GRCC’s David Selmon saluted by MCCAA for his leadership, supporting students ‘during the toughest times’ of pandemic

Athletic programs across the nation shut down during the pandemic, but Grand Rapids Community College student-athletes were able to continue, following strict protocols that emphasized keeping students safe.

GRCC Associate Dean David Selmon served as interim athletic director during that period, and is being honored by the Michigan Community College Athletic Association for his leadership. Selmon was presented this week with an MCCAA Appreciation Award, bestowed only three times in the conference’s history.

“While Dave was the acting athletic director at GRCC, the entire world was battling the pandemic and the world of athletics was trying to find a safe way forward to reengage,” said Al Perry, MCCAA’s executive Administrator.

Perry said many colleges opted to postpone their athletic seasons, while others decided to cancel their activities entirely. 

“Instead, Dave decided to roll up his sleeves, lean in and create a safe path forward for GRCC student-athletes to participate in athletics without pause,” he said. “Dave’s leadership inside and outside of GRCC was extremely beneficial to our association.”

Perry said some athletic conferences in the National Junior College Athletic Association scaled back during the pandemic. “In our region, we had several athletic programs that shut down completely, several of which have yet to begin again; and, honestly, might never begin again. But MCCAA has grown. 

“This is directly related to leadership like Dave’s during the toughest of times,” he said. “We are grateful to Selmon’s time, energy and effort during his time as GRCC interim athletic director and for this we awarded him the MCCAA Appreciation Award.”

All GRCC teams competed during the pandemic, some with limited or delayed seasons. Selmon set in place extensive safety protocols, limited out-of-state travel and partnered with Ferris State University to provide weekly COVID tests for students, athletes and staff members.

During this time period, the men’s and women’s cross country teams finished in the top 10 in the nation with Joshua Kipkoech and Audrey Meyering named NJCAA All-Americans, and the volleyball and women’s basketball teams went to the NJCAA National Tournament, with basketball player Shonyah Hawkins gaining All-American honors.

 “Dave has put students first his entire career,” said Tina Hoxie, GRCC’s associate provost and dean of Student Affairs. “He made it very clear that student safety and their academic success were the top priorities and he made difficult decisions. He worked hard to make sure student-athletes could accomplish their educational goals, continue to compete, and compete safely.”

Selmon native came to Grand Rapids in 1984 to play basketball at what was then Grand Rapids Junior College. The Mansfield, Ohio native later became GRCC’s basketball coach, compiling a 416-136 record over 20 years – a .751 winning percentage. He was named a conference coach of the year seven times. He was national Junior College Coach of the Year in 1995, when the Raiders reached the NJCAA Division II National Championship game, losing by one point.

As a GRCC administrator, he works with the region’s high schools to help students become aware of opportunities offered by GRCC, then directs programs to help them be successful once they are here.

“I’m very honored to be recognized by the MCCAA, but I share the credit with the GRCC colleagues who were focused on keeping our students safe, and the athletes who recognized the seriousness of the situation and followed the protocols we set in place. The pandemic disrupted us, but it didn’t defeat us.”

Athletic Director Matt Miller of Mid Michigan College also was saluted for his efforts.

Best in Show: GRCC earns top national communications award for highlighting students, and people who support them

The Grand Rapids Community College Communications team’s efforts to share the stories of students overcoming obstacles and the people who support them earned the highest honor in community college marketing and communications on Friday.

The 2019-2022 GRCC Foundation Annual Report earned the Paragon Awards “Best in Show” honor, in addition to first place in the Annual Report category from the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations, a community college communications and marketing organization representing schools in the United States and Canada.

The college also earned first place in the Television/Video Ad category for its “You Think You Know GRCC?” ad during the awards, presented at the organization’s annual conference in Denver.

The 2019-2020 Annual Report focused on the stories of the people the foundation has helped and the lives it has transformed – shared by the people themselves, often telling their stories in their own words.

The edition includes inspiring stories about students and alumni including trailblazing Super Bowl Chef Dayanny De La Cruz, and Amanda Constant, who used the support from a Spectrum Health Care Professionals Education Scholarship to rise above a series of setbacks and complete her Medical Assistant program.

