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!

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