GRCC In the News, 4-28-15

President Obama turns down invitation to speak at GRCC graduation ceremony

April 28, 2015; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Administrators at Grand Rapids Community College aimed big for the school’s spring commencement ceremony when they asked President Barack Obama to deliver the keynote address.

Caring for a loved one? You’re not alone.

April 24, 2015; WOOD TV

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — You never know when you might have to become a loved one’s primary caregiver. It can happen gradually over the years, or with a single diagnosis or accident.

… “Its sort of a win-win-win,” explains Mike Faber of the GRCC Older Learner Center. “It was a win for the providers who have resources, for the caregivers in need, and for the community as a whole.”

Glen Oaks softball team drops weekend doubleheaders

April 27, 2015; Three Rivers Commercial-News

CENTREVILLE — The Glen Oaks Community College women’s softball team dropped two doubleheaders over the weekend.
Tom Muckel’s Lady Vikings were swept at home on Saturday by Jackson Community College 10-4 in eight innings and 18-5 and dropped two games on Friday at Grand Rapids Community College 10-1 and 10-2.

Muskegon Community College recap: Kyle Lawson ups pitching record to 8-1

April 27, 2015; MLive

MUSKEGON, MI — Kyle Lawson is showing no signs of slowing down.

The sophomore right-hander for the Muskegon Community College baseball team raised his record to 8-1 on the season with last week’s 7-0 shutout against Grand Rapids Community College.

Volleyball adds two student-athletes for 2015

April 27, 2015; The Official Website of Indy Athletics

INDIANAPOLIS — Head Coach Jason Reed and the UIndy volleyball staff has added a pair of student-athletes for the upcoming season. Shelby Ruffner (Chesterton, Ind./Grand Rapids Community College) and Lauren Koopman (Floyds Knobs, Ind./Floyd Central) will be Greyhounds for the 2015 campaign.

GRCC In the News, 2-18-15

GRCC recommending 1.9 percent tuition hike, some programs could see bigger jump

Feb. 17, 2015; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Grand Rapids Community College students could have to dig a bit deeper into their wallets to cover tuition next school year.

GRCC: Trustees vote against resolution to obey the law

Feb. 17, 2015; WOOD Radio

The GRCC board of Trustees debated a new policy last night that would demand that faculty and staff have respect for the law.

GRCC In the News, 2-17-15

Divided GRCC board rejects proposed ‘Respect for Law’ policy

Feb. 16, 2015; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – On its face, the idea sounded simple enough: Grand Rapids Community College should have a policy requiring employees to respect the rule of law.

Students offer free tax assistance for low-income families

Feb. 16, 2015; WOOD TV

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Students from colleges across West Michigan and other organizations are offering free tax filing assistance for low-income families.

… Accounting students from Davenport University, Aquinas College, Cornerstone University, and Grand Rapids Community College as well as members of the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants (MACPA) are participating.

Event to benefit female entrepreneurs

Feb. 16, 2015; WOOD TV

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A big event is planned on February 19 to empower women and help them get their start in the business world. The Michigan Women’s Foundation’s Young Women for Change program is a group made up of high school girls who work to empower women in their community. The group is hosting a screening of “Miss Representation” on Thursday, February 19. The documentary focuses on the view of women in society. There is a suggested donation of $5 for adults and $2 for students. All proceeds will benefit women entrepreneurs in the community.

The screening is on Thursday at the GRCC Wisner-Bottral Applied Technology Center Auditorium. There is a reception at 5:30 p.m. and the film starts at 6 p.m.

GRCC In the News, 1-27-15

New ‘Change Agent Award’ goes to co-founders of GRCC program for black males

Jan. 26, 2015; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – – Two men whose leadership program has helped male black students triple their achievement levels at Grand Rapids Community College in just two years will be the first recipients of the Change Agent Award created by the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce.

GRCC faculty: Not offering domestic partner benefits for LGBT employees is discriminatory

Jan. 26, 2015; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Grand Rapids Community College faculty members spoke out Monday in support of adding domestic partner benefits for unmarried couples, saying that in their absence, gays are in effect discriminated against.

