LibreFest Professional Development opportunity next week: March 22-23

There are still a few openings left to join your colleagues in learning more about the LibreTexts online textbook platform ( through a series of available half-day sessions across Wednesday, March 22 and Thursday, March 23 hosted in 525 Cook Hall.

This two-day set of workshops is part of our ongoing initiatives supporting Open Educational Resources (OER) at GRCC.

Each morning and afternoon session can be attended separately, and each covers different material. On Wednesday, lunch gift certificates will be provided to attendees and on Thursday lunch will be provided directly. 

Please RSVP to OER Coordinator Lauren Woolsey at to receive registration instructions and a detailed agenda.

Each day is structured as follows:

Each day is structured as follows:
Morning Session 9:00 – 11:30
Lunch Break 11:30 – 12:30
Afternoon Session 12:30 – 3:00

You can attend anywhere from one session on one day, to all four sessions across both days. Thank you for your interest in learning about one of many ways to customize instructional materials to fit your curriculum goals!

GRCC students among 10 finalists in NASA HUNCH competition to send a meal to the International Space Station

A team of Grand Rapids Community College culinary students is one small step closer to the giant leap of preparing a meal for astronauts aboard the International Space Station. 

Students with the Secchia Institute of Culinary Education made the cut in the NASA HUNCH competition, and will be among 10 teams from across the nation heading to the Johnson Space Center in Houston on April 20 for a final cookoff.

The winner gets to prepare a meal to be blasted into space and sent to the orbiting station for astronauts conducting research.

The Secchia Institute is partnering with the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District’s Careerline Tech Center, with students Katie Bird and Devon Vanderwall preparing a recipe of Austrian style steak soup.

The 2022 GRCC Raiders Fuel culinary team, is coached by Dr. Werner Absenger, Secchia Institute’s program director, and Chef Jennifer Struik, an instructor in the program.

“I’m thrilled to be representing team GRCC in Houston this year!” Struik said. “Katie and Devon worked incredibly hard to earn this top 10 spot. I’m very proud of their commitment to the project over these past seven months.”

The team has been working since early September, using nutritional guidelines from NASA and a research project looking at how foods affect astronauts in low gravity.

The team competed in a preliminary round last month at the Grand Rapids Public Museum, preparing servings for about 20 judges as well as museum guests.

Bird said she was “vibrating with excitement” when she learned the team was advancing. The team’s success also helps her build confidence in being able to reach her career goal of being a personal chef.

“Now I know I can work under high-pressure conditions with precision,” she said.

It is the fourth year GRCC culinary students and faculty are competing in the NASA HUNCH competition. The 2019-2020 team also made it to the finals, finishing second in the competition.

Finalists have not yet been selected for a second phase of the competition, where students are creating edible food packaging. Mechanical design students Abby Tichelaar and Cole Herring are devising edible cargo boxes in an interdisciplinary project with a goal of eliminating waste on space missions, where space on aircraft is at a premium.

Tichelaar and Herring attend Launch U, a partnership between GRCC and the Kent Intermediate School District. They are working on an edible cargo transfer box that will hold nutrition bars, and at the end of its life cycle upcycled into an edible solution, such as gummy bears, recycled, or downcycled into plastic components.

Nontraditional students Kim Budde, Melissa Sue Gheorghiu, and Jodi Holland representing GRCC on All Michigan Academic Team

Kim Budde, Melissa Sue Gheorghiu, and Jodi Holland standing together, smiling.

Three nontraditional students are representing Grand Rapids Community College on this year’s All Michigan Academic Team.

Each college campus may nominate up to four students – two from workforce and two from transfer programs – for Phi Theta Kappa’s All Michigan Academic Team. Students on the state teams have the opportunity to be named to the All-USA Academic Team and are eligible for awards and scholarships. 

All Michigan Academic Team members were recognized this week during a ceremony in East Lansing sponsored by the Michigan Community College Association and PTK, the international honor society for community colleges.

The GRCC students on the team are:

  • Kim Budde, who excels at her Business studies while working full time as a senior manager;  serving as an Honors ambassador and vice president of Alpha Upsilon Kappa, GRCC’s PTK chapter; volunteering with various organizations; and living up to her grandsons’ nickname of “Grandma Fun.” She received the 2022 Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholarship and has been on GRCC’s President’s and Dean’s lists multiple times.

  • Melissa Sue Gheorghiu, who has completed GRCC’s Honors Program and is involved with the Psi Beta Honors Society for psychology students and TRIO Student Support Services, a program for first generation college students. A single mother of three, she has been on the Dean’s List every semester since she enrolled. She is a chapter officer for Alpha Upsilon Kappa and serves on the PTK bylaws committee for the Michigan region. She is a semifinalist for the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship and received a GRCC Salute to Women award this year. She will start a combined bachelor’s and master’s program in finance at the University of Michigan next fall.

  • Jodi Holland, who is turning her love of baking into a career through the Michigan Reconnect program. She started pursuing her Associate in Culinary Arts, with a Baking and Pastry Arts Certificate, in summer 2021 and will graduate this fall. Despite working full time, she has made the President’s List. She was mentioned by name in Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s 2022 State of the State address and has met with Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II about the Reconnect program.

“Jodi, Kim and Melissa are amazing students, and we’re proud to have them represent Grand Rapids Community College  and Alpha Upsilon Kappa on the All Academic Michigan Team,” said Lynnae Selberg, associate professor and advisor to GRCC’s PTK chapter.

IT Knowledge Base survey for faculty and staff

In efforts to better serve the needs of our campus community, the GRCC Information Technology Department would like you to take a few minutes to complete this short survey regarding our online Knowledge Base system.

Your feedback will assist us in planning future improvements to the system to ensure that we are providing relevant information for you 24/7.

This survey will be available until Friday, March 31, 2023.

Please reference the Knowledge Base Website while answering questions.

Click on the link to access the survey: GRCC IT Knowledge Base Faculty/Staff Survey

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.

March 27, 2023 Economic Club of Grand Rapids opportunity for GRCC Students

The Economic Club of Grand Rapids has gifted us with the opportunity to have GRCC students participate in an upcoming luncheon FOR FREE.

The next event is Monday, March 27, with the topic, “Leading in an Era of Disruptive Change.”

Limited seats are available so please complete this google form and get more information here:

The RSVP deadline is 8 a.m., Wednesday, March 22 for this March 27 event.