Volunteers needed for GRADfest on March 28

We are looking for volunteers for GRADfest 2023!

This is a celebratory event held to get students everything they need to graduate, and will be held on March 28 on the Juan R. Olivarez Plaza from 3- 6 p.m.

Volunteers need to arrive at 2:15 and be ready for students by 2:30 p.m.

Please sign up on this google doc: 2023 GRADfest Volunteers

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

Thank you,

Jenna Mencarelli / jennamencarelli@grcc.edu

Member Purchase Program exclusive deals with Dell

It’s coming soon: Twice a year tech exclusives! Dell’s Semi Annual Sale starts 3/9.

Sale runs 3/9 – 4/6, accessible on your exclusive member page:   www.Dell.com/DellU/GRCC

     Sale Highlights and limited-time pricing:

  • Alienware x17 R2 Gaming Laptop – $3,199.99 (save $1,350) – sale ends 3/23
  • Inspiron 14 Laptop – $649.99 (save $300) – sale ends 3/23
  • XPS 15 Laptop – $1,499 (save $400) – sale ends 4/6


Young adults with computers.

GRCC Workforce Training launches new program to prepare new leaders for success

Staff member from GRCC Career Advancement Center helping a student.

Grand Rapids Community College’s Workforce Training is offering a new program requested by West Michigan businesses that provides the skills required of a newly appointed leader.

The Preparation for Leadership program is intended for the many small- to mid-sized organizations that often are not able to provide detailed leadership development training to potential or newly promoted leaders.

Upskilling employees to become leaders can save money on the hiring process and operations training.

“This leadership training goes beyond the typical ‘leadership 101’, said John Van Elst, interim executive director of GRCC Workforce Training. “It is built to address the skills and responsibilities new supervisors will face.”

Van Elst said he is excited to have Thomas Hecksel as the trainer for this course.

“Thomas has a proven track record with his experience and expertise with small to mid-sized companies in the West Michigan business market to improve their performance and competitiveness.”

The training is a nine-hour course over three days that provides new and future leaders with detailed tools and techniques for immediate results. It is designed to challenge the participants with specific discussions on the skills and responsibilities they will face as a supervisor or leader.

The interactive curriculum allows learners to gain easy-to-implement strategies to put into practice. Actual employee interaction scenarios are practiced in group discussions so skills can easily be applied.

“This training addresses common hurdles for many new leaders such as gaining credibility from others,” Hecksel said. “Responsibility checklists are used to give a clear picture of the elements involved in being a leader.”

Training includes a personality test to improve understanding of participants’ leadership traits, styles and preferences. This will help them recognize how to best deal with others who may have different traits.

Class runs Thursday mornings beginning April 27, 2023 and will be held at the GRCC Tassell MTEC.

For more information go to grcc.edu/leadership.

Marlene Bussler leads GRCC women’s basketball team to regional semi-finals with win over rival Muskegon

Marlene Bussler  with the basketball during a game.

The Grand Rapids Community College women’s basketball team is heading back to the regional semi-finals for the sixth straight year after a 53-44 win over Muskegon Community College on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the men’s season came to end after a 78-68 defeat to Delta College, ending a six-game win streak. The team, which won 11 straight games to begin the season, finished the year 21-8.

For the eleventh time this season, the stingy women’s defense – ranked third best in the league – held their opponent under 50 points.  It also held Muskegon to just 20.9 percent from the field.

Marlene Bussler led the team with 15 points, including three of the team’s seven made three-point shots. Grace Lodes, 13 points, 12 rebounds, finished with the game’s lone double-double. Karissa Ferry totaled 11 rebounds.

“Extremely proud of the effort defensively tonight,” coach David Glazier said. “They played as one tonight on both ends of the floor. I’m happy for our sophomores, who get to continue adding to what they have already accomplished at GRCC.”

The women’s team will move on to the semi-finals of the Great Lakes B District Tournament to face Jackson College on March 9 at 6:30 p.m. Jackson is the tournament’s No. 1 seed after winning the Eastern Conference. 

Mott Community College plays host to both the semi-finals and the finals. If GRCC wins, the championship game will be March 11 at 6 p.m.  

The men’s team turned the ball over an uncharacteristic 16 times and shot just 43.3 percent from the field.  Delta’s 26 free throw attempts — to just four for the Raiders — might have been the biggest difference in the game.

Danyel Bibbs finished his outstanding two-year career at GRCC with a 19-point, 10-rebound, six-assist performance.  Sophomore teammate Myron Brewer finished with 15 points and seven rebounds, while freshman guard B.J. Neely went 8-of-12 from the field for 17 points.

This story was reported by Ben Brown.

Izzy Regner tosses third consecutive shutout as softball team splits doubleheader

Izzy Regner getting ready to pitch the ball in a game.

