GRCC Bakery Students Make Cakes for Ronald McDonald House Families – Photos

Retail Baking Class at Ronald McDonald House

The students from CA 124 Retail Baking had the opportunity to make cakes for families that are currently staying at the Ronald McDonald House. These families have children that are patients of Mary-Free Bed and Spectrum Health Devos Children’s Hospital. The majority of the cakes were for babies receiving treatment for various illnesses. A few were made for the little ones that support their young siblings.

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The students enjoyed the opportunity and received more than they gave, being humbled by the stories that were shared.

Donuts, Distance Learning, Blackboard and Bagels – 4/12/12

donutsandbagelsOn Thursday, April 12 (from 8:30 to 10 a.m. in 347 Main), Distance Learning and Instructional Technologies will be hosting a “Donuts and Distance Learning & Blackboard and Bagels” event. This is an informal gathering of the DLIT staff and faculty. They provide the rounds and you arrive to enjoy, discuss, ask questions, share stories, and learn more about distance learning and Blackboard at GRCC.

Make plans to join DLIT; they plan to continue hosting these events once per month. Follow DLIT on Facebook or visit for more information.

Register now for the 2012 Flanagan Charity Golf Outing – 5/24/12

Please join the GRCC Foundation at the 29th Annual GRCC Michael Flanagan Golf Outing to be held on Thursday, May 24, 2012. The day is complete with lunch, golf, dinner and amazing raffle items! Support GRCC student scholarships while spending some time with friends on the links.

Please complete this registration form or contact Trish Castiglione at 616-234-3739 or

Final Tally and Thanks From the Grand Rapids Poets’ Conference

David Cope, Program Coordinator for the recent GRCC Poets’ Conference collected these statistics from the event that happened over April 2-5, 2012.


  • Events: 16 total events
  • Tally of audiences: 837 people attended the events (head count)
  • Performing Poets: 44 (14 featured poets, 30 poets at open mics)
  • Special Note: Mayor Heartwell’s welcoming speech at opening


1. The Humanities Council of Grand Rapids, The Arts Council of Greater Grand Rapids (with special thanks to Caroline Older and Angela de Luca Placencia for all their help and guidance through this entire 10 months of work).
2. The Grand Rapids Public Library (especially Tim Gleisner and Chris Byron), the Kent District Libraries (Cheryl Garrison).
3. The fourteen featured poets and 30 poets who performed at the open mics.
4. Presidents Ender and Haas (GVSU) and Mayor George Heartwell, for their letters of support. Also, to Cheryl Garrison (KDL), Linda Patterson (Dyer-Ives Foundation) for additional letters of support.
5. The Michigan Council of Arts and Cultural Affairs
6. Judith Larsen and Lisa Dopke, for their advice and patience in helping me write the grant.
7. Provost Gilda Gely and Dean Laurie Chesley.
8. The GRCC English Department, especially my department chair (Janice Balyeat) and support committee (Maryann Lesert, Kim Wyngarden, Katie Kalisz)
9. Klaas Kwant and the recording technicians at GRCC
10. Custodial staffs at Sneden Hall and the GRCC Library (especially Mike Rowe, Dewayn Faber, and Bryan Wible).
11. Becky Yoder, for her careful and supportive work in finding venues for the conference.
12. Raul Alvarez, Vicki Hudson, Dan Syckle, and Andrew Schmidt, for superb help in developing the conference website, the conference poster, and for timely press releases and promotion.
13. Ric Underhile, for oversight on my work as a whole for the period from May 2011 to May 2012.
14. Chief Rebecca Whitman for her advice on parking.
15. Nan Schichtel and the GRCC Library for organization and promotion of the event, and for their Selected Bibliography of Grand Rapids Poets’ Works.
16. Printing Services for the poster.
17. Ben Wright and Todd Torrey for audio-visual and technology at the sessions.
18. Heath Chelesvig for audience response forms.
19. Dan Zehr and other food service personnel for refreshments provided at evening readings.
20. Vicki Janowiak for advice on venues, parking, other concerns, and—with police and custodians—for moving a tornado drill so that it wouldn’t conflict with an important panel.
21. The Literary Life Bookstore (Zachary Tomaszewski) and WYCE Electric Poetry Radio Show (Deirdre Chervenka Cunningham), for their help with the reading series conference.
22. The students and staff of Through the 3rd Eye poetry website for their stellar discussions of how the website works and educates young poets in aspects of the craft.
23. James Holyfield, accounting.
24. Amy Kirkbride, for help in solving countless large and small concerns as the conference developed.
25. Laszlo Slomovits, Hungarian guitarist who came from Ann Arbor to perform with Linda Nemec Foster.
26. Ron Pederson, sculptor, who performed with his wife, poet Miriam Pederson, in their ekphrasis lecture and demonstration.
27. Stewart Krulikowski, for book sales at all four readings.

