National competition was ‘great experience,’ SICE student says

We’re very proud of SICE student Megan Garstecki’s strong showing in the recent S. Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef Competition!

Garstecki, from St. Joseph, and coach Sasha Ahmed traveled to SD26 restaurant in New York City for the Northeast regional competition. Garstecki drew the “first-up” position, which meant that she had to prepare her dish first.

“She did exceptionally well,” said SICE program director Dan Gendler. “Her plates were actually featured the most in the photos because of their precision and beauty.”

Gendler said Garstecki’s score would have meant a silver medal in an American Culinary Federation competition, but only first-place winners in the five regional rounds advance to the national S. Pellegrino competition next month in Napa Valley, Calif.

Representing SICE in competition was exciting, Garstecki said.

“I got to meet so many amazing and talented chefs from New York City as well as other culinary schools that competed,” she said. “I was proud of the plate I presented to the judges, and I can’t wait to compete again.

“It was a great experience that gave me confidence in the kitchen as well as practice being in a competition kitchen setting. I was also amazed at the outpouring of support from the community!”

Garstecki is pursuing a culinary management degree at SICE and plans to graduate next year. She then plans to get a degree in certified dietary management at Ferris State University with the goal of becoming a dietician in either a hospital or nursing home.

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GRCC In the News, 2-16-15

GRCC hosting business career showcase on Feb. 17-18

Feb. 13, 2015; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Grand Rapids Community College is hosting its annual Career Showcase next week, an event where students can explore job opportunities in several business fields.

Opera Grand Rapids’ Robert Lyall says farewell: A look back at 26 years as artistic director

Feb. 15, 2015; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Opera Grand Rapids opened its 30th anniversary season with more than 500 singers, dancers and extras, along with elephants, camels and horses, crossing the stage in a grand procession.

… While productions of Philip Glass’ “The Fall of the House of Usher” in Grand Rapids Community College’s Spectrum Theatre in 1998 and of Tchaikovsky’s “The Queen of Spades,” a joint production with Russian artists and a Russian stage director from the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, (Robert) Lyall is proud of the work he did with opera’s biggest hits.

Personal Self Defense class offered by Staff Development

There are still several spots left in the Personal Self Defense class tomorrow, which will be taught by our own Officer Bo Peters. He will teach basic self defense against attacks, as well as ways to become more self aware. Please consider attending.

This is a two-part class. Both sessions will be held in Room 234 Student Center

  • Part 1 – Tues Feb 17th from 3:30-5 PM
  • Part 2 – Tues Feb 24th from 3:30-5 PM

Registration is available online at or by calling Staff Development at ext. 4285.

Caps, hoods, gowns orders due by February 27

Faculty/Staff Cap, Hood and Gown order deadline Feb. 27

  • Faculty cap and gown orders are special orders specific to the customer’s degree and the institution attended.
  • All orders must be placed by February 27. No exceptions can be made (due to time constraints).
  • The bookstore does not carry regalia in-store. All regalia orders are special orders and require 6-8 weeks to fulfill.

Dillon Carr named to research team

Dillon Carr

Dillon Carr

We are pleased to announce that Dillon Carr has been selected for the Engaged Department Initiative Research Team. The Research Team, made up of faculty representatives from both Aquinas College and Grand Valley State University, will serve on a cross-institutional research team assessing the impact of integrating community engagement into department-specific curriculum.

Over the course of two years, the Research Team will perform case study research, collect student persistence rates in seven departments at the three participating institutions and disseminate the learning and replicable components of the project through publications, conferences, and professional and peer-reviewed scholarship.

Congratulations, Dillon!

Raider Salute to Wellness First Aid student

A Raider Salute from Melanie Schiele-Gady:

A Raider Salute needs to be extended to a GRCC student, Helena Nguyen.  Helena is currently a student in a Wellness First Aid class, who over the weekend was able to stay calm and help a customer who was having a Seizure at her place of work.  She placed the 911 call and then went through the seizure protocols taught to her in the class.  Congratulations, Helena, on making a difference! 

