Retirement bio of Mike Vargo

Mike began 17 years ago as a faculty member in the GRCC Behavioral Sciences/Psychology Department, he became department head, then followed by interim and associate dean of School of Arts & Sciences Operations. He then served the college as Associate Dean of SAS Evaluation and Hiring, and ended his GRCC career as Dean of the School of Arts & Sciences.

Mike has “1,000 stories” from his time at GRCC.  His favorite night of every academic year is graduation, and the honor of calling the names of the graduates from the School of Arts & Sciences. 

“My favorite moment, over and over, is looking each graduate in the eye as I call their name, and seeing them thrill as they begin their walk to receive their diploma, bathed in the light of the cheers of their friends and family members.”

His retirement plans are to take on the role of Vice President of Academic Affairs/Provost at Chemeketa Community College in Salem, Oregon.

Sounds like a busy retirement for sure!

Mike would like to leave the GRCC family with this sentiment:

“My sincere thanks to all of my friends and colleagues at GRCC. How lucky are we that we get to spend this portion of our working lives doing something so instrumentally important for our students and the community we serve? My best to each of you.”

Congratulations and Best wishes to you Mike!

My Story Started at GRCC: WOOD journalist Ruben Juarez says GRCC classes ‘tremendously’ helped launch his career

WOOD journalist Ruben Juarez wearing a suit and smiling.

Start at GRCC and go anywhere. Every former student has a story to tell about how GRCC gave them the education and opportunity to be successful.

GRCC helped Ruben Juarez start his college experience close to home, but his willingness to explore new places led to success at WOOD TV.

Juarez came to GRCC to take care of general education requirements.

“In the end, it helped me save thousands of dollars,” he said. “I enjoyed the different classes that I took, including one on Native American history.”

Juarez went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Grand Valley State University. While attending college, he worked for The Grand Rapids Press and was an intern for WOOD TV’s sports department. 

“I got to where I’m at today because once I realized I wanted to pursue a career in journalism, I strived to do whatever was necessary to get there,” he said. “School helped without a doubt, but interning was a major factor. I quit my job in Grand Rapids at The Grand Rapids Press and stayed with family in Oklahoma for a summer when I interned in Oklahoma City.”

Journalism has kept Juarez on the move ever since: His on-air career started as a sports reporter at WLFI in West Lafayette, Ind. After three years there, he was a sports anchor and reporter at KRGV in Weslaco, Texas.

See Full Article

Tech Tip: Alumni Online Center trigger

Do you work directly with students and alumni? Alumni that haven’t taken a class in over ten years may not have an Online Student Center account.

You can assist them by updating either their email address or phone number in Peoplesoft. This will trigger their account to create. Within an hour, the user will be able to click the First Time User option on the MyGRCC portal to create their MyGRCC account.

Once signed in, they can access their Online Student Center. If they are unable to access their account after that time period, please direct them to the IT Customer Support Desk and we will be happy to assist them.

First Time User Instructions

For more information and helpful tips, please visit the IT Customer Support Portal or contact the IT Customer Support Desk at x4357.

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

GRCC In the News, 7/27/2021

Metallica GRCC Welding Program with Dr. Bill Pink – West Michigan’s Morning News

July 26, 2021; WOOD Radio

(President Pink talks about Metallica grant.)

GRCC: Metallica’s welding scholarship ‘changing lives’

July 26, 2021; WOOD TV

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Legendary heavy metal band Metallica is giving back to Grand Rapids — again.

Grand Rapids Community College was granted a third round of scholarship funds from the band to send students through the welding program.

GRCC receives third Metallica foundation grant to provide skilled trades training

July 26, 2021;

Metallica’s All Within My Hands Foundation recently awarded $25,000 to Grand Rapids Community College, marking the third time GRCC has received funding from the legendary band. The grant will help GRCC Workforce Training to continue a program that provides technical education and hands-on welding experience.