GRCC In the News, 3-29-13

Inside Track: When it comes to legal battles, this combat vet has an edge

March 28, 2013; Grand Rapids Business Journal

Which was worse: war or law school?

Brent Geers chuckles at the question, then reflects on the four years he spent abroad fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan before returning home to Grand Rapids, attending Thomas Cooley Law School and becoming its first African-American graduate to open his own practice locally.

(GRCC isn’t mentioned in the article, but Brent Geers is a former employee.)

Diversity historian speaking at GRCC

March 28, 2013; WOOD TV

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – This week Grand Rapids Community College has been hosting a Race, Ethnicity and Identity Conference for students, faculty and community members. The week has featured workshops, discussions and speakers addressing environmental responsibility, social justice, and cultural diversity.

G-Sync: Silence’s Puzzling Evidence

March 28, 2013;

Woodrick Diversity Learning Center, organizer of the Diversity Lecture Series, invited LZ Granderson to speak at Fountain Street Church on Feb. 13. Granderson earnestly spoke to the large audience about his life story, which included highlights of his time at ESPN and his newest gig at CNN. He also shared stories of his mother, failed marriage, teenage son, and partner. Granderson even shared his religious convictions, reflecting on the very values many West Michigan dwellers embrace as their own.

… Two Grand Rapids Community College trustees sat in the front row, and their silence on Granderson’s speech would be short-lived.


Geometric Dimensioning & Tolerancing course starts in May 2013

Industry uses Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing to specify contractual requirements. Unfortunately, many people within industry have a flawed or incomplete understanding of the subject.

The Basic Geometric Dimensioning & Tolerancing course builds competence to correctly apply and interpret the rules, definitions, principles and symbols per the American National Standard, ASME Y14.5 – 2009, in only two days! This course provides a common language to improve communication, so set-up requirements and tolerance zones are clearly understood by all.

Topics include:

  • the rules, definitions, and symbols of ASME Y14.5-2009.
  • specified feature control frames.
  • specified datum reference frames.
  • the shape, size, and location of tolerance zones.
  • features size requirements given specified tolerances.

The course runs 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 13 and 14, 2013, at Leslie. E Tassell M-TEC. The registration fee is $585. For more information, click here.


awardphotoEach year, Grand Rapids Community College recognizes outstanding contributions to the College through the Excellence in Education Awards.  For two GRCC faculty members, that recognition has gone national.  Diane Sparks, Professor of Education, and Dawn Cheikh, Adjunct Instructor of French and Arabic, became the inaugural GRCC recipients of the John and Suanne Roueche Excellence Awards at the League for Innovation in the Community College annual conference in Dallas, March 10 – 13.  The Excellence Awards were established in 2012 to recognize outstanding teaching and leadership by faculty at League for Innovation member institutions.

For Sparks, a 28-year veteran of GRCC, the award caps a long career of leadership and teaching excellence that includes time as both an education professor and the Director of the GRCC lab preschool.  According to Sparks, her passion for education began at a young age.

“I have been teaching since I could wrangle my little sister and friends into sitting and watching me use a pointer on the map on the wall in our basement when I was 10-years old,” she said.  “I am constantly challenged by the many learning needs that present themselves each semester, and it is those needs that have helped me grow and change as an educator.”

That focus on the needs of the students is a defining characteristic of Cheikh as well.

“I care about my students first.  The subject matter is secondary,” she said.  “I try to make every moment we spend in class golden.”

Sparks and Cheikh were recognized during a special ceremony at the close of the conference and each received  a certificate and medallion.


President Ender hosts ‘Coffee & Conversation’

In a “Coffee & Conversation” session on March 28, 2013, President Dr. Steven C. Ender discussed pay-for-performance changes for Meet and Confer employees, the faculty contract, construction — College Park Plaza is on time and under budget — enrollment, and the possible effects of universal health care.

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As a teacher have you ever wondered “do my students get what I am saying”?  Are they going to use this material?  The Wellness Department Principles of Physical Education Class has been teaching at East Leonard and Kent Hills Elementary an Organ Wise Guys Program.  The goal of the program, an Armen Awards finalist, is to teach the GRCC students and Elementary students the importance of a healthy diet, proper exercise, and how the body works.   The PE 184 students are all assigned an elementary classroom for the whole semester and are in charge of teaching the Organ Wise Guys Program.

