Photos – 2011 Irish Studies Trip Abroad

Irish Studies 2011 Trip Abroad

GRCC’s Irish Studies program is currently half-way through a trip through Ireland and has sent an update on some of the amazing experiences they’ve had thus far.  The photos in this slideshow depict some of the following:

  • Desmond Murphy giving the students a historical and cultural tour of South Armagh
  • The group after exploring a church dating from the 1600s
  • GRCC students Blake VanHouten and Sarah Neitzel studying a dolmen constructed in the neolithic period
  • Prof. Susan Williams and her Medieval Irish History class at the ruins of Castle de la Roche, a Norman castle form the early 13th century
  • Prof. Bob Hendershot and his Peace and Reconciliation class in Derry, meeting with Nobel Peace Prize winner John Hume

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GRCC in the News – 6/9/11

GRCC provost earns award for women in higher education
The Holland Sentinel | Posted Jun 08, 2011 @ 11:46 AM

Grand Rapids, MI — Grand Rapids Community College Provost and Executive Vice President Gilda Gely received the Distinguished Women in Higher Education Leadership Award from the Michigan Chapter of the American Council on Education. Michigan ACE, a statewide network for women in higher education, presented Gely with its highest honor on Tuesday during its two-day conference.  (More)

Lee Meyerhoffer Promotes Local with Lo-kel
Lindsay Patton-Carson | Thursday, June 09, 2011

Lee Meyerhoffer has had many homes in his 29 years. Born in Philadelphia, Penn., his father’s career in the Navy had him moving from state to state. He’s resided in Ohio, Nebraska, Minnesota, California, Texas, New York and even Iraq, where he served in the Marines. […] Meyerhoffer — who has lived in Grand Rapids for three years — met many of the artists he currently works with through the graphic design program at Grand Rapids Community College, where he studied.  (More)

KCFFR Questions Second Wyoming School Millage Request
Posted on June 2, 2011 by KCFFR | Kent County Bureaucrats are After Your Wallet

The Kent County Families for Fiscal Responsibility (KCFFR), a local non-partisan taxpayer’s advocacy group, announced its disappointment in the Wyoming school district’s decision to ask for the same millage increase this August that failed in the recent May election. […] KCFFR spokesman Eric Larson said, “Our disappointment and opposition to the Wyoming school district millage request is the same today as it was to Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC)’s request in 2007. After a narrow defeat in May of 2007, GRCC officials said the voters didn’t understand their tax request so they reran the millage only three months later. We helped defeat the GRCC millage then and we will seriously consider actively opposing this request.  (More)

Photos – ePIFanNow Pass it Forward Party

ePIFanNow Pass it Forward Event

This past February more than 220 GRCC students, staff and friends joined together to go out into the community to perform random acts of kindness as part of the second annual ePIFanyNow Pass It Forward party hosted by the GRCC Department of Experiential Learning. The day was full of inspiring stories of kindness and compassion; everything from shoveling a driveway, to giving a compliment, to helping pay for a stranger’s groceries. The idea is simple: we serve others in creative, direct ways and encourage them to do the same for others!

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This Sunday, June 12, another ePIFanyNow Pass It Forward party is planned in East Lansing and the GRCC community is invited to participate. The gathering starts at 3:00 p.m. at Renos East (1310 Abbot Road, East Lansing, MI/517-351-RENO(7366) . Participants show up and are given ideas of ways to pass it forward. Then, at 6:00 p.m. everyone gathers back together at Renos East to share their stories.

We race to be first in the check-out line. We rush to work, school, or day care. We race to reach our next destination on the roadways and freeways. In our race and haste to get where we’re going and do what we’re doing, some of us have lost our ability to see outside our personal ‘ball of stress’.
ePIFanyNow founder, Bob Hoffman, brother to the GRCC Department of Experiential Learning Director, Mindy Firlan, says, “ePIFanyNow is not affiliated with any religious or political group whatsoever! All are welcomed to participate and anyone is eligible to benefit. Participants find ways to burst ‘balls of stress’ by touching peoples’ lives no matter how small, simple, or insignificant the act of kindness. We are a not-for-profit, grassroots movement endeavoring to create positive change throughout our community and beyond.”

In a me-first world where time seems to fly, ePIFanyNow provides our community an alternate way to think and behave. A way that we hope will help our world evolve rather than unravel. For more information visit

Civility, Service, and Pass it Forward run in the Family

Our Director of Experiential Learning, Dr. Mindy Firlan congratulates her brother, Bob Hoffman, as he receives the annual “Mid-Michigan Civility Star Award.”

Bob Hoffman Receives Award

This award recognizes a member of our community who demonstrates a dedication to the principles of civility. Shelley Davis Mielock said, “The 2011 recipient is Bob Hoffman of The Wharton Center for Performing Arts and ePIFany NOW. Senator Gretchen Whitmer spoke at the event and recognized Mr. Hoffman with a Special Tribute signed by Governor Snyder, Representative Meadows and herself.” The luncheon was generously sponsored by MSUFCU, The Wharton Center for Performing Arts, LAFCU, Ingham Regional Medical Center and Tri-Star Trust Bank.

The inspiration for this widespread Civility project is Dr. P.M. Forni, the author of Choosing Civility: The Twenty-Five Rules of Considerate Conduct and The Civility Solution: What to Do When People Are Rude. Civility is defined as a code of behavior based on the 3 Rs: Respect, Restraint and Responsibility. As you may recall, Dr. Forni was here on the GRCC campus last semester to engage students, staff, and faculty through the Center for Teaching Excellence.

Bob was chosen as the recipient of this award based on the work of ePIFany NOW, an organization he founded to inspire others to Pass it Forward by engaging in random acts of kindness in the community. Bob was the keynote speaker at GRCC’s Department of Experiential Learning Event, Pass It Forward. Over 220 participants gathered at GRCC to focus on Institutional Learning Outcome, Social Responsibility; go into the community to Pass It Forward; and reflect on the ability of one person to make a meaningful difference. Our next pass It Forward event will be in February of 2012 and Bob has already agreed to attend!

GRCC Energy Saving Program Update 6/9/11

The temperature isn’t the only thing that is up at Grand Rapids Community College this summer. The college’s energy savings are climbing to over two million dollars after three years with the national Energy Education program.

Here are the numbers:

  • Cost without Energy Management (what GRCC would have spent before instituting energy savings practices) $8,172,702
  • Actual Cost with Energy Management $6,713,922
  • Cost Avoidance 17.8 Percent $1,458,780
  • Special savings from rebates through local utilities $773,056
  • Total Savings $2,231,836

This is an energy reduction impact of 111, 388 MMBTU or 11,342 equivalent metric tons of CO2 which equates to:

  • 2,036 passenger cars not being driven for one year or
  • 290,095 tree seedlings growing for ten years

SafeZone Learning Opportunity for Employees 8/18/11

The SafeZone program is a diversity education program that includes all individuals in a personal journey toward greater understanding and inclusion (regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, weight, height, marital status, status as a Vietnam era veteran, and disability, as a reflection of the GRCC EEOC statement). The program philosophy provides not only a safe space for all people, but also increases communication and understanding among people. One of the goals of SafeZone is to emphasize that all individuals will be treated and respected as human beings. Further, the program emphasizes that ignorance, bigotry, and harassment will not be tolerated in an environment of learning. The next sessions will be held on: Wednesday, June 22 and Thursday, August 18, 8:30 a.m. 1:30 p.m. (breakfast & lunch provided) please register for either session at