GRCC Celebrates World Affairs Council Award with Ambassador Yovanovitch

On Friday, June 24 , members of the GRCC community celebrated with former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch her award of the Vandenberg Prize. Given annually by the World Affairs Council of Western Michigan, the honor is presented to national or international leaders who have been influential in developing global understanding and collaboration on the world stage.

Pictured below with the ambassador are (left to right): Kate Kryger (Professor of Biology), Rachel Lutwick-Deaner (Assistant Professor of English & Gender Studies), Ambassador Yovanovitch, Kathleen Bruinsma (Board of Trustees), Ashley Fox (Assistant Director of Student Life), and Emily Pain (Assistant Professor of Sociology & Gender Studies).

Also attending the event were: Grant Snider (Associate Dean of Arts & Sciences), Leigh Kleinert (Interim Associate Dean of Arts & Sciences), Bill Faber (Interim Dean of Arts & Sciences), Steve Abid (Foundation Board of Directors & Retired Professor of Economics), Yan Bai (Professor of Political Science), Hillery Haney (Professor of French), Nikki Smith (Professor of Criminal Justice), Evan Macklin (TRIO Program Advisor), Mike DeVivo (Professor of Geography), Suzanna Duba (former US Department of State Intern, US Embassy, Kyiv & GRCC alumna), and Cadey Korson (Senior Lecturer in Human Geography, Massey University of New Zealand & GRCC alumna).

GRCC, as an educational partner of the World Affairs Council of Western Michigan, hosts the Great Decisions Global Discussion Series, which is considered America’s largest discussion program on world affairs.

Among the speakers featured in 2022 were Fiona Hill, Elizabeth Shackelford and Jennifer Devine. GRCC students, faculty, and staff attend lectures for free. For more information, visit: Home | World Affairs Council of Western Michigan (worldmichigan.org)

Public Service Loan Forgiveness webinar opportunity June 30

This session will share information on the Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program Basics, recent changes to the PSLF program, the PSLF Help Tool, and additional resources to navigate the application process.

This session is intended for borrowers of Federal student loans with special emphasis on current and former students who may qualify for the PSLF Program due to the following: employer type; employment status; eligible payments and an eligible repayment plan.
 
The platform to have your questions answered will be via chat on Microsoft Teams Live.

Thursday, June 30, 2022

8:00-9:00pm EST

Register today!

More than 900 new students eligible to attend GRCC with financial support from Grand Rapids Promise Zone

More than 900 students have been invited to attend Grand Rapids Community College during the 2022-2023 academic year with financial support from the Grand Rapids Promise Zone.

This year, more than 500 students attended GRCC using the Promise Zone scholarship, which removes cost as a barrier to a quality college education for eligible students.

“The Grand Rapids Promise Zone is about access and opportunity, and an indication of this community’s commitment to helping everyone get the education they need to be successful,” said Ashlee Mishler, Promise Zone director. “This is an opportunity for students to start their educational journey at GRCC, earning credits or career skill certificates — for free — close to home.”  

The Promise Zone scholarship is available for students who live within Grand Rapids and graduate from one of the 25 public, public charter, or private high schools located within the city limits. The program covers the cost of tuition, fees, books and required course materials for GRCC’s associate degree and job training and certification programs.

The Promise Zone scholarship is a “last dollar” scholarship. Students must complete the FAFSA — Free Application for Federal Student Aid — to determine available need-based aid. Once the total need-based aid has been determined, the scholarship covers the remaining costs.

Students are eligible to receive the full Grand Rapids Promise Zone Scholarship (60 credit hours) if:

  • They attend an eligible Grand Rapids high school continuously since the beginning of 10th grade or before;
  • They live in the city of Grand Rapids boundaries continuously since the beginning of 10th grade or before; and
  • They graduate from any of the 25 public, public charter, or private high schools located within the city.

Students who have been enrolled at an eligible high school and who have resided in Grand Rapids continuously since the start of 11th grade are eligible for a partial scholarship, covering up to 30 credit hours at GRCC.

Eligible students have five years to access these funds from the time they graduate high school. Once enrolled, they must take at least six credits in the fall and winter semesters. Students who opt to attend a different college or university can still use the Promise Zone scholarship as a GRCC guest student during the summer semesters.

The scholarships were created in 2020 by the Grand Rapids Promise Zone Authority, a group of city and community leaders and educators.

Additional information is available at grcc.edu/promisezone and grpromisezone.com, through email at promisezone@grcc.edu and by calling (616) 234-4321.

