Please help us out: Commencement volunteers still needed

Commencement is tomorrow and we still need volunteers!

Please show your support for our graduates by volunteering to help make this time memorable for our students.

Students in the School of Arts and Sciences will attend a 4:30 p.m. commencement, and students in the School of Workforce Development will be at a 7:30 p.m. service.

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.

Raider Salute to GRCC Lakeshore Campus Open House team

I want to extend a huge THANK YOU to all of you for participating and volunteering during the 2022 GRCC Lakeshore Campus Spring Open House event last Saturday.

We battled what could have been the nicest day of the year in terms of weather, yet, we believe it was a success. We estimate more than 150 visitors explored the Lakeshore campus, spoke with our faculty and staff during the resource fair, and participated in the presentations and workshops that we offered.

Kudos GRCC family! Our next step is to select the GRCC Foundation scholarship winner, notify them, and highlight them through our communications department.

Special thanks to the faculty and staff who spoke with our visitors during our resource fair about our programs and departments. Also, thank you to the volunteers who assisted in the various roles throughout the day, especially the student employees: Alexandra, Suzanne, Angel, David, and Cierra.

It takes time to plan and execute such a large event and the planning committee was instrumental months in advance of the Open House. Dean Daniel Clark, Director Lori Cook, Jaqueline Araiza, Danielle Nyland, Miguel Espinoza, Rose Muller-Trinh, and Kerry Hayward deserve the majority of the credit for the success of this event. Thank you, team.

It is always our goal to learn from and improve these events. Please share your feedback with us by completing our short survey.If I missed anyone in this message, please share it with them.

With gratitude,

Francisco Ramirez

‘Quitting was not an option’: Tanaya Shepherd says she balanced work and home responsibilities to earn degree

Tanaya Shepherd smiling.

Friday is a huge day for Tanaya Shepherd.

It’s not only the day when the 44-year-old single mother will graduate from Grand Rapids Community College, it’s also the very first time Shepherd will step foot on campus.

“If you’re a busy person like I am, and you don’t want to do the whole classroom thing, online is the way to go,” Shepherd said. “I earned my GRCC degree completely online: classes, books, counseling – everything.”

That’s not saying it was easy.

Shepherd had dreamed for years of pursuing a college degree. But with four growing children — and their schools, hobbies and sports — plus a full-time job as a life coach at Hope Network in Grand Rapids, time was one thing Shepherd couldn’t spare.

Inspired by her mother, Yolanda Johnson, who’d recently earned her master’s degree, Shepherd knew she needed to follow her dream.

“I needed something else,” she said. “I’m never a person to be content staying where they are.”

Shepherd was able to balance all her responsibilities by taking classes part-time and strictly online.

“I know some people need to be in a classroom, and that’s OK,” she said. “But for me and my schedule, online classes was the way to go.”

Time management was key.

Shepherd took no more than two courses each semester. After working all day and between ferrying her children to school, cheerleading, band or basketball practices, she studied evenings in a makeshift office upstairs in her Kentwood home.

“All the kids knew that when I said I needed to do my homework, they needed to let me concentrate,” she said. “They were great.”

Although she originally planned to earn a juvenile criminal justice degree at GRCC, she eventually chose to avoid the required math courses. Instead, she earned an Addiction Studies Certificate as a certified peer recovery mentor and will receive a General Studies Associate Degree on Friday.

Although she enjoyed her classwork, Shepherd has no plans to earn a bachelor’s degree. Now her goal is to help the Grand Rapids community in whatever way she can.

And on Friday? There’ll be a whole cheering section on campus at commencement watching her accept her GRCC degree.

“Honestly, I thought I was just too old to go back to school,” she said. “But my family and friends and coworkers were behind me all the way.

“Quitting was not an option.”

This story was reported by Beth McKenna.

Summer 2022 Employee Exercise class schedule and registration

Three pineapple with sunglasses on yellow background, colorful ananas photo

Summer 2022 Employee Exercise Schedule

Classes begin Monday May 2, end Thursday August 25

NO class Memorial Day and 4th of July


RaiderStrong with Lannie


214 FFH or Outside (meet at FFH entrance)


Fitness Fusion with Beth


214 FFH


RaiderStrong with Lannie


214 FFH or Outside (meet at FFH entrance)


Strength Blast with Lannie


214 FFH

Please sign up for whichever class/es you’re planning to attend. The registration includes the waiver as well. All participants must complete the form.

