Here to Help: Dan Nyhof helps students overcome obstacles and develop plans for success

 Dan Nyhof 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 Dan Nyhof. Dan is a counselor in GRCC’s Disability Support Services where he meets with GRCC students who have a diagnosed disability.

If you get a chance to work with Dan, the two of you will develop a reasonable accommodation plan to support your academic success. After that, you will meet regularly to review your accommodation plan and academic progress, and then adjust your plan, as needed.

You will also connect with Dan for academic advising. This can include career exploration, course and degree selection, being connected with resources related to your areas of interest on- or off-campus, career or transfer planning, and more.

Dan’s work is most rewarding when he sees students execute the educational plans they developed.

“A person’s journey may not be straightforward, but each experience a student has will help them learn and grow while moving toward their goal,” he said. “While I was in school I worked as a dishwasher, barista, baker, cashier, landscaper, substitute teacher, warehouse worker, school counselor, and therapist. Each one of these experiences taught me about myself and helped develop my plans that culminated with me working at GRCC.”

Dan attended a community college in Illinois, working full time during the day and taking classes in the evenings.

“I chose to attend community college because the tuition was cheaper than the university that I was already attending,” he said. “The classes also were offered in more convenient times than other options. I was really impressed with that school, so that might have played a part in becoming interested in working for GRCC later.”

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A School News Network feature: GRCC OTA students learn and the community benefits through new partnerships

GRCC students  serving meals at Matthew’s House.

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 Grand Rapids Community College’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.

“You could be tired, nauseous, have migraines, stiff joints,” Murphy explained. “This is a technique to wake up your lymphatic system by tapping on the main lymph nodes in your body.  This can overall keep your whole body clear of toxins that make you feel sick or foggy.”

Since September, as part of fieldwork to become occupational therapy assistants, GRCC students have connected with people who are experiencing homelessness and who utilize programs and services at Matthew’s House. The students serve meals – a recent Tuesday’s menu including chicken, ham, mashed potatoes and all the fixings – before beginning lessons attendees might find of value.

Murphy and fellow GRCC students Tanya Dyer, Taylor Barr and Rachel Hill led “Self-care Bingo,” with spaces on the card stating healthy-living practices like “stretch,” “give a compliment” and “exercise.”

They also practiced mindfulness through breathing techniques and got to know one another by sharing fun, personal facts: “Strawberry Fields by The Beatles” answered one man about his favorite song. “I’m a mechanic,” another man shared. “I work at the VanAndel Arena,” shared another. “I love walking because I can’t drive a car without crashing,” said Mike Baxter, with a chuckle.

After finishing his meal, Baxter said he enjoys participating in sessions with students while having a free dinner. They’ve focused on nutrition, computer and employment skills and where to find resources. Baxter contributed to a resource guide they created.

“They talk about personal health, where to shop, how to save money on your shopping. They do price comparisons and everything…. They seem to get more detailed every week,” he said.

Murphy sees the value of working with the group as part of her training.

“You meet a lot of different people from a lot of different areas of life, and that broadens your horizons,” she said.

“It’s a lot of getting to know people and what walk of life they come from. Everyone’s different and needs different things so it’s about really getting to know them on a personal level.”

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Check your vacation hours

Employees can now use the new Vacation Bank Calculator to make sure they are not at risk of losing any vacation hours as of December 31.

As of December 31, employees are allowed to have their current fiscal vacation accrual plus an automatic 10 day carry over. Employees can request to have these 10 days transferred to their sick bank by sending an email to the Director of Payroll.

Any vacation hours above the limits allowed by your employee contract/handbook will be forfeited.

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 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

Thank you,

Over $1,000,000 available for our Students

Financial Aid representative working with student.

Please encourage the students you teach and support to complete the GRCC Scholarship application. They can fill out a single application to be considered for over three hundred scholarships!

These scholarships can provide them with free money to help cover 2022-23 GRCC tuition, books and fees. 

Students should apply for GRCC scholarships on our Scholarships webpage. The priority deadline is March 15, 2022. In order to maximize scholarship opportunities, students should also complete a 2022-23 FAFSA.