Recap of November Strategic Leadership Team (SLT) Meeting

GRCC’s Strategic Leadership Team (SLT) met on Friday, November 18th, from 9:00am-12:00pm.  Here is a recap of the meeting:

  • Team members heard an update on the SLT bylaws review.  The updated SLT Bylaws have now been approved by a majority vote of the SLT membership and will be posted to the SLT website very soon.  
  • Attendees participated in a discussion to further consider Lakeshore Campus priorities as a follow-up to the October SLT meeting held at the Lakeshore Campus.  This feedback will be used to narrow down short- and long-term priorities to support Lakeshore students, faculty, and staff as related to the 2022-25 GRCC Strategic Plan Framework.  
  • SLT Executive Team members and GRCC leaders presented an overview of the status of our 2022-25 Strategic Plan Framework implementation as well as responses to the September SLT meeting Strategic Goal feedback activity.  This included introducing the following Strategic Goal Co-Leads: Goal 1 – Teaching & Learning: Dan Sullivan and Meg Lockard, Goal 2 – Completion & Transfer: Jason Vinson and Sarah Rose, Goal 3 – Equity: Lina Blair and Daisy Henderson, Goal 4 – Community Impact: Julie Parks and Cisco Ramirez, and Goal 5 – Infrastructure & Sustainability: Christine Coon and Ennis Young.
  • Here is additional information presented of benefit to all GRCC stakeholders: 1) If you would like to request training to learn more about HyFlex classroom technology, please send a note to Klaas Kwant and 2) To see the updated career information for students on our website, please visit  From there, you can drill down into specific schools and the programs offered.  When you click on the degree program, you will see the link to jobs and salaries on the right-hand side.  If you need any additional directions or have feedback for the Academic Pathways Steering Committee, please pass that along to Jennifer Batten, Valerie Butterfield, and Amanda Kruzona.
  • Interim President Olivarez closed the meeting and thanked everyone for their work and support of SLT’s initiatives.  The November meeting is the last SLT meeting of the fall semester.
  • SLT’s next meeting is Friday, January 27th and will be held at the Main Campus.  During this meeting, SLT members will continue to work on the implementation of GRCC’s 2022-25 Strategic Plan Framework.

Please contact Sheila Jones,, if you have any questions about SLT meetings or how you can get involved with SLT initiatives.

About the Strategic Leadership Team: The purpose of the Strategic Leadership Team (SLT) is to provide a forum that enables a wide variety of college constituency groups the opportunity to provide input into the present and future direction of the College.  This team will guide the development and on-going implementation of our strategic plan, review benchmarking data, study budget realities and offer recommendations for budget priorities.  SLT’s membership includes over 90 representatives of the college community.  Please visit this page to learn more about SLT.

IT Support: Modified phone and support hours for the week of Thanksgiving

So that the members of IT can enjoy time with their friends and families, we will have modified phone and support hours for the week of Thanksgiving.

The changes are as follows:

  • Monday, November 21: 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Tuesday, November 22: 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Wednesday, November 23 through Sunday, November 27: CLOSED

Support requests may be submitted via

Emergency requests and those impacting a student’s ability to access learning resources will be responded to accordingly during the break.  

Tech Tip: Updating voicemail greeting

With the holiday season quickly approaching, many of us will be taking much deserved time off! It is important to remember to update your voicemail greeting letting callers know you will be out of the office!

Instructions on Updating Your Personal Greeting

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

Learn From the Best: GRCC professor Kimberly Overdevest brings enthusiasm to her art lessons

Grand Rapids Community College professor Kimberly Overdevest considers herself fortunate to have a career she is passionate about. 

Overdevest always knew art would be at the center of her professional and personal goals. She first pursued a career in graphic design and fine art, and ultimately pivoted to art history and teaching. Now Overdevest has been teaching at GRCC for more than 16 years.

“I wish that I spent less time worrying about if I was making the right choices, and instead channeled my energies toward pursuing my passion. Luckily, I learned early on that fear should not make my decisions,” Overdevest said. 

While Overdevest was pursuing her bachelor’s degree at Kendall College of Art and Design, she took multiple classes led by Sue Eberle. Dr. Eberle is a recently retired art historian who demonstrated professionalism and passion in her teaching, allowing her to connect with her students. 

