Workforce Wednesday: Older Learners Fitness program helps Paulette Muncure and Sherry Wagner stay active and healthy

Paulette Muncure and Sherry Wagner smiling.

Paulette Muncure used to wear a brace on her knee due to arthritis. Sherry Wagner has COPD and now breathes better. Both women credit, in part, staying active and moving as regular participants in Grand Rapids Community College’s Older Learner Fitness classes.

The programs are offered through GRCC Workforce Training and directed and taught by Lannie Collard, a GRCC instructor of Physical Fitness and Program Manager for the Older Learner Center.

“When I first started, I had to wear a knee brace to exercise and then Lannie gave me some leg exercises to do. After about 4-5 months, I don’t need to wear the brace anymore. It has increased my mobility,” Muncure said.

“Lannie is a great instructor and gives all of us individual attention. If you want her to help you with certain aches and pains she will. Lannie is a genuine, caring person – she inspires us all. Her excitement and passion spills into all of us. I have met new people and we have become a family. We all care about each other.”

Both women have recruited others to attend.

“I’m always telling others about the program,” said Wagner, who originally found the program online and reached out to Collard.

“I tell my friends, ‘Retirement is what you make of it.’ I chose to keep moving!”

In addition to the Strength and Stretch class, Collard also leads an Arthritis Foundation Aquatics program, and three other fitness classes specifically for older learners. 

Paulette participates in all of the classes she can, “I come to all the classes, water aerobics, and the stretch and flex, yoga -even when I’m out of town if it’s available on Zoom.”

Sherry doesn’t like to miss a class either, “I don’t want to disappoint Lannie so that motivates me to show up.”

Some classes are offered at the Tassell MTEC while others take place at the Gerald R. Ford Fieldhouse on the downtown campus. Neither women are intimidated by the parking downtown. According to Muncure, “The parking is not bad. Once you do it, it’s easy!”

Grants through the Kent County Senior Mileage and Older Americans Act assist in the costs of the programs and offer scholarships to individuals who may not be able to afford the cost.

Muncure said the cost should not be an excuse not to get moving.

“I like this program because I know some people who really can’t afford the fees but you can just give what you can afford. For people who are on a fixed income, it can be difficult to fit into a budget right away.”

Wagner added, “I started out with a scholarship because I just couldn’t afford it. Now I pay weekly and I feel good about it because that money can help another person come.”

For more information visit or call (616) 234-3800.

My GRCC Story: Basketball star Marlene Bussler says support on the court and in the classroom boosts her success

Marlene Bussler on the basketball court.

On the court and in the classroom, Grand Rapids Community College sophomore basketball player Marlene Bussler has had good people to guide her.

Coach (David) Glazier was a big reason for my decision when I decided on GRCC,” she said. “I really enjoyed his energy, and I knew they were a competitive program.”

After coming to GRCC and playing for Glazier, she said what drew her in during the recruiting process has stayed true.

“Coach is passionate,” she said. “And I’d say he knows his players very well. He pushes us because he knows what we’re capable of.”

She has found that same energy in her on-campus classes.

“I’ve really enjoyed my professors,” she said. “It’s been a lot of work, but I’ve learned a lot too. I really enjoyed my chemistry professor, Jesse Crandall. I was very intimidated by the class at first, but his teaching style was awesome, and he was always open to questions.” 

Good mentorship goes back already to her early playing days, Bussler added.

“I first started playing when I was really little,” she recalled. “My dad was my coach for a while growing up, and he was a girls varsity coach for almost 30 years (at Lakeview High School), so I trusted what he said always, and he made me the player I am today.”

At Harper Creek High School, Bussler was part of back-to-back district championship teams and was an all-conference and all-city honoree who could both hit the three and dish out eye-opening assists. Still, she wasn’t quite sure what the future might hold, either academically or athletically, until Glazier and GRCC came calling.

“I knew I wanted to continue playing basketball, so I felt like GRCC was my best option,” she said.

What she expected has come to fruition, she added.

“I’ve really liked my experience at GRCC,” she said smiling. “My teammates and professors have been awesome, and the past year-and-a-half has pushed me to be a better player.”

Glazier has also been pleased by the way things have turned out.

“The first time I saw Mar play, the way she just continued to work and give effort, it was easy to see her skill set would lead to on-the-court success,” he said. “And now I see her as an extension of myself in her role as a player because we can have conversations mid-game to correct team-wide issues or to stay consistent with the things we are doing well. And as a person she is one of the most dependable young women I have had the honor of coaching and knowing.”

A 5’6” point and shooting guard, Bussler averaged 10.5 points per game, 5.2 rebounds per game and 3.2 assists per game last year while 35 minutes per tilt. She was also second team all-conference and a player of the week honoree.

This season has been more of the same with 12.4 ppg, 4.1 rpg and 3.3 apg averages through GRCC’s first eight games.

She’s also on track to graduate in May 2023 with an Allied Health degree and after GRCC she hopes to continue playing basketball and study occupational therapy. 

“GRCC has been everything I had hoped it would be,” she said.

This story was reported by Phil de Haan.

Changes to how guests connect to GRCC Wi-Fi

Information Technology has begun upgrading the wireless networks across campus. The upgrade changes how guests connect to the wireless network at GRCC. Historically, guests could connect through the Raider Guest network using a phone number or email address to authenticate. Now guests will be able to connect through GRCC Wireless authenticating with their email address. 

Instructions on how guests can connect to GRCC Wireless can be found on the Connecting to WiFi as a Guest knowledge base article. 

Will I still have to request Guest Access through IT?

The good news is that, with the new change, guest access does not have to be requested through IT. Users will be able to register themselves and receive access simply by using a personal email address. 

However, if your guest needs access to a campus workstation, please fill out the Guest Access Form

When is this change coming?

This change has been implemented in many of our buildings across campus, we anticipate that the project will be completed soon.

These changes have been completed at the DeVos Campus and the Main Campus (except the Lyon Street Parking Ramp).

Please reach out to the IT Support Desk at (616) 234-4357 or email with any questions you may have. 
Thank you for keeping GRCC Safe and Secure!

Farewell open house for Provost Brian Knetl

Provost Brian Knetl speaking from behind a podium.

Come bid farewell to Provost Brian Knetl at an open house planned for 2-4 p.m. on Jan. 18 in room 226 of the Administration Building.

Dr. Knetl, who has been GRCC provost since 2019, will become the fifth president at Waubonsee, which is located in Sugar Grove, Ill., about 45 miles west of Chicago and has about 12,000 credit-seeking students.

Knetl said the move also allows him to return to his native Illinois, and be closer to his children and family.

“While Grand Rapids and West Michigan will always be an important and special part of my life, I am grateful to have this opportunity in a place I consider home,” he said.

Support Staff Professional Development (SSPD) Grant

The GRCC Grants Department is accepting applications for the Support Staff Professional Development (SSPD) grant program. The purpose of the award is to encourage support staff to improve their professional skills related to their GRCC assignments.

Awards are for amounts up to $2,500 and the deadline is January 20, 2023 at 5 p.m.

The SSPD Application packet and Guidelines are available on the Grants Department SSPD Application & Guidelines webpage.

Please note applications must include a supervisor’s approval form, a budget form, and budget documentation.

If you have any questions about SSPD grants, please contact Julie Blaszak at extension 3928 or Good luck!