GRCC In The News, 02-12-19

MCCC to participate in childhood education program
2/11/19 The Monroe News
Monroe County Community College has been selected to participate in a $1.25 million Department of Education grant awarded to the University of Toledo for a project to enhance the quality of preparation for future early childhood education professionals.
… UT early childhood education faculty and colleagues at MCCC, Grand Rapids Community College, Mott Community College and a fourth program to be selected will work together on the project, which is titled Great Start for Higher Education.

Grand Rapids Community College honors local leader for her volunteering efforts
2/11/19 WGVU
During Black History Month, Grand Rapids Community College honors influential leaders in the African American community at its annual Giants Awards program. Today we talk with one of these leaders on why she volunteers 30 plus hours per week to address equity in our community.
… (India) Manns will be 1 of 13 local leaders honored at the Giants Awards scheduled to take place on Saturday, February 23rd at Devos Place. Tickets can be found on the website of Grand Rapids Community College.

Against all odds
2/12/19 The Goshen News (Ind.)
GOSHEN — There was some risk involved intentionally fouling the opposing team with 23 seconds to go in a tie game, but Jon Tropf knew he wanted the final shot. Specifically, he wanted the ball in the hands of one man: Demarkus Stuckey. With a chance to beat the No. 1 team in NAIA, Tropf wanted to control his team’s destiny.
… Stuckey wound up enrolling at Grand Rapids Community College. He spent two years with the Raiders before transferring to King University in Bristol, Tennessee. After a year there, he transferred to Harris-Stowe State in St. Louis, Missouri. He didn’t play a game for the Hornets because of something he thought wouldn’t come back again.

Skirka returns to Racer baseball in head coaching role
2/11/19 The Murray State News
With the 2019 baseball season right around the corner, many things will be different from the program last year, but the biggest change of all comes in the form of the newly hired Head Coach Dan Skirka.
… In his fifth year of college, Skirka continued his pursuit of education and coaching by helping coach a Grand Rapids Community College team to the NJCAA World Series. Skirka then got a graduate assistant position at Ouachita Baptist for a season before making his way to Murray State as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator.

Five African American Women Who Have Shaped Our City
2/8/19 Women’s Lifestyle magazine
As Grand Rapids celebrates Black History Month, we want to introduce you to five women who have played major roles in our city’s history with their outstanding achievements in the face of adversity.
Helen J. Claytor
Perhaps the most recognizable name on this list, Helen Claytor made history as the first black woman president of any YWCA in the country in 1949 when she was appointed the president of the Grand Rapids YWCA . She went on to become the first black woman president of the National YWCA, a position in which she served from 1967-1973. After retiring in 1974, she continued to work on behalf of civil rights and helped to found the city’s Equal Opportunity Office. A statue commemorating Claytor’s achievements and dedication to public service stands in Grand Rapids Community College’s Dr. Juan R. Olivarez Student Plaza. Read more about Claytor here.
… Hattie Beverly
The first African American teacher in Grand Rapids Public Schools, Hattie Beverly was certainly a woman to be admired. She graduated from Central High School in 1895 with an emphasis in Preparatory English. Later, in 1899 Beverly was hired to teach at Congress Elementary School. Each year at the Giants Awards and Banquet, the Hattie Beverly Education Award is given to an outstanding African American educator in the Grand Rapids area.

Security Awareness Newsletter

Every month the Information Security Team releases a newsletter containing information for GRCC students, staff, and faculty regarding Information Security Awareness. This month’s issue includes information on the upcoming campus wide phishing campaign and Annual Compliance Training for FERPA, Phishing, and Data Security found in Blackboard.

The February 2019 Newsletter is now available.

Recap: ‘Cupcake Wars’ students present a sweet take on Dr. Seuss


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Bakery students took a mental vacation from the cold last Thursday to heat up the kitchens in GRCC’s third annual “Cupcake Wars” event. Students worked in teams to create over-the-top cupcakes which they then presented in elaborate, Dr. Seuss-themed dioramas. Teams prepared, baked, and decorated cupcakes from 7:30-10:30 a.m., and judging began at 11 a.m.

