Teaching, Learning, and Distance Education News

Winter Read: Learning Circle on Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom by bell hooks

As we reflect on our pedagogy, our teaching philosophies, and our methods to build engaging classes that serve our diverse student population, it becomes essential to learn from many voices and consider a wide range of perspectives. Gloria Jean Watkins, under the pen name bell hooks, spent decades transgressing unwritten societal defaults of how a classroom should run and sought freedom of learning for students. This transformative collection of essays offers bite-sized wisdom and pushes educators to be the best versions of themselves. This learning circle will focus on selected essays and the connections we can make to create a transformative pedagogy that encourages all voices to be heard in the classroom.

Lauren Woolsey will be hosting a Learning Circle through TLDE during February, March, and April. Order your book now. Space is limited to 20 participants. Contact CTE@grcc.edu or Toy McNeal (tmcneal@grcc.edu or 616-234-3205) to sign up and place your book order.

AI Articles & Resources
Here in TLDE, we’ve been having a lot of conversations about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and ChatGPT.  We’re continuing to update this Google document with articles and resources for those interested in learning more.  

Also, you’re invited to join Professor Garry Brand (Business Department) and Ian Matthews (Instructional Designer-TLDE), who will be facilitating a statewide Educational Technology Organization of Michigan (ETOM) meet-up next week. Here are the details to join the virtual meet-up:

Topic – ChatGPT

Date & Time – Wednesday, January 25, 12:00 – 12:45 pm

Zoom Link – https://zoom.us/my/etomconnect

Meeting ID – 234 661 1201

Passcode – meetup

Stay tuned in future TLDE news updates for more information about workshops on this topic.  Please also let us know if you would like us to join you in a department meeting to continue this conversation!

Blackboard Ultra Base Navigation: Stay Tuned for More Details!
In the coming weeks, you will hear more about Blackboard Ultra Base Navigation, as mentioned at the recent Academic Governing Council (AGC) meeting.  Stay tuned for more details via college-wide IT Notification emails.  We have also organized the learning opportunities featured below.

Featured Upcoming Workshops/Events/Information:

  1. Assessment of Student Learning Training, Monday, January 23, 2 – 3 p.m., In-person
  2. Introducing Blackboard Ultra Base Navigation – Friday, February 24, 10 – 11 a.m. – and Tuesday, February 28, 2 to 3 p.m., Virtual
  3. Understanding Blackboard Ultra Base Navigation – Tuesday, March 21, 10 – 11 a.m. and Wednesday, March 22, 2 to 3 p.m., Virtual
  4. Blackboard Ultra Base Navigation Q&A – Wednesday, April 19, 10 – 11 a.m. and Thursday, May 4, 2 to 3 p.m., Virtual
  5. Winter Semester TLDE Faculty Liaison Office Hours, Virtually: Tuesdays 1 – 3 p.m. (email dvilmont@grcc.edu to request a virtual appointment).  
  6. TLDE Office Information: The TLDE office location is RJF 373.  TLDE staff are available Mondays – Fridays from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. to assist you!  Please stop by the office, email cte@grcc.edu, or call 616-234-3205 and we will be happy to assist you!

Please visit CTE’s Calendar and Programming webpage for the current listing of all Winter 2023 Professional Development opportunities being offered by TLDE!

My Story Started at GRCC: For Tom Barczak, GRCC has been the right place at the right time – twice

Tom Barczak smiling.

Tom Barczak is proud of the work he does to ensure that buildings are safe, and he’s proud of the role GRCC has played in his career.

Barczak serves as regional director of Forensic Analytical Consulting Services, a national company that ensures public health safety in buildings.

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.

Barczak first enrolled at GRCC in 1991, majoring in general studies. 

“That fall semester at GRCC led to taking courses at Purdue University for six semesters, working toward a degree in biology to pursue a career in medicine,” he said. “With life and family changes, I made a career switch and started working in building sciences and restoration work in 1999.”

Barczak has enjoyed his career in industrial hygiene and environmental consulting. 

