2013 GRAHEN Outstanding Adult Learner Award Ceremony

On April 10, 2103, Grand Rapids Area Higher Education Network hosted the 13th annual Outstanding Adult Learner Award ceremony and reception celebrating the accomplishments and achievements of adult and nontraditional students at colleges and universities throughout the Grand Rapids area. There were 11 award recipients from the 11 member schools of GRAHEN. These students have the extraordinary ability and determination to successfully balance jobs, classes, families, and community involvement. A winner from each school is selected with the help of nominations from faculty and staff.

The 2013 OAL award recipient from Grand Rapids Community College is Paul Drenth.

GRCCwinnerGRAHENOAL2013Paul Drenth has made himself into a successful adult learner in a short amount of time. He has remained focused on his goal of securing a highly coveted spot in the Ferris State University Doctor of Pharmacy program, which he achieved and will undertake this upcoming fall. After enduring the effects of the automotive industry’s downsizing measures, Paul made the bold decision to return to school and begin a new journey in life which ultimately resulted in a great personal and academic achievement. His commitment to his family strongly motivated him to accomplish his goals.

Paul has remained connected and involved in the community throughout his busy time as a student at GRCC. He gives back to the community by participating in Habitat for Humanity endeavors, volunteering his electrical expertise for his fellow church members, assisting with youth sports and career days as well as supporting the Multiple Sclerosis Society charity through fund raising and care of those with the disease.

Paul’s hard work in his classes has earned him all A’s for the past 11 semesters at GRCC. Peers often look to Paul for academic support and guidance and follow his example in the classroom. One of Paul’s professors, Dr. Jennifer Batten, commented that Paul “is easily in the top 5 percent of all the students that I have taught at GRCC.”

This year also brought additional pride to GRCC as one of our own staff members won the Outstanding Adult Learner Award as well.

GRCCstaffOALwinnerMiguel Espinoza, who works at GRCC’s Lakeshore Campus in Holland, is in the Master of Social Work graduate program at Western Michigan University-Grand Rapids. He has worked hard to maintain a high grade-point average in this program, while remained devoted to community involvement and certainly his commitment to excellent customer service and student support at GRCC. “Miguel feels that through social work he will best be able to utilize his bilingual and bicultural skills assisting those who most need the help, empowering them to bring out their creative talents to live truly meaningful lives, while making a positive impact and contribution to society.”

Congratulations, Paul and Miguel!

GRCC In the News, 4-19-13

“West Michigan Week”

April 12 and 14, 2013; WGVU

GRCC, the Project Management Office, and the Project Prioritization team was brought up during WGVU’s “West Michigan Week.”

The show was about “The Project” 2013, a competition in Project Planning amongst West Michigan educational institutions. During the last five minutes, GRCC was brought up in a discussion of project and strategic management. In addition to describing the Project Prioritization team as a strategic and required part of project management, it was also identified as a “cage fight,” in which the executives and deans look at the value of the projects and decide which are of the highest priority.

The program also mentioned GRCC’s achievement of reducing 173 project to 47 projects that would add value to the organization.

Statewide student group will gather downtown despite record flooding forecast on Grand River

April 18, 2013; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Despite forecasts of record flooding on the Grand River, a statewide education group called SkillsUSA is going ahead with its plans to conduct its 2013 State Leadership and Skills Conference at the DeVos Place and the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel this weekend.

(Article doesn’t mention GRCC hosting competitions; it focuses on flooding issues.)

Ruben Juarez honored at Minority Business Awards

April 17, 2013; The Holland Sentinel

Holland — Ruben Juarez, honored Wednesday at the eighth annual Minority Business Awards at the Midtown Center in Holland, recalled the promise he made to his mother to work hard, get a college degree and end up with a job where he’d wear a tie to the office.

(It’s not mentioned in the story, but Ruben Juarez is a former GRCC student and student employee.)

Govs’ defensive line dominant in spring

April 18, 2013; theleafchronicle.com

CLARKSVILLE, TENN. — The long, difficult road to success for a beleaguered Austin Peay defense starts with a veteran defensive line.

… But the biggest change next fall may come with junior Malcolm Goines, who switched with Siliva to move from defensive end to tackle. Cannon expects Goines to be an effective pass rusher, and his confidence certainly isn’t lacking.

… The Grand Rapids Community College transfer learned a lot in his first season from Smith, and the former walk-on said Goines has made significant strides in his technique to make him a much more dangerous player.

Muskegon Community College update: Jayhawks post sweeps

April 18. 2013; MLive

MUSKEGON, MI – It was a doubleheader sweep Tuesday for the Muskegon Community baseball and softball teams.

… GOLF: The Jayhawks shot a 313 to place second Monday behind host Grand Rapids Community College in an invitational at Egypt Valley. Caleb Johnson led the Jayhawks with a 76 and tied for second. Other scores for MCC were Marcus Fry (77), Travis Clarke (79), Scott Belcourt (81), Dave Bonter (83) and Tyler Covell (88).


Volunteers to make sandbags needed; conserve water this weekend

GRCC often partners with WMEAC and the City of Grand Rapids in sustainable community development initiatives. We have an opportunity to join them in flood protection efforts this weekend. They are seeking volunteers to help make sandbags for the Grand Rapids wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) to prepare for the rain and rising water this weekend. If the WWTP were to flood it would have a significant negative environmental and financial impact on our community. If you are interested in volunteering today, or being added to a list of standby volunteers for the rest of the weekend, please sign up here: http://bit.ly/176o0UH

Daniel Schoonmaker, of WMEAC Member Services, acknowledges that flooding is imminent in many areas of our community. “Though it may sound odd that we’d encourage water conservation during a flood, you can reduce the volumes of water within our sanitary sewer system by using less water,” says Schoonmaker. “Regardless of the WWTP situation, the Market Avenue Retention Basin is currently jettisoning partially treated overflows into the Grand River, so any reduction in sewer volumes would be helpful at this point.”