GRCC In the News, 4-15-14

Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra names new music director

April 14, 2014; Petoskey News

The Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra board of trustees announced the selection of Libor Ondras, Ph.D., as the new Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra music director.
…A viola recitalist, Ondras serves as music director of the Kent Philharmonic Orchestra and orchestra director at the Grand Rapids Community College.

Brann’s Steakhouse CEO’s folksy memoir serves up tales of 4 decades in Michigan restaurant business

April 15, 2014; MLive

At age 19, Tommy Brann became the youngest restaurant owner in Michigan.
…His philanthropic efforts range from creating a scholarship for African-American hospitality students at Grand Rapids Community College, donating $15,000 for the Veterans Park in Grand Rapids and purchasing helmets for the Wyoming Police Department.

Local athletes compete at collegiate level

April 15, 2014; Cadillac News

Aquinas College freshman Aaron Hodges (Cadillac H.S.) hit the “B standard” for the NCAA Championships in the pole vault as he took fifth place with a leap of 15-feet, 5-inches at the Don Klienow Track & Field Invitational Saturday at Siena Heights.
…Davenport University freshman Cayman Gatt (Pine River H.S.) had three hits in the Panthers’ 7-2 JV softball win over Grand Rapids Community College on April 7. She added two hits in Davenport’s 4-2 Game 2 win.

Muskegon Community College sports recap: Jayhawk softball extends win streak to 3 games

April 14, 2014; MLive

MUSKEGON, MI The Muskegon Community College softball team got off to a slow start this season, but appears to be turning things around.
…MCC swept Grand Rapids Community College 11-0 and 13-0 on April 11.

Summer Campus Dining Hours

Spring Semester

4/28 & 4/29: Regular Hours at the Raider Grille, Quiet Cafe & Sneden Cafe

4/30: Raider Grille closed at 1pm. Quiet Cafe & Sneden Cafe closed at 4pm.

Summer Semester:

5/12 – 8/7: Quiet Cafe & Sneden Cafe open 8am-2pm Monday-Thursday.

Closed Memorial Day: 5/26

Fall Semester:

8/25: All dining services re-open normal business hours.

Unless the GRCC campus is closed, Campus Dining will continue to provide catered services despite retail operations being closed.

IT Project Management Office Weekly Update – 4/15/14

Project Time Management Example

Suppose you are planning a surprise birthday party for a loved one. You have gathered all the requirements and identified the deliverables (or outcomes) needed to make the party successful. They include obtaining a venue and decorating it, the guest list, food and drinks, presents, activities, and the cake. And, since this is a surprise party, arguably the most important deliverable is getting the guest of honor to the party destination just in time for the surprise of their life. In this example, we’ll focus on the surprise portion of the party plan, because for it to work well, project time management is essential.

The first step is to define how to manage the party schedule. This keeps those involved with scheduling the surprise party and executing its time-sensitive activities well informed with how the plan will be developed, executed, and changed (if necessary).

The next step is to define the activities involved to pull off the surprise successfully. General requirements defined previously are broken down into activities that individuals can perform. In our example, a key surprise party requirement is to have a “handler.” The handler will have several activities that he or she must perform well in order to keep the guest of honor unaware of the surprise and to get them to the party on time.

When it comes to a surprise party, knowing the sequence in which activities will occur is essential. Some activities must be done in a dependent order, while others can be done in a non-dependent order or even simultaneously. An example of dependent activities are that you must first get the guest of honor to the party before the guests can yell surprise. Simultaneous activities involve the handler keeping the guest of honor busy and unaware of the party while others are decorating the venue and preparing the food and drink.

Once the sequencing of activities is complete, we must determine if those involved with planning and executing the surprise require any resources. For instance, the handler may need a car to transport the guest of honor and a cell phone with texting capabilities to quietly communicate their location and time of arrival. Guests of the party will require maps with specific instructions on when to arrive at the party, where to park, and what to do if they’re running late.

Next, each activity is estimated and analyzed in terms of its importance, timing, and dependent activities. Activities with defined dependencies must be measured closely to determine the minimum and maximum amount of time they will take to execute. In our example, the timing of the party setup activities and guest arrivals must be well estimated, as to determine the proper arrival time of the guest of honor.

Now that all the activities, sequences, resources, and durations are identified and the time estimates are complete, the next step is to integrate this information into a schedule. With our surprise party example, an accurate, well managed schedule will ensure that the activities are listed, organized, and communicated clearly to those responsible for executing the activities, so there are no misunderstandings.

Things can change in life, and your ability to accommodate and even capitalize on change is important – especially when managing projects. In our example, suppose the handler is unable to manage the guest of honor as planned. Controlling the schedule will allow you to have the mechanisms in place to update it and to inform those affected by any schedule changes in a timely manner. This requires a careful yet quick review of the time management processes to ensure that the updated schedule includes the proper activities, sequencing, resources, and durations. This will also help prevent any unwanted time management surprises.


Next week we’ll look at project quality management.

Formation Retreat dates for 2014 announced

Grand Rapids Community College’s Formation Retreat Dates Announced

For the twelfth year we are pleased to offer a unique form of professional development for GRCC employees.

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).

Introduction to Formation Retreat:

Begins at 5:00 PM Wed, June 4, 2014 and ends with lunch on Fri, June 6, 2014

Location: The Gilchrist Retreat Center near Three Rivers, MI.

This retreat is for any Faculty or Staff member who HAS NOT PARTICIPATED in a previous Formation Retreat.

Continuing Formation Retreat:

Begins at 5:00 PM Sunday June 1, 2014 and ends with lunch on Tuesday June 3, 2014.

Location: The Gilchrist Retreat Center near Three Rivers, MI.

This retreat is for any Faculty or Staff member who HAS PARTICIPATED in a previous Formation Retreat, and would like to revisit the experience.

You can register for either retreat online 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 call her at 616.234.4409.

Participation is open to all GRCC employees who have participated in an introductory retreat. However, we can only accommodate 10 participants. Given this, out of fairness, priority will be given to those faculty and staff who have not participated in previous continuing retreats. If you are interested and have participated in previous continuing retreats, please sign-up. You will be notified as soon as possible if there is an opening. Participants must commit to all three days of the series.

Final mathmatics seminar of the semester to be held today

The Grand Rapids Community College Mathematics Department will host its last Mathematics Seminar of the 2013-2014 academic year on Tuesday, April 15, 3:00 – 4:00 in 520 Cook. Our presenters, GRCC Adjunct Mathematics Instructors Monica Stevens and Barb Bouthillier, will discuss hands-on activities (games) that can help students learn mathematics. See below for title and abstract.

This talk should be of interest to anyone who teaches or plans to teach mathematics, or to anyone who just wants to have fun doing mathematics – and who doesn’t?! As always, everyone is welcome to attend GRCC Mathematics Seminars.

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

One Aspect of Universal Design: Playing Games in Math Class

In an effort to engage all learners, in particular, kinesthetic learners, we collected and developed activities designed for instruction and practice in our Basic Math courses. These activities can be adapted for elementary or secondary use, or even for higher level classes. During this presentation, we will explain the process we used to create the activities, their implementation, and the results. Participants will play multiple activities and copies of them will be available electronically.