Vacation Carry Over Reminder

Vacation hours are available for use from July 1 of the current fiscal year through December 31 of the following fiscal year.

As of December 31, employees are allowed to have their current fiscal year accrual plus the following in carry over hours:

  • An automatic 10 day carry over (requires no action from the employee or supervisor) Employees can request to have these 10 days transferred from their vacation bank, to their sick bank by sending an email to the Director of Payroll.
  • APSS, CEBA and Meet & Confer employees only – An additional 5 day carry over on an exception basis due to workload with supervisor approval and email to the Director of Payroll.

Vacation hours above the allowed limits will be forfeited according to the contracts/handbook. 

You can use the new Vacation Leave Bank Calculator on the payroll web page to determine if you are at risk of losing hours by December 31. 

John Dersch reflects on the life of his friend and colleague, Ron Boelema

Ron’s original career path, engineering, began at GRJC in 1958 with fellow student Dave Steinfort. He had the legendary instructors Theodora Quick and Alma Seegmiller for his “pre-calculus” work, then took Seegmiller, James Shew or Dick Chesnutt for Calc 1 and 2; in those days first-year Calculus was taught at the sophomore level.

The math bug must have bitten Ron pretty hard, because when he left Western Michigan University in 1962, he began his mathematics teaching career at Jackson Park Intermediate School in Rogers Heights (now a part of Wyoming).

Several years in the classroom and a graduate degree later, he accepted a position teaching math at South High School, Gerald R. Ford’s alma mater. There he met fellow math teacher Roger Papke; Ron was over six feet tall, Roger was more than a foot shorter, so they were known as “Mutt and Jeff” (youngsters can Google it). Many years later Roger was an adjunct at GRCC.

Ron’s career at South was short-lived, as it closed in 1968. He needed another job, heard that GRJC was hiring a math instructor, and headed to campus, which then consisted of the Main Building, East Building (currently the Music Building), and West Building (now Kendall College) for more information.

He spoke directly with the dean of the College, Francis McCarthy. McCarthy said, “Yes, it’s a math position, but what we’re really looking for is someone who knows about computers and computer programming. We have a new course, Ma 120 Fortran Programming, but the instructor who created it (Tom Worthington) doesn’t want to teach it.”

Ron, who knew nothing about computers, said “Sure, I can do that!” and he was hired a few days later. Thus began his 25-year career at GRJC/CC.

Ron taught Ma 120, later Ma 121, until he retired. He also taught Ma 125 Basic Programming (later Co 125) starting in 1980, and Co 225 Advanced Basic Programming in 1983, and probably created both of these courses. And, of course, he also taught a lot of math, including MA 003 (now 097), 104 (098), 107, 108 and 110.

The college was a different place back then. Ron was one of only seven full-time math faculty, and there were, at most, a couple of math adjunct who only taught night classes.

Several of the math faculty had taught, and maybe even still taught, physics; most physics faculty also taught some math. Most faculty offices were in the Main Building, meaning different disciplines were very close together and interdisciplinary camaraderie was a natural by-product.

Dick Bezile, hired in 1968 to teach Psychology, had an office near Ron’s. They became good friends, liked basketball, and formed a faculty basketball team that competed against the student intramural teams. Math instructor Bob Engelman was a team member.

Ron was outgoing, loved a good time, loved his students, and was a popular instructor. He was also very kind. He taught tremendous amounts of overload and made a lot of money (for a math instructor), which he put to good use in various ways, some of which impacted students directly. This includes the Ronald J. Boelema Mathematics Scholarship, which has benefitted dozens of students over the past 25+ years. He was also known to assist students financially using less formal avenues.

I met Ron Jan. 8, 1987, at the opening day of JC’s winter semester. In December I had resigned from my community college teaching position in Springfield, Ill. As my first full-timer semester at GRJC began, Mary and our son Josh would still be living in Springfield, and I would be staying with my parents in the GR area during the week, driving back to Springfield on weekends.

Ron knew this, and he somehow found out that there would be four weeks between my last Springfield paycheck and my first JC paycheck. He stopped me Friday, Jan. 9 as I was leaving to go home, and asked “You all right? Do you need any money? Just let me know.”

That was Ron. You will be missed, my friend, by many faculty and many, many students.