GRCC students Nolan Brower and Ralph Peterson need to be recognized as doing a great job teaching because one of their 3rd graders at East Leonard, Ethan, just won an award for his essay that he wrote in regards to eating a good breakfast.  Ethan entered into a Grand Rapids Public School District wide essay contest.  The essay was for 1st through 8th graders and the essay had to explain the “importance of eating a good healthy breakfast”.  Ethan won a bike, helmet and lock for his essay.

Congratulations to GRCC students Nolan and Ralph and East Leonard 3rd grader Ethan for their amazing job on transferring the material learned in the classroom and making a difference.

Garbage Tour scheduled for April 24, 2013

Find out where your garbage goes! GRCC’s popular Garbage Tour takes you on a five and a half hour educational journey of the main facilities in Kent County that deal with post-consumer waste, i.e., garbage.

Whether you are looking for ways to reduce waste for your business or home, this expedition will take you where most are forbidden to go!

We will start with a visit to the Covanta Energy plant, also known as the waste to energy facility incinerator. WTE experts will describe the inputs (garbage) and outputs (electricity) for this facility and what it provides for Greater Grand Rapids. Our second stop is the materials recovery facility. Here we will be guided on a walking tour and educational discussion of Kent County’s state of the art recycling efforts. There will also be an opportunity to eat your sack lunch here. We’ll see the mountains of yard waste diverted for composting, and learn how and where this is done.

Our final stop is an up-close and personal bus tour of the local landfill. Enjoy the view while professional landfill personnel describe the engineering features and local statistics for use of the South Kent Landfill.

The bus boards at 10:30 a.m. April 24, 2013, at Tassell M-TEC. It returns to Tassell M-TEC by 4 p.m. Casual dress, with closed-toe shoes, is recommended. Please bring your own sack lunch.

To register, click here.

GRCC In the News, 3-28-13

Grand Rapids’ new multi-million-dollar economic boon? The Silver Line BRT construction begins

March 28, 2013;

The long-anticipated construction of what could be Grand Rapids’ biggest economic generator yet begins in two weeks as Michigan’s first Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line breaks ground on the first three of 33 high-tech bus stations.

… As buses get close to downtown, they’ll have stations at or near new apartments along S. Division and at Tapestry Square, the new University Preparatory High School, Saint Mary’s Health Care, Grand Rapids Community College, Van Andel Institute, the Medical Mile, the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, DeVos Place Convention Center, and in downtown Grand Rapids near restaurants, shops, and banks. Some stations are just a few blocks from Cooley Law School, Kendall College of Art & Design, and Grand Valley State University. And the buses will also pass miles and miles of vacant land, underused buildings, abandoned buildings, and decaying urban properties.

Wyoming Public Schools board approves teacher contract ahead of right-to-work implementation

March 27, 2013; MLive

WYOMING, MI — Teachers at Wyoming Public Schools will see annual pay increases based on longevity reduced under a new three-year contract approved Monday, just days before Michigan’s right-to-work law goes into effect.

… Other districts where new contracts were recently negotiated at include Grandville, Grand Rapids Public Schools, and Grand Rapids Community College.

Rockford seminar on hydraulic fracturing heats up

March 27, 2013; Greenville Daily News

ROCKFORD — The conversation threatened to spiral out of control during the question-and-answer period of a contentious seminar on hydraulic fracturing Monday evening at Rockford High School.

More than 100 area residents turned out to hear from author Maryann Lesert, who extensively studied the topic while doing research for an upcoming novel.
Lesert, who teaches at Grand Rapids Community College, was in town at the behest of three area conservation groups; Citizens for Responsible Resource Management (CRRM), Kent County Water Conservation (KCWC), and Mutual Aid of Grand Rapids (MAGR).

Psychology Department Speakers Series looks at ‘Mental Toughness’

The Psychology Department Speakers Series will hold its final session from 1-2:30 p.m. April 3, 2013, in the ATC. Dr. Edmund O’Conner will present “Mental Toughness: The X-Factor in Sport and Life.”

In this applied and practical session, attendees will develop the psychological edge to be better and more consistent than their opponents in remaining determined, focused, confident and in-control under pressure. While sport is emphasized, the skills covered — focus, centering and rebounding from mistakes — apply in all areas of performance. Attendees will leave the session with techniques they can apply immediately to maximize their potential and excel.

Dr. O’Connor is a Fellow and Certified Consultant through the Association for Applied Sport Psychology, practicing at the Performance Excellence Center at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital.