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, 1-22-15

GRCC students weigh in on President Obama’s plan for free community college

Jan. 21, 2015; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – President Barack Obama’s proposal for free community college was enticing Wednesday for students at Grand Rapids Community College, many of whom said they’ve taken on debt or extra work to cover the rising cost of their education.

Eva’s Blog: A Mothers Voice

Jan. 21, 2015; WOOD TV

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — I had the opportunity to meet and interview Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin at this year’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Celebration at GRCC.

GRCC In the News, 1-20-15

Trayvon Martin’s mom speaks at local colleges

Jan. 19, 2015; WOOD TV

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The mother of Trayvon Martin spoke at two events in West Michigan on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

… Fulton spoke at Grand Valley State University and Grand Rapids Community College on Monday. There will be another event at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Davenport University’s Lettinga Campus in Grand Rapids.

Hundreds join peace march in Grand Rapids to honor Martin Luther King Jr.

Jan. 19, 2015; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Hundreds of people gathered at Grand Rapids Community College Monday, some joining arms and others standing solemnly, for a peace march honoring the life of Martin Luther King Jr.

The half-hour march began at the college’s Ford Fieldhouse at noon and ended there with a program led by Bert Bleke, chairperson of the GRCC Board of Trustees, and Jaedah Pickens, president of GRCC’s Black Student Union.

Tom Watkins: Obama right on community colleges

Jan. 19, 2015; The Battle Creek Enquirer

President Obama is right to invest in our country by proposing free Community College tuition. Community college should be free for those willing to work for it, the president said at Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville, Tenn.

… Other recent innovations include:

… Grand Rapids Community College has launched its new iPhone app to make the colleges information as close as a students fingertips.

(This is a guest column by former state Superintendent Tom Watkins.)

Q&A: Novelist takes on Michigan’s fracking industry

Jan. 20, 2015; (Fresh Energy’s newsletter)

For Michigan author Maryann Lesert, an accurate portrait of the fracking industry only comes from years of visiting well sites, researching scientific literature, attending oil and gas land-leasing auctions and talking to residents who can see 100-foot-tall drill rigs from their backyards.

… Lesert, 51, began her professional writing career as a playwright, publishing and producing several plays after her first in 1998. She is an associate professor of English at Grand Rapids Community College. Pursuing the fracking industry is part of Lesert’s lifelong interest in the environment, social justice and the sciences. And seeing, not just reading, is what Lesert says has been a vital component of Threshold.

GRCC In the News, 1-19-15

Trayvon Martin’s mother to speak at West Michigan colleges in honor of MLK Day

Jan. 16, 2015; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – The mother of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black teen whose death in 2012 sparked protests nationwide about race relations, will speak Monday at two Grand Rapids-area colleges in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Sybrina Fulton will speak at 1:30 p.m. at Grand Valley State University’s Fieldhouse on the Allendale campus, as well as 6:30 p.m. at Grand Rapids Community College’s Ford Fieldhouse. Fulton will also speak at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Davenport University’s Sneden Center Auditorium.

March to honor the legacy of Dr. King

Jan. 16, 2015; WOOD TV

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Monday, January 19 is a day set aside to honor the work and memory of Martin Luther King, Jr. A tradition each year on the date is the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration at Grand Rapids Community College.

MLK Day events planned in West Michigan

Jan. 19, 2015; FOX 17

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — January 19 is Martin Luther Kind Jr. Day; a day our nation remembers the late civil rights leader and his quest against racial discrimination.

… Trayvon Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, and CNN correspondent Marc Lamont Hill will be in West Michigan for a few speaking engagements. Fulton’s first event will be at 1:30 pm at Grand Valley State University. The second is planned for 6:30 pm at the Gerald R. Ford Fieldhouse on Grand Rapids Community College’s campus.

Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. community peace march and program

Our annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. community march and memorial program will be held on Jan. 19. Assemble at 11:45 a.m. outside the FFH for the the march – the day program follows at 12:30 p.m. The evening program will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the FFH. “Empowering Our Youth” will be presented by keynote speaker Sybrina Fulton, mother of Travon Martin.

Photo: Our annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. community march and memorial program will be held on Jan. 19.  Assemble at 11:45 a.m. outside the FFH for the the march - the day program follows at 12:30 p.m.  The evening program will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the FFH. "Empowering Our Youth" will be presented by keynote speaker Sybrina Fulton, mother of Travon Martin.

