Learn from the Best: Lynn Prince shares the joy of writing and discovery

Lynn Prince smiling.

Lynn Prince is all-in on “Team English” at GRCC – she’s proud of her department’s investment in getting to know students in order to prepare them for future classes and careers.

“Right from the start, GRCC has always felt like family to me,” she said. “There is a wonderful camaraderie within the English department faculty and adjunct faculty. I love collaborating with people–sharing ideas and best practices; I also love working with college students; they are invested in their future. It’s a privilege to be a small part of the forward momentum in their lives; they have so much potential! I always miss them when classes end– my goal is each class feels like a family, too.”

Prince teaches English Composition 101 and 102, and IRW 099 Accelerated Composition. And she is confident any English course a student takes at GRCC will empower them with important skills for the career path they have chosen.

“The English Department works diligently to stay current,” Prince said. “We recently adjusted course requirements, content and textbooks to better meet the needs of transferring students. We have integrated reading and writing (IRW) to get students through their required courses more quickly. After much research and training, we have created an innovative program: IRW 099 ‘A-comp’ paired with EN 101 for students with high aptitude and motivation.”

Prince is dedicated to her discipline and teaching. But she changed her major in college three times before she landed on the one for her. 

“Different jobs, classes and mentors helped guide me into English Language Arts and teaching,” she said. “I finally decided to be a teacher when I was invited to be a camp counselor one summer during college. After that, I was hooked. Working with kids united my purpose and passion; it seemed like a culmination of my natural skills and interests. I always tell students that they have a purpose and passion, too. They can narrow it down with the things they do not want to do, but to be open for the surprises and other careers they maybe didn’t think of or jobs that aren’t even created yet.”

Prince earned her Bachelor’s of Arts in English and Secondary Education with a Social Studies Composite Minor from Hope College. She taught English at Caledonia High School, and earned her Master’s degree in the Art of Teaching with an ELA focus Aquinas College. From there, she stepped into teaching at GRCC. 

“I think I was well prepared as far as theory and practice,” she said. But teaching and grading writing–really investing in coaching students’ thinking and English Language Arts growth–takes an incredible investment of time and emotional energy,” she said. “Teaching is also much more than just the classroom interaction with students, it’s all the behind the scenes work that takes additional time and effort. It’s worth it, but my first few years of teaching I didn’t have very good work-life balance. Then after having my own kids, I figured it out quickly!

Prince also learned from the example of her mentor, Dr. Leslie Wessman from Hope College.

“She was instrumental in my education,” she said. “She was brilliant; with her innovative learning design and brain research, she modeled everything in her classroom that she was trying to teach us. We learned not only by example, but because she knew each one of us personally and she gave great advice. She believed in me before I believed in myself. She saw a trajectory for my life and encouraged me until I saw it, too. Thank you, Dr. Wessman!”

My Story Started at GRCC: Judge John Hallacy says professors, swim team gave him confidence to be successful

John Hallacy smiling.

Some of John Hallacy’s favorite GRJC memories are tied to his time on the swim team, which finished third in national competition in 1982 and fifth in 1983.

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.

“The team was pretty good,” he said in a 2014 interview. “We were very competitive, and we’re practicing every day, so it really helped me set a schedule, as far as studying.”

Being on the team boosted his confidence, as did his classwork.

“The education was challenging,” he said. “The professors I had were very positive, very encouraging, and they really built up my confidence in what I could do and what I thought I could accomplish.”

Hallacy received his associate degree in 1983 and then a bachelor’s degree at Western Michigan University and a law degree from Valparaiso University. 

After working as a prosecuting attorney, he became a judge for the 10th District Court in 2009. Throughout his career, he has worked to improve the justice system.

As a Calhoun County prosecutor, he started a diversion program that gives first-time juvenile offenders the opportunity to have their criminal charges dropped if they successfully complete the program, He also has been honored for his efforts to get funding to provide nurse examiners in sexual assault cases. He has served on the Michigan Parole Board and started a sobriety court in 2010.

“When I went to community college, if you had told me that I would be sitting on a bench in Battle Creek, wearing a black robe, pounding a gavel, I wouldn’t have thought that possible,” said Hallacy, GRCC’s 2014 Distinguished Alumnus. “But Grand Rapids Community College helped me make it possible.

“It’s just the beginning. It can be the beginning of a long path that can take you in any direction you want to go.”

Let GRCC help you start your story. The first chapter starts at grcc.edu/apply.

GRCC In the News 06/06/2022

 GRCC helping some students overcome financial hurdle to studying abroad with passport grant

6/3/22 MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI -Cost has been deemed a major barrier affecting students’ ability to engage in the academic and social experience and career benefits of studying abroad.

Up to 25 Grand Rapids Community College students will get United States passport fees waived as part of a grant from the Institute of International Education (IIE), according to a press release. The students selected will be from GRCC’s TRIO/Student Support Services program, which serves low-income and first-generation students among others.

Michigan faces a disconnect between workforce supply and demand. Are community colleges the key?

6/3/22 MLive

MACKINAC ISLAND, MI – Michigan is facing a skills gap between the supply of workers and the needs of employers. State leaders say community colleges have an important role to play in helping bridging that divide.

(A photo of a GRCC welding student illustrates this article.)

‘It’s been fun’: Grandville teacher retires after 45 years

6/3/22 FOX 17

GRANDVILLE, Mich. — As students at Grandville High School begin summer break, John Schwalm is marking the end of a 45 year teaching career.

… Schwalm has also spent years teaching night classes at Davenport University, Cornerstone University and Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC).

Maturing, overcoming obstacles and planning for the future

6/3/22 schoolnewsnetwork.org (Kent Intermediate School District)

Comstock Park — Aiden Bond did not have an easy time during his four years of high school. 

… He graduated with his class on May 17 and plans to take theater classes at Grand Rapids Community College next fall. GRCC will be his first step toward fulfilling his dream of becoming an actor and possibly living in New York City. He’s been enamored with New York since a trip there his freshman year.

‘Back to normal’: After horrific accident, Barry County teenager graduates

6/3/22 WZZM

MIDDLEVILLE, Mich. — A country breeze blows through the athletic fields at Thornapple Kellogg High School, keeping student athletes cool from the sun. The spring sports season is winding down. It’s a season Michael Blair wanted so badly to be a part of.

… Michael plans to attend Grand Rapids Community College in the fall and eventually to transfer to Ferris State University for product design engineering.

Overcoming obstacles and celebrating milestones

6/6/22 FOX 17

HUDSONVILLE, Mi. — It’s graduation season – a time of transition, hope and change.

… Elsa (Groenink) says her mom is her greatest motivation and inspiration, and she certainly has big dreams. “I’m going to GRCC next year an do their culinary program and then hopefully get a baking and pastry arts certificate and then I can do an internship maybe somewhere out of the country before and then hopefully own my own bakery which would be really exciting.” 

Internet Explorer- End of life

Internet explorer symbol - an e.

Beginning June 15, 2022, Microsoft will be retiring Internet Explorer.

If you are still using Internet Explorer as your default browser, please switch to another browser such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Microsoft Edge.

We have a helpful knowledge base article to assist you.

Any applications or sites that are traditionally only accessible in Internet Explorer can be opened in Microsoft Edge using the Compatibility Mode feature

If you use Internet Explorer for linking documents, you may now use any browser to complete this function. 

If you have any questions about this change, we encourage you to reach out to the IT Support Desk at 616-234-4357 or by visiting our Customer Support Portal at supportdesk.grcc.edu to submit a ticket.