GRCC In the News, 6-26-19

Economic Club names board members

June 25, 2019; Grand Rapids Business Journal

The Economic Club of Grand Rapids has a new board chair and group of board members.

… Newest Economic Club board members

… Bill Pink, president, Grand Rapids Community College

Students speak, district listens

June 25, 2019; (Kent Intermediate School District)

A strategic plan that will guide the district into the future is expected to be brought to the Board of Education this year.

… Students also see value in the middle college program, which allows students to attend high school for five years and finish with both a diploma from Cedar Springs and an associate degree from Grand Rapids Community College.

Polish Heritage Society Brings Lenny Gomulka & Chicago Push to Grand Rapids to Celebrate 40th Anniversary of Dozynki Polish Festival

June 24, 2019;

In honor of the 40th anniversary of its annual Dozynki Polish Festival, the Polish Heritage Society of Grand Rapids is bringing the internationally known Lenny Gomulka & Chicago Push band to play two nights of the three-day event in August.

… The Dozynki Polish Festival is the major fundraiser for the Polish Heritage Society of Grand Rapids, a non-profit organization founded in 1963 to perpetuate and advance the Polish culture that has been so integral to metro Grand Rapids. Among a number of its activities, the society awards scholarships annually to students of Polish descent who attend Aquinas College, Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids Community College, and Davenport University.

Seminar explores workplace bullies

Workplace Bullies

July 11, 2019

1:00PM to 4:30PM

Room 224 ATC

The Employers Association

Description: Workplace Bullies

This seminar explores the behaviors of bullying and the impacts of this negative behavior on the bully’s victims and others. This course defines bullying and presents strategies for dealing effectively with bullying behavior.

Course Goal: Provide participants with a clear understanding of bullying and its impacts as well as presenting strategies for dealing effectively with bullying behavior. Course Objectives, after completing this course, participants will be able to: Describe what motivates a bully at work, Identify how bullying behavior affects employees, Recognize and address bullying behavior, Know what not to do with the bully, and Communicate the importance of having an anti-bullying policy and what it might include.

If you are interested please register at our Learning Opportunities webpage.

Meet the ambassadors: Zach White

Zach White

Zach White

Let’s meet this summer’s orientation ambassadors:

Zach White is completing his Associate of Business with a special interest in marketing. He enjoys playing basketball and hockey, and loves to hang out with his friends!

Favorite movie: “Talladega Nights”

Favorite color: Black, because it contains all colors

Best piece of advice he’s ever heard: “If you ain’t first, you’re last.” — Ricky Bobby (“Talladega Nights”)

GRCC In the News, 6-25-19

Man arrested after struggle with GRCC police

June 24, 2019; WOOD TV

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Grand Rapids Community College says a man was arrested after causing a disturbance on campus Monday.

GRCC launching new welding program to help meet market demand

June 24, 2019; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – When industries or construction are booming as they are in West Michigan, the need for welders increases greatly.

Grand Rapids Community College is launching a new Welding Skills Certificate program fall semester designed to help students gain the necessary skills quickly, so they can enter the workforce and help meet demand.

Men’s Cross County Adds Five For This Fall

June 22, 2019; (Wayne State University)

DETROIT — Wayne State University men’s cross country head coach Grant Lofdahl will enter his third year at the helm this fall with the biggest and deepest roster in his tenure.

Lofdahl and his staff have added five newcomers who will join the squad this August.  Two of the five are junior college transfers from Grand Rapids Community College in Sam Borisch (Comstock Park, Mich.) and Trystan Thayer (Grand Rapids, Mich. / Forest Hills Central).  Joining via an NLI are Ransom Allen (Ithaca, Mich.) and Donald O’Keefe (Troy, Mich.), while Jeremy Cavallo (Davisburg, Mich. / Clarkston) will be attending WSU via a Letter of Commitment.

