GRCC plans Dec. 8 clinic to provide students, employees and community members COVID-19 vaccinations, booster shots

Student getting a Covid-19 vacinne.

Grand Rapids Community College’s next COVID-19 vaccination clinic for students, employees and community members is planned for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Dec. 8 in the Raider Grill in the GRCC Student Center.

The clinic will offer COVID-19 vaccinations as well as booster shots. Vaccines have been determined to be the most effective tool in preventing serious illness and hospitalization due to COVID-19.

The Dec. 8 clinic is GRCC’s third vaccination clinic in the last three months, with the last two serving about 190 people. But demand for vaccines and boosters is rising, and the college might not be able to offer another clinic for some time.

People wishing to obtain the vaccines or booster shots can save time and create an account and fill out the required vaccine form in advance:

The clinics are part of a series of wellness protocols intended to help GRCC students, employees and community members.

The campus is requiring face-coverings indoors, and has posted face-covering dispensers near entrances in many buildings.

See Full Article

Construction underway on new GRCC sign system to help pedestrians, motorists navigate campus, connect with classes and services

Construction has started on a Grand Rapids Community College project intended to inform and inspire — a comprehensive wayfinding system that will touch all areas of the downtown campus.

A new sign system will help pedestrians and motorists navigate their way through the campus, connecting them with classes and services.

The $600,000 project includes building signs as well as directional aids near roads and on pedestrian plazas, including fresh, modern designs that allow for future growth. It is the first major change to campus signs since the college transitioned from Grand Rapids Junior College 30 years ago.

“GRCC’s downtown campus is easily accessible by private and public transportation and is very walkable,” said Lisa Freiburger, GRCC’s vice president for Finance and Administration, who is overseeing the project. “It also can be a little confusing for visitors because it is so integrated with the city and doesn’t have a true main entrance. This new project will help people find our campus, and also help them find their way around it once they are here.”

Construction started this week with removal of some of the large, blue triangular signs and will continue through the winter, with installation of more than 100 exterior signs.

The college worked closely with Grand Rapids city planners to arrive at an eye-catching style that fits well within the aesthetics of the historic Heritage Hill neighborhood.

Corbin Design of Traverse City was the lead firm, working with GRCC’s Facilities Department and graphic design team. Universal Sign Systems of Grand Rapids heads the construction phase of the project.

“We collaborated to develop a system that incorporates elements of GRCC’s 100-plus years of history, with a contemporary feel.” said Alissa Raddatz, GRCC’s lead graphic designer. “The previous designs served the college well for decades. The new look is forward-facing and classic, with updated branding and a style intended to stay relevant for years to come.”The design is similar to the one used to highlight GRCC students on banners attached to streetlight poles throughout campus.

See Full Article

Gov. Whitmer visits Fratzke Early Childhood Learning Laboratory

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer visited GRCC’s Phyllis Fratzke Early Childhood Laboratory, touring classrooms with GRCC President Bill Pink and Dr. Nkechy Ekere Ezeh, founder and CEO of the Early Learning Neighborhood Collaborative.

The ELNC provides funding, innovative shared support services, and advocacy to partnering organizations. Ekere Ezeh received GRCC’s 2020 Distinguished Alumna Award.

The Fratzke Early Childhood Center enrolls about 90 children, and works with community partners including the ELNC and the Kent Intermediate School District’s Great Start Readiness program.

GRCC’s early childhood program was founded in 1974 and recently received recognition as one of the top programs in the nation by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

It’s the second time this year Gov. Whitmer has visited GRCC, and the second time she has toured the Fratzke Early Childhood Lab.  

Veterans Center hosts yoga session to help relax for finals

Veterans Center dedication and ribbon cutting, Main Campus, on 10/06/2021. © Photography by Steve Jessmore, Steve Jessmore Photography

The GRCC Veterans Center is hosting a yoga session between 1 and 2 p.m. on Tuesday for veterans and their dependents. The session is free, and will be led by GRCC employee Lannie Collard.

