GRCC In the News, 9-11-13

GRCC attributes 4.9 percent drop in enrollment to improving regional economy

Sept. 10, 2013; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Campus is a little emptier this fall at Grand Rapids Community College.

With enrollment down 4.9 percent at GRCC, see how other Michigan community colleges compare

Sept. 10, 2013; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Enrollment was down by 4.9 percent at Grand Rapids Community College this fall, but it was far from the only two-year institution to see fewer students sign up for class.

Syria expert breaks down how it affects West Mi

Sept. 10, 2013; WZZM

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) — Keith St. Clair, a Middle East expert and professor at Grand Rapids Community College, explains how Syria affects West Michigan, and why. He explains the basics you need to know in less than two minutes.

College notes: Harbor’s Vandermus named MIAA defensive player of the week

Sept. 10, 2013; The Petoskey News

… Sophomore outside hitter Tayler Friend had 10 kills and three digs for Grand Rapids Community College during a Michigan Community College Athletic Association win over Kalamamazoo Valley Community College, 25-20, 23-25, 25-19, 25-18.

Men’s Golf Finishes 6th at IWU Invitational


MARION, Ind. — The Taylor men’s golf team improved on day two of the Indiana Wesleyan Fall Invitational but couldn’t gain enough ground to move up in the standings as the Trojans finished 6th in the 11 team field.

… Indiana Wesleyan claimed the tournament title with a two-day total of 602 (302-300) while Grand Rapids Community College finished 2nd and Bethel finished 3rd. Taylor did best Mount Vernon Nazarene (311) and Spring Arbor (312) on the day but Taylor’s deficit from day one was too much to overcome to move up the leaderboard as Mount Vernon Nazarene claimed 4th place and Spring Arbor finished 5th.

Davenport brothers, long-time doubles partners, hope final season together is a winner

Sept. 10, 2013; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Brothers Zac and Tyler Chambers have been doubles partners so long that arguing has long been replaced by reflection.

… The two years at NorthPointe Christian were followed by a two-year break as Zac went to Grand Rapids Community College before the pair were reunited last season and went 20-7.

President’s dunk tank appearance will help United Way

Please join us Wednesday, September 12, on the Dr. Juan Olivarez Student Plaza for some dunk tank fun!

President Ender will be in the dunk tank from 12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Make a donation in support of United Way and get a chance to dunk the president!

President Ender will match every donation, dollar for dollar, in support of the United Way campaign.

Important Changes to Annual SCHOLARfest Event

The Grand Rapids Community College Foundation annually celebrates the efforts of West Michigan’s finest philanthropic leaders while raising support for student scholarships at GRCC. We have come to know this event as SCHOLARfest. However, this year, our champions and friends will notice some last-minute changes to our annual program.

As you know, there are many ways in which our community is engaged in providing educational opportunities for West Michigan residents. That being said, several outstanding organizations, in addition to GRCC, chose Oct. 9 to celebrate the efforts of our community’s finest philanthropic leaders. Given these circumstances, the GRCC Foundation family felt it was in the best interest of not only GRCC but the college’s champions and friends to not host SCHOLARfest 2013.

In doing so, we will focus our fundraising efforts for student scholarships, and our recognition of one of West Michigan’s philanthropic leaders, Meijer, on the college’s upcoming 100-year anniversary celebration, planning of which is currently underway. The college’s 100th anniversary – taking place during the 2014-15 academic year – is apropos to celebrate the past, present and future of the college, while at the same time recognizing those community partners who help foster our vision of providing educational opportunities for student success.

We look forward to working with you for our premiere, 100-year anniversary celebration gala to take place in Fall 2014. For ways to become involved with planning the 2014 100th anniversary gala celebration, please call (616) 234-3939.

Golfers finish 2nd

The GRCC golf team got off to a great start to their 2013-14 season as they finished second at the 10-team Indiana Wesleyan University Invite. The Raiders were the only two-year score there as they posted a second round total of 297, the low round of the tournament. Leading the way for the team was freshman Zach Bialik from Manistee Catholic Central, who shot a second-round 71, the low individual round of the tourney. The Raiders have a busy fall with six tournaments, concluding with the Kohler Classic at the famed Whistling Straits Golf Course in Wisconsin, one of the top 10 courses in the country.

