School News Network Feature: Raleigh J. Finkelstein Hall changes create ‘one-stop shop’ for students seeking services

Students standing in front of Student Financial Services.

While standing inside the newly renovated Raleigh J. Finkelstein Hall, Grand Rapids Community College student Angelique Nyarwaka said it’s nice to have a new one-stop enrollment experience on campus.

“I think it’s very helpful for new students,” the second-year student said about several student services now being housed under one roof. “I have a sister coming from New York and she is going to be coming here. It will be very nice for her to have all of the services in one space.”

Financial aid, enrollment, admissions and student records have new offices on the first floor of Raleigh J. Finkelstein Hall, 143 Bostwick Ave. NE. GRCC recently completed extensive renovations to the 210,000 square-foot building, formerly called the Main Building.

Rather than heading to a variety of offices to seek services, students now are greeted at one reception desk, and specialists from the various offices are brought to them – a student-centered, one-door approach.

As well as serving as a hub for student services, the space now features modernized and reconfigured lab space, gathering areas, dining spots and welcoming entrances.

The iconic, nearly 100-year-old building was renamed in 2019 in honor of businessman Raleigh J. Finkelstein, a lead donor for the project. Finkelstein and his brothers operated MC Sports, which developed from their parents’ company, Michigan Clothiers.

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Involvement Day

Student Life is excited to be hosting Involvement Day in person again this year! This event will be hosted on Wednesday, September 8th, from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm on the Olivarez Plaza for campus departments and student orgs!

Please encourage ALL student organizations (new, returning, still forming) to sign up and attend and we will provide more information as the event approaches! 🙂

Raider Salute from Student Life and Admissions & Enrollment

Student Life and Admissions & Enrollment would like to send a HUGE thank you to everyone who participated in Raider Rally!! The event turned up a total of 1,100 guests setting a new record and it took all of campus to make it a success.

To all who put in the time and energy (and sweat) into helping us put this annual event together, we can’t thank you enough and are excited to continue making memories together on this campus.

Fall exercise schedule starts Monday, August 30: Some changes to space/location and times

Get your sweat on! Fire up, destress, energize, wind down, strengthen your body, mind & spirit.

All classes meet in person. Masks are required inside the Ford Fieldhouse.

Raider Strong
Lannie Collard
Outdoors (meet in front of FFH)

later in the fall: Balcony (304 FFH)
*masks required indoors

Fitness Fusion
Beth Damon
304 FFH (Balcony)
*masks required

Raider Strong
Lannie Collard
Outdoors (meet in front of FFH)

later in the fall: Balcony (304 FFH)
*masks required indoors

30 min Strength/Strength Blast
Lannie Collard
304 FFH (Balcony)

*masks required

30 min Yoga/Express Yoga
Heather Ernsberger
212 FFH
*masks required

2021 GRCC employee Walking & Wellness Challenge wraps up

The summer Walking & Wellness Challenge has concluded. This year included sixteen weeks of fun!

The challenge included weekly downtown area locations, participants who were working on campus (or not) could walk to as well as weekly West Michigan excursions to explore various parks, trails, and nature preserves.

We used the Google Currents page to share updates on our adventures.

GRCC employees tracked their activities via counting steps as well as active minutes.

I’m excited to report that we tracked a record amount of activity this year:

Over 35 million steps were walked (or ran)

Equivalent to nearly 18,000 miles and 676 marathons. Way to go GRCC family!!

It was most certainly more, as not everyone reported every week.

Keep active — we’ll be back again next year!

Thanks to the fantastic planning team this year — Stacia Barczak, Bryan Door, Phoenix Noelle, and Angela Salinas.

GRCC Tech Tips

Thank you for making Tech Tips such a successful collaboration! 

