GRCC In the News 03/07/2022

Amazon to provide free tuition for hourly employees at four Michigan colleges

3/4/22 The Detroit Free Press

Amazon is providing its hourly employees with free tuition at over 140 colleges across the country, including at four Michigan universities. 

The online shopping giant employs 750,000 people on hourly wages, and 26,000 in Michigan, according to the news release. Each Michigan employee will now have access to free education at Eastern Michigan University, Grand Rapids Community College, Grand Valley State University or Henry Ford College.

Amazon Providing Free Tuition For Hourly Workers At 4 Michigan Colleges

3/4/22 CBS Detroit

Amazon is providing free tuition at four Michigan universities to its hourly employees.

… The schools in Michigan partnering with Amazon are Eastern Michigan University, Grand Rapids Community College, Grand Valley State University and Henry Ford College.

Two West Michigan institutions of learning are education partners with Amazon

3/4/22 WGVU

Over the past decade, corporations have been investing in their employees. But in the current economy with worker shortages and increased competition for talent, employee benefit delivery is evolving.

… Grand Valley State University is partnering with Amazon. It’s committing $1.2 billion nationwide. By the year 2025, it hopes to upskill more than 300,000 associates. With two Kent County Amazon Fulfillment Centers, workers are taking advantage of the program. Kara Van Dam, vice provost for Graduate and Lifetime Learning explains the process. It begins with an Amazon associate logging in to the Career Choice portal where they select from area educators Eastern Michigan University, Grand Rapids Community College, Henry Ford College and Grand Valley State University.

Dos hispanos anuncian candidatura a Representante Estatal y Comisionado del Condado de Kent

3/4/22 El Vocero

GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN (EVH)- Dos hispanos han anunciado su candidatura para dos puestos importantes, uno en el Estado de Representantes y otro en la Junta de Comisionados del Condado de Kent, esto se produce después de que estos dos cargos fueran recientemente reasignados, para cubrir áreas donde viven principalmente los grupos de minorías étnicas.

… (Ivan) Diaz (Botello) Díaz nació en Grand Rapids y creció en los vecindarios de Burton Heights, Godfrey-Lee y Roosevelt Park y se graduó de las Escuelas Públicas de Godfrey-Lee en 2016, recibió su título de Asociado en Artes de Grand Rapids Community College y actualmente está cursando una licenciatura en Ciencias Políticas en Grand Valley State University, además de servir en la Asociación de Antiguos Alumnos de Lee Soccer y en el Comité Directivo de Equidad Godfrey-Lee, como estadounidense de primera generación y estudiante universitario, tiene el compromiso de velar por las necesidades del distrito ya que posee la experiencia, las habilidades, la motivación y las conexiones para luchar por los problemas de la clase trabajadora.

(GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN (EVH)- Two Hispanics have announced their candidacy for two important positions, one on the State House of Representatives and one on the Kent County Board of Commissioners, this comes after these two positions were recently reassigned, to cover areas where mainly ethnic minority groups live.

… (Ivan) Diaz (Botello) was born in Grand Rapids and grew up in the Burton Heights, Godfrey-Lee and Roosevelt Park neighborhoods and graduated from Godfrey-Lee Public Schools in 2016, received his Associate of Arts degree from Grand Rapids Community College and is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Political Science at Grand Valley State University, in addition to serving on the Lee Soccer Alumni Association and the Equity Steering Committee Godfrey-Lee, as a first-generation American and college student, is committed to ensuring the needs of the district as he has the experience, skills, motivation and connections to fight for working class issues.)

Spotlight: Travis Mills

2/24/22 Corporate & Incentive Travel

“Never give up. Never quit.” That’s the message retired Army Staff Sgt. Travis Mills, of the 82nd Airborne, shares as a motivational speaker. This mantra is the driving force behind his remarkable life’s journey — his raison d’être — or reason for being.

… A self-described “small-town kid” from Michigan, he attended Grand Rapids Community College until he discovered the military offered the same camaraderie he had so enjoyed as a top football, baseball and basketball player, so he enlisted in 2006, and deployed three times. In 2012, his unit was going to Afghanistan, and while he didn’t have to go, he wanted to. “My guys were going, and I felt obligated to go as well. A month and a half later, I got blown up. I was transferred to Walter Reed where I had to learn to walk, feed myself, dress myself and so much more.”

Kalamazoo County’s first Director of Diversity Equity and Inclusion starts Monday March 7

3/4/22 WWMT

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Appointed by the Kalamazoo County Board of Commissioners in February, William Gray is set to begin work as the county’s the first Director of Diversity Equity and Inclusion on Monday, March 7.

