GRCC In the News, 12-23-14

Colleges share grant for civic engagement

Dec. 22, 2014; Grand Rapids Business Journal

A trio of local colleges will share a grant from a foundation to help students and their schools partner with the community.

Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids Community College and Aquinas College said last week that each school will get a portion of the $65,000 grant from the Grand Rapids Community Foundation.

Student Leaders: Linh Le Works Hard, Shares Talents

Dec. 22, 2014; (Kent Intermediate School District newsletter)

Kelloggsville Public Schools, MI — A defining moment for Linh Le, who spoke no English when she started eighth grade at Kelloggsville Middle School, was her mastery of the math constant Pi.

… She now takes four virtual Advanced Placement classes including chemistry, physics, calculus and statistics. She is also taking a college level English Language Arts class through Grand Rapids Community College.

After 40 Years in Schools, Paskewicz Says Time is Right to Retire

Dec. 22, 2014;

Northview Public Schools, MI — As he completes his 40th year in public education, Northview Public Schools Superintendent Mike Paskewicz says he is ready to move on.

… Paskewicz said he has no other job prospects lined up, but wants to explore community engagement possibilities and do some traveling with his wife, Ruth. His decision was not related to his unsuccessful bid this fall for a Grand Rapids Community College trustee seat, he said, but added the loss “did make me evaluate what I want to be doing over the next 10 years.”

Reimbursement request forms revised

Effective January 1, 2015, the mileage rate will be .575/mile. Please note, the following reimbursement request forms have been revised in order to provide information necessary for payroll payment of requests:

  • Employee Reimbursement Request forms
  • Employee Mileage Reimbursement Request forms
  • Tuition Benefit forms

These forms can be found on the Finance and Administration webpage by clicking on Employee Reimbursement Request Forms and Instructions or Tuition Benefit Instructions. All forms are pdf forms, which you can download and print off for completion. Please make sure you discard all obsolete forms as forms will be returned if they are missing the required information. Please call Cherry at ext. 2177 if you have any questions.

Condolences to the family and friends of Roland Gani

Roland Gani, a longtime faculty member in the English Department, died this week.

Visitation is scheduled for 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. Friday at Matthysse-Kuiper-DeGraaf Funeral Home, 4145 Chicago Drive SW in Grandville. The funeral will be 11 a.m. Saturday at Sunset Park Church of God, 3450 Michael Ave. SW in Wyoming.

To read the obituary, click here.

Information sessions on health-care programs scheduled for January

You can learn about GRCC’s health-care programs and get your questions answered at information sessions in January at Tassell M-TEC.

Health certification programs that will be covered in this information session are:

All information sessions are free, and you are under no obligation to enroll in a course when you attend these sessions.

The information sessions are scheduled for:

  • 9 a.m. January 5.
  • 6 p.m. January 7.
  • 9 a.m. January 10.
  • 9 a.m. January 12.
  • 1 p.m. January 15.
  • 9 a.m. January 19.
  • 6 p.m. January 21.
  • 9 a.m. January 26.

To register, click here.

GRCC In the News, 12-22-14

State’s focus on workforce development plays to GRCC’s strengths, president says

Dec. 21, 2014;

As companies across the country and in West Michigan pay close attention to talent issues, they’ve largely looked to community colleges as the go-to source for skilled workers. However, attracting students to technical training programs and sourcing funding for those programs continue to be issues for those schools. During his tenure, Grand Rapids Community College President Steven Ender has worked to grow the college’s programs and curriculum to meet the needs of employers in West Michigan. He spoke with MiBiz about the role community colleges will play in training workers in the coming year.

Change Ups: Volunteer inspires Dégagé patrons

Dec. 19, 2014; Grand Rapids Business Journal


… Grand Rapids Community College announced Laurie Chesley will step into the role of provost. She was formerly dean of GRCC’s School of Arts and Sciences. GRCC’s provost-executive vice president for academic and student affairs reports directly to the president and serves as the chief academic officer, with major responsibilities for strategic planning and guiding all aspects of teaching and learning.
Veteran coach David Selmon is interim head coach of Grand Rapids Community College’s men’s basketball team following the departure of T.J. Carnegie, who accepted an out-of-state job opportunity.

