Wellness Champions: New Healthy Living class helps students understand the importance of making healthy choices.

Professor Jodi Gee 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.

January is approaching and that means New Year’s resolutions. Many of us have wellness-related resolutions. Many of us watch those resolutions fall by the wayside.

But GRCC’s Exercise Science team can help you keep those resolutions – at least through the end of the semester! Plus, students can earn credit along the way.

Professor Jodi Gee is the department head and an expert, earning her bachelor’s degree in Movement Science from Grand Valley State University and a master’s degree in Physical Education from Western Michigan University.

Students don’t have to be athletes or physical education majors to take Exercise Science classes. The department has a new general education class called Healthy Living 189. This class will meet the Social Science distribution area and count as general education for students starting in fall 2022.

The two-credit class is designed to teach students the concepts of how to stay healthy and prevent disease. Students learn about health topics such as blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, social connections and healthy relationships, heart disease, stroke, mental health and stress, sleep, substance abuse and misuse, principles of physical fitness, dimensions of wellness, weight management and body image, diseases, nutrition, cancer, exploring and analyzing health, genetic, social, ecological and behavioral change models, and more.

Healthy Living is designed to motivate students to take their health seriously. This course helps students understand why they should make healthy choices and how they can change unhealthy patterns.

“Wellness classes and exercise help us feel better, live better, and sleep better,” Gee said. “Our classes can also help to combat anxiety and depression through exercise.”

The department offers a wide range of wellness courses, including Sustainable Living, focusing on holistic health using environmentally sustainable lifestyle approaches.

That’s in addition to fitness and athletics classes. Additional information is available here: https://www.grcc.edu/schools-departments/exercise-science/wellness-courses-we.

Workforce Wednesday: James Hernandez taps One Workforce program to find a new career with job security

James Hernandez smiling.

GRCC Workforce Training programs provide in-demand skills leading to rewarding careers. Each Wednesday we’ll meet students who are heading down an educational pathway and changing their lives by earning occupational certificates.

Life’s path isn’t always a straight line and James Hernandez’s path has taken a sharp turn.

Hernandez was prospering as a chef. But when he was furloughed for three months and watched as more than 400 of his co-workers were let go, he was pretty nervous.

“I just had a feeling like this was not going to end well for me,” he said. “During this time, a friend of mine who works at Medbio told me he had been working the whole time. He suggested I apply. With a family and a mortgage, I just needed do some kind of work that was more secure.

“I started as a temp and was then hired in directly. After being an operator for a while, I let management know that I was interested in doing more. I then enrolled in the Plastics Polymer Engineering Certificate Program at GRCC and just finished my first class.

“Once I started class, I received a text from Cody Giba, representing the One Workforce program. The text said that I may qualify for some financial help through a new grant program. I got back to him right away.”

One Workforce for West Michigan Manufacturing is a grant program assisting those interested in pursuing careers in advanced manufacturing, or for those who want to improve their current manufacturing skills.

Even GRCC students who are currently enrolled in a manufacturing class or training program may qualify for financial assistance. There are nearly 20 GRCC programs qualifying for financial support. 

See Full Article

Exam Week GRCC Library hours & technology returns

Outside of Library.

GRCC’s Library & Learning Commons will be open during Exam Week as follows:
Monday Dec. 13: 7:30 a.m.-8:00 p.m.
Tuesday Dec. 14: 7:30 a.m.-8:00 p.m.
Wednesday Dec. 15: 7:30 a.m.-8:00 p.m.
Thursday Dec. 16: 7:30 a.m.-8:00 p.m.
Friday Dec. 17: 7:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Saturday Dec. 18: 8:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

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 which will begin January 3, 2022.

The Library is extending hours for technology 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.

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

A treat for you 12/16

Person with white sweater and red gloves holding a hot beverage in a mug.

In celebration of the holiday season, all GRCC employees are invited to stop by The Quiet Cafe (2nd floor, Student Center) or The Sneden Cafe on Thursday, December 16 between 8 a.m. – 11 a.m. to enjoy a complimentary beverage. 

*Please show your employee ID*

We are offering:

  • Coffee
  • Hot Cocoa
  • Peppermint Mocha
  • Assorted teas

Drink carriers will be available in order to take beverages back to the office.

Thank you for all you are and all you’ve done this year! 

Best wishes for a festive, joyful, and peaceful holiday season for you and yours!

Sponsored by GRCC Human Resources

Return your rented books: DUE BY Friday, December 17, 2021

Please share this with your student.

Come to the store in-person to check in your rented title using your phone number. Or ship your book(s) using the carrier of your choice at your expense. For check-in accuracy, include your Name, Phone Number and Patron ID with your rental return.

You will receive email reminders which will include return instructions before your due date. All emails list your Patron ID.

$ell Your Books at the GRCC Bookstore

Not using your book any longer? The bookstore may be able to pay you as much as 25-50% of the book’s original price, especially if the book is being used on campus next term.  Must have a student ID to sell books to store.

  • Pages should not be torn or missing.  Print should not be obscured with heavy writing or highlighting.
  • Textbooks with water damage, stains, and/or pages sticking together are not considered in “good condition” and may not be sold to the bookstore.
  • Loose-pages and 3-hole punched course materials and physical access codes may not be sold to the bookstore.

Financial Aid will be available for bookstore purchases beginning Monday, January 3, 2022.

Faith over fear: Memorial service information for Jessica Berens

Jessica Berens smiling

A memorial service for our friend and colleague Jessica Berens is planned for 1 p.m. on Jan. 8, 2022 at Corinth Reformed Church, 129 100th St. SE, Byron Center.

