GRCC earns 17 communications awards for highlighting student successes, transformational programs

Grand Rapids Community College’s Communications team earned top honors from a national college and communications and marketing organization for efforts including sharing how the Michigan Reconnect program can transform lives.

The award was among 17 Medallion Awards earned by GRCC and presented by the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations District 3, which includes community, technical and junior colleges in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin and the Canadian province of Ontario.

The GRCC team earned seven Gold Medallions, six silver awards and four bronze awards, presented Wednesday at the organization’s conference in Chicago.

“It’s an honor to tell the stories of GRCC students, colleagues and programs,” Communications Director Dave Murray said. “They inspire us to do our best, and we hope their stories inspire others to start an educational journey that will change their lives.”

The Communications Department is part of the GRCC College Advancement team, directed by Dr. Kathryn Mullins, vice president for College Advancement and executive director of the GRCC Foundation.

The Michigan Reconnect awareness campaign included student profiles that were highlighted by the state government and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, social media campaigns, outdoor advertising and other materials telling people about the program, which covers the cost of in-state tuition for residents age 25 and older.

The GRCC Foundation’s Annual Report was among the Gold Medallion winners. It’s the third year in a row the annual report, which shares how students and the greater community benefit from foundation support, has earned a top NCMPR honor.

GRCC also earned:

  • A Gold Medallion for flyers sharing how the TRIO Educational Opportunities connect students with college resources
  • A Gold Medallion for the 2022 Commencement program.
  • A Gold Medallion for a poster promoting “Eurdyice,” a performance by the GRCC Players.
  • A Gold Medallion for the “You Think You Know GRCC” television ad, a collaboration with the GRCC Media Technologies team.
  • A Gold Medallion in the Special Event or Fundraising Campaign for “One Day, Four Ribbons Cut,” last year’s celebration of the renovations to Raleigh J. Finkelstein Hall, the Wisner-Bottrall Applied Technology Center, Steven C. Ender Hall and the Custer Alumni House.
  • A Silver Medallion for holiday cards that highlight students in the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education’s retail baking class.
  • A Silver Medallion for the college’s two viewbooks.
  • A Silver Medallion for the new package students receive when they are accepted to GRCC.
  • A Silver Medallion for the design of the mural on the first floor of Raleigh J. Finkelstein Hall.
  • A Silver Medallion in the long-form writing category for a profile of former cross country assistant coach Stephanie Thomas, who returned to GRCC as 27-year-old, joined the cross country team, became an All-American who set a school record that still stands.
  • A Silver Medallion for the @grandrapidscc Instagram account.
  • A Bronze Medallion for an e-card telling donors about the Armen Oudmedian Consecutive Giving Club.
  • A Bronze Medallion for the design of the website.
  • A Bronze Medallion for the design of a logo for the Secchia Institute’s team participating in the NASA HUNCH competition.
  • A Bronze Medallion in the short-form writing category for sharing the story of Seth Noyes, a student who was motivated to succeed after being placed on academic suspension.

Tutor Appreciation Week: October 3-7

It’s National Tutor Appreciation Week (Oct 3-7), and we need your help thanking GRCC’s amazing tutors! It will only take a moment of your time. 

  1. Fill out this quick survey to say thank you to all tutors, to a specific center, or to your favorite tutor.
  2. Are you on-campus?  Stop by a tutorial center and add a note to our appreciation board or verbally thank the tutors.
  3. So that all of our tutors can attend our Tutor Appreciation Event, all tutoring services will be closed on Tuesday, October 4 from 10 AM-11 AM.

We look forward to sharing your notes with our tutors and thank you for your time!

– Academic Support & Tutoring Services

Homecoming Week: 10% discount off GRCC apparel and gifts at the Bookstore for employees and retirees

In celebration of Homecoming week at GRCC, our friends at the Bookstore have an exciting offer for employees and retirees: 10% discount off GRCC apparel and gifts. 

Faculty/Staff please show employee ID at the cash register to obtain the discount.  Retirees just let them know you are a retired GRCC employee. 

The book store will have extended hours on Friday, October 7  from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. 

Don’t forget to rock your GRCC apparel and blue & gold swag on two upcoming days: Friday, September 30 and Monday, October 3.

