Blackboard outage resolution

Yesterday morning at 8:42 a.m., the network storage that supports Blackboard data, suffered a failure that caused Blackboard to be unavailable until 5 p.m. GRCC network engineers worked with our storage vendor to restore the system as it was at the time of the outage.

We deeply apologize for causing an interruption in your classes. If you encounter any problem in your courses, please contact IT Customer Support at 234-4357.

TRiO students sponsor doughnut fundraiser

The TRIO/Student Support Services Program is holding a fundraising effort to support a 5th grade student in Haiti. TRIO/SSS has worked for the past couple of years to support The Power of Education Foundation and their mission through the school they run in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. This year we have chosen to sponsor a child and we need your support in making this effort real! Come and buy doughnuts on Tuesday, November 4 from our TRIO/SSS students!


100 Ways to Give: Smoked Duck Cassoulet with Michigan Cherries on Heritage menu today


The Secchia Institute for Culinary Education is serving a #100 Ways to Give project today. The Heritage lunch menu is featuring a special dish, Smoked Duck Cassoulet with Michigan Cherries, celebrating the 1930s.

Chef Campbell’s class in the Heritage will be serving lunch from 11:15 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. today. For reservations, call (616) 234-3700 or click here. To learn about the other “decade dishes,” click here.

In The News, 10-31-14

Professional offers furnace tips for heating season
10/31/14 WZZM
GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) — Heating season is upon us and woe be those whose furnace won’t work. To get some answers for furnace questions, we turned to Don Steeby, an associate professor of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning at Grand Rapids Community College.

College notes: Detroit Tigers early exit lets Dan Dickerson watch daughter play volleyball at GVSU
10/30/14 MLive
ALLENDALE, Mich. – Dan Dickerson sat nervously in the wooden bleachers in the Grand Valley State University gym. When his daughter, Rachel, with the No. 13 on her blue jersey, checked into the Lakers volleyball match, he had butterflies.
… Abbie Gortsema, Grand Rapids Community College: The sophomore (East Grand Rapids) had 14 kills in a 3-0 win over Lake Michigan College on Oct. 22 to help the Raiders win their fifth conference championship in the past seven seasons. The Raiders are 23-5 overall and 14-0 in the Michigan Community College Athletic Association. Gortesma is second on the team with 172 kills.

Grand Rapids team seeks 2nd straight national title in Senior Baseball League tournament
10/30/14 MLive
GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Although the players from Steelhead Tavern baseball team may not take themselves too serious, especially at home, when they take to the diamond, there is nothing funny about their game.
The 45-over team comprised mostly of players from West Michigan, many of whom were teammates and former players at Grand Rapids Junior College, will be looking to win their third World Series title at the Men’s Senior Baseball League tournament, which will take place November 3-8 in Phoenix.

West Michigan’s superintendent of the year is Grand Rapids Public Schools’ Teresa Weatherall Neal
10/30/14 MLive
GRAND RAPIDS, MI – The Michigan Association of School Administrators (MASA) recently announced that Teresa Weatherall Neal, superintendent of Grand Rapids Public Schools, is the Region 3 Superintendent of the Year.
(Article doesn’t mention it, but Teresa Weatherall Neal is a GRCC alumna.)

GRCC In the News, 10-30-14

How Daniel Lopez learned to stop fearing the worst, and started planning for the best

Oct. 29, 2014; Michigan Radio

It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.

… (Daniel) Lopez is 18 years old, a freshman at Grand Rapids Community College. This trip came about through a partnership between the West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology and an organization called Park Journeys, which takes high school juniors and seniors on trips to national parks. Lopez went to Yellowstone in July. But the final phase of the program is a trip to Washington D.C.

See how much GRCC Board of Trustees candidates have received in campaign contributions

Oct. 29, 2014; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – The four Grand Rapids Community College Board of Trustees candidates have raised more than $83,000 in contributions, according to campaign finance records released last week.

$10,810 in donations: One GRCC trustee funds campaign of board hopeful

Oct. 29, 2014; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Grand Rapids Community College Board of Trustees candidate Jim Harvey has lots of supporters, ranging from elected officials, church leaders and organizations such as Right to Life of Michigan and Citizens for Traditional Values.

Show Gun offense a hit at American Canyon

Oct. 29, 2014; Napa Valley Register (Calif.)

AMERICAN CANYON — The terminology for the offensive linemen is the same as last year. The same blocking schemes are in place from last year.

… (Tony Annese) He took over as head coach at Grand Rapids Community College in 2009 and turned the Raiders into a national junior college power. GRCC claimed the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II National Championship under his guidance in both 2009 and 2011.

United Way’s People Helping People Campaign

The needs in Kent County are complex, but helping people is not. Supporting United Way through financial gifts, speaking out on important issues and lending your time and talent are simple yet powerful ways to help better our community. In 2013, United Way invested $10 million in Kent County through 60 agency providers, community collaborations and United Way programs: 2-1-1, Schools of Hope, Kent County Tax Credit Coalition and the Volunteer Center.

