Survivors of suicide conference is Nov. 18

For the 11th year, the Nursing Department, with its partners from West Michigan Survivors of Suicide, will be presenting a conference on the morning of November 18, 2017, beginning at 9 a.m. in the Wisner-Bottrall Applied Technology Center. This day has been established to support those who have lost a loved one to suicide and for caregivers to learn more about the impact of suicide and to explore ways suicide can be prevented.

This year, we will have a panel of survivors sharing the difficulties they have encountered and ways that they are finding paths toward healing. Following this panel, one of our graduates from the nursing program at GRCC, Chris Marshall, RN, will be sharing his reflections about the relationship that exists between suicide and substance misuse, from his employment at Pine Rest in the Redwood Unit.

At noon, a box lunch will be provided and the message from the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention will be viewed. A member of the Core Team from GRCC’s Suicide Prevention group will outline the activities and goals accomplished during the first year of the grant from SAMSHA. There will be a brief memorial for survivors that will conclude the day’s events.

Advanced registration is encouraged, but registration will be possible from 8:30-9:00 a.m. on the morning of the conference as well. This event is free and we encourage anyone seeking more information about the event or to register to contact:,, or

Mathematics Seminar looks at gerrymandering

The Grand Rapids Community College Mathematics Department is pleased to announce that it will host its next Mathematics Seminar on Wednesday, November 15, 3:30-4:30 p.m. in 103 Cook.

Our speaker, GRCC mathematics instructor Meghan VanderMale, will discuss how mathematics has been used to determine if U.S. Congressional districts have been gerrymandered.  For the title and abstract of Meghan’s talk, please see below.

This timely presentation will appeal to a wide range of students and faculty; no previous mathematics background is required.  All are welcome!

Pop and cookies will be served at 3:14 PM.

Measuring Fairness: Beyond the “Eyeball Test” for Detecting Gerrymandering

At the beginning of October, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments for the case of Gill v Whitford. It is one of the only cases on partisan gerrymandering to reach the Supreme Court and it challenges the redistricting of Wisconsin following its 2010 census. In this landmark case, a relatively simple mathematical measure called the efficiency gap was featured. This talk will discuss the efficiency gap and explore what exactly it measures and where it may fall short of being a miracle gerrymander measure. We will also discuss other mathematical measures that apply to gerrymandering cases and the challenges of using them in legal settings. The mathematics involved is very accessible and requires no previous math background, nor is it necessary to know much about gerrymandering. The talk will be of particular interest to students of mathematics, government, political science, law, and statistics. You are encouraged (though not required) to bring a laptop or iPad as a portion of the talk will have computer interactive elements.