Celebrating the Legacy of Dr. King

Jan. 26, 2015; (Kent Intermediate School District newsletter)

Northview Public Schools, MI — To honor Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, Breton Downs Elementary students held signs expressing Freedom, Peace and Love during a silent march near their school in memory of the civil rights activist.

… Some two dozen students from Northview’s East Campus High School joined the annual King Day March at Grand Rapids Community College. Three teachers accompanied the students on a noon march beginning at the Ford Fieldhouse.

World Affairs Council kicks off discussion series with NPR correspondent analyzing digital privacy

Jan. 26, 2015; MLive

The Great Discussion Series from the World Affairs Council of Western Michigan will begin Monday, Feb. 2, with Aarti Shahani, National Public Radio’s technology correspondent, as the featured guest.

… World Affairs Council of West Michigan’s educational partners and corporate members attend free, as do students, faculty and staff of participating schools including Aquinas College, Davenport University, Grand Rapids Community College, Grand Valley State University, Ferris State University, Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University, Montcalm Community College, and Western Michigan University.

GRCC In the News, 1-26-15

Same-sex benefits: Grand Rapids Community College considers adding coverage

Jan. 24, 2015; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – When John Cowles first came to Grand Rapids Community College in 1999, he was glad to learn there was an equal employment policy in place aimed at ensuring students and employees were treated equally, regardless of sexual orientation.

Local seamstress teams up with GRCC to offer affordable industrial sewing classes in effort to meet industry demand

Jan. 25, 2015; MLive

The industrial sewing machine before her is whirring and in roughly a minute Marisbel Ramos zips around the edge of the fabric, completing the piece that will soon be fitted over the arm of a chair and shipped out the door of Irwin Seating Company.

… A short time later, Metzger connected with Grand Rapids Community College’s Workforce Training program through a contact at Steepletown Neighborhood Services. GRCC administrators were responding to a need identified by local economic development agencies and employers requesting an industrial sewing training program and they needed a sewing instructor.

GRCC conmemora con marcha y actividades el día de Martin Luther King

Jan. 25, 2015; El Vocero

La actividad estuvo encabezada por el Board of Trustees de Grand Rapids Community College, Bert Bleke, y el director de Grand Rapids Community College Black Student Union, Jaedah Pickens.

Aquinas track & field sweeps quad meet

Jan. 23, 2015; MLive

Grand Rapids, MI — Both the men’s and women’s track and field teams won tonight at the Aquinas Quad Meet held at the Cook Track in Aquinas’ Alksnis Athletic and Recreation Building. The Saints hosted Hope, Ferris State and Spring Arbor. The men scored 184 points, topping second place Spring Arbor’s 109, while the women scored 194 to top Spring Arbor’s 116.

… The women’s team claimed 12 first place finishes. Freshman Rachel Spreng (Lansing/Okemos) won the pole vault and hit the NAIA “B” standard with a vault of 3.48 meters. Fellow freshman Adri Sigafoose (McBain/Northern Michigan Christian) claimed the top spot in the 800 meter run with a time of 2:18.65. Sigafoose’s time qualifies her at the NAIA “A” standard. Two Aquinas hurdlers hit the NAIA “A” standard, with Tori DeSira (Dewitt/GRCC) and Erika Heston (Haslett/Haslett) finishing in first and second place. DeSira also won the 200 meter dash.

GRCC In the News, 1-23-15

GRCC considers hiking tuition on pricey programs as it looks to close $2 to $5 million budget hole

Jan. 22, 2015; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — In an effort to reduce a looming budget deficit, Grand Rapids Community College is considering charging students more for high-cost programs such as nursing, culinary arts and dental.

Is former Muskegon coach Tony Annese a candidate for Central Michigan football job?

Jan. 22, 2015; MLive

MUSKEGON, MI – When the word spread about Dan Enos’ departure as head football coach at Central Michigan University, the speculation already started about his replacement.

… (Tony) Annese, who led Muskegon to state titles in 2004, 2006 and 2008, went on to Grand Rapids Community College and led Ferris to an 11-0 regular season in 2014.

GRCC In the News, 1-13-15

GRCC names VP and dean for workforce development

Jan. 12, 2015; Grand Rapids Business Journal

A Grand Rapids Community College provost finalist will assume a new executive leadership position at the school.

