GRCC In The News, 02-28-19

Michigan community colleges ranked by enrollment, and see 100-plus sites to take classes
2/27/19 MLive
More than 170,000 students are enrolled at Michigan’s 28 public community colleges this semester.
… Grand Rapids Community College: 12,831

Whitmer pushes college aid. But success rates vary wildly at Michigan schools
2/27/19 Bridge magazine (Center for Michigan publication)
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer unveiled plans for a broad expansion of taxpayer-funded financial aid during her State of the State address this month, with the goal of getting more students enrolled in college.
(GRCC is included in a chart of public and private two-year schools.)

RSVP now for the Leadership Institute’s ‘Campus Canvas’ event

You’re invited to the Leadership Institute’s next Social Event – “Campus Canvas”

Date:  Friday 3/22/19, from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Location:  Visual Arts, 461 Main Building

Details:  Join other GRCC colleagues for a fun night of painting led by the Visual Arts Department.  No experience or talent necessary. A little nervous to paint? Don’t be! You will be guided step-by-step.  You will be amazed at your very own work of ART! You may want to wear clothes that you don’t mind getting paint on.  Light refreshments will be provided.

Cost:  Free

RSVP: This event is limited to the first 25 registered guests. Please RSVP online.

Questions: Please contact

Graphic for the 2019 Leadership Institute. The text reads: "InteGREAT CC."

GRCC In The News, 02-27-19

Honran memoria de César E. Chávez con marcha denominada “We Are The World”
2/27/19 La Prensa
GRAND RAPIDS, MI: El Comité para Honrar a César E. Chavéz invita a la 19va Marcha Anual de Justicia Social para celebrar el cumpleaños número 92 del líder sindical estadounidense. La marcha se llevará a cabo el próximo 14 de marzo de 2019 a las 11:00am. El punto de partida será el Cook Library Center, ubicado en el 1100 de la avenida Grandville de esta ciudad.
… El Comité de Unidad para Honrar a César E. Chávez está compuesto por: Kevin Quinn, Presidente de Aquinas Collage; Eric Delong, Asistente del Gerente de la ciudad de Grand Rapids; Carlos Sánchez de Ferris State University; Jack Woller, ex director de la iglesia Fountain Street; Bill Pink, Presidente de Grand Rapids Community College; Dale Robertson, Presidente de Grand Rapids Public Museum; Jesse Bernal, Vicepresidente de GVSU; Directora Connie Dang, Director Juan Olivarez y Presidenta del Comité, Lupe Ramos.
… Tiene un profundo amor por los estudiantes de Grand Rapids y por la ciudad en sí. Proviene de una familia grande con raíces profundas en la ciudad, estudio en South Middle School y se graduó de Creston High School. Cuenta con un título de Asociada en Artes en Grand Rapids Community College, una licenciatura en Ciencias en Administración Pública de GVSU y una maestría en Liderazgo Educativo de Western Michigan University.
(GRAND RAPIDS, MI: The Committee to Honor César E. Chavéz invites the public to the 19th Annual Social Justice March to celebrate the 92nd birthday of the American union leader. The march will take place on March 14, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. The starting point will be the Cook Library Center, located at 1100 Grandville Avenue.
… The Unity Committee to Honor César E. Chávez is composed of: Kevin Quinn, President of Aquinas Collage; Eric Delong, Assistant Manager of the City of Grand Rapids; Carlos Sánchez from Ferris State University; Jack Woller, former director of the Fountain Street church; Bill Pink, President of Grand Rapids Community College; Dale Robertson, President of Grand Rapids Public Museum; Jesse Bernal, Vice President of GVSU; Director Connie Dang, Director Juan Olivarez and Chair of the Committee, Lupe Ramos.
… She (Teresa Weatherall Neal) has a deep love for the students of Grand Rapids and for the city itself. Shecomes from a large family with deep roots in the city, studied at South Middle School and graduated from Creston High School. She holds an Associate of Arts degree from Grand Rapids Community College, a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Administration from GVSU and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Western Michigan University.)

Students create glue, extract banana DNA and explore green chemistry during STEM event
Extracting DNA from a banana, exploring magnetism and using green chemistry were just a few of the activities that local middle school students participated in during a recent, interactive STEM event.
… Additional events focusing on geology, math, biology, astronomy and chemistry took place at Grand Rapids Community College and Hope College.

