School of Arts & Sciences welcomes Melissa Polanco-Nunez

Melissa Polanco-Nunez

Melissa Polanco-Nunez

GRCC welcomes, Melissa Polanco-Nunez to the School of Arts & Sciences Dean’s office – Educational Support Professional to the Associate Dean for Faculty Evaluation and Hiring.

Melissa was a student worker for the Counseling and Career Center for 3 1/2 years and earned her Associates in Sciences with MACRAO from GRCC in 2007. She transferred to Michigan State University where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Science with an emphasis in Zoology. She was invited back to work for the Counseling office in the summer of 2009 as the Coordinator of New Student Orientation. After she completed at MSU, she came back to GRCC as a contingency employee to continue as the Coordinator of New Student Orientation. She was then placed as a Retention Specialist where she worked with Early Alert for a little over 2 years. She originally wanted to become a Veterinarian, but working at GRCC increased her interest in College Counseling so now she is a student of Western Michigan University’s Masters program in College Counseling.

In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends and playing around with her beautiful 4 year old pomeranian/chihuaha baby. She enjoys visiting different places, museums and amusement parks (specially Zoos since she still has a passion for animals). She’s really excited in continuing her work at GRCC in this new position and getting to know each of her new colleagues.

Students, staff, faculty give middle schoolers a day of science

Academic Service Learning students hosted fifth- and sixth-graders from Godwin Heights Middle School for a day of science projects.

You might have heard the noise on the fourth and fifth floors of the Science Building on November 16, 2012, as 300 fifth- and sixth-graders from Godwin Heights Middle School came to work on science projects.

Almost 40 Academic Service Learning students, in classes taught by Linda Bramble, Tom Neils, Leigh Kleinert and Jennifer Batten, helped the middle schoolers with their inquiry-based science projects and took them on tours.  The kids went on a scavenger hunt, looking for items like periodic tables, skeletons, rotovaps and carnivorous plants, and worked on projects called Clearing a Path to the Heart, Protect the Pill, Funny Putty and The Dirty Water Project.

The event was sponsored by the Office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences and the Physical Science Department and was a collaboration with the Grand Rapids Public Museum. Many GRCC staff and faculty worked together to make the day a success. Leigh Kleinert, Pam Scott, Tom Neils, Anesa Behrem, Leah VanHartesveldt, Jennifer Batten and Linda Bramble welcomed the students and their teachers. They also stocked and restocked supplies, supplied food, recruited ASL students, set up and cleaned up.  Jeff Stone, Holly Hoare, Grant Heidenreich, Pam Laureto and Matt Douglas helped with the tours.

GRCC Student Crafts Ancient Instrument for Technology and Humanity Course


Brad Burns holds the lyre that he constructed as part of an experiment for Technology and Humanity, HU 245. Here, Brad and fellow HU 245 students enjoy a family-style, sit-down dinner with family, friends, and instructors Jacquelyn and Harold Lee. The class met in Shipshewana to tour the Mennohof Museum, afterwards enjoying good food and fun at the home of a local Amish couple.

Brad, who has enjoyed a passion for working with wood for many years, not only built the lyre, but learned to play “Epitaph of Seikilos,” which Brad learned was found on an ancient tombstone and is considered the oldest complete piece of music that has been discovered. He also composed a song for the ancient instrument, using a tablature program to create a drum and flute accompaniment.

In HU 245, students contract to perform four experiments in which they volunteer to give up some form of modern, electronic technology, with each experiment lasting an increasing number of days. Students are challenged to create a project that better enhances the Aristotelian virtues of truth, beauty, goodness, and unity than does being passively “plugged in” to electronic devices.

For Experiment #1 (three days), Brad gave up use of his cell phone and spent his uninterrupted time building the lyre. For Experiment #2 (five days), Brad gave up watching television and learned to play “Epitaph of Seikilos.” For Experiment #3 (five days), Brad gave up listening to radio and created his own music for the lyre.

Brad’s creative endeavor “shines” with the message of the ancient Greek song that he plays:

While you live, shine
Don’t suffer anything at all;
Life exists only a short while
And time demands its toll.

David Cope At The Scarab Club / Detroit

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English Professor David Cope will be reading at the famed Scarab Club in Detroit on Monday, August 10, at 7 p.m., as part of the Springfed Arts-Metro Detroit summer series. The reading is FREE and open to the public, and David will be selling David Cope at the Scarab / Detroit, the recently published sampler from his selected poems, for five dollars; paperback copies of his each of his six books will also be available for $10 each. The Scarab Club is located at 217 Farnsworth @ John R across from the DIA. Free and safe parking is plentiful. Call (313) 831-1250 for directions.