GRCC in the News: 1/29/11-1/31/11

Giant Awards 2011: T.A. El-Amin, Phyllis Scott Activist Award
Published: Sunday, January 30, 2011, 5:00 AM | Steve Kaminski | The Grand Rapids Press

T.A. El-Amin has taught at Grand Valley, Davenport and Grand Rapids Community College, was the President’s Club Sales Manager at Ameritech Advertising Services. He also has served in a volunteer role with the Kent, Kalamazoo, Muskegon Michigan National Black Nurses Association and managed five health clinics in low-income neighborhoods.  (More)

Giant Awards 2011: Ursula and Randall Sandifer, of Sandmann’s, Milo Brown Business Award
Published: Sunday, January 30, 2011, 5:00 AM | Steve Kaminski | The Grand Rapids Press

The Sandifers have been operating Sandmann’s, 1200 Wealthy St. SE, since 2000. The restaurant, which specializes in ribs, has been voted Best BBQ by On The Town magazine. […] Doing that seems to come easy for the 12 African-Americans who received the award Saturday at the annual Giants awards banquet. The honorees were selected by representatives from Grand Rapids Community College and the community.  (More)

Muskegon Community College initiative aims to cut dropout rates, improve student success
Published: Sunday, January 30, 2011, 6:11 AM | Brian McVicar | The Muskegon Chronicle

MUSKEGON — Enrollment at Muskegon Community College boomed last decade as Michigan’s economy tanked and more people recognized that a college degree often is needed to land a good job. […] Part of the Achieving the Dream initiative involves coordination among the 130 community colleges across the nation participating in the effort. In Michigan, there are 17 schools participating, including Grand Rapids Community College, Lansing Community College, Jackson Community College, and the Wayne County Community College District.  (More)

Gabe Rivera’s second-half surge leads GRCC men past Lake Michigan College
Published: Friday, January 28, 2011, 11:45 PM | Brian VanOchten | The Grand Rapids Press

GRAND RAPIDS — Upon graduating from Ludington High School, two-sport standout Gabe Rivera enrolled at Grand Rapids Community College because he still planned to pursue both football and basketball.  (More)

GLIAC college basketball crowds dwindle between men’s and women’s games
Published: Friday, January 28, 2011, 11:30 AM | Brian VanOchten | The Grand Rapids Press

It isn’t just the crowds at local high school basketball doubleheaders that are scattering at the conclusion of the boys’ games and not bothering to stick around for the girls’ contests due to changing the game times. […] Grand Rapids Community College has felt no pressure to change. GRCC athletic director Doug Wabeke continues to schedule the women first and men second because it’s a format that seems to work for participants and spectators alike.  (More)

Couple who met at GRCC library eight years ago have an unusual wedding
Published: Saturday, January 29, 2011, 3:45 PM | Kaitlin Shawgo | The Grand Rapids Press

GRAND RAPIDS – With 10 pages left to go in the book she was reading, Grand Rapids Community College library assistant Christine Marfia had no time for a young tutor who walked up to her desk and asked if she’d like a cup of coffee.  (More)

Longtime Grand Rapids educator Reuben Smartt wins the 2011 Giant Among Giants award
Published: Saturday, January 29, 2011, 10:45 PM | Paul R. Kopenkoskey | The Grand Rapids Press

GRAND RAPIDS — Reuben Smartt is known in educational circles as the traveling disciple. His wayfaring ways have made it possible for hundreds of children in Grand Rapids to build a better future.  (More)

GRCC Receives $20 Million to Train West Michigan Workers
January 27, 2011 by Colin Hoogerwerf

Grand Rapids Community College is partnering with LG Chem as part of a Michigan New Jobs Training Program that offers $20 Million to train potential battery plant employees.  (More)

Be A Steward of Our Planet And Save GRCC Some Green

Think about how many times you have gone to a meeting or a conference on GRCC business, only to arrive and realize someone else from GRCC is there, too!

On our GroupWise Post-It board you will now find an entry called Ride Share. If you are traveling to a meeting, just post where and when you are going so others can contact you about riding. The names of interested riders would come directly to you so you can make all decisions.
Earn $5.00! When you post and find at least one rider, email Sara Yob at , give her your name, the name of the person riding along and where you went, and we’ll forward you a 5 dollar bill! You can do this up to three times.

