Chief Information Officer (CIO) finalist

The first Chief Information Officer (CIO) finalist will visit campus this Tuesday, May 24.  The candidate will meet with various groups across campus with a public forum at 2:45 p.m. in the ATC auditorium. 

The candidate will present on the use of Cloud storage and cyber security.  If your schedule permits please feel free to attend the presentation in person. 

The presentation will also be live-streamed at CIO Candidate #1.

My Story Started at GRCC: Davenport, community leader David Veneklase says GRCC professors provided mentoring and inspiration

David A. Veneklase smiling.

David A. Veneklase has been a leader in education and in the community, and credits professors at Grand Rapids Community College for inspiring him in the classroom and beyond.

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.

Veneklase is executive vice president for Finance and Organizational Development and CFO for Davenport University. During his 22-year career at Davenport, he’s held every executive vice president leadership role.

“We work tirelessly to transform students to achieve the highest levels of academic performance, leading them to excel and advance in their chosen fields,” he said.

Prior to Davenport, he served Grand Valley State University for more than 15 years in several roles in finance and human resources.

He also is chair of the Board for Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids, chair emeritus for West Catholic High School and treasurer for Hello West Michigan. He was a member of GRCC’s Business Advisory Committee from 1983 through 1995 and chaired the committee from 1989 to 1995. He taught at GRCC as an adjunct for two years as well.

“GRCC provided an outstanding foundation for the remainder of my college education and my career,” Veneklase said. “In addition to the excellent education I received in the classroom, the faculty and staff provided support and encouragement to challenge and inspire me to greatness.”

He said James Skidmore was the college professor who most influenced him.

“He was my mentor and advisor,” he said. “He encouraged me to pursue accounting and finance and instilled confidence I was lacking. He encouraged me to tutor to help others. I am forever grateful to Mr. Skidmore. Ron Weidenfeller, Velvie Greene and Art Hyde were also influential mentors.” 

After GRCC, Veneklase earned a Bachelor of Business in Accounting, as well as Masters of Business Administration in Finance from GVSU. He completed the Dale Carnegie program and received a Certificate in Strategic Collection Bargaining at the University of Michigan.

“I have been blessed with many mentors in my career that encouraged me and provided opportunities to learn and lead,” he said. “My parents instilled strong values founded in my faith. They also taught me to be humble and recognize others as any success is not possible alone. One of the greatest lessons learned from Mr. Skidmore is to not be afraid to fail. He would say “if you never fail, you aren’t reaching high enough.” Most importantly, I followed my passions for education, community, service and my faith.”

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

Join the Retirees for a Dessert Reception

Celebrate and honor new Golden Raider Retirees at a Celebration on Friday June 10. There are over 100 employees that have retired from GRCC since our last Retiree Celebration in Fall 2019!

Current GRCC employees are invited to a dessert reception at 12:30pm in Room 108 Sneden. Catch up and mingle with friends and former colleagues! 

The event program begins at 1:00pm in 108 Sneden. 

Hope to see you there!

Questions or more information? Email

GRCC golf team’s postseason run cut short by weather conditions at NJCAA National Tournament

Difficult weather conditions at the NJCAA National Championship tournament cut the Grand Rapids Community College golf team’s postseason run short after three rounds of golf this week at the Twin Hills Golf and Country Club.

Every team at the tournament was scheduled to play four rounds of golf. But due to the weather conditions the NJCAA committee opted to only send the top 12 teams to the final round of play. GRCC was among the teams not eligible to advance.

“The team was dedicated to making it to the finals and played with a purpose,” coach John Forton said. “It was all about us proving we belonged there, and it happened. Great effort by all involved.”

South Mountain Community College dominated the competition and finished 19 strokes ahead of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College to win the national title.

At the end of three rounds, Arie Jackman (78-75-83) was leading GRCC with a score of 236 strokes. After two rounds, Jackman was tied for 35th place overall. After the third round, he was tied for 60th.

Matt Denhartigh had a strong finish to his GRCC career, shooting 76 in his final round to finish with 241.

Conner Oman shot 249 while fellow freshmen Brad VandenHout and Sam Foss shot a respectable 251 and 259.

The team tied for the conference championship this year, marking their 13th straight title. It also finished runner-up in the MCCAA and the region.

Jackman was named MCCAA and Region XII medalist to receive All-MCCAA and All-Region honors.

Denhartigh also earned All-MCCAA and All-Region honors after finishing in fourth place last weekend at the MCCAA/Region XII Tournament.

Oman finished his freshman campaign also as a member of the All-MCCAA team.

GRCC baseball team’s postseason run ends with losses to Lansing, Kellogg in NJCAA Region 12 tournament

GRCC baseball player throwing a baseball.

The Grand Rapids Community College baseball team’s season ended on Friday, with the team losing both games in the NJCAA Region 12 tournament.

GRCC fell 10-2 against Lansing Community College – one of the top teams in the nation — then 8-4 to Kellogg Community College, which finished ahead of GRCC in first place in the MCCAA Western Conference.