Diversity Lecture Series continues with Elaine Richardson


GRCC’s 2014-2015 Diversity Lecture Series continues November 12 with author, professor and recording artist Elaine Richardson.

“Dr. E” is a professor in Ohio State University’s department of education and human ecology. Her one-woman show, “HD (Po H# on Dope) to Ph.D.: How Education Saved My Life,” features expressive performance, storytelling and music. She turned away from a life of drug addiction, abusive controlling pimps and short stints in jail by returning to school. Her motto is: “Ignorance, low self-esteem and shame are killers. When you know who you are, nobody can control you.”

Richardson’s free, ASL-interpreted lecture starts at 7 p.m. in Fountain Street Church, 24 Fountain St. NE. A book signing will follow. Parking costs $5 (with a discount pass). For details, call 234-3390. To see the other speakers in this year’s series, click here.

English Department offers learning opportunities with Diversity Lecture Series speaker

The Diversity Learning Center is pleased to collaborate with the English Department in providing opportunities to engage with Diversity lecture Series Speaker, Dr. Elaine Richardson.

Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014 at 7pm – you, your students, and community members are invited experience Dr. Elaine Richardson’s performance/lecture and book signing

Join us on Thursday, November 13, 2014 9:00am – 10am in the ATC Auditorium for a dialogue. Come alone or bring your students!

Professor in the department of Education and Human Ecology, Dr. Elaine Richardson aka “Dr. E” is a multidimensional personality: professor, performer, author and mentor are just a few of the ways she gives back and gives thanks. Her message is empowerment through education, and knowledge of self and history. Her motto: “Ignorance, low self-esteem and shame are killers. When you know who you are, nobody can control you.”

GRCC In the News, 10-28-14

Jimmy Carter Flip-Flops On Nationwide Same-Sex Marriage

Oct. 27, 2014;

Former President Jimmy Carter said in an interview published Sunday that decisions on same-sex marriage should be left up to the states.

… In September, while speaking at Michigan’s Grand Rapids Community College, Carter said, “I never knew of any word or action of Jesus Christ that discriminated against anyone.”

Term limits vote in Grand Rapids: See who’s funding the campaigns

Oct. 27, 2014; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Two construction companies top the list of donors to a campaign opposing city term limits, while an assortment of libertarian-minded conservatives are giving money to support the ballot proposal.

… (Bonnie) Burke and Rina Baker, who’s also spearheading the campaign, each have contributed about $1,500 of their own money. Among other donors: Dr. Ruggero Battan, $220; former Grand Rapids city comptroller Stan Milanowski, $50; Grand Rapids Community College trustee Richard Ryskamp, $50; frequent City Commission critics Tom Grego and Don Zerial each donated $20.

Five seeking to fill three CAPS board seats

Oct. 28, 2014; Cadillac News

… CAPS BOE challenger Michael Bengelink

1. Tell us about yourself. (Age, party affiliation, education, children, approach to government, etc.)

I am 66 years old. I have been employed in the packaging industry for over 45 years. My party affiliation is Republican. I have three children, two of which graduated from Cadillac High School. I graduated from South High School in Grand Rapids, Michigan and attended Grand Rapids Community College and Davenport Business College. I moved to Cadillac in 1977.

4 vie for 3 Ionia Public Schools Board of Education seats

Oct. 27, 2014; Ionia Sentinel-Standard

Ionia, Mich. — Four candidates are running to fill three open seats on the Ionia Public Schools Board of Education.

… Name: Karen Balice-Gregory

Age: 62

Education: Graduated from SSPP in 1969, and had some classes at LCC and GRCC, mostly during my years working with the State of Michigan.

GRCC In the News, 10-14-14

Man gets probation and suspended jail term for crash that killed Grandville High student, cousin

Oct. 13, 2014; MLive

MECOSTA COUNTY, MI — The driver in a crash that killed two cousins – a Grandville High School student and a Coopersville man – was sentenced to two years probation and a suspended jail term.

… Two passengers in his vehicle, Michael Aguilar, 22, of Coopersville, and Roman Aguilar-Emmons, 18, of Wyoming, were killed in the May 3 crash. Fuentes-Perdomo was seriously injured. The driver of the pickup truck, a 31-year-old Cedar Springs man, suffered injuries that were not life-threatening.

