GRCC In the News, 6-19-18

GRPS touts GRCC dual-enrollment program
6/18/18 WOOD TV
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Grand Rapids Public Schools and Grand Rapids Community College are showing off their partnership and what it can do for students.

GRPS, GRCC strengthening Early/Middle College partnership
6/18/18 WZZM
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Grand Rapids Community College and Grand Rapids Public Schools are working together to provide high school students the ability to earn college degrees.

GRPS extends partnership with GRCC: ‘You’re already ahead of the game.’
6/19/18 FOX 17
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich– There’s some good news for one local school district, they’re extending their partnerships with Grand Rapids Community College.

44 students enroll in Kent schools’ tuition-free skilled trades program
6/18/18 MLive
GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Forty-four students from school districts across Kent County are taking advantage of a mechanical design program that can lead to well-paying careers, educators say.
… The program is a partnership with the Grand Rapids Community College, one of six partnerships it has with Kent and Ottawa school districts. Tuition is covered by the district’s state per-student aid.

News 8 Daybreak
6/19/18 WOOD TV
Some of the area’s best high school players will square off in a baseball and softball tournament to raise money for Grand Rapids Community College scholarships. The games start at 4 today at Cornerstone University’s fields. Admission is just $5. Proceeds go to the John Bos Scholarship Fund.

Education Newsmakers: 06/18/2018
6/18/18 Traverse City Record-Eagle
Fifty students recently received a $1,000 college scholarship from the Ed & Irene Fleis Education Fund. Recipients attended Leelanau County Schools or have Leelanau lineage.
… Grand Rapids Community College: Jacob Christensen, Ada

GRCC retiree biography: Bob Leunk

Bob will be retiring from GRCC at the end of July. He has worked at GRCC for eleven years in the Biologicals Sciences department as a faculty member, focusing on teaching Microbiology.

Bob Leunk in a lab classroom posing with equipment.

Bob Leunk

When asked about his favorite story about GRCC students he said he couldn’t think of just one particular story, stating, “I’ve found that every student has a story if I am willing to listen.  There are gifted students who sail through their classes and stressed students who struggle through their classes.  There are youthful students seeking their life’s work, returning students seeking a new career, and seasoned students seeking a new opportunity.  Each student comes with unique abilities, accomplishments, circumstances, and challenges.  Students juggle a lot, struggle at times, stumble occasionally, and excel frequently.  There are so many students and so many stories that I’ll remember for years to come.  I’m a better person because of my students.”

Bob also said, “coming from industry, with limited teaching experience, I was pretty new to education when I arrived at GRCC. I didn’t know what to expect in the classroom or how to get anything done in the organization.  I want to thank my colleagues in the Biology Department for answering all my questions from their wisdom and expertise, for picking me up, calming me down, and helping me find my way at GRCC.  Everyone here has been so generous in offering help and support during my entire time at GRCC.  Thanks to all of you.”

In retirement, Bob plans to spend time with his grandkids, make progress on a long list of house projects, volunteer and travel.

If you can, please stop by to celebrate with Bob on June 20th from 12:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m. in room 320 of Calkins Science Center.

We wish you all the best in your retirement, Bob. Please stay in touch! Thank you for all that you did for GRCC and our students. You have really made difference in the lives of many.

GRCC retiree biography: Penny Folsom

Penny is retiring from GRCC at the beginning of July. We had asked her a few questions about her experience here at GRCC and here is what she had to say:

“I graduated with my Associate degree (Child Development) from GRCC in May of 1992. I was hired that fall for the preschool. I have worked at the Early Childhood Learning Lab for 26 years. I have both my Bachelor and Master degree in Early Childhood from WMU. During my years I have had an opportunity to work in each of the classrooms, from the infant room to the oldest classroom.

“I have always been passionate about connecting children and their families to the natural world. To this day children demonstrate their excitement for when they find “bugs” and other nature related items. Parents often share with me “new” things they have discovered as well. It brings me joy to know I have touched so many lives and have sparked their passion for learning about and protecting our world.

“Mentoring the college students in our program has provided me many opportunities to feel like I belong to GRCC. Watching them progress through the program, seeing them graduate, and then watching as they work in the field for which I helped train them brings great joy. Many come back to say “thank you” and to let me know they continue to build their confidence and professional skills because of the great start I have provided.

“I am excited to be able to spend long hours engaging with nature, whether gardening, birdwatching, hiking, or sharing my “traveling nature center” with others ( I will be sharing my love of nature with those who visit FMG Children’s Garden this summer, hosting six of the Science Sunday presentations.

“GRCC has been my home for over 30 years. I have enjoyed my many college “family” connections. I will miss them.”

We wish you all the best in your retirement, Penny. Please stay in touch! Thank you for all that you did for GRCC, the ECLL families, and our students; you’ve made an amazing difference in the lives of many.

GRCC retiree biography: Karen Walker

Karen Walker will be retiring from GRCC at the end of June. Karen joined the Grand Rapids Community College Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) program in January 1987 as faculty and academic fieldwork coordinator. She developed fieldwork sites throughout West Michigan where a Certified Occupational Therapist (COTA) was not employed. Many of these facilities identified the benefit of a COTA and created this position after supervising a student. She developed several courses and unit topics in the OTA curriculum such as therapeutic relationships, adult development, and mental health.

Karen was appointed program director in August 2000. She serves as program director and faculty in the program. She facilitated and supported the OTA faculty (Matthew Mekkes, Lynda Jansen, and Sarah Ryder) to develop learning activities for the students throughout the college and community. These activities help the students to develop awareness and empathy for people with disabilities to be able to treat and advocate for them. The faculty partnered with facilities and programs such as; Lincoln School, Huntington Woods pre-primary impaired program, Martindill Wellness Center, Pilgrim Manor, Oak Ridge Retirement, Brookcrest Rehab, Adam Park apartments, GRCC dental clinic, GRCC preschool, and Michigan Works First.

Karen created unique hands-on learning experiences such as a wheelchair scavenger hunt. This hunt involves teams of students in wheelchairs ranging from sports wheelchairs, scooters, and standard wheelchairs to travel around the campus in search of clues while practicing their mobility skills and identifying campus accessibility.

Karen identified a need for a student conference so she developed and co-chaired the West Michigan Educational Consortium 2001-2015 which focuses on Occupational Therapy specialty practice areas. This was an annual conference for students in West Michigan Occupational Therapy and Occupational Therapy Assistant educational programs.

To keep current with OT practice she created externships for herself under the supervision of OT practitioners, many of whom were OTA program graduates. It was a pleasure being mentored by former students in areas of physical disabilities, home and community health, work hardening, and mental health.

Presently Karen volunteers in community and church activities. She has always been an outdoor enthusiast enjoying snowshoeing, rowing, kayaking, and backpacking. She enjoys traveling with family and friends. She plans to continue these activities in retirement and to explore new ones.

We wish you all the best in your retirement, Karen. Please stay in touch! Thank you for all that you did for GRCC and our students; you’ve made such a difference in the lives of many.

Condolences to friends, family of Marcille Dalgleish

We extend our condolences to the family and friends of former Food Science and Nutrition teacher, Marcille Dalgleish (Mrs. D), who has passed away. Marcille was a founding faculty member of GRJC’s Culinary Arts Program.

Marcille’s full obituary is available on MLive: