GRCC in the News, 5/23/17

GRCC plans to expand online courses, improve quality
5/22/17 Mlive
Grand Rapids Community College plans to expand and strengthen the quality of online courses, according to GRCC Provost Laurie Chesley.
“We have made very conscientious efforts to have high level, quality online courses and to make sure that faculty and students are well prepared to be successful, and we are continuing those efforts,” she said.

GRCC In the News, 5-22-17

Street Talk: Rapid transformation

May 19, 2017; Grand Rapids Business Journal

… Challenge accepted

Grand Rapids Community College was well represented recently at the MWest Challenge student venture competition, which provides students with an opportunity to develop and grow new ventures based on their own ideas.

Personal chef authors canning cookbook

May 19, 2017; Grand Rapids Business Journal

A local food-preservation expert and culinary instructor has written a book on canning and cooking with preserved food.

… Devereaux received a personal chef certification from Grand Rapids Community College’s Secchia Institute for Culinary Education in 2014.

GRPS, Florida A&M announces pipeline and major scholarships

May 19, 2017; WZZM

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. – Florida A&M is awarding West Michigan students with major scholarships to announce a new pipeline between Grand Rapids Public School and the university.

… The partnership with Florida A&M comes as part of renewed commitment to Ottawa Hills students. Other plans for the school include: a major bond renovation, Early Middle College program with Grand Rapids Community College to help students gain free associate degrees; college and career preparations programs, including homeland security, cosmetology, technology, communications and engineering; and increased partnerships with other HBCUs.

DeShaun Thrower takes on two sports at Ferris State

May 19, 2017; WZZM

Ferris State football coach Tony Annese and men’s basketball coach Andy Bronkema are unsure how it’s going to work out, but they’re both excited to add a player with DeShaun Thrower’s skills to their respective teams next season.

… He (Thrower) also liked the connection he shared with Annese, who coached Muskegon High to three state championships in the mid-2000s before leaving to take over Grand Rapids Community College’s football program in 2009.

Adult Education program celebrates student achievements

Event: Adult Education Achievement Celebration 2017

When: May 18th, 2017

Maurilia Ortiz Blakely Scholarship recipients: Sandra Parra and Maria Montañez, each student will receive $1,000 scholarship for 2017-2018 academic year.

14 Students completed the program:  Students who obtain a score of 236 or higher in the reading and 228 or higher in the Listening Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment Systems (CASAS). Students have successfully reached the highest level of English proficiency per State requirements and are now ready for Adult Secondary Education.

120 Students advanced to the next English level: There are six English Language Functioning levels: Low Beginning, High Beginning, Low Intermediate, High Intermediate, Advanced and Adult Secondary. Students are honored in advancing a level in CASAS.

50 Students obtained a National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC): Students receive a certificate showing that they demonstrated skills in Reading for Information, Applied Math, and Locating Information. Certificates are awarded at four levels; Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze. The certificate is recognized by employers nationwide, as a critical indicator for workplace success.

25 students completed the preparation class for the U.S. Naturalization application and test.

Please see the program below for details:

78996_78996 Achievement Celebration Program_03302017_ANK

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Nomination deadline extended for faculty, adjunct Excellence in Education Awards

The deadline for nominations for the Faculty (Full-time and Adjunct) Excellence in Education Awards has been extended until Friday, June 9.

The Excellence in Education Award was established in 1989 to honor an individual Grand Rapids Community College employee for his or her contributions to the college, higher education and the community. In 2000, the award was expanded to provide recognition in the form of a staff award, and a separate full-time faculty award. In 2010, an additional award was added for an exemplary adjunct faculty member.

Nomination information for:


Questions: Contact Deb DeWent, ext. 3921 or

GRCC In the News, 5-19-17

MAPA Announces 2017 MAPA Educational Development Scholarship Fund Recipients

May 18, 2017;

The Michigan Automotive Parts Association (MAPA) has announced the recipients of MAPA’s 2017 Educational Development Scholarship Fund, chosen by Lansing’s Capital Region Community Foundation. Three $1,000 scholarships were awarded, in addition to a $500 scholarship for the recipient of the 2017 Jud Morrison Memorial Achievement of Excellence Award.

