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.

We are delighted to host Dr. J. Luke Wood as this year’s guest faculty member. Dr. Wood will provide strategies for embedding access, equity, and inclusion principles into the newly adopted Strategic Plan.

To register and remit the $100 fee, visit:

Volunteers needed for Commencement

Dr. Bill Pink at 2021 Commencement.

Commencement is a special time for our GRCC family! Show your support for our graduates by volunteering to help make this time memorable for our students.

Commencement will take place on Friday, April 29 beginning at 7 PM (School of Arts and Sciences) and Saturday, April 30 beginning at 1 PM (School of Workforce Development).

Most volunteer positions will require you to arrive approximately 1.5 – 2 hours prior to the start of commencement.

Complete this quick form to let us know your interest in volunteering. We will respond with additional information and your specific volunteer assignment at a later date.

Tech Tip: International travel requirements

While working at GRCC, you may have the opportunity to travel for your position to many great places, some of which may be internationally. Make sure you’re fully prepared for your international travel by working with IT to ensure your data is safe. 

To ensure the safety of your data and the colleges here are some practices to follow when you are traveling outside of the country. 

  1. Staff traveling out of the country should not use their assigned college equipment. Instead they should get a loaner computer from IT.
  2. All laptops traveling out of the country will need to be encrypted.
  3. If there are special software needs, those exceptions need to be addressed by Information Security and the Director of IT Customer Support.

Please know when traveling outside of the U.S., some foreign Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) block U.S. based websites, making it difficult to access certain resources. If you would like to know if you may run into issues you can submit an International Travel Security Check and we will review if any of the GRCC resources you plan to access will be unavailable from your destination(s).

If you have any other questions about the international travel requirements please feel free to reach out to IT Customer Support with your questions.

GRCC In the News 02/24/2022

FAFSA form is first step is cutting education costs


Community college continues to be an affordable option for people looking for skills training or to begin their college education. 

This semester, one in five Grand Rapids Community College students is having their tuition covered by a grant or scholarship program, removing cost as an obstacle to a life-changing education.

West MI police academies recruitment numbers drop ‘significantly’

2/22/22 WOOD TV

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — As a deputy shortage continues across West Michigan, multiple sheriffs told News 8 that a major cause is a declining number of recruits.  

… The director of the part-time police academy at Grand Rapids Community College, Dave Kok, told News 8 they saw 50 to 60 applicants a year from 2016 to 2021, but that number dropped “significantly” in 2022. He said he believes the numbers “are going to swing around.”  

One in Five GRCC Students with Dr. Bill Pink

2/23/22 WOOD Radio                  

(President Pink interviewed about students attending GRCC tuition-free.)

Financial aid specialists will help GRCC students complete federal form to get money for school

2/23/22 MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Grand Rapids Community College officials are urging students to take advantage of state and federal grants and scholarship opportunities that may be available to them by filling out their federal financial aid applications.

Rotary Club names Fred Meijer service award winner

2/23/22 Grand Rapids Business Journal

The Rotary Club of Grand Rapids named its recipients of the Frederik Meijer Service Above Self Award.

… The Custers have served several organizations, such as the Western Michigan University Foundation, the Grand Rapids Community College Foundation, Hope on the Hill Foundation and Clark Retirement Community. Dave Custer also is a member and past president of the Rotary Club of Grand Rapids, member and past chair of the Grand Rapids Economic Club, member and past president of Cascade Hills Country Club and director at Irwin Seating.

He’s a leader who is always learning

2/23/22 (Kent Intermediate School District)

Kent ISD — Didasi Mbongya readily shares his secret for leadership: accept as many opportunities as possible.

… Sound like enough opportunities accepted? Not for 21-year-old Mbongya. He also attends Grand Rapids Community College, where he is working toward a career in international relations, and works a third-shift manufacturing job. He’s also a catechist and member of the parish council at his church.

Grand Rapids renames streets for César E. Chávez and Martin Luther King Jr.

2/23/22 MLive

Grand Rapids Community College President Dr. Bill Pink speaks to the crowd gathered for the indoor ceremony held for the unveiling of the renamed César E. Chávez Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Street signage installation at Iglesia de Dios Manantial de Vid church in Grand Rapids on Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022. (Daniel Shular |

(This was a photo gallery.)

Together again: ‘Musical Moods’ showcases GRCC student talent, opportunities in performing arts

GRCC music students.

Grand Rapids Community College’s music students are coming together for the Music Department’s 74th “Musical Moods” performance, both a celebration of student hard work and talent, and an opportunity to showcase the college’s performing arts opportunities.

