Two GRCC students earn ‘life-changing’ Jack Kent Cooke Foundation transfer scholarship

Two Grand Rapids Community College students will receive a highly competitive undergraduate transfer scholarship from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation.

Gideon Kortenhoven and Deidre Mitchell were among 72 recipients nationwide to receive the Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship, which provides up to $40,000 annually for up to three years, comprehensive advising, and the chance to connect with fellow Cooke Scholars.

It is among the largest private awards in the nation for students transferring from a community college. Just two other students from Michigan attend Oakland and Gogebic community colleges.

The foundation selected 406 semifinalists in March from the more than 1,500 applications representing 398 community colleges. Michigan had 15 students reach this level — six of them from GRCC.

Kortenhoven, a Grand Rapids Christian High School graduate, received his associate degree in French studies on May 1. While at GRCC, he participated in the University of Michigan’s Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program, presenting research on Black families after the Civil War.

“I’m planning on transferring to the University of Michigan, and I’ll be majoring in Afroamerican and African studies, but I also have a strong interest in sociolinguistics,” he said. “I’m not sure what I plan to do after that, but I think I will probably try and get my master’s.”

Mitchell, a Caledonia High School graduate and a member of GRCC’s Honors Program, also is transferring to the University of Michigan.

“I will be pursuing Pre-Med while double majoring in molecular, cellular and developmental biology and biochemistry, along with a double minor in French and Spanish,” she said.

Associate professor and academic adviser Lynnae Selberg called the Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship life-changing.

“It is rare for an institution to have multiple winners — in 2020, there was just one winner from the state of Michigan,” she said. “Having two winners highlights how incredible our students are.”

“We know how much exponentially harder this past year has been on students,” said Seppy Basili, executive director of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. “It’s an honor to award this group of individuals as they have achieved so much, both in the classroom and in their daily lives.

“We are proud to welcome this new class of Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholars to our community and are excited to support them as they transition to four-year institutions.”

GRCC student Daniel Gebrezgiabhier received the scholarship in 2015. He is now pursuing a doctorate in biomedical engineering at the University of California-Berkley.

Tech Tip:Organize your open tabs with tab groups in Chrome!

Are you what some might consider a tab collector — someone who has multiple tabs open in their browser at one time? Do you often get lost in your open tabs? Chrome has a new way to organize tabs called tab grouping. Now, with a simple right click, you can group your tabs together and label them with a custom name and color! 

Organize your tabs with tab groups in Google Chrome

While there currently isn’t a feature to save a Tab Group  —  hopefully Google will add this option to Chrome later, you can enable a setting that will ensure that whenever you close your browser everything will be where you left off. To do this, click on the three dots in the upper right corner and go to Settings. From the menu on the left click On startup. In the center, click the radial button next to Continue where you left off. 

For more information and helpful tips, please visit the IT Customer Support Portal or contact the IT Customer Support Desk.

If you have a suggestion or a Technology Tip you think can be useful, you can submit them by emailing 

Amy Maggini, niece Karah Kamstra add GRCC degrees to already impressive credentials

GRCC boasts alumni who represent many generations of the same family, but it’s rare to celebrate two generations sharing a commencement!

Karah Kamstra, who is completing an internship with a family dentist office in Grandville, graduated this month with her associate degree in dental assisting from GRCC as well as a bachelor’s degree in health sciences from Grand Valley State University.

She was joined by her aunt, Amy Maggini, who received her Associate of Arts in nursing from GRCC.

Maggini, who has four grown children, already has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Taylor University in Indiana and a master’s in counselor education and counseling psychology from Western Michigan University. But she returned to the classroom to pursue her longtime dream of a nursing career.

“At age 49, I realized that if I was going to become a nurse, I had better get going!” said Maggini, who is completing an internship at Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services.

“Returning to the classroom at that age and ending up doing so during a worldwide pandemic was not an easy task. However, GRCC’s outstanding staff, student support services, and commitment to its mission of being ‘an open access college that prepares individuals to attain their goals and contribute to the community,’ got me to the point of graduating May 1 with an Associate of Arts degree in Nursing.”

Kamstra says she can vividly remember the first day she stepped onto the campus five years ago: “Both my mom and Nonni (grandmother Jan Maggini – a former GRCC trustee) were with me touring the campus. As alumni themselves, it was so fun to have them show me around and hear their experiences from when they first began their GRCC journey.”

While it took some time for her to achieve her goal, she knew right away that she wanted to work in the dental field.

“Although it took a few years to find my way back to GRCC, I’m especially grateful for all the people who led me to where I am today,” Kamstra said, adding that she is very thankful for the inspiration provided by her grandmother, who is not only a Grand Rapids Junior College alumna but is also a founding member of the board of trustees.

“She has encouraged and supported me through all my school years and has taught me to never stop learning — you are never too old!” Kamstra said.

Amy Maggini wears a facemask along with her commencement gown, stole and mortarboard.