GRCC In the News, 6-30-17

Home Is Where the Heart Is

Spring 2017 Mission & Ministry (magazine by the Grand Rapids Dominican Sisters)

“Dominicans are preachers of truth. One truth is that each of our lives is a story of movement, change, and letting go. Movement reflects itinerancy, a core attribute of St. Dominic’s vision. And letting go is a reflection of the vow of poverty, holding everything with a light grasp. That’s core to our Dominican spirit. After the letting go, there is again a ‘taking up.’ We pray and study and live, trusting the movement of God in our lives,” says Maureen Geary, OP, prioress of the Congregation.

… Chris Wood, OP, is one of these nurses.

… Now as a nursing instructor, she is helping Grand Rapids Community College roll out new teaching methodologies in healthcare by focusing on patient care experiences in a clinical environment like Marywood Health Center.

(The article, which also features GRCC nursing students, begins on page 9.)

GRCC retiree biography: Jamie Hitchings

Jamie Hitchings has worked at GRCC in the IT department since 2010 as an IT enterprise analyst supporting PeopleSoft applications. Jamie shared that he was close to retiring a few years ago, but GRCC colleagues were able to convince him to stay through June of this year. Jamie shared that one of the reasons for continuing at GRCC is because he feels his clients/customers/users and fellow IT staff here at GRCC appreciate his efforts and talents. He went on to say that “knowing that, makes me feel more like I’m lending a helping hand, rather than just doing my job.”

Jamie will be staying busy during retirement. He shared that he has a home here in the Grand Rapids area and a lake cottage he spent nearly 20 years renovating into a retirement home. Both places are completely furnished, so consolidating into one home will be a lengthy process. Jamie also plans to take some road trips to see some of the natural beauty of our country, and spend more time on the golf course, when weather permits.

Jamie, on behalf of your GRCC community, we all wish you the very best in retirement. Thank you so much for your service to GRCC!

As a reminder, Jamie’s retirement reception will be held today, June 29, from 2-4 p.m. in the IT lobby, room 130 in Sneden Hall. Weather permitting, the reception may be on the garden of the Sneden patio, which is just down the hall from the IT office.

Exercise Science professor partners with GRPD Police Youth Academy

Exercise Science professor Melanie Schiele-Gady provided a workshop for Grand Rapids Police Department (GRPD) June Youth Police Academy. Topics included health, fitness, stress, quality of life and then mobility and flexibility training.

The GRPD June Youth Police Academy consisted of 19 first-time students in 10th, 11th, and 12th grades and six high school mentors who have already went completed the GRPD Youth Police Academy and came back to be mentors to the newbies.

Professor Schiele-Gady will be teaching the July Youth Police Academy as well.

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Second session summer wellness schedule now available

Classes run July 10 – August 25.


  • 11:45-12:30 — Bootcamp with Lynnae – Meet at FFH
  • 5:15-6:00 — Spin/Sculpt with Kelly – CSC 140


  • 12:00-12:30 — Butts & Guts with Cheryl – FFH Balcony
  • 5:15-6:00 — 25-10-10 with Danielle – FFH Balcony


  • 11:45-12:30 — Bootcamp with Lynnae – Meet at FFH
  • 5:15-6:00 — Urban EcoTrek with Beth – Meet at FFH

How it works

Show up to any class, breathe, move your body and have fun! Classes are open to faculty, staff, adjuncts, contingency employees, and student employees at no cost!

You are always welcome to bring your spouse, a child over 18 or friend(s) to these classes.

Non-GRCC employees participating are asked to pay a small $20.00 fee per semester for unlimited access to all employee wellness classes. All are welcome!

No need to sign up – just join us!  It’s a lot of fun!

Questions? Contact Nicole Dekker in Staff Development: (616) 234-3848 or

Jamie Hitchings’ retirement reception is today

The retirement reception for IT analyst Jamie Hitchings will be held on Thursday, June 29, from 2- 4 p.m. in the IT lobby, room 130 in Sneden Hall.  Weather permitting, we might also celebrate on the garden of the Sneden patio, which is just down the hall from the IT office.  Please join us in saying “thank you” and “happy retirement” to Jamie.