Construction Workforce Development Alliance key to developing skilled trades talent, Wickstrom says

Dec. 21, 2014;

As the president of Ada-based Erhardt Construction Co., Ben Wickstrom wants to attract people not only to his firm, but also to the larger construction industry. Wickstrom was one the founding members of the Construction Workforce Development Alliance (CWDA), a group consisting of three local trade associations. He spoke with MiBiz about how the group aims to create a pipeline of workers.

… “We formed this partnership to address the common, shared focus of attracting new people to the construction industry and developing and maintaining a training system to train people currently in the industry and the new people coming in. We formed a partnership with Grand Rapids Community College. They are a supporting member of the CWDA. Michigan Works! is a also a supporting member of the CWDA.”

MSU fan Gus Penning goes from Grand Rapids CC to Baylor TE

Dec. 20, 2014; The Detroit Free Press

Gus Penning contributed to the roar that swept through Spartan Stadium late on the night of Oct. 22, 2011, after Michigan State receiver Keith Nichol grabbed a Hail Mary pass from Kirk Cousins and muscled past the goal line to beat Wisconsin at the buzzer.

… He was a freshman tight end at Grand Rapids Community College at the time, unrecruited out of Jenison High but determined to make a player out of himself. On Jan. 1 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, he’ll line up for No. 4 Baylor (11-1) against his former favorite football program, and he’ll try to help the Bears beat the No. 7 Spartans (10-2) in the Cotton Bowl.

Employee Reimbursements – Change to Procedures

Financial Services is converting the payment of employee reimbursements from check to ACH deposit. Financial Services will pay all reimbursements on the employee’s paycheck for any reimbursement submitted after January 5, 2015.   The funds pertaining to the employee reimbursement will be electronically deposited into the same bank account designated for your payroll direct deposit.  The details of this reimbursement will appear on your payroll remittance advice that can be accessed online.

How does this impact you?

  • The submission process will be the same for the employee. The employee will continue to scan forms/supporting documents and send information to Financial Services according to current procedures.
  • Nontaxable employee reimbursements will have no effect on payroll taxes when paid on the employee’s paycheck.
  • Employee will receive an email notification from ImageNow when reimbursement has been approved. Then, the reimbursement will be paid on the next available paycheck.
  • If staff would like to view any reimbursements submitted after 1/5/15, you will be able to access them any time on campus via WebNow at or at You must log into WebNow using your GRCC Network UserId and Password to view your reimbursements.

GRCC In the News, 12-19-14

At $86,000, November’s GRCC Board of Trustees election more costly than previous races

Dec. 18, 2014; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Four Grand Rapids Community College Board of Trustees candidates spent more than $86,400 on advertising and other campaign-related expenses for the Nov. 4 election, according to campaign finance reports.

Sparta hires new varsity softball, volleyball coaches

Dec. 18, 2014; MLive

SPARTA — The Sparta Athletic Department is excited for its upcoming seasons, with a couple of new hirings for their girls sports.

… In the spring, Hutchens will lead the Spartans softball attack. Hutchens ended her playing career at Grand Rapids Community College, but before that donned the blue and white on the Spartans own field. She played varsity softball at Sparta for three years and has coached the junior-varsity squad for eight.

Job Training faculty, M-TEC staff treat students to breakfast

The Job Training faculty and M-TEC staff celebrated our students by cooking breakfast for them Thursday morning. Faculty and staff purchased the supplies, cooked and served the food. Students were very appreciative and loved the great start to the day! A special thank you to the M-TEC Communications/Teamwork committee for organizing this event!

