Fall 2013 Outstanding Professor: Charles Vannette

BradleyVannetteMalonePROFESSORName: Professor Charles Vannette
Degrees Obtained: BA from the University of Arizona, MA and PhD from Ohio State University
Years at Ferris State: Two
Courses: German 100-302, German 331, German 341 (offered Fall 2014), Study Abroad Trips to Germany and Austria each summer
Involvement: Advisor of FSUbuntu

From Dr. Peter Bradley, Honors Program Director:

“Each semester, students are asked to nominate a single professor who inspires them to seek additional intellectual challenges. These [nominated] professors need not teach Honors classes, nor must they be nominated for what happens inside their classrooms. The Outstanding Professor Award is given to a professor who most inspires our students to fulfill that ideal for creating intellectual challenge and engagement. The nominators for Professor Charles Vannette wrote:

“He is involved in many things around campus, and loves to help anyone he can…”
“You can tell just by the way he teaches and cares that he is extremely passionate about teaching here…”
And he is “the perfect role-model.”

Professor Vannette not only provides such inspiration for students in his German classes, he also advises FSUbuntu, a registered student organization dedicated to enhancing global awareness among Ferris students and providing a guide to navigate the process of applying for nationally competitive scholarships, notably the Fulbright Scholarship. Under his guidance, the club produced its first successful Fulbright Scholar last year.

In addition to all of that work, I’d like to congratulate Professor Charles Vannette, the Outstanding Honors Professor of Fall 2014, on becoming a new father.”

When Professor Charles Vannette is not spending time with his family (wife: Saskia and their three children: Emma, Jacob, and Linnea) where they reside in Grand Rapids, he spends his time reading and broadening his knowledge. “My research keeps me sharp,” he explains. “My research interests are in 20th Century German literature, cognitive studies, and city literature.” Besides possessing a commendable love of knowledge, Professor Vannette has an outlook on learning in which every student hopes their professor will demonstrate: “It is our job as professors to create learning experiences that challenge our students to think carefully about the world around them.”

Vannette was completely surprised by his recognition. “I was humbled by the honor,” he said. “The award is already displayed proudly in my office and will serve as a permanent reminder of why I teach, and what the true value of a university is.” It is our job as professors to create learning experiences that challenge our students to think carefully about the world around them.”

As mentioned above, Vannette is involved in quite a few of Ferris’ German courses. His passion for German goes further than just the language itself, but to the hands-on international experiences he aids students in finding. “There isn’t much I’d rather do than be with students as they travel internationally for the first time. The experience is indescribable,” Vanette excitedly explained. “I believe very strongly in the value of travel and intercultural experiences and think that any student who has the chance to go abroad, regardless of where they travel, should go without hesitation. I don’t know if there is anything else that undergraduates can do during their time in college that is as meaningful, life-changing, eye-opening, and educational as travel.”

Honors congratulates and thanks Professor Vannette for his commendable efforts toward educating students about international cultures and experiences.

This article was written by Endeavor editor Logan Bixman.

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