Fire Alarm Testing in ATC on 9/5/12

The State Fire Marshal will be on site Wednesday Sept. 5th for inspection of the new Secchia Teaching Kitchen in the ATC building. The inspection is scheduled for 1:00 pm but there will need to flexibility to allow systems to be tested when the inspector arrives. The test will involve activating the alarm/strobe system, if the alarm sounds for more than several minutes consider it to be a real alarm and evacuate the building.

GRCC in the News – 8/31/12

High School Does Not Go High Enough
By Larry M. Elkin Apr 6, 2012, 8:01 AM | Wall Street Pit

At Santa Monica College, a 34,000-student, two-year community college in California, students sometimes sit on the floor to hear professors speak. This is not part of a New Age approach to learning; there aren’t enough seats. […] Wyoming Public Schools in Grand Rapids, Mich., for example, launched a program last month to allow students to dual-enroll at Grand Rapids Community College in order to earn both a high school diploma and an associate’s degree in five years, with the public school system paying the community college tuition.  (More)

Raider Salute to Foundation, Media, Facilities, Operations and Grounds Crew

We’d like to give a heartfelt Raider Salute to the Foundation office, the Media department, the Facilities and Operations departments, and the Grounds crew. We appreciate all the time, effort and expertise each of you gave to make the M-TEC and Job Training Celebrations a success. The building and grounds looked fantastic, the presentations went off without a hitch, and everything was in place and in working order. We couldn’t have done it without you!

Our Sincerest Thanks,

The Leslie E. Tassell M-TEC Staff

Ashlee Pipoly Farewell Message

For those who have had the pleasure of working with Ashlee (Pipoly) Misler, Student Life Coordinator, please join us in wishing her well as her final day at GRCC is today (Thursday, August 30.) She has done fabulous work in Student Life and to support our students in general. She leaves us in order to start a new chapter in life with her new husband in Chicago. Ashlee – you will be missed!!

Ashlee Pipoly Welcome_Week_B_09_2011_011

Raider Salute to Julie Lenger

This Salute comes from Robin Kritzman in the Campus Police Department:

“I would like to give a shout out of some kind to Julie Lenger on GRCC Today. Her enthusiasm, energy, smile, and amazing personality has made a true difference to the college. I understand it is her job, but she goes above and beyond. WE appreciate all you do Julie. ;)”

Learning Opportunities from Staff Development for Meet and Confer Employees and their Supervisors

Beginning the last week in August, and running through the months of September and October, Staff Development and Human Resources will co-facilitate several sessions addressing ‘Meet & Confer Pay for Performance’ and ‘Writing Goals and Outcomes for the Performance Evaluation.’ Specific dates, times and locations can be found online at

Please consider registering online or call Staff Development at extension 4285.

GRCC in the News – 8/29/12

GRCC deals with the void as college football season nears
Published: Tuesday, August 28, 2012, 7:30 AM | Grand Rapids Press | By Peter J. Wallner

GRAND RAPIDS, MI –It’s quieter than it has been in 80 years in the Grand Rapids Community College athletic department. Normally in late August, the Raiders football team is practicing and preparing for the season ahead. But not this year.  (More)

Ottawa’s Thompson M-TEC Says More Adults Come Back
John Bry, WOOD Radio News Team | Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Along with the kids going back to schools, Ottawa County’s Thompson M-TEC center tells WOOD Radio there has been a big increase in the number of adults going back for vocational education. Doug Bagley said that there are jobs waiting for people who have the necessary skills. “I have these jobs sitting out there that I can’t get people to fill,” he said.  (More)

Learning Opportunities from Staff Development – New Partnership With GVSU

New! We are now co-sponsoring sessions with GVSU as part of a Workshop Collaboration Pilot beginning Fall 2012. The learning opportunities detailed below are available to all GRCC employees, and earn Professional Development credits for 2012-13. Please consider participating in these sessions. Online registration is available at or call Staff Development at ext. 4285.

United Way Day of Caring
(Healthy Choices Option)
Fri Sept 14, 2012

Sign up for the morning, afternoon or the entire day!  Each year, more than 1600 volunteers give more than 5000 hours to nearly 80 different organizations. This year, you can create lasting change in our community by volunteering with other students, faculty, and, staff members during the United Way’s Day of Caring. For more information or to register, contact Jeff Mutch, Community Service Learning Center, or go here.

Making Change Happen
Wed. Sept 19, 2012 | 2-3:30 pm | Room 1142 Kirkhof Center (Allendale Campus)
Wed. Nov 7, 2012 | Noon-2:00 pm | Room 302E DeVos Center (Pew Campus Downtown GR)

We set goals and have a vision for our lives and our career, but taking that first step towards success can sometimes be daunting and debilitating. Acknowledging why we get stuck, exploring our options and turning into ways we can get moving on our goals are key elements of initiating change. As a group, we’ll explore the “hard truths,” share “transition pillars,” set goals and formulate accountability partners that will spark us into action. Come prepared to initiate change.

