Chris Sain named Grand Rapids Business Journal “Top 40 Under 40”

Chris was recognized for the work he does at GRCC, as well as in the inner-city Grand Rapids communities, area prisons and juvenile detention centers, with professional athletes and other institutions of higher education. View the issue here.

You can check out his best-selling book and t.v. interviews here.

Congratulations, Chris! Chris Sain's book

GRCC In the News, 10-17-14

Fundación GRCC realiza gala por el 100 aniversario de colegio

Oct. 17, 2014; El Vocero

GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN (EVH) — El pasado martes 14 de octubre el Grand Rapids Community College celebró su 100th aniversario con una Gala que contó con la presencia del gobernador de Michigan Rick Snyder y diversas personalidades del área de Grand Rapids.

Forty Under 40

Grand Rapids Business Journal special section

… Success is often bred from failure, and that is the case with Justin Swan.

… Chris Sain is an accomplished author and founder of a faith-based nonprofit supporting at-risk youth through sports and education, yet he feels his biggest break occurred when receiving a call in 2011 to become the coordinator of retention for Grand Rapids Community College.

(Article doesn’t mention it, but Justin Swan is a GRCC alumnus.)

100 Ways to Give: backpacks for Coit Academy


The Counseling & Career Center, Disability & Occupational Support Services and Student Support Services teams along with others across campus, gathered over 100 backpacks full of school supplies for the students of GRPS’s Coit Creative Arts Academy.

Each backpack was filled with the following supplies:

  • Ream of note book paper
  • Spiral bound note book
  • Package of pencils
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Scissors
  • Eraser
  • Pens
  • Glue Sticks
  • Box of Crayons
  • Box of Colored pencils
  • Box of Markers
  • Pocket Folders
  • Zippered Pencil Pouch

There were additional supplies of the above beyond those needed for the 100 backpack, these too were donated to the school. The teachers at Coit Elementary were very excited about these supplies for their students, as this school serves many low income families.

This effort was led by Rosario Montes-Sutton who has been a reading mentor at Coit for many years.

Thanks to all those who helped make this donation happen through your generous gifts, time (assembling all the backpacks & making the delivery).

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GRCC In the News, 5-7-14

Funeral services announced for Grandville High School teen, cousin killed in weekend crash

May 7, 2014; MLive

WYOMING, MI — Funeral arrangements have been set for Grandville High School senior Roman Aguilar-Emmons and his cousin, Michael Aguilar, who were killed in a weekend car crash.

… The Grandville High School senior planned to enroll in Grand Rapids Community College’s Police Academy in the fall. He had also applied for the one-week Grand Rapids Police Department’s High School Youth Police Academy in June.

GRPS, Community Foundation: Scholarship fund growing

May 6, 2014; WZZM

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) — The Grand Rapids Community Foundation and the Grand Rapids Public Schools district on Tuesday announced a $32 million campaign to support the Challenge Scholars program.

… Donors, including Grand Valley State University, Aquinas College, Grand Rapids Community College, Ferris State University, have already helped raise more than $26 million. That money will go into an endowment to help sustain the program.

Founders Brewing gets $500,000 through state program to train 85 new workers

May 6, 2014; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Founders Brewing Company is getting a little help training new workers thanks to a state program.

The Grand Rapids brewing company, in partnership with Grand Rapids Community College, is getting $500,000 over the next six years through the Michigan New Jobs Training Program to train 85 new workers.

KentuckyOne Health names chief operating officer

May 6, 2014;

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (May 6, 2014) — KentuckyOne Health has named Lisa A. Shannon as chief operating officer. Shannon will begin her new role July 21.

… Long active in community organizations, Shannon is a member of the boards of Heart of West Michigan United Way and Grand Rapids Community College Foundation. She and her husband have four children. The family plans to relocate to Louisville this summer.

Delta College baseball flourishing behind local talent

May 5, 2014; The Morning Sun (Dearborn)

Baseball for many in mid-Michigan is not only a passion but a way of life.

… “We came in as the No. 8 seed and knocked off the No. 1 seed in the first game. We then knocked off the No. 3 seed in the second and then beat Kellogg Community College in the winners bracket championship. We ended up losing twice to Grand Rapids Community College, but to finish 30-20 overall in only our second year and to make that kind of a tournament run bolted us into the national limelight,” (Dan) Smith said. “In just a couple of short years, people have taken notice that we’re here to compete and we’re a viable option for guys who have the ability to play competitive baseball and who want to continue their careers at the next level.”