The $5 incentive is funded by the team’s 1st round prize money ($100) and will expire when we give you all of the money! The second round, and this test run, end on March 1.

This effort is a “proof of concept” trial for GRCC’s Innovation Challenge team focused on reducing reimbursable mileage, so that that money can be transferred to student-oriented programs here at GRCC. Here’s an example of how easy the savings could be accrued: Just two people sharing one round trip to Cadillac, approx. 190 miles, would save about $100 and 200 lbs of CO2.

This pilot program is part of the innovation challenge, and now you are being challenged to participate!

Video: GRCC Spirit Award Presented

On Thursday, January 27, Shanna Goff, Mathematics Faculty, was presented with the January GRCC Spirit Award while teaching a class. Here is a quote from her nomination form:

“Shanna has completed her Kellogg Certification in Developmental Education and has supplemented her professional development with on-going research in the field of developmental education and mathematics. She has designed an innovative developmental math program through a Structured Learning Assistance approach. Shanna also frames her teaching around an action research model utilizing journals and feedback from her students. Shanna devotes enormous energy to her students and their learning, making sure that each student has the optimal opportunity to succeed.”

Watch Shanna’s surprise here.

GRCC in the News: 1/28/11

Advanced battery maker will pay to train thousands at Grand Rapids Community College
By Lindsey Smith | News for Michigan | Michigan Radio

Construction is underway on a huge plant in Holland that will eventually produce hundreds of thousands of battery packs for electric vehicles, including the Chevy Volt. Under a new agreement signed this week, Grand Rapids Community College will help train potential employees for the company, LG Chem.  (More)

Rob Bliss responds to Newsweek, announces plans for a major spring event
Published: Thursday, January 27, 2011, 12:02 PM | Rachael Recker | The Grand Rapids Press

GRAND RAPIDS – Rob Bliss, coordinator of flash mob-like community events that attract thousands to the downtown area, was more than a little perplexed at Newsweek’s recent judgment of Grand Rapids as the nation’s 10th-most “dying” city.  (More)

Faculty Professional Development Opportunities 2/2/11-2/11/11

The Center for Teaching Excellence is pleased to offer a variety of professional development opportunities for faculty. All courses are open to any full- or part-time GRCC Faculty member. Visit to register for these opportunities and view upcoming events.

Blackboard Mashups | Wednesday, 2/2 2:00 – 3:00 PM 351 Main Building
Many of today’s learners are fluent in social media, producing and sharing audio, video and images. Blackboard 9.1 introduces an easy way for faculty to incorporate YouTube, Flickr, NBC Content and Wimba Voice Authoring, Social Bookmarking and Slideshare presentations into their course.You will learn to Embed YouTube, Slideshare and NBC videos into Blackboard. Share images in Blackboard via Flickr. Enhance text-based online courses with audio content from Wimba Voice Authoring. Facilitate social sharing of bookmarks through Scholar. Prerequisite: Blackboard Basics for Faculty.

Academic Advising for Faculty | Friday, 2/4 1:00 – 2:00 PM 316 Main Building OR Friday, 2/11 9:00 – 10:00 AM 316 Main Building
Facilitator: Stacey Heisler
This session will provide an overview to the Faculty Guide for Student Advising to include MACRAO and the Transfer Guide. Faculty will gain a deeper understanding of MACRAO at GRCC and how students can benefit from fulfilling the MACRAO agreement prior to transfer to another college or university. In addition, faculty will be provided with an overview to the Transfer Guide and its use in advising transfer students.Audience: This learning session is offered to all full-time faculty. Adjunct faculty are welcome, however there is no contractual requirement for adjunct faculty to advise students.

Blackboard Basics for Faculty Online | Online Throughout February
This is a quick start session designed to get you on board with Blackboard fast. This training highlights the following:Learn the basics of Blackboard.Reduce the time it takes to place materials on the Web.Increase student access to materials, assessments, and grades. Discover a new way to leverage web-based technology in teaching and learning.Learning Objectives: Identify capabilities of Bb. Review basics of using the control panel. Review and apply the steps required to create announcements, upload items and create folders. Review and apply the steps required to create announcements. Review and apply the steps required to upload items. Review and apply the steps required to create folders. Review and apply the steps required to create Gradebook items. Explore best practices and discuss how Bb can be used in teaching, learning, and community building. Investigate support resources available. Evaluate effectiveness of using Bb in teaching, learning and community building.

