GRCC In the News, 5-13-14

From prison to restaurant manager: ‘McDonald’s has been really good for me’

May 13, 2014; MLive

HOLLAND, MI — Andrew Monroe considers himself lucky. At 30, he is a married father of two with a good-paying job. He’s also finishing a bachelor’s degree in operations management at Grand Valley State University.

… Within six months of going to work at McDonald’s, Monroe was promoted to assistant manager. That same year, he began taking classes at Grand Rapids Community College. Within four years, he graduated as one of the college’s top students, earning a 4.0 GPA while working more than 40 hours a week at the restaurant.

Pillared home on Heritage Hill Weekend Tour preserves its 162-year-old origins as a cottage

May 12, 2014; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Visitors on this weekend’s 45th Annual Heritage Hill Weekend Tour of Homes may be tempted to overlook the pillared house that’s almost hidden in the back of the lot at 151 Lafayette Avenue NE.

… Tickets on the weekend of the tour will be $20 and available only at the ticket booth in the Sneden Center on the Grand Rapids Community College DeVos Campus, 435 E. Fulton Street.

MIAA Names Penny Allen-Cook Commissioner

May 12, 2014; ABC 13

The Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association has announced the appointment of Penny Allen-Cook as the conference’s ninth commissioner.

… Prior to joining the GLIAC, Allen-Cook served as compliance and academic services coordinator for the athletic department at Saginaw Valley State University from 2005-08. She also served as head volleyball coach at Grand Rapids Community College (1994-96) and as varsity volleyball coach in the high school ranks at Pewamo-Westphalia, Jenison and Freeland. Her overall career coaching record was 494-284-38, for a winning percentage of .605.

Grand Valley State Giancarlo Brugnoni No. 1 on GLIAC list and as MLive’s top performer

May 12, 2014; MLive

… GRCC takes MCCAA title

The Grand Rapids Community College golf team took top honors at the MCCAA state championship tournament on May 5, topping a field of 11.

Muskegon Community College sports recap: Baseball to kick off postseason in Battle Creek

May 12, 2014; MLive

MUSKEGON, MI — Postseason fever officially is underway for the Muskegon Community College baseball team.

… The Jayhawks open the tournament at 4 p.m. Wednesday against Vincennes University (Ind.) at Bailey Park’s Nichols Field. A win moves them along to take on the winner of Grand Rapids Community College and Kellogg Community College at noon on Thursday, while a loss pits them against the loser of GRCC vs. KCC at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Staff Development Offers Presentation Skills Workshop

When speaking before a group, do you have “executive presence”? Are you able to persuade people to take action, change their attitudes, and buy a product? If you want to polish your presentation skills, this seminar will help you fine-tune your speaking skills.

Participants will learn how to organize their thoughts in a concise manner, use effective platform skills to deliver an impactful presentation and control nerves.

The Employer’s Association has been invited to present Powerful Presentation Skills, a two-part course to GRCC Staff and Faculty on Tuesday June 3rd and Tuesday June 10th. Both sessions will run from 9-11:00 AM in Room 118 Calkins Science Center.

There are a limited number of seats available – register today!

Registration is available and detailed descriptions can be found at the following link:

Please contact Staff Development at ext. 4285 if you need registration assistance.

Project Human Resource Management in Action

Project teams are formed to accomplish project work. Acquiring, developing, and managing project teams properly requires careful up-front planning. Well before people are chosen to work on a project, a project manager must first interview the project’s stakeholders and gather requirements. This drives the development of the work packages, identifying the tasks that make up each work package, and estimating their time and cost. This leads to the development of a preliminary project schedule and budget. All this also provides the information necessary to determine which skills are needed to complete the tasks. This, in turn, drives the process of acquiring, developing, and managing the people who possess the skills to complete them.

GRCC is fortunate to employ people who possess a great many skills to complete most of the work on our IT projects. In those rare instances where experience and skills are lacking for a particular project, we have the choice to either contract the work or to train our people to learn what they need to know to complete their parts of the project work successfully. More often than not, we do the latter if it is determined that those skills will benefit the college and/or the cost to contract the work verses the cost of training exceeds the project’s budget. Time is a factor, too. Suppose a project is very complex and has a hard deadline. If it is determined that the training and experience cannot be acquired in time, then the work may be contracted.

Once a project team forms, understands the work they must accomplish, and determines the time and resources they need to be successful, the project manager will do his or her best to ensure that the team can work unimpeded by internal and external influences. Project teams naturally go through a process known as Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Adjourning. As the name of each stage in this process suggests, changes must occur within a project team that eventually allow them to work well together and part ways when the project is over. The time frame of each stage varies depending on each team’s individual and collective personalities and on how well the project manager performs risk management to respond effectively to changes as they occur – and they will occur.

This is often the most difficult part of project management for some because project teams are rarely ever made up of the same people, which means these teams must learn how to work well with each other to accomplish the goals of the project. Additionally, GRCC’s project managers do not have direct authority over their team members. Instead, to be effective, they must engage and respect each team member, focus them on the goals of the project, and effectively utilize their collective time and talents to complete the project work. With complex projects combined with hard deadlines, this is definitely a high wire act – often with no nets.

Finally, as team members complete their project work, they are released from the project team back to their normal duties. While some may attend project meetings to advise others on the project, it is best to release team members from their responsibilities to the project once they complete their tasks, so they can resume their normal job responsibilities, or possibly help out with other projects. This is very important because our people, like other resources, are finite and scarce, and are subject to overuse and burnout if not managed properly. We must nurture, respect, and value them, so they remain available and enthusiastic to work on future projects, as well as be happy and productive GRCC employees.

Next week we’ll review project communications management.

Orientation kicks off today

Our Orientation program kicks off today for our brand new students who will be attending this Fall. If you come across a new student, please be sure to welcome them to campus. Below is some information that might be helpful to you should you happen upon any lost students.

Orientation is on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Tuesday and Thursday there is a morning (9-12) and afternoon session (1:30-4:30). On Wednesday, we have a afternoon (1:30-4:30) and an evening session (6-9). The first two weeks we kick off out of the Music building so any students should be directed there and the remaining program begins in the ATC auditorium. Students will also be led to the 5th Floor Cook for their registration portion by an ambassador. Students attending at the Lakeshore have the option to participate in orientation at that location (different times/dates).

We have 14 ambassadors who will be working hard all summer to make our new students feel welcome. Be sure to say hi to them as you see them walking around campus.

If you have any questions or comments, please direct them to Lori Cook at ext. 3099.