September Fire Pump tests on Friday, 09/24

Facility Maintenance is planning to perform the monthly fire pump tests this Friday, 09/24/2021.

We plan to start at the ATC, at 7 a.m., then proceed to the Science Center, and finish at College Park. During the tests, the outside horns and strobes may go off for up to 20 minutes, at each location. 

Employees: You do not need to evacuate if you hear the fire alarm system during this time.

In the event of a real emergency during this testing time, we will use the Emergency Phone Alert System as well as internal fire alarms.

My Story Started at GRCC: Business and community leader Paola Mendivil says GRCC was her ‘second chance at life’

Paola Mendivil smiing.

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. “Consistency, patience and hard work.”

Sometimes a key ingredient to a restaurant’s success doesn’t appear on the plate.

When Paola Mendivil started at GRCC, her family had just taken over an old restaurant at 950 Bridge St. NW that reopened as El Granjero Mexican Grill in 2007. That move guided her decision to major in business.

“I needed all the resources available to make sure the business was successful,” she said. “GRCC helped me prepare for business ownership because the classes were relevant to the world we were living in — having just started a business during the recession. Team projects were a huge part of learning, applying the concepts into real scenarios for my small family business.”

Mendivil earned an associate degree in Business Administration in 2010 and a bachelor’s in business administration in 2017 from Ferris State University. She is now the catering coordinator for El Granjero Mexican Grill, which has seen its sales grow from $65,000 to $900,000 over the past 14 years.

“My experience at GRCC was valuable because the instructors were experienced in their field and provided a lot of knowledge and relatable examples to apply in the real world,” she said. “They were kind and approachable — I still keep in touch with many of them!”

Mendivil believes relationships are crucial to the success of a business and a community and began working with the West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce soon after graduating from GRCC. She served on Grand Rapids’ Planning Commission for two years and on the board of Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women for three years. She’s also been involved in the Latina Network, FSU’s LEADeres program and Latino Community Coalition.

El Granjero Mexican Grill was named a Top Women-Owned Business by the Grand Rapids Business Journal, and Mendivil was honored as one of the Top 50 Latinas in Michigan by the Hispanic/Latino Commission of Michigan. In 2019, she became the first Latina featured on the cover of West Michigan Woman magazine.

“Grand Rapids Community College was my second chance at life!” she said. “I had dropped out of high school in my home country of Mexico and had just moved to Grand Rapids. If it wasn’t for GRCC, I wouldn’t have found my passion in business.

“I’m a Raider for life!”

Let GRCC help you start your story. The first chapter starts at

Here to Help: Success Coach Becca DeKorne helps students connect with resources – and offers encouragement

Becca DeKorne smiling.

Always remember, at GRCC, you are surrounded by people who want you to be successful and are ready to walk with you on your educational pathway. We are here to help!

Meet Becca DeKorne. As a success coach in the College Success Center, Becca walks alongside students as they navigate their college journey.

She works with them to make sure they have everything they need to accomplish their goals. Sometimes this means helping students understand what resources are available to them. Other times it’s helping them develop the skills they need to succeed in college.

This could include establishing a time management routine, enhancing their study skills, or communicating with their professors. Many times, Becca is here to help students by being a good listener and a source of encouragement.

“College can be a very overwhelming season of life, especially for new students,” she said. “Sometimes it’s hard to know where to go when we need something, or who to ask when we have questions. It’s normal to not have all the answers and that’s where success coaches come in.”

Becca and the other success coaches at GRCC know a little bit about a lot of things. If they can’t support students themselves, they can connect them with the campus resource or department who can.

Becca’s work at GRCC is something she is very passionate about, making sure that students don’t feel alone, and that they know they have someone on their side who wants them to succeed.

Becca holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from North Park University in Chicago, and a master’s degree in Social Work specializing in Interpersonal Practice and Mental Health from University of Michigan.

Before coming to GRCC the majority of Becca’s professional career has involved working with students. While in Chicago, she served high school students as they planned for life after graduation. She then transitioned into supporting pre-college programming geared towards preparing incoming students for their college experience.

