GRCC In the News, 3-31-16

Love, understanding & a whole lotta dancing: GRCC drag show highlights city’s growing talent

March 24, 2016;

For Beau Laine Vansolkema, the president at the Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) StandOut! LGBTQ+ Student Club, the upcoming drag show he is organizing at GRCC is not only a chance to meet new people, hear some incredible music and, of course, see a dizzying array of intricately made costumes it’s putting love and understanding center stage.

Heritage Theatre Group 2016 season auditions at Saints Peter and Paul Parish Center this weekend

March 30, 2016;

Heritage Theatre Group was founded on the mission of bringing classic plays with classic themes to Grand Rapids and for over twenty-five years, we have been producing compelling and timeless theatre, and this season, we will be producing three wonderful works, The Time of Your Life by William Saroyan, The Good Doctor by Neil Simon and Anton Chekhov, and Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare.

… HTG performs at the Spectrum Theater at GRCC.

Dawn Zuidgeest-Craft’s daughter, Ginger Zee, on ‘Dancing with the Stars’

Ginger Zee, daughter of the nursing program’s Dawn Zuidgeest-Craft, is competing on “Dancing with the Stars.” You can vote for her by phone after the show on Monday nights at 1-800 868 3404. You can also go to and click on “vote” in the “Dancing with the Stars” icon and you can quickly set up an account so you can vote every week.


GRCC In the News, 3-30-16

Free tax preparation services available for low-income families

March 29, 2016; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – College accounting students, IRS-certified preparers and community volunteers are working in with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program to provide low-income taxpayers free assistance with filing tax returns.

… Students from Davenport University, Aquinas College, Grand Rapids Community College and Cornerstone University are volunteering. They were certified by the Internal Revenue Service to participate.

Spectrum Health’s ‘charitable’ claim in tax dispute is raising concerns

March 29, 2016; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS TOWNSHIP, MI — More than $400,000 in annual revenue for the public purse is at stake in a Spectrum Health dispute before the Michigan Tax Tribunal.

… Of the 2015 property taxes paid on the East Beltline center, about $337,000 went to schools, including Grand Rapids Community College; about $54,000 went to Kent County, including programs for seniors and veterans; about $15,000 went to the township for operations and public safety, and about $12,000 went to Kent District Library.

Concert to benefit Jonathan Jackson’s study abroad opportunity

Our TRIO Peer Mentor, Jonathan Jackson, was 1 of 15 students selected for a national study abroad opportunity through the Keith Sherin Global Leaders program. This is an incredibly exclusive and enriching opportunity for Jonathan! He has been awarded a few scholarships towards his partial cost for the trip but needs additional funding.

In order to raise funds, Jonathan is having a benefit concert. He is a gifted musician and will be performing on Thursday, April 7th, from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM in the Music Building, Rm. 200. Any contribution will be accepted!

If you are unable to attend, TRIO/SSS will also be collecting funds for Jonathan. Please see either Maggie M-Spruit, Anna Maria Clark, or Vicky Powers if you would like to make a contribution.

Jay’s Trip to Spain: Benefit Concert. Thursday, April 7th, 2016. Location: Room 200 of the Music Building. Time: 7:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Food will be provided.

TRIO Palooza includes art competition

On Tuesday, March 22, 2016, TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) Program hosted our every semester TRIO Palooza event. This is an opportunity for students to register for Summer and/or Fall 2016 classes, file their FAFSA, and gather as a student community.

Students enjoyed food and fun activities as well as participating in our very 1st Annual TRIO SSS Art Prize. Students will vote on their favorite art piece via the GRCC TRIO SSS Facebook page.

Special thanks to those who participated in the TRIO SSS Art Prize and additional thanks to Rebecca Powell, Veronica Beitner, and Paul Doane from the Financial Aid Office.

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Admissions and Enrollment host open house

Admissions and Enrollment hosted their annual spring open house on Saturday, March 26th. There was a great turnout of students and parents despite it being a holiday weekend; approximately 300 participants attended.
Close to 50 new students took part in orientation sessions and over 20 students took the Accuplacer to complete their admission requirements. Campus tours were offered throughout the afternoon and there were presentations by some of our academic departments.
In addition, 28 academic and service departments were represented at the open house.  These departments met with students and their parents, made connections and answered a lot of questions. Many of these departments brought current students along which was a great way to get prospective students talking. As always, a big thank you goes out to Bayard Brooks and Becky Yoder for helping with set-up and to Keaton Krupa and Destiny Swanson for keeping everyone fed.

spring open house

La Platica to feature Erasmo Salinas

The Latino Student Support Team will be hosting its final, “La Platica” (The Talk) of the semester. This event will feature Western Michigan University’s very own, Erasmo “Mo” Salinas. “La Platica” is a series on what it takes to be successful featuring positive leaders in the community

Please join us this Wed. March 30th from 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm in room 234 Multi-purpose Room of the Student Center Building. Erasmo will highlight specific strategies for student success and share what it took for him to be successful.