GRCC Retiree Biography: Nanci Guigue

Nanci Guigue started her career at GRCC as an adjunct teacher in the Dental Department in the mid 1980’s. In 1998, she started as a contingent employee in the Dental Clinic office, moved to the Registrar’s office and also spent time working for the Admissions office. In November 2000, Nanci was hired into her current position, Support Professional in the Associate Dean’s office for the School of Workforce Development. Nanci noted that she has also been an adjunct in the Business Department during her time at GRCC.

Nanci has encouraged many students and made a tremendous impact during her employment at GRCC. Nanci recalled one of her favorite stories of serving a GRCC student: “One of the AMP students I was working with was a little older than the rest of the students in the cohort. He would stop in the office to talk periodically and I think to get some encouragement to keep pursuing his degree. He was finishing his degree and I encouraged him to attend graduation. It was so rewarding to see him walk and get his diploma and I got a big hug and thank you at the end of the evening.”

Nanci feels she belonged at GRCC because of the many opportunities she has had to participate in GRCC events as a volunteer or serving on committees. “Thus, I have met many wonderful people both at GRCC and in the community.”

Nanci has many fun plans for her retirement and plans to continue to make a difference in student’s lives. “Many years ago I taught first grade and gifted/remedial reading. I have made arrangements with an elementary school near my home as a volunteer to tutor students that need extra help with reading. There are several other volunteer opportunities I am pursuing as well as having time to do some traveling. Seeing St. Petersburg, Russia, has always been on my bucket list so will be trying to make that happen at some point. Since my husband is retiring at the same time, we are going on a cruise to the Bahamas in March to celebrate. I also hope to work at some type of employment part-time.”

Nanci wants everyone to know “I have truly enjoyed my time here at GRCC and will miss all the friends that I have made over the course of all these years.”

We are so honored to have had the opportunity to work with you, Nanci! You made a large impact on the lives of our students and campus community. We appreciate your dedication to the students and your colleagues. We wish you the best in your retirement and hope you stop by throughout the year to share your many adventures!

GRCC Art Dept. hosts WMCAT students tomorrow night in Collins Art Gallery

The GRCC Visual Art Department is hosting a closing reception for the art students from WMCAT. The reception will be tomorrow, February 28, from 6-8 p.m. in the Collins Art Gallery.

WMCAT poster. The image features the WMCAT logo and four selections of student artwork. There is one graphic novel cover of a girls with a bicycle, one painting, one mock-movie poster, and a three-photograph triptych of overcast nature photos.

Gallery Director and Art Professor Scott Garrard stated, “The Visual Arts Department is continuing its outreach into the community and high schools and is honored to exhibit such a talented group of students on our college campus”

WMCAT, the West Michigan Center for Arts + Technology, provides a culture of opportunity for people to create social and economic progress in their lives and community. They fulfill their mission through visual arts and tech engagement, workforce development and social enterprises. More information about the organization can be found on their website.

GRCC In The News, 02-26-19

West Michigan Lecture Series Tackles Social Issues

2/11/19 (Blue Cross Blue Shield newsletter)
For more than 20 years, a simple lecture series with lofty goals has attracted notable authors, philosophers, poets, media personalities and at least one former president to Grand Rapids.
Grand Rapids Community College’s Diversity Lecture Series seeks to provide insight and understanding of multicultural issues to students and the broader West Michigan community. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is a sponsor of the series, which returns this Wednesday.

GRCC alumnus co-authors paper in Science Magazine

A former GRCC Biodiversity Student, Brian Maitner, has recently co-authored a paper in Science magazine, perhaps the most prestigious of all peer-reviewed science publications!
The title of Brian’s co-authored paper (he is the second author) is “Metabolic Asymmetry and the Global Diversity of Marine Predators.” Brian is finishing his PhD in Bioinformatics with Dr. John Grady at the University of Arizona.
If you know of any students interested in the biodiversity, evolution, and ecology of plants, fungi, or animals, please refer them to Matthew Douglas in the Calkins Science Center.

Emeritus Faculty nominations due Friday

Nominations for 2019 Emeritus Faculty are being accepted through Friday, March 1. This award was established in 1985 to honor those instructors/administrators whose dedication and creativity have left an indelible mark on the lives of students and colleagues at GRCC. During their tenure at GRCC and since their retirement, they have continued to promote GRCC’s “Commitment to Excellence.”

Webinar today: recording lectures with Lightboards

Lightboard example photo. A professor is shown demonstrating Lightboard usage in a studio.

