GRCC professor Mursalata Muhammad works to honor legacy of her inventor grandfather

Mursalata Muhammad

English professor Mursalata Muhammad is building a collection of documents and artifacts from the life of her grandfather, working to honor his legacy and recognize the contributions he made as a Black inventor.

While Muhammad’s project, which she’s named The Claude Harvard Project, is personal, she plans to use it in her English classes to show the value of doing primary research.

“I can say, ‘I did this work,’” she said of how she plans to create personal connections to research with her students. “Now I have such a rich appreciation for it.”

Muhammad’s grandfather, Claude Harvard, invented more than 25 items at Ford Motor Company in Detroit, but he’s still not credited for all of his work. She’s working to change that by building awareness and finding as many resources as she can to link Harvard to his work. 

“The biggest part (of the project) is to trace and figure out which inventions should have his name on them,” said Muhammad, who has taught at GRCC for 20 years. 

One of Harvard’s first inventions was the automated piston pin measuring machine, which used radio waves to check, shape and sort piston pins by size. As an example of the prejudice he faced, an advertisement for the machine first featured Harvard but later was changed to replace him with a white man.

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GRCC baseball game at LMCU Ballpark a celebration of community colleges, alumni and athletics

Baseball team.

Admission and parking will be free for Friday’s baseball game between Grand Rapids Community College and Kellogg Community College at LMCU Ballpark, home of the West Michigan Whitecaps.

The doubleheader is a celebration of community colleges and their sports programs, and looks to be an enjoyable afternoon with two top teams competing in a doubleheader. Games are scheduled to start at 2 p.m. and 4:30.

The games also will be live streamed on the Internet by Michigan Sports Radio at

The health and safety of spectators and participants is a top priority. GRCC is strictly following state and local health authority protocols at LMCU Ballpark, formerly known as Fifth Third Ballpark. Attendance will be limited to 2,500 spectators – far below the ballpark’s 9,000-person capacity. All attendees will be required to have their temperature checked, wear a face covering, and respect social distancing guidelines.

Spectators are asked to park in the lot on the ballpark’s south side, near the main entrance, and enter through Gate A.

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Language Arts Online Tutorial Lab (LA.TUTORLAB): MLA 8 Citation workshop

Next week Wednesday, April 21, the Language Arts Lab is hosting the final MLA citation workshop of the semester.

We’ll spend about a half hour reviewing MLA 8 in-text citation and works cited conventions, and during the last half hour you will have the opportunity to ask any specific MLA citation questions you might have. We look forward to seeing you there!

MLA 8 Citations ~ Wednesday 4/21 @1pm

MLA 8 4_21_21.pdf

Faculty and staff, please pass this information on to our students!

Please feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns to Maria McKee at | (616) 234-4244

Evidence Based Selection Process update

We’re happy to provide this update on our work to implement Evidence Based Selection Process for our staff positions. 

Our Human Resources Project team began setting this in place in October 2020.

Here are some “fun facts” about the last six months and this transformational work.

  • We started with an announcement and video to the Strategic Leadership Team in October.
  • We’ve conducted five EBSP virtual training sessions, and 63 employees have learned about this important process.
  • We’ve completed 10 subject matter expert sessions for all 10 of our job families. The subject matter sessions validated all of the job analysis work that was done during our cohort sessions. A special shout out and thank you to all of the subject matter experts who participated.
  • We currently have 30 active searches at the moment; 16 of these searches are in EBSP.
  • We completed seven searches through EBSP.  We’ve already seen a reduction in our time to hire dashboard measurement.  Our average time to hire is 43 days (measuring the date the posting closes to the date an offer is extended). Our old screening committee hiring process typically averaged 60-plus days for staff positions. We’re excited about providing this more efficient process for our hiring managers and our applicants!
  • I asked one of our hiring managers for a testimonial on their EBSP experience. David DeBoer, executive director of Financial Aid, reported:

“The EBSP process is a great help to hiring. Three positions in the Financial Aid Department have gone through the process, and we have seen the benefits. The pre-planning helped us think about goals and department culture. It helped us think about what type of person would be the best fit. This helped us as we conducted interviews because we had a better idea of how a candidate would fit within our department.”

