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.

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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:


Excellence in Education Faculty Award Winner Professor John Dersch


Mathematics Professor John Dersch was the recipient of the 2011 Excellence in Education faculty award last week at the Opening Day event.

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Some of the comments on his nomination form included:

  • “You are dedicated to teaching and you have a reputation for being tough on your students, yet you demand more of yourself than you do of them.”
  • “When you meet students who need to be challenged beyond what is offered, you are willing to design independent studies or seminar classes to meet their needs.”
  • “You hold yourself accountable for your students’ learning and progress through your classes.  You spend an ungodly number of hours grading homework that you collect from all of your classes – you are the benchmark for many in your department.”

Video of the award ceremony and John’s heartfelt comments here:

Raider Salute for Graphic and Print Solutions Staff

This salute came from Danelle Sedore in Print Solutions:

I want to personally thank the entire Design, Print, and Mail staff for all their hard work during the Fall start-up.

The willingness and persists in keeping focused on all of the orders coming in while trying to meet deadlines that seemed impossible shows that because of employees like you our department is what it is today.

Please accept my personal thank you for a job well done!

Farewell Open House for Jeff Hartman 8/31/11

As many of you know, Jeff Hartman, Assoc. Director of Admissions, will be leaving the college soon. Admissions is hosting an Open House for him on Wednesday August 31st from 2:00 – 5:00 in the Admissions Office (Room 113 – Sneden Hall).

Please take a few minutes to stop by and wish him well. There is also be a card in the Records Office that you can stop by and sign.

GRCC Student Poets Publish Analysis at “Through the 3rd Eye”

Student poets from former Grand Rapids Poet Laureate Rodney Torreson’s Through the 3rd Eye website have put up three new articles about current Laureate, GRCC’s David Cope, plus an article on the Dyer Ives poetry reading this summer, and one on “The Perks of Criticism” exploring the lessons that student Sarah Branz has taken from Aquinas’s Pamela Dail-Whiting on this all-important aspect of learning the art of writing.

The website itself displays a unique form of online learning; it is a pedagogical laboratory for learning aspects of the art form not normally available to young writers, including how to do an interview with a published author, how to write cohesive criticism of a book or a poem, the process of selecting work for publication, and the process of posting materials. Mr. Torreson has, in addition, taught them how to write directly from experience using the images borne of memory rather than statements that are mere recollections of emotion, an approach that has given them years of winning recognition in the Dyer Ives and KDL contests and finding publication.

The lesson is one that most elementary and secondary teachers could learn from as a successful pedagogical practice. See these articles and more at http://throughthe3rdeye.com/ :

  • Aubrey Frey Interviews David Cope about his poem “Blue April”
  • Rachel McGinniss: Aspirations of a Poet Laureate
  • Rachel McGinnis: A Poet Laureate’s Journey
  • April Hill and Daisy Hall: Expressions of the Kent County Poetry Contest 2011
  • Sarah Branz: The Perks of Criticism

GRCC in the News – 8/29/11

Employee pay and benefits will be in the spotlight at Muskegon Community College as new contracts are negotiated
Published: Monday, August 29, 2011, 6:04 AM | By Brian McVicar | The Muskegon Chronicle

MUSKEGON – Employee salaries and benefits will take center stage this fall as Muskegon Community College prepares to negotiate new contracts with its three employee unions. […] He also pointed out that most instructors at MCC aren’t paid as much as their counterparts at Grand Rapids Community College. He referenced an April story in The Grand Rapids Press that indicated one in four full-time employees at GRCC were paid at least $100,000 in 2010.  (More)

GRCC beats Grand Rapids Thunder after original season opener canceled by Hurricane Irene
Published: Sunday, August 28, 2011, 11:15 PM | By Dean Holzwarth | The Grand Rapids Press

It wasn’t the opponent they had intended to play, but it was a game nonetheless for the Grand Rapids Community College football team. The Raiders opened the season Sunday by thrashing the Grand Rapids Thunder 52-0 at Houseman Field. (More)

Titan volleyball prepares for inaugural season – Women’s volleyball becomes the third varsity sport at IU South Bend
The Preface | Staff Writer | Sunday, August 28, 2011 22:08

The Titan Athletics family is growing this season, as the women’s volleyball team prepares for their first season. […] “I’m from GRCC (Grand Rapids Community College),” said junior Chloe McCotter, “I’m a transfer student, so I played two years at community college, so this will be my junior year for volleyball, but my first year at this school.”  (More)

Sturgis alumna Kelsey Caposey to use versatility while continuing softball career at Grand Rapids Community College
Jayson Bussa | Kalamazoo Gazette, August 29, 2011 9 a.m.

STURGIS – As a softball player, Kelsey Caposey has a reputation for an ability to adapt. […] Caposey will continue playing softball at the next level after committing this summer to join the squad at Grand Rapids Community College.  (More)

GRCC football season opener canceled because of Hurricane Irene
Published: Friday, August 26, 2011, 11:45 AM | By The Grand Rapids Press

GRAND RAPIDS — Hurricane Irene has affected the season opener for the Grand Rapids Community College football team. The school announced this morning that Saturday’s game against Gattaca has been canceled. Gattaca is located in Toms River, N.J., which currently is in the path of Hurricane Irene.  (More)

Hurricane Irene cancels GRCC game – Game was scheduled for Saturday in New Jersey
Friday, 26 Aug 2011, 12:35 PM EDT

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – Grand Rapids Community College has canceled its football game in New Jersey, as Hurricane Irene approaches the East Coast. The Raiders were scheduled to play Gattaca Football of Toms River, NJ on Saturday.  (More)