Media: Announcements, Interviews and articles as follows: Continue reading

Formation Retreat for GRCC Employees in May 2012

GRCC’s Staff Professional Development department is offering its eleventh year of a unique form of professional development for GRCC employees.

Intro to Formation Retreat

  • Dates/Times: Retreat begins at 5:00 PM Wed, May 9, 2012 and ends with lunch on Fri, May 11, 2012
  • Location: The Gilchrist Retreat Center near Three Rivers, MI |

The retreat is only for faculty or staff members who have not previously participated in a Formation Retreat.

This work has grown out of the Formation work of Dr. Parker J. Palmer, noted educational leader and author, and builds upon a decade of Formation work at GRCC for leaders, faculty, and staff. In addition, Grand Rapids Community College is part of a network of colleges, health care organizations, K-12 districts, philanthropic organizations, law firms, government agencies, and community leaders engaged in this form of deep professional development. More info on the national work can be found at the Center for Courage and Renewal and Richland Colleges Center for Renewal and Wholeness in Higher Education.

For three days, GRCC faculty and staff are invited to step away from their daily work activities to consider the personal and professional questions of working at the college.

The themes and questions to consider include:

  • Why were you called to this work?
  • What is the intention of your work?
  • How do you stay renewed in your role?

These retreats offer a safe space to pose questions, seek answers, examine motives, and explore new ideas about the most important work we do at the college. The goal is to help those who work at GRCC sustain and renew their passion, enthusiasm, and commitment to the students, their colleagues, the college, and the communities they serve.

In this retreat, skilled facilitators help create a quiet, focused, and disciplined space in which participants can pause and reflect on their own beliefs about working at the college. In large group, small group, and solitary settings, we will explore the intersection of our personal and professional lives, making use of stories from our own journeys, and insights from poets, storytellers, and various wisdom traditions. These retreats strive to develop a deeper understanding of how your role at the college intersects with who you are as a person.

Grounded in reflective practice, these retreats have sufficient research based evidence supporting a positive impact on the development of employees and their organization(s).

Register at or call Staff Development at 616.234.4285. If you have questions about the retreat, feel free to email Frank Conner at, call him at 616.234.3612, or contact Judy Jankowski at or 616.234.4409.
Participation is open to all GRCC employees and will be on a first-come, first-served basis. We can only accommodate 10 participants, so make certain to enroll early if you are interested. Participants must commit to all three days of the series. The cost of this event is covered by Staff Development.

GRCC in the News – 4/10/12

Community colleges race to fill job skills gap
Posted on April 6, 2012 by Capitol News Service | By WEI YU

LANSING – Students at Jackson Community College can now learn welding skills through two new programs. Rebekah Woods, executive dean of instruction at the college, said the programs began because of a need in the area, but also across the country. Other community colleges around the state, including ones in Alpena, Grand Rapids and Centreville, are also initiating new programs to fill the needs of employers and students. […] Raul Alvarez, executive director of communications at Grand Rapids Community College, said the college opened some online programs this year with Wyoming High School, including information security, advanced manufacturing partnership, advanced energy storage and MRI certification.  (More)

Mike Wallace had a soft spot for Amway: ‘They took their lumps’ said hard-boiled journalist
Published: Monday, April 09, 2012, 6:42 PM | Grand Rapids Press

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — You probably wouldn’t have guessed it, but journalist Mike Wallace had a soft spot for Amway. […] It’s possible the reason there’s little mention of the Grand Rapids connection due to the fact that he left following an on-air gaffe, an episode he recounted in a lecture talk to crowd of 4,200 at Grand Rapids Junior College, now GRCC, in 1979.  (More)