GRCC In the News 06/29/2022

Baseball awards

6/24/22 The Post (Cedar Springs)

The Cedar Springs Red Hawk varsity baseball team tied the school record for wins this season with 23.  They finished 4th in the OK Gold Conference, which gave them four all conference nominations.  

… (Aiden) Brunin batted lead off this season. He had 110 at bats and a 427 average. His 47 hits included 9 doubles and 3 triples. He scored 42 runs and led the team with 27 stolen bases. He will attend Grand Rapids Community College this fall and play for Coach Mike Eddington. Though he was primarily a shortstop for the Red Hawks, Aiden will likely see playing time all over the field at the collegiate level. Brunin was OK Gold All Conference, and District 9 All District as a short stop.  He will also play in the John Bos all-star game this week.

How Some Hospitals Are Grappling with the Workforce Shortage

6/29/22 American Hospital Association

In April, leaders at Sanford Health, a rural system in Fargo, North Dakota, began rolling out an augmented intelligence software tool the organization co-developed with the tech firm Flexwise Health to begin scheduling its 10,000-plus nurses more effectively.

… After examining turnover and forecasting data, Trinity (Health) leaders decided to try an apprenticeship program modeled after approaches used in manufacturing and construction. The 12-month program, developed with Grand Rapids Community College and Michigan Works! Association, lifted Trinity Health’s medical assistant-retention rate to 76% one year after graduation. The health system has trained 129 medical assistants since the program’s inception.

Twisthink moves headquarters to Grand Rapids

6/29/22 consulting.us

Twisthink, a Holland, MI-based digital consulting firm, is establishing a new headquarters facility in Grand Rapids.

… The new facility will create 37 immediate jobs in engineering, strategy, design, and project leadership. Twisthink provides employees with professional development opportunities including reimbursement for advanced degrees and training programs, with Grand Rapids Community College committing to support Twisthink’s expansion with a workforce training package in 2023.

CAP 3.4 recognizing Stonewall riots with resources

GRCC’s LGBTQ+ Inclusive Fundamentals Team, CAP 3.4, is dedicated to supporting GRCC’s greater commitment to equity and GRCC’s values of diversity, innovation, respect, and responsiveness. The CAP team wants to provide resources highlighting and celebrating LGBTQ+ faculty, staff, students, and the larger GRCC Family.

GRCC on June 18 showed its pride by having a booth at the 34th annual Grand Rapids Pride Festival. Today, our pride continues as we commemorate the 53rd Anniversary of Stonewall riots, which many consider the catalyst for the gay rights movement in the United States.

In support of this day, the GRCC Library is providing a link to learn more about Stonewall on History.com. Additionally, please stop by the library to see its Stonewall book display or check out some of the resources it has supporting the LGBTQ+ community here at GRCC by visiting its LGBTQ Resources Subject Guide.

The CAP team wants to highlight our community advocates and partners: Grand Rapids Pride CenterStandOutUnited Campus Christian Fellowship, and Grand Rapids Trans Foundation.

GRCC alumni, faculty members contribute to anthology to support Ukrainian relief efforts

Grand Rapids Community College alumni and faculty are among the contributors to a poetry anthology to support Ukrainian relief efforts.

“Busy Griefs, Raw Towns” will be available at Schuler Books & Music, 2660 28th St. SE, starting July 15.

GF Korreck, who edited the collection, noted that almost all the poems were written expressly in support of the relief efforts.

“Poetry cannot stop violence,” said Korreck, who attended GRCC when it was Grand Rapids Junior College. “But it can awaken people. It can remind us of our soul, our humanity, and what it means to be part of a world.”

The anthology, produced by Schuler, includes work by:

  • GRJC alumnus David Cope, a former Grand Rapids poet laureate who taught at GRCC for 22 years.
  • GRCC alumnus Alban Fischer, author of “Fake Moon” and founding editor of Trnsfr and Trnsfr Books.
  • GRCC professor Katie Kalisz, author of “Quiet Woman.”
  • GRCC professor Mursalata Muhammad, recent recipient of the Sweeney Memorial Boat House Residency at Lines End for emerging writers.
  • Former GRCC adjunct instructor Debra Wierenga, author of “Marriage and Other Infidelities.”

Korreck was the editor of the 2007 anthology “Sins and Felonies” that included his work, and submissions form Cope and two others with GRJC ties, Frank Salamone and David Montgomery. All four were also associated with Display Magazine, which continues today.

