GRCC in the News – 5/28/11-5/31/11

Frey Foundation donates $750,000 to Grand Rapids Community College renovation efforts
Published: Monday, May 30, 2011, 11:50 AM | Dave Murray | The Grand Rapids Press

GRAND RAPIDS – The Frey Foundation is bringing Grand Rapids Community College $750,000 closer to its $15 million capital campaign goal with a donation this month.  (More)

Roger Ebert calls Rob Bliss’ Grand Rapids lip dub video ‘the greatest music video ever made’
Published: Monday, May 30, 2011, 2:40 PM | Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk | The GR Press

GRAND RAPIDS – Plenty of naysayers have called Rob Bliss’ Grand Rapids Lip Dub video of Don McLean’s “American Pie” lame, boring and hardly worth the time or effort.  Roger Ebert, film critic for the Chicago Sun-Times, isn’t one of them.  (More)

Juan Olivarez, bound to lead Aquinas College, but proud of his Kalamazoo Community Foundation tenure
Published: Sunday, May 29, 2011, 10:00 AM | Chris Fusciardi | Kalamazoo Gazette

KALAMAZOO — When he took over the reins as president and chief executive officer of the Kalamazoo Community Foundation in July 2008, Juan Olivarez joined the organization in the middle of an economic downturn.  (More)

Zeeland senior overcomes rough start, finds calling
By GARY BROWER | The Holland Sentinel | Posted May 28, 2011 @ 08:51 PM

Holland, MI —  Four years ago, Sammy Meengs was drowning in a sea of bad decisions.  She was in and out of trouble, school had no significance and she was clueless as to what she wanted to do with her life. […] Now Meengs plans to make early childhood education her career. She is enrolled at Grand Rapids Community College in the fall and plans to finish her undergraduate education at Central Michigan University.  (More)

ACLU-Michigan seeks ICE records on illegal detention of U.S.citizen
Arab American News | Saturday, 05.28.2011, 02:56pm

In February, Telma Valdez, who has lived in the United States for almost 22 years, and her son, Luis Valdez, a college student at Grand Rapids Community College who was born in the U.S., drove to the home of relatives to allow their 6-year-old cousin to play with Luis’s new puppy.   (More)

‘Inside Edition’ gives Rob Bliss’ Lip Dub Video great coverage Friday on national TV
Published: Saturday, May 28, 2011, 6:30 AM | Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk | The GR Press

GRAND RAPIDS – “Inside Edition” the nightly news magazine seen Monday through Friday, aired a segment Friday evening on Rob Bliss’ Grand Rapids Lip Dub Video.  (More)

T.J. Carnegie replaces Kelly McEwen as GRCC’s men’s basketball coach
Published: Friday, May 27, 2011, 12:30 PM | Dean Holzwarth | The Grand Rapids Press

Grand Rapids Community College has found a new head men’s basketball coach.  T.J. Carnegie was named as the Raiders’ new coach on Thursday and replaces former coach Kelly McEwen, who resigned at the end of last season.  (More)

Rob Bliss’ ‘American Pie’ lip dub video sparks Newsweek’s source to explain its ‘dying city’ designation for Grand Rapids
Published: Friday, May 27, 2011, 12:30 PM | Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk | The GR Press

GRAND RAPIDS – Rob Bliss’ lip dub video inspired Newsweek magazine yesterday to back away from dubbing Grand Rapids as a dying city in January.  (More)

Newsweek responds to GR lip dub – Regarding “dying city” article
Friday, 27 May 2011, 10:03 AM EDT

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – A magazine that had an article calling Grand Rapids a “top 10 dying city” is now responding to the city’s response of a lip dub.  (More)

