Decolonizing Diet Project: GRCC Native American Student Organization and culinary program sharing Anishinaabe history and culture

Culinary student preparing food.

Grand Rapids Community College’s Native American Student Organization has partnered with the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education on an event focused on sharing Anishinaabe history and culture.

The Decolonizing Diet Project Culinary Speaker Events, offered online 6-8:30 p.m. Nov. 8, will feature a panel of experts discussing the topics of food sovereignty, clean water, land access, foraging and cooking as a way of learning traditions. The speakers are:

  • Dr. Martin Reinhardt, a Native American Studies professor at Northern Michigan University and president of the Michigan Indian Education Council.
  • Frank Sprague, drummer from the Gun Lake Band Potawatomi Nation tribal elder Turtle Clan.
  • Camren Stott, an Anishinaabe personal chef, a Grand Valley State University advisor and co-owner of Thirteen Moons Kitchen.
  • Myriah Williams, a GRCC alumna and Gun Lake youth specialist now attending graduate school at NMU.

Williams and Stott will lead a live cooking demonstration, and Sprague will open and close the event. In-person registration for the event has closed but you can still sign up to participate online through the link here. You can also find a QR code on the NASO Facebook page here.

The culinary speaker series is funded, in part, through a grant NASO received from the Native American Heritage Fund in 2019. The student organization also sponsored a trip to the Ziibiwing Center of Anishinaabe Culture and Lifeways in Mount Pleasant.

“The GRCC NASO would like to thank the Native American Heritage Fund board members for awarding us this grant back in the fall of 2019,” GRCC NASO President Rachel Beecher said. “As our grant proposal states, the GRCC Education and Reconciliation Project will create educational opportunities for students, faculty, staff and the greater community that will enable individuals to learn about Anishinaabe history and heritage as a way to foster awareness, dialog, understanding, and reconciliation. NASO accepted this opportunity with humble hearts and have diligently worked with much enthusiasm and excitement ever since. We understand the importance of further enriching GRCC and the greater Grand Rapids community with events that delve into the hidden histories and present day happenings of the Anishinaabe peoples and culture.”  

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GRCC, City of Grand Rapids partner to host special training to prepare area chefs to help after disasters

Culinary students in class.

When the rubble and dust settle after a disaster, area chefs will be ready to step up to help through special training hosted by Grand Rapids Community College’s Secchia Institute for Culinary Education and the City of Grand Rapids.

Chefs from area hotels, restaurants and hospitals will join GRCC instructors for Chef Relief Training on Nov. 22 and 23.

Famed chef José Andrés, founder of the nonprofit World Central Kitchen, launched the intensive training course this year to prepare chefs to safely and effectively provide meals for their communities after a disaster. 

Werner Absenger, program director for the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education, notes that the course is based on World Central Kitchen’s real-world experience in the aftermath of countless manmade and natural disasters.

“The WCK training will help us prepare for events that hopefully will never happen,” Absenger said. “But should it, we will have a solid plan in place to provide food to aid first responders and the community in dealing with the aftermath of disaster and minimizing its deleterious effects.”

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GRCC Library: Faculty and staff can get alerts from higher ed journals

While the bulk of our Library collection is focused on resources for student use, the Library licenses several higher education periodicals for the professional development of faculty and staff.

The Faculty & Staff Resources Subject Guide has a Professional Reading tab that includes a selective list of many of those full-text periodicals.

Staying up-to-date in higher education doesn’t have to be hard or take a lot of time. You can set up email alerts to notify you when new issues of specific periodical titles are available online.  To learn more about setting up this option, click into a chosen ejournal and look for [Share => Create an alert], [Create Journal Alert] or [Create Alert]. Contact your liaison librarian with any questions.

Alerts are also possible within most Research Databases. Craft a good search strategy and create an alert to email you links to full-text articles on that topic whenever new ones are added to the database.

Questions? Contact the library at (616) 234-3872 or

Join Tracy Payne and the GRCC team to help transform lives and strengthen our community

Tracy Payne smiling.

Come join the GRCC team and help us change lives and make our community stronger. The college has many openings, especially on our facilities and support staff roles.

Work with some amazing people, like Tracy Payne. Tracy has been with GRCC for 23 years, and now is serving as the office manager in the Student Records-Registrar’s Office.

“I love coming into work every day. It’s difficult to really narrow it down on why. I enjoy my colleagues, students, the department I work in, and the diversity of both its students and staff.  You’re not at a place for over 23 years and not like where you are.  I have a lot of pride for everything the college does for its students, employees, and the community.  I’m a proud GRCC Raider.

Tracy said she appreciates that GRCC supports its employees by offering great benefits and opportunities for professional growth.

“Although GRCC is a large employer, it believes in the employee as not just a number, but as an individual,” she said. 

Grand Rapids Community College provides an excellent benefits experience for our GRCC family.  Our package is designed to enhance your health and well-being.  Details on our Human Resources and Benefits website, but here are some highlights.

