Excellence in Teaching with Technology Award Winner Announced

2012 Excellence in Teaching with Technology Award Winner Grace Schwanda

Grand Rapids Community College’s first ever “Excellence in Teaching with Technology Award” goes to… Grace Schwanda, adjunct in the Music Department!

Grace was recognized at the Teaching, Learning, and Technology Showcase in a brief ceremony that took place at 11AM on Thursday, March 22 in Cook Hall.

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This was the first year for this “Excellence in Teaching with Technology” award. Faculty are nominated by their peers to receive this recognition. The winner was selected by DLIT Faculty Facilitators along with the DL FAB (Faculty Advisory Board).

Here are a few highlighted comments from her nomination form:

“Grace was the pioneer music faculty member who first dipped her toe into online learning, shortly after it was made available to us here at the college. She has set the bar for all other music faculty who teach online and has mentored many members of the department.

Grace uses Camtasia Relay to make her lectures engaging with singing, piano playing, counting measures, and talking her students through concepts and ideas of music. With the use of Blackboard IM she is available to her students every day.

Grace’s lessons on Blackboard are there with tips on how to succeed in class and innovative methods for learning how to become a perceptive listener. The outcomes of her class are enhanced by the extensive use of technology to reach the goals of the class.

One of the student’s in Grace’s online class said: “Grace, I just wanted to thank you for teaching the music class we just finished. As you can tell, this is not my best subject… however, I really enjoyed what I learned and have a new appreciation for music, especially the older classical music. Thanks for putting up with us and have a blessed Christmas! Thanks again! – Student

I cannot think of any other faculty member who is more worthy of receiving this award.”

Congratulations to Grace Schwanda!!!

The following faculty are also recognized for being nominated by their peers in this program. The following faculty will receive a certificate to be recognized:

  • Garrett Brand
  • Diane Sparks
  • Timothy Heldt
  • Gary Ebels

Energy Award Belongs to All of us

For the second year in a row, Energy Education – the experts we partner with to keep our own energy savings growing – has received the ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award, the highest honor presented by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the United States Department of Energy.

“Receiving the highest level of recognition from the United States Environmental Protection Agency is a validation of the efforts not only of every Energy Education team member, but of hundreds of thousands of our client staff members [like GRCC] who have done their part to save precious financial and environmental resources through behavioral energy conservation,” said Energy Education Chairman and Founder Dr. William S. Spears.

GRCC is currently working toward energy savings at the $3 million dollar level, so a little piece of that national energy award belongs to each of us.

GRCC in the News – 3/22/12

Industry Insiders: Trencherman Brothers Mike and Pat Sheerin, Living Large
Black Book Magazine | By Abby Schreiber March 21, 2012

When settling on a name for their new restaurant, brothers Mike and Pat Sheerin found a moniker that seemed to embody their own life philosophies: Trenchermen. The term describes hearty eaters and drinkers, but, as Pat explains, “We take that a step further to mean a person who lives life fully.” […] Mike: I did not go to college just because I didn’t really feel like I was ready and I didn’t really know what I wanted to study. I had been baking bagels for many years and then I started working as a short-order cook or a prep cook in a restaurant and my brother was like, “Why don’t you try cooking?” so I went to school for it at Grand Rapids Community College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Pat helped me get my first two jobs.  (More)

Workshop to explain how to power your car or truck with the same fuel used to heat your home
Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2012, 1:58 PM | Grand Rapids Press

GRAND RAPIDS – The Clean Energy Coalition believes it may make sense to power your car or truck with natural gas, the same fuel most of us use to heat our homes. To make the case for compressed natural gas (CNG), the coalition is sponsoring a workshop at Grand Rapids Community College’s Sneden Hall Thursday from 9 a.m. until noon.  (More)

Kalamazoo couple go from $12 in bank to 13 employees
Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2012, 4:37 PM | Kalamazoo Gazette

KALAMAZOO — Andrew and Shannon Minor, of Kalamazoo, went into business for themselves the hard way. […] “We wanted a place that’s appealing to the eye,” said Andrew, who attended the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education at Grand Rapids Community College. The new location, a half-mile from their home, means they can walk to work. “We wanted a place that represented our food.”  (More)

Guard’s 27-point effort in national tournament not enough for GRCC basketball team
Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2012, 9:00 PM | Grand Rapids Press

A 27-point effort from sophomore shooting guard Jared Mysliwiec still wasn’t enough to prevent the Grand Rapids Community College men’s basketball team from falling in its first-round matchup in the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II Tournament in Danville, Ill.  (More)

Outdated A/C Leaves Students Sweating – GRCC scrambles to turn on air conditioners
Dave Spencer | FOX 17 News | 7:51 p.m. EDT, March 21, 2012

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.— Some students at Grand Rapids Community College have some strong opinions of the unseasonably warm weather this March: they think it should stay outside. The problem, in the eyes of the students, is temperatures in the classroom have been in the mid-80’s.  (More)

Reminder Mathematics Seminar – Fractals and Chaos Today 3/22/12

The Grand Rapids Community College Mathematics Department will host its next monthly Mathematics Seminar on Thursday, March 22, 3:00 – 4:00 PM in 103 Cook. Our speakers will be GRCC Adjunct Mathematics Instructor Julia Moore and retired GRCC Mathematics Instructor Tom Worthington. The title and abstract of their talk may be found below.

This seminar should be of interest to a wide audience; the beauty and complexity of fractals can be appreciated by anyone. As always, anyone from the greater GRCC community is welcome.

Pop and cookies will be served at 2:45 PM.

Fractals and Chaos

Beyond their captivating images, why are fractals so interesting to mathematicians? The answer comes from their unique history, recent discovery and their many interesting properties of symmetry, simplistic complexity and self-similarity. Fractals are very different from the lines and curves created by most simple equations, yet these complex graphs come from very basic functions that only reveal their complexity as they are recursively applied. Many mathematicians believe they may be used as a way of predicting seemingly “random” events in the natural world, and their applications have greatly improved the advances of the field known as Chaos Theory.

For the talk, bring in your TI-83 or TI-84 calculators and get programs that combine Newton’s Method with fractals.

Reminder – Art and Bevs Tasting Events Today 3/22/12

GRCC’s Secchia Institute for Culinary Education invites all to another bakery tasting, sponsored by the Retail Bakery Class on Thursday, March 22, 2012. The cost is only $3.00 for you and one guest. The menu will have a selection of 18 items, all of which are kid-trendy.

Come enjoy a sample of all their delicious, hand-crafted baked goods made by the retail baking students. This play date will be held on Thursday, March 22 at 10:30-11:30.  Invitations are $3.00 (for you and a guest) and will be available for purchase at Art & Bev’s on March 20 thru March 22. Coffee and tea will be provided.  With any purchase over $5.00 (with receipt and invitation), we will send a sample tray home with you.  Come and enjoy a great food experience with us.  Limited to first 40 guests.

The next tasting will be Wednesday, March 21st (wedding favors). Invitations will be available Tuesday-Wednesday (20-21st)

Coffee and tea will be served also. The tasting will be from 10:30-11:30 at Art and Bev’s Bistro (located in GRCC’s Applied Technology Center).  To view the menu, visit Art and Bev’s website or view it here (.pdf).  A Flyer is also available (.pdf).