My Story Started at GRCC: Pediatric kidney transplant coordinator Liz Jirous says GRCC ‘truly wants to see students succeed’

Liz Jirous smiling.

While a nursing student at Grand Rapids Community College, Liz Jirous appreciated the support she received from faculty and her fellow students.

“The GRCC environment is built for nontraditional students who are juggling many things in addition to getting their education,” she said. “I was able to learn adaptability and flexibility under pressure, which helped prepare me to be a nurse.”

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.

After receiving her associate degree in 2008, Jirous transferred to Ferris State University and earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing. She then received a master’s in nursing from Capella University.

She started work as an inpatient nurse at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital soon after receiving her GRCC degree. She then worked as an inpatient supervisor. In 2015, she became the hospital’s pediatric kidney transplant coordinator.

Jirous has also come back to GRCC to teach clinicals to nursing students.

“GRCC truly wants to see their students succeed and provides the support to help make that happen,” she said. “There is so much value in walking next to someone through their journey versus simply providing vague directions. GRCC did that, and, for me, that was priceless.”

Let GRCC help you start your story. The first chapter starts at grcc.edu/apply.

$1.4 million reasons to apply: GRCC Foundation scholarship priority deadline is March 15

Perla Mascorro smiling.

Grand Rapids Community College student Perla Mascorro has faced obstacles during her pursuit of a medical career. Her hard work has helped her overcome some of them; a scholarship from the GRCC Foundation helped transcend others.

The foundation plans to distribute $1.4 million in more than 300 scholarships to more than 1,000 students this year, and students can apply by filling out just one application. The priority deadline is March 15. The application and additional information can be found at grcc.edu/scholarships.

“I’ve witnessed firsthand the transformation in students when they get help overcoming financial challenges,” said Dr. Kathryn Mullins, vice president of College Advancement and the foundation’s executive director. “Scholarships take a burden off our students, allowing them to focus on their academic goals.”

The GRCC Foundation awarded $1.28 million in scholarships to students last year, including Mascorro.

“I came to the United States six years ago without knowing how to speak a single word in English,” said Mascorro, who is enrolled in GRCC’s Medical Assisting program. “Today, I am about to fulfill my dream!”

The foundation’s Spectrum Health Care Professionals Education Scholarship has been vital to her education, especially with the gas she needs for hour-long commute to classes.

“The scholarship was important for me because it helped me to pay part of my education to achieve my goal and improve my life,” said Mascorro, who is working and raising a son while attending college.

This semester, one in five GRCC students has tuition covered by a scholarship, grant or state program, removing cost as an obstacle to a life-changing education.

Many more students could take advantage of foundation scholarship free-tuition programs if they complete the FAFSA – the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Students can connect with GRCC financial aid specialists by phone at (616) 234-4030; email at financialaid@grcc.edu; or virtually or in-person by appointment.

IIPD Grant Applications: Due on March 18 by 4:30 pm

The deadline for the submission of grant applications for the Instructional Improvement & Professional Development (IIPD) Grant program is 4:30 pm on March 18, 2020.

Information about how to apply for an IIPD grant can be found on the Grants Department web page.

Please note that applications must include a Dean’s Approval Form and a Department Head Approval Form, and a budget with documentation of costs.

If you have any questions about IIPD grants, please contact Lisa Dopke, director of grant development, at 234-3340 or ldopke@grcc.edu. Good luck!

GRCC In the News 02/28/2022

Exploring Grand Rapids throughout Black History Month and beyond

2/23/22 rapidgrowthmedia.com

Stemming from Negro History Week, Black History Month is an opportunity to “celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history.” 

… Located on Fountain Street, on the south side of Grand Rapids Community College’s campus, is the Helen Claytor statue. Having served both the national and Grand Rapids YWCA in various capacities, Claytor made her mark. As the first Black woman to serve as president of the national YWCA board of directors, Claytor led the “justice and equality imperative, specifically ‘the elimination of racism wherever it exists and by any means necessary,’” which became a tenet of all YWCAs.

GRCC: Deadline approaching for $1.4 million in scholarships

2/25/22 FOX 17                                                   

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) is encouraging students to apply for the GRCC Foundation Scholarship before the deadline on March 15.

GRCC director urges all students to fill out FAFSA

2/25/22 WOOD TV

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Colleges across the country are already gearing up for another school year, encouraging students to file for federal aid. Grand Rapids Community College has several resources to help students understand what aid is available.

 ‘Music is about saying things without words’

2/25/22 schoolnewsnetwork.org (Kent Intermediate School District)

Northview — Senior Elijah Cosby plays virtually every percussion instrument, including drum set, marimba, xylophone and timpani. He is lead snare drum in jazz and concert bands, and is section leader in the marching band. As a side gig after school, he plays with the Grand Rapids Community College’s jazz band and jazz combo. And he just may be after his uncle’s job.

Murdered civil rights leader’s legacy still visible in Grand Rapids

2/26/22 WOOD TV

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Every year, the Grand Rapids Community College gives out the Giant Award named after her. But who was activist Phyllis Scott?