Her next position as a clinical social worker conducting therapy with college students brought her to Michigan.

Becca has been a success coach with the College Success Center since 2018. She enjoys being part of a student’s college experience by watching them set goals, persist through challenges, and celebrate all the big and small successes along the way.

One of her favorite things to do with students is to reflect with them on all the ways they’ve grown as a result of being in college. She finds it inspiring to see them learn about themselves and feel proud of the progress they are making, and the ways they’ve chosen to step outside their comfort zone. It encourages her to do the same!

You can connect with the College Success Center in its new home on the third floor of the Student Center, or email, or call (616) 234-2312.

September happenings in the CTE

The CTE Workshop Series, How Do You Handle kicks off this Thursday, September 23, from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. with:

How Do You Handle: Classroom Discourse that May Require Behavioral Intervention Team Action

Register now while space is still available!

The English department will be hosting a Book Reading by Authors of the book, Voices From the Rust Belt on Wednesday, September 29:

  • Author reading from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.
  • A Q&A from English 101 students from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
  • Author reading from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m.
  • Q&A from 2:45 to 3:45 p.m.

Click here for details of the book and how to receive your own copy.

Intro to Panopto, Thursday, September 30, from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m.

Blackboard Basics (Hyflex), Thursday, September 30, from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m.

For session descriptions and instructions on how to register, click here.

CTE October Newsletter

The October CTE Newsletter is ready

Highlights for the coming weeks:

  • How Do You Handle Series BEGINS THIS WEEK!
  • Voices from the Rust Belt Reading and Author Q&A
  • Panopto Hands On Trainings
  • Curriculog Updates
  • Adjunct Appreciation Week
  • Online Hybrid Certification Course
  • Portfolio Training
  • Promoting Equity series
  • Classroom Observation Training
  • Innovation Classroom – reservation information
  • Faculty Reading Shelf updates
  • Michigan American Council on Education
  • JEDI Series Registration: Justice, Education, Inclusion, and Equity
  • Impact Grants

Connect with the Center for Teaching Excellence

GRCC In the News, 09/20/2021

Holland Mayor Nathan Bocks calls on community to ‘step up,’ get vaccinated

September 15, 2021; The Holland Sentinel

HOLLAND TWP. — As organizations throughout the state continue to promote the COVID-19 vaccine, Holland Mayor Nathan Bocks visited a clinic hosted by the Grand Rapids Community College Lakeshore Campus and Visit Healthcare on Tuesday morning. 

McCarthy tapped for interim TK superintendent

September 16, 2021; Hastings Banner

The Thornapple Kellogg Board of Education Monday voted unanimously to make Craig McCarthy the district’s interim superintendent while current Superintendent Dan Remenap is on medical leave.

… McCarthy has an associate degree from Grand Rapids Community College, a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Michigan State University, a secondary teaching certificate and vocational teaching certificate from Aquinas College and a master’s in educational leadership and professional development from Western Michigan University.

ArtPrize returns for 2021

September 16, 2021; Grand Rapids Business Journal

After a year off because of the pandemic, ArtPrize is back from Sept. 16-Oct. 3.

… Some venues include Founders Brewing Co., Monroe Community Church, Fountain Street Church, Grand Rapids Children Museum, Grand Rapids African American Museum and Archives, Water Colors Aquarium, Western Michigan University, Grand Rapids Community College, The B.O.B., GRNoir Wine & Jazz, Cinco De Mayo, Grand Rapids Garage Bar & Grill, Linear Restaurant, Department of Corrections, AC Hotel Grand Rapids Downtown, Hyatt Place Grand Rapids/Downtown, JW Marriot Grand Rapids, Ottawa-Fulton Ramp, Monroe Center Parking Ramp Stair Tower, Rosa Parks Circle, Campau Park, Creston Neighborhood, Garfield Park, Grand Rapids Center for Community Transformation, Horizon Bank and many more.

GRCC joins national effort to address student food, housing insecurity

September 16, 2021; FOX 17

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A national effort to tackle food and housing insecurity among college students has selected Grand Rapids Community College as one of its first partners.