It also highlights alumni and philanthropists Dave and Karen Custer, and 41 years of giving from former college employees Jerry and Jan Benham.

The Annual Report was created by GRCC’s College Advancement team, which includes members of the GRCC Foundation and the Communications team.

Judges praised the report’s stories, photos, design, and graphics.

“The intention was to put the emphasis on people, and they definitely delivered on that,” judges said. “Well put together and visually enticing. Love it.”

It’s the second year in a row a GRCC Foundation Annual Report earned recognition. The 2018-2019 report earned a Gold Medallion from NCMPR’s District 3.

The “You Think You Know GRCC?” ad also earned a first-place Paragon Award, honored in the Television/Video Ad category.

The video battles misperceptions about community colleges in general and GRCC specifically. The 30-second spot features GRCC President Bill Pink and real GRCC students, telling of the college’s impact on students and the greater community.

The spot was a collaboration between the GRCC Media Technologies team and the Communications team, and captured the energy of the president and students, posing the question, “Did you know?” and telling about GRCC’s impact and programs.  

“Having the president in it, telling people to ‘Come talk to me,’ is a great touch,” judges said. “This ad made me feel like the college has a lot to offer.”

Watch the video here.

The Paragons are NCMPR’s national awards. GRCC in October earned seven regional awards from NCMPR’s District 3, which includes community, technical and junior colleges in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin and the Canadian province of Ontario.

The district awards included Gold Medallions, with GRCC honored for telling the story of first lady Jill Biden’s visit to a campus pop-up vaccination clinic, and a series of cards from President Pink encouraging students and saluting them for overcoming challenges brought by the pandemic.

GRCC golf team finishes eighth in Heritage Hill Collegiate tournament

Golf team.

Matthew Denhartigh shot a 73 in the final round of the Heritage Hill Collegiate, leading the Grand Rapids Community College golf team to an eighth-place finish on Sunday.

Sixty-seven golfers from 13 teams competed in the two-day tournament on the cold and windy par-72 course.

After shooting a 342 in the first round on Saturday, GRCC, the only two-year college in the field, improved by 27 strokes to finish with a total score of 657. Lawrence Technological University, the host school, won with a 5-over par, 607-stroke performance.

Denhartigh improved his day one score by 11 strokes to finish with a 157 and tied for 16th place overall.

Lawrence Tech’s Liam McEvoy won the tournament with a score of 147 strokes.

Arie Jackman nearly cracked the top-20 with a score of 161 strokes, 17-over par.

Conner Oman, +24, Sam Foss, +28, and Brad VandenHout, +37, rounded out the GRCC golfers. 

My Story Started at GRCC: Adam Jacobs helps people gain housing through the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia

Adam Jacobs smiling.

Adam Jacobs brings what he’s learned at various nonprofits and in pursuit of his bachelor’s degree in sociology to his position with the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia.

He also relies on his experiences as an English tutor while in GRCC’s Honors Program.

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.

“Working as a tutor helped me grow as both a person and as a writer because I met people from many different backgrounds and abilities,” said Jacobs, who graduated from GRCC in 2012. “I learned to meet people where they were at with their assignments and skill levels in order to best help them succeed. Seeing a writing assignment through the eyes of other students helped me learn how to interact with many different types of people and write to a broader audience.

“Those experiences helped me grow as a teacher, communicator, writer and advocate – which are all incredibly important skills for someone working in the nonprofit industry.”

Jacobs began working with nonprofit organizations while a student at the University of Michigan, where he majored in sociology and minored in community action and social change. He joined the Inter-Cooperative Council, a student-led housing cooperative, and served on its board of directors. After earning his bachelor’s degree, he helped start a housing cooperative in Detroit.

He joined the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia in 2016 and became project coordinator of its housing unit in 2020.

“As project coordinator, I help manage Legal Aid’s housing related projects, including our eviction defense grant and the Housing Right to Counsel project,” Jacobs said. “My job is to facilitate coordination and collaboration among partner organizations and pro bono participants in an effort to increase tenants’ access to counsel, prevent unnecessary evictions, and preserve affordable housing.”