Replacing retirees keeps South Haven officials busy

2/27/22 Grand Haven Tribune

While municipalities, school districts and businesses continue to face challenges in hiring staff during the ongoing pandemic, the City of South Haven has managed to find nine new people to fill positions that opened over the past year due to retirements or employees finding jobs elsewhere.

… Richmond, originally from South Haven, previously served as a Dowagiac Police Officer. He graduated from the Delta College Police Academy and has an associate degree in criminal justice from Mid-Michigan College. (Eric) Garcia-Murillo served as a Covert Police Officer prior to joining South Haven’s police force. He graduated from Grand Rapids Community College Police Academy and has an associate degree in law enforcement from Grand Rapids Community College. (Joshua) Lee graduated from Grand Rapids Community College Police Academy and holds a bachelor of science degree in business administration from Ferris State University.

Provost restructuring updates and ASA reorganization slides & recording

Provost Brian Knetl will share the work on the reorganization in Academic and Student Affairs at several points during the week.

“This has been a long, but rewarding process. I am excited to share more details as this new structure will build capacity and facilitate coordination of efforts across ASA,” he said. “I plan to share the new structure and give time for question and answer starting tomorrow and over the next several days through several virtual open forums.”

Provost will presented the overall reorganization that included Q&A. The recording of the presentation given on Wednesday is available below. Attached are the slides from yesterday’s presentation on the ASA reorganization. You can also view the recording here.

Provost Restructuring Presentation 2 23 22

Thursday, February 24th, Friday, February 25th, and Monday, February 28th there will be four additional open forums for Q&A. 

He also said, “On Monday, March 7 (after mid-semester break), I will send an email with the link to the reorganization presentation along with any updates that might have come out of the Q&A sessions.”

Policies Updated

GRCC has reviewed/updated policies

February 2022

Policy Meeting

11.7 Disposal of Surplus, Used or Obsolete Furniture & Equipment

  • Updated link in Procedures

14.2 Firearms, Explosives or Weapons

  • Updated “Campus Police” to “GRCC Police” throughout policy

11.19 Lobbying

  • No changes

11.20 Supplanting of Federal Funds

  • No changes

14.10 Service Animals

  • No changes

6.1 Transgender and Non-Binary Equal Opportunity

  • Replaced the term “gender non-conforming” with “non-binary” and defined the term “non-binary”.
  • Revised the Policy title to reflect that the Policy applies to transgender and non-binary individuals.
  • Updated the “Related Documents” Section to place the related College Policies in ascending numerical order and to reference to GRCC Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy.
  • Added language to the “Campus Records” section to reflect that students and employees should be aware that, in certain circumstances, the College may be required to use a student or employee’s legal name (rather than their preferred name).
  • Added language to the “Campus Records” section to provide resources for student or employee inquiries relating to College documents where legal or preferred names may be used.
  • Revised Policy procedures so that the Student Records office is the contact for all student preferred name change requests, email change requests, and/or locker room access update requests.
  • Revised Policy procedures so that the Human Resources Information Specialist is the contact for all employee preferred name change requests, email change requests, and/or locker room access update requests.
  • Identified the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion as a resource for transgender or non-binary individuals.
  • Numerous formatting changes.  Added or repaired web links for organizations providing resources.
  • Added the Registrar as a Policy contact.

The new/revised policies have been added to the College Policies website.

Easy as A-B-C: New GRCC parking ramp names will ease confusion for students and community members navigating campus

Parking at Grand Rapids Community College will be easy as A-B-C when students return from spring break.

The college’s three main parking ramps will have new names, making it easier for students and community members to find them, part of a comprehensive wayfinding system that will touch all areas of the downtown campus.

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

Changing the names of the parking ramps will eliminate confusion, as people often looked for entrances on the streets included in the name of the ramp. Floors will be identified by colors.

The Bostwick Ramp will be Ramp A, the Lyons Ramp will be Ramp B and the DeVos Campus Ramp will be Ramp C.

New signs are planned to be set in place in the week ahead, and other signs across campus will follow.

The $600,000 wayfinding 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.

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 Communications Department graphic design team. Universal Sign Systems of Grand Rapids heads the construction phase of the project.

The design is similar to the one used to highlight GRCC students on banners attached to streetlight poles throughout campus.

Large signs with the current logo will be erected at key intersections to identify where the campus begins and ends. The Gerald R. Ford Fieldhouse and Wisner-Bottrall Applied Technology Center will have video display boards to inform students and community members about campus events.

Building addresses will be featured prominently on external signs to assist people following directions on their mobile phones and other devices.

Pedestrian signs with maps are intended to help people traverse the campus on foot, especially those looking to between the nearby DeVos Campus and the Main Campus.

GRCC has made parking on campus less expensive in recent years, part of an overall effort to make a college education more accessible and affordable.

Since fall 2020, students can enter and exit GRCC student parking lots multiple times each day while only being charged once for parking.

Drivers must swipe their RaiderCard when entering and exiting the ramp for this feature to work. Students will be charged $3.50 when they exit the first time and will be able to enter and exit the rest of the day for free. They must use their RaiderCard for all entries and exits for this feature to work. Money can be added to RaiderCards through machines on campus or online. 

