Raider Salute to the volunteers who stepped up on Tuesday to assist at the Food Pantry

Professor Talbert’s criminology class and Honors Program students provided a massive cleaning and restocking to prep the shelves for the next food delivery. It is wonderful to see our students, our future leaders, taking a chance to be a part of the community they hope to one day serve.

Additionally, staff stepped up to help unload a late delivery! 

Shout out to Lina Blair, Sheena Weaver, Lety VanAssen, Marisol Blanco, Becca DeKorne for answering the call, as well as Olivia, Rahmier, and Addison from Orientation! We made a record time in unloading the delivery. 

As always, a huge thank you to the shipping and receiving department as Avonte Braden-Love and Joseph Krussell work the delivery into their schedule each Tuesday, our facilities department Donald Dykstra and James Schult who help get the delivery inside, and the rest of the Student Life staff and student workers who help maintain the day-to-day operations in the pantry. 

There are many people in the GRCC community that make this possible–We couldn’t do it without you!

Rebecca Lubbers / Student Life and Conduct / Student Resources Coordinator 

Growing stronger: GRCC softball team is resurgent after a year away, while baseball team looks to build upon last season’s success

Grand Rapids Community College softball team standing in front of the Lion Fountain, in uniform, and smiling.

Grand Rapids Community College baseball and softball teams are preparing to start their seasons heading south to Florida to face tough competition.

The softball team is rebuilding after taking a year off. Coaches Chuck White and Steve Roersma have assembled what they believe is a strong team and are excited about the season ahead.   

Just two of the team’s 16 players are sophomores. Jaye Guichelaar transferred from Grand Valley State University and Annika Roersma transferred from Muskegon Community College and is the daughter of Roersma, the assistant coach. Both players are graduates of West Catholic High School.

Guichelaar made 22 appearances in 2022 for Grand Valley, primarily as a pinch runner. She scored eight runs and had one RBI and a stolen base.  The speedy outfielder should see a lot of time as GRCC’s leadoff hitter.

Roersma played two years at Muskegon, where she batted .455 with eight home runs, 39 RBI and 32 stolen bases in her first year, and batted .389 in 43 games with three home runs, 34 RBI and 22 stolen bases last season. She is also an outfielder.

Starting on the mound this year will be Izzy Regner, a 2020 graduate of Elkhorn Area High School in Wisconsin. Regner had a great fall season. She struck out 17 batters in the team’s scrimmage against Schoolcraft College this month, helping the team to a 16-3 victory.  

The rest of the Raiders’ battery includes Macy Huver, a pitcher from Lowell High School; Aubree Rolon, a pitcher from Kelloggsville High School; Samara Kolehouse, a catcher from Kent City High School; and Carly Sluiter, a catcher from Wyoming High School.

Joining Guichelaar and Roersma in the outfield are Alyssa Wierenga, who also plays on the volleyball team, Carlie Tanner of Caledonia, Vanessa Hewitt of Byron Center and Makayla Noon of Ionia.

The infield includes Britney Cisler, a first baseman from Jenison High School; middle infielder Madison Lemke of Williamston; Lauren James, a first baseman/third baseman of Byron Center; Autumn Scott, a middle infielder from North Pointe Christian High School; Brynn McArthur, a middle infielder from Lake Isabella; and Huver who also plays the corners when not pitching.

The softball team will participate in the NTC Spring Games in Orlando, Fla. It has 12 games scheduled, with the first two games on March 5 against Hocking College and West Virginia Wesleyan College.

The baseball team looks to build on a successful 2022 season, where it 31-22-1 and was 20-8 in conference play.

Mike Eddington, now in his fifth season as head baseball coach, will try to guide the team back to regionals after a strong third place finish last season.

“I can tell you all of our players and coaches are very excited to be playing some of the top D1 community colleges in the country on our spring trip,” Eddington said. “We hope our players come together as a team on our trip. It’s not easy playing five consecutive doubleheaders and I hope our players embrace the challenge. Our goal is to get better every day and help our players to reach their potential.”

Eddington’s team has 33 players on the roster, with 19 players returning including an All-American and three other All-Conference performers.

GRCC’s ace, Jared Berkenpas was named a Third Team All-American by the National Junior College Athletic Association after a superb season that included a 9-2 record, 1.41 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 71 strikeouts, .223 opponents’ batting average and had four complete games, including one shutout.

Starting catcher Dylan Chargo was named Second Team All-Conference after batting .337 in the cleanup spot, totaling 56 hits, four home runs and 43 RBI.  He was third on the team in slugging percentage, .482, and on base percentage, .429.  He was also named to the six-player Western Conference All-Freshman team.

