Honoring and remembering Mark Nordblom

Yesterday, our GRCC family lost Mark Nordblom, who fought bravely against cancer and other health issues for the past year. He is remembered as someone who was passionate about helping students and staff members.

Mark has been with GRCC since December 1999, serving as an enterprise analyst in the Information Technology Department. His work touched just about every student and employee during those two decades. He was systems administrator for the Blackboard course management system, an essential tool for educators and students alike.

“Mark was someone who always wanted to go above and beyond to help people,” said Nathan Hamilton, director of Academic Applications. “He was humble, caring, and genuine. He was a character and very funny when you got to know him. He cared so deeply about GRCC and what he could do to help people. His loss creates a huge gap for everyone here.”

Hamilton said Mark was always positive, even as his health challenges mounted.  

Mark worked as a Y2K project manager for Gillette Corp. and was a special projects support consultant for EDS/Blue Cross Blue Shield in his native Massachusetts before starting at GRCC. He constantly looked for opportunities to gain additional training in operating systems and other aspects of his work so he could better serve the campus.

Hamilton said Mark adored his wife, Dian, and their children and grandchildren, “and they adored him back. Whenever Mark talked about his family, he glowed.”

Dean of Liberal Arts candidate presentations

The Dean of Liberal Arts screening committee invites the campus community to attend the candidate presentations. 

The presentations are available in-person and virtually. We would encourage anyone who can attend in person to join us in ATC 168 (Auditorium). 

Candidate 1: Wednesday, June 15 from 10:00 – 11:00 am in ATC 168 or live streamed

Candidate 2: Thursday, June 16 from 10:00 – 11:00 am in ATC 168 or live streamed

Candidate 3:  Friday, June 17 from 2:00 – 3:00 pm in ATC 168 or live streamed

Candidate 4: Thursday, June 23 from 10:00 – 11:00 am in ATC 168 or live streamed

Candidate 5: Friday, June 24 from 10:00 – 11:00 am in ATC 168 or live streamed.

Barnes and Noble College promising GRCC students new retail experience, streamlined textbook ordering process

Barnes and Noble is promising Grand Rapids Community College students a new retail experience and a streamlined process to order textbooks and other class supplies when it opens June 15 as the new campus bookstore.

The college signed a five-year contract to operate the store, located in the Student Center, along with an online store.

Barnes and Noble College looks to provide an unmatched retail experience for GRCC students, both in-person and online. Students are going to see different merchandise, but the company also looks to create a different atmosphere, with sitting areas and a place to relax.

Barnes and Noble College is one of the nation’s largest college bookstore operators, with more than 800 college stores across the country. The company manages 35 stores in the state, with West Michigan locations including Muskegon Community College, Montcalm Community College and Lake Michigan College. Other Michigan Barnes and Noble stores include the University of Michigan, Northern Michigan University and Wayne State University.

GRCC had for years contracted with Follett, also a large operator with a national presence, to run the campus store. The company’s contract expired this year, and a campus committee reviewed proposals and selected Barnes and Noble as a new partner.

“It’s good practice to explore all options when contracts expire, and see what opportunities might be better for our students and community” said Lisa Freiburger, GRCC’s CFO and vice president for finance and administration. “Follett was a wonderful partner for GRCC for many years, and we are excited about new experiences and opportunities that can come from this new partnership.”

Barnes and Noble College intends to create a seamless experience for students to purchase textbooks and other materials, with an ability to integrate with the college’s Blackboard course management system.

The company also plans a bookstore mobile app that will allow students to receive updates, place orders and learn about discounts.

The store plans to host events, such as graduation fairs, “de-stress” programs during finals and other activities intended to make the store a hub for students.

Learn from the Best: Chris Schell helps students gain in-demand skills, but also a process for learning

Chris Schell smiling.

Chris Schell loves helping students learn new things in electronics classes for their HVAC, industrial maintenance, mechatronics, and electronics degrees and certificates at GRCC.

“I started out in industry as an electrical engineer at GE Aviation, and switched to full-time education at GRCC in 2020, after a year of being an adjunct,” he said.

Schell holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of New Mexico.  He teaches EL106 Technical Electricity, EL 107 Technical Electronics, EL 144 Basic Electricity and Electronics, EL 150 Electrical Schematics, and EL 163 Electrical Troubleshooting.

“You will find a low student-to-faculty ratio in these classes,” Schell said. “The instructors are all experienced and love to teach, and our placement rate is great.”

Along with hands-on skills for an in-demand field, Schell’s students learn critical thinking skills.

“Problems are never as big as they seem to be,” he said. “And there will always be challenges with anything worth doing. If it was easy, then I wouldn’t really be needed.”

He also shares that a certificate or degree is more than a credential, it’s a life changing experience.

“Education is so much more than just regurgitating information,” Schell said. “I had a professor who once told me to ‘learn something in spite of your classes,’ and it took me a while to figure out what he meant. Long after I graduated from college, it dawned on me that, though valuable, it wasn’t just the engineering degree that was important–it was the experience of learning. I developed a thought process on ‘how to learn’ and that has been invaluable to me.”

GRCC In the News 06/10/2022

Grand Rapids Community College students to receive travel grant

6/9/22 Grand Rapids Business Journal

Up to 25 students from underserved communities will be able to obtain passports to study abroad.

Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) partnered with the Institute of International Education’s (IIE) American Passport Project to provide passports for up to 25 students to study abroad. 

Grand Rapids Community College opens assistance program for adult learners

6/9/22 Ludington Daily News

Grand Rapids Community College received a five-year, $1.2 million grant to help adult learners enter higher education through the TRIO program, and it’s open to residents in Mason and nearby counties.

Michigan GOP candidate for governor Ryan Kelley arrested by FBI: What we know

6/9/22 WDIV

One of the leading Republican candidates for Michigan governor was arrested by the FBI and charged for his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot on Thursday morning.

… (Ryan) Kelley, 40, is the owner of a real estate firm in West Michigan. He graduated from Jenison High School in 1999 and attended Grands Rapids Community College.

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.