GRCC podcasts sharing inspiring stories about students, faculty members making a difference

Grand Rapids Community College students and employees are inspiring. They overcome challenges. They are leaders. And, they have great stories to tell.

Three podcasts produced by the GRCC Media Technologies team tell those stories, and are available on iTunes, Spotify and other podcast sites.

“My GRCC Story” includes Kailee Potgeter and Dave Murray of the Communications team talking with students and alumni about their journey to GRCC, the people who helped them along the way and their dreams for the future.

The newest episode features Evodie Djunga, president of the College Activities Board and a staff member on the Student Services team.

Djunga shares her journey from the Republic of Congo to GRCC, her goals of owning a business in the automotive field, and how she helps students navigate their path through education.

“At first it is pretty hard when someone comes up to you and they may be mad about something and it’s hard for you to understand them,” she said. “So, you have to put yourself in that person’s shoes and find out what’s going on. She may be having a bad day. The moment you understand she is having a bad day, you are going to take it easy. You are going to do your best to help that person, no matter what.”

She said she enjoys working with the College Activities Board team to play events throughout the semester.

“We’re here for our students. We’re serving our students and we want them to participate. We want them to be there and enjoy themselves and have fun,” she said. “I would say one of the best things to see is to put a smile on someone’s face. That was awesome. I saw a lot of students just smiling when they were coming to get pizza.”

“Speaking of Teaching,” in its second season, was created by the GRCC Distance Learning and Instructional Technologies Department, with hosts Meg Lockhard, Rachel Lutwick-Deaner and Ian Matthews.

They talk with professors on a more personal level, learning about their journey and expertise. The most recent episode features professor Lauren Woolsey, who teaches astronomy and physics in the Physical Sciences Department, part of the new GRCC School of STEM.

Woolsey earned a doctorate from Harvard University and worked at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

“One thing that I really like about the courses that I teach is that I’m not teaching science majors,” she said on the podcast. “And the reason that I like that is because it feels like I’m making a bigger impact on the people who are going to be citizens in our community, and building those critical thinking skills in everybody.”

Professor Andrew Rozema’s “Defeasible Reasoning” podcast launched in 2018. Defeasible reasoning is a kind of reasoning that is rationally compelling, though not necessarily formally valid. Rozema said it’s making decisions with the best information we have at the time. It’s the sort of reasoning that happens in the real world, where we’re all doing the best we can with what we’ve got.

Rozema is head of the Computer Information Systems Department, and is a nationally known cybersecurity expert. The podcast covers all things relating to cybersecurity – and beyond – with talking with current and former students and experts.

Defeasible reasoning is a kind of reasoning that is rationally compelling, though not necessarily formally valid. Rozema’s most recent episodes focus on GrrCON Cyber Security Summit and Hacker Conference, an event that attracts experts from across the country.

Secchia Institute for Culinary Education classes added to GRCC Lakeshore Campus menu

Grand Rapids Community College’s Secchia Institute for Culinary Education is planning culinary classes for the GRCC Lakeshore Campus during the winter semester to meet growing demand.

The college has scheduled four introductory classes for students working toward culinary certificates and degrees.

Dr. Werner Absenger, the Secchia Institute’s program director, said the classes were planned to meet the demand of Lakeshore students looking for culinary training, but also from employers looking for highly skilled workers looking for rewarding careers in a growing, evolving field.

While the new campus does not have kitchens, Absenger said the college planned lecture courses to meet the demand of Lakeshore culinary students. There is also potential to connect with Lakeshore businesses to offer courses relevant to employers’ real-time needs.

“The culinary courses offered at the Lakeshore Campus allow students to earn credit toward our Culinary Arts Associate’s Degree program and several certificate degrees,” Absenger said. “But without the stressors, especially for first-year students, and costs involved in traveling from the Lakeshore, to GRCC’s main campus, downtown Grand Rapids, where the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education is located.”

The new classes are:

  • Exploration of Food Service, which will meet 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Mondays between Feb. 27 and April 27. Because of an articulation agreement with the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District, students completing OAISD culinary programming will not need to take the course. 
  • Restaurant Sanitation and Safety, which will meet between 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays between Jan. 9 and Feb. 21. Students who complete the ServSafe Manager certification would not have to take this course at GRCC.
  • Principles of Food Science, which will be offered between 4 and 7 p.m. on Mondays between Jan. 9 and April 24.
  • Food Purchasing and Cost Control, which will be offered between 4 and 7 p.m. on Tuesdays between Jan. 10 and April 25.

