For nearly 20 years, Stacey Heisler has been a counselor at GRCC. She began working as a TRiO/Student Support Services counselor in 2002 with Fatima Nieves and Ana Maria Clark and spent her first five years there. She then moved to the Counseling and Career Center (which later became Career Development) and provided counseling services to the GRCC population. In early 2019, Stacey became the director of Counseling and Career Development.
Stacey shares one of her favorite stories:
I was the advisor for the African Student Organization in 2004-2006. I got involved after I got to know the Sudanese community through my church during a youth group trip to NYC. After that, I became a friendly face at the college and I could not help but get involved in their academic and personal lives. The highlight for the students was an African Heritage Celebration that was attended by more than 200 participants from GRCC and the greater community. It was so important to the students to have this community wide experience and share their food, dance and music with so many. I will never forget it.
GRCC strives to create an environment and sense of belonging for both the students and employees that learn and work at the college. As a faculty member, Stacey gave a TedX talk on a Learning Day that instilled that connection for her.
I was so nervous to be on stage without a script in front of my faculty peers, but everyone was so supportive and receptive to my story. And every time I had the privilege to listen to our students stories- what I don’t think the students realized how much I learned and how I grew because of them. I just knew that I was meant to be a counselor at GRCC and that I belonged there. I’m going to miss it!
Stacey’s plans for retirement include reconnecting with close friends, enjoying quality family time – especially with her 4 grandsons, and carefully considering the possibility of joining or starting a part-time practice. She is also anxious to spend more time with the Red Cross organization as a Disaster Mental Health volunteer. Retirement will also give Stacey more time to enjoy bird watching and hiking and tend her Michigan native garden. She also has accumulated a large stack of fiction and nonfiction books to dive into.
When I look back at my younger self, I could have never imagined that I would have ever had such an amazing career as I have had at GRCC. Keep doing what you are doing, never take for granted the impact you have and the opportunity to transform the lives of so many!