Entrepreneurial effort plants focus on workforce development

June 21, 2019; Grand Rapids Business Journal

The Zeeland-based economic development agency is taking what it has learned from participating in Michigan’s Talent Pipeline Management Academy, launched by Consumers Energy in 2017, and applying it to workforce advancement initiatives along the lakeshore.

… Lakeshore Advantage also is collaborating with educators at Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids Community College, Thompson M-TEC and the Careerline Tech Center, and all of that contact is involving manufacturing.

Small Business Opportunities with the City of Grand Rapids

June 22, 2019; Grand Rapids Business Journal

The City of Grand Rapids Micro Local Business Enterprise, or MLBE, Program is a certification designation for local, small and minority businesses created in 2009 to provide incentives for smaller companies when bidding with the city.

The program is for construction, goods and services and professional services companies seeking to bid competitively with the City of Grand Rapids, Grand Rapids Community College and Grand Rapids Public Schools.

‘A light that cannot and will not be put out’

June 21, 2019;

In her own words, Gloria Bliss-Ramos has had a “lot gone on” during her high school years. But that didn’t stop her from finishing high school and planning her future.

… Gloria said she is concentrating on becoming the best mother she can be, and has set her sights on a four-month tech program offered at Grand Rapids Community College.

Meet MLive’s 2019 softball and baseball Dream Teams from Muskegon

June 24, 2019; MLive

MUSKEGON – After a bit of a breather, the high school softball and baseball Dream Teams have returned for the Muskegon area.

… Nick Stever, Montague | Senior infielder/pitcher

Stever was the Wildcats’ top player, batting .410 with 25 RBIs and 18 runs scored. On the mound, the Grand Rapids Community College-bound right-hander went 4-1 with a 1.86 ERA in 10 appearances with one save. He was a four-year starter, who earned all-conference, all-district and all-region honors multiple times.

String orchestra welcomes new conductor

June 23, 2019; Guelph Today (Ontario, Canada)

The Guelph Youth Music Centre (GYMC) is pleased to present its new Youth String Orchestras (Junior and Intermediate) conductor, Joy Schuster, who will take up her duties in the fall.

… Upon graduation, Joy was elected a member of the Society of Pi Kappa Lambda. She moved back to her home town of Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1996 where she taught with the Grand Rapids Community College Suzuki program and directed a Music Together program.

Retirement reception on June 27 for Jan Ensing

Please join us in celebrating the career of Jan Ensing with a reception from 3-5 p.m. Thursday, June 27, at the Raider Grille patio!

Jan is retiring after being a graphic artist at GRCC for nearly 20 years, sharing her artistic talents and attention to detail on projects large and small — all aimed at serving GRCC students, faculty and staff. She will be missed!

GRCC alumnus Eric Schuemann does geology field work in New Mexico, Colorado

This summer, GRCC alumnus Eric Schuemann is New Mexico and Colorado exploring the terrain and rocks around Santa Fe, Taos and the Sangre de Christos Mountains, all in the name of science! As a geology major at Grand Valley State University (GVSU), Eric is completing a required element of all geology degrees, a summer field course. The 5-week field camp is run by the Missouri State Tectonics Team, part of the geological sciences program at Missouri State University. Team members are teaching Eric and his classmates field methods that are helping them unravel the geologic history of this spectacular terrain in Colorado and New Mexico. Eric just graduated from GVSU this year and we are excited to see where he goes next. Where will your GRCC degree take you?

Eric Schuemann and six other students hold up a GVSU T-shirt as they on a pile of rocks.

GRCC Retiree Biography: Margaret Sesselmann

Margaret Sesselmann has been at GRCC since 1994 (25 years). She started in Business and Technical training and moved to Manufacturing in 1998. When asked about her favorite story about GRCC she said there  too many to list but she enjoyed learning about RC cars, sailor’s knot strength and many other materials and items that students tested and reported to class. “I’ve always been proud of being a member of faculty at GRCC. I firmly believe in the mission of the school and I know that many students, myself included, benefit greatly from the small class sizes, the directed teaching, the hands-on labs, etc. It’s been wonderful. Outside of classes, I participated in Career Quest, representing GRCC. I loved showing middle and high school students some experiments with plastics. Seeing their excitement was precious.”

In retirement Margaret is planning to move to Newaygo where her small cottage was replaced with a lake house.  Margaret expressed her appreciation for the faculty association and what it has done for the employees at GRCC.  “I have been so blessed to have a job that I truly looked forward to going in, working with students one-on–one and as a whole class. I always told my students that I wish for them that they can find a career that they love and make a living doing that.”

GRCC Retiree Biography: Vicki Maxa

Vicki Maxa has been at GRCC for eleven years, and worked in education for over thirty years. At GRCC, she worked as a Counselor and Advisor, both on the Main Campus and at Tassell M-TEC. she has really enjoyed her assignment at M-TEC, what a phenomenal team of dedicated professionals.  She is also a member of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) team, and have such respect and admiration for our colleagues in Institutional Research. In her work at GRCC, she has been fortunate to work with many students and listen to their stories as they set both career and life goals… that is, to her, both an honor and a privilege. In her experience, many students have demonstrated how to turn setbacks into opportunities, and how to keep on struggling until their challenges have been met. She is proud of their accomplishments.

Vicki plans for retirement include forays into astrophotography and learning about drone navigation. She is considering painting classes at the Art Institute in South Haven, and piano lessons in Holland. She is getting a puppy, a German Shepherd, and will train and show in conformation, obedience and agility. She hopes to learn new things each and every day. Vick is truly excited to begin this next chapter of her life!


GRCC In the News, 6-21-19

Musical Matrimony Folias Duo to Play Presbyterian

June 20, 2019; Pasadena Now

The Folias Duo ensemble for flute and guitar are set to play Pasadena Presbyterian Church’s “Music at Noon” series June 26.

… In 2018, their self-booked summer tour included twenty concert performances throughout the western U.S., while recent Michigan performance highlights include the Grand Rapids Community College International Guitar Series; the Scarab Club Chamber Music Series in Detroit who presented the duo’s arrangement of Piazzolla’s “Angel Suite” for flute, guitar and string quartet; and the Grand Rapids Art Museum Classical Series who produced a program of Bergeron and Maret’s original works.

GRCC In the News, 6-20-19

Morgan Beers named Holland Sentinel Girls Water Polo Player of the Year

June 19, 2019; The Holland Sentinel

ZEELAND — Morgan Beers was a force in front of the net.

… Beers will attend Grand Rapids Community College next year with hopes of transferring to Grand Valley State.

Benzie Area Symphony Orchestra opens season with local talent

June 19, 2019; Manistee News Advocate

BENZONIA — The Benzie Area Symphony Orchestra (BASO) will launch its 2019 summer season with a stunning performance by talented local musicians.

… She (Carrie Brannen) completed her Bachelor of Music degree at Western Michigan University, where she graduated summa cum laude in 2013, and her Associate of Music degree at Grand Rapids Community College, where she graduated in 2011.

Michigan Irish American Hall of Fame names 2019 members

June 19, 2019; White Lake Beacon

MUSKEGON – The Michigan Irish American Hall of Fame has announced its 2019 class of inductees.

… In the field of Education, the Hall of Fame has selected for membership Roger Schlosser. Schlosser is the retired founder and director of the Irish Studies Program at Grand Rapids Community College, believed to be the only Irish Studies Program at a community college in the U.S.