Employee exercise classes are FREE to all GRCC employees. External participants (non-GRCC employees) are invited to join and need only pay a $20/semester fee.

Looking forward to getting our summer sweat on!

Questions? More information? Email

Tech Tip: Making Panopto Videos Accessible to Students

As we get closer to the start of the new semester, we hope that you are getting an opportunity to explore the new Panopto software!

Please follow the directions below on how to update share settings for Panopto videos to ensure they will be visible to students or others with a direct link.

To change the settings:

  1. Navigate to the Video in Panopto
  2. Select the Gear menu on the top right corner
  3. Once inside the Gear menu, select Share
  4. Once in the share options, under who can access this video change the setting to one of the following options:
    • Private- Only Specific People or Groups (They will need to be added in the top half of the screen)
    • Organization (Unlisted)- Anyone at your org who has the link
    • Public (Unlisted)- Anyone who has the link

Sharing a Panopto Video

For more information and helpful tips, please visit the IT Customer Support Portal or contact the IT Customer Support Desk at x4357.

If you have a suggestion or a Technology Tip you think can be useful, you can submit them by emailing 

Tech Tip: Linking your course to Panopto

Are you planning to use Panopto this semester for your Blackboard course? The easiest way to fix access issues, is linking your course directly to a Panopto Folder, follow the steps in our knowledge base below: 

Add Course in Panopto

For more information and helpful tips, please visit the IT Customer Support Portal or contact the IT Customer Support Desk at x4357.

If you have a suggestion or a Technology Tip you think can be useful, you can submit them by emailing 

GRCC In the News 04/28/2022

Summer registration is open at GRCC

4/27/22 eightWest

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – Thinking about your summer plans? Registration is now open for Grand Rapids Community College’s two summer sessions, whether you want to get a head start on the fall semester or just continue your education.

Muskegon Community College announces next president

4/27/22 FOX 17

MUSKEGON, Mich. — Muskegon Community College will have a new president starting this July. The Muskegon Community College Board of Trustees unanimously voted on Wednesday for Dr. John Selmon to be the next president.

… Dr. Selmon was previously the Executive Dean of Student Services at Lake Michigan College. He has also worked at Kennesaw State University, Grand Rapids Community College, and Davenport University. He has a Doctorate in Educational Leadership and a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from Eastern Michigan University. He also has a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Local restaurateur receives Governor’s Service Award

4/27/22 Grand Rapids Business Journal

The co-owner and chef of Amore Trattoria Italiana received an award for making a difference during the pandemic.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Community Service Commission last week awarded Jenna Arcidiacono and nine other Michigan residents the 2020/21 COVID-19 Governor’s Service Award, which honors individuals who supported significant needs and made a difference in food distribution, health or other arenas during the pandemic.

(This article doesn’t mention it, but Arciadiaconno is a GRCC alum.)

Alumni Spotlight: Paola Mendivil

4/27/22 The Ferris State Torch (Ferris State University’s student newspaper)

Paola Mendivil won the 2021 Pacesetter Award as an alumnus at Ferris. She is the first Latina to have won the award. She was born in Mexico and moved to Grand Rapids when she was 16 years old, where she then finished high school. She was originally going to go back to Mexico after graduating high school, but then she was offered a scholarship to Grand Rapids Community College. 

She’s shaking things up

4/27/22 (Kent Intermediate School District)

It’s almost 1 p.m. in Grand Rapids Community College’s Recital Hall and as Professor Shannon Shaker takes the podium, she signals her Winds Ensemble to quiet their instruments for the start of class. 

Who is Dr. Bill Pink?

4/27/22 The Ferris State Torch (Ferris State University’s student newspaper)

Motivated by his faith and the opportunity to help others, Dr. Bill Pink is looking forward to joining the Ferris community as president. 

Pink was named Ferris’ presidential search finalist on March 28, five years into his presidency at Grand Rapids Community College.