Lambda Upsilon raises funds to help girls in Africa

GRCC’s GTU chapter, Lambda Upsilon, recently raised a $1,000 contribution to support the education of girls in Africa. Although small in number, Lambda Upsilon members continue to do much. In addition to raising funds for Camfed, another recent activity was its contributing sponsorship (along with the United Nations Association and the Social Sciences Department) of UN 2013: A Symposium to Commemorate the Founding of the United Nations. Additionally, at the request of the Honor Society’s International President, we just became an affiliate chapter of an initiative to support the education of university students in Ethiopia.

Our Geography students at GRCC have gained much as a result of these efforts. Not only have they learned more about the world and the responsibility of global citizenship, several have gone on to achieve academic excellence as they’ve continued on in their studies.

If you would like to learn more about Lambda Upsilon, please contact Dr. Mike DeVivo ( or 234-4410).

GRCC In the News, 1-16-14

Chuck D, co-founder of Public Enemy, to speak at GRCC’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day ceremony

Jan. 15, 2014; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Rap star Chuck D, who co-founded the famed hip hop group Public Enemy, will give the keynote speech at Grand Rapids Community College’s 28th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day commemoration.

WZZM’s Eddie Rucker to be honored at GRCC Giants Awards

Jan. 15, 2014;WZZM

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) — Grand Rapids Community College is honoring 13 people for their work within the local African American community.

Hispanic Center of West Michigan graduates largest GED class

Jan. 15, 2014; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — More than a decade after dropping out of high school, Sandra Cordova beamed with pride Wednesday, Jan. 15, as she took the stage at Northpointe Christian School to receive her General Educational Development diploma.

Cordova, of Grand Rapids, now plans to study nursing at Grand Rapids Community College. Her sister, Claudia Sanchez, who Cordova convinced to get her GED, sat beside her on stage and plans to study computer programming at GRCC.

When do police use deadly force?

Jan. 15, 2014; WZZM

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) — Police shot a 19-year-old Tuesday while performing a wellbeing check on the troubled teen after officers say he threatened them with an air-powered gun.

Grand Rapids Police say officers followed proper procedure, but what is protocol in that kind of situation? WZZM spoke with Mark Reminga, a firearms instructor at the Grand Rapids Community College police academy.

State of the State predictions

Jan. 16, 2014; WZZM

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) — Gov. Rick Snyder’s State of the State speech will be a chance for the Republican governor to set his agenda before a potential re-election bid.

… “It’s a way for the governor to kick off the election season,” says GRCC political science professor Keith St. Clair. “He has the perk of governor to have the bully pulpit.”

6 new sports added to Meijer State Summer Games of Michigan

Jan. 15, 2014; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Six new events have been added to the lineup for the Meijer State Games of Michigan Summer Games and one will send participants rolling through the streets of Grand Rapids.

… “We had to work with GRCC (Grand Rapids Community College), the city (of Grand Rapids) as well as the police department on that one,” (Eric) Engelbarts said. “It will be the first urban downhill race in the Midwest.”

Raider Salute to Tom Hornack

The GRCC Social Sciences Department would like to send a Raider Salute to Tom Hornack from Facilities. Tom recovered two chairs in the basement of Mable Engle Hall that matched the desk and bureau in the White Hall lobby and Reading Room. He went to great lengths to restore the chairs and refinish them, including hand crafting the ornate detail on the backs and arms and recovering the seats. We wish to thank him for his painstaking attention to detail, his craftsmanship and his commitment to making sure that White Hall reflects historical accuracy as well as functionality. Tom also reflects GRCC’s value of Sustainability in undertaking the project. We truly appreciate his talents and this contribution.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Retired professor hosts book signing

Roger Schlosser, a retired GRCC social sciences professor, is hosting a book signing for his new book trilogy! The books are written under his Irish name  — Ruairi O’Cashel — and are titled Erin Go Bragh I: The Beginning 1969-1973; Erin Go Bragh II: The Middle of an Era 1975-1982; and Erin Go Bragh III: The End of an Era 1995-2002. You can find them here.

The signing will be 1-3 p.m. December 8 at the Barnes & Noble in the Woodland Mall, 3195 28th St. SE.

Don’t forget about his first work under his American name: Family History, Stories and Other Lives.