Our United Way campaign runs through November 3 — and don’t forget about our campaign incentives:

  • Employees who return their United Way pledge form by November 3 will be entered to win a GRCC centennial sweatshirt. There is no donation required to be part of this raffle.
  • However, employees who donate $100 or more to this year’s campaign are eligible for two more prizes! The first four winners will receive two tickets to the GRCC’s 100th anniversary performance, “Open Door,” on November 7 and 8. The fifth winner will receive a $100 Meijer gift card.
  • If you are thinking it may be time for a new car, any Heart of West Michigan United Way donor who makes a new undesignated gift of $50 or more, or increases his or her total 2013 gift by $50 or more will be automatically entered for a chance to win a new car from Fox Honda!


Benefit Fair includes flu shot clinic


FLU SHOT CLINIC TODAY- 11 AM TO 1:30 PM- (ATC) Banquet Room 118

Flu shots will be administered during the benefit fair, there is no cost for employees who have insurance through Priority Health, WMHIP or MESSA but you must bring your insurance card with you in order for Spectrum Health to bill on your behalf.

For employees who do not have insurance, they may purchase a flu shot for $17.

Cast, crew announced for ‘Open Door’

Open Door directors Michelle Urbane, Fred Sebulske and Duane Davis have assembled a talented cast from GRCC students, alumni and community members:

  • Lisa Butler, as Pat Pulliam.
  • Jon Clausen, as Arthur Andrews, Frank McCarthy and Apple Tech.
  • Robbie Ellis, as Jack, a baseball player, Michael in addition to being a vocalist and dancer.
  • Craig Hammerlind, as John Tirrell and Director.
  • Madeline Jones, as Jill.
  • Todd Lewis, as Jesse Buttrick Davis.
  • Sammy Publes, as Juan Olivarez.
  • Jim Schafer, as Steven Ender.
  • Calin Skidmore, as Dick Calkins.
  • Tracey Walker, as Anne Mulder.
  • Ellie Frances, as a female student, in addition to being in an ensemble, a vocalist and a dancer.
  • Solomon Gant, as a male student in addition to being in an ensemble.
  • Jerry Jones, as a male student in addition to being in an ensemble.

Music faculty member Brian Morris will lead the orchestra: Brandan Grinwis, David Hay and Debora DeWitt. Thomas Moss was the rehearsal accompanist.

The award-winning design team for Open Door includes: choreographer Kathy Gibson, assistant choreographer Ellie Frances, stage manager Chris Carnevale, scenic designer Christian Poquette, lighting designer Catherine Marlett Dreher, costume designer Marcia VanKuiken, assistant costume designer Jamie Heeringa, projection designer David Kolenda, sound designer Kyle Los, properties designer Tracey Walker and hair designer Neil Trevisan.

For tickets and click here.

GRCC In the News, 10-29-14

Restaurant Week 2014 brings culinary institute fund within striking distance of six figures

Oct. 28, 2014; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — The final act of the 2014 Restaurant Week promotion from Experience Grand Rapids resembled how it began, with a great meal and a perfect pairing.

While both diners and restaurants benefit from the annual celebration of local cuisine featuring meals paired with everything from wine and beer to ciders, coffees, and teas, it is the duet of Restaurant Week and the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education at Grand Rapids Community College that couples great meals with a great cause.

Mott Community College volleyball team seeks first regional title in program history

Oct. 28, 2014; MLive

FLINT — The storied run continues for the Mott Community College volleyball team, and this time they’re looking to make history.

… After back-to-back wins to reach the finals, including a four-set victory over No. 12 Grand Rapids Community College in the semis, Mott lost in five sets to No. 17 Oakland.

Cross country team completes first season

The Big Dance finally arrived.  All of the hard work and preparation over the last two and a half months was to prepare the Runnin’ Raiders for this day: the MCCAA Conference Championships & NJCAA Region-12 Championships.  The team was motivated to work extra hard in the middle of the race, when the mental side of racing haunts many runners.

The Lady Raiders got things started and got out strong the first mile.  Top runner Jody Sellers ran with true grit, positioning herself in 6th place at the half-mile and 14th at the mile.  The top 14 individuals are considered “All Conference,” so she set herself up perfectly to attain this honor.  About 15 seconds behind her, Ashley Laux and Alaina Wier were running within a few seconds of each other and looked in good position to move up.  The team was running with a purpose.

As the girls exited a mile-long stretch through the woods surround Grant Woods Park, each of the ladies had faded a little, but pushed up the final hill and down the slow decent to the finish with a look of determination in their eyes.  Sellers ended up in 23rd position, with a season-best time of 20:52, and was the 18th Michigan runner in the race (only 4 spots from All-Conference)!  Laux and Wier held their ground and came in 37th (21:50) and 41st (22:04), respectively, out of 73 total runners in the field.