Izzy Regner continues to dominate on the mound with her third shutout in as many days to give the Grand Rapids Community College softball team a 7-0 win over Penn State Greater Allegheny on Tuesday.

The softball team split its games on Tuesday while the baseball team dropped two more games against a tough Gulf Coast Community College team that is ranked No. 15 in the latest NJCAA Division I poll.

In the first softball game, Regner struck out 11 batters, bringing her season total to 36 in just three games.  She also added three doubles and two RBI.

Samara Kolehouse also had a three-hit game with a double of her own.  Autumn Scott and Lauren James had two hits each.

In game two, GRCC suffered a 14-0 loss to Lake Michigan College and got hits from Regner, Jaye Guichelaar and Britney Cisler.

The baseball team managed just four hits on the day, losing 11-1 and 13-1.

Fernando Rivera-Calderon hit his second home run of the season while Zacarias Salinas, Melvin Rodriguez and Joe Hoeks picked up the other hits.

The baseball team plays Andrew College in a double header on Wednesday while the softball team resumes play on Thursday.

This story was reported by Ben Brown.

GRCC In the News 03/08/2023

‘Silicon Valley belt’: GRCC prepares students for EV jobs

3/6/23 WOOD TV

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Electric vehicle job training programs are expanding in Michigan.

Grand Rapids Community College is investing in EV technology and the changes in the industry are affecting almost every part of its manufacturing programs, according to Julie Parks, the dean of workforce training.

(This report also ran on WJMN in Escanaba.)

Morning Buzz: March 6

3/6/23 FOX 17

1. Learn about the water you drink and potential careers with the city at Water Pool-Ooza.

Sponsored by the City Of Grand Rapids and Grand Rapids Community College, 4th through 12th-grade students are invited to attend this free class on March 11 at GRCC’s Tassell M-Tech building from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Don’t say it, show it: A West Michigan mom preaching college education enrolls with daughters

3/6/23 FOX 17

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Most colleges and universities will try to market themselves as places where you will feel like a part of a family.

Well, for three students at Grand Rapids Community College, that is already the case — because they are family.

(This article also appeared on KMIZ, KDIK, KAKE, Erie News Now in Pennsylvania and The Franklin News-Post in Rocky Mount, Va.)

East Hills Council of Neighbors Welcomes New Executive Director Jessica Young

3/6/23 The Rapidian

Jessica Young has lived in-and-around East Hills since 2005. In 2017, she and her partner bought a historic home in Fairmount Square, one of six sub-neighborhoods in East Hills, where they live with three dogs, a small flock of backyard hens, and a cat with a mustache.

Jessica became Executive Director of the East Hills Council of Neighbors in June 2022. She has more than ten years of experience working and organizing in local nonprofits, including Heart of West Michigan United Way, Literacy Center of West Michigan, and Community Media Center. Jessica is also a journalist, a professional tutor in Language Arts at Grand Rapids Community College, and the events coordinator at Books & Mortar Bookstore. She earned her Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree from Harvard University.

Latinx Youth Conference returns to GRCC

3/7/23 WOOD TV

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — For the first time since 2019, the Latinx Youth Conference made its return for hundreds of Latino students from two dozen Kent County schools.

… More than 700 eighth grade students descended onto the campus of GRCC Tuesday to see what their future could look like.

Conference Encourages Students To Consider Higher Education and Career Options

3/7/23 WCSG

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (Hispanic Center of Western Michigan press release)  –  The 2023 Latinx Youth Conference (LYC) will take place on Tuesday, March 7 from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) and involve 800 eighth grade Latinx students from 26 West Michigan schools.

Conference provides mentors for Black students

3/7/23 WOOD TV

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A conference aimed at helping African American students in their professional lives will take place Wednesday at Grand Rapids Community College.

#1 Lakers, #4 Snowbirds cruise toward regional final clash

3/8/23 Traverse City Record-Eagle

TRAVERSE CITY — To earn a shot at Thursday’s Division 4 regional trophy, Glen Lake and Gaylord St. Mary needed to go through roadblocks first.

… “They have a couple tall girls and obviously our team is pretty short,” said Snowbirds 5-foot-11 forward Ava Schultz, who committed to play volleyball at Grand Rapids Community College. “Except for me, it’s really 5-4 across the board. We’ve been talking a lot about rebounding, being aggressive down in the paint when we get in there for drives. We have to protect the ball because they’re just a really aggressive team.”

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 / rebeccalubbers1@grcc.edu

New fitness resource for employees

Can’t make it to the gym? Prefer to get your sweat on at home? Not really a group exercise class person?

Check out 12 YouTube videos of GRCC employee exercise classes recorded via Zoom during the Winter 2021 semester (when we were all still at home). 

Nine video recordings of Rise & Shine Gentle Yoga with Cheryl are available, and three videos of Fitness Fusion with Beth are available on the employee wellness webpage.

Use them anytime, anywhere to get your wellness on!