The Veterans Center is located on Level G2 of Raleigh J. Finkelstein Hall

Memorial get-together for Ron Boelema on Dec. 8 in Sneden Hall

Ron smiling.

Friends, colleagues and relatives of former GRCC math professor Ron Boelema are gathering to share memories and celebrate his life from 2 – 3:30 p.m., Dec. 8 in room 108 of Sneden Hall.

Boelema taught in Wyoming and Grand Rapids public schools before starting at what was then Grand Rapids Junior College in 1968, and stayed 25 years.

“Ron was outgoing, loved a good time, loved his students, and was a popular instructor,” colleague John Dersch remembers. “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-plus years. He was also known to assist students financially using less formal avenues.”

Retirement bio of Dawn Zuidgeest-Craft

Dawn spent sixteen years at GRCC. She shares her cherished accomplishments and memories with us.

Activities included:

Initiated and collaborated with employee health teams to make GRCC tobacco and smoke free

Promoted the GRCC Nursing website development

Collaborated interdepartmentally with Biology faculty to prepare students in pre-nursing anatomy

Became certified to teach online and was first Nursing instructor to do so for GH 125

Was one of the faculty to investigate application of zoom in online courses before the pandemic and presented on learning day the advantages of this tool

Created a live simulated OB clinic day for prenatal volunteers to enhance student learning

Worked with the local chapter of the Red Cross to have students assist in smoke detector installs

Collaborated with the Health Department to administer flu shots

What GRCC provided her:

Time to develop teaching methods and opportunities for growth as an educator

DLT support and preparation to teach online

Peer support and laughter

Interactions with a diverse student population who have taught me as much as I taught them

Tuition support for my certification in Medical Anatomy and Physiology from the University of Florida Medical School

An awesome view of downtown!

Plans for retirement from GRCC…

Travel!  This year: Australia and New Zeeland, Ireland (bike trip) Family reunion in the gulf, Nova Scotia next fall.  New York to see our grandkids more.

Will continue to practice part time at St Mary’s as a Nurse Practitioner in the NICU

Take time to write my story.  (I have only the introduction) As I had my last child when I was 49 the title will be “From Breast Feeding to Menopause:  My empty nest might be my casket!” well hopefully not but she has kept me young.  

Thanks for everything CC…..DZC

Congratulations and best wishes Dawn!

Retirement bio of Jim Schafer

Jim smiling.
Jim smiling.

Jim has worked for GRJC/CC for 35 years. Prior to that he worked as a student assistant for four months before being offered a 1 year temporary position that was made into a permanent position.

Jim shares, “I have been lucky to be the first and only person to have my job so it has evolved over the years.”

He started with being a student assistant in the Media area helping to operate the cable channels then moved to managing the cable channels and the Telecourse and Telecourse Checkout programs. Throughout his career Jim has had video production and editing in my job description which included working on a mobile uplink truck we operated in the 1990’s. He was also involved with running parts of our distance learning classes. Somewhere in the early 2000’s he was assigned media event planning and coordination which he is currently doing as the main function of his job.

One year, Jim served as a mentor with the Young Business Professionals Group at GRCC where he helped GRCC students with their presentations and performances. It was a very satisfying experience and the group got to travel to Walt Disney World for the finals. Jim was able to get park hopper passes for our group and all of the students were able to explore the parks on their free day. This was great for them to be able to relax and recharge from all their hard work at the conference. Jim also had the opportunity to go to France with Hillery Haney and her student group and saw firsthand what an amazing guided experience she provided to the students. Truly a once in a lifetime experience he loved. 

Jim was asked by one of our professors, Walt Lockwood, to contribute to his script for our 100th anniversary celebration play highlighting the history of the college. He not only got a co-writer credit for his contribution, but ended up acting in the play and singing one of the songs and scenes he helped write.

