GRCC was not always an ‘Open Door’

Did you know that for most of the first half of its 100-year history, GRJC entrance requirements for an academic transfer student duplicated those of the University of Michigan? Only in the early 1960s, under Dean Dr. John Visser, did the college open its doors to any student with a sincere desire to get a college education. The doors have been open ever since, with the exception of a few years when enrollment was capped for lack of classroom space.

Open Door, a newly published history of the college, written by retired English professor Walter Lockwood, tells the story and names the names of the people who in the early years fought for the college’s existence, and those who over its history have had the vision to build a thriving institution. It can be purchased at Schuler Books, the GRCC Library, or online at

OD book intro spread

GRCC Employees on the Move through March 6, 2015

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


David Dick

Meet & Confer, Junior Enterprise Analyst


Elizabeth van Portfliet

ESP, Support Professional, Counseling and Career Center/Occupational and Disability Support Services


Myriah Williams

ESP, Support Professional, Academic Testing Center


Michael Porter

CEBA, Custodian 3rd Shift, Ford Fieldhouse/Calkins Science Center


Michael Couch

Meet & Confer, Financial Aid Tech Specialist


Ashley Campanali

Assistant Professor, Chemistry




Sasha Ahmed

From: Adjunct Instructor, Secchia Institute for Culinary Education

To:     Assistant Professor, Secchia Institute for Culinary Education

Full Time Temporary Faculty for Winter Semester


Marguerite Erlandson

From: Adjunct Instructor, Business/Fashion Design

To:     Assistant Professor, Business/Fashion Design

Full Time Temporary Faculty for Winter Semester


Deanna Witte

ESP, Support Professional, Dental Auxiliaries (in addition to her position in GRCC ePrint)


Kristen Doneth

From: ESP, Support Professional, Tassell MTEC/Director of Workforce Development

To:     ESP, Support Professional, Dean of Instructional Support and Interdisciplinary Studies


Amy Kudrna

From:   F/T Temporary Associate Professor, Chemistry

To:      Assistant Professor, Chemistry



Kyle Eaton

Meet & Confer, IT Security Analyst


Danielle Dawson

Meet & Confer, Paralegal


The GRCC Community mourns the passing of English Professor Roland Gani on December 21, 2014, after 28 years of service.

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

100 Ways to Give: Collecting 100 children’s books for Safe Haven Ministries

In celebration of GRCC’s 100 years, the Academic Support Center and the Academic Testing Center are combining efforts to collect 100 children’s books on behalf of Safe Haven Ministries. Safe Haven Ministries offers comprehensive domestic abuse services to women and their children.

During the month of March, new or gently used children’s books, particularly books about feelings, can be dropped off at one of the following 100 Ways to Give drop box locations:

  • the enrollment center.
  • the student success center in Sneden Hall.
  • at Tassell M-TEC.
  • in the student life office at the Student Center.
  • the first-floor circulation desk at the library.
  • ATC Tutorial and Open Computer Lab, room 215 ATC.
  • Biology Learning Center, room 106 CSC.
  • Business Tutorial and Computer Lab, room 201 CAH.
  • Calculus and Physical Science Tutorial Lab, room 103 CSC.
  • Health Science Resource and Tutorial Lab, room 401 CAH.
  • Math Tutorial Lab, room 105 CAH.
  • Language Arts Tutorial Lab, room 501 CAH.
  • Academic Testing Center, 325 SCC.


To see the full list of 100 Ways to Give projects, click here. When getting involved, don’t forget to share it on social media by using #GRCC100years and #100waystogive on Twitter and Instagram, and “Grand Rapids Community College” on Facebook.



Attention Curriculog Users: Your Username and Password Has Changed.

On Wednesday, March 4, the username and password you normally used to access Curriculog changed to your campus network username and password, which is the same username and password you use to log onto your GRCC computer, Blackboard, and GRCC email. From now on, your Curriculog username and password will stay in sync with your campus computer username and password. Please contact the IT Customer Support Desk at ext. 4357 if you have any questions about this.

Technology Showcase scheduled for March 25

The GRCC IT Department would like to invite you to participate at the 2nd annual Technology Showcase. This event is taking place on Wednesday, March 25th 2015 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. We are encouraging departments to come show off new technology used both in and out of the classroom.

Any questions regarding the Technology Showcase may be sent to

We look forward to your participation at this event!

Showcase Save The Date

Historical Society to look at GRCC’s 100 years

The Grand Rapids Historical Society will host a presentation by Mike Klawitter and Walter Lockwood on “Open Door: The 100-Year History of Grand Rapids Junior College/Community College at 7 p.m. March 12 at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, 303 Pearl St. NW.

