GRCC Policies updated

Policy Meeting

February 2023

14.5 Campus Closing due to Inclement Weather & Emergency Conditions

  • Updated building names and titles

14.14 Building Access Raider Card

  • Changed Campus Police to GRCC Police or GRCC Police Department throughout the document.
  • IX C. Removed reference to local law enforcement (as they do not have card access)
  • X. C Changed “against college policy to “prohibited”
  • X. D. 9 changed the wording but not the meaning

14.19 COVID-19 Vaccination Policy for Health Program & Early Childhood Learning Lab Employees

  • Revised to reflect that dates which were previously imposed (for reporting vaccination status; providing proof of vaccination; and seeking exemptions) by the Policy have lapsed.  The proposed revised Policy requires new covered employees (e.g., new hires and transfers) to provide their vaccination status and proof of vaccination (or seek an exemption) as soon as practicable.
  • Revised to reflect the rescission of the College’s Face-Covering Policy.

11.2 Grants

                Under Procedures:

  • Addition of responsibility for tracking cost share and value calculation
  • Addition of responsibility for certifying time and effort by grant-funded employees
  • Addition of required obligation to participate in federal external evaluation if selected
  • Addition of obligation to comply with federally-mandated disclosure requirements and financial conflict of interest reporting
  • Addition of responsibilities related to subawards and monitoring of subrecipients 
  • Addition of obligation regarding records retention for federal grants
  • Addition of responsibility for grant closeout
  • All detailed information was moved from the Policy Statement section to the Implementation and Administration of Grant Awards section. Where applicable, references to the specific sections of 2 CFR 200 were inserted and details that had been taken verbatim from those sections were moved to the department’s Grants Administration Guide.

The new/revised policies have been added to the College Policies website.

25th Annual Salute to Women Awards on March 29: Vimeo link available

25th Annual Salute to Women logo in blue script.

The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI) wants to invite you to the Salute to Women Awards .

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

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


Vimeo Link: Salute to Women 2023

My Story Started at GRCC: Teacher Elizabeth Usadel finds an art to creating business

Elizabeth Usadel smiling.

Elizabeth Usadel immersed herself in art at GRCC, and that passion has sparked not one, but two careers.

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.

She studied Visual Arts at GRCC, earning an associate degree in 2004. She then earned a bachelor’s in K-12 art education and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction, both from Calvin University. She has spent the past 14 years as an art teacher, with the East Grand Rapids, Northview, Godfrey-Lee and, currently, the Grand Rapids school districts.

In 2019, she began making polymer clay earrings and realized quickly that she wanted to turn this hobby into a business. She opened a store — The Color Forest — at 341 S. Division Ave., where she sells her jewelry and runs workshops.

“I love getting to combine my love of color and making things with my teaching background,” she said. “Each workshop is like a little art party.”

The Color Forest is one of the more than 30 enterprises you can find on GRCC’s list of alumni-owned businesses.

“Our goal is to encourage and empower women with our bright and fun jewelry,” Usadel said. “I hope to make my business my full-time employment. I’d like to hire a small team in the next five years and eventually become a national brand.”

Usadel credits GRCC with giving her skills that have helped with both her careers.

“My path to starting my business was unconventional,” she said. “I am an art teacher who found a reignited passion for making things. The support I felt at GRCC helped give me the confidence to take a risk and try something new.” 

Start your GRCC story today here.

GRCC softball team returns after a year away by splitting doubleheader

GRCC's softball team - all in uniform and smiling.

The Grand Rapids Community College baseball and softball teams both split games Sunday in competition in Florida, part of an early season road trip against tough competition.

The softball team, returning after a year without playing, opened its season with an 18-5, five-hit, five-inning loss to Mid Michigan College. But the team rebounded to beat its second opponent, 10-0 in five innings, giving Chuck White his first win as GRCC head coach.

The baseball team played a doubleheader against Chipola College, which competes in NJCAA Division I, and defeated it 17-6 in the first game, and was shut-out 13-0 in the nightcap.

In the softball game, Jaye Guichelaar went 2-for-3 in game one and Brynn McArthur and Lauren James each had two RBI to lead GRCC.

In game two, against West Virginia Wesleyan’s junior varsity team, Izabella Regner threw a gem, not allowing any runs while giving up just one hit and striking out 11.  She also went two-for-three with two RBI.  Annika Roersma had a team-high three RBI and James finished with two RBI. The team struck out just three times.

The baseball team had 14 hits in its first game, led by Joe Hoeks, Xander Reisbig and Tommy Reid, who all had three hits. Hoeks and Reisbig each had five RBI and a home run. Connor Foley picked up the win and Ethan London closed the game by pitching the final two innings.

In the second game, GRCC had just two singles, by Zacarias Salinas and Andres Rivera-Calderon.

Both teams will be back in action on Monday. The schedule is at

This story was written by Ben Brown.

GRCC men’s soccer team adds seven new players honored for success, leadership at the high school level

Two soccer players trying to get the ball.

The Grand Rapids Community College men’s soccer team signed seven more players as it looks to its inaugural season this fall.

The GRCC Athletic Department added soccer in response to a growing interest in the sport internationally and an increasing number of requests from potential student-athletes.

With the addition of seven new players, coach Damiekco Smith has 17 players committed for the 2023 season. 

Patrick Gakuru is a striker who played for Union High School. He also played for Michigan Futbol Academy, which won first place in its league and was the winners of the March Madness tournament. He is swift on his feet and very technical with the soccer ball.