The performance is planned for 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 25 at Northview High School’s Max Colley Jr. Performing Arts Center, 4451 Hunsberger Ave NE in Plainfield Township.

“Musical Moods” presents a cross section of all the Music Department’s ensembles and features student soloists and small ensembles, said Kevin Dobreff, GRCC Music Department program director.

Last year’s concert was presented virtually due to the pandemic, and Dobreff said faculty and students are excited to be performing together again.

“The best part is all the student groups being on stage together and getting to see and experience what all the other ensembles are doing,” Dobreff said. “It’s an opportunity for our students, and the community, too, to see the camaraderie and collaboration from our faculty members. It’s an exciting night.”

Presented as a musical collage, the concert will seamlessly flow from one performance to the next. No one performance is longer than six minutes.

“Musical Moods” was started 74 years ago by Albert P. Smith, founder of the music department, at what was then Grand Rapids Junior College.

Dobreff said the department typically presents the show in high schools across the region, taking advantage of larger performing arts centers. But the concert also serves as an opportunity for potential students and families to see the high quality of GRCC’s Music Department instruction and students, and inspire them to attend the college.

The concert will include submissions by student groups including the college orchestra, jazz ensemble, guitar ensemble, string quartet, percussion ensemble, choir, and wind ensemble.  

The college’s Shades of Blue vocal group will perform, as well as students Madilyne Barbrick, Desteny Zuniga Elms, Kathrynn Davis, and Abagail Solomon performing as Cantus Femina. The duo of Hailey Ergang and Anastasia Fiorenzo will be accompanied on piano by Emily Grabinski Conklin. Soloist David Dziuban will perform on guitar.

Tickets are $12 for adults, $6 for students, seniors, veterans, and active military members. GRCC students, and students attending any of the K-12 schools in the Kent Intermediate School District are admitted free with their school identification.

Tickets are available here.

Student Leadership Awards: Nominations due by Friday, February 25

Our college is filled with students who represent a variety of backgrounds and possess a broad range of strength, resilience, interests, and goals. Please send in your nominations for those students who contribute in their own unique ways to the depth and breadth of the experience here on our campus.

Their dedication could not be overstated and nominations will build student confidence and inspire them to persevere and to reach even higher. 

Nominations for a variety of student awards are open now until Friday, February 25 at 10 p.m. Student Alliance and Campus Activities Board have introduced 3 new awards they are seeking nominations for which include recognition of students from our Lakeshore and M-TEC campuses as well as a student athlete in tandem with this year’s theme “Above and Beyond”. 

Send in your nominations and save your spot today by logging in to Raider Connect with your GRCC credentials and clicking the ‘Forms’ tab.

Student Leadership Awards on Thursday, March 17 from 3-6 p.m.

New hours for Sneden Computer Lab

Monday          Closed  

Tuesday         9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Wednesday   9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Thursday       9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.  

Saturday & Sunday Closed

Tutorial Labs

ATC Tutorial and Open Lab

Biology Learning Center

Business & Economics Tutorial Lab

Calculus & Physical Science

Health Sciences Resource & Tutorial Lab

Language Arts Tutorial Lab

Math Prep & Learning Lab

Mechanical & Architectural CAD Lab

Sneden Computer Lab

Mathematics Tutorial Lab

Provost offering updates on restructuring plan

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.”

Thursday, February 24th, Friday, February 25th, and Monday, February 28th there will be four additional open forums for Q&A.  The recording of the presentation given on Wednesday will be made available.

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.”

Recap of February Strategic Leadership Team (SLT) Meeting

GRCC’s Strategic Leadership Team (SLT) met on Friday, February 18, from 9 a.m. -noon.  Here is a recap of the meeting:

  • As part of SLT’s work this year to support the development of a revised GRCC Strategic Plan, the team continued its presentation and review of feedback about our current Strategic Goals and suggestions for updating the goal definitions, indicators, and CAPs.
  • Provost Knetl introduced our Achieving the Dream (ATD) coaches and guests, Donna McKusick and Jerrett Dumouchel, who attended the meeting to share an overview of the ATD Institutional Capacity Assessment Tool (ICAT) and summarize the results from GRCC’s recent administration of the ICAT.  Following this presentation, SLT members in attendance participated in a Capacity Café of three breakout discussion rounds to review and discuss the summary results, according to the seven ICAT capacities (Teaching & Learning, Engagement & Communication, Strategy & Planning, Policies & Practices, Leadership & Vision, Data & Technology, and Equity).
  • SLT’s next meeting is Friday, March 18th.  During this meeting, SLT will continue to refine our draft strategic plan recommendations.   
  • Revised 2018-2022 GRCC Strategic Plan brochures are available!  Please contact LaKenya Gissendanner at to request copies.  You can also download the electronic version here.
  • Please contact Sheila Jones,, if you have any questions about SLT meetings.