Two more training sessions will be offered in April or May.  Anyone is welcome to come and learn about EBSP.

A special thank you to Dr. Pink and all of the Executive Leadership group. You have been so supportive of our learning, design and implementation of EBSP. The hiring managers involved thus far have been supportive, too.  Thank you!

And a huge shout out to the HR project team.  Laura Caulk, Danielle Flaumenhaft, Jessica Berens and I have all been working hard to design and implement the changes. 

HR also wants to announce the hiring of a temporary HR professional who will assist us with EBSP searches for the next six months.  Michelle Chapo joined our team this week and we’re working to bring her up to speed as quickly as possible.

Cathy Kubiak ~ Exec Dir of Human Resources

Vaccine opportunity for GRCC employees and their families

There is an opportunity for GRCC employees and their families to obtain a Pfizer two-dose COVID vaccine.

GRCC is partnering with the Urban Church Center and Spectrum Health as part of the “Shot of Love” campaign to provide COVID vaccines for GRCC employees, students and their families on Thursday, April 15 and beyond.

If you have not yet been able to obtain the safe and effective COVID vaccine, this is a great opportunity to make your appointment and get vaccinated this week! 

If you were scheduled to receive the now-paused Johnson & Johnson vaccine and want to move more quickly, this is your opportunity.

This will be the Pfizer vaccine, which is approved for those age 16 and older. Reserve your vaccine and make an appointment following this process:

  • Call the remediation line, (616) 391-9031 
  • Tell them you are from GRCC and are calling to make a vaccine appointment. Please provide the following code when calling: GRCCVOL2021.
  • These vaccines will be available at the West Michigan Vaccine Clinic, DeVos Place, 303 Monroe Ave. in Grand Rapids.

Feel free to share this code with your family members and allow them to make appointments. Our goal is to keep the GRCC family – and its extended family – safe.

GRCC Nursing faculty and students will be volunteering at the clinic on Thursday, April 15 to assist with the effort!

If Thursday doesn’t work for you, they will attempt to schedule you for another day this week!

Highlighting staff who help our students

Sarah Brooks smiling.

Always remember, at GRCC, you are surrounded by people who want you to be successful and are ready to walk with you on your educational pathway. We are here to help!

Meet Sara Brooks. Sara is an academic adviser in GRCC’s Academic Advising and Transfer Center.

Sara is able to assist you in determining your best path to success, and supporting you by connecting you with resources here at GRCC to help you along the way.

“I am passionate about assisting people in becoming the best versions of themselves,” she said. “I am passionate about diversity, inclusion and belonging; instructional design, and applied neuroscience and metacognition.”

Sara loves serving students who are at-risk while helping them discover their potential and self-actualization. Her professional experience includes: recruitment, program management, project management, case management, advocacy, consulting, facilitation, teaching, training, and advising.

She has earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with concentration in Marketing from San Francisco State University, and a Master of Arts in Family Studies (Human Development) from Spring Arbor University.

“I love being able to show up every day unapologetically myself while impacting lives and I hope to help students do the same in their own lives,” she said.

Connect with Sara and other members of the Academic Advising and Transfer team to get assistance and learn how GRCC is your best choice for pursuing your academic or professional goals. You can email, call (616) 234-3900 and schedule a virtual appointment at

Library adds hours for technology returns due by April 29

The due date for Library laptops, hotspots, and other technology items – borrowed by students – is Thursday, April 29.  All technology must be returned in person to the Library Circulation Desk.

IT must update software on all laptops before the technology will be redistributed to students for summer classes. 

Staff with borrowed technology due April 30 should contact the Circulation Desk at 616-234-3872 with any questions. 

During the last week of the semester, in addition to normal hours (M- Th 8-6), the Library will be open two extra days for returns:

  • Friday, April 30 from 8 AM – 3 PM.
  • Saturday, May 1 from 8 AM – 1 PM. 

All GRCC Library books are due on or before Wednesday, April 28 and can be returned either inside the Library or in the blue Book Return box located on the Ransom Avenue plaza.

For updates on library services, see the Virtual Services Subject Guide.