This course is now available in an open entry/open exit format. Simply register for the current month’s session and we will contact you with your course information.

We are always happy to provide more information, accept feedback and provide registration assistance.

Contact: Center for Teaching Excellence |

HVAC Students tour GRCC Boiler Plant

GRCC Students Tour Boiler Plant 1

Have you ever wondered where the heat comes from that warms your classroom? Don Steeby’s HVAC students got the chance to find out when they toured the GRCC Central Boiler Plant last Tuesday. Steve Schueller with Facilities Maintenance hosted the tour and explained how three jumbo boilers generate enough steam to heat the entire main campus.

These boilers can produce a total of over 51 million BTU’s of steam that travels through over six miles of underground piping to reach every building. Students in ER-135 (Heating Theory) apply the practices they learn in class to repair and maintain heating equipment such as residential and commercial furnaces and boilers.

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Campus Wide Information System (CWIS) is being Upgraded This Semester

The Campus Wide Information System (CWIS), i.e. PeopleSoft, is being upgraded this academic year. Leaders of the Upgrade Team include Peggy Gorno, David Anderson, and Jody Graves. It is important that employees who regularly use the CWIS as part of their work pay attention to communications about the upgrade process. Please contact Peggy, David, or Jody if you have questions about the upgrade.

Important dates in the upgrade timeline include:

  • Now through April, 2011: New System Available for End User Testing
  • Mid-March through early-April 2011: End User Training (watch GRCC Today for announcements)
  • Go Live: April 14 – April 18

Upgrading the CWIS involves taking data from our current system and putting it in the new system and doing extensive testing. The new systems will include many enhancements, such as:

  • Improved menus and navigation
  • Enhanced Features for Academic Advising and Degree Audit
  • Added flexibility for Transcript Design, Class Permissions, and Service Indicators
  • The capability to identify sets of individual or organizational IDs and use the results within other applications through the new Population Selection process
  • Connected Query for joining or nesting multiple queries

If you are unfamiliar with wide range of uses of the CWIS at GRCC, a video explaining many of its functions can be viewed here.

Photos: GRCC Family Bowling Outing

GRCC Family Bowling Outing 1/22/11

On Saturday, January 22 Employee Professional Development & Enrichment and the WE Team hosted 70+ GRCC employees and their families to three hours of unlimited bowling and all the pizza and pop they could hold at Spectrum Lanes.

Here’s a quote from one of the attendees: “I just wanted to let you know that my family and I had a GREAT time at the bowling event this weekend! My 4 year-old actually had 2 strikes in her first game ever (and she ended up beating my score for the game as well). The pizza and pop were great and Spectrum lanes had a very nice facility.”

See all the smiling faces:

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29th Annual Giants Award & Banquet (1/29/11)

Since 1983, thirteen African American individuals and/or organizations are recognized for their exceptional contributions shaping the history and quality of life of greater Grand Rapids. Please join us as we honor and celebrate the notable contributions of these individuals.

Saturday, January 29, 2011 | DeVos Place | Steelcase Ballroom (303 Monroe Avenue NW) | Grand Rapids, Michigan 49503

Social Gathering 6:00 p.m., Dinner 6:30 p.m., Program 7:15 p.m.

For tickets, please call Grand Rapids Community College Bob and Aleicia Woodrick Diversity Learning Center (616) 234-3390
For nomination additional information please visit:

2011 Giants Award Recipients:

  • Floyd Skinner Justice | Stacy McGinnis
  • Walter Coe Public Service | Larry Barnes
  • Eugene Browning Medical | Ludie Weddle
  • W.W. Plummer Humanitarian | Rev. Tony Campbell
  • Ethel Coe Humanities | Melita Travis Johnson
  • Milo Brown Business | Sandmann’s
  • Phyllis Scott Activist | T.A. El-Amin
  • William Glenn Trailblazer | Ron Snead
  • Raymond Tardy Community Service | United Methodist Community House
  • H.C. Toliver Religious Life | The Sensational Gospel Tones
  • Hattie Beverly Education | Donna Poag
  • Martha Reynolds Labor | Essie Bunn
  • Giant Among Giants | To Be Determined