Hip-hop artist Bun B to share his evolution from performer to activist, entrepreneur and educator through GRCC, Muse GR partnership

Hip-hop artist Bun B will talk about his evolution as a performer, entrepreneur, activist and Rice University faculty member at an event that is a partnership between Grand Rapids Community College and Muse GR.

GRCC’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is collaborating with Muse GR on two events on Oct. 13, celebrating the launch of Muse Southeast, 501 Eastern Ave. SE.

“Trill Talk: Small City, Big Dreams” will feature an in-depth discussion about Bun B’s journey from rapper to entrepreneur, hosted by Bakari Kitwana, an internationally known cultural critic, journalist and activist. 

The second event, “Trill Certified,” offers a showcase of artists and creatives from Grand Rapids and a friendly cook-off to determine Grand Rapids’ best burger.

The Bun B discussion starts at 7 p.m., with “Trill Certified” at 8:30 p.m.

Bun B, born Bernard Freeman in Port Arthur, Texas, rose to fame as one half of the Southern rap duo UGK. Along with the late Pimp C, the pair released several albums, including the self-titled “UnderGround Kingz,” which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. Bun B later went on to pursue a solo career.

“ODEI remains steadfast in supporting initiatives demonstrating the synergy between art and education,” said Dr. B. Afeni McNeely Cobham, GRCC’s chief equity and inclusion officer. “Our longstanding partnership with Muse GR affords us the privilege of illuminating the contributions and influence of Grand Rapids culture.”

Muse GR is an interactive art gallery that offers transformational space for creatives to gather, teach, and learn. Co-owners Stephen and Taylor Smith said it was essential for them to have a presence on the city’s Southeast Side.

“Although there are many creatives throughout the Grand Rapids community, creatives from the southeast side have limited options of places that cultivate their gifts and talents,” the pair said in a statement. “We are happy to be one of the places that pour into people and even more delighted when institutions like GRCC align with our efforts through partnership. The GRCC Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion has been instrumental in helping us strengthen our impact on the communities we serve.”

The events are free and open to the public, but reservations are required for each event. Additional information is available at tinyurl.com/trillvibe  

Congratulations to Toy McNeal, our 2022 Chili Cook Off winner

The Homecoming committee hosted a Chili Cook Off as one of the many activities planned this week. 

Congratulations to Toy McNeal!

Your chili was voted as our winner! Many tasters commented, “it had a very nice sweet heat”. 

A big thanks to all of our participants! It was a big hit and we are looking forward to hosting it again next year!

For more information about homecoming activities happening throughout the week, please visit grcc.edu/homecoming

We hope to see you at the Tailgate on Friday, October 7 from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. on the Dr. Juan R. Olivarez Student Plaza.

School News Network: GRCC’s new Foodology eatery offers lessons in healthier meals

 “Order number five! Order number five.” A voice over a microphone breaks through the low buzz of Grand Rapids Community College’s lunch crowd.

Tables and chairs sit opposite a student-run food counter and kitchen — a familiar layout with a new, fresh update.

Previously known as Art & Bev’s, Foodology is the newest GRCC campus lunch spot, operated by Secchia Institute for Culinary Education students under the guidance and supervision of Chef Audrey Heckwolf.

“Foodology is very different from the previous eatery, Art & Bev’s,” Heckwolf said. “Mainly, we have several menu changes, offering less fried food and more healthier, made in-house options.”

In addition to hot paninis, soups and chicken fingers, Foodology offers grab-and-go lunches, protein snack boxes and bakery items, all made by culinary students and staff.

“It was important to me to change the name and reimagine the identity of the place,” Heckwolf said. “Since we’re a community college with biology and psychology classes, I thought ‘Foodology’ would fit in.”

A café serving coffee, espresso and lattes also made its debut this semester at Foodology.

When she took on the Bakery Deli Operations class that operates the restaurant, Heckwolf had a vision for how the space should look and what her students should take away from the experience.

“I would really like them to be re-engaged in what they’re learning, as a lot of what we learn is applicable to what students want to do after they leave here,” she said. “We talk about learning skills versus management skills, how to manage a staff and create longevity in a food business.”

Heckwolf’s students also learn to establish good systems of communication within a kitchen and behind a food counter.

“I tell students it’s not all about the food; food is our vehicle for learning,” Heckwolf said. “It’s about learning how to successfully serve customers and run a business. I’m excited about the new food but even more so about students learning the curriculum.”

While working at Foodology, students get the opportunity to rotate between the different stations. Third-year culinary student Marley Marano was working behind the register on this particular day.

“This class has been great so far,” Marano said. “I had a lot of bakery classes with Chef Heckwolf and this one has been learning how to do quick service and how to manage a restaurant.”

Marano wants to run her own personal chef business after earning her degree from GRCC and feels like she’s learning applicable skills working at Foodology. 

“Chef Heckwolf has been a great mentor,” she added. “She’s a boss lady.”

Foodology is open to GRCC staff, students and the greater community Tuesdays through Thursdays, from 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., in the Wisner-Bottrall Applied Technology Center. It closes for the semester on Oct. 11. New food and bakery specials are offered each day.

This story was reported by Alexis Stark of the School News Network.

GRCC earns $2.9 million federal grant to work with partners to fill vital need, increase training for community health workers

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded Grand Rapids Community College and partners $2.9 million over three years to increase the number of community health workers in West Michigan.

GRCC is one of five colleges or organizations in Michigan to earn the grant, and the only community college.

Students will earn a community health worker, medical assistant, or personal care assistant certification. Registration opens in November.

GRCC is partnering with Cherry Health, Trinity Health and Spectrum Health’s Healthier Communities for the training, working together for the training and placement within the organizations.

“Our community turns to GRCC to help residents gain the skills they need for important roles, especially in the rapidly growing and changing world of healthcare,” said Julie Parks, dean and executive director of Workforce Training. “We’re proud to partner with some of the top healthcare providers in West Michigan to provide the training, fill a critical need, and help our residents.”

Community health workers help people navigate and access health services and adopt healthy behaviors. They can help people connect to needed health care, access health insurance, educate healthcare providers and other stakeholders about community health needs, collect data for use in determining programs and policies, and provide some screenings and referrals.

“Cherry Health is honored to be part of this collaborative effort allowing us and the other partnering organizations to accelerate our ability to fill gaps in care and use non-traditional methods to develop meaningful career-pathing opportunities for community health workers,” Cherry Health President and CEO Tasha Blackmon said. “Through this program, our staff and other community members will develop skills we feel are critical as we advance patient care. By streamlining training for Community Health Workers, we will make our communities healthier and empower these individuals to grow in their healthcare careers.”

GRCC will use the grant to train new community health workers and expand the skills of current ones. Those in the program will gain hands-on experience by working in the field and through apprenticeships.

“Well-trained and compassionate community health care workers are an integral part of what we do here, bringing inclusive and quality health services to communities that need it most,” said Paula Schuiteman-Bishop, vice president for Healthier Communities operations at Spectrum Health. “Programs such as Maternal/Infant Health and More Life, Mas Vida, have a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of so many individuals in the area and are the perfect means for providing quality education and training to aspiring health care professionals or those who are looking to brush up on their skills. We look forward to participating in this effort.”

The Health Resources and Services Administration awarded more than $225 million to 83 grantees nationally through the American Rescue Plan to provide and apprenticeships to about 13,000 community health workers across the nation.

“Patients depend on community and public health workers for care and medical information,” Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a release. “These investments will equip community and public health workers with the skill sets needed to provide effective community outreach, increase access to care, and assist individuals with critical prevention and treatment services.”

Parks said the partners are coordinating this month on the final details of how the program will work.

“As trusted health care messengers, community health workers are essential to connecting individuals from historically underserved communities to health care and helping people stay connected to care and services,” HRSA Administrator Carole Johnson said. “Today’s awards are an important step in expanding the health workforce at a time when people need support accessing care and treatment for mental health and substance use disorders, chronic disease and COVID-19.”

GRCC In the News 10/06/2022

Grand Rapids Sports Hall of Fame welcomes class of 2022

10/4/22 WOOD TV

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Some new faces joined the ranks of some of Grand Rapids’ most iconic sports legends Tuesday night, as six people from West Michigan were inducted into the Grand Rapids Sports Hall of Fame for the organization’s 50th class.

Inducted on Tuesday was the late Fred Julian, who played at the University of Michigan and was a longtime coach at West Catholic High School and Grand Rapids Community College.

Grand Rapids Community College awarded $2.9 million grant for community health workers training

10/5/22 FOX 17

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids Community College has been awarded a $2.9 million grant over three years from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The grant will be used to help increase the number of community health workers in West Michigan.

 ‘Food is our vehicle for learning’

10/5/22 schoolnewsnetwork.org (Kent Intermediate School District)

Grand Rapids — “Order number five! Order number five.” 

A voice over a microphone breaks through the low buzz of Grand Rapids Community College’s lunch crowd.

CMU Music presents ‘100 Years of Bands’

10/5/22 The Morning Sun (Mount Pleasant)

Central Michigan University’s Music Department will host a special concert at 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9, taking a look at 100 years of band music.

The event will feature current students, alumni and guests, with CMU faculty and guest conductors from Oakland University, Grand Rapids Community College and Adrian College leading various CMU ensembles in a diverse program of contemporary music and traditional classics. The concert will highlight newer band music, including a world premiere performance of “Rising Star” by David Gillingham, along with Michael Mikulka’s “From Detroit to LA,” “Dream of Ember, Dream of Star” by David Biedenbender, “Fire Up” by David Gillingham, and a trombone concert by John Mackey. Traditional concert pieces by Gustav Holst and Percy Grainger are also on the program. Admission is free and open to the public. For more information, visit go.cmich.edu/lifeoncampus/events,  email m.garciasouza@cmich.edu or call 989-774-3738.

The man building Ferris’ future

10/5/22 The Ferris State Torch (Ferris State University student newspaper)

Big Rapids soil has been under President Pink’s feet for only a few months, but he has already left a footprint.

… Before coming to Ferris, Pink previously served as the president of Grand Rapids Community College for five years. He was elected to the position in May of 2017 after two years as the vice president and dean in workforce development. Prior to this, he worked as the vice president of academic affairs at Oklahoma State-Oklahoma City from 2011 to 2015 and the associate dean at the University of Central Oklahoma from 2007 to 2011. 

WMU, GRPS partner to offer free dual enrollment program to HS students

10/6/22 WOOD TV

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A new collaboration with Western Michigan University and Grand Rapids Public Schools is nurturing the next generation of makers.

… “They can go to (Grand Rapids Community College) and ladder into an associates and get it free because they are GRPS students,” (Kimmy) Beuchler said.