Happiness Habits
Wed. Sept 26, 2012 | 9:30-11:00 am | Room 1142 Kirkhof Center (Allendale Campus)
Thur. Sept 27, 2012 | 9:30-11:00 am | Room 302 DeVos Center (Pew Campus Downtown GR)

Research has proven how vital happiness is to the wellbeing of each person. Happy people live longer, are healthier and have better relationships. In fact, happiness leads to more success in every area of a person’s life. Learn how you can become happy from the inside out by developing happiness habits. These habits will help you to become a happier person whose happiness does not depend on external circumstances.

Moving Up – Preparing for career advancement
Wed. Sept 26, 2012 | 2-3:30 pm | Room 1142 Kirkhof Center (Allendale Campus)
Wed. Oct 17, 2012 | 10-11:30 am | Room 302E DeVos Center (Pew Campus Downtown GR)

Even though you excel at your job there’s always room for improvement. And when it comes to taking a leap to the next position, it’s prudent to plan in advance. A new role with a new team, under new leadership in perhaps a new division brings an entirely new set of expectations. Whether you’re planning to transition soon or not for several years, it’s wise to start implementing strategies that will increase your chances for success. In this workshop, we’ll discuss mandatory professional development expectations, strategies for building your career portfolio and tips for increasing your transition potential.

What Daddies Do Best
Thur. Sept 27, 2012 | Noon – 1:00 pm | Room 2264 Kirkhof Center (Allendale Campus) OR
Thur. Nov 29, 2012 | Noon – 1:00 pm | Room 2264 Kirkhof Center (Allendale Campus)

My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard. Mother would come out and say, “You’re tearing up the grass.” “We’re not raising grass,” Dad would reply. “We’re raising boys.” ~Harmon Killebrew

Like football, fatherhood is about winning. But it’s more than just scoring points. It’s about winning the hearts and minds of your children and leaving a rich legacy of love for future generations. This group of Grand Valley dads meets twice a semester to talk about topics related to fatherhood. It’s facilitated by Sharalle Arnold, director of the Children’s Enrichment Center and Sue Sloop, Work Life consultant.

United Way Schools of Hope Tutoring and Training Program
(Healthy Choices Option)
Tues. Oct 2, 2012 | Noon-1:30 pm | Room 1142 Kirkhof Center (Allendale Campus) Or
Thur. Oct 4, 2012 | Noon-1:30 PM | Room 303C DeVos Center (Pew Campus Downtown GR)

Schools of Hope represents the Heart of West Michigan United Way’s Literacy strategy to close the reading achievement gap between third-grade students in Grand Rapids Public Schools and those in Kent County’s highest scoring districts.

Be a volunteer and sign up as a reading tutor. The commitment is only 30 minutes per week. With supervisor approval, no vacation or personal time will be lost to participate. Each first time tutor is required to undergo one two hour training program.

Interview Bloopers
Thur. Oct 4, 2012 | Noon-2:00 pm | Room 302E DeVos Center (Pew Campus Downtown GR)
Mon. Oct 8, 2012 | 9-11:00 am | Room 1142 Kirkhof Center (Allendale Campus)

Plan to interview for a new position? Haven’t interviewed in a period of time? Tend to get nervous when interviewing? Attend this informative and interactive workshop to review interview techniques and avoid bloopers in your next interview! Gather guidelines, share insights and enjoy a lighthearted look at what can go wrong and what should go right, in a professional interview. Presented by Sue Lindrup and Kim Monaghan, Human Resources Career Services for Faculty and Staff Consultant.

The Power of Vulnerability
Thur. Oct 11, 2012 | Noon-1:30 pm | Room 2270 Kirkhof Center (Allendale Campus)

Are you a people pleaser? In our culture it’s easy to buy into the myth that vulnerability represents weakness and our imperfections are inadequacies. Fearing disconnection, we spend too much of our precious time and energy performing, perfecting, and pleasing. Rather than believing in our worthiness, we hustle for it.

Lynne M. Lehocky, a therapist from Journey Thru Counseling Services, will join other experts in a discussion centered on Brene Brown’s video, “The Power of Vulnerability.”

Be a Better Writer at Work
Wed. Oct 17, 2012 | Noon-2:00 pm | Room 302E DeVos Center (Pew Campus Downtown GR)

Writing is the key for any successful career. Whether writing an email or a presentation, communication that is clear and concise and has a point gets positive results. Whether you enjoy writing or have difficulty crafting an email, you can learn to be a better writer- and more effective communicator. In this 90 minute workshop, learn essential skills including: A guide to the 10 most common mistakes we make in punctuation and grammar; the 5 Cs of Clear Communication; Plain English (removing jargon from your communications); Writing to inform; Writing to persuade; Putting together successful plans and presentations; You’ll learn how to write emails, memos, letters and presentations that yield great results.

Caregiving: A Reason to Overcome Sibling Rivalry
Wed. Oct 24, 2012 | Noon – 1 pm | Room 302E DeVos Center (Pew Campus Downtown GR)  Or
Thur. Oct 25, 2012 | Noon – 1 pm | Room 2259 Kirkhof Center (Allendale Campus)

Sibling Rivalry can become fueled by the demands and decisions of caring for aging parents. Family dynamics often ignite when baby boomer brothers and sisters are forced to unite on how to care for mom and dad.  Common questions they face:

  • Who decides what’s best in their final years?
  • Who takes on the primary responsibility of caring for them?
  • How do siblings prevent resentment from creeping into their relationships?
  • How does rivalry play a role in these decisions?

