GRCC In the News, 4-27-18

Accelerated technical training program graduates 15

April 26, 2018; Allegan News

Fifteen Allegan County students in a program that pairs a second chance to complete a high school education while arming them with skilled labor credentials, celebrated completion on Wednesday, April 18, at Allegan Public Schools administration building.

… The partners involved include Allegan Alternative  Education, Allegan Adult Education, Plainwell Renaissance Adult Education, West Michigan Works, Grand Rapids Community College, Michigan Career & Technical Institute, Lake Michigan College, Michigan Rehabilitation Services, Allegan County Community Action,  Love INC, the Linking Center, 70×7 Life Recovery, Bridges of Hope Allegan County, area employers, and other community based organizations.

Teen scholarship recipient credits mentor with turning his life around

April 26, 2018; FOX 17

KENT COUNTY, Mich. — Eben Gardner is one of 15 students who received a $2,000 scholarship from Lake Michigan Credit Union to help pay for higher education. However, the Cedar Springs High School senior said the road wasn’t easy.

… Gardner is headed to Grand Rapids Community College to study business. Lake Michigan Credit Union said it’s been able to award $361,500 to 222 students over the years through its Hutt Scholarships.

Kidney Walk celebró caminata sobre prevención de enfermedad renal crónica

April 26, 2018; El Vocero

Kidney Walks han sido una parte integral en la recaudación de fondos desde 1996 y se presentan en todo el estado Michigan.

… La misma fue dedicada en honor al doctor Bill Pink, presidente de Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) quién realizó el corte del listón para dejar oficialmente iniciado el recorrido de la caminata, que abarcó tres millas dentro del área verde del parque.

(Kidney Walks have been an integral part of the fundraising since 1996 and are presented throughout the state of Michigan.

… It was dedicated in honor of Dr. Bill Pink, president of Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) who made the cut of the ribbon to officially start the walk, which covered three miles within the green area of the park.)

Jayhawks baseball team splits doubleheader with Grand Rapids Community College

April 26, 2018; Local Sports Journal (Muskegon)

The Muskegon Community College baseball team split a doubleheader against Grand Rapids Community College on Thursday.

Jayhawks take two tight softball wins, top Grand Rapids Community College

April 26, 2018; Local Sports Journal

Muskegon Community College eked out a pair of one-run wins over Grand Rapids Community College in Western Conference softball action on Wednesday.

GRCC retiree biography: Bernie Manker

Bernie Manker

Bernie Manker

Bernie Manker will be retiring from GRCC at the end of November. Bernie has taught at GRCC for a total of 27 years, 25 being in a full time faculty position. Bernie taught Spanish in the Language and Thought and provided leadership to that department for 13 years as Department Head.

When asked what his favorite story about GRCC was, he stated that he doesn’t have a single story, but instead an observation. He stated, “I have been very fortunate to have been able to interact with many of my students for four semesters. They started with me in SP 101 and finished with SP 232. I even had students continue after completion of our regular course offerings with independent studies, seminars and service learning. It was very exciting for me to see a student who succeeded academically turn that into practical application at the Hispanic Center, Clínica Santa María, the migrant camps in and around Sparta, the Alternative High School in GRPS or with Service Learning in Mexico in Monterrey or Medellín. The community we created in the classroom was safe and inviting, the interaction between the students and each other and with me was exciting and challenging and the teaching and learning that took place was genuine and heartfelt.”

Bernie Manker stands by lockers.When asked about an experience that demonstrated his belonging to the GRCC community and he said, “Once again there is no single story that covers how I feel but rather a constant appreciation for the opportunity to do what I do where I do it. In the winter of 1973 I was a student on my Junior Semester Abroad in Spain. Every morning I walked up Gran Vía toward the University of Valencia on Paseo Valencia al mar. It was winter in Valencia, the air had a chill, the sun was brilliant even at 7:45 and the air was filled with sounds and smells; the smell of diesel, cigarette smoke, fresh bread from the “panaderías” were ever present every day. For 25 years I have walked into GRCC usually before 8:00 am and there have been moments especially in the winter and sunny days that I pick up the scent of diesel in the air and cigarette smoke (not so frequently nowadays) and I am transported back to those days in Valencia. Looking back I realize that I knew then that I was in the right place, at the right time doing what was right for me. The 17 years I taught for Grand Rapids Public Schools were wonderful years and taught me methods, classroom management, patience and when to be more structured and in control of the classroom environment. But it was when I came to GRCC that I felt that feeling again of being in the right place, at the right time doing what was right for me. I will always be grateful for the opportunity to teach here. I have had a career full of fun in class with my students, reward when I saw them succeed, excitement when they “got it”, challenges when presented with difficult concepts to introduce, introspection when trying to figure out how to better present those concepts given the restrictions of the calendar and sometimes anger and frustration when what we do in the classroom does not seem to be enough. I have had the privilege to work with many wonderful people: colleagues and students have become friends and I have established lifelong relationships with many of them.  So, why do I belong at GRCC? Because I understood our mission, performed my tasks and played my role as I understood it to be and I believe that I contributed to the nationwide reputation GRCC has as a premier academic institution. I lead a great department, we had a superior program in Spanish thanks to the help of my adjunct colleagues, we developed curriculum that challenged and improved our students’ performance and we adapted and changed as the needs of our transfer institutions, our students and the college changed.”

In retirement, Bernie plans to visit family and friends out of the area. He is hoping to visit Spain within the next year for a month or more to take in the sights, drink “cafe con leche” in local cafes and visit some childhood friends. He has many trips he is planning; bike riding in the West, visiting chalets in our National Parks, taking grandchildren on vacation and spend quality time with his children having conversation while enjoying a glass of wine. He said, “we will now have the time to indulge in those dreams.” His relationships in his life will be his top priority in retirement.

It sounds like a wonderful retirement, Bernie! Thank you for all that you have done for GRCC and your students. Congratulations on your retirement! We hope you will stay in touch and send some photos from the adventures you have planned.


Join us for summer wellness classes — starting next week

Summer wellness classes start next week and we hope you’ll join the fun! We have something for everyone. So please, check out the schedule, grab a friend, and come sweat!

As always, there’s no need to sign up – just show up and see what the fun is all about. You are welcome to bring your spouse, child over 18, or friend(s) to these classes. Non-GRCC participants are asked to pay a small $20 fee per semester. All are welcome!

**Please note wellness classes will not be held on May 28th or the week of July 2-6 in observance of holidays.**

Contact Nicole Dekker (, x3848) with any questions.

Bostwick ramp’s Fountain Street access to close April 28

Beginning Saturday, April 28th, the Fountain Street student entrance and exit of the Bostwick parking ramp will be closed for the summer renovations. The employee entrance off Fountain street will also be closed.

All traffic will need to enter the ramp from Ransom Street.  The lower two levels of the ramp will be closed completely, as will a small section of level three. The contractors will be blocking off access to the impacted areas and have determined the route to maintain circulation in the ramp. During the project, there will be no separation between student and staff parking; it will be shared space.