GRCC In the News, 6-04-18

Holland doctor retires after 42 years
6/3/18 The Holland Sentinel
After 42 years of service to the Holland community, Dr. Richard Kempf has retired from his practice at Holland Family Medicine.
Born and raised in Grand Rapids, Kempf attended Ottawa Hills High School and Grand Rapids Junior College, now Grand Rapids Community College. Kempf said that even early on, he was interested in biology.

West Ottawa alum graduates Cornerstone valedictorian
6/3/18 The Holland Sentinel
Holland-born Julie Brown was recently recognized as valedictorian of the graduating class of 2018 at Cornerstone University.
… Before attending Cornerstone, Brown spent two years completing her associates degree at Grand Rapids Community College. While it was difficult working full time and attending school, she said it was a gift to her.

6/1/18 Community College Daily
… Appointments
… Bill Pink, president of Grand Rapids Community College in Michigan, has been elected to the board of the Higher Learning Commission, which oversees accreditation for degree-granting colleges and universities in 19 states. His term runs from September 2018 to August 2022.

Change Ups: Mind Meets Music taps Swan to guide fundraising, marketing strategies
6/1/18 Grand Rapids Business Journal
… Grand Rapids Community College president Bill Pink was elected to the Higher Learning Commission board of trustees, which oversees accreditation for degree-granting colleges and universities in 19 states. Pinks term runs from September 2018 to August 2022.
Grand Rapids Community College students saved more than $2 million in textbook costs this past academic year through a partnership with OpenStax, Rice University’s open educational resources program that provides free, high-quality peer-reviewed textbooks.
Grand Rapids Community College and the Caledonia school district reached an agreement to offer courses in the former Glenmor High School building, 8948 Kraft Ave. SE in Caledonia.

Smigiel awarded Rockford Rotary Rick Ehinger Memorial STRIVE Scholarship
6/1/18 MLive
The Rotary Club of Rockford has selected Jared Smigiel as the recipient of this year’s Rick Ehinger Memorial STRIVE Scholarship.
As the winner of this year’s scholarship, Smigiel will receive $1,200 that will be used to continue his education at Grand Rapids Community College this fall.

Grand Rapids Sports Hall of Fame names 2018 class
6/1/18 WOOD Radio
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Grand Rapids Sports Hall of Fame has announced its inductees for 2018.
The class includes:
… Longtime Grand Rapids Community College basketball coach Gene Paxton. In 25 years, he racked up more than 500 wins and five league championships. He’s also a member of the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan Hall of Fame.
… Carl Paganelli Sr., Carl Pagenelli Jr., Perry Paganelli and Dino Paganelli are being named the Outstanding Team Honorees. The father and three sons are all football officials. All three sons have officiated Super Bowls.
(This article doesn’t mention it, but all the Paganellis are GRCC alumni.)

Financial aid guru has been district go-to for decades
6/1/18 (KISD newsletter)
Senior Jordon Pelon is ready for next year at Spring Arbor University, where he intends to pursue a degree in social work and likely the ministry.
… (Becky) Powell previously served as director of financial aid at two separate colleges and now, after scaling back from full-time, works for Grand Rapids Community College part time in the same field.

Recap: Belding High School juniors’ visit to GRCC

The Admissions Office hosted an on campus group visit for the Junior Class from Belding High School on May 30th.  Students were able to learn about our Physical and Biological Science departments, Job Training options in the MTEC mobile lab and general college information during a fun Kahoot game session.  They ended their visit by enjoying lunch together in the Student Center.
A special thanks to the following staff who were part of the activities that day:  Jennifer Batten, Tim Hoving, Tim Periard, Leigh Kleinert, Lauren Woolsey and Cody Giba as well as our folks who provided a delicious lunch – Keaton Krupa and Destiny Swanson.

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Cheese Cards: A Note of Thanks

Cheese cards are a fun and easy way to appreciate your colleagues! These colorful postcards can be found in most departmental break rooms, as well as online. So, go ahead, send a little note of thanks. It’s sure brighten someone’s day!

If you are in need of cheese cards, please connect with Nicole Dekker ( or Rachel Paulucci (

Honey, We Shrunk Our Colleagues: Weight Watchers At Work Success!

In just 20 weeks, a group of 25 employees from all across GRCC lost a combined total of 428 pounds through the Weight Watchers at Work program! Meeting every Thursday in the Far Side Room, this group has shared stories of struggles, triumphs, and offered support to one another on their journeys to becoming healthier versions of themselves. Way to go!

If you are interested in joining Weight Watchers at Work, please contact Nicole Dekker ( or x3848) for details. The next series begins June 7th, but join any time! We are always welcoming new members.

Summer Wellness Classes are in full swing!

Check out the great schedule of offerings, grab a friend, and come sweat! We have a little something for everyone.

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 the week of July 2-6 in observance of Independence Day.**

Contact Nicole Dekker (, x3848) with any questions.