Student Grace VanHoven receives 3rd place in Opera Grand Rapids competition

GRCC student Grace VanHoven received Division I third place in Opera Grand Rapids’ Collegiate Vocal Competition!

The competition is open to student vocalists who are being trained full time at West Michigan colleges and universities. Libor Ondras, GRCC’s director of orchestras and string specialist, was a judge.


GRCC In the News, 11-22-16

GRCC chooses new president

Nov. 21, 2016; FOX 17

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids Community College has a new president.

MSU to help increase student success in Grand Rapids

Nov. 21, 2016; MSU Today

Michigan State University has joined a Grand Rapids-area community initiative to increase the number of students from underrepresented groups entering and graduating from Michigan colleges.

… In addition to MSU, other higher education institutions partnering with TCTC are: Aquinas College, Calvin College, Cornerstone University, Davenport University, Ferris State University, Grand Rapids Community College, Grand Valley State University, Northwood University and Western Michigan University.

Combing through Michigan’s pollinator planning efforts

Nov. 21, 2016; Michigan State University Extension

In response to concerns about pollinator health, Michigan agencies and legislators are gearing up with big plans and programs for pollinators in our state. Given their importance to our agricultural economy and natural lands, Michigan is taking part in the nationwide movement to protect the insects that pollinate our fruits, vegetables and native plants. In this article we outline, explain and provide updates on the different pollinator plans in Michigan (as of the end of 2016), providing links for more resources and ways you can get involved and receive updates as these plans progress.

… MDNR, along with numerous partners, hosted a Monarch and Wild Pollinator Summit in September 2016. The goals of the summit were to gather key conservation partners from across the state to initiate development of a statewide strategy to conserve habitat for the Monarch butterfly and wild pollinators, and develop a collaborative initiative to attract people and resources to help conserve habitat for monarchs and wild pollinators. A steering committee was created to help develop and organize this Summit that included the following organizations: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service, Farm Bureau, National Wildlife Federation, Michigan Department of Transportation, Michigan State University Extension, MSU Entomology Department, Michigan Pollinator Initiative and Grand Rapids Community College. The steering committee invited a diverse group of organizations to attend the summit, which included 32 different organizations.

Experience GR launches renovated Beer City Passport

Nov. 21, 2016; FOX 17

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Beer lovers have the chance to become a “Brewsader” with the newly renovated beer city passport.

… Below is some of the other breweries featured:

… Fountain Hill Brewery at GRCC


Geology lab installs ‘augmented reality sandbox’

The Physical Science Department is pleased to announce the completion of the Augmented Reality sandbox. The AR sandbox is one of the newest teaching tools for students enrolled in geology courses in the Physical Science Department at GRCC. The AR sandbox projects virtual topography and water onto a real sandbox. Students can shape the sand, which is augmented in real time to show an elevation color map, contour lines, and water.

The AR sandbox is an important tool for GRCC geology students learning about topographic maps and contours lines. Through manipulating the sand and water features, students can explore geologic and hydrologic principles and learn about flooding, mass wasting, and volcanic hazards.

The prototype for the AR sandbox was funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and built at UC Davis’ Department of Geology. Detailed instructions for constructing the sandbox and the free software are available online.

We are grateful to the following individuals for collaborating to build the AR sandbox here at GRCC:

  • Chad Senna, IT
  • Eric Schuemann, Tutoring Services
  • Michael Coluzzi, GRCC student
  • Pam Scott, Physical Science
  • Jim Steensman, Facilities
  • Jennifer Batten, Physical Science
  • Tari Mattox, Physical Science

You can see a video of the AR sandbox in action on the GRCC Physical Science Facebook page.

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Volleyball team finishes in top 10 of NJCAA

For the fifth time in the past seven years, Chip Will’s Raider volleyball team has finished their season ranked in the top 10 of the NJCAA. The Raiders (28-8 overall/16-0 conference) finished the 2016 campaign with a four set loss to  7th seeded Johnson County (KS) Community College; 21-25, 25-20, 21-25, 23-25.

To learn more, go to


Get ready for #GivingTuesday

#GivingTuesday  – on the Tuesday following Black Friday and Cyber Monday — celebrates the act of giving.

