GRCC In the News, 1-26-15

Same-sex benefits: Grand Rapids Community College considers adding coverage

Jan. 24, 2015; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – When John Cowles first came to Grand Rapids Community College in 1999, he was glad to learn there was an equal employment policy in place aimed at ensuring students and employees were treated equally, regardless of sexual orientation.

Local seamstress teams up with GRCC to offer affordable industrial sewing classes in effort to meet industry demand

Jan. 25, 2015; MLive

The industrial sewing machine before her is whirring and in roughly a minute Marisbel Ramos zips around the edge of the fabric, completing the piece that will soon be fitted over the arm of a chair and shipped out the door of Irwin Seating Company.

… A short time later, Metzger connected with Grand Rapids Community College’s Workforce Training program through a contact at Steepletown Neighborhood Services. GRCC administrators were responding to a need identified by local economic development agencies and employers requesting an industrial sewing training program and they needed a sewing instructor.

GRCC conmemora con marcha y actividades el día de Martin Luther King

Jan. 25, 2015; El Vocero

La actividad estuvo encabezada por el Board of Trustees de Grand Rapids Community College, Bert Bleke, y el director de Grand Rapids Community College Black Student Union, Jaedah Pickens.

Aquinas track & field sweeps quad meet

Jan. 23, 2015; MLive

Grand Rapids, MI — Both the men’s and women’s track and field teams won tonight at the Aquinas Quad Meet held at the Cook Track in Aquinas’ Alksnis Athletic and Recreation Building. The Saints hosted Hope, Ferris State and Spring Arbor. The men scored 184 points, topping second place Spring Arbor’s 109, while the women scored 194 to top Spring Arbor’s 116.

… The women’s team claimed 12 first place finishes. Freshman Rachel Spreng (Lansing/Okemos) won the pole vault and hit the NAIA “B” standard with a vault of 3.48 meters. Fellow freshman Adri Sigafoose (McBain/Northern Michigan Christian) claimed the top spot in the 800 meter run with a time of 2:18.65. Sigafoose’s time qualifies her at the NAIA “A” standard. Two Aquinas hurdlers hit the NAIA “A” standard, with Tori DeSira (Dewitt/GRCC) and Erika Heston (Haslett/Haslett) finishing in first and second place. DeSira also won the 200 meter dash.

Nominations sought for Outstanding Adult Learner awards

Attention GRCC Faculty and Staff

Please support our adult and non-traditional students at GRCC by nominating them for the annual Grand Rapids Area Higher Education (GRAHEN) annual Outstanding Adult Learner (OAL) award. The OAL Banquet, which will be held this year on Wednesday April 15, 2015, recognizes and honors the academic achievements and community contributions of adult students from local higher education institutions.

Information and nomination forms are available by contacting the Admissions office.

The deadline for nominations is February 27.

Please contact Angela Salinas at ext. 3420 or with any questions, for further information and/or to submit nominations.

Thank you for your support and participation!

Departments invited to participate in Grad Fest

What is Grad Fest? Grad Fest is a celebratory event for graduates participating in our commencement ceremony. Graduates get everything they need for commencement, in one day and one location. In the past, different departments around campus have hosted tables that day to provide graduates with information about the commencement ceremony and other information regarding their graduation and future. To get your department involved and for more information, please contact Erin Cisler at x3931 or

Eric Williams, Andre Fields win Change Agent Award

Congratulations to Eric Williams, GRCC’s executive director for equity affairs, and Andre Fields, of the Counseling and Career Center, for receiving the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce’s Change Agent Award!

This new award recognizes people who have acted with fierce conviction to advance diversity, equity and inclusion. Mr. Williams and Mr. Fields were nominated for their work with GRCC’s Alpha Beta Omega program. They serve as co-directors of the program, which formed in December 2012 to help reverse low achievement rates among black men in higher education. The group hosts motivational speakers and field trips to four-year universities and connects members with mentors, tutoring and counseling resources.

Award finalists will be recognized during the annual Diversity Visionary Awards Celebration on March 5.

Learn about GRCC sports history in ‘Open Door’

Did you know that legendary head GRJC football coach Gordon Hunsberger began his college coaching career by taking his team to the Los Angeles Coliseum for the first-ever National Junior College Championship game? Though team members had their money and valuables stolen during a practice session and GRJC lost the championship game, the event put the college football team on the national radar. Many more bowl games would follow for Hunsberger’s teams and those that came after him.

Read about this and much more in Open Door, the newly published 100-year history of GRJC/GRCC written by retired English professor Walter Lockwood. The book can be purchased at the GRCC Library or online here.