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GRCC, GVSU sign articulation agreement for health fitness instruction

The Exercise Science Department has recently signed an articulation agreement with GVSU. The focus of the new articulation agreement reaches students interested in Health Fitness Instruction. Students will complete two years at GRCC and then two years at GVSU to graduate from GVSU with a B.S. in Exercise Science. Career options for students who complete this program include; Fitness Instructor, Fitness Director, Personal Trainer, Educator, Health Coach, Athletic Director or Administrator, and Corporate Wellness to name a few careers in this field of work.

GRCC In the News, 12-18-14

3 West Michigan colleges share $65,000 grant to develop service learning opportunities

Dec. 17, 2014; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Three West Michigan colleges will use a $65,000 grant to create more service learning opportunities for students and strengthen community partnerships.

Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids Community College and Aquinas College will each select two departments where service learning opportunities in which students learn in the field by partnering with business or nonprofit organizations can be implemented.

New report shows GRCC’s struggle to retain African-American students

Dec. 17, 2014; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Keeping students in school and on path to graduation is one of Grand Rapids Community College’s most important tasks. But when it comes to African-American students, it’s a task the college continues to struggle with.

New police chief notes lowering recidivism rates; continues to seek ways to lower rates further

Dec. 17, 2014;

“Your question is timely,” says our new Chief David Rahinsky of the Grand Rapids Police Department when presented with accounts of remarkably low rates of recidivism among participants in a Peace Education Program at San Antonio’s Dominguez State Jail, and then asked about his approach for checking and applying this kind of result.

… “In the back of the room were social service providers- everyone from Grand Rapids Community College to people from Cherry Street Health Services. I think one of the things that is unique in Grand Rapids is what we touched on previously- that the support is here to help people succeed even despite challenges that they’ve had in the past. Even people who’ve been incarcerated,” says Rahinsky. “When we went around the room, one of the gentlemen from the Department of Corrections asked who was a first time offender, who was a second time offender, who was a third time offender. There was an individual in there who had been imprisoned four times, and one who had been in there five times. The fact that this community still reaches out to them, tries to embrace them, tries to put them on the right trail, tries to show them what social support is there for them, and that law enforcement sees their role as being pro-active and supportive is unique from any place that I’ve been.”

From seminary to STEM: Local pastor heads up huge education project at Steelcase pyramid

Dec. 18, 2014;

On first glance, Jerry Zandstra, the co-founder of the Pyramid Campus Group that recently announced its finalization of a $7.5 million purchase agreement for the Steelcase pyramid building, doesn’t exactly fit the mold you’d imagine for a player in ambitious real estate deals and cutting-edge experiments in incubator-style spaces.

… Among those details: The facility will feature innovations like a leadership council, funded with $200,000 and headed by Bert Bleke, a Grand Rapids Community College board chairman and former superintendent of Grand Rapids public schools. The leadership council will work to research new ideas, assist the schools and encourage collaboration, and is part of a two-pronged approach that Zandstra says will shape the sort of incubator spirit of the Pyramid Campus, along with aspects of spatial design like shared teachers lounges, classroom areas and arts and music facilities.

Northview Superintendent Mike Paskewicz to retire

Dec. 17, 2014; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Northview Superintendent Mike Paskewicz has announced he intends to retire effective July 1, 2015, saying it is the right time.

… In November, Paskewicz ran an unsuccessful race for one of two open seats on the Grand Rapids Community College Board of Trustees.

After 5 seasons away as head basketball coach, David Selmon rolls with changes at GRCC

Dec. 18, 2014; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — David Selmon, who thought he had coached his last basketball game in 2009, is like a kid in a candy store with the Grand Rapids Community College basketball team.

GRCC Employees on the Move through December 18, 2014

Please welcome our new employees and congratulate those who have moved and been promoted.