A professor demonstrating the use of a Lightboard in an electronics design lecture. Photo credit:

Lightboards: Home-Grown to Smart Studio

  • Today, February 26, 2019, 2-3 p.m.
  • Presenters: Klaas Kwant and Garry Brand, Grand Rapids Community College
  • Link to register: Webinar Registration

A ‘lightboard’ (a.k.a. learning glass) is a glass chalkboard pumped full of light.  It is used to record video lecture topics.  You face toward your viewers, and your writing glows in front of you.

Lightboards tend to be home-grown devices at different higher education institutions. GRCC’s is no different. The baton of basic information was passed to us by GVSU, and various staff have helped to make ours functional and unique. In addition to its basic construction by Bill Faber, Chemistry Professor, we have built a smart, dedicated space that is accessible to all faculty, adding features like sound-deadening in the room, the ability to work along with pre-prepared slides, and even chroma-key options. We have maintained a philosophy of empowering faculty to independently record themselves once they are shown how the room works, knowing that technology staff are close by if they have any questions.

If you would like to be a presenter for an upcoming webinar, please contact

Lightboard example photo. The professor is shown as he would appear in the final recording, writing on what appears to be a glass wall.

An example of how professor and Lightboard will appear in the final recording. Photo credit:



GRCC In The News, 02-25-19

Business owner Michael B. Johnson honored as 2019 Giant Among Giants
2/24/19 MLive
GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Michael B. Johnson Sr., a philanthropist and business owner whose wide-ranging interests range from sponsoring youth sports to interior design, a cappella singing and nature photography, has been named this year’s Giant Among Giants in the annual Grand Rapids Community College awards program.

News 8 Daybreak
2/24/19 WOOD TV
Grand Rapids’ 37th annual Giants Awards was a big success. … Some of them may have thought their work has gone unnoticed, including one of last night’s special winners, known for his decades of business in West Michigan as well as providing scholarships and learning opportunities for Grand Rapids Community College and Grand Rapids Public School students.

Change Ups: River City Improv marks 25th year
2/22/19 Grand Rapids Business Journal
Noorthoek Academy announced the addition of the following board members: Paul Dymowski, director of center programs for Kent Intermediate School District; Jan Ver Merris, retired special education teacher and high school guidance counselor; Victoria Smalley, estate planning attorney at Bolhouse, Hofstee, & McLean in Grandville; Ric Underhile, associate vice president for the Office of Advancement at Aquinas College; and Tina Hoxie, associate provost and dean of student affairs at Grand Rapids Community College.

Denuncian que activista pro inmigrante, protegido por DACA fue arrestado por ICE en Grand Rapids
2/23/19 El Vocero
GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN (EVH) .-Un movimiento pro inmigrante dio a conocer que en una redada hecha por ICE al comienzo de esta semana, uno de sus activistas, protegido bajo DACA, fue arrestado junto a su madre y recluido en Battle Creek.
… Familiares de Reyes, quienes también concurrieron a la rueda de prensa, dijeron que Brandon se mudó a Estados Unidos con su madre de México a los 6 años y ha vivido en Michigan desde el 2003. El activista estudió diseño gráfico en Grand Rapids Community College antes de trabajar con HealthNet West Michigan, una organización de acceso a la salud.
(A pro-immigrant movement reported that in a raid by ICE earlier this week, one of its activists, protected under DACA, ws arrested along with his mother and held in Battle Creek.
… Relatives of (Brandon) Reyes, who also attended the press conference, said that Brandon moved to the United States with his mother from Mexico at age 6 and has lived in Michigan since 2003. The activist studied graphic design at Grand Rapids Community College before working with HealthNet West Michigan, an access health organization.)

‘Special delivery:’ Letter arrives 45 years later
2/21/19 WOOD TV
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Grand Rapids man found a decades-old letter in his mailbox Thursday that had been sent to the address well before he lived there.
… She (Mary Vaughan Brady) told 24 Hour News 8 that she was 19 years old when she wrote the letter. In June 1974, she had just graduated from community college in Grand Rapids. Her wedding was set for later that year, so she a friend decided to take a trip through Europe beforehand.

Local theatre performing ‘Bad Jews’ by Joshua Harmon in Grand Rapids
2/23/19 WZZM
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Jewish Theatre Grand Rapids has been around since 1992, and has been performing shows with Jewish themes ever since. This year is no different. From February 27- March 10, Jewish Theatre Grand Rapids is performing Bad Jews.
… All performances will take place at Spectrum Theatre, 160 Fountain Street NE, on campus at Grand Rapids Community College.