester as many Great Lakes water issues such as the Asian carp threat reach the news, and as incidents like the recent chemical spill in West Virginia serve to remind us of the vital every-day significance of water,” said Seán Henne, WSCC Professor of English and Education.

A series of campus events, a common reading, and classwork in courses all across the college will facilitate student and community engagement with the theme of water.

The events will commence with a visit from noted environmental writer Jerry Dennis on Feb.12, 7:30 p.m., at the Ludington Public Library and Feb. 13, 12:30 p.m., in the college’s Center Stage Theater.

Dennis’ “The Living Great Lakes” is the semester’s common read.

Dennis grew up in rural northern Michigan and has earned his living since 1986, writing about the places where nature and human culture intersect. His essays and short fiction have appeared in more than 100 publications, including “The New York Times,” “Smithsonian,” “Audubon,” “Orion,” “American Way,” “Gray’s Sporting Journal,” and “Michigan Quarterly Review.”

His books, many of them illustrated by artist Glenn Wolff, are widely acclaimed, have won numerous awards, and have been translated into Chinese, Japanese, German, Portuguese, and Czech.

In 1999, the Michigan Library Association named Jerry the Michigan Author of the Year, and in 2003 the University of Louisville’s School of Arts and Sciences recognized his achievements in literature with its Outstanding Alumnus of the Year Award.

He is a frequent guest speaker at universities and elsewhere and serves on the faculty of the University of Michigan’s Bear River Writers Conference, where he teaches creative non-fiction.

The college invites the community to participate in the “water” theme by attending events, reading “The Living Great Lakes,” and spending the coming months in discussion and reflection about the importance of water.

More information can be found at http://yearofwater.westshore.edu/ or by contacting Henne at 231-843-5859 or swhenne@westshore.edu.

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