Jacob Gumieny and Xander Reisbig also return after being named All-Conference honorable mentions.

Gumieny, the Raiders’ everyday leadoff hitter, was fourth on the team, batting .316, totaling 56 hits and 20 RBI.  He led the team in triples with six and stolen bases with 11.

Reisbig was second, batting .347, totaling 51 hits, 18 for extra bases, and 29 RBI.  He also had 11 stolen bases on the season and was second on the team with a .524 slugging percentage. He was the steadiest defender, with just one error.

Key departures from last year’s team include four All-Conference performers.

Ryan Dykstra will play for Oakland University after being named All-Region and leading the team with a .422 batting average, 73 hits, seven home runs, 45 RBI, and .671 slugging performance. He spent the summer playing with the Kalamazoo Growlers, winning the Northwoods League championship.

Gold glove shortstop Caleb Engelsman batted .309 and had 15 extra base hits while picking up five wins on the mound.  Pitchers Eliott Traver and Drew Murphy also will be missed.  Traver was the teams closer finishing with 11 saves and Murphy was the teams number two pitcher in the rotation finishing with a solid 2.65 ERA.

GRCC is scheduled to play 10 games down south during their spring training, beginning with Chipola College in Marianna, Fla. on March 4. 

For live scoring of all the games this season for both teams, download the Gamechanger ap and search GRCC Raiders and become a fan of the team to be able to get updates.  

This story was reported by Ben Brown. Photo by Morgan Brown.

GRCC In the News 02/10/2023

Ethel B. Coe was the 1st Black woman to run for public office in Grand Rapids

2/9/23 95.7 FM

All month long, the Grand Rapids Historical Society and I will be sharing Black History facts that have taken place right here in Grand Rapids.

… Today, she is recognized each year at the Giant Awards hosted by Grand Rapids Community College with a Giant Award for Humanities named in her honor.

BAMF Health wins Business Journal’s Newsmaker of the Year

2/9/23 Grand Rapids Business Journal

The Business Journal’s 2022 Newsmakers made headlines this year for their creativity, resilience and community partnerships, helping West Michigan thrive through their commitment and hard work, none more so than BAMF Health. 

… 2022 Newsmaker winners by category

… Education: Juan Olivarez, Grand Rapids Community College

(GRCC alum Preston Sain won in the Economic Development category.)

Tatsuki Hakoyama’s Human/Nature exhibit now at the ACWL-Nuveen

2/9/23 White Lake Beacon

WHITEHALL — At the Arts Council of White Lake (ACWL) Nuveen from Jan. 27 through March 11, visitors will be able to see the art gallery’s newest guest temporary exhibit, “Human/Nature.” These magical realist oil paintings were created by Tatsuki (Taz) Hakoyama, a Japanese fine artist who works and lives in Grand Rapids, who also showcases his work in group and solo exhibitions. Hakoyama received his bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University and his master’s degree from Kendall College of Art & Design, where he now is an educator, along with Grand Rapids Community College.

Attorney Floyd Skinner was the owner of Club Indigo, Grand Rapids’ first Black nightclub

2/10/23 95.7 FM

All month long, the Grand Rapids Historical Society and I will be sharing Black History facts that have taken place right here in Grand Rapids.

… Today, Grand Rapids Community College’s Giant Awards recognizes his powerful legacy with the Floyd Skinner Justice Award. The Floyd Skinner Bar Association, a local organization and support system for Black lawyers is named in his honor. We extend our gratitude to our ancestor Floyd Skinner for his lifelong dedication to the civic and social change for Black people here in our city on so many levels.

GRCC Communications wants to tell your story

We’re proud of the people who serve our students and community at GRCC. Telling your stories helps show potential students the experience and expertise we have, and makes them aware of the resources and opportunities available to them.

Will you help us share your story? 

Every week a new faculty or staff story is shared in GRCC Today, on the GRCC homepage, and on GRCC social media. Faculty are highlighted in “Learn From the Best” stories, and staff are featured in “Here to Help” stories. 

Please fill out this form. We will reach out if we need additional information.

Thank you for your help!

Reminder that nominations for the Salute to Women Awards are due Feb. 17

25th Annual Salute to Women Awards logo in fancy blue script.

The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI) wants to send out a friendly reminder that the 25th Annual Salute to Women Awards is right around the corner.

The deadline for all nomination submissions are due Friday, February 17, 2023.

The award celebrates the accomplishments of women and gender equity advocates who impact the GRCC community.

The award is open to all GRCC stakeholders regardless of gender or gender identity.

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

The awards recognition ceremony will take place Wednesday, March 29 from Noon to 1 p.m. in Sneden 108.