Steven Gold

Counselor, Disability Support Services
Employee Group: Faculty


Jeffrey Hertel

Police Lieutenant, Campus Police

Employee Group: Meet & Confer


John James

Job Developer (MCAM Grant), Training Solutions

Employee Group: Meet & Confer


Tracey Lacy

Educational Support Professional – Student Financials Customer Assistant, Cashiers Office

Employee Group: ESP


David Lovell

Job Developer (MCAM Grant), Training Solutions

Employee Group: Meet & Confer


Effective Date: 12/8/14

Dawn Minnesma

Lab Technician, Nursing
Employee Group: Faculty

Daniel Sullivan 

Language Arts Lab Coordinator, Academic Tutors
Employee Group: Faculty


Langston Gant

From:    ESP, Associate Dean, Instructional Support and Interdisciplinary Studies

To:          ESP, Admissions and Enrollment


Eric Johnson

From:    Junior Enterprise Analyst

To:        Enterprise Analyst


Francisco Ramirez

From:    ESP, Admissions and Enrollment

To:        Admissions and Enrollment Coordinator


Anna Rose

From: ESP, Dean, Instructional Support & Interdisciplinary Studies

To:     Meet and Confer, Transfer and Articulation Coordinator


Travis Steffens

From:    ESP, Front Desk, Career and Counseling Center

To:        ESP, Associate Dean, Student Success and Retention



Fenis Harmon

Custodian III


William Jacoby

Professor, Culinary Education


Chloe Beighley

ESP, Communications


Paula Naujalis

ESP, Support Professional, Nursing Program

Retiring after 31 years, 9 months of service


Linda Bramble

Professor, Physical Science

Retiring after 16 years, 9 months of service





GRCC In the News, 12-17-14

After 57 years on the job, 83-year-old ‘Swiss’ Imfeld retires from the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel

Dec. 16, 2014; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — After 57 years behind the scenes at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel and its predecessor, the Pantlind Hotel, Franz Swiss Imfeld stood front and center as his colleagues celebrated his career and retirement on Tuesday, Dec. 16.

… Tuesday’s reception in the hotel’s Imperial Ball Room included Swiss-themed dishes and desserts prepared by culinary students at Grand Rapids Community College, where two scholarships are awarded to second-year culinary every year in Imfeld’s name.

Senior Wellness: Increasing Longevity

Dec. 16, 2014; WZZM

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM)– Everyone wants to live a nice, long, healthy life. There are some habits that contribute to that. Mike Faber from the Grand Rapids Community College Older Learning Center stopped by the WZZM13 studio to discuss longevity.

Quarterback Casey Therriault thrives in Germany as he leaves his past conviction behind

Dec. 16, 2014; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Casey Therriault accepts that his football career — and his life, really — will be judged differently because of a 2009 involuntary manslaughter conviction, but he continues to move forward and succeed as a professional quarterback.

… At 6-foot-3, 210 pounds and a football background that also includes college success at Grand Rapids Community College, Jackson State and then a stop in the Canadian Football League, 25-year-old Therriault would seem worthy of at least a look in an NFL camp.

College notebook: Locals playing MIAA hoops

Dec. 16, 2014; The Battle Creek Enquirer

The Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association is the nation’s oldest college conference, with teams annually tapping into local pipelines to keep the league’s talent pool strong.

… The Bruins’ Dec. 18 contest at Marygrove College J.V. has been canceled, with their next game set for Jan. 5 at Grand Rapids CC.

Tracey Lacy becomes Cashiers Office ESP

Tracey Lacy

Tracey Lacy

Please welcome Tracey Lacy to the Cashiers Office as an ESP as Student Financials Customer Service Assistant. Tracey was previously employed in this office for two years. She started in 2012 through the Work-Study Program as an Office Aide. She loved her office so much, she decided to apply for the ESP position when it became available!

In Tracey’s free time, she enjoys cult cinema and art and crafts (she says, “there really is something magical about gluing things to other things”). She has a lot of plants, and she enjoys writing short fiction. Tracey will graduate this semester with her associate degree, and she hopes to pursue her bachelor’s degree in the future!