Their presentation will explore the college’s origins and its importance to the central city through the years. Included will be a look at the expansion of programs, enrollment and facilities; the challenges and successes GRCC has experienced; and some of the personalities involved.

To learn more, click here or visit the society’s Facebook page here.

100 Ways to Give: 100 flannel board kits for the Early Learning Neighborhood Cooperative

Join the GRCC Lab Preschool and the Child Development Club as we create 100 flannel board kits to benefit the families of the Early Learning Neighborhood Cooperative! Two times are available to put your talents to work – come and go as you are able!

March 11, from 12:30-2:30 p.m. in 226 Cook Hall
March 24, from 4:30-7:30 p.m. at the GRCC Laboratory Preschool. Parking is available at the preschool for this event.

Please RSVP to Julie Sizemore at if you plan to attend the evening event—snacks will be provided!




When getting involved, don’t forget to share it on social media by using #GRCC100years and #100waystogive on Twitter and Instagram, and “Grand Rapids Community College” on Facebook.

GRCC In the News, 3/9/15

GRCC News:

Teaching children to code, promoting nutrition: GRCC students participate in community projects


GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Five groups of Grand Rapids Community College students are putting their knowledge to the test. They’re participating in a “service learning” contest, known as the Armen Awards, in which they use their skills to help schools and community groups with public service projects. The top three teams will receive awards, according to the college.

New Presidents or Provosts

3/9/2015 Inside Higher Ed

Laurie Chesley, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Grand Rapids Community College, in Michigan, has been promoted to provost there.

Paws painted pink, tails wag during LaughFest event for dogs

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — LaughFest is going to the dogs — literally. Grand Rapids Community College’s Ford Fieldhouse became host to many four-legged friends Sunday afternoon for the annual festival’s “People and Pets” event.

Grand Rapids Community College’s Formation Retreat Dates Announced

For the thirteenth year we are pleased to offer a unique form of professional development for GRCC employees.

This work has grown out of the Formation work of Dr. Parker J. Palmer, noted educational leader and author, and builds upon a decade of Formation work at GRCC for leaders, faculty, and staff. In addition, Grand Rapids Community College is part of a network of colleges, health care organizations, K-12 districts, philanthropic organizations, law firms, government agencies, and community leaders engaged in this form of deep professional development. More info on the national work can be found at the Center for Courage and Renewal and Richland Colleges Center for Renewal and Wholeness in Higher Education.

For three days, GRCC faculty and staff are invited to step away from their daily work activities to consider the personal and professional questions of working at the college. The themes and questions to consider Include:

  • Why were you called to this work?
  • What is the intention of your work?
  • How do you stay renewed in your role?

These retreats offer a safe space to pose questions, seek answers, examine motives, and explore new ideas about the most important work we do at the college. The goal is to help those who work at GRCC sustain and renew their passion, enthusiasm, and commitment to the students, their colleagues, the college, and the communities they serve.

In this retreat, skilled facilitators help create a quiet, focused, and disciplined space in which participants can pause and reflect on their own beliefs about working at the college. In large group, small group, and solitary settings, we will explore the intersection of our personal and professional lives, making use of stories from our own journeys, and insights from poets, storytellers, and various wisdom traditions. These retreats strive to develop a deeper understanding of how your role at the college intersects with who you are as a person.

Grounded in reflective practice, these retreats have sufficient research based evidence supporting a positive impact on the development of employees and their organization(s).

Introduction to Formation Retreat:

Begins at 5:00 PM Wed, May 13, 2015 and ends with lunch on Fri, May 15, 2015

Location: The Gilchrist Retreat Center near Three Rivers, MI

This retreat is for any Faculty or Staff member who HAS NOT PARTICIPATED in a previous Formation Retreat.

Continuing Formation Retreat:

Begins at 5:00 PM Sunday May 10, 2015 and ends with lunch on Tuesday May 12, 2015

Location: The Gilchrist Retreat Center near Three Rivers, MI

This retreat is for any Faculty or Staff member who HAS PARTICIPATED in a previous Formation Retreat, and would like to revisit the experience.

You can register for either retreat at or call Staff Development at 616.234.4285. If you have questions about the retreat, feel free to email Frank Conner at, call him at 616.234.3612, or contact Judy Jankowski at or call her at 616.234.4409.

Participation is open to all GRCC employees who have participated in an introductory retreat. However, we can only accommodate 10 participants. Given this, out of fairness, priority will be given to those faculty and staff who have not participated in previous continuing retreats. If you are interested and have participated in previous continuing retreats, please sign-up. You will be notified as soon as possible if there is an opening. Participants must commit to all three days of the series.