Fourth runner Nikki Gewertz returned after a race off and stormed to a 40-second season best, only slightly bettering the improvements of 5th and 6th runners Maria Bosker (24:34; 21-second season best) and Alicia Geene (25:58; 33-second season best).  Overall  four of the six ladies ran season best times and showed great courage in getting out strong and continuing to push their limits in the middle and late stages of the race.  The Lady Raiders finished in 8th place of the 8 teams that fielded a full five or more runners, with 186 points, just ten behind Oakland CC.  The meet was won by host LCC with a score of 29.

After a warm-up jog and some enthusiastic cheering for the ladies, the men’s race got under way.  The men’s team had been working to beat a team at this race, as they had yet to defeat any teams this year.  That goal looked very attainable, as the team set itself up perfectly in the first mile.  Brett Slayton led the charge, running in about 25th place at the mile marker and about ten seconds behind him was a thing of beauty to a cross country coach: a pack of five Raider teammates (Rechy Rodriguez, Giancarlo Hernandez, Carlos Menjivar, Caleb Mounts and Jarquell Mitchell).  After stressing the importance of pack-running all season, these guys actually were executing it to perfection in the most important race of the year!

As the race progressed, the pack did break up, as Rechy and Caleb continued to push forward through the throng of 92 runners and the other faded slightly.  At the finish, Slayton finished in an impressive 31st place with a time of 28:39 – good enough for 23rd of all Michigan runners.  A little over a minute behind, the wing-men Rodriguez and Mounts finished strong in 52nd (30:03) and 55th (30:11; 1:00 PR!) places, respectively.  Hernandez ran a very gutsy race and finished only slightly off his PR in 74th place (31:32).  He was followed by Menjivar in 76th (31:53), Mitchell in 78th (32:13), Tyson DeWald in 88th (36:38; 1:01 PR!) and Brad Hentzelman in 89th (37:44).

Despite only two of the team’s eight runners setting personal record times, the display of pack-running was very impressive and the races by Mounts and DeWald both were personal records by a full minute.  The Raiders finished 8th of 11 schools that fielded a full team. Congrats on getting your first three victories of the season!  Somber attitudes from seeing the season end quickly changed to excited ones as the team vans rolled in Red Robin for the post-race meal.

The team is also very eager to enjoy a few weeks off of training before starting back up an off-season session that will include running at least 5 days a week for the next 10 months.  Team members will start at about 3-4 miles per run and work up to 8-15 mile runs by Spring, in preparation for several area track and road races.  Can’t wait to see what those Runnin’ Raiders will bring to the race course next year!!

United Way update: $26,875.18

Our United Way campaign ends on Monday, November 3.

A huge thank you to those who have given:

  • 124 of you have donated through pledge forms.
  • nine of you have given “jeans” dollars.
  • the dunk tank raised $296!

Our total to date is $26,875.18.  The 100th anniversary activities this year have emphasized all the ways GRCC employees rally behind a cause and give back to our community.  Your participation in this campaign continues that tradition of making a difference and is appreciated!

October is National Disability Awareness Month

The Ten Commandments of Communicating with People with Disabilities

  1. Speak directly rather than through a companion or sign language interpreter who may be present.
  1. Offer to shake hands when introduced. People with limited hand use or an artificial limb can usually shake hands. Offering the left hand is also an acceptable greeting.
  1. Always identify yourself and others who may be with you when meeting someone with a visual disability. When conversing in a group, remember to identify the person to whom you are speaking. When dining with a friend who has a visual disability, ask if you can describe what is on his/her plate.
  1. If you offer assistance, wait until the offer is accepted. Then listen or ask for instructions.
  1. Treat adults as adults. Address people with disabilities by their first names only when extending that same familiarity to all others. Never patronize people using wheelchairs by patting them on the head or shoulder.
  1. Do not lean against or hang onto someone’s wheelchair. Bear in mind that people with disabilities treat their chairs as extensions of their bodies. As do people with guide dogs or assistance dogs. Never distract a work animal from their job without the owner’s permission.
  1. Listen attentively when talking with people who have difficulty speaking and wait for them to finish. If necessary, ask short questions that require short answers, or a nod of the head. Never pretend to understand; instead repeat what you have understood and then allow the person to respond.
  1. Place yourself at eye level, whenever possible, when speaking with someone who uses a wheelchair.
  1. Tap a person who has a hearing disability on the shoulder or wave your hand to get his or her attention. Look directly at the person and speak clearly, slowly and expressively to establish if the person can read lips. If so, try to face the light source and keep hands away from your mouth when speaking. Never shout, just speak in a normal tone of voice.
  1. Relax! Don’t be embarrassed if you happen to use common expressions such as “see you later” or “did you hear about this?” that seem to relate to the person’s disability.

(Copyright 2004 by TransCen, Inc.)


When Sue Austin got a power chair 16 years ago, she felt a tremendous sense of freedom — yet others looked at her as though she had lost something. In her art, she aims to convey the spirit of wonder she feels wheeling through the world. Includes thrilling footage of an underwater wheelchair that lets her explore ocean beds, drifting through schools of fish, floating free in 360 degrees. (Filmed at TEDxWomen.)