  • Six health insurance plan options, including a high deductible plan with a health savings account option, for you to choose what is best for you and your family.
  • A unique dental and vision reimbursement program that includes coverage for adult orthodontia and LASIK eye surgery.
  • Employer-sponsored retirement plans as well as voluntary retirement savings plans (403b or 457 plans)
  • Tuition benefits at GRCC for you, your spouse and your dependents.
  • Tuition reimbursement at other higher education institutions for you.
  • Generous time off that includes sick, vacation and personal leave banks.
  • Paid holidays and holiday shutdown period in late December!
  • Domestic partner benefits.
  • Life Insurance.
  • Long term disability insurance.
  • An employee assistance program focused on mental health.
  • Flexible spending accounts to supplement your selected health insurance plans. 
  • Incredible opportunities for training and your professional development.
  • Workplace accommodations for physical or mental health concerns.
  • Opportunity to purchase voluntary AFLAC policies to meet your own needs.
  • Remote work policy available for some positions.

Take those first steps to become a member of the GRCC team and find out about openings at

Here to Help: Ashley Fox helps students make connections, stay motivated

Ashley Fox 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 Ashley Fox. Ashley is here to help in the Student Life and Conduct office. As the assistant director her goal is to connect students with student organizations, or to help create new student organizations, all of which will enrich their time here at GRCC.

“Getting involved can easily expand your circle of friends, and is a great way to stay motivated about your personal or academic interests, even if you’re still deciding,” she said. “I co-advise Student Alliance and the Garden Club, and it is life giving! If you’re curious about how to get involved, stop in and we’ll talk!”

Working in the office of Student Life allows Ashley to get to know students for who they are who they aspire to be. She knows building community with staff and faculty on campus is important for a student’s academic and personal development.

Ashley attended GRCC right out of high school and was the first in her family to go to college. Everything was new and unfamiliar to her.

“I remember feeling pressure to perform well in school while balancing work and family commitments, among other life circumstances,” she said. “At the time, I didn’t know what college was supposed to be, or feel like, but I knew I loved learning and enjoyed being in downtown, Grand Rapids.”

 At first Ashley did not know what career she wanted to aim for, but she knew what to study, and kept taking classes — moving towards what gave her energy, while ruling out what was not a good fit.

“It didn’t always feel like I was making progress,” she said “But I knew to keep trying.”

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My Story Started at GRCC: Loyd Winer designed airport runways, now he helps others take off and soar

Loyd Winer 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.

A notable achievement in Loyd Winer’s career was designing the original runways and taxiways for Gerald R. Ford International Airport. He now devotes much of his time and resources giving back to the school that helped him take off and soar.

Winer’s father had a sixth-grade education; his mother earned her GED diploma – at the age of 71. His dad paid for Winer’s sister to attend Michigan State University, but when Winer graduated from high school, he was told to get a job at Michigan Bell as he wasn’t college material.

Michigan Bell told Winer that he needed at least a two-year degree to be hired, so he enrolled at what was then Grand Rapids Junior College. He paid his own way by working while attending and graduated in 1950. Winer – now definitely college material – went on to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering from MSU.

After serving in the Navy, Winer worked on engineering projects around the world, started his own company, and served as an expert witness in building failure and liability cases.

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This week in the CTE

Panopto Beyond Basics 

Come dig deeper into the features of Panopto. GRCC’s new campus video platform. In this hands-on Hyflex session, we’ll practice advanced recording options, including Panopto for desktop and recording multiple video streams.

We’ll also look at advanced features in the Panopto video viewer and editor, as well as some helpful Panopto integrations with Blackboard courses. 

Also, don’t forget all the self-paced online courses you can take through the CTE:

  • Classroom Emergency Preparedness
  • Design and Deliver Inclusive Courses
  • Blackboard Basics Online
  • Blackboard Grade Center
  • Quality Matters Rubric Online

For full descriptions of all courses, workshops and events the CTE has to offer, and registration instructions, please visit our Calendar and Programming page.

GRCC In the News 11/08/2021

GRCC has a new Veterans Center on campus for student veterans

11/5/21 “EightWest”

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – 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 a part of a special campus community!

Proposed college equipment fund pushed to address Michigan’s talent problem

11/5/21 Ludington Daily News

LANSING — Michigan community colleges are pushing for a fund to buy equipment that they say would bolster a trained and talented workforce.

… Lansing Community College, Mid Michigan College, West Shore Community College and Grand Rapids Community College are some of the schools interested in implementing the cardiovascular tech program, she (Amy Lee) said.

 “News 8 Daybreak”

11/8/21 WOOD TV

(Vaccination clinic at GRCC this week.)

ODEI honors PRIDE OUTside the Box: Ben-Alex Dupris

This event is at Noon (EST) and virtual

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

Adrian and Sean are the “𝗦𝘄𝗲𝗲𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗮𝗿𝘁 𝗗𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲𝗿𝘀,” who broke ground in powwow communities by entering the popular couples competition. They are the first “Two-Spirit” couple to enter the competition and continue to pave the way for LGBTQ Indigenous people.

PRIDE OUTside the Box illuminates scholar-practitioners, artists, and initiatives that critically examine socio-political, economic, and identity issues from an intersectional framework (Crenshaw, 1989).