Do you have anything going today?

Would you have some free time from 12:30 to 1:30 pm?

How does a free event, guaranteed to inspire, sound?

The Wheelhouse Talks, a free series put on by GVSU’s Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies continues today at 12:30-1:30 p.m. at the Kroc Community Center, 2500 S. Division Ave. in Grand Rapids.  You can reserve a spot online at

And the speaker?  Marsha Rappley, dean of Michigan State University’s medical school here in Grand Rapids.

Dean Rappley has a wonderful story, for she had no plans to even come close to medicine, but when she was unable to find a teaching job in the early 1970s, she pursued a nursing license in order to have work while looking for a teaching job.

And, the rest is history.  Almost four decades later, and intersecting career paths, Rappley is dean of Michigan State University’s medical school in Grand Rapids.

Marsha Rappley has had quite a path to where she is today.  She said she will talk about "how people come to leadership roles from a variety of pathways, and that part of the success of an organization is related to honoring and placing value on those pathways and what people learn through the experiences that they bring."

Brian Flanagan, associate director of the Hauenstein Center said they are very excited to have Marsha Rappley as their speaker.  She's someone who rose from a nurse's aid to a pediatric neurologist before joining MSU.  Her talk on leadership and how leaders grow will be very inspiring.

In the future, “Wheelhouse” speakers will include state Treasurer Andy Dillon on Feb. 8, local business woman Mayra Martinez on March 14, and ArtPrize founder Rick DeVos on April 11.