Policies updated

Please familiarize yourself with the with policy changes made when all policies are updated. For more information, visit the policy website. This month, there are several changes that we would like to highlight:

  • Employee Reimbursement:
  • Employees may purchase their own airfare up to a limit of $500. Airfare in excess of $500 must be purchased through the College approved travel agent.
  • Airfare for student travel and employee groups of three (3) or more must be arranged with a College approved travel agent.
  • The College will reimburse the cost of 2nd class airfare, coach or main cabin seating.
  • Travel permitted the day before and after conference, when necessary. Consideration must be given to having a balance between convenience for the employee and lowering costs for the College. 
  • If you use bonus miles, you will not be reimbursed for the cost of the airfare.
  • Baggage fees for one bag only will be reimbursed.
  • If you drive your own car, you will be reimbursed for the lower of actual mileage or economy airfare.
  • Reasonable tipping up to 20% for meals.


  • FMLA:
    • If the College has enough information to determine that a period of incapacity of more than three consecutive days is for an FMLA qualifying reason, Human Resources will complete the appropriate documentation in its HRIS system, to designate leave as FMLA.


9.9 Naming Opportunities

  • Added language in Section III, Paragraph E, subsection 1, “The naming of buildings in recognition of a donor or honoree implies a promise to that donor or honoree that the facility will be permanently maintained, or if change is unavoidable, that an alternative means of recognizing the donor or honoree will be found at that time.”
  • Removed language in Section III, Paragraph E, subsection 1, “Should the building be demolished or sold, the designation shall be terminated.”


3.1 Institutional Review Board

No changes


11.1 Employee Reimbursement


Section VI – changed to include EBCOs & BCOs

Section VII – Added Employee Reimbursement Request Form and Employee Mileage Reimbursement Request form to Related Documents

Section VIII – changed policy owner to Director of Budget & Business Services

Section X

  • Removed “if required” from leave of absence
  • Added sentence regarding “six-month limitation”
  • Clarified and condensed acceptable forms of supporting documentation to reimbursement requests.
  • Removed current section and replaced with existing F.
  • Added employee responsibility verbiage regarding uncompleted travel and reimbursements prior to.
    • a.i Added $500 limit for employee purchased airfare.
    • a.ii Clarified definition of reimbursable airfare and related expenses.
    • a.iii Added from section 1.a.vii sentence to include non-payment for coupons, sky miles, and/or complimentary tickets.
    • a.iv Removed last portion of section regarding example of acceptable travel days before and after conference.
    • a.vii Deleted and added to section 1.a.iii
    • b.i Clarified mileage reimbursement language
    • b.ii Defined mapquest as company recognized mileage site.
    • b.iv Added language regarding denial of extra travel day(s) allocation for driving in lieu of air travel.
    • b Clarified language of acceptable proofs of payment.
    • c Clarified language of non-reimbursable hotel room charges
    • d Clarified language of reasonable tips.
    • e Clarified language of in-room dining expenses
    • b Removed example of meal per diem calculation from policy. Referenced Reimbursement Procedures.
    • c Removed example of meal per diem calculation.
    • e Clarified language of reasonable tipping.
    • a. Removed

Section XI. – changed Online Leave of Absence form to Leave of Absence Electronic Form


14.16 Health & Safety Policy

  • No changes recommended for this policy. It is general enough to stand the test of time but specific enough that the policy is still relevant.


6.14 FMLA 

  • Section IV.C. – Added the words “domestic partner**” after “spouse*,” and added the following verbiage at the end of the section:


**Note: Effective January 1, 2016, the Domestic Partner program expands eligibility criteria for enrollment in specific Grand Rapids Community College’s benefit plans. Under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Domestic Partners will be treated the same as spouse.


  • Section VIII Policy Owner – Removed the words “Coordinator for Adjunct Faculty & FMLA” and replaced with “Payroll & FMLA Coordinator”


  • Section IX.A. – Removed the words “12 months” at the end of the first sentence and replaced with “fiscal year.”


  • Section X.A. – Expanded definition of notification process


  • Section X.B. – Added specifics regarding timelines


  • Section X.E. – Condensed to broadly cover and define paid and unpaid leaves


  • Section XI. Forms – added Disability Accommodation Request Form