Here are this year’s winners in all categories:

  • Best overall cupcake: Horton’s Whos – Kortni Dicks, Laura Kersten, Kris Poleski
  • Best display/presentation: Gio and the Pussycats – Gio Toffolo, Alison Dopke, Katie Courtney
  • Best packaging: Horton’s Whos – Kortni Dicks, Laura Kersten, Kris Poleski
  • Overall highest score: Gio and the Pussycats – Gio Toffolo, Alison Dopke, Katie Courtney (the second place team was only 0.5 points behind – the closest competition yet!)

Congratulations to GRCC’s 2019 Cupcake Wars winners and to all of the students who worked so hard to create these amazing displays!

‘Winter Warm Up’ event for GRCC employees next week Wednesday

Stock photo of two bowls of tomato soup with herbs on top

Winter Warm Up

  • Wednesday, February 20, 2019
  • 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
  • Room 212 — Ford Fieldhouse

Come join your colleagues for a comforting cup of soup and grilled cheese along with warm conversation and connection! This is a new event replacing the February Sweets & Treats/Flowers & Cupcakes.

Use this as an opportunity to see the upgraded Fieldhouse space if you haven’t already.

Drop by and cozy up!

GRCC In The News, 02-11-19

Agency releases list of 100 ‘Hot Jobs’ in West Michigan
2/8/19 Grand Rapids Business Journal
West Michigan Works! is reporting that the majority of the top 100 jobs in the regions high-growth industries are in manufacturing and health sciences.
… Grand Rapids Community College is one of the institutions that uses the Hot Jobs list as a guide.

Whitewater hires new president
2/8/19 Grand Rapids Business Journal
Steve Heacock has been a vocal supporter of the Grand Rapids Whitewater project, and now he’s taking the lead role in seeing it through.
… In addition to Heacock, GRWW appointed Juan Olivarez to the board of directors in January. Olivarez serves as the distinguished scholar in residence for diversity, equity and inclusion at the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University.
Olivarez was president of Aquinas College for six years and president of Grand Rapids Community College for almost 10 years.

February Seminar: learn lifesaving skills to ‘Stop the Bleed’ at the GRCC Library

Become prepared to Stop the Bleed this February at the library!

No matter how rapid the arrival of professional emergency responders, bystanders will always be first on the scene. A person who is bleeding can die from blood loss within five minutes, so quickly stopping the bleeding is critical. Those nearest to someone with life threatening injuries are best positioned to provide immediate care if they are equipped with the appropriate training and resources. Stop the Bleed is a national awareness campaign and a call to action. Stop the Bleed is intended to cultivate grassroots efforts that encourage bystanders to become trained, equipped, and empowered to help in a bleeding emergency before professional help arrives.

  • WHEN: Monday, February 25, 2019, 12-1:30 p.m.
  • WHERE: SCC 234 Multi-Purpose Room
  • ORGANIZATION: GRCC Library and Learning Commons

Please RSVP to

GRCC Retiree Biography: Sally Zokoe

Sally Zokoe has worked for GRCC since 2010. She started in the Cashier’s Office and worked there through June 2016, until she moved to the Accounts Payable department. Sally shared that she had “a lot of cool experiences with students from her Cashier’s days. I have also met some awesome people and formed great friendships. One of those was Molly Maczka, who I’m sure many still miss madly like I do. We discovered that we had one of those ‘small world’ things in common.”

Sally had wanted to work for GRCC for a very long time, ever since she went here “in the dark ages when it was GRJC.” At the time she was a student worker in the Athletic Department and worked for Gordy Hunsberger. The Athletic Department was located on the corner of Ransom and Lyon in what is now the Music building. “We had every kind of sports team in those days. It was good fun helping all of the young men who came in and out of that building. Life took me away from here, and I worked in banking for many years. After I was downsized out of my first banking job in 1996, I started applying for openings at the college. It took until 2010, when I was finally given the opportunity to work here.”

What does Sally have planned for retirement? “Anything, everything, and nothing.” And most importantly, “grandbabies!”

Sally enjoyed her time working at GRCC and wants to “wish all the best to my colleagues who will continue working for this great college. My hope is that I will be able to stay in touch with my friends and have lunch once in a while. I’ll drive.”

We are so happy you accepted the offer to work at GRCC, Sally! We look forward to having you return and rehash all of the wonderful memories – you have made a difference at GRCC and had a large impact on the lives of our students and campus community. We wish you the best in your retirement and hope you stop by throughout the years to share your adventures!