Take the opportunity while everyone is decked out to snap and submit photos for the Wear Your GRCC pride contest.  Employees, departments, families, pets, retirees – everyone with Raider spirit is invited to put it on display. 

Walkers and sponsors needed for 2022 Big Step Walk benefiting Noorthoek Academy

Incredible raffle prizes, Vitales pizza, Culvers custard, and tons of fun activities along with their light-hearted 2K will make it a great event for all!

Dwight Lydell Park
Comstock Park
Saturday, October 1
Student registration begins at 10:30 AM

Noorthoek Academy, an organization that works with GRCC to provide a college experience for people with special needs, is seeking walkers and sponsors for the 2022 Big Step Walk.

Funds raised from the event support field trip costs and tuition assistance for Noorthoek students.

You can learn more – and sign up – online.

While enrollment declines, the Honors Program experiences a 50% increase

The Honors Program continues to experience a record increase in both current and prospective students. During Fall 2020, 45 students began the program.  This Fall, 106 committed to the program.  

Our growth is directly related to the amazing faculty and student leadership who’ve helped to guide and improve our recruitment and support practices,” said Michael Schavey, Director of Experiential Learning.

The core of the curriculum is focused on Honors Projects.  Students identify a course at the beginning of the semester in which they will flesh out a brief research assignment in collaboration with their professor.  Upon successful completion, students receive a scholarship and designation onto their official transcript.  Students must complete four honors projects to complete the program.  

Honors projects are a great way to create an assignment for students to deepen their learning on a topic they are studying in their course.  Outcomes of these projects include student/faculty mentorship, opportunities for career exploration, enhanced skills on communication, leadership, research as well as personal and professional responsibility,” said Jonnathan Resendiz, Assistant Professor and Interim Associate Dean of STEM.

The Honors Program offers support to all faculty who are collaborating on an honors project. Here’s a brief overview presentation with basic information about Honors Projects. 

If you have questions or suggestions, please email Jonnathan Resendiz at

GRCC volleyball libero Audrey Gower named MCCAA Northern Conference Player of the Week

Audrey Gower, of the first-place Grand Rapids Community College volleyball team, was named Michigan Community College Athletic Association Northern Conference Defensive Player of the Week. 

Gowera third-year libero from Dimondale, compiled 44 digs and three service aces in three victories for the Raiders last week, all in straight sets.

In a doubleheader at Alpena Community College Gower reached the 600-dig milestone, averaging just under five per-set in her five sets of action.

Against Delta College, Gower had a three-set match career high of 21 digs.

“Audrey’s a special player,” associate coach David Rawles said. “Her grit, fight and will to lay it all out there help her be one of the best defensive players we have ever had at GRCC.”

Since dropping its first two matches of the season, GRCC has won nine straight, including five in the conference.

GRCC will travel to Muskegon Community College on Sept. 29 in a 6:30 p.m. match that will determine the outright lead in the conference as Muskegon is also undefeated. 

Volunteers needed for GRCC Scholarfest 2022

GRCC Scholarfest 2022 is back on campus! This year we will be honoring Dr. Juan and Mary Olivarez on Tuesday, November 1, 2022.

Are you available during the evening of Tuesday, November 1 from 5 – 9 p.m.? Would you like to assist in making this year’s Scholarfest another success? Yes? Then volunteer! 

What we need:

  • Parking Help
  • Greeters
  • Coat Check
  • Registration

We need at least 15 dedicated volunteers. All volunteer positions will be assigned.  

Contact Mary Reed at 3930 or to sign up. 

Blackboard Instructor Mobile App- ACTION REQUIRED before September 30

In early August, Blackboard consolidated the Blackboard Instructor and Blackboard Student apps into a singular mobile app. 

Beginning September 30, the Blackboard Instructor app will no longer be available for download through the App Store or Google Play Store.

Additionally, critical security updates will no longer be applied to the existing app that may have been downloaded previously. 

It is strongly recommended that instructors download the newly consolidated Blackboard app from the App Store (iOS) or the Google Play Store (Android) before September 30, 2022 to avoid any disruptions or security threats to your device. 

Downloading the New Blackboard App 

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