Appetizers and beverages will be served.

For more information, please contact Rolando Bocanegra at 616-234-3162

We look forward to seeing you!

GRCC In the News, 3-29-16

Tech students in new GRCC program can earn college certificate, intern with Herman Miller

3/28/16 – Mlive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – High school tech students can earn an Industrial Maintenance Certificate through a Middle College program Grand Rapids Community College is launching with the Ottawa Area ISD and furniture maker Herman Miller.


GVSU to host entrepreneurial challenge

3/28/16 – GVNow

More than 130 students from nine area colleges and universities will compete for $40,000 in prize money at the 2016 MWest Challenge, hosted by the Richard M. and Helen DeVos Center for Entrepreneurship in the Seidman College of Business.

…Students competing are from Grand Valley, Aquinas College, Calvin College, Kendall College of Art and Design, Cornerstone University, Davenport University, Grand Rapids Community College, Kuyper College and Hope College.

Nicole Finkbeiner of OpenStax to lead OER webinar

At 3p.m. today, Nicole Finkbeiner, the institutional representative from Rice University’s OpenStax program, will be lead a webinar about the process of transitioning to an open education resource text. She will be available to answer any questions about OER adoption, the development of these materials, or other aspects of this process. GRCC faculty members who have already adopted OER materials for their classes have also agreed to participate in this event to help answer questions.

GRCC In the News, 3-28-16

People’s Choice: Righteous claims four awards

March 26, 2016; Grand Haven Tribune

Matt Varley wanted to introduce Grand Haven and its surrounding communities to a unique culinary experience.

… “When I was young, I would always make food for my family,” he said. “I ended up going to culinary school at Grand Rapids Community College, then got a really awesome job at the J.W. Marriott, and I learned how to do every station there.”

Join the celebration by sponsoring a grad!

As you may know, last year as part of our 100th anniversary, we asked for your help in meeting a couple of goals that were put in place for commencement. We wanted to increase the number of students who participated in the commencement ceremony, and we wanted to have faculty and staff sponsor 100 graduates by providing them a cap and gown. Thanks to many of you, we achieved both of those goals, and we actually had a record number of graduates process at the Van Andel Arena.

Once again, this year, we are looking to have a record number of students process at the Van Andel arena, and we know that many students have told us that they are not able to participate in the commencement ceremony due to the cost of the cap and gown. As an institution committed to the success of our students, commencement is our time to celebrate the greatest success of all with our students – COMPLETION! And there might be no better way to celebrate the individual success of our graduates than by removing this one final financial barrier – $31 to purchase their cap and gown.

Know that our students are overwhelmed when they hear that a GRCC faculty or staff member’s donation made it possible for them to participate in this important life event, one that for many of these students, is the first such event in the history of their family!

One student shared the impact of this gift for her last year:

“Many students, including myself, were provided gowns through the GRCC Foundation.  This program proves that GRCC really cares about the students, from orientation to graduation.  Thank you, GRCC!” — Arielle Brown, class of 2015.

A GRCC staff member shares why he gave to the Sponsor a Grad program last year:

“We, as employees, are here because of our students.  Supporting the cap and gown program is a small way for us to ensure all students have the chance to participate in graduation after all their hard work.” — Dan Guajardo from the GRCC Mail Room.

Please help us reward our students who have reached their graduation goals and participate in the Sponsor a Grad program today.

If you are interested in helping, please commit to the Sponsor a Grad program – through your sponsorship, you agree to purchase a cap and gown for a graduate at the cost of $31 per set.

Know that there is no limit to the number of graduates you can sponsor. You can make your donation by simply going online to make your payment and selecting “Sponsor a Grad” as the scholarship fund for which you would like to make donation. Or if you prefer, and would like to make a donation using a different payment method, you are welcome to contact the Foundation Office directly at x3939.

Thank you for all you do in support of our students and their success.

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