GRCC presidential candidate Timothy Casper on campus today

Dr. Timothy Casper is on campus today for several forums and an interview with the Board of Trustees. Access to the feedback survey will be at each session, on the Presidential Search website, and available at President Search Feedback Form – Fall 2022.

His schedule is as follows:

  • 8:00-8:40 a.m. — Breakfast gathering with the Board of Trustees in room 122 of the ATC.
  • 8:45-9:30 a.m. — Cabinet in ATC.
  • 9:45-10:30 a.m. — Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Access in the ATC auditorium. Public link to live-stream.
  • 10:45-11:30 a.m. — Faculty forum in the ATC auditorium.
  • 11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m. — Student forum in the ATC auditorium.
  • 12:45-2:00 p.m. — Lunch with the Executive Leadership Team in ATC.
  • 2:30-3:30 p.m. — Campus & Community Forum (all faculty, administration, staff and public invited) in the ATC auditorium. Public link to live-stream.
  • 3:45-5:15 p.m. — Board of Trustees Interview in the ATC auditorium. Public link to live-stream.

Teaching, Learning, and Distance Education News

GRCC Leadership Institute
The GRCC Leadership Institute has been transformed, updated, redeveloped and re-energized!

Human Resources has partnered with the leadership development consultants of Insight Action Learning Group to establish a program committed to strengthening new and emerging leaders from across the GRCC campus.

Please apply to be one of the first participants in this new and improved seven month cohort experience. Meetings will take place monthly beginning in January through July.

The GRCC Leadership Institute program seeks a diverse pool of candidates who meet the following criteria: exemplifies GRCC’s values, Commitment to attending the program in its entirety, Continuing employment at GRCC for one year after completion of the L.I. program

Please visit the updated Leadership Institute webpage to review more details and information about the program as well as the Leadership Institute application.

The deadline to apply to be a part of the 2023 cohort is Friday, November 4. Questions? More information? Contact Laura Caulk or Angela Salinas.

Featured Upcoming Workshops/Events and Reminders:

  1. Reminder: GRCC President Finalist on Campus – October 24th.  Visit the Presidential Search webpage for all of the details.
  2. Tips and Tricks Fall 2022 – Wednesday, 10/26 – 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. – Hyflex
  3. 1st Year Assessment of Student Learning Training – Friday, 11/44 – 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. – In Person
  4. Managing the Grading Load – Thursday, 11/10 – 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. – Hyflex
  5. Instructional Design Charrette – Wednesday, 11/16 – 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. – Hyflex

Please visit CTE’s Calendar and Programming webpage for the current listing of all Fall 2022 Professional Development opportunities being offered by TLDE!

Students seeking opportunities around the world

Since 2012, hundreds of students have been able to travel internationally as part of a summer course via the Study Away program.  Destinations have included Costa Rica, France, Germany, Italy, Morocco, and Spain.

Each year, GRCC faculty work alongside the Department of Experiential Learning to identify a course and design a two-week travel experience aligning itinerary activities to course outcomes.  

A recent survey asked students where they would like to travel and the top five destinations include: Japan, South Korea, England, France, and Italy.

We are currently seeking Pre-Proposals for Summer 2024!  Help students acquire an experience of a lifetime.  Submit your pre-proposal by December 1.

The Pre-Proposal simply outlines the initial details of the travel experience (course, location, budget, dates of travel, etc.). 

If you have any questions regarding the creation of a short-term travel experience (Study Away), please contact the Study Away Faculty Liaison, Sasha Ahmed, at or 616-234-3695.

TRIO & Power Of Education Fundraiser

Hello GRCC Family!

TRIO Student Support Services is hosting our annual fundraiser for the Power of Education Foundation that benefits Samuel, a 10 year boy who attends their school in Haiti.

COVID changed our fundraising efforts for the past few years but we are back and better than ever!  We are hosting a donut and churro cheesecake (homemade!) to raise the $800 for his tuition, food, medical/dental needs, and school supplies.  You can also donate directly without purchasing anything. 

Please see below for additional information:

1.)  Donations accepted beginning Monday, October 31st thru Friday, November 4th at: PEF Donation for Samuel

2.)  This year we are selling Krispy Kreme donuts by the dozen and Churro Cheesecake by the slice and whole cake.  *Deadline for all orders will be on Thursday, October 27, 5:00 PM.  Follow this link for pricing details and to place your order: Donut & Churro Cheesecake Order Form

3.)  Goal: $800

4.)  Learn more!  Jen Masternak, the Creative and Finance Director for the Power of Education Foundation, shared a video about the foundation and the school.  And how their connection to GRCC, and how the GRCC community and TRIO Student Support Services has supported their efforts over the years.

