Dean of Business & Industry candidate presentation rescheduled to March 2

The Dean of Business & Industry screening committee invites the campus community to attend the candidate presentation. This interview was rescheduled from Wednesday, February 22.

Candidate 2: Thursday, March 2 from 11 a.m. to Noon.

The presentation is available in-person and live streamed. We encourage anyone who can attend in person to join us in ATC 168 (Auditorium).

GRCC Student Food Pantry needs volunteers

I am excited to say that we have been getting the word out–this semester has seen a significant increase in student use of the food pantry! 

Fall 22 semester had a total of 333 visits from students, an average of 28 students a week. As of last week (week 7 of the Winter 23 semester,) we have had a total of 282 students visit with an average of 40 students a week.

This could not have been done without the care and support of the community.

With that in mind, we are looking for additional assistance and want to open up the opportunity to volunteer at the pantry. With increased pantry use, we have had larger orders to unload on Tuesdays and need a Thursday restock to ensure there is adequate amounts of food on the shelves.

If this is something you or your team would be interested in, please take a look at the sign up sheet.  Training and guidance will be provided. We would love to have you join us, and please share the word!

If you have any questions, please reach out to me! I would be happy to chat.


Rebecca Lubbers /

Meet & Confer Advisory Group: Volunteers needed

Human Resources is working to re-establish a Meet & Confer Advisory Group. We are looking for volunteers who would be interested in participating. Ideally the group will be composed of six to eight Meet & Confer employees who represent the broad divisions and levels within this employee group. Meetings will be led by Human Resources once per semester.

We would like volunteers to help for up to three years. The goal of this group is to provide feedback on employment related topics such as; update to the handbook, benefits consortium participation, and discussion of other topics to be considered by administration. 

Please reach out to Christine Coon ( or Luanne Wedge ( in Human Resources by Friday, March 17 if you’re interested in volunteering.

Cassandra Tiensivu shows her daughters the importance of college by enrolling at GRCC with them

As a mom, Cassandra Tiensivu knows actions speak louder than words.

So instead of just telling her young daughters about the importance of a college degree, the Comstock Park mother showed them and enrolled at Grand Rapids Community College herself.

“I understand how hard it is for young people to follow the advice of someone who doesn’t put their money where their mouth is, so that’s when I decided to apply to GRCC and get myself a degree,” said Tiensivu, an honor roll student who’s pursuing a General Studies degree.

Her daughters, now 21 and 18 years old, literally followed in her footsteps: Sabrina is in her second year at GRCC studying Business Administration and Juliana is a freshman in the college’s Math, Science and Engineering Academic Pathway.

Tiensivu, now 43, married soon after high school and never attended college, instead working as a stay-at-home mom after her daughters were born. Several years after her divorce, she enrolled at GRCC in 2016.

“Part of the reason I went back to school was because I wanted to instill the importance of college and a career so they wouldn’t be in the same position that I found myself,” she said. “I felt like the luckiest person in the world when I got my acceptance letter from GRCC.”

When it was time for each daughter to start classes, Mom stepped up as their personal tour guide.

“I was so proud to show them where everything was on campus,” Cassandra Tiensivu said. “If I hadn’t been a student myself, I don’t think I’d be able to assist them with the transition as well as I have.”

Although she began at GRCC as a full-time student, Tiensivu’s class load flexes when her family needs more of her time.

“In 2018, Sabrina was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and I took a year off school to be there for her,” she said. “Thankfully, she beat the cancer and is doing great.”

Balancing classes, homework, household and “mom stuff” isn’t always easy.

This semester, Tiensivu took a break from classes to focus on Celestial Kittens, a new company she started featuring space-themed felines she designed. Her product line includes stickers and stuffed toys, with a children’s book and fashion accessories on the way.

“I would like to be self-sufficient with my own business and still be able to pursue other things,” she said.

After exploring several academic fields through the years, Tiensivu is just nine credits away from an associate degree in general studies. She hopes to soon attain GRCC degrees in Pre-Art and Pre-Business before heading to a university and becoming a paleontologist.