Enrollment at the GRCC Lakeshore Campus, 12335 James St. in Holland, during the fall semester has risen about 20 percent compared to a year ago.

The 52,000-square-foot campus, which opened in August 2021 in the Shops at Westshore Mall.

GRCC volleyball tops Illinois Central in five-set thriller, then falls to Johnson County in national tournament

The Grand Rapids Community College volleyball team topped Illinois Central College in a five-set thriller before falling in the quarter-final round to top-seeded Johnson County Community College in straight sets at the NJCAA Division II National Championship on Thursday.

GRCC, the No. 9 seed in the National Junior College Athletic Association tournament, lost its shot at a national championship, but still has a chance to finish in the top five in the country if it wins its final two matches.

“I was very proud about how the kids battled all day, especially in the final match against a really good Johnson County team,” head coach Chip Will said. “They never gave up.”

GRCC dominated sets one and three against Illinois Central, winning 25-14 and 25-16, but dropped sets two and four 22-25 and 23-25 to force the final set, which the Raiders won 15-8.

Eliza Thelen led GRCC with 16 points, on 10 kills and six blocks. Audrey Torres led the team with 12 kills and Karissa Ferry added eight kills and three blocks.

Five different players tallied at least 10 digs, with librero Audrey Gower leading the way with 17.

GRCC had 13 total service aces, led by freshman Vienna Koenigsknecht with a career-high six.

In the quarterfinal match against Johnson County Community College, the Cavaliers cruised to a 25-12, 25-12, 25-16 victory to advance to the semi-finals.

Thelen and Ferry led GRCC with eight kills and Torres added four kills.

GRCC, 25-4 overall, continues play Friday in the consolation round against Iowa Central Community College at 3:30 p.m. Eastern time. Should the Raiders win, the team will have a chance to play for fifth place on Saturday.   

HR Notification: Payroll reminder

As we prepare to enjoy some time away from work next week for the Thanksgiving campus closure starting on Wednesday, 11/23/22, the Payroll Team has a reminder about your timesheets for the 12/9/22 pay date (for the pay period of 11/14-11/27/22). We don’t want the due dates to sneak up on you post-break!

While timesheets are still due by Monday, 11/28/22, many employees (students, especially!) are in the habit of submitting them at the end of the pay period. Since we will all be out on Friday, 11/25/22, you may want to submit your timesheet by Tuesday, 11/22/22 (or sooner if you’re out all week).

Please take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that the most accurate version of your timesheet is submitted by Monday, 11/28/22.

And, supervisors, if you’re out for any additional time around this shutdown, please ensure you have a backup approver in place to review and approve timesheets by the deadline of Tuesday, 11/29/22. More information on setting up a backup approver can be found here.

Holiday schedule and building access reminder

Please be aware of the following changes to building schedules for Thanksgiving week:

There are no classes on Tuesday, Nov. 22. Doors on some buildings will be locked that day, though staff will be able to enter using their RaiderCards. The affected buildings are:

  • Fratzke Early Childhood Learning Lab.
  • Smith Music Building.
  • Spectrum Theater.
  • Calkins Science Building.

All other buildings will be open for business services from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Wisner-Bottrall Advanced Technology Center will remain open until 9:30 p.m. due to Ferris State University Classes, but a limited number of entrances will be available.

All campus buildings will be closed for the holiday Wednesday through Saturday. 

Wishing you all well-deserved rest and relaxation.  Happy Thanksgiving!!

WMU Onsite admission event at Grand Rapids Community College on December 1

Are your any of students interested in transferring to Western Michigan University for
Summer I 2023, Summer II 2023, or Fall 2023?

If so, let them know they can sign up to participate in the WMU Onsite Admission Event at Grand Rapids Community College!

Thursday, December 1 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Student Center Room 336

Sign up to meet with a WMU transfer admissions counselor to receive an on-the-spot admission decision and

to learn about your next steps toward a future at Western!

The WMU application fee will be waived, and we will send your GRCC transcript

to Western free-of-charge if you participate in this event. WMU will also expedite your Official Credit Evaluation so you can see how your credits transfer.

To schedule an appointment, please register here  by Tuesday, November 29, 2022.

December 05, 2022 Economic Club of Grand Rapids opportunity for GRCC students

The Economic Club of Grand Rapids has gifted us with the opportunity to have GRCC students participate in an upcoming luncheon FOR FREE.

The next event is a panel on December 5, “The Value of Innovative DEI Strategies in Your Organization.” More information on the topic: 

Limited seats are available!

To register for the conference, and get more information, please complete the  December 5, 2022 Economic Club of Grand Rapids Opportunity for GRCC Students google form.