Running in the Fifth Third Riverbank Run? Train With the Grand Rapids Running Club

While official training is well underway, the GRCC WE Team wanted to let everyone know about a great training opportunity.

The Grand Rapids Running Club, a volunteer organization whose goal is to promote fitness, is offering a free 5/3 River Bank Run mentor program. They also have weekly training runs with a group running at every pace. And you don’t have to be a member to come out and participate.
Check out their website for more information:

We know that the training season is much more fun with partners who can provide support/accountability and keep you motivated (especially during these long winter months). Good luck!

Watch GRCC Employee Luba Petrash Carve Ice Live

It is currently -22 degrees in Fairbanks, Alaska (and you thought we were having a cold spell here in GR) where GRCC employee and alumni of the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education Luba Petrash is competing at the World Ice Art Championships.  You have the opportunity to watch her work LIVE via this webcam (assuming it doesn’t ice over or get eaten by bears):

Live Stream of “Playing With Jacks”

No word yet on whether or not Luba can see Russia from the perch on the scaffolding.

New or Revised Policies Approved by Cabinet 2/22/11

New or Revised Policies approved by Cabinet 2/22/2011

1. Revised: Investment Policy

  • Updates employee titles.
  • Revises provisions to ensure consistency with legislated changes to the investment statute for Michigan community colleges, effective December of 2009.
  • Provides enhanced flexibility to:Allow the use of financial institutions outside Kent County;
    • Eliminate the requirement to obtain a minimum number of quotes for all investment purchases
    • Allow investment amounts to be based on payroll requirements, available rates and the security of principal.

2. New: Criminal History Check Policy

  • Codifies GRCC’s current practices regarding conducting criminal background checks for new employees and students entering health and education programs as well as the Police Academy.
  • Directs persons to websites where they can obtain more specific information pertaining to unique departmental criminal history screening procedures.

3. Revised: Purchasing Policy

  • Updates supplier non-discrimination clause to match GRCC EEO policy.
  • Modifies language to allow for advertisement /solicitation/acceptance of bids in appropriate media (online – e.g.
  • Adds $25 limit on personal gifts from suppliers.
  • Prohibits the use of College funds to purchase gifts and gift cards except for student incentives. The purchase of gift cards for student incentives requires EBCO approval.
  • Adopts Micro Local Business Enterprise bid discount to provide enhanced competitiveness for suppliers engaging certified MLBEs.
  • Adds language to allow bids to be postponed for extraordinary circumstances (e.g. – extreme weather)

GRCC in the News: 2/23/11

GRCC athletic director Doug Wabeke steps down to pursue outside interests in baseball
Published: Tuesday, February 22, 2011, 12:00 PM | Brian VanOchten | The Grand Rapids Press

GRAND RAPIDS — Doug Wabeke is planning a return to baseball. The long-time Grand Rapids Community College athletic director and baseball coach has submitted his resignation as AD, effective at the end of April, to pursue outside interests as a baseball administrator or coach. (More)

Soaring employee costs could force steep tuition increase, GRCC leaders say
Published: Tuesday, February 22, 2011, 4:06 PM | Dave Murray | The Grand Rapids Press

GRAND RAPIDS – Grand Rapids Community College leaders said soaring health care and pension costs might force them to raise tuition significantly – or find other places to cut. (More)

GRCC trustee says he won’t support a budget until funding of Actors Theater, other groups is discussed
Published: Tuesday, February 22, 2011, 3:39 PM | Dave Murray | The Grand Rapids Press

GRAND RAPIDS – A Grand Rapids Community College trustee said he’s not voting in favor of a budget until he’s had a chance to air concerns about funding programs he believes contain performances of “evil things.”  (More)

Grand Rapids Sled Wings dominate Griffins in annual charity exhibition
Published: Wednesday, February 23, 2011, 9:00 AM | Michael Zuidema | The Grand Rapids Press

GRAND RAPIDS — The Grand Rapids Griffins’ largest margin of defeat all-time is seven goals, and the franchise record for most goals against is 10. [… Tyler] Anderson, 20, a student at Grand Rapids Community College, scored two goals and even engaged in a “slap fight” with Griffins defenseman Greg Amadio. (More)

