Innovation Ideas Announced at Armen Awards This Thursday – 12/8/11

Out of the more than 20 ideas submitted for this years competition, 8 of the Top 10 teams remain in the competition for the $3,000 grand prize. Come watch innovation in action in the Calkins Science Center Auditorium Thursday from 6 – 8 PM. This year’s teams have been competing to come up with the most innovative ideas for reducing the need for and use of on-campus parking by 50% by 2015. The first place team will receive $3000; second, $1500; and third, $750. The Armen Awards are named for Armen Oumedian, long-time GRCC donor and innovation enthusiast.

GRCC Student Crafts Ancient Instrument for Technology and Humanity Course


Brad Burns holds the lyre that he constructed as part of an experiment for Technology and Humanity, HU 245. Here, Brad and fellow HU 245 students enjoy a family-style, sit-down dinner with family, friends, and instructors Jacquelyn and Harold Lee. The class met in Shipshewana to tour the Mennohof Museum, afterwards enjoying good food and fun at the home of a local Amish couple.

Brad, who has enjoyed a passion for working with wood for many years, not only built the lyre, but learned to play “Epitaph of Seikilos,” which Brad learned was found on an ancient tombstone and is considered the oldest complete piece of music that has been discovered. He also composed a song for the ancient instrument, using a tablature program to create a drum and flute accompaniment.

In HU 245, students contract to perform four experiments in which they volunteer to give up some form of modern, electronic technology, with each experiment lasting an increasing number of days. Students are challenged to create a project that better enhances the Aristotelian virtues of truth, beauty, goodness, and unity than does being passively “plugged in” to electronic devices.

For Experiment #1 (three days), Brad gave up use of his cell phone and spent his uninterrupted time building the lyre. For Experiment #2 (five days), Brad gave up watching television and learned to play “Epitaph of Seikilos.” For Experiment #3 (five days), Brad gave up listening to radio and created his own music for the lyre.

Brad’s creative endeavor “shines” with the message of the ancient Greek song that he plays:

While you live, shine
Don’t suffer anything at all;
Life exists only a short while
And time demands its toll.

2011 Year-End To Do List From Payroll

GRCC’s Payroll Department wants to make employees aware of these three important steps they need to take as the year comes to a close:

1. Using your most recent check or payroll advice, please verify the spelling of your first and last name, mailing address and withholding allowances. If any information is incorrect, please immediately contact the Payroll Office at ext. 4038, 3965 or 4018. The information on your paycheck/advice is what will be printed on your W-2. If your W-2 is different than your social security card, your earnings may not be credited properly into your social security account.

2. New W-4’s should be filled out if you’re filing status or exemption allowances have changed. Forms are available on the payroll web site, or stop by the payroll office.

3. If you are currently filing “exempt” on your W-4 (State and/or Federal), you are required to complete a new W-4 no later than February 1, 2012.

Dreaming of a Green Holiday

As we approach the Holiday season here are some guidelines when considering Holiday lights for your office or department:

  • If possible, purchase energy efficient Holiday lights and light bulbs such as LED lights (The LED lights use about 99 percent less energy than larger, traditional bulbs and last up to 100,000 hours when used indoors)
  • Cut down on the number of strings you use – Moderation is the key to saving energy while still allowing everyone to participate in the festive atmosphere
  • Try to keep your lights on for only two to five hours a day
  • Make sure to turn off your lights whenever you leave your office area, and when you leave for the day.
  • Save your lighting for the days closer to Holiday break

Raider Salute to Employees who Assisted With Counselors Breakfast

This Raider Salute was sent in by the Admissions Office:

“The Admissions Office would like to send a Raider Salute to the following staff who acted as table hosts during our Fall High School Counselor Breakfast on Friday Dec. 2nd: Anne Sherman, Seth York, Raul Alvarez, Nancy Guige, Lynnae Selberg, Whitney Harper, Diane Patrick, Jason Schueller, Sara Dorer, Tina Hoxie, Ashlee Pipoly, Lori Cook, Ed Sosa and Paul Phifer. These folks helped us welcome 46 counselors from a variety of area high schools. They also led focus groups with these counselors. We’d also like to thank President Ender for welcoming the counselors to GRCC.”

GRCC in the News – 12/6/11

Grand Rapids CC Board Reviewing Possible Millage For Campus Upgrades
John C. Smith, WOOD Radio News Team | Monday, December 5, 2011

Grand Rapids Community College Trustees held a public hearing Monday as they consider a possible facilities bond vote. “I see more discussion coming for us Monday, the 12th,” GRCC Board Chair Richard Verburg told WOOD Radio. “I’m hoping that we’ll get an affirmative vote (in January) of the board to go ahead, but we’ll see.” The current proposal would seek 0.4 mills in a May vote. That would fund $98 million in building improvements and technology upgrades.  (More)

Dozens of GRCC football players evicted – Landlord said he made deal with coaches
Monday, 05 Dec 2011, 9:25 PM EST | By Tony Tagliavia

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – Dozens of Grand Rapids Community College football players were evicted on Monday and dozens of others walked away before that could happen, their landlord told 24 Hour News 8. The evictions happened because landlord Beckett Property Management is still owed $85,000 in rent that was due in September, CEO Josh Beckett said.  (More)

Report: Dozens of GRCC football players evicted from houses
Published: Monday, December 05, 2011, 10:28 PM | Grand Rapids Press

GRAND RAPIDS — Some 40 Grand Rapids Community College football players are without housing tonight after being evicted, according to WOOD-TV 8. The station reported the students were kicked out of homes rented under Beckett Property Management, which said it was owed $85,000 from a deal struck with program coaches.  (More)

GRCC Considers $100 Million Ballot Question for Repairs, Upgrades
Dec 05, 2011 (WXMI-TV – McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.– From leaky roofs to outdated technology, Grand Rapids Community College is in need of repairs and updating. The question is: How will they pay for it? Monday the board met to consider asking taxpayers for $100 million over the next 20 years.  (More)

GRCC considering millage for improvements
5:15 PM, Dec 5, 2011 | Peter Ross | WZZM 13

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) – Grand Rapids Community College trustees Monday learned more about plans for nearly $98 million in improvements to the campus. GRCC President Steven Ender told WZZM 13, “It is in our minds, not an investment in the college per se, but in the 33,500 students who are here every year, then those students going out into this economy with the skill sets they need to really help build their own lives, but also to build the economy of the Grand Rapids region.”  (More)

GRCC Considers $100 Million Ballot Question for Repairs, Upgrades
Kelly Gibbs | FOX 17 News Reporter | 5:00 p.m. EST, December 5, 2011

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.- From leaky roofs to outdated technology, Grand Rapids Community College is in need of repairs and updating. The question is: How will they pay for it? Monday the board met to consider asking taxpayers for $100 million over the next 20 years.  (More)

GRCC trustee says tax hike is needed, one building ‘not even safe’ and people would be ‘a little ashamed’ of facilities
Published: Monday, December 05, 2011, 11:06 AM | Grand Rapids Press

GRAND RAPIDS – Grand Rapids Community College’s music building “is not even safe” and people visiting campus would be “a little ashamed,” veteran trustee Ellen James said as administrators unfolded plans for a $100 million tax increase request.  (More)

Angel Tree Toy Drive

If you are still looking for an Angel Tree tag from the tree we just have received more in! Please stop by the tree (located right outside of Student Life) to choose an Angel Tree tag, purchase a gift in accordance with the tag (gender and age) and bring the unwrapped toy back to Student Life with the tag securely fastened to the gift (feel free to add a personal note if you would like). This year, the Angel Tree Toy Drive is introducing the “Angel Teen” campaign where you can donate gift cards for teenagers.

If you choose an “Angel Teen” gift tag, please purchase a teen friendly gift card and return it to the Student Life Office. All toys and gift cards must be returned no later than December 16, 2012 by 5:00pm. Toys will be distributed to children throughout West Michigan this holiday season. Thank you to everyone who have already donated to this great cause!