“My education over the past 20 years has allowed me to travel across the United States and work in various business sectors from residential to health care and even skyscrapers,” he said. “I have also worked in various cities following devastating natural disasters such as hurricanes and other extreme weather events.”

When Barczak decided to complete a bachelor’s degree – “a longtime personal goal and professional milestone” – he turned again to GRCC.

“GRCC was a great place to start my collegiate experiences in 1991, but, more importantly, GRCC was the catalyst which allowed me to complete my degree at Ferris State University in 2019,” he said. “The established collegiate partnership between GRCC and Ferris State allowed me to finish my bachelor’s degree along with enhancing my skills and knowledge in key coursework areas such as business law and project management.”

For Barczak, GRCC has been the right place at the right time, twice.

“GRCC is an incredible place to start your college experience, complete valuable coursework to gain knowledge in a career field, and a place to complete your educational goals and achievements.”

Start your GRCC story today here.

Back on track: GRCC basketball teams rebound to sweep Alpena Community College

Two women trying to get a basketball.

Grand Rapids Community College men’s and women’s basketball teams got back on the winning track after dominating wins against Alpena Community College on Saturday.

In the women’s game, sophomore Allison Kellogg had a career night, with 19 points on an efficient 8-of-12 from the field and added a career-high five steals, helping GRCC to a 72-48 victory. The team improves to 8-5 overall and 2-1 in conference play.

The Raiders led wire-to-wire and led in every statistical category. The team turned the ball over just 10 times and had 15 steals and seven blocks.

Grace Lodes had a career-high nine assists and Karissa Ferry added a season-best eight points including 4-for-4 from the free throw line.

Sally Merrill was 7-of-11 from the field and 5-of-5 from the charity stripe while adding a team-best seven rebounds.

The men’s team also led the entire game in its convincing 106-65 win, snapping a four-game losing streak after starting the season 11-0.

GRCC only led by eight points at the half, but erupted for a season-high 61 points in the second half.

All 10 players scored, including a game-high 23 points on 10-of-12 shooting from Bashir Neely. 

The Raiders bench out-scored the starters 57-49.

Several other GRCC players also had career days.  JaJuan Walker scored 17 points, grabbed nine rebounds and dished out five assists.  Jordan Houser scored eight points, grabbed a team-high seven rebounds and had a game-high five steals.

 “Great to get back in the win column after a tough few weeks,” head coach Joe Fox said. “Our guys did a great job collectively locking in and executing a game plan. Hard to pick out a certain performance to highlight since everyone played an important role in the victory, but I thought Rico Wade, Bashir and Jordan brought great energy on both ends of the court.  JaJuan and Chris Coleman also made huge plays in the second half for us.”

Both teams will be back on the court on Jan. 25, visiting Muskegon Community College  in an MCCAA Northern Conference matchup.   

Electrical apprentice students showcase their in-demand skills in competition hosted by ABC Western Michigan, GRCC

Three students in Electrical Engineering class working with electrical boxes.

Wade Wiltenburg, a Grand Rapids Community College student in an apprenticeship program, earned top honors in the Electrical Craft Competition, an annual event with the Associated Builders and Contractors Western Michigan and GRCC.

The annual event highlights the achievements of the men and women who represent the future of the electrical trades in commercial construction.

Wiltenburg, who works with Buist Electric, was awarded first place. Second place went to Mitch Meines, who also works with Buist Electric, and third place went to Sean Gibbons, who works with Feyen Zylstra.

“ABC Western Michigan’s Electrical Craft Competition provides today’s electrical apprentices the perfect avenue to showcase their exemplary craftsmanship and commitment to excellence,” said Greg George, president of ABC Western Michigan.

“This competition demonstrates the immense potential for success in the construction industry, and confirms that the future of electrical work is in great hands.”

All contestants are fourth-year apprentices enrolled in the GRCC Workforce Training Electrical Program and are current employees of ABC-member companies.

The competition includes a written exam measuring industry knowledge followed by the hands-on portion, installing an electrical service under tight time constraints.