Thank you for your support!  This fundraising partnership has existed for 10+ years between GRCC, TRIO and the Power of Education Foundation. 

It has truly been a GRCC community effort that has raised thousands of dollars and provided life-changing education, support and care for children.  Not only have we raised needed funds but our students have gained an awareness of another culture and appreciation for the access to education we have.  

If you have any questions, or need additional information, please contact me at 616-234-2167 or via email at

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Inherit the Dream Scholarship

The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Grand Rapids Community College invites graduating seniors who plan to enroll at GRCC during the winter, summer, or fall 2023 semester to apply for the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Inherit the Dream Scholarship.

Recipients of the scholarship will be recognized at the 37th Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration in January. 

More than 60 scholarships have been awarded to high school seniors during this celebration.  

Steps to Apply

  • Submit a typed, one-page essay that addresses the following question: Why is attending College important?
  • Submit one written letter of recommendation from a teacher, counselor, coach, or mentor.
  • Submit a high school transcript with a cumulative GPA of 2.0

All application materials are due on Tuesday, Nov. 15, by 11:59 pm to:


  • Graduating senior who identifies as a first-generation college student or member of a historically underserved and underrepresented community.
  • Enrolled in Kent Intermediate School District
  • Involved in community service or activities in support of diversity and inclusion.
  • Accepted into Grand Rapids Community College with a minimum grade point average of 2.0.

GEAR UP Wyoming at Davenport University

A hack, virtual patients, and cars playing soccer.

Technology engaged GEAR UP Wyoming cohort students on visits to Davenport University this month as they immersed themselves in cybersecurity and nursing simulations as well as Esports competitions.

After generating letter combinations on a Microsoft Access app, a Cartesian product set theory exercise, GEAR UP juniors typed commands on keyboards to see who could access a website portal on a simulated platform.

In this career exploration session, students learned about academic pathways leading to as many as eight thousand cybersecurity jobs in organizations big and small, public and private.

To practice a nurse’s evaluation, students tilted iPads to examine virtual patients: one with diabetes, one with a leg burn, and another who fell off a motorcycle. Responding to prompts from a nursing instructor, students interpreted changing vitals – heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen levels – to assess patients’ wellbeing.

For some serious fun, GU students competed with DU Esports athletes in a few rounds of Rocket League, a soccer video game using racing cars to move a ball around a field and score goals.

GEAR UP Wyoming cohort students from Kelloggsville, Godwin Heights, Wyoming, and Godfrey Lee explore potential careers and academic programs at area colleges and universities to plan next steps after graduation in May 2024.

My Story Started at GRCC: DanceSpire founder Deavondre Jones used his time at GRCC to build connections, find new perspectives

Deavondre Jones knew that enrolling at Grand Rapids Community College would give him useful credits that would transfer to his dream school: Columbia College Chicago. But he wanted more than that.

“A young guy from Benton Harbor saw endless possibilities,” he said of his time at GRCC. “It was valuable because I made it valuable. I refused to only get a transcript when I left. I wanted connections and new perspectives that would help me on my journey.”

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.

Jones found mentors and friends on campus, counting his membership in leadership development organization Alpha Beta Omega and working in the Student Life Office and as an orientation leader among his favorite memories.

Also among those fond memories: “Running to catch the bus every day because I didn’t have a car and meeting so many people who said I helped their GRCC experience in some way.”

Jones continued at Columbia after graduating from GRCC in 2013 with an associate degree in marketing. He attended on a Presidential Scholarship and earned his bachelor’s degree in business, management and marketing.

“GRCC business and math courses, specifically accounting, prepared me more than I could ever understand at the time,” he said.

Jones, the father of 6-year-old Brayden, founded DanceSpire, which works to accelerate the adoption of standardized hip hop education for dance programs, and the digital marketing company DanceSpire Agency.

He also teaches at Hope College and Michigan State and Oakland universities. He serves on the Michigan Action Plan for Fatherhood Involvement and volunteers for the West Michigan “Dads Count!” collective.

