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.

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