“I fell in love with art history in part because of her enthusiasm and passion for the profession,” Overdevest said. “Her students were enthralled when she spoke – no matter what subject she was teaching. I used her teaching style as a basis for building my own style”.

During the pandemic, Overdevest challenged students to earn extra credit by recreating a work of art they have studied this semester — and they have to include themselves in the recreation. She wanted to come up with something students would enjoy during the pandemic and share with the class. 

Overdevest enjoys teaching alongside a caring and talented community of professionals. The Visual Arts Department provides a solid foundation of knowledge and skill to students as they prepare to transfer to four-year schools. The professors are active in their field and are passionate about their student’s success. 

Overdevest graduated from the Kendall with two bachelor’s degrees, and earned, a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin, and a Master’s of Philosophy and working toward a doctorate from the Graduate Center, City University of New York. 

More information about the Visual Arts Program can be found here.

My Story Started at GRCC: Steven Polega, U of M Health – West’s senior vice president-chief nursing officer, says GRCC is about life-changing opportunities

Steven Polega says GRCC is about a “life-changing opportunity.”

He has evidence to support his claim.

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.

Polega signed up to join the Navy during his junior year in high school, so he didn’t pursue college prep courses his senior year.

“When I got out of the military in the early 1990s, I was ill-prepared for some of the basic skills needed to pursue advanced education,” he said.

He enrolled in some entry-level classes at what was then Grand Rapids Junior College to get “up to speed” and connected with the student employment office to find jobs while he attended classes.

“I worked as a home health aide for families with profoundly autistic children,” Polega said. “I worked as a certified nurse’s aide in a nursing home. In each of these roles, I was exposed to some of the hardest work that I have ever done – but also some of the most rewarding. I loved connecting with people and having the feeling that I was making a difference and helping.”

As he worked toward his associate degree in Nursing, he also learned from his co-workers.

“I remember being super impressed with what they do and the complexity of the work,” he said. “As I was finishing my nursing degree, I worked at a local Grand Rapids hospital as a patient care tech and was exposed to many specialties.”

Polega eventually earned bachelor’s degrees in health science and nursing from Grand Valley State and Andrews universities, respectively, and a master’s in health care administration from Ohio University. He has worked in the hospital and health care field for more than 25 years, the past 10 with University of Michigan Health West (formerly Metro Health).

He’s been the senior vice president-chief nursing officer for five years and also serves as board president for the West Michigan chapter of the American Heart Association.

“I would describe my work toward my associate degree at GRJC as foundational to every future degree that I have earned,” Polega said. “I remember feeling a little out of place as an ‘older’ student, but the faculty was welcoming and competent. I was challenged to learn and enjoyed the diversity of classes that were available.

“I think one of the best things about GRCC now – and then – is that they have numerous programs and paths to meet learners where they’re at.”

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

GRCC volleyball team is fifth in the nation after third five-set match in NJCAA DII national tournament

The Grand Rapids Community College volleyball team won its third five-set match of the NJCAA Division II National Championship tournament to finish in fifth place.

GRCC entered the tournament as the No. 9 seed, and faced higher-ranked teams in every match. GRCC defeated the No. 8 and No. 4 teams, and faced the Cowley College, the No. 3 seed, on Saturday. The team’s only loss was to Johnson County Community College, the top-ranked team in the tournament.

GRCC’s fifth-place finish at the national tournament tied for the second-best in the program’s history. GRCC won the national championship in 2012, and earned a fifth-place finish in 2019.

Audrey Torres, GRCC’s No. 1 attacker all season, shined in the Raiders’ final match, which the team won 13-25, 25-20, 25-22, 15-25, 15-12. Torres had a career-high 28 kills, including the match winner, and hit .403 with just three attack errors.

Torres, who was named to the All-Tournament Team after the match, said she is “super proud” of how the team performed. 

“We were able to pull off two upsets that many people probably didn’t think we could pull off,” she said.  “We were gritty and resilient the whole weekend, never taking a minute to relax while we played, and pushed through the toughest situations to finish as a top-five team in the country.

“I couldn’t be more proud of everyone. Each person showed up and performed at her best and it paid off. As for my performance, I’m pretty proud of myself and the milestone I reached. However, my success wouldn’t have been possible if our defense didn’t show up. I have them to thank for my success today. I love this team.”