He still looks to learn something “from every room I walk into.”

“GRCC is what you make it – so is your experience in the world,” he said. “GRCC is a low-cost, high-value practice for your next step. Don’t waste it.”

Let GRCC help you start your story. The first chapter starts at

Drew Harrington leads GRCC golf team in final tournament of fall season

Drew Harrington led the Grand Rapids Community College golf team to a seventh-place finish at the Heritage Hill Fall Collegiate, wrapping up the 2022 fall season.

GRCC finished with a two-round score of 636, which was 58 strokes behind Campbellsville University, which dominated the field of eight teams with a score of 578.

GRCC, the only two-year school in the tournament, had two players finish in the top 20.

Harrington, who was in 10th place after round one, dropped five spots to finish tied for 15th with a score of 152 strokes. Mason Anderson tied for 20th place with a score of 157, but improved by seven strokes from round one to round two.

Sam Foss had the biggest improvement of all eight GRCC golfers competing, with an 84 in round one and a 74 in round two, finishing tied for 22nd place. His 74 included a team-high five birdies.

GRCC’s first tournament of the spring is scheduled for April 7, 2023 at Marion University in Indianapolis.  

Dominant meet propels GRCC cross country teams in national coaches’ poll, with women at No. 4, men at No. 7

A dominating performance in the Muskegon Invitational has propelled both Grand Rapids Community College cross country teams into the top 10 the latest coaches’ polls.

The women’s team moved up two places to be the No. 4 team in the nation, while the men’s team jumped three spots to claim the No. 7 position in the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association poll in the National Junior College Athletic Association DII category.

The men’s team started the season ranked No. 14, then moved to No. 10 before jumping to No. 7 in the most recent poll.

Rival Lansing Community College’s men’s and women’s teams are the nation’s top-ranked teams. The women’s team climbed into the No. 1 ranking, while the men’s team has claimed the lead in all three polls.

The GRCC women’s team, coached by Sharon Becker, was last ranked as high as No. 4 in the 2021 season’s opening poll.

The poll gains come after Kaylee Scott set a GRCC record and all 15 GRCC cross country runners set personal best times on Oct. 15 at the Muskegon Community College Invitational, helping their teams to top-five finishes in a field with mostly four-year colleges.

Scott’s time of 19:12.7 was eight seconds better than Stephanie Thomas’ record time, making Scott the fastest Raider runner since GRCC started cross country again in 2014.

Audrey Meyering and Rose Meyer also broke 20 minutes at the event, with times of 19:29 and 19:34, finishing in the top 20.

On the men’s team, coached by Rob Hyde, freshman Mason Kolhoff paced the Raiders with a 25:24 finishing in 18th place while All-American Clark Coleman finished four spots behind him with a time of 25:48.

Both teams are preparing for the Region XII Championships, hosted by GRCC on Oct. 29 at the Gainey Athletic Complex.  

New GRCC exhibit features student art and writing inspired by the natural world

An exhibit of art and writing inspired by the natural world features pieces from two Grand Rapids Community College students.

“Pictures and Words from the Creative Fellowship at the Pierce Cedar Creek Institute for Environmental Education” runs through Nov. 10 at GRCC’s Paul Collins Art Gallery.

The exhibitors are all recipients of the Gordon Art Fellowship or Nature in Words Fellowship. They spent a month this summer at the institute, a nature and environmental education center in Hastings, working with mentors.

“Fellowships are important to writers and artists because it gives them an extended period to work on their craft,” said Visual Arts assistant professor Matthew Schenk, who was a mentor to student Julian Arpin-Cortez. “It is an invaluable experience for any student.”

English professor Maryann Lesert, who worked with student Valerie Salerno, noted that while GRCC students have been awarded the fellowships in previous years, this summer was the first that the institute created a creative cohort of art and writing students who lived on site.

“Both Matt and I and PCCI were really happy with the collaboration between art and writing students – and research students, too,” Lesert said.

Salerno, who is majoring in writing and literature, enjoyed working with Lesert and the other cohort members.

“A memorable moment from the fellowship was looking up at the stars with the other fellows, watching the shooting ones and contemplating alien life,” she said. “We also heard an Eastern screech or barred owl – I can’t remember which one – and it somewhat terrified us!”

Arpin-Cortez is a returning GRCC student – having received an associate degree here several years ago and a bachelor’s degree. He’s pursuing an art career and is exploring diverse media and disciplines.

He counts hiking through wetlands and participating in a controlled burn among his memorable fellowship experiences but most enjoyed getting to know the other students in the cohort.

“On our final night at PCCI, a group of us sat outside and stargazed,” Arpin-Cortez said. “We sighted several meteors and listened to the sounds of nocturnal animals in the surrounding woods. It was a lovely and memorable conclusion to our four weeks together.”

The exhibit also includes work from students at the Kendall College of Art and Design, Aquinas College and Central Michigan, Western Michigan and Calvin universities.

The Paul Collins Art Gallery is open 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and is located on the fourth floor of Raleigh J. Finkelstein Hall, 143 Bostwick Ave. NE.

To apply for the 2023 Pierce Cedar Creek Institute fellowships, go to

GRCC In the News 10/24/2022

Bay Awarded Grant To Enhance Early Childhood Education Efforts

10/21/22 Radio Results Network

The Michigan Association for the Education of Young Children (Michigan AEYC) in partnership with The Michigan Department of Education / Office of Great Start would like to congratulate the following institutes of higher education on their selection for participation in the Caring for Michigan Future CDA Community Project.

… Grand Rapids Community College

Learn about health benefits at FSA & HSA informational lunch & learn session on October 25

Join the Benefits team on Tuesday, October 25 from 11:30am -1:00pm in Room 234 Student Center (MultiPurpose Room) for an informational overview of Flex Spending Accounts and Health Savings Accounts. 2023 Health plan options will also be reviewed.

Open Enrollment begins Monday, October 24 and runs through Friday November 4. 

Get your questions answered and learn about these benefits from various representatives in the health benefit field.

Lunch will be provided. Register for the session via your Online Center Professional Development tile.

For benefits questions, please contact or

Benefits Fair on October 26: Retirement Readiness learning opportunity and Open Enrollment session included

The Benefits Fair is scheduled for Wednesday, October 26, at the ATC banquet rooms from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm.

As part of this event, there will be two informational sessions for employees, held in the ATC auditorium (ATC-168).

The sessions will be offered in a hyflex format — both in person and virtual.

Retirement Readiness – Wednesday October 26 from 11:.00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

HR & Payroll are partnering with LMCU to bring a financial bootcamp learning opportunity entitled “Retirement Readiness”.

Join us either in person (ATC 168) or virtually (via Zoom) for a discussion of retirement savings options and resources available to achieve financial freedom in retirement.

During this session, LMCU will provide an overview for individuals just starting to explore retirement savings and those that need reassurance that they’re on track with their retirement goals, as well as those individuals nearing the retirement finish line.

Registration for this employee learning opportunity is open. Log into your  Online Center account and select the Professional Development tile.

Open Enrollment Informational Session-Wednesday October 26 from 1:00 pm-2:30pm

Join GRCC Benefits staff and representatives to learn more about the 2023 updates and changes to GRCC health plans. The six health plans will be reviewed and details on coverage and monthly cost will be shared.

Join us either in person (ATC 168) or virtually (via Zoom). Log into your  Online Center account and select the Professional Development tile.

Open Enrollment begins, Monday October 24, and runs through Friday, November 4.

Open Enrollment is the annual opportunity for you to make changes to your benefits and to add or drop eligible dependents from coverage. Changes made at open enrollment are effective January 1, 2023.

Scholarfest to honor Dr. Juan and Mary Olivarez

This year’s Scholarfest — 6-8 p.m. November 1 at the New Secchia Piazza — will honor Dr. Juan and Mary Olivarez. 

As Grand Rapids Community College’s eighth president, Juan Olivarez forged community partnerships and increased educational opportunities for underserved populations.

Mary Olivarez is equally committed to education, spending 24 years with Grand Rapids Public Schools, teaching kindergarten and early childhood education, and working with students with multiple impairments. 

This year’s event will be very special as we are bringing it back to campus in our new Secchia Piazza. We invite you to share this fun-filled evening spent in the company of friends while experiencing the fabulous sights and sounds of GRCC. 

The event includes a strolling dinner, music by the GRCC Guitar Ensemble and Atrevidos Nortenos and a brief program at 6:45 p.m. Dress is business casual.

Individual tickets cost $150, with proceeds benefiting GRCC scholarships. You can RSVP online.

For more information, contact Mary Reed at (616) 234-3930 or