GRCC In the News, 1-25-17

Grand Rapids Public Schools partner with GRCC for Early Middle College Program

Jan. 25, 2017; WZZM

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. – Imagine what it would feel like to walk across the stage at your high school graduation and leave with not one, but two diplomas. That will, soon, be the reality for dozens of students at Ottawa Hills, in Grand Rapids.

… “I think that is a wonderful opportunity for any kid attending Ottawa Hills to be enrolled in that program,” said Chris Sain, with Grand Rapids Community College.

Lutheran Northwest grad to lead new USPBL club

Jan. 24, 2017; C&G News

ROCHESTER — Earlier this January, the United Shore Professional Baseball League unveiled its newest franchise, the Westside Woolly Mammoths. The club joins the league’s three previously established teams, beginning play at Jimmy Johns Field in Utica on May 11.

… Following his standout prep career, (Shane) McCatty spent two years at Grand Rapids Community College before transferring to Oakland University. He worked his way up to becoming the No. 1 starter for the Golden Grizzlies before being drafted by the Washington Nationals in 2009.

GRCC retiree biography: Hayden Butcher

Human Resources will be starting a new communication for our retirees. This idea was submitted via the PACE feedback meetings or the Community Luncheon sessions — so we thank you for your feedback on this opportunity to improve communications about our retirees.

Hayden Butcher will be retiring on Friday, January 27th. With Hayden’s permission and input, here is a little more detail about his GRCC experience and dedicated service.

Hayden has worked at GRCC for 25 years and has been in the Facilities Department working with the HVAC team for all of his 25 years. He has provided great leadership to his colleagues and also has served in leadership positions for the CEBA Bargaining Group.

Hayden stated, “I have always felt like I belonged at GRCC and I still do. Don’t think for a minute you have seen the last of me. In the 25 years I have been here, I have seen the college change in many ways, for better, and worse, and witnessed the deaths of team members along with the births of their children. I have made friends, memories — so many that it is impossible to recall them all. I know that I belonged at GRCC because it helped to shape my life, and in many ways, I have helped shape it, as many of my ideas and designs will live on in the buildings I maintained for years after I am gone.”

Hayden has a lot planned for his retirement: He plans to enjoy time with his wife, and they plan to travel together. They are already planning a trip to England for the summer to spend time with his family and friends where he grew up.

Hayden, on behalf of your GRCC community, we are happy to hear you’ll remain in contact and we all wish you many happy, healthy years enjoying retirement!

As a reminder, his retirement party will be held in the Multipurpose Room from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. today, January 25th.

Volunteers needed for Latino Youth Conference

The 18th Annual Latino Youth Conference at Grand Rapids Community College on March 7th, 2017, is quickly approaching!

The goal of the Latino Youth Conference (LYC) is to develop and empower youth leadership in the community; strengthen the sense of community among Latino youth in West Michigan; bring youth leaders of the community together to create better crossroads of understanding and connections; and create meaningful connections between area youth and adults.

Theme: El Poder de Soñar – The Power of Dreams

Keynote address: Given by Paul Hernandez

Artwork has been selected , breakout sessions are scheduled, and we need your help in the following areas:

  • Greeting students and staff when they arrive
  • Assisting with school counselors
  • Making sure the students know where they need to be
  • Assisting during breakfast and lunch

To make this event run smoothly, we depend on our volunteers.  Please forward this request to others that may be interested in helping.

Volunteer Orientation:  Monday, March 6th, 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. or 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. at the GRCC Ford Fieldhouse, Room 212.

Latino Youth Conference:  Tuesday, March 7th, 7:30 am – 2:00 pm at GRCC Ford Fieldhouse

To assist the committee with final preparations by Wednesday, Feb. 15th, 2017, please reply to Lorena Aguayo-Márquez at or Marisol Blanco at if you are able to volunteer your time.  Please include your name, organization, title, address, phone number, email, t-shirt size and what time you will be able to attend the volunteer orientation.

GRCC Players present ‘Facing Our Truth’ Jan. 26 to 28

The GRCC Players will present “Facing Our Truth: 10 Minute Plays on Trayvon, Race and Privilege” by Quetzal Flores, Marcus Gardley, Tala Manassah, Mona Mansour, Winter Miller, Dominique Morisseau, Dan O’Brien and A. Rey Pamatmat.

The production runs at 8 p.m. Jan. 26 through 28 in Spectrum Theater’s lab space/black box theater (room 201).

Tickets cost $10 for the public and $3 for GRCC students. Call (616) 234-3946 to purchase tickets.

Facing Our Truth. Quetzal Flores, Marcus Gardley, Tala Manassah, Mona Mansour, Winter Miller, Dominique Morisseau, Dan O'Brien, A. Rey Pamatmat. 10 Minute Plays on Trayvon, Race and Privilege. Jan. 26-28 (possible ext: Feb. 2-4) 8 p.m. Spectrum Theater Lab Space (Room 201). For tickets and information, call (616) 234-3946 or visit


GRCC to test emergency communications systems on Jan. 25

Grand Rapids Community College will test its emergency communications systems — including email, phone, text messaging and digital sign alerts — at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 25. These emergency communications systems are one way in which you may be notified of an emergency closing by the college. Please note that the Jan. 25 communications are only a test.

Review the college’s Emergency Closing Procedures for 2016-17 online to familiarize yourself with these procedures should, for any reason, the college need to delay opening, close early, or cancel services because of unforeseen circumstances such as winter weather, power outages, etc.

Mathematics Seminar is today

The Grand Rapids Community College Mathematics Department is pleased to announce that it will host its first Mathematics Seminar of 2017 on Wednesday, January 25, 3:00-4:00 PM in 101 Cook.  Our speaker, GRCC mathematics adjunct Steve Harris, will discuss the Central Limit Theorem.  His title and abstract are below.

In 1920 the Hungarian-born mathematician George Pólya first used the name Central Limit Theorem to describe the result that has become so important in the study of probability and statistics.  Usefulness is not fully appreciated without understanding, and Steve’s presentation is designed to give participants a visual comprehension of the meaning of the Central Limit Theorem.  Some background in statistics would be helpful, but it is not required.  As always, everyone is welcome to our mathematics seminars.

Pop and cookies will be served at 2:45 PM.

Why People Trust Statistics

Many students in an introductory Statistics course sail along fine until “Distribution of a Sample Mean” sinks their boat.  After failing to find an illustration that explained the concept in a way I could use with both math-oriented and non-math-oriented students, I built my own.  The result is an Excel spreadsheet that visually demonstrates the power of the Central Limit Theorem.