Students Making an Impact at LaughFest

Assistant Professor Bethann Talsma and her students are having a great time in BA 125 with their project serving at Laughfest Central. “Students are appreciative of the opportunity and have undergone training and volunteering,” said Professor Talsma. “This project has brought a fresh dynamic to my teaching with livelier discussions on experiences related to our course outcomes. We’ve already experienced and discussed examples of positive corporate culture, politics of doing business in the public and the role of support personnel in overhearing conversations, and appropriate attire.”

LaughFest Volunteer Manager Annete Nepomuceno stated that students from this class have been the most reliable volunteers at Laughfest Central.

Save the date: Friday, April 25th from 3-5pm.

Come hear the results of this year’s Armen Awards and support the great working being done by faculty and students in our community.


Melanie Schiele-Gady receives the Michigan Campus Compact Faculty/Staff Community Service-Learning Award

Melanie Schiele-Gady

Melanie Schiele-Gady

Michigan Campus Compact recognizes the contributions of faculty or staff in the areas of community service and service-learning.  Each campus selects one faculty or staff award recipient who uses modeling, influencing, or instruction to engage or influence students to be involved in community service or service-learning.

Melanie received her award among her peers while attending the Civic Engagement Institute on February 3rd at Grand Valley State University.

Her nomination stated…

It is my pleasure to support the nomination of Melanie Schiele-Gady for the 2013 Michigan Campus Compact Faculty/Staff Community Service-Learning Award.  Melanie is a highly talented, devoted, and inspirational faculty member who has contributed significantly to the growth of the academic service-learning initiative at Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC).  Melanie has made a positive impact on her students, other faculty, administrators, GRCC, and the community as a whole.

Melanie has integrated service learning into her physical education courses specifically partnering with Grand Rapids Public Schools to introduce healthy living practices into elementary school curriculum.  A recent accomplishment was finishing second place in the 2013 Armen Awards a team competition event designed to inspire best practices for teaching and learning while using the principles of innovation and service learning.  Melanie reinforced her partnership with Grand Rapids Public Schools by purchasing additional curriculum materials to sustain the service learning project.  Additionally, Melanie helps to coordinate the Service Learning Task Team, facilitate on-going faculty professional development training and maintain the Experiential Learning blog.

Melanie’s work with academic service-learning is an excellent example of the power of this pedagogy which impacts student learning, encourages engaged citizenship, and addresses community needs.  Her significant service to GRCC and to the larger community, through practice of community engagement and leadership, make her not only an outstanding asset to our institution, but also an important ambassador of the college to the community at-large.

Congratulations, Melanie Schiele-Gady!

GRCC In the News, 1-2-14

Retiree donates funds to purchase iPads for first grade pilot at Harrison Park School

Dec. 24, 2013; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – After hearing a Harrison Park School teacher speak enthusiastically about how iPads increase student engagement and achievement, philanthropist Armen Oumedian said he was motivated to donate $5,000 to buy a few more.

… “What I want to do is let the rest of the community know that one person can make a difference,” said Oumedian, who also has given scholarships to students at Grand Rapids Community College and Kettering University.

West Michigan GED students will see more rigorous version of test in 2014

Dec. 30, 2013; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – For months, West Michigan residents have been scrambling to try to complete their high school equivalence certificate before the test becomes more rigorous on Thursday, Jan. 2.

Local school districts, nonprofit organizations such as Heartside Ministry and Grand Rapids Community College, warned those trying to earn a general equivalency diploma GED – to finish up before the new version takes effect or be forced to start over.

5 noteworthy Grand Rapids Public Schools events of 2013

Dec. 31, 2013; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — As 2013 ticks to a close, we look back at some memorable events that shaped Grand Rapids Public Schools from January through December 2013.

… In November, four West Michigan college presidents announced they would join the Grand Rapids Community Foundation in partnering with the district on the Challenge Scholars initiative by creating special scholarship packages. Challenge Scholars is a comprehensive program helping Grand Rapids students attending West Side schools perform better academically and stay on the college track. The scholarships begin with the Union High School Class of 2020. The scholarships are from Aquinas College, Grand Valley State University, Ferris State University and Grand Rapids Community College.