Apprentices earn credit at GRCC while working for a participating employer.

Judges from top electrical firms graded contestants on safety, layout, compliance, appearance, and quality of workmanship.

Each year, the first-place winner at the chapter level goes on to compete at the Associated Builders and Contractors National Craft Championships during the ABC National Convention in March.

“GRCC loves supporting this competition because we get to see our students advance in their careers after they have finished our program,” GRCC Job Training professor Doug Wiersma said.

Other competitors were Brent Engelsma, of Kleyn Electric; David Losch, of Feyen Zylstr; and Nick Hilts, of Windemuller.

GRCC In the News 01/23/2023

New GRCC president discusses business partnerships, boosting enrollment

1/19/23 mibiz.com

Charles Lepper started this week as the 11th president of Grand Rapids Community College, succeeding Bill Pink, who took a job in July 2022 as the president of Ferris State University. Lepper brings a long resume of leadership roles in higher education, most recently overseeing student affairs and enrollment at 10 Salt Lake Community College campuses in Utah that serve more than 60,000 students annually. Prior to that, Lepper served as vice president for student affairs at Tidewater Community College in Norfolk, Va. Relocating to Grand Rapids is somewhat of a homecoming for Lepper, who received his master’s degree from Grand Valley State University in 1998. He comes to Grand Rapids as several area colleges and universities bring in new leadership, and as the state prioritizes higher education through programs like Reconnect and Futures for Frontliners. In a recent interview with MiBiz, Lepper discussed his early priorities to connect with the community and West Michigan business leaders and strengthen partnerships with area employers to help boost enrollment.

Northeast’s Andersen selected for national workforce development academy

1/20/23 News Channel Nebraska

SANTA ROSA, Calif. – The apprenticeship director at Northeast Community College has been selected to participate in a year-long endeavor that is designed to advance knowledge and skill development of community college workforce education professionals who are relatively new to the field of workforce education.

… Academy participants will also have the opportunity to visit two flagship community college workforce development programs – Renton Technical College in Renton, Wash., and Grand Rapid Community College in Grand Rapids, Mich. – to learn lessons that they can bring back to their own institutions.

Transferring from Henry Ford College

1/22/23 The Mirror News (Henry Ford College’s student newspaper)

Three students: Christie Miller, Makayla Owen, and Basmalah Algahmi share their experiences transferring from Henry Ford College.

… (Art instructor Steve) Glazers says, “[We..] need to follow what some schools are doing, especially what Grand Rapids Community College is doing, and make an Associate of Fine Arts Degree.” GRCC has the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) accreditation, which in 2015 was put in place.

Lt. Governor Gilchrist to hold roundtable in Grand Rapids ahead of State of the State Address

1/23/23 WILX

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WILX) – Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist II will be joining Michigan Reconnect students, Grand Rapids Community College officials, and business leaders on Monday at a roundtable.

Faculty cap, gown orders due by February 10

The GRCC Bookstore is taking orders for caps and gowns for staff and faculty through February 10.

If you are in need of any commencement regalia, please stop in the bookstore and fill out the form to order yours today! Please fill the form out entirely – we will need both your height and weight to submit the order for the correct size.

Due to turnaround time and production needs, all orders and prepayments must be in by February 10 to be ready in time for the April GRCC Commencement ceremony.

We are open Monday-Thursday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Friday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.  Payment is due at time of order. We accept cash and credit cards. 

Faculty gowns are solid black with black cap and black tassel. 

Hoods are custom to your school and degree. 

See the order form below for reference. 

Nominations open for Salute to Women

25th Annual Salute to Women.

Deadline: Friday, February 17, 2023

The Salute to Women Award celebrates the accomplishments of women and gender equity advocates who impact the GRCC community and beyond. The award is open to all GRCC stakeholders regardless of gender or gender identity.

We will be hosting a luncheon Wednesday, March 29 at noon. More details to follow.

The nomination form is available on the ODEI Salute to Women website.