GRCC student makes sure the show goes on

GRCC student Ian Thompson’s generosity helped a St. Cecilia Music Center concert go on as scheduled. An article in the February 24 St. Cecilia newsletter shares the story:

From left, Ian Thompson, Amber Borrello and Christian McBride. (Photo courtesy of St. Cecilia Music Center.)

From left, Ian Thompson, Amber Borrello and Christian McBride. (Photo courtesy of St. Cecilia Music Center.)

Volunteering during last week’s Christian McBride Trio concert Ian Thompson was simply hoping he would get a chance to meet the legendary bassist, maybe get an autograph …

Not in his wildest dreams did he think McBride would end up playing his bass during the concert!

It is minutes before The Christian McBride Trio is set to take the stage … and both basses obtained for the concert are not functioning! Backstage working on the instruments, Amber Borello from Guarneri House has a revelation.

Her bass playing friend, Ian, is volunteering for SCMC for the first time, and his instrument is at school nearby!

Quickly Ian is pulled away from pouring wine and asked to get his bass for the concert. It is now 12 minutes before the show is slated to start.

It is a mere negative 2º outside. Ian runs up Ransom Street hill to GRCC. With his bass on his shoulder, he runs back to SCMC, arriving at the stage door at 7:29pm!

Moments later he watched as the most recorded bassist in the world played his instrument before an enthusiastic crowd of more than 500 in Royce Auditorium.

All we can say is, “Thank You Ian!” This concert could not have happened without you!

And what a concert it was! Mlive media awarded The Christian McBride Trio 4 out-of 4 stars for an amazing performance!



Cap, hood, gown orders due this week

Faculty/Staff Cap, Hood and Gown orders are due this week!

  • 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 at the bookstore. 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.

Blood-pressure screenings available today, February 26

Nursing students will be performing blood-pressure screenings this week:

  • 1-2 p.m. today on the Main Building’s fourth floor, near the Enrollment Center on the Main Building’s first floor, on G2 outside Winchester Alley, and on the first floor of the Calkins Science Center (near the main entrance).
  • 3:30-4:30 p.m. Thursday on the Main Building’s fourth floor, near the Enrollment Center on the Main Building’s first floor, and on G2 outside Winchester Alley.

Math seminar looks at word problems

The Grand Rapids Community College Mathematics Department will host its next Mathematics Seminar on Thursday, February 26, 3:00-4:30 PM in 103 Cook. Our speaker will be long-time GRCC Adjunct Mathematics Instructor Radu Teodorescu. The title and abstract for Radu’s talk may be found below.

This seminar will focus on everyone’s favorite math topic – word problems! Long the staple of introductory algebra courses, they are, in truth, frequently unpopular with students and instructors alike. But did you know that they may often be solved without recourse to algebra? Come to the seminar and learn how to do many of these problems using nothing but arithmetic! As always, everyone is welcome.

Pop and cookies will be served at 2:45 PM.




Word problems are “le raison d’être” of beginning Mathematics, often one of its most important parts. Usually at this level, word problems are solved using equations or systems of equations. After writing an equation/system for a given word problem we solve it and – voilà! – the solution appears. This is a direct and effective method, but what we gain in simplicity, we lose in depth of understanding of intricate connections among elements of our problem.

By contrast, Arithmetical Methods of solving word problems may appear to be more difficult. A particular kind of problem may need a specific approach, which in turn requires mental gymnastics, but in the end surprising internal links may be revealed. Arithmetical Methods teach us not only to think in non-standard ways, but also to write and display ideas in non-conformist manners. The speaker will present specific Arithmetical techniques, and some of the most important methods (known to him ☺!!), for example, the Method of Reduction to Unit, the Method of Comparison, the Method of Additional Assumption, the Method of Inverse Route, etc.


GRCC’s original building still stands

The East Building in 1925.

The East Building in 1925.

Did you know that part of the college’s original building, the East Building, still stands? It is presently the GRCC Music Center, constructed in the gymnasium portion of the East Building when architects and acoustic consultants determined that the concrete floors and heavy masonry walls were excellent sound isolators. The classroom portion of the East Building was razed in the early 1970s to make room for the Learning Resource Center.

The Music Center, the first true facility the Music Department has occupied at the college, opened in August of 1980. Original plans included a 750-seat performance hall to the immediate east, but the funding never materialized.

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, it provides a wealth of information on the college and its people. It can be purchased at Schuler Books, the GRCC Library, or online here.

March Learning Opportunities from Staff Development

Workshops are open to all Staff and Faculty. Registration is available online at or by calling Staff Development at ext. 4285.

Real Change: a brain-based approach to healthy change management

Tue Mar 10, 2015 from 9:30-11 AM, in Room 125 Science

The paradox of change is this: the human brain craves change and yet often reacts to it with resistance. Theories and systems abound related to managing change, yet it remains a challenge for almost every organization and team. In this workshop, Denise VanEck takes a different approach, beginning with understanding how the brain experiences and adapts to change and exploring brain-friendly ways to manage a change process in an organization. Facilitated by Thought-Design.