Four African Americans Who Have Been Appointed to Diversity Posts in Higher Education

 September 17, 2021; The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education

… Jevon Willis was appointed director of the Center for Diversity and Inclusion at Hope College in Holland, Michigan. He was named assistant director of the center in 2018 and has been serving as interim director since the fall of 2020. During the seven years prior to coming to Hope, Willis taught social work or sociology at Calvin University, Davenport University, and Grand Rapids Community College.

Inside Track: Homeless summer moves McDermott

September 17, 2021; Grand Rapids Business Journal

When Starla McDermott was newly divorced, working and saving up to rent an apartment, she and her three young children had nowhere to go, so for an entire summer, they lived in a tent on the Lake Michigan shoreline in Indiana.

… In 2010, she took an aptitude assessment, and she and the career counselor agreed that her heart was in helping those less fortunate than herself in the Grand Rapids community. As a result, she decided to quit her job, go back to school and take a couple of classes in nonprofits from Grand Rapids Community College.

Hispanic Heritage Month: Chef Dayanny of Hard Rock Stadium

September 17, 2021; MIAbites (Miami)

In Miami, we are very fortunate to have so many talented and accomplished Hispanic and Latino chefs and restaurants, so we encourage everyone to support them this month and year-round.

… But she (Dayanny De La Cruz)admits to always ending up in the kitchens, tasting food and many times thinking, “I can do that better”. That passion for making it better ultimately led her back to the kitchen, this time in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she pursued her Master’s degree in Culinary Arts at the Grand Rapids Community College. She reflects fondly on her time there, praising her professors and mentors, always “feeling love” and graduated with Honors, as the first Latino to receive the prestigious Director’s Award as well as one of only a handful of women.

IT, culinary arts launching as middle-college options

September 17, 2021; (Kent Intermediate School District)

For Sawyer DeGraaf, a new middle-college IT program was too good of a deal to pass up.

… The new IT program is part of Kent ISD’s Launch U program, which also offers opportunities to earn a general associate degree, or an associate degree or certificate in mechanical design. In addition, Launch U is adding a culinary arts program, for which students can earn a GRCC culinary certificate in culinary arts or bakery and pastries.

‘We have a real desire to take care of each other’: GRCC selected for national program that tackles food insecurity

September 17, 2021; FOX 17

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Before Natalie Alvarado left campus on Friday at Grand Rapids Community College, she stopped by the student food pantry and picked up some canned foods, frozen foods, hygiene products and diapers for her toddler son.

Grand Rapids Community College chosen for partnership to address food, housing insecurity

September 19, 2021; The Holland Sentinel

GRAND RAPIDS — Grand Rapids Community College is one of just 27 colleges nationwide to be selected for a project to address food and housing insecurity among college students. 

Court precedents appear to back Biden’s national coronavirus vaccine order, legal experts say

September 19, 2021; MLive

More than 115 years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled it was OK for state health officials to pierce residents with a forked needle and intentionally contaminate their blood with a virus from sick cows.

(A photo from a GRCC vaccine clinic illustrates this article.)

GRCC among college institutions tapped for national project to tackle student food, housing insecurity

September 20, 2021; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Grand Rapids Community College has been tapped to join a new national initiative to assist colleges working to tackle student food and housing insecurity.

News 8 Daybreak

September 20, 2021; WOOD TV

(Hope4College collaboration.)

On-campus parking once again point of frustration among GV students this fall

September 20, 2021; The Lanthorn (Grand Valley State University student newspaper)

As Grand Valley State University has seen the return of many in-person classes this semester, students are finding themselves frustrated with one common problem: on-campus parking. High prices, the number of spots available and the lack of alternative parking options in downtown Grand Rapids are raising concerns for students.

… While students usually end up figuring out where to park as the year progresses, the issue of parking permit prices is not exclusive to the start of a new semester. Before the start of the 2020-2021 academic year, commuter permit prices were raised to $240 per semester. Compared to Grand Rapids Community College and Western Michigan’s semesterly costs of $125 and $150 respectively, GVSU’s permit prices are substantially higher.