Raider Salute to Curriculum Specialist Search Committee

Christine Davis sent in this Raider Salute:

Thank you to the search committee for the Curriculum Specialist; Patti Trepkowski, Deborah Nordman, Fatima Nieves, Kevin Dobreff, Laurie Foster, Mursalata Muhammad, Sarah Krajewski, Timothy Koets for piloting the use of ooVoo for 1st Round Interviews.

ooVoo is a teleconferencing software that Human Resources is beginning to use for first round interviews in place of telephone interviews. It allows the team to “meet” the candidate and create a more personal connection than a telephone interview can offer. ooVoo is similar to Skype, but offers additional benefits like desktop sharing, ability to record meetings and Ad-free windows.

We are excited about this new technology, and are appreciative of the team for their support!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

GRCC in the News – 8/31/11

First Hand Aid in Action – Care to kids & the elderly in Cuba
Published : Tuesday, 30 Aug 2011, 1:00 PM EDT

Havana, Cuba (WOOD) – Today we get a rare glimpse inside the wards of children’s hospitals in Havana, Cuba and in the rural Cuban community of Guines where the work of First Hand Aid takes place. We’ll also follow the group as they bring food aid to the elderly, an outreach of this organization and Cuban churches. Joy traveled with this West Michigan non-profit organization in July and brings us back there through the lens of photographer Klaas Kwant of Grand Rapids Community College.  (More)

Grand Rapids Schools, GRCC Combine On High School Completion Program
John C. Smith, WOOD Radio News Team | Tuesday, August 30, 2011

GRCC stresses any Kent County dropout under the age of 20 may be eligible to work on their diploma. The college’s Wealthy Learning Corner will be the training site. Grand Rapids Community College and the city’s public schools announced their new high school completion program Tuesday.  (More)

Educators say new partnership can get dropouts diploma, college credit to lead to a ‘sustainable life’
Published: Tuesday, August 30, 2011, 12:40 PM | By Dave Murray | The Grand Rapids Press

GRAND RAPIDS – Taylor Getzen dropped out of school last year after having a baby, but said she knew she’d be better able to care for her son with a high school diploma.  (More)

College plans for Allegan renewed
By Ryan Lewis | Editor | Wednesday, August 24, 2011 12:29 PM EDT

Plans to create a community college in Allegan County are again in the works. Since the last attempt nearly 10 years ago was burdened by the cost of the unpopular millage that would have helped construct a campus near Allegan, this latest effort hopes to avoid that pitfall. […] The in-district tuition rates per credit hour from three area colleges—Kalamazoo Valley Community College, Grand Rapids Community College and Lake Michigan College—range from $76.50 to $95.50.  (More)

Press Conference on GRCC GRPS Reengagement Partnership – Video

This morning, GRCC held a press conference with representatives from the Grand Rapids Public Schools to unveil a new program designed to bring students who have dropped out of high school back into the fold by offering them the opportunity to earn college credit while they earn their high school diplomas.

The press release describing the program is available here.

Opening Day Presentation by Scott Lewis – Photos and Resources


At last week’s Opening Day, GRCC faculty had the opportunity to attend a superb presentation by W. Scott Lewis JD, NCHERM, titled “Making A Difference: Managing Difficult Situations and People”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

From the description: “More and more, people in services and academic settings find themselves having to manage difficult situations and people. Preventing the disruption before it begins is key, but managing difficult people is a learned not innate skill. Using proven techniques, the presenter will draw on actual cases from his experience managing various environments and his training in diffusing difficult situations to teach participants how to prevent and handle these delicate situations by staying centered. These techniques have been presented to over 1,000 educators, managers and supervisors in the corporate and higher education environment, as well as to front-line staff and law enforcement.”

Faculty interested can download the template syllabus prepared by Professor Lewis here.

GRCC Secchia Institute Alum Profiled in Omaha Magazine

GRCC Alumna Dayanny De La Cruz was recently featured on the cover of The Encounter magazine in Omaha, Nebraska for her role as the Executive Chef of TD Ameritrade Park.  The park is home to both the Creighton Bluejays Baseball team and Omaha Nighthawks Football team, and it routinely serves 24,000 fans per game.  Dayanny was profiled for her unique menu, which includes gluten-free and healthy options (in addition to steak sandwiches, burgers and hot dogs).


Read the full article here.

GRCC an Early Adoptor of Blackboard Mobile for Students and Faculty

GRCC has long been on the cutting edge of using new features of the Blackboard course management system, and that trend continues with Blackboard Mobile.