School leaders to meet with Pyramid STEM hub founders, learn more about plans

Jan. 12, 2015; MLive

CALEDONIA, MI – Grand Rapids school leaders will join other districts, charter and private schools Tuesday, Jan. 12, at the Steelcase pyramid building to hear more about an education hub under development.

… Bert Bleke, chair of the Grand Rapids Community College Board of Trustees and former Grand Rapids Public Schools superintendent, is heading a Leadership Council for the schools that will occupy the campus.

Laker volleyball announces 2015 recruiting class

Jan. 12, 2015; MLive

Grand Valley State head volleyball coach Deanne Scanlon has announced the signing of seven student-athletes that will begin their collegiate careers at GVSU at the start of the 2015 season. Staci Brower (Byron Center), Jillian Butsavich (Milford), Madilyn Keller (Hudsonville), Brooke Smith (Croswell), and Taylor Stewart (Macomb) are all in-state prospects that will come in as freshmen in the fall. Transfers Amanda Glaza (Grand Rapids Community College) and Danielle McCormick (Indiana State) are on campus this semester and help form the newest group of Laker volleyball players.

GRCC In the News, 12-23-14

Colleges share grant for civic engagement

Dec. 22, 2014; Grand Rapids Business Journal

A trio of local colleges will share a grant from a foundation to help students and their schools partner with the community.

Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids Community College and Aquinas College said last week that each school will get a portion of the $65,000 grant from the Grand Rapids Community Foundation.

Student Leaders: Linh Le Works Hard, Shares Talents

Dec. 22, 2014; (Kent Intermediate School District newsletter)

Kelloggsville Public Schools, MI — A defining moment for Linh Le, who spoke no English when she started eighth grade at Kelloggsville Middle School, was her mastery of the math constant Pi.

… She now takes four virtual Advanced Placement classes including chemistry, physics, calculus and statistics. She is also taking a college level English Language Arts class through Grand Rapids Community College.

After 40 Years in Schools, Paskewicz Says Time is Right to Retire

Dec. 22, 2014;

Northview Public Schools, MI — As he completes his 40th year in public education, Northview Public Schools Superintendent Mike Paskewicz says he is ready to move on.

… Paskewicz said he has no other job prospects lined up, but wants to explore community engagement possibilities and do some traveling with his wife, Ruth. His decision was not related to his unsuccessful bid this fall for a Grand Rapids Community College trustee seat, he said, but added the loss “did make me evaluate what I want to be doing over the next 10 years.”

GRCC In the News, 12-19-14

At $86,000, November’s GRCC Board of Trustees election more costly than previous races

Dec. 18, 2014; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Four Grand Rapids Community College Board of Trustees candidates spent more than $86,400 on advertising and other campaign-related expenses for the Nov. 4 election, according to campaign finance reports.

Sparta hires new varsity softball, volleyball coaches

Dec. 18, 2014; MLive

SPARTA — The Sparta Athletic Department is excited for its upcoming seasons, with a couple of new hirings for their girls sports.

… In the spring, Hutchens will lead the Spartans softball attack. Hutchens ended her playing career at Grand Rapids Community College, but before that donned the blue and white on the Spartans own field. She played varsity softball at Sparta for three years and has coached the junior-varsity squad for eight.

GRCC In the News, 12-18-14

3 West Michigan colleges share $65,000 grant to develop service learning opportunities

Dec. 17, 2014; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Three West Michigan colleges will use a $65,000 grant to create more service learning opportunities for students and strengthen community partnerships.

Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids Community College and Aquinas College will each select two departments where service learning opportunities in which students learn in the field by partnering with business or nonprofit organizations can be implemented.

New report shows GRCC’s struggle to retain African-American students

Dec. 17, 2014; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Keeping students in school and on path to graduation is one of Grand Rapids Community College’s most important tasks. But when it comes to African-American students, it’s a task the college continues to struggle with.

New police chief notes lowering recidivism rates; continues to seek ways to lower rates further

Dec. 17, 2014;

“Your question is timely,” says our new Chief David Rahinsky of the Grand Rapids Police Department when presented with accounts of remarkably low rates of recidivism among participants in a Peace Education Program at San Antonio’s Dominguez State Jail, and then asked about his approach for checking and applying this kind of result.

