Fantastic! Four GRCC runners earn All-American honors, and teams finish seventh at NJCAA DII National Championships

Four Grand Rapids Community College cross country runners earned All-American honors and both the men’s and women’s teams finished seventh in the nation in Saturday’s NJCAA DII National Championships.

It’s the second year in a row both GRCC teams finished in the top 10 nationally, with multiple runners earning All-American honors in Richmond, Va. on Saturday.

Joshua Kipkoech earned his second All-American award, finishing in 11th place, with teammate Coleman Clark following him by three seconds to finish in 13th place. For the women’s team, Kaylee Scott finished in 14th place, just in front of teammate Audrey Meyering, who earned her second All-American award by finishing 15th.

“I’m so happy for our team!” women’s coach Sharon Becker said. “The six women on this team are women of character and each one of them helped each other surpass what each only could accomplish alone. Because of the integrity, grit and caring attitudes, these women and this team have accomplished so much together.”

Becker said Meyering and Scott earning All-American honors was a big goal. Scott’s time was 19:29.5 and Meyering finished at 19:35.9.

“They could not have earned a top-15 spot if they let up and slowed down for even one second. They both ran a personal best time by over 15 seconds!”

Elizabeth Meyering, from Caledonia, at 20:08.3, and Rose Meyer, of Standale, at 20:29.3, each posted “huge” personal best times, Becker said.

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My Story Started at GRCC: Manufacturing program helped Madelynn Pohl work as a machinist while continuing her education

Madelynn Pohl 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.

Madelynn Pohl has two jobs now.

Pohl graduated last year from GRCC’s Manufacturing program and now works at Autocam Medical as a machinist. But she’s still a GRCC student, taking electives to transfer to Ferris State University for a bachelor’s degree in manufacturing engineering technology.

She uses what she learned at GRCC in both roles.

“My GRCC experience was valuable because it was so hands-on,” she said. “I also really appreciated a couple of the teachers I had throughout my associate degree. They taught me things that I use today, and I can help teach others at work the things they taught me.”

One of her favorite classes was MN 200 – Intermediate Machine Operations.

“We had a very small class size, and it allowed for Professor (Jeffery) Tyler to really help each and every one of us,” Pohl said. “All of my classmates really got to bond in that class because we helped each other out – and we had a lot of fun doing it!”

GRCC gave her a place to grow and set her up for success.

“I believe that it makes me a better student and employee because I went through the Tooling and Manufacturing program,” she said.

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

Registration for Learning Day is now open

Instructions and sessions can be found on the CTE website.  If you register by Monday, November 22 at 5pm you will be entered into a drawing to receive support materials including a backpack, power charger, journal, or wireless speaker. 

Registration will close on Monday, December 6 at 5pm.

GRCC In the News 11/15/2021

Community updates: Friday, Nov. 12


… Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) and the City of Grand Rapids are teaming up for a special training this month that will prepare area chefs to lend their skills to the community after a disaster.

Get to know new Ward 3 council member Belinda Coronado

11/14/21; The Holland Sentinel

HOLLAND — Belinda Coronado began her first term on Holland City Council this week after she was elected Nov. 2 to replace Raul Garcia on council. Garcia did not run for re-election, saying he wanted more time with his family and young kids.

… Education: Liberal studies degree from GVSU, associate’s degree in criminal justice from Grand Rapids Community College.

Inside Track: Pattee restores faith in process

11/12/21; Grand Rapids Business Journal

Fire is central to Clay Pattee’s business and personal life.

… Pattee earned an associate degree from Grand Rapids Community College and transferred to Cornerstone University as a night student, earning an undergraduate degree in business in 2010. 

One big family; Coach Tony Annese’s Story

11/12/21; Local Sports Journal (Muskegon)

Tony Annese hates excuses.

… Annese left Muskegon after the 2008 season to try his hand in the college ranks. He posted a three-year record of 30-4 at Grand Rapids Community College, before heading up the highway to Ferris in 2011.

4 GRCC cross-country runners achieve All-American awards

11/13/21; FOX 17

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids Community College celebrates as four of its cross-country runners earn All-American honors at the NJCAA DII National Championships in Richmond, Virginia, on Saturday.

By the numbers: Michigan community colleges hit hard by enrollment declines

11/14/21; MLive

Michigan colleges, by and large, are experiencing declining enrollment.

… Grand Rapids Community College saw a 4.4% enrollment increase entering its fall 2020 semester, as well as a 7% increase the following summer. While spokesman David Murray credits that to population growth in Ottawa and Kent counties in the last decade, even colleges in fast-growing districts saw enrollment declines.

Michigan community college enrollment is dwindling. Apprenticeships 1 of many competitors for students.

11/14/21; MLive

Sylwia Sokolowski faced the classic question as she neared the end of high school. Do I go to work or do I go to college?

… Community colleges in counties with population growth fared better. Grand Rapids Community College saw a 4.4% enrollment increase in its fall 2020 semester, as well as a 7% increase the following summer compared to the year before, said spokesman David Murray.

Leadership Institute is back

Leadership Institute is now accepting applications for the 2022 cohort.

Consider joining this 12-month leadership program committed to strengthening new or emerging leaders from across campus. This program is geared to foster a deeper understanding of the campus community as well as accelerate talent development and hone individual and team leadership skills.

The Leadership Institute is designed for employees who have the capacity and desire to make a positive influence on campus. The 2022 application deadline is Friday December 3, 2021.

For more information and the application, please visit the Leadership Institute webpage or contact or

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.