The power of this tool is anytime/anywhere access to course information on-the-go. Faculty can use it for updating their course, creating an announcement, commenting on a blog, etc. Students can use it to quickly check their grades, access a syllabus, participate in a discussion, comment on a blog, etc.

The platforms currently supported include:

Apple (wifi only)

  • iPhone
  • iPad
  • iPod touch

Sprint (wifi and 3G)

  • Blackberry
  • Android
  • Palm

If you’re interested – you can check it out here:


Updated – Employee Learning Opportunities – 8/30/11-9/9/11

[Updated/Revised] Several new technology sessions have been added to the Staff Development Learning Opportunity page.  Click this link to register for any one of the following sessions:

Drupal Basics:  Editing Content

In this course, participants will learn to navigate the Drupal system, understand and use content types, and edit existing content.

  • TUES 08/30/2011    10:30 -11:30 AM
  • THU 09/08/2011      1:00 – 2:00 PM

Creating Online Bios – Drupal

In this course participants will learn how to login into Drupal, create and edit bio content and understand the various features of the bio page.

  • THU, 09/01/2011    3:00 – 4:00 PM
  • WED, 09/07/2011   1:00 – 2:00 PM
  • THU, 09/08/2011    1:00 – 2:00 PM

GRCC in the News – 8/30/11

Former GRCC athletic director Doug Wabeke accepts job as Davenport baseball assistant
Published: Monday, August 29, 2011, 8:30 AM | By Brian VanOchten | The Grand Rapids Press

GRAND RAPIDS — The plan all along had been for Doug Wabeke to return to coaching at some point following his resignation as Grand Rapids Community College athletic director earlier this year. He just wasn’t sure when or where it might happen.  (More)

Grand Rapids schools and GRCC partner to get dropouts back in the classroom
Published: Tuesday, August 30, 2011, 10:30 AM | By Monica Scott | The Grand Rapids Press

GRAND RAPIDS — Teens who have dropped out of school but want to continue their education can earn both high school diplomas and college credit through a new partnership between Grand Rapids Community College and the city schools.  (More)

GRPS, GRCC to target dropouts – To re-engage 16- to 19-year-olds with school
Tuesday, 30 Aug 2011, 5:55 AM EDT

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – Grand Rapids Public Schools and Grand Rapids Community College announced a new high school completion program Tuesday aimed at getting high school dropouts back in the classroom.  (More)

Raider Salute to Lisa Donaldson and Nanci Guigue

This Salute came from Paula Sullivan and Amy Koning:

Often times, we wait for a particular incident to prompt a Raider Salute , to a person we don’t always do business with on a daily basis. So this Raider Salute goes to Lisa Donaldson and Nanci Guigue for not only going above and beyond the call of duty to help students get into their classes this fall but most importantly for all the little things they do for students, faculty and o yes, us….every day. Thank you Nanci and Lisa. We couldn’t do our jobs without you!

GRCC Service Excellence Guidelines

GRCC Welcomes New and Returning Student to Fall Semester 2011. The information stations on campus assist during our opening week. Two suggestions during this busy time: Wear your name tag and reach out to students who appear lost and incorporate the GRCC Service Excellence Guidelines.

1. One Extra Service Step – “Is there anything else I can help you with?”
2. Personal Greeting – Identify yourself and office
3. Be Aware of Body Language – Be OPEN & INVITING
4. Acknowledge – “Thank you for waiting”
5. Listen & Ask Questions to Understand – Don’t assume!
6. Keep an Open Mind – Recognize diverse needs
7. Be a Problem Solver – Clear “next steps”
8. Strive for “Win/Win” – Don’t blame; deal with FEELINGS first, then get the FACTS
9. Use Telephone Courtesy – No “cold” transfers;
10. De-Stress – Pause & Re-energize

Excellence in Education Staff Award Winner Laurie Witczak


The winner of the Staff Excellence in Education Award for 2011 was Laurie Witczak in the Tutoring Department.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

From her nomination form:

  • “You hold yourself to extremely high standards and you manage to keep everything running smoothly without sacrificing efficiency or quality.”
  • “You understand that each student comes to GRCC with different needs, skills and abilities.  You work with each student and are able to bring out their strengths and encourage them to grow.”
  • “You are always willing to look at a situation or problem and think outside the box to come up with creative solutions that will work for everyone.”

Video of Laurie’s well-received acceptance of the award available here: