Carol Kramer’s Husband Dale Receives Award for Heroism in Afghanistan

Amb. Crocker presents the Heroism Award to Dale Kramer

Amb. Crocker presents the Heroism Award to Dale Kramer

[Corrected] Recently Dale Kramer (husband of Carol Kramer, Office Manager in Facilities) was presented with the Award for Heroism in Afghanistan by U.S. Ambassador  Ryan Crocker.  The reason for being honored is an extraordinary story of courage:

Kramer (a civilian at the time) working with the US State Dept. was riding with a convoy in Afghanistan in the Musa Kheyl district of Khost province on the morning of 27 March 2010 when it came under attack by as many as 100 insurgents.  After an improvised explosive device in the road damaged a vehicle in the convoy and killed three Afghan National Police Officers, it was ambushed by as many as 100 insurgents who fired automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades.

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Risking his own life, Kramer (who fortunately received machine gun training when he was in the U.S. Marine Corps) jumped on a machine gun and returned fire during a 19-minute battle during which he was able to suppress enemy machine-gunners so that the convoy could extract itself from the situation.

The full account from the State Department is available below: Continue reading

National Distance Learning Week 11/7/11

National Distance Learning Week Logo

“National Distance Learning Week” is November 7-11. This is a week that focuses on flexible learning options such as online and hybrid courses. GRCC’s ACCESS End statement captures the focus of distance learning in that “GRCC minimizes the barriers of time, place, cost, and educational preparation levels so that all members of the community have an opportunity to participate in college programs”.

Along with this end statement, GRCC has a Distance Learning College Action Project (2.2.1) to expand the distance learning program. This CAP is also an AQIP Project. This Fall semester, there are nearly 5,000 enrollments in online/hybrid courses at the college. Enrollment is up 20% from Fall 2010 and there are already 3,500 enrollments in distance learning courses for the upcoming Winter 2012 semester.

If you are a Professor at GRCC we invite you and encourage you to join over 290 of your colleagues and become certified to teach online by taking the Online and Hybrid Certification Course. You can sign up through the Center for Teaching Excellence here:

Further, as part of the Distance Learning College Action Project the college is working on expanding online learning by offering more online courses. If you are interested in placing a course online, please visit: for details on how to begin offering a course in an online or hybrid format. The Department of Distance Learning and Instructional Technologies provides resources, support, and training for faculty in this process.

In celebration of this week, webinars will be available through the United States Distance Learning Association and cover topics such as: Online Learning – Will the growth continue?, Learning Styles: Do they really matter?, Virtual Worlds / Mobile Learning, and Brain-based Adaptive Learning. More information:

Stay connected to Distance Learning and Instructional Technologies at: and You can also visit them online at:

SSPD Grant Survey Form

The Support Staff Professional Development (SSPD) Grant Program encourages support staff to improve their professional skills related to their GRCC assignments by providing funding for learning opportunities.

To ensure that the program is meeting the needs of the college community, we are asking for your participation in a brief survey. The information we gather will help the SSPD Review Committee to make informed decisions about how the program could be improved.

Please take a few moments to participate in our survey here.

Benefit Fair Prize Winners – 10/25/11

Congratulations to these individuals who won prizes during the drawing held as part of the Benefit Fair on October 25, 2011:

  • Duffle Bag from Priority Health – Jerry Benham
  • Insulated Coffee Mug from Priority Health – Nancy White
  • (2) Hooded Sweatshirts from Blue Cross Blue Shield – Marty DeVries and Lorraine Fortuna
  • (3) $25.00 Meijer Gift Cards from MEEMIC – Amy Robinson, Brenda Cary and Eve Sidney
  • Cookbook Plenty, Tazo Zen Tea and Dark Chocolate from GRCC Wellness Team – Jan Colvin
  • (2) $25.00 Gift Cards from Flex Administrators – Becky Bailey (Carrabba’s) and Sandy Thayer (Barnes & Noble)
  • $50.00 Visa Credit Card from Lake Michigan Credit Union – Aaron Brooks
  • (5) $20.00 Gift Cards from Follett Bookstore – Connie Crumpton, Jeff Danner, Bernie Manker, Ron Graves and Kerry Hayward

Diversity Conversation With Jeannette Walls – Video

GRCC’s Media Technologies department was recently able to produce this Diversity Conversation program in which GRCC Professor Nora Neill interviews Jeannette Walls, author of The Glass Castle, for the Woodrick Diversity Learning Center’s Diversity Lecture Series.  Available for viewing below via YouTube, the program is also airing on the college cable channel.

GRCC in the News – 11/5/11-11/7/11

GRCC volleyball team clinches berth in NJCAA national tournament
Published: Sunday, November 06, 2011, 11:35 PM | Grand Rapids Press

For the fourth time in five years, the Grand Rapids Community College volleyball team is headed back to the National Junior College Athletic Association tournament. The Raiders clinched a berth in nationals on Sunday by beating Muskegon Community College in three sets (25-17, 26-24, 25-21) to win the NJCAA District F tournament at the Ford Fieldhouse.  (More)

GRCC football team relies on defense to beat Iowa Western, cap 11-0 regular season
Published: Saturday, November 05, 2011, 8:15 PM | Grand Rapids Press

GRAND RAPIDS — Throughout the season, the Grand Rapids Community College football team has relied on its potent offense to produce points and rack up victories. On Saturday afternoon, the Raiders leaned on their defense to bring home a conference championship.  (More)

GRCC’s Roy Jackson of Flint says ‘it felt great coming back to my hometown’ despite a 81-76 loss to the Mott Bears
Published: Saturday, November 05, 2011, 7:15 PM | Flint Journal

FLINT, Mich. — Roy Jackson had the chance to be the hero. With 21 seconds remaining on the clock and his team trailing by three points, the Flint Hamady product got a wide-open look from behind the three-point line following a successfully ran out-of-bounds play. However, the Grand Rapids CC sophomore guard couldn’t convert.  (More)

New-look Mott Bears basketball team narrowly beats Grand Rapids CC in season-opener
Published: Saturday, November 05, 2011, 6:30 PM | Grand Rapids Press

FLINT, Mich. — A cluster of fans packed the stands of Ballenger Field House at Mott Community College on Saturday to catch a glimpse of the new-look Bears basketball team. Although the squad looked completely altered from last season’s group, MCC produced similar results. Mott narrowly defeated Grand Rapids Community College 81-76 for a season-opening victory.  (More)

One point separates No. 1, No. 2 in NJCAA football poll
By Staff reports | El Dorado Times | Posted Nov 04, 2011 @ 03:27 PM

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The NJCAA Football regular season coming to an end and there are several teams fighting for a shot at the national championship. With conference playoffs starting and championships being decided, there are few opportunities left for squads to impress the voters. […] Rounding out the Top Five with impressive credentials are No. 4 Butler Community College (Kan.) and No. 5 Grand Rapids Community College (Mich.).  (More)

GRCC Diversity Lecture Series Presents Maziar Bahari 11/9/11

Bahari MaziarGRCC’s Diversity Lecture Series will present Journalist, Filmmaker, and Former Political Prisoner Maziar Bahari on November 9, 2011 to speak on “Then They Came for Me: A Family’s Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival.”

Maziar Bahari, Iranian-Canadian journalist was arrested in Tehran on trumped-up charges of espionage in the aftermath of the contested 2009 election. Held in solitary confinement for 118 days, enduring physical and psychological torture, he chronicles his story in, Then They
Came for Me: A Family’s Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival.

As a correspondent for Newsweek, Bahari is an expert on Iran yet also embraces a wide range of subjects as a filmmaker, from Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany, to Iraqi child prisoners and Aids in South Africa.

Lecture begins at 7:00 p.m. at Fountain Street Church (24 Fountain Street NE, Grand Rapids, 49503).  The lecture is free and open to all and will be ASL Interpreted.

Occupy Sneden Hall – IT is on the Move

[Corrected] November is going to be a busy month for our IT staff. Most of them will be moving into the new I.T. office space at Sneden Hall this week. Later this month (Thanksgiving weekend to be exact), they’ll be moving the entire data center to its new location at Sneden Hall!

What’s NOTchanging?

  • Media Technologies will continue to be housed in the Learning Resource Center.
  • Classroom support – Technicians are in every building, every day! They will still have a service hub in the Main Building to support classrooms and employees on the Main Campus.
  • Support Desk call numbers, services, etc. There will be no down time!

What IS changing?

  • The physical location of the Support Desk will move from the LRC to Sneden
  • The folks who are currently working out of temporary space (5 years!) on G2 are moving to Sneden
  • All the folks and equipment in the current Data Center will be moving to Sneden.


  • The space at Sneden allows for the Support Desk staff to have much quicker access to the Enterprise and Infrastructure staff who need to respond to major system issues. Quicker response time!
  • Sneden provides much more efficient shipping/receiving access for computer equipment, as well as storage and work space for work system deployment.
  • The physical location of the server room in the Data Center has been a risk issue for years and this move addresses that risk.
  • The move to Sneden will free up space on the main campus as we continue to make changes and renovations!

Once in and settled, watch for an invitation to come visit!