Audrey Gower also finished out her GRCC career on a great note, with 22 digs, four aces, four assists and zero reception errors.

Kara Hecht had a strong showing in her final match, with 14 kills and eight digs. Shannon Russell finished off her career with 36 assists and 15 digs.

The team finished the match with a .231 hitting performance including a .480 performance in the final set on 12 kills.

“It’s hard to put in to words what a magical season this was,” head coach Chip Will said. “A totally new division in our conference with travel all up north. Winning the conference, state and regional title. Biking around Mackinac Island, enjoying the water park at Soaring Eagle, countless dad jokes, smiles, hugs, tears, and a complete love for playing for Raider Nation volleyball. We had so many teams cheering for us in the final match, tons of fans watching from home, we could feel the love from all of you. Proud coach because today our kids left as better volleyball players, better teammates, better human beings and I’m so glad I could go on this journey with all of them.”

The win gives GRCC a 27-4 record in a season that included an 18-match win streak. The team competed in a new Michigan Community College Athletic Association Northern Conference, which required travel to the Upper Peninsula.

The team celebrated its 11th conference championship, ninth Michigan Community College Athletic Association championship and 11th district championship this year.

GRCC men’s basketball team extends win streak to six games, women’s team also tops Harper College

The Grand Rapids Community College men’s and women’s basketball teams had convincing wins at Harper College on Friday, with the men picking up an 87-63 victory and the women winning 64-17.

The men’s team took the court first, cruising to their sixth straight to win to begin the season.

“We had a great team effort today from top to bottom,” head coach Joe Fox said. “I was pleased with how the team fought through some adversity and always responded. I’m happy we were able to get a couple road wins, and I’m very much looking forward to returning home for a stretch after Thanksgiving.”

Danyel Bibbs, who was recently named back-to-back Michigan Community College Athletic Association   Northern Conference player of the week, led the Raiders with 16 points. 

Bashir Neely scored 15 points and Chris Coleman 12 points.

The women’s team, now 2-1 on the season, was led by Grace Lodes, who scored a game-high 16 points.

“Felt we played well overall,” head coach David Glazier said. “I am happy that we were able to get everyone meaningful minutes as we work to build on our depth with the conference slate being our ultimate focus.”

Both teams aren’t scheduled to return to play until after Thanksgiving, when Community Christian College of Detroit comes to town for 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. tip-offs. 

Comeback win in NJCAA DII national tournament leaves GRCC volleyball coach Chip Will ‘speechless’

It was a victory that rendered coach Chip Will speechless.

Braelyn Berry led the Grand Rapids Community College volleyball team to another thrilling five-set victory on Friday, putting the team in position for a possible top-five finish at the NJCAA Division II National Championship.

Will, who has won 435 matches in his distinguished career at GRCC, called Friday’s victory over Iowa Central Community College one of the best.

“Speechless,” Will said after the match. “A top-five win in Raider history. The environment was electric with so many teams there watching. We definitely represented Raider Nation and GRCC with how we battled. We will remember this win for a very long time.”

GRCC, the tournament’s No. 9 seed, won a five-set match against No. 8 Illinois Central College in the opening round on Thursday, then fell to top-seed Johnson County Community College in the quarterfinals.

Berry, a freshman outside from Stanwood, had a career-high 15 kills and had just one hitting error, hitting .424 to lead the team in the Iowa Central match.

The teams traded wins, with Iowa Central taking sets one and three 25-18, 25-17 and GRCC winning 25-21 in sets two and four.

It takes 15 points to win a fifth set, and GRCC was behind 13-5. But sophomore Audrey Gower served the team back into the match and the Raiders survived, 17-15.

“I’m extremely proud of how we continued to battle back as a team after being down 13-5 in the fifth set,” Berry said. “We continued to grind and never backed down and that truly shows you what Raider volleyball is all about.”

Two other freshmen performed well, as setter Autumn Cole had a career-high 20 assists, two aces and five digs, while also earning her first kill of the year. Defense specialist Vienna Koenigsknecht had 13 digs, two aces and no reception errors in 16 attempts.