About the Strategic Leadership Team: The purpose of the Strategic Leadership Team (SLT) is to provide a forum that enables a wide variety of college constituency groups the opportunity to provide input into the present and future direction of the College.  This team will guide the development and on-going implementation of our strategic plan, review benchmarking data, study budget realities and offer recommendations for budget priorities.  SLT’s membership includes over 90 representatives of the college community.  Please visit this page to learn more about SLT.

Wellness Wednesday: February is Healthy Heart Month

Beth Damon in GRCC's gym.

Emerging from the pandemic means many of us need to discard some bad habits and maybe even some extra pounds we picked up while locked down. Luckily, February is Healthy Heart Month, and is a good reminder of why it’s a good idea to focus on keeping the ticker in top shape.

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.

Beth Damon knows a lot about keeping hearts healthy. She’s a member of the GRCC Exercise Science Department, and has been a certified personal trainer since 1998. Beth is certified to teach a variety of exercise subjects, including kickboxing, mat Pilates, Zumba, and yoga.

Beth has a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and Psychology from Hope College and a master’s degree in education curriculum from Cornerstone University.

Now, there are many aspects to heart health, including eating a balanced diet and being mindful of stress and other challenges that lead to high blood pressure.

Physical activity is a key component, especially after times where we got used to settling in and binge-watching shows. The experts at Johns Hopkins recommend three types of exercise that are especially heart healthy.

Aerobics, ideally 30 minutes a day, five days a week. Aerobic exercise improves circulation, which results in lowered blood pressure and heart rate. Brisk walking, running, swimming, cycling, playing tennis and jumping rope are good examples, and we have a great walking track, pool and fitness center here at GRCC that is free for students and employees to use.

Resistance training can help reduce fat and create leaner muscle mass. Research shows that a combination of aerobic exercise and resistance work may help raise HDL (good) cholesterol and lower LDL (bad) cholesterol. Working out twice a week with free weights on weight machines, with resistance bands or through body-resistance exercises, such as push-ups, squats and chin-ups will help!

Stretching isn’t technically exercise, and doesn’t directly contribute to heart health. But the Johns Hopkins experts say it sets the stage for the other exercises, enabling folks to stay flexible and free from joint pain, cramping and other muscular issues — critical to being able to maintain aerobic exercise and resistance training.

The Centers for Disease Control have a whole tool kit to help with Healthy Heart Month and beyond. You can find it here:

And, you can learn more about courses taught by Beth and the rest of the Exercise Science team here:

Loud and proud: Official GRCC Raiders athletic apparel available for limited time through online store

Basketball players holding basketballs.

GRCC Athletics fans can now support their teams and athletes with customized Raiders apparel, available for a short time through an online store.

The Athletic Department is partnering with BIG Team Store to make official Raiders jackets, shirts, caps, and other items available through March 7. 

“We’re proud of our student-athletes and our programs, and we’re excited for this opportunity for students and supporters to have official GRCC Raiders apparel,” GRCC Athletic Director Lauren Ferullo said. “This is gear people can wear while cheering in the stands or representing Raider Nation around town.”

Adidas is the official supplier of GRCC athletics and all apparel will include GRCC athletic logos. This is the first time that apparel with the current GRCC Raiders logo is available to the public.

The apparel is available at, and the passcode RAIDERS22 will lead to the GRCC merchandise. The store is open now, and the deadline to order is 8 a.m. on March 7. Products will be delivered in mid-to-late April.

March learning opportunities


Spring is right around the corner!

March 9

Good People Make Mistakes

March 10

25Live Searches & Reports

March 11

Strategic Planning at GRCC

March 15 

Roadmap for GRCC leaders

March 17

Active Shooter Response Training

Show Me The Money

March 18

Mindfulness Made Simple

March 21

GRCC Accounts Explained

March 23

Personal Stages of Growth and the Stages of Change

March 24

Google Chat and Meet

March 25

Evidence Based Selection

March 28

Emotionally Intelligent Leaders

March 30

Intro To Peoplesoft

March 31

Current State of Data Security

Vitamins & Supplements

Interfaith Roundtable: Can there be good without a higher power?

The Interfaith Roundtable fosters intentional positive interaction and relationships using three pillars of Interfaith Literacy; developing an appreciative knowledge of another tradition, developing the ability to identify shared values between different traditions, and knowing the history of interfaith cooperation.

Join us on Wednesday, February 23 at Noon to discuss goodness in the presence or absence of faith.


Thank you edback