Here to Help: Denise Jones connects struggling students with resources to help them be successful

Denise Jones 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 Denise Jones. As the coordinator of Student Success and Retention, Denise works to bridge the gap between faculty and students who need academic support.

Denise responds to early alerts, sent by professors who worry a student might be starting to struggle. GRCC wants all of its students to be successful, and has a variety of resources students might not be aware of.  

Denise is an expert at finding the best type of supports to help students with their particular need. She provides the student with a personalized plan to overcome the obstacle.  

Denise is moved by being able to connect students with supportive resources to help them to be successful on their educational journey. She learned how to connect students with helpful and supportive resources on campus and in the community as a former success coach – and a former GRCC student.  

“I attended Grand Rapids Community College as a first step to my educational journey,” she said. “I always wanted to go back to school and earn a degree but was afraid of the entrance tests for math, English and reading. However, after experiencing the death of my father, I gained the courage to take the test and accept the results to start my educational journey to higher education.”

See Full Article

Annual Veterans Day commemoration honors veterans

Thursday we celebrated and honored the service and sacrifices of GRCC students, employees and community members who served our country. The annual Veterans Day commemoration included our tradition of placing flags at the base of our Veterans Memorial, renovated this summer for future generations to reflect on those students who gave their lives.

We also celebrated GRCC’s new Veterans Center, a one-stop place for student veterans to get the support they need to be successful.

Steve Jessmore captured the emotions of the day.

My GRCC Story: All-American Audrey Meyering finds competitive edge in cross country and culinary arts

Audrey Meyering smiling.

Audrey Meyering was drawn to GRCC for two reasons.

“The Culinary Arts program is competitive and provides all the necessary steps needed to be successful in the workforce after college,” she said. “Another reason for choosing GRCC is for its Athletics program.

“The cross country team has coaches who are dedicated to getting their runners the education they deserve while also pushing them to achieve their personal goals in a sport and team aspect.”

During last year’s season, Meyering was named an NJCAA All-American. One of her favorite GRCC memories is racing in the NJCAA Division I National Championship with the women’s team, which finished 23rd out of 38 teams. 

“For me, it was so rewarding to see all the hard work the team and I put into the season result in such a success,” she said. 

Meyering, who again earned All-MCCAA and All-Region XII honors this season, will likely add to those great memories when the team returns to national competition Nov. 13 in Richmond, Va.

She and her sister, Liz, also a member of the team, are from Middleville and graduated from Thornapple-Kellogg High School.  

Cross country has also given her a way to help in the community: The team has volunteered at John Ball Zoo, setting up for its “Wizarding Weekend,” and at area running events.

“It was very rewarding to see the families have such a great experience being immersed in the fictional world of Harry Potter,” Meyering said. “For the two running events, the team and I helped out by cheering on the runners, serving hot dogs, and passing out medals. As a runner, it was very motivational to see people of all sorts come out and compete.” 

Meyering plans to continue her running career when she enters the workforce.

“At the current moment, I am just focused on getting my associate degree in Culinary Arts,” she said. “I have aspirations to be a pastry chef and work in the baking and pastry arts industry.”

GRCC In the News 11/12/2021

Local guitarist is giving new meaning to live music venues

11/11/21; FOX 17

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The COVID-19 pandemic changed so many things about our daily lives, even how we socialize and consume entertainment.

Live performances either had to shut down or pivot to a new way of performing at a distance and Grand Rapids Community College is continuing that with a virtual concert and it’s free to attend.

News at 6 p.m.

11/11/21; FOX 17

(Veterans ceremony.)

COLLEGE NOTES: Palus has strong showing in Adrian loss

11/11/21; The Argus-Press (Owosso)

… Karissa Ferry, Grand Rapids Community College (Chesaning) — Ferry had three kills and two blocks Saturday as the Raiders’ season ended with a 3-0 loss to Terra State Community College in the NJCAA Region 12 Great Lakes B Tournament championship. GRCC beat Glen Oaks, Lansing and Muskegon on Friday to get a shot at Terra State, which the Stars would have had to beat twice to advance to the national tournament. Ferry had four kills each in the matches against Glen Oaks and Lansing, adding five blocks against the Stars.

BRICK-BY-BRICK: Grand Rapids man opens secondhand LEGO retail store

11/11/21; WZZM


… “LEGOs were a true obsession of mine,” added (David) West, who’s a student at Grand Rapids Community College. “They still are.”