GRCC STEM Conference – Photos/Video

GRCC STEM Conference

On Saturday, November 5, GRCC hosted 170 young ladies in grades 5-8 for an inaugural STEM Conference. The students were invited to explore the STEM fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics through a set of hands on competitive activities requiring the use of hypothesis, testing, logic, cause and effect and experimentation. The event was a partnership activity with Grand Rapids Community College, West Catholic High School, Catholic Central High School, Kettering University, The Catholic Secondary Foundation for Education, 5/3 Bank and The American Association of University Women.

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Dr. Jennifer Batten (Physical Sciences) and Steve Abid (Social Sciences) helped plan, organize and facilitate the activities. The welcome was given by Provost, Dr. Gilda Gely. The girls were hosted at lunch by several GRCC faculty, staff and leaders including: Gilda Gely, Laurie Chesley, Sandy Andrews, Linda Bramble, Anesa Behrem, Lisa Gloege, Leigh Kleinert, Pam Scott and Leah Van Hartesveldt. Special thanks to Chef Aaron Chew, Becky Yoder, Debbie DeWent, Amy Kirkbride, GVSU WISE (Women In Science & Engineering) for mentoring, and Follett Bookstore for their help and support with door prizes. We extend our appreciation to Provost Gely and Dean Chesley for underwriting the cost of parking. Over 200 girls had to be turned away, so plans are underway for next year to allow for an even larger audience.

Courtesy of the Media Technologies Department, these two videos of presentations at the conference are available:

Tracey Hornbeck, Chief Financial Officer at 5/3 Bank explains how and why she became the CFO at 5/3 Bank.

Mary Gilliam, Assistant Professor at Kettering University explains why and how she became a chemical engineer.

Student leaders in the making

During the weekend of August 19-21, Student Life held its 7th annual Student Leadership Retreat at Camp Miniwanca (north of Muskegon on Lake Michigan). Forty five  student leaders attended this event and participated in workshops on how to lead a student organization, achieve his/her personal best, navigate team dynamics, and develop a personal leadership vision. The weekend focused on developing each student’s talents into strengths using the StrengthsQuest assessment and curriculum.

Here is a link to the video, http://youtube/CkSIpu5KcrQ

Photos – Reverse Transfer Agreement Signing


Yesterday, surrounded by employers, elected officials, students and staff, the presidents of four area universities and Grand Rapids Community College signed a Reverse Transfer Associate Degree Initiative consortia agreement, further enhancing the “transfer and articulation” partnership that exists between these educational institutions.

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Under the partnership agreement, students from Davenport University, Ferris State University, Grand Valley State University and Western Michigan University could be granted an earned Associate Degree by combining credits from their transfer school with the credits they have previously earned from GRCC.  Read more here.

Photos – Ghana Delegation Visits GRCC


The City of Grand Rapids “Sister Cities” is hosting  the Sister City delegation from Ghana, (Mayor, Director of Education, Director of Health and an Artist).  The group had the opportunity to visit GRCC and hear an overview by Nick Antonakis on the Collins Art Gallery and the Art programs, Laura Moody provided a tour of the GRCC Health Department.  The groups concluded with lunch at the Heritage sponsored by the Woodrick Diversity Learning Center.

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Secchia Institute Department Head Dan Gendler – No Forked Tongue Here

Some of you may have heard this report on disposable utensils made from potatoes on MichiganRadio.

Wait a minute; we use the “potato forks” in our student-run Art & Bev’s. Is this a good thing? Dan Gendler, whose restaurant San Chez has always been a leader in sustainable practices in the food industry and who is our incoming Director of SICE, offers this information on our use of the potato forks.

“We separate our waste stream at the point of the user. Our compostables are sent to Spurt in Zealand. This facility is similar to the one in [the radio report]. Therefore our potato forks here at GRCC really do turn into rich topsoil. The more people know about this, hopefully, the more they will take time to separate their waste at Art and Bev’s.”

One more way we’re out in front when it comes to sustainability; one more way GRCC is distinctive.

Matt Douglas Presents on Adventures in Costa Rica, Panama & Peru

Join Biology Professor Matt Douglas for great stories of his IIPD adventures to Costa Rica, Panama, and Peru…see our GRCC students in the wildest of environments! (And some plants and animals, as well.) You’ll want to travel to these places after you see the pictures!  The presentation takes place Monday, April 18 from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. in Room 333, Caulkins Science Center. No registration is necessary. Faculty, staff and students are welcome.

GRCC Competes in the 2011 Lower Michigan Mathematics Competition

Front row, from left to right: Dave Friday, Cory Williams, Kelsie Stevenson, Aaron Cohen, Duy "Addie" Duong. Back row, left to right: Nathan Shapiro, Dean VanMiddelkoop

Front row, from left to right: Dave Friday, Cory Williams, Kelsie Stevenson, Aaron Cohen, Duy "Addie" Duong. Back row, left to right: Nathan Shapiro, Dean VanMiddelkoop

On April 2nd, eight members of GRCC (2 faculty, 6 students) drove down to Kalamazoo College to participate in the 2011 LMMC (Lower Michigan Mathematics Competition). This competition has been running for 35 years now and this is the second straight year in which GRCC competed. The competition is intended for any two or four year school within a certain size restriction. This year, teams from 11 schools competed and once again, GRCC was the only two year year college represented. The results of the competition are pending, though expected to be released within a month.