GRCC In the News, 4-10-14

GRCC students performing better in class, but graduation, persistence rates decline

April 9, 2014; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Students at Grand Rapids Community College are earning better grades and achieving their personal academic goals, but the institution is struggling to raise graduation rates and retain some students, according to a GRCC report.

Art.Downtown maps exhibits

April 9, 2014; Grand Rapids Business Journal

Downtown Grand Rapids will receive a splash of fresh art this Friday.

… Shows will be at various venues: SiTE:Lab, Vertigo Music, Have Company, Grand Rapids Community College, Harris Building and many others.

GRCC In the News, 12-9-13

Workshops draw 500 GRPS seniors to learn about post-graduation career paths

Dec. 6, 2013; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Ottawa High School student Jamaal Dunlap listened intently Friday, Dec. 6, during a “Connect with the Military” workshop at the “Turn It Up!” conference Grand Rapids schools held for seniors to prepare them for life after high school.

… “My hope is that students understand that it all starts with them,” said Chris Sain, coordinator of retention at Grand Rapids Community College, who taught the session ‘College Life in Community College.’

“If college is something they want, they have to dedicate themselves and commit to being successful. College is not 13th grade.”

Inside Track: Siebert’s heart is in homes and people who build them

Dec. 6, 2013; Grand Rapids Business Journal

She is perfectly at home with residential construction. It’s in her blood, having been handed down to her from her family.

… (Emily) Siebert serves on the advisory board for the Academy of Construction and Design at Grand Rapids Public Schools and on the advisory council for the GRCC M-TEC Residential Construction Program. She also contributes her time to the Kent County Land Bank Authority as a member of its Advisory Council, which has a fairly broad-based membership.

Basketball: Skippers earn pair of victories over Black Hawk

Dec. 7, 2013; The Times Herald (Port Huron)

CRYSTAL LAKE, IL. — The St. Clair County Community College men’s and women’s basketball teams enjoyed a successful day Saturday, as each team recorded a victory.

… The SC4 women (6-2) will host Grand Rapids Community College on Dec. 14.

GRCC In the News, 12-6-13

Why GRCC is training staff how to use, analyze student performance data

Dec. 6, 2013; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Instructors at Grand Rapids Community College used to wait weeks to get results from data requests that showed how their students were performing in subsequent classes.

GRCC students, faculty share talent in holiday concerts

Dec. 5, 2013;  News International

Dec. 5, 2013 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids Community College is celebrating the season with a series of holiday concerts showcasing students vocal and instrumental talents.

Four Grand Valley State women’s basketball players reach double digits in loss to Ashland

Dec. 5, 2013; MLive

Grand Rapids, Mich. – The Grand Valley State women’s basketball team had its eyes set on a second straight upset, but it was not meant to be. The Lakers opened GLIAC play on Thursday (Dec. 5) night with a 76-73 loss to Ashland at Grand Rapids Community College’s Gerald R. Ford Fieldhouse.

GRCC’s Chris Sain is passionate in his work on and off the clock

Chris Sain, GRCC coordinator of retention and ABO facilitator, works diligently to provide different opportunities for GRCC students, at-risk youth and the community in general. He recently spoke at a TED-X conference with his brother Jahaun McKinley; click here to see a video.  He also worked with a local group to host the 4th annual Breast Cancer Awareness Walk.

Chris is currently planning the 6th Annual Turkey Give-a-Way, where he and his supporters serve 500 deserving urban families annually.  If you would like to be part of this effort, please contact Chris at or 616-234-3428.

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‘Information Roamers’ helped students navigate

In addition to volunteering as “Information Roamers” this week, we have caught three GRCC employees going above and beyond to help our students. Becky Yoder, Casey Cornelius and Vicki Janowiak all saw a “need” and filled it. Each employee found a spot where students needed more direction, were having issues, etc. and planted themselves in those areas to assist as needed. They all made helping our students a top priority in their day, providing a wonderful service to our community.

We know many of you have been doing this the last couple of days without being “caught.” We thank each of you for living out the GRCC service values in this way!

Daniel Sempangi joins GRCC staff


Daniel Sempangi

Daniel Sempangi

Please welcome Daniel Sempangi, the new ESP to the Associate Dean of Student Success and Retention. He is new to the college as a staff member, but attended GRCC as a student, where he received his associate degree in business, majoring in accounting in 2005. The staff and faculty of GRCC enhanced his experience here as a student, and he is excited to pay it forward by helping our students stay and succeed at GRCC!