We hope that you have been finding valuable insights into the time-saving technology tips that we have been sharing with you! These tips are shared with us from customers like you! If you’ve found a technical tip or workaround that makes your job, or your team’s job easier, we need you to share that with us! We don’t always know what we don’t know so please share anything and everything. Ideas can be sent to

When you submit an idea to, please detail what the tip is in regards to, the process or steps to perform the function, and if possible, link any related articles that would best help us draft a post to GRCC Today. One of our team members will develop either a written post for GRCC Today or create a brief video based on the tip to share with others when applicable. We will always review our developed content with you, the content expert, prior to sharing it with the campus community. 

We look forward to sharing our knowledge with you, and sharing your tips with the campus community!

GRCC In the News, 08/31/2021

Six individuals slated for induction into Olivet College Athletic Hall of Fame

August 27,2021; Olivet College news release

OLIVET, Mich. – Six individuals have been chosen for induction into the Olivet College Athletic Hall of Fame, Class of 2021. The individuals are Kellen Beckwith, Megan (Rimmel) Hessbrook, Erica (Anderson) Knowlton, Kyle Lackscheide, Michael McClary and Chris Shelhart. All six will be formally inducted as part of the college’s Alumni Awards ceremony October 8 and then honored in the festivities prior to the Homecoming football game the next day.

… Lacksheide, a 2006 Olivet graduate, was a three-year letterwinner on the offensive line for the football team. He was a 2004 and 2005 All-MIAA First Team selection. Lacksheide helped block for the Comet Wing-T offense, which broke the NCAA Division III single-game rushing yards record with 670 against Ohio Wesleyan University. The offense also set single-game school records for points (78), total yards (695), rushing attempts (89), rushing touchdowns (10), total touchdowns (11) and first downs (33). With that offense, Olivet also set single-season records for rushing yards (4171), points (458), total yards (4931), rushing attempts (692) and rushing touchdowns (53).

Since his time at Olivet, Lackscheide earned a master’s degree in engineering from University of Alabama in 2015. He lives in Ada, Michigan, and serves as a professor of residential construction at Grand Rapids Community College.

Whitmer applauds school districts that implement mask policies

August 27,2021; WZZM

LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is praising school districts and county health offices that have put mask mandates in place for the upcoming school year. 

… Earlier this week, the governor visited Grand Rapids Community College and indicated she has no plans to issue a statewide mask order. 

Community college enrollment maintains as pandemic causes broader drop in financial aid applications

August 29,2021;

Michigan’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) completion and submission rates decreased for the second year in a row by nearly 5 percent, indicating lower college enrollment and ongoing challenges for the already sparse talent pipeline. 

… Grand Rapids Community College provides tuition-free education through Michigan Reconnect, Futures for Frontliners and the Grand Rapids Promise Zone. GRCC had a large increase in FAFSA completion rates, which is up 26.8 percent over this time last year. 

“Filling out the FAFSA is key to taking advantage of these opportunities,” said GRCC Communications Director Dave Murray. “We had a ‘Don’t Fear the FAFSA’ campaign earlier this year, directing students to a special GRCC financial aid hotline we created to help people with questions about the application. We don’t want anyone to miss out on a life-changing education because they struggle with the application.”

High school programs give West Michigan students a path to manufacturing careers

August 29,2021;

As the new class of students arrived at Northview Next this year, they may have noticed some new advanced manufacturing training tools. 

… The program steered toward manufacturing when (Drew) Klopcic and his staff aspired to create an on-site lab so that students didn’t have to go elsewhere — like the Kent Career Technical Center or Grand Rapids Community College — for hands-on training.

Red Hawks earn two wins in season opener at Owens

August 30,2021; Hickory Daily Record (N.C.)

The 12th-ranked Catawba Valley Community College volleyball team recorded two victories during its season opener this past week at the Owens Invitational in Perrysburg, Ohio.

The Red Hawks defeated Mott Community College and Kalamazoo Valley Community College during the event, but fell in a pair of ranked match ups with No. 2 ranked Parkland College (Ill.) and No. 11 ranked Grand Rapids Community College (Mich.).

GRCC renovations put student services under one roof

August 30,2021;

While standing inside the newly renovated Raleigh J. Finkelstein Hall, Angelique Nyarwaka said it’s nice to have a new one-stop enrollment experience on campus.