New Scrutiny on Expense Accounts
May 27, 2011 | Inside Higher Ed

Two community college presidents have come under fire in recent weeks for their expense account spending, which some critics argue is too generous given the cutbacks their institutions are being forced to make in this rough economy.  Among the expenses – dinners at Ruth’s Chris and booze for social gatherings – wouldn’t raise many eyebrows if they were on the expense reports of many four-year college presidents, where boards and (sometimes grudgingly) politicians have come to expect donors to be entertained. […] Others were particularly critical of one of [Kenneth] Ender’s purchases: $450 worth of alcohol for a party at the president’s house after “The Twin Bowl,” a football game between Harper and Grand Rapids Community College, of which Ender’s twin brother Steven is president.  (More)

Reminder: Net-Zero Energy Home Open House Today

The Job Training Residential Construction class invites you to an open house at 335 Fryling, to see one of the only “Net-zero energy” homes in the state and meet the students who have been working on it TODAY from 2-4 p.m. The home features passive solar heating and hot water, thermal mass, a wind turbine and “a tight envelope” with natural ventilation. The class worked in partnership with the FSU Energy Center, GRPS Academy of Design and Construction, and Habitat for Humanity.

There will be snacks and refreshments. Fryling Street is East of Division off of Wealthy in downtown Grand Rapids – just East of a small strip mall. Parking on the street may be scarce, look for alternate parking behind the strip mall. See you there!

Tickets for Family Picnic Available Now

Get your tickets NOW…

…to the GRCC Family Picnic Saturday, June 18 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the GRCC Practice Football Field (corner of Lyon & Barclay). The WE Team is hosting a picnic for GRCC employees, retirees and their families — this includes the grandkids. There will be games like tug-o-war (women vs. men; kids 12 & under), 3 legged races (adult & kid; couples), 50 yard dash (by grade level), bean bag toss for the little kids and others with prizes.

Tickets are $2 per person. Your ticket gets you a hot dog, bag of chips, a beverage and watermelon. You can also bring food — nothing needing grilling — for your own family, if you like. Hot dogs, etc. will be served from noon to 1 p.m.

Tickets purchasing deadline is June 8 — sorry, no tickets will be sold at the picnic.

See one of the following folks for tickets:
Tracy Payne — 4th floor CPPB
Alyce Stark — ATC
Janis Qualls — Calkins Science Bldg
Debbie DeWent — Provost’s Office
Stacey Herrick — 418 Cook Hall
Carol Kramer — Facilities Office
Tammy Mosley — Tassell M-TEC
Employee Professional Development & Enrichment – Room 100A Administration Bldg – DeVos Campus

Questions? Contact Liz Timmer, Bob Lacy, Mike Faber, Bertha Chivis or Chiquital Clay

GRCC in the News – 5/27/11

Rockford’s Tyler Hall hits for cycle in Central Michigan’s win in MAC tournament
Published: Thursday, May 26, 2011, 9:30 PM | Jeff Chaney | The Grand Rapids Press

Former Rockford High School and Grand Rapids Community College standout Tyler Hall helped the Central Michigan baseball team stay alive in the Mid-American Conference tournament Thursday in Chillicothe, Ohio, by hitting for the cycle.  (More)

Newsweek tells Grand Rapids on its Facebook page: We love Rob Bliss Lip Dub Video, now let’s have a truce
Published: Friday, May 27, 2011, 2:55 AM | Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk | The GR Press

GRAND RAPIDS — Newsweek magazine, which declared Grand Rapids a dying city in January, has changed its mind, thanks to Rob Bliss and Don McLean, a song called “American Pie,” a YouTube video, and a great many West Michiganders firmly declaring, “We’re not quite dead.”  (More)

Rob Bliss’ Grand Rapids Lip Dub Video of Don McLean’s ‘American Pie’ now online on YouTube
Published: Thursday, May 26, 2011, 4:45 PM | Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk | The GR Press

GRAND RAPIDS – Rob Bliss’ Grand Rapids Lip Dub video of Don McLean’s “American Pie” now is up and online on YouTube.  (More)

GRCC in the News – 5/26/11

Division revision: ‘Road diet’ plan gets warm reception, but bicyclists raise questions
Published: Wednesday, May 25, 2011, 5:29 PM | Chris Knape | The Grand Rapids Press

