Information Station volunteers needed

Hi Everyone!

We are looking for volunteers to help with the Information Stations that will be set up for the first three days of the new semester.

Sharing in the excitement of new opportunities, easing nerves, and helping students find their way is a great way to start the semester and show our students that we support them.

As we have in the recent past, we will have stations set up Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, August 29 through August 30 in four locations.

The stations on the north end of the Dr. Juan Olivarez Plaza, the first floor of Sneden Hall and the fourth floor of the Finkelstein (Main) Building will be open from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday and from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday.

The station at the second floor entrance of the ATC will be open from 5-6:30 p.m.

Here’s the link to sign up! F22 Info Station Sign up

My Story Started at GRCC: Jessica Schippa’s career change idea led to GRCC’s Dental Hygiene program

Jesseca Schippa smiling.

GRCC is a great place to learn – even while you teach here!

Jesseca Schippa already had a bachelor’s degree in psychology, but she was ready for a career change and enrolled in GRCC’s Dental Hygiene program.

“The faculty not only taught me what I needed to learn for my profession, but I could tell they also cared about me as a person and wanted to help me succeed,” she said.

Schippa earned her associate degree in 2014, but her GRCC experience prompted her to set a new career goal.

“I went to GRCC to become a dental hygienist, and during my time there, the faculty made such a great impression on me as a student that I discovered I wanted to be on that end of the program and be part of helping future generations of students achieve their dreams,” she said.

“When I went to graduate school to get my master’s, it was so I could teach at GRCC. I didn’t want to teach anywhere else. I wanted to stay in the program that cultivated and supported me so well and do that same thing for others.”

After three years as an adjunct clinical instructor, Schippa accepted a position of assistant professor and first-year clinic coordinator in May.

And she’s still learning from GRCC faculty.

“During my time here as an adjunct, they have continued to support me and help me grow,” she said. “As I have assumed my new position, they have continued in their support and guidance, and I look forward to paying that forward for generations of students to come.

“I love being a dental hygienist, but fast-forward eight years later, and I am in my dream position, doing something I absolutely love with some of the best colleagues I could ask for!”

My GRCC Story: Matisse Zuzu uses Futures for Frontliners to tap GRCC Music programs to launch recording career

Sophie Nyson loves singing, writing and recording music for herself. But the 25-year-old always shied away from taking her music to the next level.

Until today.

Nyson, who goes by the name Matisse Zuzu when performing, released her first single and music video “Past Tense” today. Zuzu said she owes a debt of gratitude to Grand Rapids Community College, where she’s pursuing an Associate of Music in Recording Technology.

“GRCC gave me the confidence to get to a place where I was ready to release this song that I’ve been sitting on for several years,” said Zuzu, who is using a Futures for Frontliners scholarship to attend college.

Futures for Frontliners is a state scholarship program for Michiganders who worked frontline jobs in essential industries during the state’s COVID-19 shutdown. The scholarship, now closed to applications, provides eligible frontline workers with free in-district tuition to pursue an associate degree or a certificate at their local community college.

A similar program, Michigan Reconnect, is still available for adult learners 25 and older.

Zuzu was eligible for the Frontliners scholarship because she worked as a credit union teller during the 2020 shutdown.

“Because I didn’t go to college straight out of high school, I thought I’d missed my chance at a degree,” she said. “Futures for Frontliners was a gamechanger for me because I just couldn’t have afforded college otherwise.”

Zuzu grew up in Grand Rapids and dabbled in music composition as a teen. After graduating in 2015 from East Grand Rapids High School, she wasn’t sure what to do with her music – or her life.

But after attending her idol Aurora’s concert the following year, she longed to perform on stage. Zuzu wrote “Past Tense” in 2020, recording the vocals and piano at home herself. But she still didn’t know how to take the next step.

Eventually, she connected with a professional producer, and they re-recorded the single for release. Alec Hawkins, her future brother-in-law, worked with her to film, direct and edit the music video, which features a Heritage Hill home and the Aquinas College campus.

“The single showcases a wide dynamic range and represents my desire to let any and all genuine emotions shine,” she said.

Though thrilled with the song’s release, Zuzu knows there’s still a lot of hard work ahead if she wants to make it in the music world. She attends GRCC part-time while working and looks forward to the fall semester.

GRCC’s Recording Technology program, which debuted in 2000, has been a great addition to the Music Department for students like Zuzu, professor Timothy Heldt said.

Like all music majors, students who have selected an emphasis in recording technology must complete courses in music theory, aural comprehension, applied music, performance class, piano and major ensembles. In addition, they learn the fundamentals of the recording arts, analog and digital recording console operation, microphone design and technique, and multitrack audio production and mixing.

Heldt said the program provides students with the state-of-the-art equipment and training they need to succeed. And that includes Zuzu.

“She’s a very conscientious student, a dead serious learner and tries to absorb everything she possibly can,” Heldt said.

This story was reported by Beth McKenna.

Learn From the Best: Jodi Dawson sees her resilient students making adjustments, not excuses

Jodi Dawson smiling.

GRCC mathematics faculty member Jodi Dawson values getting to know her students beyond coursework.

“GRCC students are hard working; oftentimes trying to juggle a job, family and school,” Dawson said. “I appreciate getting to know what my students’ goals are and how I can help them achieve them. Math is my passion, the environment created at GRCC allows me to not only teach math but also to get to know how I can help them apply math in real world situations.”

Dawson is also proud to work with a team of faculty members and tutorial lab staff that seeks to help all students at the level they’re at.

“Our free tutoring lab is wonderful, they are patient and helpful,” Dawson said. GRCC students can access the math lab in person, in room 100 & 105 Cook Academic Hall Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., or on a variety of days and times virtually through Blackboard. 

Her department’s goal, and one she supports wholeheartedly, is to help students reach their personal and academic goals – which is not always straight As.

“One thing that I have learned is that while grades are important, we are not ‘defined’ by our grades,” Dawson said. “Yes, I think all students should strive to do their best, but there are for sure other qualities of success as well. To me – and many future employers – integrity, hard work, effort and knowing where to look for solutions, is more important than the letter grade you got in algebra.”

Dawson has wanted to be a math teacher since middle school.

 “I consider it pure joy that I get to work in a career I love,” she said. “When you love what you do it doesn’t even seem like a job.”
You can join Dawson this fall. There is still time to enroll! She typically teaches MA 97 Pre-Algebra, MA 98 Elementary Algebra, MA 107 Intermediate Algebra, MA 110 College Algebra courses. Check out ClassFinder in mid-August to see which of these classes Dawson will be teaching this fall.

GRCC’s Jeremy Marble earns Most Valuable Pitcher Award in Great Lakes UBL Baseball League

Jeremy Marble throwing a baseball.

Grand Rapids Community College sophomore Jeremy Marble was named Most Valuable Pitcher of the Great Lakes UBL Baseball League, joining six other current or former GRCC players honored with postseason awards.

Marble, a southpaw from Sparta, played this summer for the Grand Rapids Brewers in the Great Lakes UBL, a wood bat league for college players.

Marble earned five wins and one loss with a 2.53 earned run average. He had 44 strikeouts and just 19 walks in 39 innings.

Marble was named to the Great Lakes UBL First Team, along with teammate Colton Leatherman, a right-handed pitcher from Rockford; and University of Indianapolis star Jared Bujdos, who played for GRCC in 2019 and 2020.

Three players with GRCC ties were named to the Second Team, including current infielder/outfielder Jacob Gumieny and former Raiders Drew Murphy and Garrett Cheslek.

Cheslek, a 6-6 pitcher from Sparta, played for Aquinas College this year while Murphy plans to attend Concordia University in Ann Arbor.

Joe Hoeks, a sophomore who played infield and outfield for GRCC this year, was named All-League honorable mention. He hit .292 with 20 stolen bases.

It’s the second year in a row a GRCC player earned one of the league’s top honors. Ryan Dykstra was named Most Valuable Player in 2021. Dykstra is playing for the Kalamazoo Growlers of the Northwoods League this summer and will attend Oakland University in the fall.

The Great Lakes UBL Baseball League is a summer league with teams in Midland, Grand Rapids, Jackson, Livonia and Manistee. Amateur players are from NAIA, NJCAA and NCAA-sanctioned colleges and universities.

The league, a member of the National Amateur Baseball Federation, is intended to provide a summer baseball program for eligible players to give them experience using a wood bat in a competitive atmosphere. The team with the best overall record wins the league championship.

Tech Tip: Organize your open tabs with tab groups in Chrome

Are you what some might consider a tab collector — someone who has multiple tabs open in their browser at one time? Do you often get lost in your open tabs?

Chrome has a new way to organize tabs called tab grouping. Now, with a simple right click, you can group your tabs together and label them with a custom name and color! 

Organize your tabs with tab groups in Google Chrome

While there currently isn’t a feature to save a Tab Group  —  hopefully Google will add this option to Chrome later, you can enable a setting that will ensure that whenever you close your browser everything will be where you left off.

To do this, click on the three dots in the upper right corner and go to Settings. From the menu on the left click On startup. In the center, click the radial button next to Continue where you left off. 

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

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

Tech Tip: Using the Chat feature on web pages

Do you have a quick question for the IT Support Desk, Enrollment Center, or Communications Department

You can utilize the chat feature built into the GRCC website for these departments. During business hours for each department, you can click to chat and a staff member from that department will answer your questions in real time.

If a chat is initiated when the department is offline, an email notification is sent and someone from the specified department will follow up with you. 

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 08/08/2022

Grand Rapids Public Schools appoints new deputy superintendent, communications director

8/4/22 MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – A new deputy superintendent and communications director are joining the administrative ranks at Grand Rapids Public Schools.

… (Brandy Lovelady) Mitchell is an elected member of the Grand Rapids Community College Board of Trustees. She was elected to the board in 2020 and her term runs through the end of 2026. Previously, she served as the director of diversity, equity and inclusion for Michigan Education Association, and in a similar role at the Kent ISD.

Ring of Color lipstick offers new products after rebranding

8/5/22 Grand Rapids Business Journal

There’s a lot of misconception of what beauty is supposed to look like in the makeup industry, according to Melissa Polanco, a 37-year-old Grand Rapidian of 20 years, who was raised in the Dominican Republic. The goal when she started her cosmetics company was simply to provide representation for not just women of color — women like herself — but everybody, for every skin tone.

… She started the makeup company in 2018 with her sister, Lissa Martinez, with no background in product development. Polanco had gone to Grand Rapids Community College and transferred to MSU where she received her degree in zoology.

 ‘I never knew I liked cauliflower’

8/5/22 Health Beat (Spectrum Health)

On a recent Monday evening at the Spectrum Health Lifestyle Medicine teaching kitchen at Grand Rapids Downtown Market, chef Will Barajas looked on with a smile as the group of families donned their aprons.

… Barajas, of the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education at Grand Rapids Community College, has had no trouble greeting families for this hands-on approach to all things culinary.

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 ( or Lori Cook (