“I think it’s very helpful for new students,” said the second year GRCC student about several Grand Rapids Community College student services now being housed under one roof. “I have a sister coming from New York and she is going to be coming here. It will be very nice for her to have all of the services in one space.”

NCMC seeks membership into national sports association for two-year colleges

August 30,2021; Petoskey News-Review

PETOSKEY — The Timberwolves are looking for some competition.

… Among the Michigan colleges in Region 12 include Alpena Community College, Delta College, Glen Oaks Community College, Grand Rapids Community College, Henry Ford College, Jackson College, Kalamazoo Valley Community College, Kellogg Community College, Kirtland Community College, Lake Michigan College, Lansing Community College, Macomb Community College, Mid Michigan College, Mott Community College, Muskegon Community College, Oakland Community College, Schoolcraft College, Southwestern Michigan College, St. Clair County Community College and Wayne County Community College.

Lori Cook, Michael Michewicz and Michelle Richter receive Excellence in Education Awards for helping students during pandemic

Grand Rapids Community College honored three employees for their efforts in helping students stay on track in reaching their goals during the uncertainty of COVID-19.

Lori Cook, Michael Michewicz and Michelle Richter received GRCC’s 2021 Excellence in Education Awards during opening day activities Thursday. The awards, established in 1989, honor employees for their contributions to GRCC, higher education and the community.

Cook, director of Admissions and Enrollment, was recognized with the staff award. She was praised for initiatives, such as mandatory orientation, “Service Saturdays” and open houses, that provide students with the best possible start to their college career — and then for successfully reworking them during the pandemic. 

“Lori is an exemplary employee because she is able to take the broader mission and vision of our college and translate that into processes and procedures that truly support student success as they onboard and as they continue as GRCC students,” President Dr. Bill Pink said.

Michewicz, an instructor in the Music Department, received the adjunct award. He usually teaches applied saxophone lessons, but the 2020-21 academic year presented him with two new challenges: COVID-19 and an assignment as GRCC’s interim director of bands.

“This past year was particularly challenging for all music faculty, but even more so for Mike,” said Kevin Dobreff, program director and head of the department. “He met every challenge — including staying ahead of all CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and local health department updates that impacted the ability of ensembles to rehearse together.”

Michelle Richter, director of the Nursing program, received the faculty award. Her colleagues noted that while her responsibilities mostly lie outside the classroom, she still makes connections with students, through the ADN 240 leadership course she created and teaches, visits to the Health Sciences and Resources Tutorial Lab, and her open-door policy. 

“Under Shelly’s leadership, the program has had a 100% pass rate on the NCLEX licensing exam for both Associate Degree Nursing and Practical Nursing students,” Pink said. “Graduates have achieved a nearly consistent 100% job placement rate after graduation in recent years.”

The awards were presented on Thursday during opening day activities for faculty and staff. GRCC’s fall semester starts Aug. 30.

ODEI is hosting three PRIDE OUTside the Box events this fall

PRIDE OUTside the Box illuminate’s scholar-practitioners, artists, and initiatives that critically examine socio-political, economic, and identity issues from an intersectional framework (Crenshaw, 1989). The desired outcome is to challenge the campus community and our partners to pivot from binary thinking that may be perceived as narrow, unimaginative and lacks empathy.

This fall ODEI is thrilled to host three POTB events:

𝗠𝗼𝗻𝗱𝗮𝘆, 𝗢𝗰𝘁𝗼𝗯𝗲𝗿 𝟭𝟭 @ 𝗡𝗼𝗼𝗻
Latino Heritage Month
Bri Sérráno
“LatinX: Unpacking the experiences of transgender and non-binary communities.”

Bri Sérráno smiling

𝗪𝗲𝗱𝗻𝗲𝘀𝗱𝗮𝘆, 𝗢𝗰𝘁𝗼𝗯𝗲𝗿 𝟮𝟳 @ 𝗡𝗼𝗼𝗻
Da’Shaun Harrison
“The politics of Anti-Fatness as Anti-Blackness.” 

