Wellness Champions: The holidays bring joy to many, but can be difficult for those struggling with losses

GRCC adviser Lynnae Selberg smiling.

Be a champion! GRCC is helping students and employees focus on all areas of health and wellness as we emerge together from the pandemic.

Wellness is a full integration of physical, mental and spiritual health. That includes physical health, but so much more. During the next year we’re also looking at emotional, intellectual, social, spiritual, environmental and occupational health, and how we all can work to help ourselves and each other.

There are many resources at GRCC to help all of these types of wellness. Each week, we’ll introduce you to people and places here on campus ready to support you on your wellness journey.

The holidays that arrive this season bring joy to many. But they also can be a difficult time, especially those struggling with losses.

“Grief and loss are powerful emotions,” said GRCC adviser Lynnae Selberg, who has worked in a variety of counseling roles for the past 30 years in many educational and health care settings. “There’s a misperception that people grieve only when somebody dies. But people also grieve over the loss of a job, a relationship, a pet, housing and freedom.”

Selberg graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Grand Valley State University and earned a master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from Michigan State University. She is a licensed professional counselor in the state of Michigan and is a nationally certified rehabilitation counselor. 

She has worked in many different student services and academic affairs departments, at various institutions, which has provided her a wide range of experiences to draw upon when working with students at GRCC.

Selberg has experienced a number of personal losses from her high school friends to her cousin, and more recently her father. The most impactful loss was the tragic loss of her infant son, Andy.

She lost her son, Andy, to sudden infant death syndrome, also known as SIDS, on Oct. 15, 1989. For more than 20 years, she volunteered to work with groups supporting families who faced similar infant losses.

“The holidays are rough all the way around,” she said. “People heading into the holidays after experiencing some kind of grief or loss need to take care of themselves. We need to offer grace and patience to each other, but also with ourselves.”

Selberg said dealing with grief doesn’t mean sitting each day and thinking about the loss, but it is about understanding the experience and how it may be impacting a person. Typically, holidays, birthdays, anniversaries will bring the grief more front and center, compounding the sense of loss.

These are some things you can do:

  • Slow down and take time for yourself. Familiar tasks may take more effort, energy and time.
  • Recognize that everyone experiences grief differently and that is ok.  Some may want to go out for a run or chop wood or cry in the shower… do what feels right to you.
  • Ask for help – tell people what you need and be willing to accept help when it is offered to you.
  • Understand the impact grief and loss can have on concentration and memory as well as your energy level.
  • Journal your memories, writing down what you are feeling and experiencing can help you process your grief.
  • Plan ahead- do what YOU feel up to… some traditions you might not be up for this year… or you can start new ones.  Know that whatever you do is ok and those around you need to understand that.
  • Manage your stress responses (over eating, drinking, medications, over spending), bad habits are easy to start and hold on to when grieving.
  • Recognize you may struggle to control your emotions, but give yourself permission to feel happy or sad.
  • Connect with others, surround yourself with supportive people who care about you.
  • Most of all have grace and patience with yourself and those around you.

If you know someone grieving, Selberg said it is good to ask them how you can help- ask them what they need, and don’t assume that you know what they need.

Here are some links for resources for people who are grieving, and those who care about them.

Grief recovery support groups in Grand Rapids, Michigan – GriefShare

Articles on dealing with grief and loss: Help Guide – Coping with Grief and Loss

Grief: Coping with reminders after a loss – Mayo Clinic

How to get your department webpages ready for 2022

As we’re wrapping up our fall 2021 semester, take a look at your department’s webpages to make sure everything is up-to-date for our return in 2022! 

  • Are there any deadlines or date-oriented information on your webpages that have passed or need to be updated?
  • Is your bio/contact information still correct? If you want to make changes to your bio, simply log in at grcc.edu/user, navigate to your bio and submit the form for changes.
  • Are there any outdated events that need to be hidden or new events that need to be promoted?
  • Are your department’s office hours and contact information updated for holiday break and beyond?

If you need help with any of these updates, contact your department web editor, or email webhelp@grcc.edu and we’ll be happy to assist you.

Thank you for helping us keep grcc.edu up to date for students and our community.

GRCC teams up with AT&T Foundation, Grand Rapids Public Library on learning hub to create better access to technology, tutoring, and support services

Grand Rapids Community College students will have easier access to technology and academic tutoring through a partnership between the college, the AT&T Foundation and the Grand Rapids Public Library.