Photos: Successful Student Job Fair Yesterday

Student Employment Services Job Fair, March 16, 2011

Student Employment Services would like thank everyone who helped make our Spring Job Fair a great success;

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A special thanks to Student Employees Arieal Lynch, Jessica Farris, Pat Curtis, & Kellie Miller, Willie Hurst, Bayard Brooks, Don VanOeveren & staff, Chef Luba, Kelsey Caverly, and Chef Whitman along with his wonderful students at Art & Bev’s Bistro.  Without their assistance, this event would not have been possible!

GRCC Business Students Helping Low-Income Residents With Tax Preparation 2/26/11

VITA Class - GRCC Business Students Helping With Low-Income Tax Returns

GRCC Business Students are Distinct!  Accounting Instructor, Ann Palenske, CPA continues to demonstrate what makes GRCC Distinct. Thanks to Ann and her BA 268 Income Tax Accounting students, more low-income Kent County citizens are having their taxes prepared for free! Ann has partnered with the Kent County Tax Coalition to assist her students in becoming federally certified and connected to established sites in the community to prepare taxes. Students continue to express the value of receiving such real world experience allowing them to become more marketable in a competitive workforce.

With the assistance of the Academic Service Learning Center, these students will receive an Academic Service Learning Transcript Endorsement. This endorsement sets students apart in the application to transfer institutions and in the workforce. Students are able to learn course outcomes while also meeting an expressed community need. When asked why she goes through all the extra work to provide these opportunities to students, Ann reports, “The depth of learning, the value of working with professionals in the field, and the confidence gained by making a meaningful difference in the community far surpass what I can achieve in the classroom alone.”

Ann’s Accounting Students offer their services to anyone earning under $40,000 per year. Any interested GRCC students can receive free income tax preparation at Steepletown Ministries this Saturday February 26th from 9-12pm and Wednesday March 2nd from 5-8pm.

Watch GRCC Employee Luba Petrash Carve Ice Live

It is currently -22 degrees in Fairbanks, Alaska (and you thought we were having a cold spell here in GR) where GRCC employee and alumni of the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education Luba Petrash is competing at the World Ice Art Championships.  You have the opportunity to watch her work LIVE via this webcam (assuming it doesn’t ice over or get eaten by bears):

Live Stream of “Playing With Jacks”

No word yet on whether or not Luba can see Russia from the perch on the scaffolding.

Go Luba! World Ice Art Championships Feb 22-March 27

GRCC Employee and Secchia Institute Alum Luba Petrash Competing at Ice Carving CompetitionLuba Petrash, GRCC’s Banquet Chef and culinary program ice-carving instructor, will be heading to both the National Ice Carving Championships and the World Ice Art Championships in Fairbanks Alaska, which features ice artists from around the world Feb. 22 through March 27. She’s teaming up with Steve Kosch, a former SICE student.

If you haven’t heard of these renowned competitions, you need to hear about “The Arctic Diamond.”

Petrash explains that in a typical ice carving contest, the competitors work on a 40 inch x 20 inch x 10 inch block of ice. But in Alaska, teams of two develop their creations using one block of ice measuring 5 feet x 8 feet x 3 feet and weighing 7,200 pounds. Volunteers are busy months in advance farming, cutting and stockpiling the high grade, blue-hued ice, unique to Fairbanks waters, and dubbed “The Arctic Diamond.”

Restaurant Week Grand Rapids Inaugural Year [to Benefit GRCC] Exceeds Expectations

Restaurant Week Grand Rapids Inaugural Year Exceeds Expectations: Many Participating Grand Rapids Restaurants Experienced Double-digit Percentage Increases in Business During 10-Day Event


GRAND RAPIDS, MI (December 20, 2010) – Experience Grand Rapids today announced that Restaurant Week Grand Rapids the inaugural event held November 4 – 13, surpassed all expectations. According to Doug Small, President of Experience Grand Rapids, “We anticipated 40 restaurants would participate in the inaugural event and had 57. We anticipated an impact of $500,000 in sales and ended up with over $1,000,000 in sales. In our first year we couldn’t be happier with the outcome. The response from the community and the restaurants has been outstanding.”  (Read More Here)

Photos: GRCC AD248 Nursing Students Serve Community during Thanksgiving Break

GRCC Nursing Students Work at Local Food Pantry

This inspiring holiday story was sent in by Linda Burden, Professor in GRCC’s Nursing Program:

GRCC 248 Nursing Students met Tuesday November 23 during their Thanksgiving Break to prepare a heart smart diabetic friendly Holiday food gift for NECM Food Pantry Spectrum NOW Clients. The students first tested and prepared recipes for Holiday Treats from the American Diabetes Association and Diabetes Self Management organizations. Students prepared a gift plate for each client with diabetic friendly treats using food pantry staples such as oatmeal and canned fruit. Recipes included favorites like Fruity Oatmeal Cookies, Easy oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, Apple Raisin Oatmeal Cookies, and Oatmeal Walnut Bread. The recipes all featured healthy cinnamon spice. The Holiday food gift for the North End Community Pantry, Spectrum Nutritional Options for Wellness clients included the holiday treats, recipe packet and a gift jar of cinnamon spice. Well done GRCC nursing students!

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