… Gray has over 18 years of experience and training in anti-racism work, holding positions leading and coaching DEI success, strategic planning, and program management with organizations like Habitat for Humanity, Grand Rapids Community College, Urban Young Life Grand Rapids, and The Other Way Ministries.

Kalamazoo County hires its first director of diversity, equity and inclusion

3/4/22 MLive

KALAMAZOO, MI — Kalamazoo County Board of Commissioners have appointed William “Alvin” Gray as the county’s first director of diversity, equity and inclusion.

… He has held positions leading and coaching DEI success, strategic planning and program management with organizations including Habitat for Humanity, Grand Rapids Community College, Urban Young Life Grand Rapids and The Other Way Ministries, the county said.

Michigan’s Women Brewers: How one day changed a young life

3/4/22 Huron Daily Tribune (Port Huron)

When Sydney Cannarozzi was young, she told us that she “didn’t know that I was going to work in beer. But as a teenager, I always thought that working in beer would be a dream job.”

… “It’s a lot different now,” she said. “I’ve met more women working in production in the last few years than I had in the first six. The brewing school at GRCC and Kalamazoo, there are a lot of women doing these programs. There is a lot of support now. Maybe we, as women, are not questioned as much as before. It’s much more positive.”

Latinx Youth Conference otorga becas de $1,000 a 4 estudiantes 

3/4/22 El Vocero

GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN– La Conferencia de Jóvenes Latinx 2022 se llevó a cabo de manera mixta esta vez (virtual y presenial), con la participación de 17 escuelas del oeste de Michigan, con más de 600 estudiantes de octavo grado y premiando a cuatro con becas de $1,000.

El evento se llevó a cabo de 11:00 am a 1:30 pm el pasado martes 1 de marzo, en el GRCC con un contenido pregrabado junto con la presentación principal en vivo, además de talleres presentados en asociación con Grand Rapids Community College, Grand Valley State University, Mercy Health.

(GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN– The Latinx Youth Conference 2022 was held in a mixed format this time (virtual and face-to-face), with the participation of 17 schools from western Michigan, with more than 600 eighth grade students and awarding four with $1,000 scholarships.

The event was held from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 1, at GRCC with pre-recorded content along with the main live presentation, as well as workshops presented in partnership with Grand Rapids Community College, Grand Valley State University, Mercy Health.)

Help spread the word to GRCC students: Over $1,000,000 in scholarships available to them from the GRCC Foundation

Please share and 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.  

My Story Started at GRCC: In MSU’s green and white world, Carolyn Miller works with the greenest

Grand Rapids Junior College alum Carolyn J. Miller smiling.

In the sea of green and white at Michigan State University, Grand Rapids Junior College alum Carolyn J. Miller works with the very greenest. 

Miller, who received her associate degree in 1987, is MSU’s plant recorder.

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.

“I use GIS (geographic information systems) technology to track and record all the trees and shrubs on campus,” she said. “Not only do I work with GIS, but I update the plant database with pertinent information to all trees and shrubs.”

Miller embarked on her higher ed journey at GRJC because of its affordable tuition, small classes and the help available at tutoring labs.

“I would spend hours in the math help labs to get the added instruction I needed,” she said. “Knowing that I could succeed in these classes solidified my continued education.”.

While she loved all her science classes – “every instructor I had went above and beyond to assist students” – Introduction to Botany and Organic Chemistry I and II were especially pivotal.

“My botany professor, Dr. Jack Heydenburg, encouraged me to focus on botany, as he saw my enthusiasm for the plant world,” she said. “I will be forever grateful for his encouragement.

“My organic chemistry professor, Dr. Ron Edwards, made me get outside my comfort zone in the lab. I was apprehensive on taking organic chemistry, knowing that I’d have to take it wherever I transferred to, but in the end, it was the best decision to take this class at GRJC.”

Miller went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in botany and plant pathology from MSU and is working on a master’s degree in biology at Miami University in Ohio.

After working at Frederik Meijer Gardens and then Naples Botanical Garden in Florida, she started at MSU in 2015.

“Life is not easy, and to find a career that fulfills you can be even tougher,” Miller said. “Getting all the experience you can in college is a must. Yes, some of those experiences might be lackluster, but in the end, you will not regret those chances. I have always strived to tackle any job, and, ultimately, this led me to my dream job.”

Let GRCC help you start your story. The first chapter starts at

Eurydice at Spectrum Theater

In Eurydice, Sarah Ruhl reimagines the classic myth of Orpheus through the eyes of its heroine.

Dying too young on her wedding day, Eurydice must journey to the underworld, where she reunites with her father and struggles to remember her lost love.  (Concord Theatricals)

March 17-19, 2022, 8 p.m.