(This article does not mention it, but Roman Aguilar-Emmons had enrolled in GRCC’s Police Academy.)

Trayvon Martin’s mom to speak at West Michigan colleges to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy

Oct. 13, 2014; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin – whose fatal shooting in 2012 sparked a nationwide debate and protests over racial profiling – will speak in January at programs celebrating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids Community College and Davenport University.

Ask the Community College Presidents

Oct. 9, 2014; WGVU

(Video features President Ender, Robert Ferrentino of Montcalm Community College, and Dale Nesbary of Muskegon Community College.)

Changing lives, one ramp at a time

Oct. 13, 2014; WOOD 8

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich (WOOD) — Recently, a group of students from GRCC’s Tassell M-TEC Construction Trades teamed up with the pros at Home Repair Services to work on a very special project. Every year Home Repair Services teams up with the Grand Rapids Home Builders Association for Community Repair Days. They help to build wheelchair ramps for disabled and low income. For the students, it was a great chance to get out of the classroom and see what happens on a construction site. Home Repair Services tries to build 15 wheelchair ramps a year.

18th Annual GRAND RAPIDS GRAND AWARDS Are Announced

Oct. 14, 2014;

For performers and audiences alike, the name on everyone’s tongue this week is “The Grand Awards!”

… Community theatres presently participating in the Grand Awards are Grand Rapids Civic Theatre, Jewish Theatre, Actors’ Theatre, Circle Theatre, and Master Arts Theatre. Participating colleges include Grand Rapids Community College, Aquinas College, and Cornerstone University.

Meet the teacher: Kentwood Public Schools welcome 37 new teachers

Oct. 13, 2014; MLive

KENTWOOD, MI — With a little over a month at a new school under their belts, MLive and The Grand Rapids Press asked area school districts to share information about new staff members.

… Stacey Stankewicz, resource room teacher at Explorer Elementary School. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Aquinas College and a Master of Arts degree in special education from Ottawa University. Previously, she taught in London, England, and Grand Rapids Community College.

GR officials see development as next stop for bus rapid transit

Oct. 13, 2014; Crain’s Detroit Business

The first exploration of bus rapid transit in the Grand Rapids area is already halfway to its goal of 5,000 riders a day most weekdays. And although nothing is shovel-ready yet, city officials think developers are starting to get interested in investing along the corridor of the new bus line.

… “We are hearing that we have a lot of Grand Rapids Community College students and a lot of people who are working on Medical Mile, especially Spectrum Health employees,” (Jennifer) Kalczuk said.


GRCC In the News, 10-6-14

Jimmy Carter to take part in China Town Hall hosted at Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum

Oct. 6, 2014; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter is coming back to Grand Rapids this month, sort of.

The country’s 39th president, who spoke last month at Grand Rapids Community College as part of the school’s Diversity Lecture Series, will take part via webcast in a China Town Hall from 6:50 to 8:45 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 16, at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, 303 Pearl St. NW, in Grand Rapids.

Art of war at ArtPrize 2014

Oct. 3, 2014;

ArtPrize 2014 goers will notice works scattered throughout the exhibition venues addressing the experiences of war. These artists have given their Grand Rapids audiences a reminder that we live in a nation currently involved in military action and with a history of military engagement around the globe.

… Other contributions call attention to the trauma experienced by soldiers and their families, including”The Walking Art Project” by Roger Carlson, at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital and Janice Haringsma’s “Color is the Universe” at GRCC Spectrum Theater Lobby. Sales of these works will benefit the Disabled American Veterans, and the Lakota People of the Pine Ridge Reservation via Re-Member organization, respectively.

Photos from President and Mrs. Carter’s dinner at GRCC

President and Mrs. Carter dined with GRCC faculty, trustees, students and the community at the Heritage restaurant after his presentation at the Diversity Lecture Series.

More than 60 students, faculty and staff came together to pull off the evening, with a nearly one-to-one ratio of food service personnel to guests. The menu included African Braised Goat, Panzanella “Georgia Style” and a Michigan peach tart.

President Carter said that between the service, menu and food selections — and the fact that it was all performed by students — it was an extremely impressive meal, “one that I will always remember!” He reminisced to the guests that it all took him back to when he was 6 years old on his father’s farm because goat was something of comfort food for him.

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