Wellness Department, county team up for Healthy Living Class

The Wellness Department, Professor Melanie Schiele Gady, and the Kent County Health Department formed a partnership for the new Healthy Living Class WE 189. WE 189 students recently found out all of their “health numbers.” Cholesterol (LDL, HDL, Triglycerides), Fasting Glucose, Blood Pressure, Body Mass Index, Waist Circumference, and Body Composition. This is the first partnership of its kind as the Kent County Health Department has never provided these services directly to a college class. The Wellness Department strives to improve the health and well being of our college campus. Be healthy and fit.

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Construction Trades courses start in October

GRCC has a year of Construction Trades courses lined up:

  • MIOSHA 10-Hour, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on October 8 and 9, 2013.
  • MIOSHA Construction – Part 32 Aerial Work Platforms & Devices, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. January 14, 2014.
  • Excavations / The Grave Danger, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. March 4.
  • MIOSHA Construction – Part 2 Masonry Wall Bracing, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. April 30.

CPR certification and re-certification classes also have been scheduled. Click here for more information and to register.

Garbage Tour departs on October 22

Find out where your garbage goes! GRCC’s popular Garbage Tour takes you on a 5 1/2-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 incinerator. Experts will describe the inputs (garbage) and outputs (electricity) for this facility and what it provides for the Grand Rapids area. 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. October 22, 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. The tour costs $33 for GRCC students and $43 for the public.

To register, click here.

Staff Development announces introduction session

Co-Curricular Coaching for All Employees

Wed Sept. 18, 2013

9-11:00 AM

Room 118 ATC


There are formal and informal opportunities for employees to coach students and help them reach their academic goals. This course prepares employees for coaching opportunities by working with them through a student success coaching experience. Participants will serve as a success coaches for the fall, winter, and summer semesters, spend time with others who coaches, and integrate the service into their current job duties. Participants will work with other areas of the college to find a student to work with for the 2013 – 2014 academic year (i.e. Trio Program, counseling office, ABO, and College Success Center). This course introduces and sees employees through coaching strategies, behaviors, and actions needed to help students succeed. This course establishes the college’s support for employees who serve as success coaches.

Learning Objectives:

1. Distinguish differences between coaching and mentoring

2. Define and demonstrate social boundaries and cultural competencies between success coach and student

3. Communicate with other coaches, begin building a coaching network

4. Use college LMS systems (currently Blackboard) to support communication

5. Understand time management, modeling, and professional development as they relate to college success coaching

6. Understand the community college students’ need for soft skill development (the complete collection of our social, communication, and self-management behaviors) i.e. GRCC’s Institutional Learning Outcomes click here or copy and paste the following URL into your browser:

Facilitated by: Professor Mursalata Muhammad

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


First 2013-2014 Mathematics Seminar to focus on abacus

The Grand Rapids Community College Mathematics Department will host its first Mathematics Seminar of the 2013 – 2014 academic year on Wednesday, September 18, 3:00 – 4:00 PM in 107 Cook.  Our presenter, GRCC Mathematics Instructor Nancy Forrest, will speak on the history and use of the Chinese abacus.  Please see the title and abstract for more information.

The mathematics in this seminar will be accessible to all, and the combination of a historical overview with hands-on experience should provide a great experience for those who attend.  Everyone who is a part of the GRCC community is welcome.

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

 Abacus 101

The Chinese abacus has been used to calculate and record numbers for over nine hundred years. This introduction to its use will include an overview of the rich history, as well as instruction on how to perform basic mathematical operations. There will be a hands-on opportunity to use the abacus … no batteries needed!

Sneden staff parking

In an effort to help us manage the increased volume of students parking in the Sneden Parking structure, we are asking/reminding all staff that park in the Sneden lot to first use up all available RESERVED parking spaces. There are 47 spaces under the parking structure that are reserved for employees and an additional 6 in the upper east corner of the lot near the Lettinga House. (Not all of the reserved signs specify “GRCC Employee” but that is what they are reserved for.) We will be adding 10 reserved signs near Mable Engle for those that work in that area or must attend a meeting in that building. It is understood that there may be times when all the reserved spaces are full with employee cars, and employees will need to park in the public spaces, but considering students can not park in the reserved spaces without receiving a parking citation we would like to make every effort to free up those open space for our students. Thank you for your assistance.

Diversity Lecture Series starts October 2

The 2013-2014 Diversity Lecture Series kicks off October 2 with journalist Jose Antonio Vargas. For details about the series, click here.