GRCC In the News, 3-29-18

Beacon of Soul: Forty Acres Soul Kitchen plants its flag in ‘Gentrification Central’

March 28, 2018; Revue

Forty Acres Soul Kitchen, a modern adaptation of traditional Southern-style food opening this month, will be Grand Rapids’ only African American-owned full-service restaurant — that means a host, waitstaff, full bar and food menu. Let that sink in for minute. In the states second-largest city of 200,000 people. In 2018.

… (Chef Trimell) Hawkins, 34, attended the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education at Grand Rapids Community College. He was formerly the executive chef at Black Heron on the West Side. He said the menu reflects classic dishes he grew up on and putting a new spin on it, reinventing some soul food classics.

One more trophy lift for Peter Firlik at Addix Champions all-star game

March 28, 2018; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS – Peter Firlik is getting used to lifting big basketball trophies.

… The Stripes team was coached by Kim Elders, the head coach of Cornerstone University and his assistant Eric DeSantis. The Stars team was coached by Luke Bronkema and Mel Selmon of Grand Rapids Community College.

David Cope’s latest ‘American Elegy’: The Invisible Keys

March 28, 2018;

So, what’s in a retrospective collection of poems spanning 1975 to 2017?

“My whole life,” says David Cope, former G.R. Poet Laureate and Grand Rapids Community College Professor. There are poems about workers and the union, protest poems about war and environmental destruction. “Always war,” Cope says. “Every war America has been involved in during my lifetime.” But there are also poems about love, family, and a deep connection with the natural world.




GRCC retiree biography: Jim Steensma

Jim Steensma will be retiring from GRCC on March 29. He has worked in maintenance as a carpenter for the entire 25 years that he has been employed by the college.

We asked him to share his favorite story about GRCC or our students and he said,  “I was able to have been a small part, for a couple of years, of going on a couple of spring break outreaches with students. These two experiences of taking a widely diverse group of young adults down to Missouri, to a church mission outreach daycare facilities. To see such a broad range of young adults getting along so well and working so hard with such patience was an amazing experience. They worked with under-privileged kids in a scary and threatening environment, which was incredible to witness! I was so honored to participate and represent the institution that I worked at. I was told numerous times how grateful that the people at the daycare were for the work we did and the quality of kids that we had brought.”

When reminiscing about his time at GRCC, he recalled a past director of facilities having his staff over to his house for a picnic, which was just the start of Jim feeling like he truly belonged as part of the GRCC family. He said that day was one that he won’t soon forget.

In retirement, Jim is hoping to slow down a bit and work on things around his house that have been neglected. He is planning to take some trips with his wife, Gale, to unplug from their busy schedules for awhile. He said, “We need to go down a few of those roads that we always wondered what was down there. We have driven by so many of them over the past 30 years, and just never had the time to take that road that is less traveled. I am also excited to see what God has in store for me. He has been so good to me, throughout my life! I have been so blessed by Him, and have begun to realize it more and more each day.” Jim has also recently become a grandfather, so he is looking to spend more time with his granddaughter, Anika.

Lastly, he stated, “I would like to thank all the people at GRCC for all the great memories. It has been an honor to work with you all for the past 25 years. I wish you all the best in your lives here and after. I hope you all, too, can experience the great times that I have had while here. Yeah there are those days too! But on a whole the good ones far surpassed the bad ones.”

Jim, congratulations on your retirement. The work you have done for the college is so very appreciated. We hope you will stay in touch. Best of luck in all that you do in retirement!

New employee discount at SNAP Fitness

Grand Rapids Community College employees can enjoy discounts at SNAP Fitness! By presenting your RaiderCard, you’ll receive 24/7 access to any of their nine locations in West Michigan with only $15 down and $30 per month. They also offer the option to prepay for a 12-month membership – only $345! Do you have a favorite SNAP location? Take advantage of their Home Gym discount, which grants access to that location only for $20 per month.

View their website for location information and contact Derek Beaudy at (616) 942-5600 or with any questions.