Lansing, ranked No. 8 in the final NJCAA poll, scored seven runs in the second inning, creating a deep hole for GRCC’s offense. The Raiders responded with two runs in the top of the third inning, but were unable to score during the rest of the game.

The loss snapped GRCC’s 17-game win streak, and sent the team to the elimination round.

GRCC was held to four hits in the opening game. Catcher Dylan Chargo, had two of them, with Ryan Dykstra and Andres Rivera-Calderon collecting one each.

Drew Murphy took the loss, lasting one and two-thirds innings, allowing six hits and seven runs.

In the final game, fifth-ranked Kellogg avenged Thursday’s loss to GRCC by staying in front for the entire game and advancing to the tournament championship game.

Kellogg out-hit GRCC nine to seven, and was perfect on defense.

Six players had hits for Western Conference runner-up GRCC, led by first baseman Zacarias Salinas, who went two-for-four with four RBI.

Caleb Engelsman took the loss, allowing five hits and four runs while walking one in four innings.

GRCC finished the season 31-22-1 despite losing their first ten games down on their spring trip against NJCAA Division 1 competition.

Post season awards are scheduled to be announced Tuesday at 10 a.m.

Tech Tip: Wireless accounts

Did you know there are several ways to access GRCC Wireless? The chart below will help guide you through which one is best for you to use when on campus.

GRCC SECUREDesigned to help faculty, staff and students work efficiently by blocking many high-bandwidth, non academic sites.Click on the network connection and use your MyGRCC login credentials.
GRCC WirelessLess restrictive and should be used for general purposes.Click on the network connection which may open a browser window.You may need to open your web browser and navigate to to get the login page. Use your MyGRCC Login Credentials when prompted.
Raider GuestDesigned for campus visitors that need to access the internet with limited bandwidth. Users can be connected for up to 12 hours.Authenticate using email or SMS-based registration.

For additional assistance check out our Knowledge Base article on Connecting to GRCC Wireless: 

How do I connect to the wireless network (wifi) at GRCC?

How do I connect to Raider Guest Wifi?

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 05/23/2022

Middle college program earns national recognition

5/16/22 Grand Rapids Business Journal

A local community college recently earned national accreditation for its middle college program and was one of the first in the U.S. to be recognized for using its own faculty.

Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) earned accreditation from the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships’ (NACEP) accreditation commission. The commission granted accreditation to 25 concurrent enrollment programs nationwide, bringing the total of NACEP accredited programs in the country to 134. 

Michigan is Getting a New Ramen Restaurant with Homemade Noodles

5/16/22 WRIF FM

Who doesn’t love ramen? Add to that, ramen with homemade noodles, and you have a very special dish. Now, Michigan is getting a new ramen restaurant featuring homemade noodles and many more treats.

… Noodle Pig is the brainchild of Chris Wessely, an East Grand Rapids City Commissioner and Grand Rapids Community College culinary graduate. It’s described as a “a fast-casual concept, where customers can create their own ramen bowl or choose from seven signature options,” according to MLive, with all food being made in-house, from the noodles to the bone broth. The restaurant will also feature an authentic noodle-making machine, direct from Japan. Noodle Pig also wants to be able to sell beer, wine, and boozy boba drinks, so it’s requesting a liquor license, which I’m sure it will get.

GRCC offering Summer Career Camps for students

5/16/22 FOX 17

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The Grand Rapids Community College Workforce Training Team is offering a special camp for students in grades 6-9 to help spark an interest in a future career.

Michigan Students Among Winners of Havenpark Communities Academic Scholarship

5/18/22 (from press release)

HOLLAND, Mich., May 18, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Two Michigan students were among the 19 recipients of academic scholarships from Havenpark Communities, an operator and developer of manufactured home communities. The awards are part of Havenpark’s expansion of its Education Success program, which offers financial support, mentoring, and other education initiatives to increase education access and opportunity for residents.

David Sanchez, who will be starting his third semester at Grand Rapids Community College, said the scholarship would supplement the full-time job he balances while dealing with the high costs of books, tuition, and other expenses, while Brenden Sears, who will start at Michigan Technological University, said the funds will go a long way toward his tuition.

Retired president to helm Grand Rapids Community College during replacement search

5/18/22 MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – A retired president is returning to help Grand Rapids Community College during a search for a new president.

Community college appoints interim president

5/18/22 Grand Rapids Business Journal

A former Grand Rapids Community College president is returning to serve in the interim.

President emeritus appointed interim president at GRCC

5/18/22 (Kent Intermediate School District)

Juan Olivarez, GRCC president from 1999 to 2008, will return to the helm of the community college, for the interim.

Grand Rapids Community College appoints Juan Olivarez as interim president

5/19/22 The Holland Sentinel

GRAND RAPIDS — Grand Rapids Community College is turning to a former leader of the college to serve as its interim president.