Retired professor hosts book signing

Roger Schlosser, a retired GRCC social sciences professor, is hosting a book signing for his new book trilogy! The books are written under his Irish name  — Ruairi O’Cashel — and are titled Erin Go Bragh I: The Beginning 1969-1973; Erin Go Bragh II: The Middle of an Era 1975-1982; and Erin Go Bragh III: The End of an Era 1995-2002. You can find them here.

The signing will be 1-3 p.m. December 8 at the Barnes & Noble in the Woodland Mall, 3195 28th St. SE.

Don’t forget about his first work under his American name: Family History, Stories and Other Lives.

GRCC In the News, 10-21-13

GRCC symposium to focus on creation, role of United Nations

Oct. 19, 2013; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – In an effort to commemorate the founding of the United Nations, a series of panel discussions next week at Grand Rapids Community College will focus on the creation of the international body and its impact on the world.

Aquinas, GRCC sign articulation agreement

Oct. 18, 2013; Grand Rapids Business Journal

The region’s community college is joining forces with a four-year school to ensure that students will have an easier time continuing their education.
Grand Rapids Community and Aquinas colleges are entering into an agreement that will allow faculty from both schools to work together on creating a seamless transfer experience for GRCC students.

Grand Rapids hosts international food contest

Oct. 18, 2013; WZZM

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) – What’s in the box? That’s what students at the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education at GRCC are wondering because the Nations Cup is taking place with the mystery food box being at the center.

Leona Spencer, lifelong Grand Rapids resident, community activist, dies at age 86

Oct. 19, 2013; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Leona Spencer was never too busy to help.

… Spencer’s community activism earned her plenty of recognition. In 2006, she received Grand Rapids Community College’s Giant among Giants award, which recognizes individuals who’ve worked to improve the quality of life in Grand Rapids.

West Michigan colleges not interested in social media degree

Oct. 18, 2013; Grand Rapids Business Journal

Getting a master’s degree in social media is now a possibility at some universities and colleges in the U.S. For example, Southern New Hampshire University and Excelsior College in Albany, N.Y., both have added MBA’s in social media.

… While the East Coast might be ready for social media degrees, West Michigan higher education platforms are not as interested. Although the feedback from local colleges and universities has been supportive of offering social media training and implementing it in class work, many faculty members feel a full degree is unnecessary. The Business Journal checked in with Cornerstone University, Calvin College, Hope College, Grand Rapids Community College, Grand Valley State University, Ferris State University, Kendall College of Art and Design, Western Michigan University and Davenport University, and none of those West Michigan colleges or universities offers degrees in social media.

RA of Crawford plans to tie the knot

Oct. 20, 2013; The Herald (Cornerstone’s student newspaper)

The RA from Crawford is one step closer to being a married man.

… With (Tanner) Ward being an audio production major and (Karlie) McNamara just starting Grand Rapids Community College after cosmetology school, both were worried what an engagement might do to their school work. But, Ward decided that it would be worth it and secretly started picking up extra shifts over the summer to pay for an engagement ring.

GRCC launches U.N. Day symposium

Grand Rapids Community College is bringing together experts in geography, international relations and political science to commemorate the founding of the United Nations.

GRCC’s inaugural U.N. Day symposium starts at 2 p.m. Oct. 21. Organizers plan for it to be an annual forum devoted to fostering an understanding of the United Nations’ mission, American foreign policy and political geography.

To learn more about the event, click here.

Social Sciences Department plans Advising Days

GRCC’s Social Sciences Department will have its Advising Days on October 22 and 23. See the flier below for details:



GRCC In the News, 9-11-13

GRCC attributes 4.9 percent drop in enrollment to improving regional economy

Sept. 10, 2013; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Campus is a little emptier this fall at Grand Rapids Community College.

With enrollment down 4.9 percent at GRCC, see how other Michigan community colleges compare

Sept. 10, 2013; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Enrollment was down by 4.9 percent at Grand Rapids Community College this fall, but it was far from the only two-year institution to see fewer students sign up for class.

Syria expert breaks down how it affects West Mi

Sept. 10, 2013; WZZM

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) — Keith St. Clair, a Middle East expert and professor at Grand Rapids Community College, explains how Syria affects West Michigan, and why. He explains the basics you need to know in less than two minutes.