Da'Shaun Harrison smiling.

𝗧𝘂𝗲𝘀𝗱𝗮𝘆, 𝗡𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗺𝗯𝗲𝗿 𝟵 @ 𝗡𝗼𝗼𝗻
𝑁𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑣𝑒 𝐴𝑚𝑒𝑟𝑖𝑐𝑎𝑛 𝐹𝑖𝑙𝑚 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝐴𝑟𝑡 𝐹𝑒𝑠𝑡𝑖𝑣𝑎𝑙
A film screening & talkback with 𝐵𝑒𝑛-𝐴𝑙𝑒𝑥 𝐷𝑢𝑝𝑟𝑖𝑠, director of 𝗦𝘄𝗲𝗲𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗮𝗿𝘁 𝗗𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲𝗿𝘀

Native American Sweetheart Dancers.

RSVP at  
For more information contact

Technology checkouts for students for Fall 2021

GRCC’s Library will continue to check out technology (laptops, hotspots, webcam, headsets) to students for the Fall semester.  Technology will be due back December 17.  Laptops are on a timer which will lock out/shut down at the close of the Fall semester, when IT will reimage and update them for Winter checkouts. 

There is no reservation system for the technology – first come, first served.  A user agreement must be completed upon checkout.

 Technology checked out for Summer classes was due August 18 and is now overdue.  It should be returned immediately in person to the Library Circulation Desk so it can be re-imaged for other users.

Questions? Call Library Circulation at 616-234-3872.  

Ford Fieldhouse Fall semester hours

Dear Ford Fieldhouse Members, 

We can’t believe the start of the fall semester is already a week away! As the school year ramps up, we have some updates coming your way. Beginning August 30, our hours will be extended to allow some more early mornings and some later times in the evening. 

NEW Fitness Center Hours 

  • Monday-Thursday: 6:00am-7:00pm 
  • Friday: 6:00am-5:00pm 
  • Saturday/Sunday: CLOSED

NEW Weight Room Hours 

  • Monday-Thursday: 8:00am-5:00pm 
  • Friday: 8:00am-4:00pm 
  • Saturday/Sunday: CLOSED

NEW Open Swim Hours 

  • Monday-Thursday: 6:00am-8:00am and 10:00am-2:00pm
  • Friday-Sunday: CLOSED

Please stay tuned to your email for updates on the opening of the arena. 

*NEW* Policy Changes

  • $3 daily user pass available for pool users 

Policies Still in Effect

  • Check-in Process for the Fitness Center
    • Present RaiderCard to staff member at desk outside of fitness center 
    • Once granted access, user can tap their card to enter the fitness center
  • Check-in process for the Pool 
    • Present RaiderCard to lifeguard staff at table
    • Once granted access user can proceed to swim
  • Arena/track are still closed to everyone 
  • Masks required at all times in the Ford Fieldhouse including the fitness center and on the pool deck
    • Masks should not be removed unless actively swimming in the pool
  • Fitness Center Equipment will still be socially distanced
  • Pool users are encouraged to social distance when possible as well
  • Valid RaiderCards are mandatory for entry. Your RaiderCards will be activated to allow you access to the locker rooms.  Please feel free to use either locker room.
  • The locker rooms and showers will be available; however, towels will NOT be provided at this time

Important Links: 

For Ford Fieldhouse Membership Application – Click Here 

As always thank you for your continued patience and support and feel free to reach out with any questions.

-Ford Fieldhouse Operations Team

Involvement Day signup due

We are excited to be hosting Involvement Day in person again this year! This event is an awesome opportunity to welcome new and returning students back to campus and to recruit them to your organizations:

  • Involvement Day will be hosted Wednesday, September 8, 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. on the Olivarez Plaza. Sign up for a table online.

If you have questions, please let us know by calling 616-234-4160, emailing or stopping by our office; first floor of the Student Center! We’re excited to see you.