Advancing Your Career (3 week interactive sessions in Room 1142 Kirkhof Center, GVSU Allendale)

  • Mon Mar 16, 2015 from 12-1 PM
  • Mon Mar 23, 2015 from 12-1 PM
  • Mon Mar 30, 2015 from 12-1 PM

Whether you expect to transition soon or not for several years, setting and achieving career advancement objectives increase your chances for professional success. In this workshop, we’ll explore success strategies for goal setting, professional development, interviewing, networking, building strong interpersonal skills and tips for increasing your transition potential. Since this workshop will be presented in 3 lunchtime sessions you’re encouraged to bring your lunch to enjoy during the program. This program is interactive and requires a minimum of 10 participants. Presented by Kim Monaghan, Human Resources Career Services for Faculty and Staff.  **Due to limited number of seats, preference will be given to GVSU employees in the event the workshop is full**

Facilitating Difficult Conversations

Tue Mar 17, 2015 from 11:30 AM – 1 PM in Room 122 LRC (Diversity Learning Center conference room)

Facilitating Difficult Conversations is an experiential look at the process of facilitating difficult dialogue, focusing on the qualities of the facilitator and the nuances of group dynamic that impact the process. Participants will examine their conflict management style; develop cultural communication and facilitation skills to address difficult conversations, and practice processing difficult conversations. Workshop facilitated by Tamber Bustance.

Higher Education Young Professionals Leadership and Networking

Tue Mar 17, 2015 from 7:30-8:30 AM in the U-Club, DeVos Center, GVSU GR campus

As a new generation of leaders emerges in higher education, open dialogue about taking initiative, being innovative and encouraging young talent has become a need. Young professionals at Grand Valley State University and Grand Rapids Community College have organized a variety of programs that are designed to help young professionals have a successful and satisfying career in higher education. These programs will allow young professionals to learn, develop and network with other young professionals within their community. March Topic: Young Professionals Going From “Today” to “Tomorrow” – A Networking Event with Higher Education Leaders. This interactive session will allow young professionals to engage in meaningful dialogue with leaders in higher education from the West Michigan area. Seek advice about career goals that will hopefully leave you feeling more informed and energized about your future.

The Role of Insurance in Your Financial Plan (Lunch & Learn)

Tue Mar 17, 2015 from 12-1 PM in Room 125 Student Center

Part of the PNC Bank ‘Community Development Banking Lunch & Learn’ series. Complete title: “The Role of Insurance in Your Financial Plan.” PNC Bank representatives will discuss the importance of a financial plan that includes life insurance. **PNC Bank will be providing a complimentary lunch to all attending this presentation**

What Mommies Do Best

Wed Mar 18, 2015 from 12-1 PM in Room 1012 Zumberge Hall, GVSU Allendale campus

Working mothers today confront not only conflicting demands on their time and energy, but also conflicting ideas about how they are to behave: they must be nurturing and unselfish while engaged in child rearing, but competitive and ambitious at work. Meet with other GVSU Moms around interesting topics of discussion to both young moms and more experienced moms. Faculty, staff, and students are all welcome. This program is co-sponsored by GVSU Women’s Center and GVSU Women’s Commission.

Change Your Mental Talk

Thu Mar 19, 2015 from 10:30-11:30 AM in Room 234 Student Center

Let’s face it – we all have conversations with ourselves internally. When the mind focuses on only negative self-talk, we begin to believe this and limit our true potential when it comes to overall health. How can you harness the power of positive thoughts? What does research show about health and happiness? If you can get your mind right, your body will follow suit. Learn the best rules for being happy, positive, and radiating joy to others in our daily lives. Facilitated by Allegro Coaching.

Cancer Warriors Network

Thu Mar 19, 2015 from 12-1:30 PM in Room 2201 Kirkhof Center, GVSU Allendale campus

Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with cancer? Do you feel alone and overwhelmed? A cancer diagnosis is frightening and affects not only the person diagnosed with cancer, but caregivers and loved ones. If you are facing a cancer diagnosis, have a loved one battling cancer, or you are through with treatment and on the road to recovery; connecting with others who have traveled this journey can be a source of comfort and hope. A new topic will be discussed each month. These network meetings are an opportunity to bring together GVSU and GRCC families and friends, who have been impacted by cancer to gain information and support through speakers and cancer resources available on the site. Don’t try to navigate the cancer journey alone, please consider joining us.

Institute for Healing Racism

  • Day 1 – Thu Mar 19 from 8:45 AM – 5 PM in Room 118 ATC
  • Day 2 – Fri Mar 20 from 9 AM – 3:30 PM in Room 118 ATC

THIS IS A TWO-DAY COURSE: The Institute for Healing Racism is a powerful and thought provoking venue that brings together diverse groups of people to explore and address issues of race and racism. Participants have the opportunity to examine how the dis-ease of racism affects all people and develop skills to detect institutional racism in our daily environments (i.e. home, workplace, community, organization and business). Facilitated by Tamber Bustance and Kathleen Owens from the Woodrick Diversity Learning Center.

Leadership / Followership

Wed Mar 25, 2015 from 10 AM – 12 PM in Room 125 Science

Leadership is the process of an individual influencing a group of individuals to achieve a common goal. Effective leadership requires people to fulfill their roles as leaders and as followers. However, there are many different styles of leading and following and not all of them are effective. This course will examine different styles of leadership and followership in order to promote more effective leadership processes. Facilitated by Zoe Carmichael.

Alzheimer’s Support Group

Wed Mar 25, 2015 from 12-1 PM in Room 1247 Kirkhof Center, GVSU Allendale campus

Are you caring for an elderly loved one? Do you have a loved one diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease? The pressures can be wide-ranging, and touch the social, psychological, physical and economic facets of the caregiver’s life. The Alzheimer’s and Caregiver Support Group is open to the entire campus community: students, faculty and staff members, and to the public. It’s facilitated by Cindy Beel-Bates, associate professor of nursing, and Sue Sloop, Work Life Connections consultant.


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.