ArtCamp brings more than 100 high school students to explore GRCC Visual Arts opportunities

GRCC students in a  drawing and class.

A typical morning in the Grand Rapids Community College pottery studio is quiet, but students from local high schools recently filled the studio with laughter, hundreds of pounds of clay, and friendly competition.

Students participating in ArtCamp raced against the clock and each other to break a record for the tallest coil pot. Students stood on chairs and feverishly rolled coil after coil of clay, attempting to make their pot stand over 44 ¾ inches without collapsing.

The idea is to give high school students a glimpse into GRCC’s Visual Arts programs, and raise awareness of the possibilities of the arts in higher education.

Throughout the half-day camp , students rotated through classrooms, with each 30-minute class focusing on a different discipline. Students gained hands-on experience with drawing, photography, pottery, and graphic design. They also learned about art history and the Visual Arts programs, ending their day with a campus tour.

This year five high schools brought nearly 100 art students to campus, many unaware of the opportunities to pursue further education in the arts.

Twelve years ago, professor Scott Garrard introduced the idea to the Visual Arts faculty as an opportunity to connect to the community and recruit new students.

Department members were excited about the camp, and with the help of professor Katie Budden, they created the event that students experience today.

“ArtCamp was an immediate success,” Garrard said. “Area high schools have truly enjoyed participating in the event. Many of the visiting students are currently enrolled at GRCC and in art classes. Next year, the event is expanding from one ArtCamp Day a year to two ArtCamp Days, one in the fall and one in the winter semester. This expansion will double the area’s high schools and the number of students able to attend.”  

GRCC’s Visual Arts program is one of six at community colleges in the nation with a National Association of Schools of Art and Design accreditation.

The program offers Associate of Fine Art degrees in both studio and photography as well as Associate of Arts degrees for students interested in a general arts education.

Many Visual Arts students graduate and transfer to four-year schools and even receive scholarships for their portfolio reviews.

More information about the Visual Arts Programs can be found at

GRCC women’s basketball team heading to NJCAA Great Lakes B District Tournament finals after topping Jackson College

GRCC women's basketball player passing the ball.

The Grand Rapids Community College women’s basketball team is heading to the final round of the NJCAA Great Lakes B District Tournament after a dominating win over the No. 1 seed Jackson College.

GRCC, the No. 5 seed, won 74-65, leading from early in the first quarter all the way through the final buzzer.

“This was another game that really highlighted that this team wins together,” head coach David Glazier said. “Each player understands her role and does it to the best of her ability. When this group plays as one, they’re tough to beat and the opportunities are endless.”

The win was in big part to outstanding offensive performances from sophomores Sally Merrill, who scored 24 points, and Marlene Busser, who scored 23 points.

Shining on defense sophomore Grace Lodes, with nine defensive rebounds, and Allison Kellogg with six.

GRCC heads to the final game for the third year in a row. The game is scheduled for 6 p.m. on March 11 at Mott Community College in Flint.

This story was reported by Mackenzie Ondersma.  

Izzy Regner wins games as a starter and closer as GRCC softball team notches two victories

GRCC player running to home after batting a homerun.

Izzy Regner’s pitching boosted the Grand Rapids Community College softball team twice on Thursday – first as a starting pitcher and then in relief.

One swing of the bat was all GRCC needed in the first game to defeat Illinois Valley Community College 3-0.

Freshman third baseman Lauren James hit a three-run homer – her first of the season – in the top of the sixth inning and that was the scoring the Raiders would need.  James also hit a single and a double.

Regner struck out 15 batters, while allowing three hits and walking just one to pick up her first win of the day. 

In game two, against Niagara County Community College, GRCC came back from a 7-4 deficit by scoring five runs in the bottom of the sixth. 

Regner, a freshman from Elkhorn, Wis., closed the game to pick up the win in relief, by striking out five of the eight batters she faced.

She is now 5-0 on the season without allowing a run and fanning 56 batters.

Offensively, GRCC had 11 hits, including a 4-for-4 performance by Regner that included two doubles and her first home run of the season. Jaye Guchelaar added two hits including a big triple in the sixth inning.

The softball team improves to 5-3 on the southern trip.

GRCC is back in action at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, playing Waubonsee Community College and St. Louis Community College.

This story was reported by Ben Brown. 

My GRCC Story podcast: Lydia Hendrian finds in-demand, ‘hands-on’ skills in automotive technology

Lydia Hendrian says she wasn’t interested in a traditional college degree, and wanted to learn in-demand skills that would lead to a rewarding career.

Hendrian appeared on the My GRCC Story podcast to talk about her decision to enroll in the Automotive Technology certificate program through GRCC Workforce Training.

“I’ve always been a more hands-on person,” she said. “I knew I didn’t want to do the classic, English, math pathway for school. So, I started looking into applied technology, more hands-on programs. I like working on my car. And I like being the one in the family who knows some of the stuff, and I want to gain more knowledge and learn a lot more about it.”

GRCC has the largest automotive training program in West Michigan, with an advisory board including representatives from automotive shops from across the region. Classes include lab and lectures, with lab times increasing as the semester moves forward.

“I know a lot of people say, ‘That’s like a trade school,’ Or ‘You can learn that by actually working in a dealership and picking it up,” she said.

“Those are all very true. But it is definitely really nice to have a classroom setting as well as having other individuals who have a similar goal, and have different education levels on cars, so that you can gather knowledge from multiple bases, then obviously from your instructors, who have had years and years of experience in this. It just feels more personal because they’re able to give you that one-on-one, or that group time where they are teaching you very specifically.”

Hendrian said there are not many women in the program, but said she has felt welcomed and would recommend the program to other women who might be interested in the field.

“You need to be determined about it, because it can be a little intimidating at first,” she said. “I remember I told my dad, ‘I want to go into this, taking classes to see how it goes.’ And he said not a lot of girls do that. And I said, ‘Yeah, but I’m a determined person. I want to push through and see what happens.’ So, I did, and I really enjoyed it a lot.”

The My GRCC Story podcast is available here, Spotify, Apple Podcasts and other hosting sites.

GRCC In the News 03/10/2023

Pat Pulliam, Cedric Ward Honored At GIANT Awards 40Th Anniversary Event

3/3/23 The Grand Rapids Times

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Dr. Patricia Pulliam and the late Cedric Ward, who created the GIANT Awards 40 years ago to preserve history and inspire the next generations, were honored Saturday with the GIANT’s first Legacy Awards for their impact.

GRCC offers all-in-one scholarship application

3/9/23 FOX 17

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) students can apply for multiple scholarships — by submitting only one application!

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 /

Lunch with Lepper – Meet GRCC’s new President

Black, orange, and yellow "Lunch with Lepper, Mac & Cheese" logo.

Faculty – please share this information with your students.

Students – join us for lunch with GRCC’s new president, Dr. Charles Lepper! You’ll also be able to meet other students, learn about getting involved on campus and other fun stuff!

What: Lunch with Lepper 

Who’s invited: Students!

Purpose: Meet and take a selfie with the new president, connect with students, build community

When: Tuesday, March 14 at noon 

Where: 4th floor RJF – Sponsored by President’s Office and Student Life and Conduct

Food: Mac N Cheese bar, pulled pork and popcorn chicken with various toppings