GRCC runners Coleman Clark, Josh Kipkoech claim top two spots in MCCAA NJCAA Region XII championships

Grand Rapids Community College runners Coleman Clark and Josh Kipkoech earned the top two places in the MCCAA NJCAA Region XII Championship on Saturday, with both the men’s and women’s cross country teams finishing in second place.

The women’s team’s top two runners, Kaylee Scott and Audrey Meyering, finished in fourth and fifth place, both setting personal records of 19:47 with a virtual tie. 2020 All-American Meyering finished a fraction of a second behind the freshman from Grandville.

Clark, a freshman from Carson City, ran 25:56 to lead a field of 76 runners, with Kipkoech, a 2020 All-American from Kenya, just behind him in the competition at Grand Woods Park in Lansing.

The win was Clark’s third of the season, earning him MCCAA and Region XII Runner of the Year.  Kipkoech was also named All-MCCAA and All-Region for the second straight year.

“The guys ran great today,” coach Garrett Lacy said. “We’re still a little banged up with illness and injury, but those who competed ran very well with many coming away with season-best performances. Coleman and Josh both dominated the race up front leading from start to finish and coming in first and second overall and breaking the 26:00 barrier for the first time this season”

Lacy said Jaydon Moleski, Christian Martinez-Ramos, and Lucas Schneider also had strong races to round out the top 5 scoring finishers.

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MCCAA champs! GRCC volleyball tops Mott Community College to earn title

The Grand Rapids Community College volleyball team holding awards earned.

The Grand Rapids Community College volleyball team won its eighth MCCAA Championship by defeating Mott Community College in a hard-fought, four-set match on Saturday, and now sets its focus on the Region XII tournament. 

GRCC, ranked sixth in the nation, won its 18th match in a row. The team defeated the Eastern Conference Champion Bears 25-22, 21-25, 30-28 and 25-17 playing at home in the Gerald R. Ford Fieldhouse.

The win improves the Raiders’ season record to 21-5 overall while Mott falls to 16-13. GRCC’s Chip Will earned Coach of the Year honors.

Freshman Audrey Torres of Caledonia had another phenomenal match and even added a Sports Center-worthy “kick kill” to boot.

“It was an unreal moment getting the kick kill,” Torres said. “I just stuck my foot out hoped for the best, but most the credit goes to our liberos, Audrey (Gower) and Ola (Nowak).  Audrey had a great pancake dig, while Ola just got enough on it to pass it to my foot. The whole team came together today and it felt great to add another championship to our program’s history.”

The Raiders’ first Michigan Community College Athletic Association championship was in 2010, and the team has won five of the past six titles.

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November is Transgender Awareness Month

Transgender flag.
Transgender Pride Flag

Transgender Awareness Month is celebrated in November. It is a crucial time to uplift the voices and experiences of the transgender and gender non-conforming community through education and action, and to promote equality.

GRCC is an organization that supports transgender and gender nonconforming students and employees through its 6.1 Transgender Equal Opportunity and other initiatives. GRCC is committed to a college culture that respects and values all students and employees, and fosters understanding of gender identity within the college community.

The LGBTQ+ Inclusive Fundamentals Team, CAP 3.4, is providing a list of GRCC resources to support LGBTQ+ employees, students, and the larger community and to show ways GRCC has become more inclusive of transgender and non-binary folks.

GRCC offers procedures to change names on email, locker room access provisions, options for reporting names and pronouns on our application, ways to communicate name and pronouns to instructors, Gender-inclusive restroomsMental Health & Wellness, and Get Help services. Campus contacts are Brett Meyer of General Counsel, Lina Blair of Student Life and Conduct, and Human Resources.

The CAP also wants to highlight community advocates and partners: Grand Rapids Pride CenterStandOutand Grand Rapids Trans Foundation.

My Story Started at GRCC: Musician, educator Troy Anderson says GRCC gave him confidence

Troy Anderson 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.

Troy Anderson had talent to spare after graduating high school.

What he didn’t have was confidence, but Grand Rapids Community College helped change that.

“I was a really quiet and shy person when I started at CC,” Anderson said. “I was given opportunities there that I don’t believe I would have gotten anywhere else to step up and be a leader and perform in ways I was too afraid to do in high school.”

Leadership is now second nature to Anderson, the director of bands for Kelloggsville Public Schools. He is also a freelance musician with multiple groups, a horn arranger and minister of music for the Shepherd’s Arm Ministries.