On Tuesday, November 29, the Grand Rapids Community College family and community will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give. It is the opportunity to join more than 10,000 partners around the world in encouraging giving on #GivingTuesday. Just as the retail world has benefited from coordinating national shopping days across many brands and platforms, #GivingTuesday does the same for organizations dedicated to serving our communities through philanthropy.

Why should you give to the GRCC Foundation on #GivingTuesday?

  • Your donation celebrates and encourages support for the Grand Rapids Community College Foundation.
  • A dedicated day of giving has tremendous power to positively impact the lives of our students and the vitality of our community.
  • You can be part of a national movement that not only raises funds but increases awareness about the impact giving can make.
  • Giving to the GRCC Foundation online is an easy way to support what matters to you from the comfort of your own home.
  • You can use the growing popularity of #GivingTuesday to remind family, friends and neighbors of the GRCC Foundation mission and how generosity can change the lives of others.
  • Your donation shows that the mission of the GRCC Foundation matters!

What does my gift on #GivingTuesday do for GRCC students?

Your #GivingTuesday gift directly impacts the lives of students by providing unrestricted dollars that go directly to support student scholarships. Scholarships remove barriers for our students that may otherwise impede their ability to complete a certificate or degree.

Your donation today helps to move us one step closer towards our goal of one day providing scholarships to ALL GRCC students in need. Your support of a student today is critical to the creation of our community leaders of tomorrow!

Save the date! November 29. #GivingTuesday

Toothbrush, Whitestrip orders due by Nov. 28

The Dental Assisting program is taking orders for toothbrushes and Crest Professional Strength Whitestrips as a fundraiser.

The following items are available:

  • Cross Action Soft Bristle toothbrushes, size 35 — $5 for six and $10 for a dozen.
  • Oral-B Genius Pro 8000 rechargeable electric toothbrush (not available in retail yet) — $85 (will sell for $199 in stores).
  • Children’s Oral B Stage 3 (for ages 5 to 7) — $5 for six and $10 for a dozen.
  • Children’s Oral B Stage 4 (for ages 8 to 12) — $5 for six and $10 for a dozen.
  • Crest Professional Strength Whitestrips (42 upper and 42 lower strips) — $30.

Contact Julie Bera at or ext. 4542 and make checks payable to GRCC. Orders are due Nov. 28, and items will be delivered the second week of December.

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Photos of Challenge Scholars on campus.

Last week marked the end of the “College Conference,” an event to inspire and motivate Challenge Scholars to attend college. Six college conferences were held, where groups of 40-50  different Union High School freshmen visited campus each day. They learned about the “college going” process while getting a glimpse of what GRCC has to offer. Speakers included GRCC admissions staff, a GRCC student panel, and motivational speaker and educator Paul Hernandez who touched on overcoming both academic and life challenges. Students also toured the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education facilities and the Tassell M-TEC.



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The Challenge Scholars program is a commitment from the Grand Rapids Community Foundation, the Grand Rapids Public Schools, Grand Rapids Community College, and the community for students to have an opportunity to succeed that they may not have had before. It is putting a college education at reach for students and families. The Grand Rapids Community Foundation has raised over $33 million to award scholarships for students in the program to receive a free college education. Since 2013, sixth grade students from Harrison Park and Westwood Middle School have been able to enroll in Challenge Scholars to receive up to the four years of tuition-free college upon graduating from Union High School. In joining the partnership this year, GRCC has expanded this opportunity of a free college education to all students at Union High School. Beginning with the graduation class of 2020 (current 9th grade class), all students who graduate from Union High School will be eligible to receive up to two years of tuition-free college at Grand Rapids Community College.

The Challenge Scholars program is a comprehensive approach that pairs both academic and social support to ensure student success. Since the start of this academic year, two Success Coaches have spent their mornings in classrooms at Union High School supporting the Challenge Scholar students in their transition from the middle school to high school. They work collaboratively with teachers and support staff to identify potential barriers that students may be facing and connect students to the appropriate supports. Coaches will continue to assist students along their personal and academic journey by providing targeted interventions and outreach throughout the year, while also focusing on career exploration and development in 9th grade.

Learn more at