GRCC In the News, 6-28-17

Rice News Release: OpenStax’s 2016 partner schools expected to save students $8.2M

June 27, 2017;

HOUSTON — (June 27, 2017) — Eleven U.S. colleges and universities that partnered last summer with Rice University-based nonprofit publisher OpenStax ( to boost the use of freely available textbooks and learning materials on their campuses expect the program to save their students nearly $8.2 million — about $4 million more than projected — in the coming academic year.

… OpenStax’s other longstanding institutional partners include Auburn University (Alabama), BCcampus (British Columbia), Central New Mexico Community College, Grand Rapids Community College (Michigan), Maricopa Community Colleges (Arizona), Ohio State University, Salt Lake Community College (Utah), Tarrant County College (Texas), the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, the University of Idaho, the University of Georgia, the University of Oklahoma, the University of Texas at San Antonio, the University System of Georgia and Virginia Tech.


GRCC retiree biography: Paula Termeer

Paula Termeer started to work at GRCC as an adjunct instructor from 1992 to 1997.  In 2007, she returned as an adjunct instructor for the Psychology Department at GRCC.

Here’s what Paula shared with us about her teaching experience at GRCC:

I began at GRCC (then GRJC!) in 1992, teaching in the Public Service Department, basically criminal justice classes, while working for 61st District Court. The position was discontinued with the hiring of fulltime faculty about 1997. I was invited to return about 2006 to teach in the Psychology Department while working at Pine Rest. All positions have been as adjuncts.

Some of my favorite student stories have revolved around those who struggled the most. One in particular was a young man from Africa, who didn’t think he needed to take “remedial” classes (foundations) and failed his first semester. By the luck of the draw, he had me again the next semester, and we sat down and discussed what he needed to do different. He implemented the changes, in all of his classes, and passed with flying colors. I was able to help him get a job as a parking attendant for Spectrum Health and as he continued in college, he moved up the ranks of his jobs there. A few years later, he invited me to his graduation at GVSU and announced he was accepted to the Physician Assistant program at GVSU and I attended that graduation as well. Another student I had in my first class at GRJC back in 1992. When she finished undergrad, she happened to contact me about a MSW program and later asked me to supervise her internship, which I did. We worked as colleagues at Pine Rest for several years and this year, I recruited her to teach the class she had me for, in the Public Service Division. So we went full circle in that relationship!

For retirement, my husband and I will be able to do a lot more traveling, seeing the U.S. and Europe, at this point. I also accepted the position of director of women’s ministry at our church and am writing a blog on what to say when you don’t know what to say!

I loved my time at GRCC and look forward to seeing the new trends in college in the future.

Paula, on behalf of your GRCC community, we want to thank you for your commitment and service to GRCC.  Your contributions to our students’ lives can never be measured.  Happy retirement!

Retirement party for Jamie Hitchings to be held June 29

The retirement reception for IT analyst Jamie Hitchings will be held on Thursday, June 29, from 2- 4 p.m. in the IT lobby, room 130 in Sneden Hall.  Weather permitting, we might also celebrate on the garden of the Sneden patio, which is just down the hall from the IT office.  Please join us in saying “thank you” and “happy retirement” to Jamie.

Criminal Justice Department Assistant Rachel Crapo has officially donated her height in hair

The Criminal Justice Department is very proud of Assistant Rachel Crapo and her passion for helping others – specifically with her hair.  Rachel has now grown and donated sixty-two inches of hair, most recently to the group “Children with Hair Loss.”
Rachel says, “I feel so blessed to be able to give back to kiddos who are going through so much. A personal goal of mine has been to donate my height and I have officially reached my grand total goal of 62 inches! Feeling proud today!”

Rachel Crapo donating her hair

Learn about Dégagé Ministries at June 28 luncheon

Please join your fellow GRCC employees for lunch as we learn more about a local nonprofit: Dégagé Ministries.

Degage Ministries logo

Dégagé Ministries is a grassroots organization that offers help and hope to homeless and disadvantaged individuals in our community.

Are you looking for a project for your students ?

Maybe your department would like a team-building activity?

Or maybe you’re looking for a volunteer opportunity?

There is absolutely no obligation. Whether you want to learn about the homeless problem in the area, or you want to get involved helping out, this luncheon is an information session only. It will cover what Dégagé does, and all the different ways you may help.

June 28, 2017

12:00 p.m.- 1:15 p.m.

Dégagé Ministries

144 Division Ave. S.

Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Please RSVP to Elly Bainbridge at

If you require parking, let Elly know and that cost will be covered.