Robert Hendershot to lead history seminar

Interested in the history of US foreign policy?  Consider signing up for HS293, a special history seminar led by Dr. Robert Hendershot this coming fall semester.  For more information, check out the attached flier!

GRCC students teach French at Grand Rapids Child Discover Center

Two of Hillery Haney’s French students, Amber Sackett and Leah Canniff,  worked every Friday this winter semester in teaching French to the kindergarten and first-grade students at the Grand Rapids Child Discovery Center.

They have received much praise from the classroom teachers as well as from the students themselves, who look forward to seeing their French teachers every week.

“Amber and Leah have done a fabulous job and the little ones have learned so much,” Professor Haney said. “In fact, I’m not sure who has learned more — Leah and Amber or the students they taught.”

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GRCC In the News, 6-13-13

See who’s applying for vacant spot on GRCC’s board of trustees

June 12, 2013; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – The Grand Rapids Community College Board of Trustees is to interview nine candidates today who are seeking to fill a vacant spot on the board.

Why summer tax bills will be more for most Grand Rapids homeowners

June 12, 2013; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — With taxable values down again, the average Grand Rapids homeowner will pay less in city property tax this summer. But upcoming tax bills for most payers will be larger overall.

… Grand Rapids also collects levies on behalf of other taxing organizations, including a 6-mill state education tax, 4.7-mill Kent Intermediate School District tax, 4.3-mill Kent County operating tax, 2.6-mill Grand Rapids Public Schools debt levy, 1.8-mill Grand Rapids Community College tax, 1.47-mill Interurban Transit Authority (The Rapid) tax and a 1-mill Grand Rapids Public Schools sinking-fund tax for capital improvements. For the average city homeowner, those taxes amount to about $970.

June 12, 2013; FOX 17

WEST Mich. — FOX 17 made calls to several colleges and universities to check on tuition rates for 2013/2014.

… Kellogg Community College is increasing $2 per credit hour. Grand Rapids Community College is increasing its tuition by $5 per credit hour.

Local Muslim poet settles back into Grand Rapids area after six years abroad

June 12, 2013;

“Kari Moss’s work speaks to the suffering and struggles of individuals and the tender ones throughout the planet,” says Grand Rapids Poet Laureate, David Cope, “yet it also places the broken ones, the tender ones [and] the lost ones within the vast sweep of corroding civilizations through five million years of wild time.”

Moss is a graduate of Godwin Heights High School and studied French at Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC). She cites her fluency in French as a strong influence on the language she uses in her poetry.

Grand Rapids mourns the loss of Paul Dreher, founding father of local theater

June 12, 2013; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Paul Dreher, who managed Grand Rapids Civic Theatre for nearly 40 years and left his mark on the rest of theater in Grand Rapids, died Tuesday after a brief illness.

(It’s not mentioned in this story, but Mr. Dreher directed productions at GRCC and his daughter is a theater systems technician here.)

Hamilton’s Carlson repeats as regional champ

June 12, 2013; The Allegan County News

DIAMOND SPRINGS — Nick Carlson didn’t shoot an eye-popping 62 score like he did recently, but the Hamilton sophomore’s one-over-par 73 round was good enough to give him his second consecutive Division 2 regional championship.

… “There’s not a player here today or a coach here today who can beat this kid when he’s on,” said longtime Grand Rapids Community College coach Bruce Vanderbilt. “He has so much God-given talent. With him, the sky’s the limit.”



German Class Service Learning Project

Seventeen students in Aleta Anderson’s German class participated in an Service Learning project at Palmer Elementary School. GRCC students prepared props and read books to first grade students in German. The books helped elementary students to learn numbers, colors, family members, animals in another language. GRCC students “have an opportunity to grow in accountability, independence, and experience in team work,” said Anderson. Andrea Cook from Palmer Elementary said: “WOW! What an experience:) The kids loved this!…Thank you for considering Palmer!”

Service Learning at GRCC is supported by the Department of Experiential Learning. For more updates and pictures of service learning events, like us on Facebook!

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awardphotoEach year, Grand Rapids Community College recognizes outstanding contributions to the College through the Excellence in Education Awards.  For two GRCC faculty members, that recognition has gone national.  Diane Sparks, Professor of Education, and Dawn Cheikh, Adjunct Instructor of French and Arabic, became the inaugural GRCC recipients of the John and Suanne Roueche Excellence Awards at the League for Innovation in the Community College annual conference in Dallas, March 10 – 13.  The Excellence Awards were established in 2012 to recognize outstanding teaching and leadership by faculty at League for Innovation member institutions.