Audrey Torres wound up the team’s leader in kills with 21 and Eliza Thelen chipped in with 10.  Gower led the team with four aces and 25 digs.

GRCC, 26-4 overall, will finish the season on Saturday with a matchup against No. 3 Cowley College in the game to determine fifth place. GRCC is scheduled to play at 3 p.m. Eastern time and fans are encouraged to watch the match live on  

GRCC In the News 11/21/2022

GRCC partners with MDHHS to help students access needed resources

11/15/22 Grand Rapids Business Journal

Grand Rapids Community College now offers an on-site staff member to help students facing housing or food insecurity. 

Home on the Hardwood: Coach joins GRCC from war-torn Kosovo

11/17/22 FOX 17

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — One of the basketball coaches at Grand Rapids Community College is helping student athletes achieve their goals by sharing his story of overcoming a childhood surrounded by war and uncertainty.

Two candidates remain for Grand Rapids Community College president, one drops out

11/18/22 MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – There are two candidates left in the running to become the next president of Grand Rapids Community College.

Ottawa Co. considers 24 projects for $31.5M in federal ARPA funding


Ottawa County officials are considering a plan to redirect $12.5 million in reserves to fund the full number of projects prioritized for federal stimulus funding.

… Beyond an $8 million housing revolving loan fund and a $7.5 million child care program, here’s a look at the remaining 22 projects recommended, and funding amounts, to receive a share of Ottawa County’s ARPA funding:

·        … Direct care providers certification programs: Four organizations that serve people with intellectual and developmental disabilities would work with Grand Rapids Community College and Community Mental Health of Ottawa County to create a certification path for students to expand the workforce pipeline. Each organization plans to contribute matching funds for the pilot program: Benjamin’s Hope ($55,920), Harbor House ($103,294), Heritage Homes ($103,294), and MOKA Corp. ($87,492).

·        Grand Rapids Community College Michigan Reconnect expansion ($506,493): Gap funding would be provided in the form of scholarships to students who wish to use the state’s Reconnect program.

 Secchia Institute culinary 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.

Farmington Hills police celebrate promotion, new hires

11/19/22 The Oakland Press

The Farmington Hills Police Department recently celebrated one employee’s promotion and the hiring of eight additional police officers.

… New hires include:

• Jack Hintze, police officer. He’s a former Grand Valley State University public safety officer and security supervisor. He holds a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice from GVSU and completed the Basic Police Recruit Academy at Grand Rapids Community College in 2022.

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.

Member Purchase Program exclusive deals with Dell


Shop online through your Member Purchase Program page:

  • BLACK FRIDAY – Live now for members – deals last through 11/26.
  • CYBER MONDAY – coming soon, 11/27-12/4 – details below

Best way to shop is online as offers will sell out fast:

As a reminder: Additional Limited Quantity Deals each weekday through 11/24-11/26. These will be limited in quantity and first come, first served. Shop early as these deals will sell out quickly!  


Please note: I highlighted a few offers below. These are only a few.

There will be other deals launching daily throughout this time period.

  • Inspiron 14 2-in-1 Laptop $549.99 (save $250)
    • AMD® Ryzen™ 5 Series
    • Windows 11 Home, 8GB memory*,512GB SSD*
  • Dell 24 Monitor – SE2422H $79.99 (save $70)
    • Enjoy the view on this 23.5″ slim-bezel
      Full HD display featuring AMD FreeSync™,
      75Hz refresh rate, and a fixed stand.
  • XPS 13 Plus Laptop Laptop $1349 (save $350)
    • 12th Gen Intel® Core™ i7 Processor,
      Windows 11 Home, 16GB Memory*,
      512GB SSD*, OLED Touch Display*
  • XPS Desktop $649.99 (save $100)
    • 12th Gen Intel® Core™ i5 Processor,
      Windows 11 Home, 8GB Memory*,
      256GB SSD*

Learning Center Open House for students, faculty, and staff

You’re invited to the Learning Center Openhouse on Tuesday, November 29 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Visit Media Technologies, Woodrick Center for Equity and Inclusion, Academic Support and Tutoring Services, and the Library and Learning Commons to enjoy delicious food, fun activities, and live music provided by the GRCC Guitar Ensemble.

There will even be a chance to win prizes! We hope to see you there!