Jacobs credits GRCC’s Honors Program and two of its professors, Joan Gearns and Laurie Foster, with launching him on his career pathway.

“They pushed and supported me both academically and personally,” he said. “Through their guidance, I was able to transfer to the University of Michigan and succeed in my life beyond school. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.

Starting at GRCC was especially important to Jacobs because he had a three-year gap between graduating from high school and starting college.

“My time at GRCC allowed me to explore my interests in a smaller classroom environment without a heavy financial burden, and by the time I got to Michigan, I was prepared to hit the ground running at a larger academic institution,” he said.

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

GRCC celebrates new partnership with West Michigan Construction Institute

The West Michigan Construction Institute, a construction education center focused on developing the workforce of skilled construction professionals, celebrated its opening with a ribbon cutting with students, Grand Rapids Community College and other partners.

WMCI, located at 801 Century Ave. SW, will launch officially during the fall. The institute had a soft launch this semester, with about 75 students and five classes. Enrollment and programs including carpentry, concrete and many others will launch during the fall semester.

“Partnering with WMCI is a game-changer for us, because it allows us to expand our rapidly growing electrical apprenticeship program and teach additional courses in an environment dedicated to the craft,” GRCC President Bill Pink said. “GRCC has long been a proponent of the skilled trades, and we’re so thankful for this partnership to grow our offerings and increase the number of skilled tradespeople entering the West Michigan market to embark on rewarding careers in construction.”

WMCI is hosting part of the GRCC electrical apprenticeship program. It also offers daytime high school programming coordinated with and through area districts including Grand Rapids Public Schools, Northview and Jenison, as well as a partnership with the Literacy Center of West Michigan, offering a Construction Core program for non-native English speakers.

WMCI will host summer camps beginning in June for sixth through eighth graders to explore the construction trades and learn beginning basic skills such as hand and power tool use.

“We know WMCI’s new facility will make an impact on the demand for construction jobs in our region, which is needed as Michigan’s labor market remains in a state of flux,” WMCI President Jen Schottke said. “The interest in upcoming courses has been extraordinary – high school and adult students are excited and eager to use their hands and their minds for their career, and put the future into their own hands, literally.”

WMCI fills a shared need across the industry for more skilled construction professionals, as well as serving as a hub for talent recruitment, development and placement for the West Michigan commercial construction industry.

According to a recent model developed by Associated Builders and Contractors, the construction industry will need to attract nearly 650,000 additional workers nationwide on top of the normal pace of hiring in 2022 to meet the demand.

“The demand for trained employees in Metro Grand Rapids and across Michigan is greater than we’ve ever seen. Simply put, we can’t find enough people, and it will only get more difficult with many of our employees approaching retirement age,” said Brian Potter, president of Architectural Metals Incorporated and chairman of the WMCI board of directors. “WMCI will educate hundreds of young, ambitious, expertly trained trade workers every year, which is going to make a huge difference in the market. WMCI’s state-of-the-art facility shows our region’s commitment to trade employment as a viable and noble career option and gives aspiring tradespeople a local facility for hands-on-learning during or after high school.”

Fall 2022 enrollment will open in late spring and WMCI students can select programs including Carpentry – Interior Finishes), and Concrete, as well as pursue certifications or professional development in additional specialties such as becoming a Building Industry Consulting Services International Certified Technician or Copper Installer.  Length of programs range from one-week certification trainings to multi-year craft training programs.

Additionally, WMCI is proud to host part of the GRCC electrical apprenticeship program.

The West Michigan construction industry is projected to grow almost 16 percent over the next ten years, while at the same time, nearly 48 percent of today’s construction workforce are expected to retire within the next 15 years.

Multi-Factor Authentication for MyGRCC is now live

We are excited to announce that Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) on staff MyGRCC accounts is now live! 

GRCC Information Technology is continually striving to keep user accounts safe and secure. MFA requires users to provide proof from two or more authentication methods before granting access. This will protect GRCC data against potential breaches.

Here is what you can expect

When you sign into your MyGRCC account from off campus, through the VM or from a personal device using GRCC Wireless or Secure, you will be prompted to use MFA. 