Grand Rapids college explores major land deal for police, fire training center

5/19/22 Crain’s Detroit Business

Grand Rapids Community College is close to purchasing 47 acres north of the city to build a major public safety training facility.

El Presidente Emérito Juan Olivarez se desempenara como presidente interino de GRCC

5/19/22 El Vocero

Community College a lo largo de 10 años de crecimiento como presidente, regresará al cargo de manera interina mientras la junta directiva de GRCC busca un sucesor permanente del presidente saliente Bill Pink.

(Community College over 10 years of growth as president, will return to the role on an interim basis as the GRCC board of directors searches for a permanent successor to outgoing president Bill Pink.)

Big Rapids basketball guard commits to Grand Rapids Community College

5/19/22 The Pioneer (Big Rapids)

BIG RAPIDS – It’s off to Grand Rapids Community College for Big Rapids’ DeMarcus (DJ) Lee.

 ‘She does what she needs to do’

5/20/22 (Kent Intermediate School District)

Wyoming — There are many ways to describe Adriana Ortiz-Torres.

… Now she has made friends and gotten involved. She joined the National Honor Society, Campus Life and Alpha Wolf 11 Leadership Council. She excels in math and English, and has already taken five dual enrollment classes through Grand Rapids Community College. She also works full time as a host at Rockwell Republic, a restaurant in downtown Grand Rapids.

Registration open for GRCC summer classes

5/20/22 WOOD TV

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Summer is a great time for college students to stay on track with their coursework. Grand Rapids Community College’s second summer semester starts June 28, and there are still about 1,600 seats available.

GRCC automotive program gives Grand Haven grad opportunity to shift gears


When Sophia Lonnee graduated from Grand Haven High School last year, she had plans to enroll at two different universities.

… Lonnee found the Automotive Tech Job Training Program at Grand Rapids Community College. She feels like she made the right move. 

JSA, Twin Hills host NJCAA D2 Men’s National Championship

5/20/22 Joplin Globe (Mo.)

Joplin Sports Authority, in partnership with Twin Hills Golf and Country Club, hosted the 2022 NJCAA Division II Men’s National Championship on Tuesday through Friday at the Twin Hills course.

… Joining those four teams were sixth-ranked Heartland Community College (Normal, Ill.), seventh-ranked Meridian (Mississippi) Community College, eighth-ranked Walters State (Tennessee) Community College, 10th-ranked Northeast (Nebraska) Community College, 13th-ranked Hawkeye (Iowa) Community College, 14th-ranked Abraham Baldwin (Georgia) Agriculture College, 15th-ranked Cleveland State (Tenn.) Community College, 21st-ranked Grand Rapids (Michigan) Community College, 23rd-ranked Illinois Valley Community College, 27th-ranked Mineral Area (Mo.) College, Black Hawk (Ill.) Community College, Bryant and Stratton (Wisconsin) College, Glendale (Arizona) Community College, South Mountain (Ariz.) Community College, Oakland (Mich.) Community College and Muskegon (Mich.) Community College.

How Calhoun County agencies are combating a first responder shortage

5/21/22 Battle Creek Enquirer

Sara Gleason said she often hears the same question.

… In west Michigan, there are regional full-time police academies at Grand Rapids Community College and Kalamazoo Valley Community College. Those regional academies require an associate’s degree or higher, and as at KCC, their cadets are scooped up quickly by law enforcement agencies before they even graduate. 

 ‘A dream come true’ in GR: Inside Monsoon restaurant

5/21/22 WOOD TV

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The dishes are stacked and the place settings are ready inside Grand Rapids’ next culinary experience: Monsoon Vietnamese Cuisine, which co-owner Phong Nguyen expects to open June 1.

… Monsoon marks a milestone for Nguyen, who came from Vietnam to Grand Rapids a decade ago to study culinary arts at Grand Rapids Community College. He continued learning at Ferris State University, graduating with a hospitality and management degree in 2020.

Professional Chef Services will cook for you in your own home

5/21/22 Midland Daily News

Perry Zeilinger, 49, is the owner of Professional Chef Services.  His slogan: “No time to cook? No problem. We can take care of everything.”

… Zeilinger has been married to his wife, Guerline, for 14 years. She works for Morley. Zeilinger is a graduate of Frankenmuth High School. He attended the career center in Saginaw, where he learned about food service. That led to his decision to go to Grand Rapids Community College, where he earned an associate’s degree in culinary arts.  

2022 Excellence in Education Award nomination deadline extended until Friday, June 3

The deadline for nominations for the full-time faculty, adjunct and staff Excellence in Education Awards has been extended until Friday, June 3, 2022.  Please consider nominating a deserving faculty, adjunct or staff member.

The Excellence in Education Award was established in 1989 to honor an individual Grand Rapids Community College employee for their contributions to the College, higher education and the community. In 2000, the award was expanded to provide recognition in the form of a staff award and a separate full-time faculty award. In 2010, an additional award was added for an exemplary adjunct faculty member.

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.

The application has gone online which 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.