Jaret Jaramillo attends Kent City High School. He is a center-attacking mid known for his unselfish play and signature No. 5 jersey.  Jaramillo scored 22 goals and 10 assists during his 2022 high school season. He was voted to All-Region, All-District, and All-Conference teams during the 2022 season. He also earned All-Academic team honors.

Alex Lagazo is a forward who played for Forest Hills Northern High School.  Lagazo was voted on the All-State Division 2 Team in 2022 and will bring toughness and aggression to the team.

Jordan Okito attended Forest Hills Northern High School. He played forward and midfield. He earned second-team All-State honors after netting 25 goals and nine assists. He also led his team to a conference and district championship. Okito is very strong on the ball and will be able to create a lot of offense for the team.

Jorge Saldanas-Veliz was a midfield player at Wyoming High School. He controlled the midfield for the Wolves for three years on the varsity team. He was a two-time captain for the Wolves and earned All-Conference and All-Conference Honorable Mention honors throughout high school.  A well-known player in the West Michigan area, Saldanas-Veliz played for several club teams over the years, including Revolution, Michigan Power, ABK, and Tricks FC.

Jonathan Zamudio-Santoyo was named to All-Conference and All-District teams during his senior year, praised for his technical skills and leadership.

Nathan Smith played for Clarkston High School, a team that was ranked sixth in the nation at one point during his senior year.  He plays left and center back and center back and played soccer at a high level his entire life.  He played starting left back for Nationals Union 04 Black, starting every game in the State Cup, National League, and the Midwest Regional Championships.  

This story was written by Ben Brown.

GRCC baseball team opens season with a 9-2 win against Coastal Alabama Community College – South

GRCC baseball player swinging at a pitch.

The Grand Rapids Community College baseball team opened the season with a 9-2 victory over Coastal Alabama Community College – South before losing 5-4 to Wallace Community College-Dothan in the nightcap

The team kicked off a week of games against tough competition in Florida.

In game one, GRCC ace and 2022 All-American Jerad Berkenpas threw a five-strikeout, zero-walk complete game.

GRCC had 11 hits, led by Zacarias Salinas, who was 3-for-4 with 2 RBI, including his first home run.  Fernando Rivera-Calederon and Xander Reisbig also went yard and each had two hits.

In the nightcap, GRCC led 3-1, but Wallace-Dothan used a four-run second inning to take a 5-3 lead and held on for the one-run victory.

Joe Hoeks and two RBI, Trevin Lamin and Dylan Chargo had the other two RBI for the Raiders. Chargo and Hoeks had two of the team’s eight hits.

Kellan Smith pitched four shutout innings in relief, giving up no hits while striking out six.

GRCC will play again on Sunday, facing Chipola College in a double header starting at 2 p.m.

This story was reported by Ben Brown.

GRCC In the News 03/06/2023

New college president leads from humble roots

3/3/23 Grand Rapids Business Journal

Told he would “never go to college,” Charles Lepper has made it his mission to provide students equitable access to higher education, most recently bringing him to West Michigan, where he has taken on leadership of Grand Rapids Community College.

Community Updates: Friday, March 3

3/3/23 The Rapidian

On Tuesday, the White House issued a proclamation to once again designate the month of March as Women’s History Month. This proclamation, the 28th in a consecutive series of yearly proclamations issued by the President of the United States, encourages the American people to “celebrate the countless women who have fought tirelessly and courageously for equality, justice, and opportunity in our Nation.”

… Other Women’s History Month events happening in Grand Rapids include:

·         A fundraiser benefitting the YWCA West Central Michigan and Women’s Resource Center organized by Grand Rapids Community College.

Grand Rapids American Culinary Federation Awards recognizes the best chefs in the industry

3/3/23 FOX 17

West Michigan has such a vibrant food scene, and the Grand Rapids American Culinary Federation Awards will be highlighting and celebrating the best chefs in West Michigan.

… Grand Rapids American Culinary Federation Awards will take place on April 12 at the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education.

8 frontline workers recognized for going above and beyond


Gordon Burnham has been with Comcast’s Xfinity Store in Muskegon for over 36 years and is known for providing customers with the utmost service.

… The 2022 Essential Service Award honorees are:

  • … Bayard Brooks, Grand Rapids Community College

Teacher of the Week supports students from all over the world

3/6/23 WZZM

WYOMING, Mich. — 13 ON YOUR SIDE stopped by West Elementary School in Wyoming to surprise our next Teacher of the Week. The celebration involved students from all around the world.

… It’s not his only job. He (Daniel Malakowsky) also teaches at Grand Rapids Community College and Aquinas College.

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.

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 /

GRCC Adjunct recruitment event

We wanted to pass along information about an exciting event that we’re hosting on Saturday, March 18.  HR and Academic Leadership are collaborating to host an adjunct recruitment information session.

The purpose of this session is to provide adjunct applicants with a preview of what it means to be an adjunct faculty member at GRCC, and an overview of the hiring process.

If you know of someone who meets the minimum requirements (Masters degree and some teaching experience) and they’re interested in learning more about being a GRCC adjunct, the drop in department fair will also provide applicants with an opportunity to have a conversation with department heads in the following academic areas: Biological Sciences, Manufacturing, Construction Electrical Apprenticeship, Applied Tech, Mathematics and Psychology. However, we welcome any adjunct applicant to attend. 

Please go to our website at to RSVP by March 15.