A GRCC virtual learning hub was created in the library’s Seymour branch, 2350 Eastern Ave. SE.

A $25,000 grant from the AT&T Foundation will be used for tutors, bus passes for students who need transportation, snacks, and some supplies.

“This program is a perfect example of a partnership making our community stronger,” said Dr. Kathryn K. Mullins, GRCC’s vice president for College Advancement and executive director of the GRCC Foundation. “The pandemic exacerbated many of the obstacles faced by our students, including transportation and access to computers or Wi-Fi. The new learning hub brings tutoring and other support services right to those living in this neighborhood.”

In addition to the on-site tutors, who will focus on reading, writing and research skills, students can use the Seymour branch’s computers and Wi-Fi access to connect with GRCC tutors in other subjects as well as specialists who can help with enrollment, financial aid, and placement test questions.

The Seymour branch was selected for the hub because it is located in a neighborhood with a large number of underserved residents.

“The AT&T Foundation is committed to ensuring students have access to technology and learning resources to be successful,” AT&T Michigan President David Lewis said. “GRCC’s virtual learning hub at the Grand Rapids Public Library is giving underserved students the access they need and deserve to thrive in their education.”

The learning hub is available to GRCC students and community members who are interested in learning more about attending GRCC.

See Full Article

Home for the ‘HoliDAZE’

While many look forward to the holiday season as a time for rest, reconnection, and reflection, for some, the pressure to navigate interaction with family and friends can bring on a great deal of anxiety that can leave one dazed and confused. 

In partnership with United Campus Christian Fellowship, the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI) developed a shortlist of resources to lessen the stress.

Visit our resources at **Home for the HoliDAZE on our Social Justice and Equity Resources webpage

New baby!

Heather Den Houter, APSS in the Occupational Support Program, had her baby December 7, at 3:13 am!  

Asher Leonard Nagelkerk Den Houter was born at 6 pounds and 19.25 inches long.  As you can see, everyone is doing great and are all smiles!  Enjoy the pics! 

Tech Tip: Employee separations

Do you have an employee who is leaving, transferring positions or retiring and want to make sure their access is removed for the systems they used? Here are some things to know about removing employees’ access.

Network Accounts: To have access removed from an employee’s network account, supervisors should fill out the Employee Separation service form upon transfer to another department, separation with the college or retirement. This would include access to systems such as Peoplesoft, Web Editing Access, Document Imaging and shared Network Drives. To submit an Employee Separation, visit the IT Customer Support Portal.

Google Groups: Each Google Group has one or more managers that controls the access of the Group. If you have someone that needs to be removed from a Group, one of the Group managers should be notified and they can remove them from the Group. If you are not sure who the manager of a Group is, click the Member tab in a Group and the Manager(s) will be listed there.

Google Team Drives: IT has empowered managers of Google Team Drives to update access for their employees.  You can add or remove users from your team drive by following the steps listed in our knowledge base.  

Email: An employee’s email access will automatically be removed when an Employee Separation request is processed. Separations are processed on the effective date which is typically the day after the employee’s last day. Supervisors should coordinate with their employee before the date of separation to transfer important departmental emails.

For other great tips, visit the IT Customer Support Portal and search the Knowledge Base for other articles.

If you have a suggestion or a Technology Tip you think can be useful, you can submit them by emailing techtips@grcc.edu

Member Purchase Program exclusive deals

It’s not too late!  Dell’s last call for holiday deals starts Dec. 6th with some great offers!   www.Dell.com/DellU/GRCC.

  • 12/6 – 12/13: December Days of Deals  – New offers daily!
  • 12/10 – 12/11 48 Hour Flash Sale – MPP exclusive 10% off on select powerful tech*

AND… Remember – faculty, staff, students and alumni always have access to 10% off select Dell Electronics & Accessories!

Shop online through your Member Purchase Program store: www.Dell.com/DellU/GRCC

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: https://www.visit.covidsecureapp.com/michigan.

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

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.”

Course Packs due Friday, December 10

All course pack files, planners, orders, and SKUs are due on Friday, December 10 to make sure they are in the bookstore in a timely manner for the students to purchase prior to the start of classes.

If you are planning to do a course pack and it is a reprint, please notify the bookstore.

If you are doing a new or updated course pack, please send your file and planner sheet (if needed) to grcceprint@grcc.edu and notify the bookstore that you are needing a new course pack for your class.

If you have any questions, we can be reached at (616) 234-3960 or grcceprint@grcc.edu.

Thank you,