Change Ups: Arts grant intended to touch strangers

Dec. 27, 2013; Grand Rapids Business Journal

… Grand Rapids Community College announced 76 people received certificates of completion through its job training programs: automotive technician (eight students); construction electrician (six); green construction remodeling (four); introduction to construction (11); machinists/CNC technician (23); residential construction (five); computer support technician (9); and welding/fabrication technician (10).

GRCC names Giants award honorees

Dec. 26, 2013; Grand Rapids Business Journal

The Woodrick Diversity Learning Center at Grand Rapids Community College has named the honorees for its annual Giants Awards, which recognize African-American individuals or organizations for their exceptional contributions to shaping the history and quality of life of greater Grand Rapids.

Mott Community College joins statewide effort to fill in-demand jobs in the community

Dec. 27, 2013; MLive

FLINT, MI — A Flint college is part of a statewide initiative to bring more awareness to what high demand jobs are needed in specific areas.

… A career liaison specialist position was created at each of the 10 community colleges that participated — Bay de Noc College, North Central Michigan College, Alpena Community College, Grand Rapids Community College, Delta College, Mott Community College, Lansing Community College, Kalamazoo Valley Community College, Jackson College and Oakland Community College.

Video: ‘Happy Grand Rapids’ stars a merry city

Dec. 27, 2013; Grand Rapids Business Journal

A fun video showed up on YouTube this Christmas starring Grand Rapids and its very happy residents.

… (Dallas) Wade attends Grand Rapids Community College and has been involved with rap and hip-hip for more than five years. He is also a model with a growing career and will be shooting a calendar in Detroit with a well-known photographer in January.

No. 4 Express Women Cruise Past GRCC 98-44 Behind Carter’s 31 Points

Dec. 22, 2013; ABC 13

Kamilah Carter (Pioneer/Ann Arbor, Mich.) and Eboni Adams (Maple Heights/Cleveland, Ohio) each set new career-highs in scoring to lead the No. 4 Owens CC Express women’s cagers to a 98-44 win over Grand Rapids Community College in the SHAC today.

College Basketball: South Suburban knocks off No. 1 Cincinnati State

Dec. 29, 2013; Southtown Star (Chicago area)

The way things were looking, South Suburban Colleges quest to get back to No. 1 in the nation among junior college Division II schools appeared it would hit a roadblock started by a hot temper and an ice storm a few weeks ago.

… Levy was whistled for two technical fouls and ejected in a 62-59 victory over Lake Michigan College on Dec. 17. He was supposed to serve a one-game suspension for the technicals on Dec. 20 as mandated by the NJCAA in a road game against Grand Rapids Community College. That game was postponed because of an ice storm, and the scoring machine was forced to sit out Sunday. The Thornton graduate is averaging 19.4 points per game.

GRCC In the News, 12-2-13

GRCC students to compete for service learning award

Nov. 26, 2013; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Eight service learning projects will compete for Grand Rapids Community College’s Armen Awards, which recognize educational efforts that help the community.

John Cusack, Bruce Willis to star in Grand Rapids director Brian Miller’s ‘The Prince’

Nov. 26, 2013; MLive

Grand Rapids-born filmmaker Brian Miller has landed his biggest Hollywood job yet, directing action-thriller “The Prince,” starring John Cusack, Bruce Willis and Jason Patric.

… Miller is a 1993 East Grand Rapids graduate who attended Grand Rapids Community College and studied film at Grand Valley State University. He moved to Los Angeles in 2003 to pursue a film career. He wrote the screenplay for “Crossfire,” and eventually secured funding for it to film in his hometown in 2009. Miller’s films are released under his Sky Harbor Films production company banner.

High School Students Have Backstage Pass to Learning Technical Side of Theater

Nov. 26, 2013; (KISD newsletter)

Kent ISD, MI — What Josh Hess loves about theater is the backstage magic: working the lights and bringing all the technical parts of the show together just right.