… “In the back of the room were social service providers- everyone from Grand Rapids Community College to people from Cherry Street Health Services. I think one of the things that is unique in Grand Rapids is what we touched on previously- that the support is here to help people succeed even despite challenges that they’ve had in the past. Even people who’ve been incarcerated,” says Rahinsky. “When we went around the room, one of the gentlemen from the Department of Corrections asked who was a first time offender, who was a second time offender, who was a third time offender. There was an individual in there who had been imprisoned four times, and one who had been in there five times. The fact that this community still reaches out to them, tries to embrace them, tries to put them on the right trail, tries to show them what social support is there for them, and that law enforcement sees their role as being pro-active and supportive is unique from any place that I’ve been.”

From seminary to STEM: Local pastor heads up huge education project at Steelcase pyramid

Dec. 18, 2014;

On first glance, Jerry Zandstra, the co-founder of the Pyramid Campus Group that recently announced its finalization of a $7.5 million purchase agreement for the Steelcase pyramid building, doesn’t exactly fit the mold you’d imagine for a player in ambitious real estate deals and cutting-edge experiments in incubator-style spaces.

… Among those details: The facility will feature innovations like a leadership council, funded with $200,000 and headed by Bert Bleke, a Grand Rapids Community College board chairman and former superintendent of Grand Rapids public schools. The leadership council will work to research new ideas, assist the schools and encourage collaboration, and is part of a two-pronged approach that Zandstra says will shape the sort of incubator spirit of the Pyramid Campus, along with aspects of spatial design like shared teachers lounges, classroom areas and arts and music facilities.

Northview Superintendent Mike Paskewicz to retire

Dec. 17, 2014; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Northview Superintendent Mike Paskewicz has announced he intends to retire effective July 1, 2015, saying it is the right time.

… In November, Paskewicz ran an unsuccessful race for one of two open seats on the Grand Rapids Community College Board of Trustees.

After 5 seasons away as head basketball coach, David Selmon rolls with changes at GRCC

Dec. 18, 2014; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — David Selmon, who thought he had coached his last basketball game in 2009, is like a kid in a candy store with the Grand Rapids Community College basketball team.

GRCC In the News, 12-10-14

New GRCC board member takes oath of office

Dec. 9, 2014; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Grand Rapids Community College has a new board member.

The DanceOff raises $4,500 for Well House, crowns Breah Simpson champion

Dec. 9, 2014; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Hundreds of dance fans watched Grand Rapids native Breah Simpson, 21, become the first champion of The DanceOff, a local dance competition held on Saturday, Dec. 6 ,at The Pyramid Scheme.

“My heart dropped when they called my name,” said Simpson, who recently received certification as a personal trainer from Grand Rapids Community College. “Dance is my way of communicating. My dream job is to work at a studio.”

Frontiers: Meeting Student Needs Through Online Programming

Dec. 10, 2014;

Wyoming Public Schools, MI — When her mother died last summer, Wyoming Senior Tashia Sheneman lost a permanent place to live and has since moved several times. One of the few constants in her life is Wyoming’s Frontiers Program, where she receives much more than instruction.

… “I’m good. I’m doing better than I was out there,” said Tashia, referring to the traditional high school program. “I feel like you have more support … and it’s more on your time and it prepares you for college,” she added, sharing plans to attend Grand Rapids Community College before attending Ferris State University to pursue her career goal of becoming a probation officer.


GRCC In the News, 12-1-14

Change Ups: Ike receives WGVU Engage award

Nov. 28, 2014; Grand Rapids Business Journal


Grand Rapids Community College has selected three finalists in its search for a new provost-executive vice president for academic and student affairs: Laurie Chesley, dean of GRCC’s School of Arts and Sciences; Tony D. Hawkins, instructional dean of humanities at Montgomery College in Maryland; and Bill Pink, vice president of academic affairs at Oklahoma State University.

Walker family proud to have son join police ranks

Nov. 28, 2014; MLive

WALKER — A Walker dad who has served with the Walker Fire Department for years said he couldn’t be prouder of his son who was recently hired by the Walker Police Department.

… (Steven) Ritzenheim was working for the Rockford Police Department when he accepted the Walker position. While he was a senior at Kenowa Hills High School and later while attending the Grand Rapids Community College’s law enforcement academy, Ritzenheim had interned with the Walker Police Department. He said he liked working in Rockford, but being a Walker police officer was always his dream.

Education group purchases pyramid from Steelcase

Nov. 26, 2014; WOOD TV

GAINES TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A non-profit education group announced it is purchasing the iconic pyramid building once occupied by Steelcase Inc. for $7.5 million.

… The group has also established a Leadership Council, headed by Grand Rapids Community College Board Chair and former Grand Rapids Public Schools Superintendent Bert Bleke, to focus on developing the educational programs and curriculum.

Former Muskegon High School coach Tony Annese continues success with Ferris State football

Nov. 28, 2014; MLive

MUSKEGON, MI – Even for Tony Annese, this might be a little ahead of the game.

… Annese has won at every other coaching stop along that way — at Montrose, Ann Arbor Pioneer and Jenison in addition to Muskegon in the high school ranks, and at Grand Rapids Community College before taking over at Ferris in 2012.


GRCC In the News, 11-20-14

5 charts show how GRCC’s enrollment has changed over past decade

Nov. 19, 2014; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – From more minorities to a growing number of part-time students, Grand Rapids Community College’s student body continues to change, the school’s latest enrollment report shows.

Citing financial concerns, GRCC opts out of West Side tax district

Nov. 19, 2014; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Grand Rapids Community College has opted out of an economic development initiative in which about $478,000 of the college’s property taxes over a 30 year period would have contributed to a corridor improvement authority on Grand Rapids’ West Side.

Cedar Springs officials ‘ecstatic’ about new college program

Nov. 17, 2014; MLive

CEDAR SPRINGS – A small group of Cedar Springs students will start their college careers while still in high school, thanks to a new collaborative effort between the school district and Grand Rapids Community College.

Public invited to watch party as local chef competes on Food Network’s ‘Guy’s Grocery Games’

Nov. 14, 2014; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — The next episode of “Guy’s Grocery Games” on the Food Network will feature Steven Couch a local banquet cook from Grand Rapids. Couch will appear on the show on Sunday, Nov. 16 at 8 p.m. and the public is invited to a watch party in downtown Grand Rapids.

(Articles doesn’t mention it, but Steven Couch is a GRCC alumnus.)

GRCC In the News, 11-7-14

Heritage Hill shooting not random incident, police say

Nov. 6, 2014; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Police are looking for a person who shot a man in the leg at a Heritage Hill apartment about 11:30 a.m. on Thursday

… Grand Rapids Community College issued an alert about the shooting, telling students and staff to exercise caution and to contact police if they have any information about the shooting.

All about education at the Griffins

Nov. 6, 2014; WOTV

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV) — Thousands of kids traveled to Van Andel Arena on November 5 for the 14th annual Grand Rapids Griffins Matinee Game. The game has become a major educational event for West Michigan schools. Students can take part in learning experiences before taking in a Griffins game.

This year, the Griffins welcomed organizations such as the American Red Cross, E.S.C.A.P.E. Fire Safety and Jake the Fire Safety Dog, Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, and the GRCC Dental Hygiene Program to provide a variety of health and wellness educational displays and exhibits for students and teachers.

Interactive election map: See where GRCC votes came from

Nov. 7, 2014; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Tuesdays election was a big night for Steelcase executive Deb Bailey, who won one of two open seats on Grand Rapids Community College’s Board of Trustees.

Cedar Springs Athletic Boosters Athletes of the Month

Nov. 6, 2014; The Post (Cedar Springs)

Senior Justin Jones was named October Student Athlete of the Month for Cross Country. Justin has participated in Cross country all 4 years in high school, and is a team captain. Justin is a returning OK Bronze All-Conference runner and is on pace to do it again this season. He started the season strong finishing 4th in each of the first two races. Justin also participates in basketball and runs track. This is done all while maintaining a 3.4 GPA.

Coach Garrett Lacy comments “Justin is one of two co captains that we have on the team this year. He does a great job of leading by example on and off the field. Justin has worked hard to prepare for his senior year logging the most miles on the team this past summer. He is an exemplary student and does a great job managing his time amongst three varsity sports.” Right now he is also taking dual enrollment classes at Grand Rapids Community College along with his high school work at Cedar Springs, as well as being an integral part of the cross-country team.