“GRCC’s Music Department started me on the path to where I am today by giving me the basics I needed in music theory, music education and lessons on performance,” he said. “It was the perfect environment for me because it gave me a chance to learn and not be intimidated.”

But Anderson learned more than music skills.

“The faculty there really pushed me to get out of my comfort zone in a caring way that showed me I could trust them,” he said. “The successes that I experienced there helped build my confidence.”

Anderson, who went on to earn a bachelor’s in education from Western Illinois University, calls GRCC his “true beginning.” One of his favorite memories is of delivering a speech at the 50th anniversary of GRCC’s Musical Moods concert.

“It is the story that I tell quite often because it was the biggest turning point in giving me confidence to do any type of public speaking,” he said.

Let GRCC help you start your story. The first chapter starts at grcc.edu/apply.

Friendly reminder: Open enrollment deadline-Friday, November 5, 2021

Each year, open enrollment gives employees the opportunity to reevaluate their benefits. It’s a chance to switch health plans, add coverage and shop for voluntary benefits such as Flex Spending and Aflac. 

The Open Enrollment deadline for employees to add, drop, or make changes to benefit plans is this Friday, November 5.

We will be holding WMHIP informational meetings. All benefit eligible employees are welcome. If you have any questions regarding WMHIP health plan options, coverage, or need assistance with completing open enrollment forms HR/Benefits staff will be available to help:

Tech Tips: Computer reboot

When is the last time you rebooted your computer? Not sure? We totally understand! It is very easy to get into a routine of putting your computer to sleep every day so you can keep things open that you are currently using. It makes the start of the next day feel productive by continuing where we left off. The truth is, we may actually be slowing ourselves down. 

Rebooting makes our computer run more efficiently and it can also fix problems we may be encountering. Please take the time to restart your computer at least once a week which will save you time in the long run. 

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 techtips@grcc.edu 

GRCC In the News 11/01/2021

One Good Thing: Stephanie Thomas

10/29/21; WZZM

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Time for One Good Thing — someone or something that makes West Michigan a good place to live. Today’s OGT is an unusual story come full circle.

In 2017, then 27 year old Stephanie Thomas enrolled at Grand Rapids Community College’s criminal justice program. She was spotted running on a treadmill, and approached about being on the Raider cross country team. She figured she was too old, especially having never run competitively before in her life. But, she took a shot. Turns out, she was really good. 

Business Person and Grand Rapids Native Clifford McClain

10/29/21; Grand Rapids Times

Mr. Clifford McClain is originally from Grand Rapids, but relocated to North Carolina. He is the owner and CEO of Regenerative Community Builders, which is a 501©3 that is now accepting tax contributions for a film project by Grand Rapids native and independent film maker Dante James. In this interview with the GR Times he discusses his roots in Grand Rapids, the challenges he faced as a minority business owner, supporting a film project and more.

… McClain: I got a degree in scenic design, which is setting up stages and I also went to school for engineering. I did some time at GRCC and then I went to Michigan State University for a few semesters and that was the end of it. My dad got sick and I had to come home so I ended up working with him. I worked with him and then opened up my own business in 1984. Back then, the state had programs for minorities and I went to a college almost every winter. They had programs that were run through a community college or through a university. They had programs like accounting, learning how to scale, blue print reading and other skill set classes. I don’t think that there is anything like that available anymore. of them just being businesses. One of the things that did help me was getting a contract with the gas company, because I was working with Mich Con out of Detroit and that allowed me to grow and be able to create jobs for the community. In North Carolina there are opportunities throughout the state. I think that they are doing a great job with a lot of the programs that have in place for growing minority businesses. Having a business in Charlotte was the reverse of what I experienced in Grand Rapids. If I needed something, the resources are available and they helped me actually scale my business. I was able to draw from HBCU’s here and even employ interns today.

County welcomes immigrants

10/29/21; Grand Rapids Business Journal

Kent County organizations are rallying community members and resources to ensure hundreds of Afghan refugees feel welcome in the community and help them adjust to life in West Michigan.

… (Quote from Omar Cuevas, member of Growth Welcome Plan Steering Committee): “GRCC, for example, was doing great work in providing training for builders’ licenses in Spanish. So that’s great, but guess what? If you wanted to take the exam at the state level, you could only take it in English. So, what did we do? We leaned on (the chamber’s) governmental affairs team of registered lobbyists and they went to work and a couple months ago were able to get the state to say yes, all right, this makes sense. Let’s go ahead and move forward with the exam (also) being in Spanish.”

