Aquinas College, an inclusive educational community rooted in the Catholic and Dominican tradition, provides a liberal arts education with a global perspective, emphasizes career preparation focused on leadership and service to others, and fosters a commitment to lifelong learning dedicated to the pursuit of truth and the common good.
With 1,900 students, 63 academic and 23 athletic programs, and only 11 students per faculty member, the wooded, 117-acre campus provides a close-knit learning environment. Aquinas develops students who thrive in all dimensions of life with an experience woven with the Dominican pillars of prayer, study, service, and community.
Director of Major Gifts
Associate Provost for Outreach and Engagement
A native of Germany, Dr. Katharina Häusler-Gross came to the US. as a Fulbright Scholar before joining Aquinas College in 1998. Prior teaching appointments include Westminster College, PA, Michigan State University, the Universität Tübingen/Germany, and the Goethe Institut Chicago. She has earned a Teaching Diploma (English/Russian) from the Universität Greifswald (Germany) and holds a Master’s Degree (English/German) from the Senate of Berlin (Germany), and a Ph.D. in German and Cultural Studies from Michigan State University.
A graduate of the Grand Rapids Leadership program (2015), Dr. Häusler-Gross is passionate about creating innovating approaches that involve students in outreach and engagement to increase community partner impact and enhance the student experience. Serving as Associate Provost for Outreach and Engagement at Aquinas, she facilitates and connects the college’s departments with one another and with external partners involved in outreach and engagement work, including partners from regional economic and business development organizations, student- and research-focused associations, as well as corporate and international partners. In this role, she provides leadership and guidance for students, faculty and staff to contribute through teaching, scholarship and service activities that address and help solve problems and concerns of community partners.
Throughout her tenure at Aquinas, Dr. Häusler-Gross has held various academic and administrative leadership positions: Chair of the World Language Department, Director of the German Studies program, Coordinator of the German Study Abroad program, Lead Facilitator for Innovative Programs and Work Systems Quality, and Director of Academic Summer Programs.
As professor in the German Studies program, she has taught all levels from beginning language to advanced content courses, including German for Business and Professions, Studies of German Culture and Society through Film, courses in German Translation and Interpretation, interdisciplinary coursework connecting STEM and world language education, and courses on European Cultures and Identities. For many years, she also coordinated and taught the methods course Teaching Foreign Languages in K-12 through the Department of Education. Additionally, she served as advisor for the Aquinas German Student Club and the German National Honor Society, Delta Phi Alpha.
Her scholarly research and publications focus on the development of linguistic and intercultural competencies in the workplace, integration of STE(A)M in world language education, and (East) German literary and film studies with an emphasis on identity formation in post-reunification Germany.
A strong advocate for professional development to advance world language curricula, Dr. Häusler-Gross frequently collaborates with K-16 educational organizations in Michigan and beyond to present workshops and seminars in support of world language teachers on the local,
regional and national level. Her outreach activities also include serving as vice president on the Executive Board of the Michigan World Language Association (MIWLA), membership chair of the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG), and consultant on the AATG/ACTFL Committee German for Professional Purposes that focuses on the study of Fachdeutsch and the integration of business, technology, science, and engineering in German instruction in the US. In the past, she has served as president of the AATG Michigan Chapter, Curriculum Consultant for the German Language School of West Michigan (GLSWM), and as president and film consultant for the Chiaroscuro International Film Series, a Grand Rapids non-profit that collaborates with various community and educational groups to celebrate cultural diversity by showcasing and discussing international films from around the world
Senior Advancement Officer