For Sparks, a 28-year veteran of GRCC, the award caps a long career of leadership and teaching excellence that includes time as both an education professor and the Director of the GRCC lab preschool.  According to Sparks, her passion for education began at a young age.

“I have been teaching since I could wrangle my little sister and friends into sitting and watching me use a pointer on the map on the wall in our basement when I was 10-years old,” she said.  “I am constantly challenged by the many learning needs that present themselves each semester, and it is those needs that have helped me grow and change as an educator.”

That focus on the needs of the students is a defining characteristic of Cheikh as well.

“I care about my students first.  The subject matter is secondary,” she said.  “I try to make every moment we spend in class golden.”

Sparks and Cheikh were recognized during a special ceremony at the close of the conference and each received  a certificate and medallion.


COM 135: Volunteers at Equest Center for Therapeutic Riding

Thirty-three students from Marne Apolo’s two sections of COM 135: Interpersonal Communication joined together outside the borders of the classroom. Inspired by Bell Hooks’ call to take theory to the streets (mesh theory with practice), they reviewed Dialectical theory in the classroom prior and integrated it into their experience at Equest Center for Therapeutic Riding on Thursday, October 25.

Together they worked hard the entire time with smiles and music, all the while interacting with one another in a more relaxed, purposeful atmosphere.

Apolo shared:

Instead of being Professor Apolo, I was Marne, with my daughter Ava. I think to some degree my students were able to see me as more of a human being, instead of the symbolic role of the evaluating Professor. I am hoping that our more casual interactions will allow them to feel more comfortable approaching me, asking questions, and even being nicer. I think that the experience has bridged closeness for me that always seems challenging, given the inherent power differences. I feel more empathy for my students, having witnessed how hard they worked at Equest; raking leaves, hauling tarps of leaves to the dump pile, shoveling manure, cleaning troughs, staining picnic tables and the deck to the main office at Equest. I really cannot literally see the hard work they put into their coursework. I see the end result and can pretty much conclude what kind of time, energy, and reflection was invested, but at Equest, I was able to witness the dedication to start and finish a chore, the supportive communication with peers, and even the sweat on many a brow.

Equest was very grateful for the work, it is amazing how much progress 35 people can make in 4.5 hours when working together! It was a wonderful opportunity to strengthen a connection with one of GRCC’s community partners, practice the interpersonal concepts students have been studying, and create community within the class.

More pictures can be found at the GRCC Academic Service Learning Facebook page. Want to incorporate Academic Service Learning into your course? Learn more at:

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Two New Spanish Language Courses at GRCC

Grand Rapids Community College is now offering two new courses in Spanish ~ Spanish for Heritage speakers I (SP215) and Spanish for Heritage Speakers II (SP216). SP215 will be offered in the Fall of 2012 and SP216 will be offered in the Winter of 2013.

The courses are meant for native speakers, quasi-native speakers and bilingual speakers of varying abilities. The classes will emphasize the maturity of communicative ability where students are expected to use language to learn more about their cultural heritage, to develop literacy skills, to strengthen academic language skills in Spanish and to enhance their career opportunities. The classes are designed to address specific language and grammar issues for heritage learners. They will help develop the students’ vocabulary as well as their listening comprehension, oral communication and writing skills.

GRCC Student Interacts With Vice President Joe Biden Via Twitter

Vice President Joe Biden Replies to GRCC Student

Adjunct Communications Professor Laura Michels had her class following Vice President Joe Biden’s live tweet interview follow-up to the State of the Union Address earlier this week.  The class tweeted questions to the VP and he responded to one of the students!

A full transcript and write-up of the event is available here.


GRCC Adjunct Faculty Lauren Teal to be Published

Adjunct faculty member Lauren Teal (Language & Thought) co-authored an article that will appear in The International Journal of Critical Criminology.  In addition, the article currently appears in the electronic Online First database.

Gerkin, P. Teal, L. & Reinstein, L. (2009).  Injustice for All: A State Crime of Omission Beneath the Steps of the United States CapitolCritical Criminology, 10.1007/s10612-009-9092-x.

Fulbright Scholar Opportunities

The following are opportunities sponsored by the Midwest Instititue GPA Fulbrights for faculty visits to countries including Ghana, China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Japan & Korea, and The Czech Republic. Only full-time faculty in Arts, Communication-Foreign Languages, Humanities, and Social Sciences are eligible to participate (a standard imposed by the Fulbright GPA program). The objectives of the participation are as follows:

  1. How will this Fulbright GPA project enhance your international expertise?
  2. How will your participation strengthen your teaching at your college?
  3. How will your participation support non-teaching contribution(s) to your college

The application deadline is February 1, 2010 for these summer 2010 programs. For more information contact Aleta Anderson x4879.