GRCC Secchia Institute Alumni / Supporters Randy Finch and Derek Maxfield Shooting Food Network Pilot

Randy Finch and Derek Maxfield of the Ice Gurus, Inc. are working on a pilot for the Food Network about the amazing and surreal world of professional ice carving.

Derek is an Alumnus of GRCC’s Secchia Institute for Culinary Education and both he and Randy are assisting the US World Pastry Cup Team (La Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie) with training and consulting with the team members as they prepare to compete January 2011 in Lyon, France.  As you’ll recall, GRCC’s Chef Gilles Renusson heads up the team and GRCC had the honor of hosting the tryouts earlier this year (for more photos from the tryouts, click here).

They also regularly provide invaluable access for GRCC students to their craft by giving them hands-on experience.  As if they weren’t busy enough, they’re also entering ArtPrize this year and shot this hilarious video to show off their work:

They were kind enough to let Derek DeVries of GRCC’s Communications Department behind the scenes at their Grand Rapids facilities to see the amazing work under construction (see photos).

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

For a slideshow of Derek in action at ArtPrize doing ice carving demos, click here.

Happy Social Media Day: Connect With GRCC

Social Media Day

June 30th was established as “Social Media Day” – a way to (as puts it) “celebrate the revolution of media becoming social.” There are a variety of meetups/tweetups going on throughout the day in West Michigan to commemorate it and connect the analog world with the digital.

GRCC and many of its employees are out on the web connecting one-on-one with students and the greater West Michigan community.  Find them with our Social Media Directory at (if you’re a GRCC employee or department with a social media presence – or several – add yourself at

GRCC Social Media Directory

GRCC in the News: 6/30/10

Food Network producing TV pilot with Grand Rapids’ ‘Ice Gurus’
Published: Monday, June 28, 2010, 8:00 PM | Andrew Scoggin

GRAND RAPIDS – When it comes to being on TV, the blood in Randy Finch’s veins runs about as cold as the freezer at his business, Ice Sculptures Ltd. […] Now the Grand Rapids business, which Finch owns with [Grand Rapids Community College Secchia Institute alumnus] Derek Maxfield, will get their own half-hour special on the Food Network.  (More)

No Worker Left Behind faces funding issues
WWMT | June 29, 2010 9:50 PM

MICHIGAN (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – In Washington DC, the House of Representatives has turned down the latest attempt to extend unemployment benefits, and now thousands in Michigan will feel the pain. […] At Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) many students make use of No Worker Left Behind. The program offers up to $5,000 in tuition assistance a year for two years. The program does specify that those involved must go into certain fields, but for those who’ve been using it, it’s been a life saver. Mindy Stickley is one of those using the program.  (More)

Photo: GRCC Fitness Team Competes in Final Race of “Triple Crown Series”

GRCC Runners Reeds Lake 2010

The GRCC Fitness Team finished in 8th place at the Reeds Lake Run, the last of the Triple Crown Series of races. Runners that scored points for the team were Mike Dopke (Lisa’s husband), Gretchen Robinson, Bill Faber, Sue Hill, and Alejandro Saldivar. Also running in the 5K were Jim Fox, Angela Faber (Bill’s wife), Mike Schavey, Lisa Dopke, and Elly Bainbridge. We also had Fitness Team Stars in the 10K: Mike Dopke, Whitney Johnson, and Lori Cook. Results can be seen at

The Triple Crown Series is a competition among local businesses that compete in three 5K races. GRCC finished 8th overall out of 39 teams in Division I (500+ employees). Scoring is based on your place in your gender and age group. Only the top five runners score points. The rest of us run or walk for fitness and fun. This year, we had 18 people who participated, including our own president, Steve “Speed” Ender. Please contact Jim Fox in Human Resources if you are interested in participating next year.

Thanks, Kudos and a Salute to Bob Thorpe

This heads-up and Raider Salute comes from Dan Cook in the IT department:

“If you see Bob Thorpe today, join the IT department in thanking him for his work over the last three years.  You may see him from time to time over the summer to help out with special projects, but he is headed south for retirement come winter.  To ensure we can continue to meet your cabling and phone needs in a timely manner, please remember to alert ITHELP to any service requests as far in advance as possible.

GRCC’s Keller Future Center Featured on “LjjSpeaks: Less Stress More Success” Podcast

GRCC’s Interim Communication Director Lynne Jarman-Johnson is featured Mondays from 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. on “LjjSpeaks: Less Stress More Success” on WJRW AM1340.

Click here to listen to this week’s episode, which features interviews with the people involved in the Keller Future Center Urban Farming Project.

Upward Bound Partners with GRCC Departments for Career Exploration

Upward Bound Students Explore CAD

The 2010 Upward Bound summer program is underway and this year is partnering with GRCC departments to open up career exploration with our UB scholars. Upward Bound works with high school students from Ottawa Hills and Creston High Schools, offering a 6-week residential summer program for 10-12th grade students. In addition to the career exploration opportunities all students take summer classes in English, math, science and various labs. At the completion of the 6-week program, students may earn the opportunity to take a week long educational trip to Boston, MA.