“I know it’s taken me a long time to get a degree but I’m going to get there eventually … I’m not giving up,” Tiensivu said.

For now, she enjoys the time with her daughters, carpooling to GRCC with her youngest, eating lunch on campus at Quiet Cafe, and watching all three of their career aspirations come to life.

And her daughters are still watching and learning.

“I think it’s awesome that Mom is going back to school,” Sabrina Tiensivu said. “When I see Mom study, all I can think of is how hardworking and dedicated she is.”

This story was reported by Beth McKenna.

GRCC In the News 02/28/2023

Grand Rapids Times publisher, late arts icon honored at 40th annual GIANT Awards

2/27/23 MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – The creators of the annual GIANT Awards that celebrate the contributions African American community leaders had in shaping the history, culture and quality of life in Grand Rapids were honored Saturday night.

… (Patricia) Pulliam has made two careers shining a light on minority issues and concerns as a publisher and professor at Grand Rapids Community College, which hosted the ceremony at DeVos Place.

Grand Rapids Times publisher honored by college as community ‘giant’

2/27/23 Grand Rapids Business Journal

A longtime educator and magazine editor was recognized for her decades of service to West Michigan. 

Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) on Saturday celebrated 40 years of its Giant Awards, recognizing Patricia Pulliam with the first ever Giant Legacy Award for her impact in West Michigan. 

Women Crafting the Beverage Industry in Grand Rapids

2/27/23 Experience Grand Rapids

USA Today has recognized Grand Rapids as the Craft Beverage Capital of America. We want to recognize some of the women who helped us get there. Their leadership has helped Grand Rapids stand out from the pack of other craft beverage destinations – and has inspired more local women to pursue their own careers in breweries, distilleries, cideries and wineries across the area.

… The couple (Callee and Levi Knoll) met at Grand Rapids’ Secchia Institute for Culinary Education, where Callee was enrolled in the Culinary Arts program, with the goal of becoming a personal private chef. But after graduation, the Knolls decided instead to work on something together, and channeled their 30 years of combined foodservice experience into planning their own restaurant-brewery.

(This article also mentions GRCC alum Mitch Ermatinger.)

March employee learning opportunities

Wednesday, March 1
Good People Make Mistakes

Friday, March 10
Vicarious Trauma

Tuesday, March 14
Active Shooter Response Training

Wednesday, March 15
How To Get It Wrong

Thursday, March 16
Raising Awareness of Mental Health in the Workplace

Tuesday, March 21 & Wednesday, March 22
Mental Health First Aid

Tuesday, March 21
How Do I Pack For FMLA Leave?

Thursday, March 23
GRCC Accounts Explained

Friday, March 24
Mindfulness Made Simple

Monday, March 27
Addressing Employee Conduct Concerns – Roadmap for Leaders

Wednesday, March 29
Value of the Intergenerational Workplace

Thursday, March 30
Show Me The Money

For session descriptions, times, formats and locations, please visit the Professional Development tile in your Online Center account.

Now Open: GRCC Online Store

The GRCC Online Store is open once again!

We are actively stocking our shelves with all kinds of great equipment. The Online Store sells replaced computer equipment and more back to the community at hugely discounted pricing.

Head to the link below to see what’s in stock.

New walk-in store area opening Feb. 22!

The Online Store now has a store front located on Devos Campus, Sneden Hall, Room 115. We will be doing a soft opening for all GRCC students and employees on Feb. 22, 2023. The store will be open from 12pm-5pm.

Come shop in person or just stop in to say hello.

Deadline approaching: Over $1,000,000 in scholarships available to students from the GRCC Foundation

Student interacting with Kristi Welling.

The priority deadline is approaching quickly, and students get busy, so please remind and encourage the students you teach and support to complete the GRCC Scholarship application.

They can fill out a single application to be considered for over three hundred scholarships!

These scholarships can provide them with free money to help cover 2023-24 GRCC tuition, books and fees. 

Students should apply for GRCC scholarships on our  Scholarships webpage.

The priority deadline is March 15, 2023. In order to maximize scholarship opportunities, students should also complete a 2023-24  FAFSA.