Learn from the Best! GRCC visual arts professors Filippo Tagliati, Tatsuki Hakoyama earn honors in LowellArts West Michigan Art Competition

Students in the Photography II class getting a location lighting lesson from teacher Fillippo Tagliati.

A West Michigan art competition includes the work of two instructors in Grand Rapids Community College’s Visual Arts Department.

The annual LowellArts West Michigan Arts Competition, which draws submissions from a 25-county region, selected “Progress,” an oil painting from adjunct Tatsuki Hakoyama, and “Sundial,” a photograph by professor Filippo Tagliati, to include in this year’s exhibit. Both earned honorable mention awards in the exhibit.

LowellArts is hosting an open house for the artists and public from 1-4 p.m. March 20 at its gallery at 223 W. Main St. in Lowell. Gallery hours for the exhibit, which runs through April 16, are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays.

“It’s good being selected for an art competition and even better to get an award, but you have to keep in mind you are not doing this for prizes or awards,” Tagliati said. “You are an artist because of the experience and the process, you want to be part of the community and the conversation and also you want to stay close to your teaching practice. You are doing what your students are doing in class, and this makes more sense than anything else. It keeps you young and fresh.”

Tagliati, who joined GRCC’s Visual Arts Department in 2007, teaches photography and video courses. Born in Bologna, Italy, he earned a bachelor’s degree from Alma Mater Studiorum-Università di Bologna and a master’s in fine arts from Arizona State University.

Hakoyama is a native of Japan who has taught drawing classes at GRCC since January 2021. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University and a master’s in fine arts in painting from Ferris State University’s Kendall College of Art and Design.

Here to Help: Sue DelRaso helps students who are balancing college, health, work and family

Sue DelRaso smiling.

Always remember, at GRCC, you are surrounded by people who want you to be successful and are ready to walk with you on your educational pathway. We are here to help!

Meet Sue DelRaso. You will find Sue tutoring students in the Wisner-Bottrall Applied Technology Center Tutorial and Open Computer Lab, in the Mechanical and Architectural Design / CAD Lab, or in the Sneden Computer Lab.

Sue is the coordinator for those labs, and develops subject specific training and works alongside the professional tutors and student employees she supervises.

In two of the labs, the ATC Tutorial and Open Computer Lab and the Mechanical and Architectural Design/CAD lab, Sue helps students who are taking Computer Information Sciences and Mechanical and Architectural design courses.

Both of these labs offer drop-in tutoring. The ATC Tutorial and Open Computer Labs offer drop-in and appointment-based tutoring. And the Sneden Computer Lab is a drop-in lab where students can go to work on their assignments.

Sue came to GRCC as an adult student focused on changing careers. She was leaving a high-pressure job as an executive assistant to a hotel general manager. She had medical related barriers, and the challenge of balancing the demands of attending classes and doing homework with being a mom, to overcome.

“I suffered from severe migraines that were caused by a stressful work environment and other factors,” she said. “During my first semester as a student at GRCC I was only allowed to take classes. After that semester my doctors would only allow me to work 10 hours per week and gradually increase my work schedule.”

Sue persisted, worked in campus labs in roles with increasing responsibility, and reached her goals. Now she can relate to current students who are balancing college, their health, work and family. She can also understand how it feels to struggle in the classroom and need tutoring — because she took advantage of tutoring labs when she was a student.

“I started working as a student tutor, getting help and helping others in their classes,” Sue said. “After a semester, I was hired to work at the Student Help Desk. I gradually worked my way up to a position as a professional tutor — which I worked in for many years. Then I became the assistant lab coordinator and finally the tutorial coordinator.”

This was all while Sue worked another part-time job and completed her associate degree in Computer Applications and then Bachelor of Science in Business.

Sue’s career and educational journey has given her the insight to focus the services of tutorial labs around student needs. And she is now showing students how to find their own success in the classroom and with their homework.

“I love to see when a student finally understands something that they have been struggling to understand,” she said. “It’s like watching a lightbulb over their head gradually getting brighter and brighter until it just turns right on. I want to help students to become independent leaners, to learn to ask themselves the right questions to lead to understanding or problem solving.”

Sue does not regret the path she took, from stepping into the workforce after high school, to attending GRCC as an adult student, to balancing a busy life to complete her bachelor’s degree. And as a GRCC staff member Sue values most the friendships she has made with students, and what she has learned from them.

“I have gone to help a student who is asking, and I’m the one who ends up learning something new,” she said. “I believe that you can learn something new every day if you look for it, are open to it. Learning is a journey, part of everyone’s everyday life.”

Students interested in academic support and tutoring can reach out through email at tutoring@grcc.edu and by phone at (616) 234-4145.

GRCC In the News 03/18/2022

Study Indicates COVID-19 Patients Fall into Two Main Groups Benefiting from Two Types of Therapies

3/17/22 Michigan State University press release

Researchers from Spectrum Health and Michigan State University College of Human Medicine have determined that COVID-19 patients “cluster” into two main groups: one exhibiting a highly overactive immune system, the other exhibiting a specific type of immune suppression.

… The study team brought together researchers from across the country, representing Spectrum Health, Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, Michigan State University, Grand Rapids Community College, Ambry Genetics, Calvin University, Grand Valley State University, Davenport University and Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

Lighting and furniture maker spending $1.5M to expand in Wyoming

3/17/22 Grand Rapids Business Journal

The high-end lighting and furniture company Roll & Hill plans to open a second location in Wyoming.

… West Michigan Works! and Grand Rapids Community College will support the project with a workforce training package.

A New York-based manufacturer is expanding its West Michigan footprint creating dozens of new jobs

3/17/22 WGVU

Roll & Hill is a lighting and furniture manufacturer based in Brooklyn, New York. It’s known for design-minded, high-end lighting and furniture.

… To that end, West Michigan Works! and Grand Rapids Community College are providing workforce training.

High End Lighting & Furniture Manufacturer Adds 2nd GR Area Production Facility

3/17/22 Michigan Business Network

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH (MARCH 16, 2021): Wednesday, The Right Place, Inc., in collaboration with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), announced that high-end lighting and furniture company Roll & Hill will be opening a second location in Wyoming at 6192 Valduga Drive. The $1.5 million capital investment will add 50 jobs.

… The Right Place worked closely with the MEDC to ensure the company continued its growth in the region rather than out-of-state locations. With the approval of a $300,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant, the MEDC is supporting the expansion through the Michigan Strategic Fund. West Michigan Works! and Grand Rapids Community College will also be supporting the project with a workforce training package.