Join Jennifer Feuerstein, from Gerontology Network, a she talks frankly about how to work peacefully as a family on caregiving issues, inheritance, end-of-life decision, housing, dementia and more.

Estate Planning and Other Legal Issues for the LGBT Community
Fri. Nov 2, 2012 | Noon – 1 pm | Room 2270 Kirkhof Center (Allendale Campus)  Or
Fri. Nov 9, 2012 | Noon-1 pm | Room 302E DeVos Center (Pew Campus Downtown GR)

When members of the LGBT community form new relationships, dissolve existing ones, create families, or draft estate plans, they face a daunting array of conflicting and sometimes hostile laws that their straight peers do not.

Attorney Peter M. Kulas, from Kulas Law Office will help participants understand the legal issues facing the LBGT community and give advice on preparing documents or facing legal hurdles.

Understanding Mental Health in the Workplace and Home 
Tues. Nov 13, 2012 | Noon – 1:30 pm | Room 2266 Kirkhof Center (Allendale Campus)  Or
Thur. Nov 15, 2012 | Noon – 1:30 pm | Room 302E DeVos Center (Pew Campus Downtown GR)

Have you noticed a change in behavior in a co-worker, a family member or friend? Would you be able to recognize signs of depression, personality disorders, bipolar disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and anxiety?

Emotional health challenges affect many employees and their loved ones — a fact that is usually overlooked because these disorders tend to be hidden. As a result, emotional health challenges often go unrecognized and untreated.

Mike Ohren, from Encompass, will dispel the myths surrounding mental and emotional illness. Learn about what indicators to look for and hear about the success of treatment for mental disorders.

Academic Support Center Trains Tutors for the Fall 2012 Semester (Photos)

Tutor_Training_B_08_2012_045 (Small)

The Academic Support Center trained an enthusiastic body of 110 student and professional tutors last week Tuesday and Wednesday. During the 2011-2012 academic year, ASC provided for 180,000 student visits across the disciplines. We work hard to prepare our tutors for working with students who have diverse skill levels and needs.

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ASC is continuing its rigorous tutor training which has certified the program with the College Reading and Learning Association. At the end of the Wednesday training session, 56 tutors were award a certificate for completing the Level 1 CRLA International Tutor Certification.

This semester, the eight-hour training included presentations by fellow GRCC colleagues about working with different personality types (Mary Beth Beighly), library online resources and specialty databases (Nan Schichtel, Peter Lewandoski, and Miriam Thompson), and the CRLA tutoring certification.

Lunch and Learn Opportunities from Staff Development – 9/25/12-4/4/12

Wellness is an active process of becoming aware of, and making choices toward a more holistic existence. Wellness is not something that happens to people, wellness is a state of being. Here at Grand Rapids Community College we have a number of ways for you to “plug-in” to wellness. You don’t need to be a marathon runner or meditate for hours each day, but what’s your next step to becoming a healthier person for yourself, your family, you students and our community?

One way to “plug-in” to wellness, is by joining us for the viewing of four “Lunch & Learn” movies. These events are created to inform and educate in a relaxed format. A healthy lunch may be purchased for $5.00 at this event. When signing up please indicate if you would like a lunch to eat while viewing the movie.

Please register online at or call Staff Development at extension 4285.

Lunch & Learn – Food, Inc.
Tue Sept. 25, 2012 | 11:30AM-1:30 PM | 348 CSC

Educational Movie – Participants will learn about the state of our food ‘system’ in the United States, learn about the issues surrounding the food and how to make healthier choices in their food purchasing. Continue reading

GRCC in the News – 8/28/12

With fall classes underway, enrollment down less than one percent at GRCC
Published: Monday, August 27, 2012, 5:37 PM | Grand Rapids Press | By Brian McVicar

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Fall classes kicked-off at Grand Rapids Community College today, with enrollment totaling 17,358 students, a slight decrease from last year, administrators said.  (More)

Proposed pension changes would save GRCC $1.3 million
Published: Monday, August 27, 2012, 4:42 PM | Grand Rapids Press | By Brian McVicar

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Proposed changes to Michigan’s school employee retirement benefit system will save Grand Rapids Community College approximately $1.3 million this year, administrators said.  (More)

Next GED Prep Class Orientation and Testing Tuesday 9/4/12

First Session:  Registration for Orientation at 3:45 PM, Orientation/Testing starts promptly at 4:00 PM.

Second Session: Registration for Orientation at 4:45 PM, Orientation/Testing starts promptly at 5:00 PM.

Third Session: Registration for Orientation at 5:45 PM, Orientation/Testing starts promptly at 6:00 PM.

For more information, please contact 616-234-3040.

Students are accepted in the program who meet the following criteria:

  • All participants must attend orientation and take assessments.
  • All participants must assess at a 9th grade reading level or higher.
  • All participants must have a Michigan issued ID or Driver’s License.
  • All participants must pay $25, non-refundable, registration fee.