Homecoming activities Wednesday, Feb. 16

Wednesday, Feb. 16

  • Employees are invited to a Winter Warm-up presented by the GRCC Human Resources Department. Three kinds of soup will be available as a grab-and-go meal between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. at Sneden Hall Room 103 and Student Center Room 234.
  • Students can participate in a BINGO night sponsored by the Campus Activities Board in the Raider Grill between 5:30 and 7 p.m.

Postponed – Creating your own Charcuterie Board with Alumni Chef Jennifer Fillenworth

  • New date to be determined.

Additional information is available at grcc.edu/homecoming.

My Story Started at GRCC: Bob Cisler and Mike Sherd design the machines that make your Valentine’s Day treats

Bob Cisler and Mike Sherd standing side by side..

People around the world are celebrating Valentine’s Day with gifts of candy – including popular treats created on machines designed and assembled by Grand Rapids Community College graduates Bob Cisler and Mike Sherd.

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.

Cisler and Sherd, along with fellow GRCC grad Tom Jasper, run Egan Food Technologies in Walker. They design and create customized machinery that makes confections, baked goods and snack foods. Clients include Hershey and Atkins, and products created by their equipment includes the Reese’s peanut butter hearts, Atkins protein bars, and the big cookies in Jimmy John’s sandwich shops.

Cisler earned an Associate of Science degree from what was then Grand Rapids Junior College in 1972, with Jasper earning an Associate of Arts degree three years later. Sherd earned his Associate of Arts from GRCC in 1995.

The company designs and manufactures customized chocolate molding, depositing and extruding equipment that forms products like candy bars, chocolate candies with fillings, and cookie dough.

“I graduated from Union High in 1970 and wasn’t sure what I wanted to do,” Cisler said. “A counselor asked me what I liked, and I was good at math and science. He told me I’d make a good engineer.”

Cisler graduated from the University of Michigan two years later. He said the GRJC classes were more affordable, and he appreciated the smaller class sizes.

“The one thing I liked about engineering is that you can do so many different things with the degree,” Cisler said. “I thought it was valuable. It was a tough degree to get, but once you have that, you have something they just don’t hand out to everyone. I didn’t know exactly what I was going to do with it, but it was a great start. GRJC provided great value and solid academics.”

Sherd, a Kenowa Hills High School graduate, studied at GRCC before finishing at Grand Valley State University.

“GRCC gave me a good foundation,” he said. “The cost was a huge factor, and it allowed me to live at home.”

Sherd planned to be a math teacher. He determined he could take statics and dynamics engineering and advanced physics at GRCC, fulfilling prerequisite classes and taking advantage of the more affordable tuition. He later switched to engineering and transferred to GVSU.

He credits professors Jarrod Johnson and Jeff Stone for being especially helpful on his educational journey.

Cisler started at a Grand Rapids company called Werner Lehara that began in 1904 as the Dutch Cookie Machine Co. and in the 1980s created pretzel-making equipment and chocolate molds. He and Sherd formed a partnership with Jasper to form Egan Food Technologies in 2010.

From their 60,000-square-foot shop on Walker Court NW, they design and assemble machines for clients large and small nationwide.

And, they look at candy a little different than others with a sweet tooth.

“I look at how they did it,” Cisler said. “I look at the sheen and to see if the center filling is leaking out the sides.”

So, when you give your true love some chocolates today, look at it closely before taking a bite, recognize the craftmanship that went into creating it – and know that GRCC might have played a role.

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

Reminder that nominations for the Salute to Women Awards are due Feb. 18

The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI) wants to send out a friendly reminder that the Salute to Women Awards is right around the corner.

The deadline for all nomination submissions are due Friday, February 18, 2022.

The award celebrates the accomplishments of women and gender equity advocates who impact the GRCC community.

The award is open to all GRCC stakeholders regardless of gender or gender identity.

The awards recognition ceremony will take place Tuesday, March 29 at 11 a.m. in the ATC 168.

The nomination form is available on the ODEI Salute to Women website.

Homecoming events today

Today’s Homecoming Celebrations kicked off with Breakfast with the Presidents, with GRCC President Bill Pink teaming up with Student Alliance President Brendan Burke for grab-and-go breakfast sandwiches, muffins, and fruit.

A vaccination clinic for students, employees, and community members continues until 2 p.m. on the fourth floor of Raleigh J. Finkelstein Hall.

Students, employees and departments – and pets — showed off their GRCC school spirit. Check them out in the photo gallery.

Tonight, LaTosha Brown, an award-winning activist, will offer the keynote address for this year’s Black History Month program hosted by Grand Rapids Community College’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. The virtual event, free and open to the public, will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 15, at 6 p.m. Registration is available via Eventbrite at: tinyurl.com/GRCCequity

Conservation on Drugs: Challenges and Solutions rescheduled for Feb. 21

The Jennifer Devine lecture, originally scheduled for February 7, has been rescheduled for Monday, February 21.

The 6 p.m. lecture will take place in-person at the ATC, room 168, and will also be livestreamed.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at your convenience, either by phone or email, so I can be of further help.

Stacey Herrick, Social Sciences & Psychology Departments

(616) 234-4283 / sherrick@grcctoday

GRCC In the News 02/15/2022

 Young Alumni Award recipient says GRCC was ‘a pathway to the future’

2/14/22 secondwavemedia.com

For Trimell Hawkins, Grand Rapids Community College’s first Young Alumni Award recipient, GRCC “is more than a school; it’s a pathway to the future.”

New carpets, more supports: How Michigan colleges would spend Whitmer plan

2/14/22 Bridge magazine

Montcalm Community College would bolster skilled trades training to meet local housing demand. Grand Rapids Community College could fund a program to prepare new students for college life. And Oakland University would like a boost in state funding on par with other universities.  


2/14/22 Community College Daily (American Association of Community Colleges)

… Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer last month highlighted Grand Rapids Community College student Jodi Holland during her state of the state address. Holland, 59, is using the Michigan Reconnect program to attend GRCC with a goal of becoming a professional baker. (Photo: GRCC)

Startup looking to kill cancer gets $500K investment from new venture capital fund

2/14/22 WOOD TV

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A medical startup aiming to start eradicating a patient’s cancer within hours of diagnostics is the first company to be backed by a Grand Rapids-based venture capital fund investing in minority-owned businesses.

… NCTF (New Community Transformation Fund) is founded by Birgit Klohs, who said she was inspired to create West Michigan’s first venture capital firm to take a “demographic slant” after a “very intense” two-year diversity, equity and inclusion program chaired by Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss and Grand Rapids Community College President Dr. Bill Pink.

12+ Cool Cooking Classes for Kids & Adults – West Michigan

2/14/22 Grand Rapids Kids

My kitchen is one of the busiest rooms in our house. We love to cook.

… GRCC Cooks – Your Community Kitchen