Following is a list of departments UB is partnering with this summer. The partnership includes a tour of the department, an introduction to the academic requirements of each career field, as well as a look into the actual career experience via hands on activity.

  • Creative Dining – David Lincoln | David visited the UB program for an “Etiquette Dinner.” Students learned the proper way to communicate and eat in a formal dinner setting.
  • Performing and Visual Arts – Tim Heldt | Students were able to work with this department to become more experienced in the field of music production.
  • Technology (Mechanical & Architectural Design) – Tom Boersma | With the help of the Computer Aided Design (CAD) software and technology, students were able to design houses. (see picture)
  • Radiology Tech – Deb Nordman | With the help of this department, students will be given an x-ray demonstration and will learn how to read x-rays.
  • Dentistry – Eve Sidney | Students will learn the chemical compounds used in dental hygiene and will have the opportunity to make impressions and molds used in dentistry.
  • Counseling and Career Center | This department will help Upward Bound students by teaching some of the workshops they offer GRCC students during the school year including Effective Note Taking, Coping Strategies, and Test Taking/Anxiety.

Partnerships with Community Organizations

  • Lake Michigan Credit Union | In UB’s second year of partnering with LMCU, the credit union has helped the program create and maintain a “token economy system” where students can earn Raider Bucks throughout the summer by displaying good character and academic achievement. These “Bucks” can be used in the student run “dorm store” as well as being used to purchase involvement in outside activities and the end of the year trip. LMCU also trains select students on how to work as a teller, allowing the rest of the program students to deposit their Raider Bucks into a type of savings account each week. This year, LMCU is also offering a tour of their corporate headquarters and will educate our UB scholars regarding the various career pathways associated with the banking industry.
  • AmeriCorps VISTA |  Starting with the 2010 school year, UB will be hiring a VISTA (Volunteers In Service to America) worker within the department. This worker will help the UB Program:

    – Develop collaborative relationships with other community organizations
    – Plan and Implement activities that will develop leadership qualities in UB students through service learning
    – Organize UB parents by furthering the efforts of the Parent Advisory Council’s (PAC) activities and mission

Phone System Testing Today

GRCC is working with CBI Telecommunications Consultants to help identify some of the various phone lines that the college owns. They will be placing test calls to various numbers today (6/29/10), most of which are fax machines, alarm circuits etc. They will not be dialing any phones in the 234- exchange, so offices and classrooms should not be affected. If you do receive a test call, the caller will identify herself as being from CBI.

College Channel Special Programming: 6/28/10-7/11/10

The latest listings for GRCC’s college channel TV programming are up on  The new slate includes the entire Collegiate Network’s 3rd Annual Summer Summit, a brand new Lunch & Learn titled, “Canning Foods” (embedded below) along with many other programs recorded around the area. As always most programs are on our Youtube channel at

GRCC in the News: 6/29/10

Should lawmakers get involved to lower textbook costs?
Published: Monday, June 28, 2010, 3:42 PM | Dave Murray | The Grand Rapids Press

Should state lawmakers get involved in picking college textbooks to drive down costs? Book costs seem to be upsetting a lot of folks since they’re bubbling up as an issue here and in other states as well. […] Even used editions of books easily cost more than $100 each, which is more than a credit hour at Grand Rapids Community College.  (More)

Youths turn out for free Tony Annese football camp; future numbers expected to increase
Published: Monday, June 28, 2010, 9:00 AM | Jeff Chaney | The Grand Rapids Press

GRAND RAPIDS — Matthew Wagner and Keegan Kresnak had no problem waking up early Sunday morning for some football. The two 11-year-olds had to be at MVP Fieldhouse by 9 a.m. to take part in the inaugural Tony Annese Free Football Camp. Annese, the Grand Rapids Community College head coach, offered three free sessions of drills and learning for campers in grades 4-12.  (More)

GRCC Upward Bound Fundraiser Event at Woody’s Press Box 7/3/10

GRCC’s Upward Bound program will be holding a fundraiser on Saturday, July 3rd from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. at Woody’s Press Box (located at 5656 Clyde Park Ave. in Wyoming, MI).

Some of the other local events associated with the third annual Mirror Image “Help Us Help Others” event are one dollar bowling for everyone, a classic car show competition, inflatable bounce houses for children, and a great DJ!

“Never Give Up” Scholarship Winners *Date Corrected

The West Side Learning Corner would like to congratulate their incredible staff Sabra Kinsley (Professional Tutor) and Jackie Villegas (Data Entry) for winning the Mary J. Szczepanski “Never Give Up” MS Scholarship.

Scholarships will be awarded at the 3rd Annual Miniature Golf Event for MS on Saturday, August 14th, 2010 (date corrected). Please contact Rick Szczepanski at for more information about the scholarship or event.