That change made it easier for students to leave campus between classes for work or home responsibilities, or drive between the DeVos Campus and Main Campus and not pay more than the daily $3.50 rate.

GRCC In the News 02/25/2022

12 ‘transformational’ projects identified by Grand Rapids economic development group

2/24/22 MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — A regional economic development agency is joining a push to advocate for public funding for large-scale projects in the Grand Rapids area, including an outdoor amphitheater, Grand River restoration, affordable housing and more.

… Here’s the list of projects identified by The Right Place:

… Grand Rapids Community College Public Safety Training Center: “This center will accommodate comprehensive public safety training needs. It will include a classroom building, a large bay area for public safety vehicles, a burn tower” and more.

Provost restructuring updates and ASA reorganization slides & recording

Provost Brian Knetl will share the work on the reorganization in Academic and Student Affairs at several points during the week.

“This has been a long, but rewarding process. I am excited to share more details as this new structure will build capacity and facilitate coordination of efforts across ASA,” he said. “I plan to share the new structure and give time for question and answer starting tomorrow and over the next several days through several virtual open forums.”

Provost will presented the overall reorganization that included Q&A. The recording of the presentation given on Wednesday is available below. Attached are the slides from yesterday’s presentation on the ASA reorganization. You can also view the recording here.

Provost Restructuring Presentation 2 23 22

Thursday, February 24th, Friday, February 25th, and Monday, February 28th there will be four additional open forums for Q&A. 

He also said, “On Monday, March 7 (after mid-semester break), I will send an email with the link to the reorganization presentation along with any updates that might have come out of the Q&A sessions.”

Policies Updated

GRCC has reviewed/updated policies

February 2022

Policy Meeting

11.7 Disposal of Surplus, Used or Obsolete Furniture & Equipment

  • Updated link in Procedures

14.2 Firearms, Explosives or Weapons

  • Updated “Campus Police” to “GRCC Police” throughout policy

11.19 Lobbying

  • No changes

11.20 Supplanting of Federal Funds

  • No changes

14.10 Service Animals

  • No changes

6.1 Transgender and Non-Binary Equal Opportunity

  • Replaced the term “gender non-conforming” with “non-binary” and defined the term “non-binary”.
  • Revised the Policy title to reflect that the Policy applies to transgender and non-binary individuals.
  • Updated the “Related Documents” Section to place the related College Policies in ascending numerical order and to reference to GRCC Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy.
  • Added language to the “Campus Records” section to reflect that students and employees should be aware that, in certain circumstances, the College may be required to use a student or employee’s legal name (rather than their preferred name).
  • Added language to the “Campus Records” section to provide resources for student or employee inquiries relating to College documents where legal or preferred names may be used.
  • Revised Policy procedures so that the Student Records office is the contact for all student preferred name change requests, email change requests, and/or locker room access update requests.
  • Revised Policy procedures so that the Human Resources Information Specialist is the contact for all employee preferred name change requests, email change requests, and/or locker room access update requests.
  • Identified the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion as a resource for transgender or non-binary individuals.
  • Numerous formatting changes.  Added or repaired web links for organizations providing resources.
  • Added the Registrar as a Policy contact.

The new/revised policies have been added to the College Policies website.

DATE CHANGE: Cultural Competence Institute

The date has changed for the 2022 Cultural Competence Institute.

The session will take place on Friday, April 8, 2022, from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

The Provost and Office of Instructional Support have partnered to offer full-time faculty and staff free registration to the 2022 Cultural Competence Institute.
Please contact LaKenya Gissendanner at [ lgissend@grcc.edu ] to sign up for this opportunity by March 31.
This year’s CCI will focus on interweaving principles of equity into the strategic planning process. 

8:30 am to 9:15 am  
-Organizational triumphs when equity is critical to the strategic plan
-The ‘business case’ for embedding equity into the strategic plan
-How equity drives the institutional mission, values, purpose)
 

9:15 am to 10:00 am
-Fostering faculty engagement and leadership
-Action-centered practices faculty can adopt to embed equity
-Best practices in faculty and administration partnerships  
 
10:10 am to 11:15 am
-Key steps: How do we get there?

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.  

Provost restructuring updates and ASA reorganization slides & recording

Provost Brian Knetl will share the work on the reorganization in Academic and Student Affairs at several points during the week.

“This has been a long, but rewarding process. I am excited to share more details as this new structure will build capacity and facilitate coordination of efforts across ASA,” he said. “I plan to share the new structure and give time for question and answer starting tomorrow and over the next several days through several virtual open forums.”

Provost will presented the overall reorganization that included Q&A. The recording of the presentation given on Wednesday is available below. Attached are the slides from yesterday’s presentation on the ASA reorganization. You can also view the recording here.

Provost Restructuring Presentation 2 23 22

Thursday, February 24th, Friday, February 25th, and Monday, February 28th there will be four additional open forums for Q&A. 

He also said, “On Monday, March 7 (after mid-semester break), I will send an email with the link to the reorganization presentation along with any updates that might have come out of the Q&A sessions.”