GRCC In the News, 9-17-15

New Jobs Training Program Finds Success

Sept. 11, 2015; AACC 21st Century Center (newletter for the American Association of Community Colleges)

Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) was in the vanguard of the Michigan New Jobs Training Program, which enables community colleges to contract with local businesses to provide specialized training for new employees. The college was the first of the state’s 28 two-year institutions to enter such an agreement, and it has since grown its list of employer partners to 11, mostly in the manufacturing industry. The local program has generated nearly 5,000 new jobs and trained nearly 2,000 workers to fill those openings, says Julie Parks, director of workforce training at GRCC.

Call it a comeback: Grand Rapids Public Schools on the upswing, poised to thrive

Sept. 17, 2015;

When Grand Rapids Superintendent of Schools Teresa Weatherall Neal was hired for her position almost four years ago, she began her new job by listening. She called it her listening tour, and she listened to everyone. Realizing they were being heard, perhaps for the first time, members of the Grand Rapids community had much to say.

… From Creston High School, Weatherall Neal went on to Grand Rapids Community College, Grand Valley State University and Western Michigan University. She worked in GRPS as a student worker, then a receptionist, then a secretary, a compliance officer, a director, and assistant to the superintendent, until she took that seat herself. She knew and relished each step on the ladder.

From club to GVSU varsity: The Taylor Shomin story

Sept. 17, 2015; The Lanthorn (GVSU student newspaper)

For the longest time it looked like it would never happen. But, right when all seemed lost, her dream finally became a reality.

… Amanda Glaza, a transfer student from Grand Rapids Community College, was brought in with the notion she was going to fill that role. Glaza earned numerous all-tournament team honors with the Raiders and won a pair of regional championships.

GRCC Employees on the Move through September 16, 2015

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



Wilfredo Barajas

Assistant Professor, Secchia Institute for Culinary Education


Casey Behling

APSS, Student Records


Ashley Campanali

Assistant Professor, Physical Science


Jenna Hess

Counselor/Assistant Professor, Occupational and Disability Support Services


Robin Kerkstra

Assistant Professor, Dental Auxiliaries


Ray Kimball

Women’s Head Basketball Coach


Susan Koons

Assistant Professor, Nursing


Anwar Thomas

Counselor/Assistant Professor, Occupational and Disability Support Services


Chris Wood

Assistant Professor, Nursing




Sasha Ahmed

From: Adjunct Faculty, Secchia Institute for Culinary Education

To:     Assistant Professor, Secchia Institute for Culinary Education


Orletta Caldwell

Currently:   Assistant Professor, Business

Now also:   Athletic Director


Krystle Duthil

From:  Contingency employee, Allied Health

To:      APSS, Dental Auxiliaries


Sue Goeman

From:  Contingency employee, Ford Fieldhouse

To:      Ford Fieldhouse Building and Activities Coordinator (PM)


Amy Kudrna

From: Adjunct Faculty, Physical Science

To:     Assistant Professor, Physical Science


Megan Lockard

From: Adjunct Faculty, English

To:     Assistant Professor, English


Tari Mattox

From: Adjunct Faculty, Geology

To:     Assistant Professor, Geology


Stephen Gonzales

From: Custodian I

To:     Grounds Maintenance


Brenda Cary

From: APSS, Human Resources

To:     APSS, Counseling and Career Center






Sara Dorer

Director of Student Life and Conduct


Langston Gant

APSS, Enrollment Center


Whitney Harper

Counselor/Assistant Professor, TRiO/Student Support Services


Jeremy Osborn

Director of Center for Teaching Excellence


Mike Faber

Director of the Older Learner Center


GRCC celebrates Peace Day on September 21

Celebrate International Peace Day with GRCC on September 21.

Mayor Heartwell will lead a ceremony at 11:40 a.m. At 12:05 p.m., you can be part of a giant sugar pull with world-renowned Chef Gilles Renusson. Between 1:30-3:30 p.m., world drummers Sam Gould and Greg Secor, dancers Patrick Johnson and Manny Phillips, and GRCC Jazz 1 students will alternate performances.

You can also sign the peace banner, chalk the plaza, then grab a free custom peace day cookie and button, and show the world how you celebrate peace day on Instagram; #GRCC, #GRCC_PeaceDay, and #PeaceDay.


Got Stress? Need Help Managing It?

Human Resources/Staff Development has invited Denise VanEck, Owner of Thought-Design, to present her insightful workshop titled “De-Stress: The Art & Science of Managing Stress” on Tuesday, September 22nd from 1-2:30 PM in Room 304 Sneden Hall.

In this 90 minute workshop, you will learn what’s really happening in your brain when you get stressed out and some easy (even fun!) ways to manage. You will discover some of your personal stress triggers, how to prevent triggering and how to manage in the moment. You’ll also get some new insight into how the culture and context of your workplace impacts your stress level and some strategies specifically for managing your stress at work.

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

To make your experience more enjoyable, hospitality items including coffee, water, and snacks will be provided.

Don’t Be Left Out of the Loop….

25Live is now the fully web-based new face of R25! It replaces CWEST and will be the exclusive means to request space for events on campus, or to find information about where events and classes are being held.

Please be aware that CWEST goes away on September 30th, and all scheduling information will only be found in 25Live. That being said, it is imperative that you become familiar with the new format to ensure a seamless transition to the new software. Human Resources/Staff Development has added several 25Live Requester Training workshops to its schedule, with dates and times as follows:

  • Thu Sept 17 from 9:00-10:30 AM in Room 525 Cook Hall
  • Tue Sept 22 from 9:00-10:30 AM in Room 351 Main
  • Wed Sept 23 from 9:00-10:30 AM in Room 525 Cook Hall
  • Wed Sept 23 from 2:00-4:00 PM in Room 351 Main
  • Thu Sept 24 from 9:00-10:30 AM in Room 217 ATC

Please register online to attend one of the training sessions at or call Staff Development at ext. 4285.

Alpha Beta Omega seeks support

Please consider making a financial contribution via the GRCC Foundations to support Alpha Beta Omega (ABO) and its meaningful endeavors. ABO exists to provide much needed support to GRCC’s highest risk and highest need students. Beginning today, you will have an opportunity to allocate some of your Foundations donation to the ABO leadership development program. Any size donation will be appreciated! Please know that 100% of your donation will go directly to funding the various resources, activities, events, and incentives that strategically build into ABO members the knowledge-base and skill-set they will need to accomplish their educational goals and evolve into the relevant and capable leaders our community needs. If you have any questions please contact Eric Williams (ext. 3720) or Andre Fields (ext. 4635). As an incentive, all donors who contribute $100 or more will receive a free signed copy of Andre Fields’ book The Psychology of Racism. ABO thanks you for your continued support. Have a great academic year!