Proceeds from sales of the book will go to the International Rescue Committee to support continuing Ukraine relief efforts. It can be ordered in advance on Schuler’s website, linked here.

GRCC baseball slugger Ryan Dykstra thriving after taking his game to the Kalamazoo Growlers of Northwoods League

Ryan Dykstra in Growlers uniform.

Ryan Dykstra is following a fantastic season on Grand Rapids Community College’s baseball team by taking his game to the next level, playing for the Kalamazoo Growlers of the Northwoods League.

The Northwoods League is a developmental league for elite college players, with players using wood bats instead of the metal bats used at the college level.

That hasn’t deterred the 6-foot, 210-pound outfielder from Byron Center. Through Sunday, Dykstra has played in 25 games, batting .292, and leading the team in hits and is second with 20 RBI.

He recently earned a promotion: a contract to play for the entire season.

“I’m glad to get it,” he said of the contract extension. “I didn’t know what to expect. But being here, I’m glad to be extended and to keep doing this thing.”

The 22-team league has existed for 27 seasons. More than 250 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including former Detroit Tigers Curtis Granderson and Max Scherzer and New York Mets slugger Pete Alonso.

Because Northwoods is an amateur league, players are not paid, allowing them to maintain their college eligibility. League teams play 72 games from late May until mid-August. Most live with host families during the season to keep expenses to a minimum.

The Growlers have players from across the country, and they attend colleges including Duke, University of Miami, Ohio State University, and the University of Tennessee. Dykstra has committed to playing at Oakland University next season and looks forward to entering teaching or business after graduating.

Fred Brown, GRCC assistant baseball coach, is the Growler’s hitting coach and recommended Dykstra for the team after a stellar GRCC season. Dykstra’s .422 batting average led the Raiders, and he also had the most runs, hits, doubles, home runs, and runs batted in.

That performance earned him four postseason honors from the Michigan Community College Athletic Association. He was named All-Region, All-MCCAA and First Team All-Conference. He also was named to the All-Tournament team at the regionals after batting .588 in five games.

Dykstra played baseball, football and basketball at South Christian High School, and GRCC head baseball coach Mike Eddington said Dykstra’s decision to focus on baseball helped improve his game.

“What I like about Ryan’s background is that he was a very good three-sport athlete, and he had a big upside once he focused on baseball,” Eddington said. “Ryan is passionate about being good, and he loves baseball. Playing for the Growlers this summer will prepare Ryan for Division 1 baseball.”

Dykstra was able to play before the hometown crowd last week, when the Growlers bested the Traverse City Pit Spitters 7-4 at LMCU Ballpark, home of the West Michigan Whitecaps. He had three hits in five at-bats, driving in a run.

GRCC In the News 06/28/2022

Grand Rapids Community College picks presidential search firm, seeks public input

6/27/22 MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Grand Rapids Community College is enlisting the help of the Mississippi-based search firm that helped hire outgoing President Bill Pink in 2017 to search for his replacement.

News at 6 p.m.

6/27/22 FOX 17

(Coverage of Traverse City Pit Spitters, mentioning former GRCC player Ryan Dykstra.)

Sain strives to serve whether as police chief or as a coach

6/28/22 Local Sports Journal (Muskegon)

MUSKEGON HEIGHTS – Maurice A. Sain was an accomplished high school athlete at Muskegon Heights.

… He played a year of football at Grand Rapids Community College then returned home to play two seasons of basketball at Muskegon Community College.

GRCC Presidential Profile Focus Sessions

The Board of Trustees and Dr. Preston Pulliams from Gold Hill Associates are hosting Campus Community Presidential Profile Focus Sessions this week. 

Your feedback is important. Therefore, if you did not RSVP you may join virtually, see details and information below.

Monday, June 27 from 10 – 11 a.m. at https://grcc.zoom.us/j/96017874600 

Passcode: search2022

Tuesday, June 28 from 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. at https://grcc.zoom.us/j/97647387301 

Passcode: search2022

Otherwise you may also share feedback at presidentialsearch@grcc.edu.

Dean of STEM candidate presentations on 6/28, 6/29, 6/30

The Dean of STEM screening committee invites the campus community to attend the candidate presentations. 

The presentations are available in-person and virtually. We would encourage anyone who can attend in person to join us in ATC 168 (Auditorium). 