The recipients include:

… Brooke Peckham Sponsored by Auto-Wares Group of Companies located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Peckham will be a junior enrolled at Grand Rapids Community College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in the fall of 2017 majoring in human resources management to support the growing car care Industry. Peckham’s MAPA Educational Development Scholarship Fund scholarship is in conjunction with the University of the Aftermarket Foundation, which supports careers within the automotive aftermarket industry field.

GRCC team shows off ‘ginger’ knowledge in WorldQuest 2017

The annual WorldQuest Competition sponsored by the West Michigan World Affairs Council was held Thursday, May 18, at Aquinas College.  This “almost famous” world trivia competition features teams from local educational institutions, businesses and nonprofit organizations.  Questions focus on foreign policy, international relations, geography, economics, history, art, literature, pop culture and this year featured a 10-question category devoted entirely to beer.  The GRCC team was comprised of:  Provost Laurie Chesley, Dean Mike Vargo, Social Science Department members Yan Bai, Heather Richards, Gordan Vurusic, Dillon Carr and “Captain” Steve Abid.  Although GRCC didn’t place in the top three this year, a strong showing was made in the “Ginger” category involving questions pertaining to the color red – most of which focused on history-making redheads.  The Aquinas College team was this year’s winner.

Steve Abid sits in a chair. Standing behind him are Yan Bai, Heather Richards, Laurie Chesley, Gordan Vurusic, Mike Vargo and Dillon Carr. A sign that Abid holds says: "GRCC Raiders."

Pine Rest offers free online counseling

Many people prefer to sit face-to-face with their counselor. Many prefer the convenience and increased confidentiality of connecting online from their own home or office. Pine Rest now offers a team of specially trained and credentialed counselors to provide this service option. Research has shown that teletherapy is just as effective as traditional in-person therapy. Employees can schedule appointments the same way they schedule office-based sessions-by dialing 800-442-0809 or 616-455-6210 and stating their wish for the online EAP counseling option. The scheduling Call Center will also check insurance to make certain that if they wish to extend counseling past their free EAP sessions they will be covered.

Pine Rest now offers the option of EAP counseling via an online video connection! Many people prefer to sit face-to-face with their counselor. Many prefer the convenience and increase confidentiality of connecting online from their own home or office. Pine Rest now offers a team of specially trained and credentialed counselors to provide this service option. Research has shown that teletherapy is just as effective as traditional in-person therapy. Employees can schedule appointments the same way they schedule office-base sessions-by dialing 800-442-0809 or 616-455-6210- and starting their wish for the online EAP counseling option. The scheduling Call Center will also check insurance to make certain that if they wish to extend counseling past their free EAP sessions they will be covered. Appointment time? Just close the door. Free online counseling with licensed therapists now available. Your day is already hectic. With telehealth online video therapy, you can conveniently connect with a highly qualified, state-licensed and certified mental health professional without leaving the privacy of your home or office. Call today to learn more. An operator will answer any questions you have, verify that your computer or device can be used for telehealth and set up your first appointment. Contact us today. Available 24/7. Convenient. Confidential. Available for all adult household family members. 800-442-0809. Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services. Employee Assistance Program. Church Assistance Program. School Assistance Program.

SLT Profile: Curriculum Operations Support Team

Curriculum operations support team members share a common goal of supporting the work of faculty and staff in order to offer quality courses and programs to GRCC students.

The team oversees the alignment, coordination, and/or implementation of curriculum operations, including the catalog and course and program development, revision and review. They also support all curriculum-related college action projects, department action plans and teaching and learning quality model reports.

Membership represents all of the offices that support student degree completion through curriculum development:

  • Sheila Jones, Katie Daniels, Matthew Novakoski and Debbie Dewent, Instructional Support
  • Valerie Butterfield, Registrar
  • Lynnae Selberg, Counseling and Career Center
  • Jennifer Batten and Chris Johnston, School of Arts and Sciences
  • Amy Koning, Julie Parks and Pam Miller, School of Workforce Development
  • Raynard Ross, Student Success and Retention Services
  • Eric Mullen, Enrollment Management and Financial Aid
  • Paul Doane, Financial Aid and Scholarships

In the past year the team implemented the following policies:

  • Substitutions and Waivers.
  • Graduation Requirements.
  • Industry Recognized Credentials and Test Credit.
  • Challenge Exams and PLA.