‘Mercenary’ chef wins $2,000 in Rick DeVos’ 5×5 Night
Published: Tuesday, February 22, 2011, 7:48 PM | Garret Ellison | The Grand Rapids Press

GRAND RAPIDS — Brian Gerrity refers to himself as a “mercenary” chef because he feels like that’s a little more uplifting than calling himself unemployed. […] Each of the other candidates received $750 to help implement their ideas. They are: [… GRCC Alumni] Perian Olson – Fashionation clothing design school. (More)

Former East Kentwood classmates are stunned that homecoming king Robert Lee Gaines is accused killer
Published: Wednesday, February 23, 2011, 6:00 AM | John Tunison | The Grand Rapids Press

GRAND RAPIDS — In the fall of 1992 at East Kentwood High School, Robert Lee Gaines was a standout football player and homecoming king. […] After graduating from East Kentwood in 1993, Gaines attended Grand Rapids Community College for a period and then Delta State University in Mississippi, the father said. (More)

Demar Dorsey enrolls at Grand Rapids Community College
Posted on February 15, 2011 by Champion of the East

I know this has been out for a while but wanted to wait and say something about it, not just post. I really hope this is a sign that he wants to turn his life around. He could have easily found a Community College to attend in his home state of Florida but decided instead to head up to Grand Rapids. (More)

Expert on Difficult/Disruptive Behavior Brett A. Sokolow on Campus – Employee Learning Opportunities Available

Next week Wednesday Student Affairs will host a visit from a national speaker to discuss difficult and disruptive student behaviors. Please join us at the following sessions:

Wednesday, March 2 | Multi-purpose Room, SCC | Brett Sokolow, J.D.

  • 8:15-9:45 Preventing difficult situations and responding to difficult people (designed for Staff)
    This workshop is a discussion of best practices for managing a wide range of disruptive behavior. Should you confront it? Where? When? How do you confront it? Should police be called? The counseling center? What if I am the target of a threat or retaliation? [More Information]
  • 1:30-3:00 Preventing and responding to disruptive students in and out of the classroom (designed for faculty)
    Over the last ten years, there has been an increase in the number and severity of behavioral incidents in the classrooms and on campus. More and more, it is incumbent upon instructors to intervene in the classroom to address behaviors that can interfere with teaching and learning. Using a combination of lecture and case studies taken from actual incidents, this workshop will provide instructors with tools to appropriately address these behaviors. Participants will be provided with skills to prevent disruptive behaviors, to react to them, and tips on how to enhance their own campus procedures to address abhorrent behaviors. [More Information]

Congratulations to Online/Hybrid Certified Faculty

Congratulations to our faculty members who have completed GRCC’s Online/Hybrid Certification Course:

  • Cora Beute
  • Lori DeBie
  • Yolanda Duncan
  • Brandan Grinwis
  • Winona Hartney
  • Brian Herrema
  • Terry Simmons
  • Jonathan Snedeker

This five-week course is offered by Distance Learning and Instructional Technologies.  Upcoming offerings:

  • March 18 – April 24, 2011
  • May 6 – June 20, 2011
  • July 15 – August 7, 2011
  • October 14 – November 20, 2011

Register Here.   Syllabus may be reviewed at

For more information, contact The Center for Teaching Excellence (616) 234-2278,

College Channel Special Programming: 2/21/11 – 3/11/11

The new special programming listings for GRCC’s College Channel are now available. Included is the latest Diversity Lecture Series speaker and Diversity Conversation, the GRCC Board of Trustees Meeting, brand new World Affairs Council speakers, GRCC Root Camp presentations along with some great speakers from Aquinas College. To wit, here’s the World Affairs Council Great Decisions 2011 lecture “Germany Rising” featuring Gunther M. Hega:

As always you can find most programming on our Youtube channel at and all of our programming can be seen streamed live at

Memorial Service for Bobbi Schrader

Long time employee of GRCC Bobbi Schrader passed away recently.  She retired as Dean of, the School of Mathematics, Natural Science, Health & Wellness – but in years  prior she was the Program Director for Nursing along with an active member of Faculty Association.