Third Annual ‘Fall in Love With STEM’ set for February 23

Important update: The “Fall in Love with STEM” event, originally scheduled for Feb. 9, has been postponed because of weather. It has been rescheduled for 1-4 p.m. Feb. 23 in the Calkins Science Center, 226 Bostwick Ave. NE.

GRCC faculty and students will lead sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders in “exploration stations,” with activities designed to strengthen science, technology, engineering, and math skills. It’s one of several events organized by the West Michigan chapter of the Association of Women in Science. No advance signup is needed for “Fall in Love with STEM.”

GRCC In The News, 02-08-19

Middle school students invited to Fall in Love with STEM
2/7/19 MLive
GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Middle school students can participate for free in Fall in Love with STEM events beginning Saturday, Feb. 9, through the West Michigan chapter of the Association for Women in Science (AWIS-WM).
Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids Community College and Hope College are promising fun-filled days of STEM activities science, technology, engineering and math.

Grand Rapids program helps first-generation and minority students get to and through college
2/8/19 Michigan Radio
It’s a happy day when college acceptance letters arrive and high school students start on their journey to obtain a higher education degree.
… “We’re all responsible,” (Shayla) Willis said. “As one of our partners from [Grand Rapids Community College] Chris Sain said, Retention is everybody’s business.”

Assistant Dean and Associate Professor at Western Michigan University Cooley Law School Tracey Brame on Creating Joy
2/7/19 Women’s Lifestyle magazine
Tracey Brame is an Assistant Dean and Associate Professor at Western Michigan University Cooley Law School. Brame was recently elected Vice President of the Grand Rapids Bar Association and also serves as the Vice President of the Grand Rapids chapter of Jack and Jill of America. Tracey is the quintessential #RockstarWoman she uses her gifts to lead, love, and serve in her home, marketplace, and community. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated; serves on the Board of Directors for Linc UP, a nonprofit community development organization; and is the head of the parent organization at Crestwood Middle School in Kentwood. She is the proud wife of Grand Rapids Community College Board of Trustees, Kenyatta Brame, and mother of two: Kamau, age 12 and Kimani, age 10.

Raider Salute to Jeannie Dauber

This Raider Salute comes from student Megan Nordbeck:

I have to take time to recognize a past GRCC professor of mine — Jeannie Kuhn Dauber. She was my math 098 teacher during my first year at GRCC in 2017. As you can imagine, I was struggling with self esteem. I didn’t know whether or not I was capable of succeeding in college. Especially, all the time I took off after high school (graduated in 2008).

Jeannie is a tough teacher, but she really cares about all of her students. I had homework almost every night along with her many colorful mock tests. I did everything that Jeannie recommended and I passed her class with a 98.2 %.

Now, with this current semester I feel incredibly confident and some of that I owe to Jeannie Dauber. I currently hold a 3.6 GPA and have made the Dean’s List twice. Apart from the accolades, Jeannie and I are still friends. Once in awhile we’ll meet for lunch and what not.

Jeannie has continued to share with me about her ongoing efforts with her students. I wanted to showcase Jeannie’s dedication and how she handled things during the polar vortex. The polar vortex has been challenging for some students this semester. Specifically, when it comes to learning compiled material after missing 5 classes due to the bad weather.

Jeannie Dauber cares enough about her students to make lecture videos for Blackboard, meeting extra with her students so that they are caught up, and sending notifications about extra review time. Last Monday, classes were delayed until 11 am. Jeannie Dauber held an hour review session for her early morning class. The students who did not respond back to her notification received a phone call from her. All but one of her students showed up.

Jeannie is a prime example of an educator. I can’t imagine what my first year at GRCC would have been like without her. Thank you for all that you do Jeannie Dauber!!!

Emeritus Faculty Award Nominations Deadline Extended to March 1

You are invited to nominate a GRCC retired faculty or administrator for the Emeritus Faculty Award. This award was established in 1985 to honor those instructors/administrators whose dedication and creativity have left an indelible mark on the lives of students and colleagues at GRCC. During their tenure at GRCC and since their retirement, they have continued to promote GRCC’s “Commitment to Excellence” as illustrated by the GRCC values described in the narrative forms.

The deadline for Emeritus nominations has been extended two weeks and should be submitted to by noon on Friday, March 1, 2019.

For more information and to submit a nomination, please visit the website.