College notes: Harbor’s Vandermus named MIAA defensive player of the week

Sept. 10, 2013; The Petoskey News

… Sophomore outside hitter Tayler Friend had 10 kills and three digs for Grand Rapids Community College during a Michigan Community College Athletic Association win over Kalamamazoo Valley Community College, 25-20, 23-25, 25-19, 25-18.

Men’s Golf Finishes 6th at IWU Invitational


MARION, Ind. — The Taylor men’s golf team improved on day two of the Indiana Wesleyan Fall Invitational but couldn’t gain enough ground to move up in the standings as the Trojans finished 6th in the 11 team field.

… Indiana Wesleyan claimed the tournament title with a two-day total of 602 (302-300) while Grand Rapids Community College finished 2nd and Bethel finished 3rd. Taylor did best Mount Vernon Nazarene (311) and Spring Arbor (312) on the day but Taylor’s deficit from day one was too much to overcome to move up the leaderboard as Mount Vernon Nazarene claimed 4th place and Spring Arbor finished 5th.

Davenport brothers, long-time doubles partners, hope final season together is a winner

Sept. 10, 2013; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Brothers Zac and Tyler Chambers have been doubles partners so long that arguing has long been replaced by reflection.

… The two years at NorthPointe Christian were followed by a two-year break as Zac went to Grand Rapids Community College before the pair were reunited last season and went 20-7.

GRCC’s geography honor society earns national recognition

awardphotoGamma Theta Upsilon, an international honor society in geography, has given its 2013 Honors Chapter Award to GRCC’s Lambda Upsilon Chapter.

“Your chapter is commended not only for recognizing the superior scholarship of your geography students but also for planning activities that celebrate and spread the word about geography to your campus and community,” Mike Longan, second vice president of Gamma Theta Upsilon’s executive committee, wrote in an email to GRCC geography professor Mike DeVivo. “Your chapter’s service to geography and to others through geography is remarkable.”

The GRCC chapter was chartered in 2007 and remains Gamma Theta Upsilon’s only community college chapter.

2013 GRAHEN Outstanding Adult Learner Award Ceremony

On April 10, 2103, Grand Rapids Area Higher Education Network hosted the 13th annual Outstanding Adult Learner Award ceremony and reception celebrating the accomplishments and achievements of adult and nontraditional students at colleges and universities throughout the Grand Rapids area. There were 11 award recipients from the 11 member schools of GRAHEN. These students have the extraordinary ability and determination to successfully balance jobs, classes, families, and community involvement. A winner from each school is selected with the help of nominations from faculty and staff.

The 2013 OAL award recipient from Grand Rapids Community College is Paul Drenth.

GRCCwinnerGRAHENOAL2013Paul Drenth has made himself into a successful adult learner in a short amount of time. He has remained focused on his goal of securing a highly coveted spot in the Ferris State University Doctor of Pharmacy program, which he achieved and will undertake this upcoming fall. After enduring the effects of the automotive industry’s downsizing measures, Paul made the bold decision to return to school and begin a new journey in life which ultimately resulted in a great personal and academic achievement. His commitment to his family strongly motivated him to accomplish his goals.

Paul has remained connected and involved in the community throughout his busy time as a student at GRCC. He gives back to the community by participating in Habitat for Humanity endeavors, volunteering his electrical expertise for his fellow church members, assisting with youth sports and career days as well as supporting the Multiple Sclerosis Society charity through fund raising and care of those with the disease.

Paul’s hard work in his classes has earned him all A’s for the past 11 semesters at GRCC. Peers often look to Paul for academic support and guidance and follow his example in the classroom. One of Paul’s professors, Dr. Jennifer Batten, commented that Paul “is easily in the top 5 percent of all the students that I have taught at GRCC.”

This year also brought additional pride to GRCC as one of our own staff members won the Outstanding Adult Learner Award as well.

GRCCstaffOALwinnerMiguel Espinoza, who works at GRCC’s Lakeshore Campus in Holland, is in the Master of Social Work graduate program at Western Michigan University-Grand Rapids. He has worked hard to maintain a high grade-point average in this program, while remained devoted to community involvement and certainly his commitment to excellent customer service and student support at GRCC. “Miguel feels that through social work he will best be able to utilize his bilingual and bicultural skills assisting those who most need the help, empowering them to bring out their creative talents to live truly meaningful lives, while making a positive impact and contribution to society.”

Congratulations, Paul and Miguel!