Tech Tips: GRCC Post-It Board

Did you know GRCC has a place where you can buy, sell, or trade with your fellow GRCC employees?

The GRCC Post-It Board is an online marketplace where you can also share information about events or ask for recommendations for services from the campus community.

Once you join the GRCC Post-It Board you’ll receive an email notification whenever a new post is made. 

To locate and join the GRCC Post-It Board, follow these steps.

  1. From your GRCC Email click the “waffle”  (located in the top right corner) then select “Currents”.
  2. Navigate to “All Posts” located in the middle left then click the green text reading GRCC Post-It Board.
  3. Lastly, click the “Join” button located in the middle left.

Congratulations! You’ve successfully joined the GRCC Post-It Board community!

For more information, please visit the IT Customer Support Portal or contact the IT Customer Support Desk at extension 4357.

If you have a suggestion or a Technology Tip you think can be useful, you can submit them by emailing

Learn how to “Recruit Your Barista”

Do you ever run into students in the outside world, but aren’t sure of how to promote GRCC to them?

Sign up for the GRCC employee learning opportunity – Recruit your Barista to get tips on how to inform anyone about the opportunities that GRCC can provide.

Join us on Monday April 26 from 3-4 p.m. on Zoom. Register via the Professional Development tile in your Online Center account.

Learn Google Sheets

Do you use Excel for Spreadsheets? Google Sheets is a great alternative to Excel, with the added benefit of easier team collaboration. Interested in learning more about Sheets?

We have a course for that! Sign up for Google Sheets 1.0 (Beginner) hosted by GRCC IT staff.

This course covers creating sheets, building content, some basic functions, charts/graphs and more!

Join in on April 22, from 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. 

Register via the Professional Development tile of your Online Center account.

GRCC basketball’s Shonyah Hawkins earns Player of the Year honors from MCCAA Western Conference

Shonyah Hawkins playing basketball.

Shonyah Hawkins brought energy and intensity to the Grand Rapids Community College women’s basketball team, earning Player of the Year honors from the Michigan Community College Athletic Association’s Western Conference.

Hawkins, a sophomore from Grand Rapids, earned All-Region, All MCCA honors along with teammate Jayla Bibbs, one of the best rebounders in the nation. They were among five members of the women’s team and three members of the men’s team earning honors announced Tuesday.

The women’s team is 12-2 on the season and is hoping to add some additional awards. The Raiders are headed to the National Junior College Athletic Association D2 National Tournament next week. It’s the team’s first appearance in the tournament since 1978.

“They’re all deserving of these honors. When they came together and played as a unit, they were tough to beat,” women’s basketball coach David Glazier said. “Shonyah is a very talented player, able to do so many things for us. She has tremendous energy and was a leader on the court.”

Bibbs, a sophomore from Buchanan, has 222 rebounds so far this season, fourth-best in the nation in D2. Her offensive boards total was second-best and her average of 15.9 rebounds per game was third-best in the nation.

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Student employee network access

Do you have student employee’s that report to you? If so, keep reading…

In an effort to better manage and secure our staff Campus Network rights, IT is now provisioning staff email and related network rights for student employees on a semester basis. 

To request staff email and additional network rights (S drive folder access, email groups, etc.) we ask that you submit one Network Access form each semester per student employee. Don’t worry, if you know the student employee’s end date and it is beyond one semester, you can indicate it on the request form and we’ll set the end of access date to what you specify. If no end date is specified, the student employee will lose access at the end of the current semester.

As a reminder, if you have a student employee leave their position, please inform IT at your earliest convenience so we can terminate their staff access.

If you have any questions, please contact IT at 234-4357.

Reminder: Math Awareness Month Contest ends April 16

For clarification in the Math Awareness Month Contest, LeBron also used Spock once. This could also be assumed from the given information in the contest. The following is an updated link to the contest.

April is Mathematics and Statistics Awareness Month and that means it is time for the Math Awareness Month Contest.

The contest is open to any GRCC student or staff member. Of all the correct entries, four will be randomly drawn to receive a prize.

Entry forms must be returned to Nancy Forrest at in the Math Department via your GRCC email by Friday, April 16, 2021.