Candidate 1: Tuesday, June 28 from 2:00 – 3:00 pm in ATC 168 or live streamed

Candidate 2: Wednesday, June 29 from 11:00 – 12:00 pm in ATC 168 or live streamed

Candidate 3:  Thursday, June 30 from 11:00 – 12:00 pm in ATC 168 or live streamed. 

GRCC Presidential Profile Focus Sessions

The Board of Trustees and Dr. Preston Pulliams from Gold Hill Associates are hosting Campus Community Presidential Profile Focus Sessions this week. 

Your feedback is important. Therefore, if you did not RSVP you may join virtually, see details and information below.

Monday, June 27 from 10 – 11 a.m. at https://grcc.zoom.us/j/96017874600 

Passcode: search2022

Tuesday, June 28 from 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. at https://grcc.zoom.us/j/97647387301 

Passcode: search2022

Otherwise you may also share feedback at presidentialsearch@grcc.edu.

GRCC trustees seeking public input on presidential search with a June 28 community focus session

Grand Rapids Community College trustees want resident feedback on their search process and leadership profile as it looks for the college’s next president, and plans a community focus session for Tuesday, June 28.

The board of trustees is conducting a national search to replace President Bill Pink, who is leaving on June 30 to become president of Ferris State University.

Trustees have said they value the perspectives of community members, and look forward to input and collaboration during the process.

Trustees adopted a presidential profile to help guide the search and assure sustained quality leadership and a smooth transition.

The community session is scheduled for 8 to 9 a.m. on June 28, and residents can attend virtually or in person, in the board library on the fifth floor of Raleigh J. Finkelstein Hall, 143 Bostwick Ave. NE in Grand Rapids.

Details are available at grcc.edu/presidentialsearch.

Trustees have contracted with Gold Hill Associates, a firm specializing in executive searches, to guide the process and assist in screening candidates. Gold Hill guided the search press that resulted in Pink being selected in 2017.

Trustees hope to have a new president selected by the end of the year.

GRCC President Emeritus Juan R. Olivarez was appointed to serve as interim president during the search. Olivarez was GRCC’s eighth president, serving from 1999 until 2008. He is GRCC’s third interim president, with Dr. Patricia Pulliam serving in the role in 1998 and 1999, and Dr. Anne Mulder in 2008 and 2009.

My Story Started at GRCC: Michelle Murdoch returned as an older student, pursued her dream to be a dental hygienist

Michelle Murdoch says she was “the oldest” student when she enrolled in GRCC Dental Hygiene program.

“I waited until my four children were older so I could pursue my dream,” she said. “I attended the GRCC Dental Hygiene program with an amazing husband and four wonderful children, including one who has cerebral palsy, who supported my dream.”

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.

The Dental Hygiene educators made Murdock feel comfortable returning to the classroom and supported her journey.

“GRCC set the foundation of continued learning within me to continue to pursue two more degrees!” said Murdoch, who graduated from the college in 2014.

She obtained a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in public health from Central Michigan University – all while working as a Registered Dental Hygienist for a private dental office.

She’s now back at GRCC – this time as a part-time support specialist in the Dental Clinic.

“My passion is in education, and I knew this throughout pursuing my dream,” she said. “I want to extend all I have learned to other students and help time realize they can do anything they put their mind to!

“GRCC is the first step to changing the rest of your life. It only takes that one step to a whole world of opportunities!”

Let GRCC help you start your story. The first chapter starts at grcc.edu/apply.

GEAR UP Wyoming at Western Michigan University

GEAR UP Wyoming students ventured south last week to visit Western Michigan University’s main campus and to speak with business and engineering students about academic programs and campus life.

At the Haworth College of Business, the rising juniors learned about paid internships, the importance of networking through participation in student organizations and honor societies, the competitive advantage of being globally engaged, and how the career center can help with resumes and dressing for success.

An admissions officer explained the application process and outlined available scholarships to incoming freshman who submit Early Action applications prior to December 15.

The GEAR UP cohort considered how engineering impacts daily life as they peered into research labs in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. WMU undergraduate and graduate students test football helmets for safer designs, develop road composites to withstand Michigan traffic and weather conditions, relay specifications to and from NASA for satellite construction, and invent more biodegradable paper products to reduce plastic consumption.

The trip to Kalamazoo provided a mid-week pause to the Dollars & Sense Camp at WMU’s downtown Grand Rapids campus at Ionia and Cherry. Staff from the Sanford Center for Financial Wellness led students through steps to create a life-cycle financial plan including how to pay for college.

This week GEAR UP cohort students will have the opportunity to visit Michigan State University in East Lansing.