  • A one time passcode will be sent to your personal email on file. 
  • Prefer another MFA method?
    • Click on “Problems with this authentication option?” link. 
    • You will be able to choose one of the other methods of MFA that you set up during your initial registration process for the MyGRCC portal. 
  • Click the checkbox next to “Remember this device?” to suppress MFA for 14 days. This can be done on up to five different devices. 

Need more help?

Below are several knowledge base articles to assist you in this process including one that will show how you can change the default MFA delivery method to either phone, email or mobile authenticator:

What is Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)?

Signing Into the MyGRCC Portal with Multi-Factor Authentication

Changing Default Multi-Factor Delivery Method

Please reach out to the Support Desk with any questions you may have. 

Retirement Readiness session coming soon

HR & Payroll are partnering with LMCU to bring a financial bootcamp learning opportunity focused on “Retirement Readiness”.

Join us on Tuesday, May 10, either in person or virtually, for a discussion of retirement savings options and resources available to achieve financial freedom in retirement.

During this session, LMCU will provide an overview for individuals just starting to explore retirement savings and those that need reassurance that they’re on track with their retirement goals, as well as those individuals nearing the retirement finish line.

Also, you’ll have the chance to meet with experts one on one to discuss your situation and ask questions.

Registration for this employee learning opportunity will open the week of April 11.

Watch GRCC Today for details.

Retirement Celebration for Tina Hoxie today

There will be an open house retirement celebration for our Associate Provost and Dean of Student Affairs, Tina Hoxie, on Monday, March 28 from 3-4:30 p.m. in RJF 108/109 of the Enrollment Center.  

Everyone is invited to stop by and wish Tina the best in retirement as we CELEBRATE her 28 years of service at GRCC!  

Tina’s last day will be on Monday, April 4.

Dress like a Raider: GRCC Athletics ‘yard sale’ makes team apparel available for students, fans

Raider hats and shirts.

Raiders fans can help the Grand Rapids Community College Athletic Department clear some room in its storage room and show their team spirit by purchasing team apparel and other items at a “yard sale” on Monday.

The sale is planned for noon to 3 p.m. on Monday, March 28 in the Gordon Hunsberger Arena in the Gerald R. Ford Fieldhouse.

The sale includes jerseys, backpacks, jackets, polo shirts and other items, and proceeds will be used to support the GRCC Athletic program. Most of the items are unused, but others have been worn in competition and practice by student-athletes of the past.

“We’ve had the opportunity to purchase updated uniforms and other apparel in recent years,” Athletic Director Lauren Ferullo said. “We know there are many Raider fans who would really enjoy wearing these. Rather than keeping them in storage, we want to share them with GRCC students and fans.”

Salute to Women 2022 Awards on 03/29

The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI) wants to invite you to the Salute to Women Awards .

The awards recognition ceremony will take place Tuesday, March 29 from noon to 1 p.m.

VIMEO LINK: Salute to Women 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.

Complimentary registration for Cultural Competence Institute [CCI]: Register by March 31

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 [ ] 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. 

We will convene in virtual format on Friday, April 8, from 8:30 am to 11:30 am (EST).

Listed below is an outline of the three-hour session:

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?

2022 Excellence in Education Awards

The GRCC family is full of amazing and outstanding people . . . people who care, people who go above and beyond, people who bring the very best of themselves to the work that they do.
True excellence is alive at GRCC. We are all fortunate to be a part of a community of educators who make GRCC shine both inside and out. There are special individuals who make learning at GRCC meaningful and impactful for our students and working at GRCC an honor and inspiration for fellow employees.

To recognize them, please take the time to nominate them for the annual GRCC Excellence in Education Award.

Recipients of the full-time faculty, adjunct and staff award each receive $1,000, and a $1,000 contribution to the GRCC Foundation is made in the recipient’s name.

Anyone can nominate! The deadline for nominations is May 13, 2022.

The application has gone online! This makes the entire process faster and easier.

Start HERE and select either Full Time Faculty, Adjunct, or Staff. 
Faculty & Adjunct: Email the Provost Office at
Staff: Email Angela Salinas at angelasalinas@grcctoday

Thank you for taking the time to nominate a deserving member of the GRCC family for these awards.