GRCC In the News, 11-7-16

Pushing us past the ordinary: Five chefs who are changing the way we eat in Grand Rapids

Nov. 3, 2016;

The culinary landscape of Grand Rapids is in a state of evolution. As the city grows and changes, so does the way residents interact with food and drink. Gone are the days when mom and pop headed out every Friday evening to the same restaurant for the same meal. Predictability in cuisine is dead, and a night on the town has become a self-directed research project (and a fun one at that). Half the enjoyment of a Friday evening in West Michigan is preparing for it; the dining experience is now a culinary experiment in the eyes of many. What new dish, new cocktail, new dessert is going to blow my mind? What am I going to discover tonight that’s different and innovative?

… While Sovengard is the chef’s landing pad, his (Patrick Conrade) culinary experiences span the city. He attended Grand Rapids Community College’s Secchia Institute for Culinary Education later in life and decided that he needed some hands-on experience fast. He began at Gibson’s Steakhouse and then worked at the University Club as the executive chef; this is where he built a foundation of knowledge. That came in handy at his next position as head chef at the Meyer May House, the Frank Lloyd Wright home in Heritage Hill that was restored by Steelcase. There, in the space where Steelcase frequently gathers clients and other business and community leaders, he dreamed up gourmet meals for smaller groups. “Here I really got to stretch all my talents and explore new food,” says Conrade. “Presentation was everything. My background in sculpture and art came to life inside the kitchen.” After the Meyer May House, Conrade worked at the Electric Cheetah in Eastown and eventually assisted with the opening of The Old Goat in Alger Heights. “That was my first opening from the ground up,” says Conrade. “All of these different experiences shaped me and eventually led me to The Sovengard.”

(This article also profiles former GRCC student Cory Davis and SICE alumnus James Ewigleben.)

Tutor recommendations needed

The end of the fall semester is quickly approaching and we are starting preparations for the winter 2017 semester.

The GRCC faculty are the primary source for tutor recommendations; we appreciate your help and thank you for your continuing support. We are reaching out again and asking for assistance in identifying potential tutors. Please take a moment and consider the students enrolled in your classes. Are there a few you would recommend as a tutor?

Students who tutor must have an overall GPA of 3.0 and a 3.0 GPA in the subjects they wish to tutor. If you have a potential tutor in mind, you may use one of the following methods to submit a recommendation:

  1. The online submission form is available at
  2. You can download a copy of the Tutor Recommendation form at and return it to our office – Academic Support& Tutoring Services, room 232 LRC.
  3. Request a copy of the Tutor Recommendation form be sent to you. Send your request to:

We are asking that you submit these recommendations by Monday, Nov. 21, 2016. We will contact the recommended students, explain our tutor selection process and invite them to schedule a job interview.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Don VanOeveren by phone, 234-3684, or by e-mail at .

Matthew Douglas co-authors textbook with son

Cover of "Exploring Human Biology in the Laboratory" by Matthew M. Douglas and Jonathan M. DouglasDr. Matthew Douglas (professor of zoology and anatomy and physiology in the GRCC Biology Department), along with his son, Jonathan Douglas (former dual-enrolled City High-GRCC student) have co-authored a new laboratory/textbook manual entitled “Exploring Human Biology in the Laboratory,” (Morton Publishing, 2016, 345 pages). The textbook/laboratory book is designed for students such as those in GRCC’s Biology 117 (one semester anatomy and physiology course).

The authors’ primary goal was to develop a series of diverse laboratory exercises that could be easily coordinated with any human biology textbook designed for students from community colleges as well as four-year colleges and universities. Reviewers have found the writing be informative, clear, concise, and well-integrated into a consistent, superior art program with outstanding layout and design.  Most important, the text is written with student reading level and enjoyment in mind. The information flow is logical and easily followed by students of all learning styles.

Instructors may choose from 20 complete laboratories that address all aspects of introductory biology and human anatomy and physiology.  These student-centered laboratories offer interactive and exploratory experiments that range from real-life applications of the scientific method through a basic discussion of evolution–the cornerstone of all biology that is so often overlooked in an introductory anatomy and physiology course.

After GRCC, Jonathan attended the University of Chicago and Arizona State University. Jonathan currently teaches introductory and major-level biology courses in the Maricopa College system in Arizona.  Jonathan is another success story of the Biodiversity Program at GRCC.

Registration slots available in Grand Rapids Turkey Trot

Come and join the biggest and best holiday race in the Grand Rapids area with over 2,000 runners in the 24th annual Thanksgiving Day Run for Grand Rapids Public Schools.  The Exercise Science Department will be sponsoring the event and has a few free registration slots available, so if anyone is interested in using them, contact Laura Kennett at

The continued focus for this event is to engage the entire community in a higher level of awareness around physical fitness, movement and nutrition in a fun-filled way. Get an early start on your fitness goals for the New Year. Proceeds from this event go to support the athletic programs in the school district. There will be a free Mini-Trot for kids ages 12 and under. There will finisher prizes for the Mini-Trot and medals for the top 3 place finishers for each age division in the 5K race.


Schedule for GRCC presidential candidate interviews

Interviews with the presidential candidates start next week, with Bill Pink on Nov. 14, L. Joy Gates-Black on Nov. 15, and Amy Fugate on Nov. 16.

This is the schedule for the interview days:

  • 7:45-8:30 a.m. — Breakfast gathering with board members in room 118 of the ATC.
  • 8:45-9:30 a.m. — Cabinet in room 188 of the ATC.
  • 9:45-10:30 a.m. — External community panel and diversity/inclusion team (public invited) in the ATC auditorium.
  • 10:45-11:30 a.m. — Students in the ATC auditorium.
  • 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. — Faculty meet and greet in the ATC auditorium.
  • 12:45-2 p.m. — Lunch with Executive Leadership Team in room 118 of the ATC.
  • 2:15-3:15 p.m. — Campus presentation (all faculty, administration, staff and public invited) in the ATC auditorium.
  • 3:45-5 p.m. — Board panel interview (public invited) in the ATC auditorium.

UW campaign update and incentives.

Campaign update.

We are off to a great start. At the end of last week 76 donors had pledged $19,920. Join them and you will have a chance to win some great prizes!

Win a Whitecaps suite, $5,000 or a gift card.

Any GRCC employee who makes a pledge by Nov. 18, the last day of the GRCC United Way campaign, will be entered into a GRCC raffle.  You could win one of two gift cards or a Whitecaps Baseball suite rental (an $800 value)! The suite rental includes (1) April/May Whitecaps Suite for the 2017 season and 25 tickets – it does NOT include the cost of food and beverage.
Plus any donor who makes a gift of $50 or more, and at least $50 of the gift is undesignated, i.e., Community Investment Fund, will be automatically entered for a chance to win a $5,000 gift card, if he or she is otherwise eligible. Visit for complete rules.