Three GRCC alumni facing off in kitchen competition in Chopped Grand Rapids, raising money for Haitian children

Four West Michigan chefs — three with Grand Rapids Community College ties — will compete in a live cooking competition to fund humanitarian relief and scholarships for Haiti.

The third annual Chopped Grand Rapids kicks off at 6 p.m. tonight at GLC Live at 20 Monroe. The competition, based on the Food Network show “Chopped!,” features three rounds in which chefs create dishes from a mystery basket of ingredients. Tickets can be purchased at

Facing off in the competition are:

  • Jenn Fillenworth, a GRCC alumna and a Secchia Institute for Culinary Education instructor, and executive chef at Root Functional Medicine. 
  • Trimell Hawkins, executive chef at Portico restaurant and an alumnus of GRCC’s Secchia Institute for Culinary Education.
  • Oscar Moreno, executive chef at MeXo and the 2019 Chopped Grand Rapids winner.
  • Luke VerHulst, executive chef at Reserve Wine and Food and an alumnus of GRCC’s Welding Technology program.

Filllenworth has had success in competitions. She was the winner in Food Network’s “Supermarket Stakeout” television show in January. The game show requires chefs to stake out a grocery store parking lot and convince shoppers to sell them their purchases. The chefs then must create dishes based on different themes.

Matt Sova and WOOD TV 8’s Rachel Ruiz will serve as emcees, and Martha’s Vineyard will provide a roaming dinner.

The fundraiser also includes live and silent auctions. Proceeds will benefit victims of the August earthquake in Haiti and the nonprofit Power of Education, which provides education, nutrition and access to medical care to students in grades K-9 in Port-au-Prince.

National Coming Out Day (NCOD) – Monday, October 11

NCOD is a day of celebration where we honor those who have the courage to stand up and stand out as their authentic selves, while continuing to fight for those who cannot do so safely. Come join GRCC as we celebrate authenticity as well as the official “coming out” of our newest College Action Project, the LGBTQ+ Inclusive Fundamentals Team!

The purpose of the new CAP 3.4 LGBTQ+ Inclusive Fundamentals Team is to establish GRCC as a college of choice by providing a welcoming, supportive, and inclusive experience for LGBTQ+ faculty, staff, students, and the larger GRCC Family. We are official and we are fighting for inclusivity.

The event will be held Monday, Oct. 11 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in front of RJF Hall on the Dr. Juan R. Olivarez Student Plaza. We look forward to seeing you there and welcome any questions you have about the new CAP!

We also want to highlight our community advocates and partners: Grand Rapids Pride Center, StandOut, Grand Rapids Trans Foundation.

Human Rights Campaign resource: Celebrate National Coming Out Day with HRC!

Adjunct Appreciation Week: There are many benefits available to adjunct faculty

Did you know that part-time Adjunct Faculty are granted paid time off equal to the number of contact hours they are assigned for the semester (e.g., 12 hours will equal 12 clock hours of paid time off)? This PTO is granted each semester and is not cumulative.

Adjunct faculty members teaching half time or more (7.5 contact hours or 6 contact hours if teaching English Composition) may be eligible to purchase health insurance plans through GRCC. For insurance options and rates, please contact Maria Belmares Herrera at 616-234-4052 or Debra Davis at 616-234-4175.

Any adjunct faculty member teaching 6 contact hours or more is eligible for a $12,000 employer paid Life Insurance policy. All adjunct faculty should complete the Madison National Life Insurance Form as the benefit is available any semester an adjunct meets the contact hour requirement. Please contact Debra Davis at for a hard copy of the form.

GRCC In the News, 10/07/2021

Father and daughter at heart of local Latino music group

October 1, 2021; WOOD TV

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Los Atrevidos Norteños are a Grand Rapids-based music group that has been performing for more than a decade. 

… “We invite people to dance with us,” said Miguel Angel’s daughter, Sherlyn Divas, who sings and plays the vihuela in the group. “It’s an amazing feeling being able to just transmit your music.”

(Sherlyn Divas is a GRCC student.)

The Return of the Grand Rapids Chamber’s EPIC Awards

October 1, 2021; Grand Rapids Business Journal

The Grand Rapids Chamber is thrilled to announce the return of the EPIC Awards Gala on Monday, October 25 at the JW Marriott Grand Rapids.

… With event emcee Dr. Bill Pink, President of Grand Rapids Community College, this high-energy event will bring together Chamber members and community leaders to celebrate the outstanding organizations and individuals who are leading the way in our region.

 News at Noon

October 6, 2021; WZZM

(Opening of Veterans Center.)

MCC Jayhawks volleyball tops Lansing CC

October 6, 2021; Local Sports Journal (Muskegon)

The Muskegon Community College volleyball team took a 3-1 win over the Lansing Stars on Tuesday with set scores of 25-19, 25-21, 24-26 and 28-26.

… Muskegon Community College next travels to Grand Rapids Community College on Thursday.

GRCC opens new Veterans Center aimed at connecting students with resources

October 6, 2021; FOX 17

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids Community College students who served in the military have a new support center aimed at connecting them with resources to be successful and be part of a campus community.

GRCC Veterans Center with Dr. Bill Pink

October 6, 2021; WOOD Radio

Dr. Bill Pink, Grand Rapids Community College, joined West Michigan’s Morning News to talk about the new Veterans Center at GRCC.