… Students cover everything taught in an introductory level college course. Many are ready for careers in theater and entertainment, said Amber Schrier, Van Singel technical director and class instructor. Students can earn two Grand Rapids Community College credits and up to 12 Davenport University credits by completing two years of the program. Schrier said skills developed also translate to careers as wide-ranging as electronics and makeup.

Grand Rapids schools look at energy audit on buildings for cost-savings, better efficiency

Nov. 29, 2013; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Grand Rapids schools is preparing to have a free energy audit done on 10 of the district’s buildings through the Rebuild Michigan program administered by the Michigan Department of Energy.

… (Renae) Hesselink said districts such as Forest Hills and Zeeland, as well as Grand Rapids Community College, have utilized the service. She said GRPS will have to supply 12 months of energy data as a baseline to start the process.

Maplegrove Property establishes itself in downtown market

Nov. 29, 2013; Grand Rapids Business Journal

Although it’s not the biggest investment the firm has made, it is the largest single portfolio it has acquired.

… (David) Emdin said students and young professionals are the firm’s primary targets for the apartments. All the structures are near Grand Rapids Community College, the hospitals and the rest of the medical industry that has established itself along Michigan Street.

Grand Valley State women’s basketball upsets No. 12 Lewis in a thriller

Nov. 30, 2013; MLive

Allendale, Mich. – Despite trailing by as many as six points with 14:39 to play in the second half, the Grand Valley State women’s basketball team seized control of a back-and-forth affair to upset No. 12 Lewis, 67-59.

… GVSU improved to 2-1 on the year and is now set to begin GLIAC play next week. The Lakers will face No. 23 Ashland next Thursday at 6:00 p.m. EST. The game will be held at Grand Rapids Community College’s Gerald R. Ford Fieldhouse.

GRCC In the News, 11-26-13

Eight teams will compete for GRCC service learning award

Nov. 25, 2013; News International

Nov. 25, 2013 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The eight service learning projects that will compete for Grand Rapids Community College’s Armen Awards this year cover a range of disciplines, from automotive training and child psychology to nursing.

Abby Aiken named GLIAC player of the year, Deanne Scanlon earns coach of the year honors

Nov. 25, 2013; The Holland Sentinel

Bay City — The No. 13 Grand Valley State volleyball team put together a tremendous regular season, going 17-1 in league play and winning the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship, and the Lakers were represented well in the postseason awards.

… (Kaitlyn) Wolters has been tremendous in her first season in Allendale, as the Lakers are 26-2 with her as the team’s starting setter. She has dished out 1,021 assists this year, while her 10.11 assists per set are the sixth-most in the league. Wolters has been equally good defensively – ranking third on the team in digs (293) and fifth in total blocks (44) – as she has been on offense. The junior has recorded 105 kills and a .310 hitting percentage, while serving up 20 aces, tied for fourth-most on the team. Wolters, a transfer from Grand Rapids Community College, is a first-time All-GLIAC honoree.

Teams selected for Armen Awards

An announcement from Michael Schavey, of the Department of Experiential Learning:

I’m happy to announce that eight amazing and strong proposals have been submitted. There is a wide range of disciplines, including Psychology, Nursing, Biology, Automotive and German. It’s outstanding to know that through this event, faculty and students will understand the impact one makes when given the opportunity to apply their learning to benefit the community.

  • Hope Hagan and her Business & Technical Writing course is partnering with the Covenant House.
  • Aleta Anderson and her Introductory German course is partnering with Palmer Elementary School.
  • Sarah Krajewski and her Biology for Educators course is partnering with Immaculate Heart of Mary School.
  • Dr. Kate Byerwalter and her Child Psychology course is partnering with Family Promise.
  • Dr. Sherry Knoppers and her Community Transcultural Nursing course is partnering with South East Outreach Ministry.
  • Gayl Beals and his Automotive Job Training course is partnering with Mel Trotter Ministries.
  • Jolanta Lanier and her Personal Health course is partnering with the American Cancer Society.
  • Bethane Talsma and her Office Ethics and Etiquette course is partnering with Gilda’s Club.
Please help me congratulate these faculty!

For more information on the Armen Awards please visit