GRAND RAPIDS – Plans to put Division Avenue in downtown on a “road diet” drew some enthusiasm, but also questions about its bicycle friendliness during public meetings Wednesday. […] “I couldn’t be more excited, “ said Lydia Clowney, a Grand Rapids Community College student who works at Vertigo Music, 129 S. Division, and often bikes to class and work.  (More)

GVSU leaders say most of $136 million in savings is targeted for buildings, academic programs
Published: Wednesday, May 25, 2011, 12:28 PM | Dave Murray | The Grand Rapids Press

Grand Valley State University leaders say they have $136 million in the bank, but say about three-quarters of the cash is earmarked for building projects, expanding academic programs and maintaining campus housing. […] Grand Rapids Community College, which does receive money from property taxes in addition to state aid and tuition, has about $22 million in savings for an operating budget of about $100 million.  (More)

Austin Stephens of Rockford Signs with Grand Rapids Community College
West Michigan High School Baseball | Jeff Vander Ark | Published on May 25th, 2011

Austin Stephens, a senior left-handed pitcher for the Rockford Rams, has signed a national letter of intent to pitch for the Grand Rapids Community College Raiders baseball team next year. Stephens accepted the scholarship offer from GRCC head coach, Mike Cupples after a long and difficult evaluation process.  (More)

Photos – Regional Education Forum With State Board of Education


Grand Rapids Community College hosted the West Michigan regional education forum sponsored by the State Board of Education on Monday, May 23. These forums are designed as listening and discussion sessions on current education conditions, reforms, and the future direction of education in Michigan.

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Local area education leaders in attendance and making remarks included:

  • Fiona Hert, Grand Rapids Community College, School of Workforce Development
  • Bernard Taylor, Superintendent, Grand Rapids Public Schools
  • Kevin Konarski, Kent County ISD Superintendent
  • Bill Smith, Kent ISD Student Engagement in High School reform
  • Michigan Federation of Teachers representative
  • Paul Drummond: Math-Science Center Network
  • Matthew VanZetten, Kent County Family and Children’s Coordinating Council
  • Michigan College Access Network

Members of the audience in attendance, which included teachers and concerned citizens, also made comments during the public forum portion of the event.

GRCC in the News – 5/25/11

CEO summit to focus on innovation, sustainability
By Staff reports | The Holland Sentinel | Posted May 24, 2011 @ 04:24 PM

Grand Rapids, MI — CEOs will convene to discuss practices that could alter the way employees are hired, trained and promoted. Pathways to Prosperity Employer Business Summit will be 8 a.m. to noon Thursday, according to a release from Grand Rapids Community College.  (More)

OK, which college presidents are NOT retiring?
Published: Tuesday, May 24, 2011, 5:28 PM  | Dave Murray | The Grand Rapids Press

GRAND RAPIDS – Thomas Haas says he’s bucking the trend. So is Rick Pappas. […] Davenport University’s Richard Pappas and Grand Rapids Community College’s Steven Ender are the most recent additions to the presidents’ table, and they’re staying put. (More)

Aquinas College leaders to Juan Olivarez: ‘Welcome home’
Published: Tuesday, May 24, 2011, 12:28 PM  | Dave Murray | The Grand Rapids Press

GRAND RAPIDS – Juan Olivarez said be broke the news to his 91-year-old father that he’d be returning to Aquinas College after more 40 years, this time as president instead of the nervous freshman from Gary, Ind. […] Olivarez, 61, a former Grand Rapids Public Schools teacher and Grand Rapids Community College president, returns to the city after serving for three years as president and CEO of the Kalamazoo Community Foundation. (More)

Aquinas names Olivarez as new president – He graduated from there in 1971
Tuesday, 24 May 2011, 10:33 AM EDT

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – Aquinas College announced Tuesday that Juan Olivarez, Ph.D., has accepted the position as its new president.  (More)