Spectrum Theater, 160 Fountain St NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505

 Tickets Available

Woman floating underneath the water , with details about the play to the left.

GRCC women’s basketball team loses to Muskegon Community College in district championship

Grand Rapids Community College women's basketball team.

The Grand Rapids Community College women’s basketball season came to an end Saturday, losing in the NJCAA Great Lakes A District Championship game by a final of 70-50 to Muskegon Community College.

The team lost Grace Lodes, the top shot-blocker in the nation, for the first half after two quick fouls. But GRCC trailed by just two after the first quarter and eight at the half. Muskegon scored the final five points of the half to pull ahead 38-30 at the break.

GRCC, which finished in third place in the MCCAA Western Conference this year, couldn’t cut the deficit any closer and the conference champion Jayhawks prevailed by 20.

The loss ends GRCC’s season with a 20-11 record. Muskegon improved to 24-4 and is headed to the national tournament on a 13-game winning streak.

“Extremely proud of this group and ensuring they did this season,” Coach David Glazier said. “A tough ending to a great year, but excited to see this group build on their success.”

Teammates Sally Merrill and Marlene Bussler earned All-Tournament Team honors after excellent performances that included Bussler’s first career double-double and 40 points in the past two games for Merrill.

Against Muskegon, Merrill led all scorers with 18 points on 7 of 15 shots from the field and 3 of 7 shots from behind the arc.

Allison Kellogg and Bussler each scored nine points and Karissa Ferry led the team with eight rebounds.

Season Highlights for GRCC included:

Lodes led the nation in total blocks with 99 and ranked top-10 in conference in rebounding.

Merrill was sixth in the league scoring 16.2 points per game. She was also top-10 in minutes, field goals made, free throws made, rebounds and blocked shots.

Bussler finished top-10 in the conference in assists.

Glazier, in his sixth year as coach, posted the most wins in his GRCC career.

The team appeared in its seventh-straight district tournament appearance, and second-straight championship appearance.

The team finished first in the conference in total rebounds per game, defensive rebounds per game, opponents field goal percentage, block shots per game, and second in the league in opponents points per game, 52.2 points.

Do you have responsibility for managing resources at GRCC?

If so,  please check out the Supplier Diversity and Inclusion Page. There are a number of points and resources to help you along this journey. 

There is also an exciting new statement from President Pink emphasizing GRCC’s commitment to Supplier Diversity; A word from President Pink: A Commitment to Supplier Diversity at Grand Rapids Community College.

Also, always remember you can contact Melissa Davis @ x3853 or Mansfield Matthewson @ x3851 for any additional assistance.

Reminder: Sabbatical applications due Thursday, March 10

Sabbatical applications for the 2022-23 academic year are due to the Provost office by Thursday, March 10.

If you’re a full-time faculty member with at least six years of service, consider applying for a sabbatical.

Please visit the webpage for full details, including the online application and rubric.

If you have any questions, contact the Provost office at

GRCC transitions to making face coverings optional as COVID-19 cases drop, calls for respect for those continuing to wear them

Student smiling, not wearing a mask.

Grand Rapids Community College is changing its campus face covering mandate, transitioning to a new phase of COVID-19 protocols allowing masks to be an option for students, employees and community members, a move in line with other employers and educators across the region.

“We are not declaring victory over COVID. Not yet,” GRCC President Bill Pink said. “But we are in a better place, and we are entering a different phase, and adapting as we have done since March 2020. We will continue to work with the authorities and monitor the data and conditions.”

Face covering dispensers will remain stocked and available on campus.

“There are many people who will choose to continue wearing face coverings, and it is important for us to respect their decisions, and the reasons behind them,” Pink said. “We have been resilient. We’ve shown each other grace and patience throughout this pandemic, and will continue to do so.”

The number of COVID-19 cases in Kent and Ottawa counties continues to fall. The Centers for Disease Control has adopted new metrics, and has moved the counties out of the high-risk category.

GRCC required face coverings in summer 2021 after the CDC added the counties to the high-risk category. Campus leaders said they would continue to follow data, and seek guidance from health authorities when considering face covering protocols. 

Masks will be required while riding public transportation, including the Sneden Shuttle bus route that connects the Main and DeVos campuses, following federal mandates.

Pink said the face coverings are just one tool in the college’s efforts to keep our campus community safe. Other changes set in place, such as distancing, increased air filtration, and plastic glass panels at some workstations, will remain. Classrooms will remain at 75 percent capacity through the end of the semester, and the college will continue offering classes in a variety of formats.

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.

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