Learn From the Best: Julie Bera says the enthusiasm of GRCC dental students inspires her to teach

Professor Julie Bera smiling

Professor Julie Bera knows Grand Rapids Community College Dental Program graduates are the best in the state. 

“Our reputation comes from our class sizes, that we are CODA Accredited, from our dedicated and experienced faculty, and from the way local dentists support the education of our students,” Bera said. 

GRCC offers both dental assisting and dental hygiene programs, allowing instructors to provide a deeper education to students in each program. 

Beyond teaching, Bera advises the GRCC Dental Assisting Club, and works statewide to promote careers in dental assisting. For example, she has served on a variety of task forces and committees to address the shortage of licensed dental assistants, and she was instrumental in developing GRCC’s new pathway for working dental assistants to advance in their education and careers. 

Despite her advocacy, teaching remains Bera’s passion. And that passion is fed by her relationship building and interactions with students. 

“Their excitement for learning as they progress through our dental programs is contagious,” she said.

Bera is also inspired by her team at GRCC, and she never forgets the servant leadership of former GRCC dental program instructor and director Bunny Cookwalter.

Bera’s career teaching dental assisting was not something she planned for.

“I was working as a dental assistant and decided to go back to college to get a degree, hoping to be a health educator,” she said. I was asked to teach part time at GRCC, after being an adjunct instructor for 10 years, I accepted a full time position in 1999. I have never looked back after 31 years at GRCC – I love teaching!”

Bera holds an associate of arts in dental assisting she earned from GRCC when the college was known as Grand Rapids Junior College. 

She earned a bachelor’s degree in health studies, and a masters degree in educational leadership, from Western Michigan University. 

She has served on the Michigan State Board of Dentistry and on the American Dental Association’s Commission on Dental Accreditation. Bera was recently the first recipient of the Michigan Dental Association’s Allied Dental Professional Educator Award from the Michigan Dental Association for her commitment to public service and education.

My Story Started at GRCC: IT leader Jake Blough says GRCC introduced him to new worlds

Jake Blough smiling.

Jake Blough is grateful to GRCC not only for his 22-year career but for introducing him to the world beyond his small town.

“Coming from a small town, GRCC afforded so much more possibilities to interact with a diverse population, diverse professors and, of course, diverse learning experiences,” said Blough, who graduated from Thornapple Kellogg High School. “I spent a majority of my time at GRCC between the Music program and Computer Science program. Learning how to learn was a really important skill to hone.”

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.

Blough was hired by Service Express Inc., a global IT company, just three weeks after his 2000 graduation from GRCC.

“Over 22 years, I have gone from field engineering, supply chain, data science and, ultimately, to the CTO position,” he said.

For Blough, learning continues to be an essential task.

“Service Express was a very small company when I started of only 24 employees,” he said. “Over the years, it has grown immensely to over 900 employees in multiple countries. It took a lot of hard work, creative thinking and learning new skills every single day to keep up.”

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

Annual multimedia replacement work on all classroom computers

Information Technology will be conducting our annual multimedia replacement work on all classroom computers over the next few weeks. 

The systems that will be replaced have been flagged with a notice on the monitor. If you have any files stored on any of these computers, please be sure to move them from the desktop to your personal J drive or Google Drive at your earliest convenience.

If you have any questions contact the IT Support Desk at 234-4357, or submit a service request using the Support Portal.

Zoom Licensing

In an effort to make requesting access for software and applications easier for our customers, Information Technology will be taking over the provisioning of Zoom Licenses from Distance Learning & Instructional Technology (DLIT).  

How will this affect me? 

Zoom is a video conferencing platform that is used by GRCC Staff and Faculty to host and attend virtual meetings and classes. Free Zoom Basic accounts are available to all students, staff, and faculty and may be used to host meetings 40 minutes in length, or less, that include up to 100 participants. These free accounts can be created by the user following the directions in our Knowledge Base article Creating your Zoom Account.

Anyone needing to host a meeting longer than 40 minutes or with more than 300 participants, can request a Zoom Pro Licensed account. 

The Zoom License Account Request Form only needs to be completed if you are in need of a new license. If you previously were granted a license from Distance Learning & Instructional Technologies, no action is necessary as your license will remain active.

To Request a Zoom Pro License, please complete the Zoom License Account Request Form on our Customer Support Portal.  

If you have any questions regarding this change, please feel free to contact us at 616-234-4357 or by submitting a support request at our Customer Support Portal.

GRCC In the News 07/18/2022

Heavy metal band Metallica funds welding program in Grand Rapids for 4th straight year

7/15/22 MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Metallica is investing in Grand Rapids Community College’s welding program for a fourth year in a row to help non-traditional students gain hands-on career training in welding.

Grand Rapids Sports Hall of Fame to induct six standouts in 2022

7/15/22 WZZM

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The Grand Rapids Sports Hall of Fame announced its six new inductees for the Class of 2022 on Friday. The list includes a former NFL player, a three-time national championship winning coach and the founder of the Special Olympics in Grand Rapids.

… While (Fred) Julian did not start his life in Grand Rapids, he certainly made his impact in the town. Before he got there, he played at the University of Michigan from 1957 to 1959. Following his time in Ann Arbor, Julian would make his way to Grand Rapids in 1969 when he was named the head football coach at West Catholic High School. He coached there for 16 seasons. In 1985, he was the head football coach at Grand Rapids Community College until 2002. He led the Raiders to the 1988 National Championship game. Julian passed away in Comstock Park on May 4, 2013.

2 Wolverines, Cornerstone icon part of GR Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2022

7/15/22 WOOD TV

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Grand Rapids Sports Hall of Fame has announced its Class of 2022, including a former NFL player, a college basketball coaching legend and the founder of the local Special Olympics program.

… (Fred) Julian was born on the east side of the state and was a standout for the Wolverines from 1957-1959. He briefly played in the American Football League before moving back to Michigan and making a name for himself in local coaching circles. Julian coached the West Catholic High School football team for 16 seasons before moving to Grand Rapids Community College and leading the Raiders for 18 years. Julian coached West Catholic to eight City League titles and three state playoff appearances. According to MLive, Julian’s overall record between West Catholic and GRCC was 296-92-4. He retired from coaching in 2002 and was inducted into the National Junior College Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 2003. Julian died in 2013.

Meet the Grand Rapid Sports Hall of Fame’s Class of 2022

7/15/22 MLive

The Grand Rapids Sports Hall of Fame is celebrating its 50th year in 2022, and over the decades, it has honored West Michigan’s greatest athletes and biggest contributors.

… Meet the Class of 2022:

·   … The late Fred Julian, who played football at the University of Michigan and over a 34-year span coached championship-winning programs at West Catholic High School and Grand Rapids Community College.

BC Lions Wall Of Fame New Additions—Next Week’s Game Against the Ti-Cats Will Be A ‘Salute To Service Game’

7/15/22 CFL News Hub

So soon after their loss to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, the BC Lions have a week off to reflect on the loss and figure out a way to best the returning Grey Cup champs the next time they face them later in the 2022 season (which isn’t until this coming October, according to my calculations…they’ll be facing them twice that month…on the 15th and the 28th according to the CFL schedule).

… Born in Detroit, Michigan, yes the Motor City, Jovan Olafioye played his college ball at Grand Rapids Community College; it was there he made quite the impression of course. His pro football career would start with the BC Lions and it would later end with that very same team.

West Michigan Works! service center moves to new location in The Shops at Westshore

7/15/22 WHTC

HOLLAND, MI (WHTC AM/FM) – An area employment services agency has relocated its offices.

… “The location provides great visibility for the service center,” said Angie Barksdale, chief operating officer, West Michigan Works!. “We’re also very excited about the proximity to key partners, Grand Rapids Community College and Department of Health and Human Services.”

Academic Support & Tutoring Services needs assistance finding qualified tutors

Do you know someone who might be interested in working for one of the GRCC tutorial programs?  All tutorial centers are currently looking to fill both student and professional tutor positions.  

There are many benefits to working as a tutor, whether student or professional, including: flexible scheduling, a supportive academic environment, developing wide skill-sets in academic and non-academic spheres, paid professional development, and opportunities to empower our campus community. 

Please feel free to share this Google Form widely among your networks. Thank you for your help as we seek candidates who are well-equipped to support our students.

Raider Rally 2022 volunteers needed

Raider Rally 2022 – Save the Date! 

Saturday, August 27, 10 a.m  – 1 p.m.

Dr. Juan R. Olivarez Student Plaza

GRCC’s annual Raider Rally is coming soon. New students enrolled for the fall semester are invited to come to campus to join faculty and staff for a fun, welcoming event. 

We will have food and free giveaways. Additionally, students will be able to speak with academic departments and student organizations. Students will also be able to get their RaiderCard and books, and tour campus. 

We need your help to pull off this huge event.  If your office or department would like to host a table that day, please fill out this form: Department Sign Up

We also need volunteers to help for the day. We need folks to greet students and their guests, check folks in, direct people, and serve as building guides. Volunteer Sign Up

Have questions? Email Lina Blair (linablair@grcc.edu) or Lori Cook (lcook@grcc.edu)

Summer Teaching and Learning Institute – register now

Seats are limited so register now!

The Summer Teaching and Learning Institute will take place from August 10 – August 12, 2022. 

The event will offer a mix of session modalities including in-person, virtual and hyflex formats. 

Highlights of this year’s sessions include…Beyond the File Cabinet: Moving from Paper to Digital, Building Your Own Virtual Field Trips, Using They/Them Pronouns (Parts 1 & 2), and Don’t Panic: Condensing from 14 to 7 Weeks without Losing It, just to name a few. 

Guest speaker Amelia Gamel, founder of Equitable EDU, will discuss ways to Support Inclusion from the Start, providing faculty with high-impact practices that can be implemented on the first day of class that will foster an equitable environment to close the achievement gap. 

The CTE will offer the option of lunch on Wednesday and Thursday during the event. Registration for lunch will be required.