The team also assisted with the development of:

  • The 2017-18 GRCC college catalog.
  • A process for accelerated program development.
  • The revision of the curriculum model policy.
  • The curricular aspects of the guided pathways initiative.

Throughout the next year this team plans to continue to:

  • Implement curriculum-related policies as they are revised and approved through the academic governing council.
  • Support the guided pathways initiative.
  • Identify ways to ensure the smooth operations of curriculum processes.

GRCC In the News, 5-17-17

Bert Bleke leaving GRCC Board of Trustees, candidates sought to fill vacancy

May 16, 2017; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Bert Bleke announced he would leave his position on the Grand Rapids Community College Board of Trustees, effective June 8, during the board’s Monday, May 15, meeting.

Fencing on parking garages in Grand Rapids deters suicides, falls

May 17, 2017; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – The city of Grand Rapids installed special fencing on the top of its parking garages three years ago to help prevent suicides or falls. The move came after three people had died.

… In January, a person was injured in what police say was a likely suicide attempt at a Grand Rapids Community College parking garage in the city. It had no fencing.

Phi Theta Kappa chapter wins awards at regional conference

The GRCC Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa recently attended a regional conference along with 31 other chapters.  We had nine students in attendance with us at this conference where the whole region elected new Regional Board members.  For the first time ever, GRCC had a student running for a regional board position.

We are excited to announce that Morgan Brown was elected Regional Board President for the 2017-2018 academic school year.

Morgan ran against five of her peers from across the region for this position and each candidate was first required to give a speech and answer questions. They also campaigned at a political rally to greet members and voting delegates prior to the election.

Morgan also won the prestigious Mike Sherman Candidate Award given to a candidate who was running for a regional position and was deemed the most motivational and supportive by their fellow candidates.

Other awards won by our chapter were:

  • Continued 5 Star excellence (for earning a 5 star status for the second year in a row).
  • Top 3 Officer Team for GRCC students Morgan Brown, Marcus Barissi, Gino Gonzalez, Caleb Graveldinger and Alex Brown.
  • Top 2 Advisor Team for Erin Busscher and Lynnae Selberg.
  • Visual Arts Award for Morgan Brown (her second consecutive win in this category).

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GRCC In the News, 5-16-17

A dozen summer camp ideas for the Grand Rapids area

May 15, 2017; MLive

School for West Michigan students will end some time in June, depending on the district, charter, or faith-based school. Here are some of the more affordable summer camp options, including some free programs. Slots are filling up fast, so get your applications in.

… Free GRCC Forensic Chemistry Camp

Grand Rapids Community College wants to provide West Michigan-area high school students, who have an interest in science, the opportunity to use analytical instrumentation to find the perpetrator of a simulated arson crime. The free camp, limited to 24 students, will be held at the Science Center Monday, June 26, through Friday, June 30 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Visit the website for application details.

Dirty Dining: Target 8 tests find potentially hazardous buffet

May 15, 2017; WOOD TV

WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) — The buffet at Oriental Asian Buffet is a big draw, with steam tables offering up everything from frog legs to salmon to crab rangoons.

… Restaurants must keep hot food at least 135 degrees, something (William) DeHaan stresses to his class at Grand Rapids Community College.

2017 Heritage Hill Tour of Homes includes 7 private homes, 4 public buildings

May 15, 2017; MLive

A restored 1874 Italianate mansion; an 1882 “stick style” house with working gas and electric light fixtures, an 1875 Gothic cottage with an elegant winding staircase and a 1909 Amberg house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright are on the list this year for the Heritage Hill Tour of Homes.

… Tickets the weekend of the tour are $25.00 and are sold at the GRCC DeVos campus, 435 East Fulton. Free shuttle bus transportation for the tour route is provided.