A memorial service  will be held on Saturday, February 26, 11:00 a.m. at the funeral home with Rev. Thomas Zollman officiating.  Friends may meet the family at the funeral home on Saturday, February 26 at 10:00 a.m. until the time of the service. Read her full obituary here.

Photos and Video: Senator Carl Levin Speaking to World Affairs Council of Western Michigan


Yesterday, Michigan’s Senator Carl Levin spoke on campus at an event organized by the World Affairs Council of Western Michigan about US foreign policy in Afghanistan.  The packed room at Sneden Hall included a class taught by former Michigan State Representative Michael Sak, whose students had the opportunity to interact with Senator Levin and even pose a question during the interactive portion of the lecture.


View a full gallery of photos here.  The entire program is also available on Youtube (embedded below).

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GRCC in the News: 2/22/11

Sen. Carl Levin speaks at GRCC
WZZM | Written by Chris Zoladz | February 21, 2011

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) – Michigan Senator, Carl Levin, says there are signs of significant progress in the war effort in Afghanistan. The democrat visited Grand Rapids Community College Monday to share his findings with the World Affairs Council. (More)

U.S. Sen. Carl Levin speaks to Grand Rapids audience on Afghan issues
Published: Monday, February 21, 2011, 2:51 PM | Jeff Cranson | The Grand Rapids Press

GRAND RAPIDS — U.S. Sen. Carl Levin today reaffirmed his belief there is progress in Afghanistan and said President Obama’s decision to set a timeline for U.S. troop withdrawal has motivated the Afghan military. (More)

The Job Hunt: Retraining
WZZM | Written by Peter Ross | February 21, 2011

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) – Many people looking for work never expected they would ever have to, like Suzanne Currier of Ionia. […] Bob Nagel is taking building construction classes at Grand Rapids Community College. The government is paying for them through the Trade Readjustment Act, since his long-time job at Wolverine was moved out of the country. (More)

GRCC men lose to Lansing CC in Kelly McEwen’s final home game as Raiders coach
Published: Monday, February 21, 2011, 11:55 PM | Brian VanOchten | The Grand Rapids Press

GRAND RAPIDS — In 37 years as a basketball coach at the high school, college and professional levels in West Michigan, Kelly McEwen prided himself on being a teacher of the game first and foremost. (More)

Go Luba! World Ice Art Championships Feb 22-March 27

GRCC Employee and Secchia Institute Alum Luba Petrash Competing at Ice Carving CompetitionLuba Petrash, GRCC’s Banquet Chef and culinary program ice-carving instructor, will be heading to both the National Ice Carving Championships and the World Ice Art Championships in Fairbanks Alaska, which features ice artists from around the world Feb. 22 through March 27. She’s teaming up with Steve Kosch, a former SICE student.

If you haven’t heard of these renowned competitions, you need to hear about “The Arctic Diamond.”

Petrash explains that in a typical ice carving contest, the competitors work on a 40 inch x 20 inch x 10 inch block of ice. But in Alaska, teams of two develop their creations using one block of ice measuring 5 feet x 8 feet x 3 feet and weighing 7,200 pounds. Volunteers are busy months in advance farming, cutting and stockpiling the high grade, blue-hued ice, unique to Fairbanks waters, and dubbed “The Arctic Diamond.”

The Importance of Mental Health Awareness

Mental Health Awareness in the African-American CommunityFebruary 22, 2011 at 6:00 p.m. in the ATC Auditorium (Room 168), the Black Student Union will present a program about the issue of mental health awareness and its impact on the African-American community.

The lack of knowledge and education surrounding mental health can often keep a person bound. This community event will explore mental processes, emotional intelligence, stress management, coping and suicide prevention and awareness. The lack of acknowledgement, education and dialogue around mental health in the African American community has done more harm than good, and has touched more homes than we care to admit. Get educated, and be equipped! Post Reception to follow.

Thanks to Network 180 & the Mental Health Parity Discussion Group for their collaboration!