Jim shares: “It was incredibly nerve wracking and definitely out of my comfort zone but was one of my greatest personal achievements and really made me feel I belonged at GRCC.”

Jim also was fortunate enough to be able to perform a funny holiday poem each year from 2001-2016 and it ended up bringing a lot of joy and feelings of belonging. He’ll treasure those times. 

Jim’s retirement plans include working somewhere else part time and continuing gardening projects for himself and others. He also wants to focus more attention to volunteering for organizations he supports. What he really wants to do is travel more and enjoy more time with family and friends. 

“GRCC is about opportunity. I always felt like I had the freedom to pursue anything I wanted to. I am very thankful for that. The best part of working at GRCC though is the people. I have made some wonderful friends over the last 35 years and I’m sure I will see most of them long after I’m retired.”

Best wishes and congratulations Jim! Thanks for all the laughs and smiles!

GRCC In the News 12/07/2021

GRCC begins construction on new sign system to help pedestrians, drivers navigate campus

12/6/21; FOX 17

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Construction has started on a new sign system at Grand Rapids Community College intended to help pedestrians and drivers better navigate the school’s downtown campus.

Food, lessons & bonding

12/6/21; (Kent Intermediate School District)

Sydney Murphy encouraged people at Matthew’s House Ministry to stand up and complete exercises that help the lymphatic system eliminate toxins.

Following Murphy’s directions, several people who had come to the northwest Grand Rapids non-profit for a free meal and session led by students in GRCC’s Occupational Therapy Assistant program rose from their seats, rubbed and tapped their own neck, chest, hips, the backs of their knees, and wiggled their arms and trunks.

First responders to deliver toys to patients at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital

12/6/21; FOX 17

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Seventeen different police and first responder agencies will caravan to the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital on Tuesday with a large supply of toys for the patients there.

… Agencies participating in the caravan are: Spectrum Security Police, Granville Police, Granville Fire, Michigan State Police, Kent County Sheriff’s Office, Grand Rapids Police Department, Wyoming Police, Kentwood Police, Walker Police, East Grand Rapids DPS, Rockford DPS, Sparta Police, Grand Rapids Community College Police, Plainfield Township Fire, American Medical Response, Life EMS, Silent Observer, First Responders Children’s Foundation, Lowell Police and Grand Valley State University Police.

DBusiness Daily Update: Holly Jolly Riverfront Starts at Detroit’s Valade Park Dec. 10-12, and More


Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies, including updates about the COVID-19 pandemic. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.

… Autocam Medical, a global contract manufacturer of precision surgical and medical components and devices in Grand Rapids, presented 11 students with certificates of completion for their CNC Machinist Apprentice Program during a November ceremony at the AMP Lab at Western Michigan University in Grand Rapids.

… “Autocam Medical’s Apprentice Program is a win-win,” says Andy Beach, a Grand Rapids Community College instructor. “It’s a win for the skilled trades industry and a win for the students. The students gain skills that put them on a career path with unlimited opportunity, and it helps build a ready workforce for the manufacturing industry, which is starving for CNC Machinists.”

Whitmer tours early learning center in Grand Rapids

12/6/21; WOOD TV

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer spent part of the day Monday visiting a childhood early learning center in Grand Rapids.

The “Early Learning Neighborhood Collaborative” is a partnership of a number of area nonprofits and Grand Rapids Community College.

Technology loans due 12/17

Library from the outside.

All student technology* checked out from GRCC’s Library is due back at the Circulation Desk on Friday, Dec. 17, sooner if you are done with it for the semester.

Laptops are on a timer which will lock / close at the end of the Fall Semester, when IT will reimage and update them for Winter checkouts.

The Library is extending hours for returns only on Saturday, Dec. 18, from 8-3. The Circulation Desk will be open, but all other areas of the Library will be closed.

*Student technology includes:

  • Laptops
  • Chromebooks
  • Wireless / mobile hotspots
  • Webcams
  • Headsets

Questions? Call Library Circulation at 616-234-3872.