Relatives and friends may meet the family prior to the service from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the church.

Read more about Jessica and her family here: https://www.mkdfuneralhome.com/obituaries/jessica-lynn-berens

Retirement bio of Sang Lee

Sang Lee smiling.

Sang Lee has spent 28.5 years as a faculty instructor in the Mathematics department at GRCC.

A favorite story of Sang’s speaks to the excellent academic experience our students have at GRCC.

“A student of mine failed math classes in high school but eventually received a PhD degree in pure mathematics and became a department chair at a private university.”

By attending college meetings and relating with other faculty, Sang felt connected to GRCC.

When it comes to retirement, Sang’s plans are certainly also advice to ALL of us:

Walk more than sit. 

See in 3D more than 2D (12″) screen. 

Spend more time with my daughters.

Sounds like a lovely retirement! Congratulations and best wishes Sang!

Retirement bio of Jeff Smoes

Jeff Smoes smiling.

Jeff Smoes will be retiring after serving GRCC for 31 years.

He has always worked in the Facilities Department. He started as a student worker, then hired full time July 1, 1991 as a custodian working Tuesday to Friday on Grounds and Saturdays he opened Buildings for weekend classes, and is currently Lead Groundsperson.

Jeff shares, “I just enjoyed all the people I have met and students along the way on my way through the years at GRCC.”

The experience that most demonstrated that Jeff belonged at GRCC comes from back when he was a student worker. He worked for Dan Babcock and David Cope and did whatever they wanted him to do. They didn’t watch over or give too much instructions, he just did the work.

There are a couple of memories that Jeff particularly remembers. They put him in G1 storage and he cleaned and organized it so you could see what was in there and get around. The other is they put him in the Ford Fieldhouse gym and he helped with scrubbing the whole gym floor.

“That is when Dan started asking me to work full time but I wanted to keep going to school. He asked me about 3 or 4 times before I decided that I would take him up on his offer.”

Regarding his retirement plans, Jeff plans on taking some time off and see what comes up. “I have a lot of different offers of work full and part time but I’m not making any commitments.”

Jeff reflects: “This has been a great place to work and I have met some great people along the way. I feel I gave GRCC the best I could do and did all they asked of me for the greater good of the college (Staff and Students)”

Building Blocks to Social Equity continues

Consider enrolling in the January and February sessions of the Building Blocks to Social Equity series facilitated by Sophia Brewer, Assistant Professor, M.L.I.S. 

The discussion continues with: 

Learning Social Equity Through Play

Friday, January 7, 2022

10:00-11:30 a.m.

In person – 206 LLC (2nd floor GRCC Library)

Intergroup Dialogue & Empowerment

Friday, February 4, 2022

10:00-11:30 a.m.

In person – 206 LLC (2nd floor GRCC Library)

Register via the Professional Development tile in your Online Center account.

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.

Important 2021 year-end payroll information

2021 W-2 Availability

  • Electronic W-2’s will be made available to employees who have given consent by January 14, 2022.
  • Paper W-2’s will be mailed to employees who have not given consent to receive them electronically on January 31, 2022. Paper W-2’s will not be available for pick up in Human Resources.

Verify Your Personal Information

  • Verify and update your personal information through the Online Center by following the instructions found at http://www.grcc.edu/payrollandbenefits/forms/yearend. For assistance with personal information changes, please email Human Resources at hr@grcc.edu no later than January 7, 2022 to have the changes on your W-2.

Update your Tax Withholding Forms

  • NEW 2022 tax forms will be available in January on the payroll web page at https://www.grcc.edu/humanresources/forms/payrollforms. New tax forms should be completed if:
    • You moved in or out of the cities of Grand Rapids or Walker.
    • Your filing status has changed.
    • You are currently claiming exempt, to not have any withholding for Federal or State taxes, you are required to complete a new 2022 W-4 no later than February 5, 2022.

1095-C Tax Form

  • All benefited employees will have a tax form 1095-C mailed to them on January 31 from PlanSource. You do not need this form to file your tax return, but you should keep this form with your tax records. 

For Informational Purposes Only

  • The 2022 Social Security tax rate is schedule to remain 6.2%, and the Medicare tax rate remains 1.45%.
  • The 2022 social security wage base will increase to $147,000.00.
  • The 2022 limitation for elective deferrals under a 403(b) or 457(b) will increase to $20,500.00 and the additional catch up provision for individuals age 50 and over remains unchanged at $6,500.00, for a total of $27,000.00

Campus Dining finals week hours

The Quiet Cafe, Raider Grill & Sneden Cafe will all be open during their regular hours Monday- Wednesday. 

They will be closed starting Thursday Dec 16 for the Holiday Break and reopen Jan 10 with the same hours and services

Staff & Faculty: don’t forget to come on Thursday from 8 a.m. – 11 a.m. to The Quiet Cafe & Sneden Cafe for your Holiday Drink!

Happy Holidays!

Keaton Krupa
Director of Campus Dining

Grand Rapids Community College,
122 Lyon St. NE, Grand Rapids, MI. 49503
810-877-8186 Direct
616-234-4169 Office


Late Learning Day 2022 registration

The Center for Teaching Excellence is available to take late registrations for Learning Day 2022. If you still need to register go to cte@grcc.edu with a list of sessions you’re interested in attending and we’ll get you registered.

For a list of available Learning Day sessions, click here.

Lunch Registration is still open for those that will be on campus and participating in Learning Day 2022. The CTE is providing a Grab and Go Box Lunch in the Ford Fieldhouse at 12:30 p.m.

If you have not yet registered for lunch, click here and follow the Learning Day 2022 Registrations instructions and submit your name while there is still availability.