Diversity Team launches ‘SpeakUpGRCC’

GRCC’s Diversity Team is updating and renaming the Diversity Center’s “Popcorn Discussions” with students. The first “SpeakUpGRCC” launches at noon February 17 in the DLC with these goals:

  • Foster an environment where students have increased awareness and acceptance for campus diversity.
  • Provide an opportunity for students to learn and share their points of view with other students.
  • Foster open dialogue about social justice issues.

The program’s objectives are:

  • Promote critical thinking.
  • Promote healthy sustained dialogue.
  • Promote understanding and acceptance.
  • Build relationships.
  • Provide opportunities for students to speak and be heard.
  • Build respect for opposing points of view.
  • Create and foster civility.

Social contract (governing rules):

  • Respect other’s opinions.
  • Listen to each other.
  • Maintain confidentiality.
  • Keep an open mind.
  • Stay on topic.
  • Step up, step back.


IIPD Grants: March 2015 Funding Opportunity

The deadline for the submission of grant applications for the Instructional Improvement & Professional Development (IIPD) Grants program is 4:30 p.m., March 13, 2015.

Applicants are encouraged to submit their applications electronically. The IIPD Application Packet and IIPD Guidelines are available in the GRCC Internal Grants area of the Grants Office website at Please note that applications must include a Supervisor’s Approval form, a budget form and budget documentation.

If you have any questions about IIPD grants, please contact Judith Larsen, Director, Grants and Resource Development Department, at 234-3910 or

Melanie Schiele Gady named finalist for state award

Grand Rapids Community College Professor Melanie Schiele Gady, Exercise Science Department, has just received word that she is an Award Finalist for the Champion of Health Award through the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness, Health and Sports. The nomination was a surprise and led by a GRCC student. The award/nomination will for sure be dedicated to all GRCC students past and present and the health and well being of all in the community.

The Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness, Health and Sports was established through an Executive Order issued by Governor John M. Engler in 1992 to improve the health of, and increase physical activity among, Michigan residents.

The Governor’s Fitness Awards honor inspirational individuals and organizations for their pursuit, commitment and dedication to health and wellness. Each award recognizes the many different ways the winners are inspiring and influencing Michigan residents to be healthier. The GFA’s also serve to encourage community involvement through teaching, role-modeling and volunteering.Award finalists will be recognized on April 23, 2015 at a morning legislative celebration at the state capitol in Lansing and at a gala event at Ford Field in Detroit that evening. Visit Governors Council on Physical Fitness, Health and Sports

Changes made to policies

Changes were recently made to several college policies:

Summary of changes:

Revised Policy 3.7 Contracting Authority

  • Added provision which requires agreements for goods or services in excess of $1000 to be authorized by the Budget Control Officer and reviewed by the Director of Purchasing. This change makes this policy consistent with the Purchasing Policy.

Revised Policy 11.15 Purchasing Policy

  • Added provision under Procedures (Section X, paragraph F) requiring best economic approach, e.g. purchase vs. lease alternative analysis
  • Added provision under Procedures (Section X, paragraph F) for periodic review for procurement duplication
  • Updated non-discrimination paragraph to reflect updated EEO statement

Revised Policy 11.6 Use of College Equipment off College Property

  • Format Changes
  • Updated “use agreement” under Related Documents to “Acceptable Use Agreement”
  • Removed VP Finance/Admin from contacts
  • Added Procurement Specialist to contacts
  • Deleted cell phones and palm pilots (college no longer provides)
  • Added provision under Section X, Paragraph C, subsection 1 to include statement “college equipment assigned to employees for their normal daily work is exempt from this procedure.”

Revised 14.5 Campus Closing Due to Inclement Weather & Emergency Conditions

  • Added provision under Section X, Paragraph B, subsection 1 to include delayed start option
  • Modified factors considered in the decision to close:
    • Removed evaluation of local businesses closing
    • Added consideration of the current weather conditions and anticipated length of storm
  • Modified statement under Section X, Paragraph B to indicate 5:30 AM as a target decision time (the decision may not always be made at that exact time).

Campus Dining Spring Break Hours

Campus Dining retail operations will be CLOSED during the week of Spring Break. Locations include: The Raider Grille, The Quiet Cafe & The Sneden Cafe.

Normal business hours will resume on March 9th, 2015.