GRCC volleyball team wins 8th MCCAA championship title

10/30/21; FOX 17

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids Community College’s volleyball team is celebrating its eighth MCCAA Championship win!

GRCC women’s volleyball wins MCCAA title

10/30/21; WOOD TV

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Grand Rapids Community College women’s volleyball is celebrating a Michigan Community College Athletic Association volleyball championship.

Family-owned Request Foods’ expansion a ‘win’ for local ag economy

10/30/21; The Holland Sentinel

HOLLAND TWP. — Request Foods’ decision to invest $205 million in the Holland Township Industrial Park instead of Greenville, South Carolina, will have ripple effects through the economy.

… The company, which employs about 1,000 workers, expects to create nearly 200 more jobs. Job training assistance from West Michigan Works! in conjunction with Grand Rapids Community College will help train new and existing employees as part of the incentive package.

Bay partners to promote careers

10/30/21; The Mining Journal (Marquette)

ESCANABA — Bay College, Grand Rapids Community College and the City of Grand Rapids are teaming up for a project aimed at building a pipeline to careers in the water and wastewater industry. The project is supported by a national $3.8 million U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant.

Industry leaders work to address staff shortages in water industry

11/1/21; WOOD TV

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Grand Rapids Community College, the city of Grand Rapids and Bay College in Escabana are getting about $500,000 from the federal government to address labor shortages in the water industry.

Social media accounts at GRCC and new measures to safeguard your passwords

There has been an increase in issues related to GRCC social media over the last year, from accounts being hacked to passwords being lost. That makes pages inaccessible and with outdated information. Students rely on these accounts when they’re looking for colleges. We need your help.

GRCC policy 15.3 Web & Digital Content includes safeguards to prevent passwords from being lost and to ensure the college will always have access to accounts. It also provides guidance and support if it is determined new accounts are necessary.

The policy calls for:

  • Each social media account to have at least two account administrators assigned in order to maintain access to passwords and contact in an emergency.
  • All GRCC social media accounts to add the communications director or their designee as an administrator.
  • The Communications Department to be provided with the names of the site administrators and the passwords for each page, and must be notified if any changes or additions to maintain access to passwords and emergency contacts.
  • For accounts maintained by student organizations, passwords and site administrator names to be shared with the Director of Student Life and Conduct, or their designee.
  • Employees wishing to create a department-, course- or organization-specific social media account to submit a plan to the Director of Communications for maintaining the proposed social media page and ensuring its content is updated and passwords maintained. The application is available here.

The policy also includes social media best practices and guidelines, which will be helpful for all. You can find them here.

Smash your stress: donate your old pumpkins

Free event on Dr. Juan Olivarez Plaza Nov. 2 from 11 AM to 1 PM.

PTK will be providing pumpkins and other small items to smash. Chance to win prizes, food, and other small stress relievers.

We welcome any lold pumpkins (in any shape) on Tuesday (11/2/21) morning.  We will have a tarp set out beside the Bostwick Lot on the Cook/ RJF side.  We would welcome any donations to our event on Tuesday 11/2/21.

10-day Equity Challenge starts Nov. 1

GRCC’s Office of Diversity Inclusion and Equity is endorsing an opportunity the United Way is able to offer through our college’s partnership.

The Equity Challenge can help you discover how issues of race and privilege impact our community and everyday lives—whether we realize it or not. The goal is to build long-term habits that empower you to take action in the fight for social justice.

Participants will start each day with a new theme and a selection of related articles, podcasts, videos, and more to choose from. There will also be occasions when you will be encouraged to focus on personal reflection or engage with organizations in your community.

By committing to the challenge, participating in the activities, and connecting with one another, together we’ll be better equipped to identify inequity and act to dismantle racism and all other forms of discrimination.

Beginning November 1: 10-Day Challenge 

This abbreviated version of the Equity Challenge is designed to take participants through a state and local level exploration of the history and impacts of racism and how it has shaped the lives of people in our community.

GET INVOLVED

Commit to the challenge:

  • Encourage your employees to start each day of the challenge by reading the introduction
  • Explore the topic in-depth using the options provided


Stay engaged:

  • Encourage your employees to capture their daily reflections and actions using our activity log.
  • Explore this work with your employees using our discussion guide. Schedule lunch and learns or times you can gather to reflect.
  • Share your company’s involvement on your social media using the examples below.
  • Connect with local agencies and organizations that work to solve inequities.
  • Find volunteer opportunities, community events, and more by following us on Facebook.

Self-register at  Equity Challenge