GRCC In the News, 7/20/2021

Deadline nears for thousands of Michigan residents offered free tuition

July 19, 2021; Bridge magazine

Nicole Freeman didn’t waste any time when she heard last September that she was eligible for free community college.

… The 30-year-old is now enrolled at Grand Rapids Community College to earn certification as a medical assistant, a job she says will likely increase her annual income by about $10,000 a year, to more than $40,000.

Belding grad Logan Campbell signs with Minnesota Twins

July 19, 2021; Ionia Sentinel-Standard

Belding graduate Logan Campbell’s baseball career has reached its next stop, as the former Belding star signed a deal with the Minnesota Twins on Thursday. 

… Campbell’s baseball career has taken him across the country already. He started his college career at Mesa Community College in Arizona, then transferred back to Michigan at Grand Rapids Community College. After a year there, he went to the University of Charleston in West Virginia. 

Sparta native finishing unique marijuana industry program at LSSU

July 19, 2021; WOOD TV

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A West Michigan native is looking to tap into the cannabis growing industry in Michigan.

… He (Noah Yates) transferred out of GVSU and then took classes at Grand Rapids Community College before enrolling at the university in Sault Ste. Marie in the fall of 2020.

CFHZ grants to boost services for seniors, patients and youth

July 19, 2021;

The Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area (CFHZ) has announced its first round of competitive grants awarded this year for projects and strategies that support, improve, and enhance the Holland/Zeeland area.

… Grand Rapids Community College
Issue area: Education
$20,000 for the Lakeshore Campus project
Funding will help with the capital cost of building a consolidated, 21st-century, state-of-the-art campus located in Holland, Michigan. This campus will provide Ottawa County residents with higher education and workforce training credentials to create pathways to well-paid careers in order to create an equitable region where everyone can prosper. Having a centralized local campus with room to grow and adapt to changing educational and workforce needs will have a lasting impact for many individuals and their families, as well as the community as a whole.

Video: Grand Rapids Community College’s Dr. Pink brings awareness to Minority Mental Health Month

July 19, 2021; WOOD TV

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV)-GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV)-Grand Rapids Community College President, Dr. Bill Pink, is joining forces with additional community leaders for National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month.

My Story Started at GRCC: A geography course and a professor’s mentoring led to Cadey Korson working around the world

Cadey Korson wearing a red and white polka dotted shirt smiling.

Start at GRCC and go anywhere. Every former student has a story to tell about how GRCC gave them the education and opportunity to be successful.

Many alumni credit GRCC for setting them on their career paths, but what if you don’t know what you want to do?

Cadey Korson discovered GRCC was the perfect place to figure that out.

She had no idea what she wanted to do with her life when she started college. She dug into general education courses. And — as has happened to many other GRCC students — one class began to really interest her: GE 210 Cultural Geography.

“One day, after class, the professor stopped me and asked what my plans were,” Korson said. “After telling him I was considering international relations — and that my parents said I could study anything I wanted as long as I got a Ph.D. — he asked if I had considered geography. ‘You can do the same things as you could with a degree in IR, but you’ll get paid to do it.’

“I was sold!”

After earning her associate degree in 2009, Korson completed a bachelor’s degree in geography, international relations and French at Aquinas College. She then earned a master’s degree in geography at the University of Missouri and a doctorate at Kent State University.

“After that, I headed overseas for a two-year postdoctoral research position in human geography at the University of Oulu in northern Finland,” Korson said. “Travel is one of the things that drew me to geography, so it’s no surprise that I have spent my time working and traveling around the world.”

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Tech Tip: Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

GRCC Information Technology is pleased to offer a new security measure to protect your GRCC Google Account! Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) adds an additional layer of security in verifying your identity. It also helps to prevent attackers from logging into your account in the unfortunate event that an attacker obtains your password.

There are few ways to verify your identity while logging into your GRCC email account such as receiving a verification code via SMS to your established phone number or selecting Yes on your phone when prompted by Google.

Once you have successfully logged in using 2FA on a trusted computer/device that you designate, you should not be prompted with 2FA again. However, if you login via VMware, you will be prompted to verify your identity each new VMware session.

Turn on 2-Step Verification

For more information and helpful tips, please visit the IT Customer Support Portal or contact the IT Customer Support Desk at x4357.

If you have a suggestion or a Technology Tip you think can be useful, you can submit them by emailing 

Knowledge Loss Prevention resource

One hand passing a botn to another hand.

Information is one of any organization’s most important resources. In the effort to support the retention and transition of knowledge, skills, and tasks among various roles within the GRCC employee family, Human Resources has developed a Knowledge Loss Prevention form.

Supervisors are encouraged to use this form when an employee is planning a leave of absence, separating from the college, or retiring. Documenting the information is part of succession planning and helps the College maintain its high level of service – both internally and externally.

You will find this form on the HR website 

For questions or assistance, please email

Olivarez Student Plaza temporarily closing during renovations

Fencing with directional arrows for Plaza detour.

All through access on Dr. Juan Olivarez Student Plaza will be closed for safety reasons from July 19 to Aug 2 while crews complete construction and renovations on the canopy and overhead walkway.

The pedestrian detours to access the Student Center, Cook Hall, Ford Fieldhouse and Calkins Science Center from the Bostwick parking ramp are:

  • Taking the elevator or stairs to Bostwick Ramp parking level 2.  Following the arrows to the north end of the ramp to exit at street level.
  • Taking the elevator or stairs to Bostwick Ramp parking level 6 (top of the ramp), north toward the Student Center to use the walkway system.

Individuals who need assistance from the ramp may call GRCC Police at 234-4010 for assistance.

2021-22 Electronic Pay Books are now available

The 2021-22 Electronic Pay Books are now available on the Human Resources website at Payroll Forms.

You can start using this pay book for the August 6, 2021 pay date which you will submit on Monday, July 26 for time worked July 12 through July 25.

If you are unsure of your Employee ID Number, Record Number, Pay Group, etc., please refer to the set-up tab on a previous year’s pay book. 

If you have any questions, please contact Stacia Barczak, Rachel Paulucci, or Becky Bailey.

Want additional equipment for home use?

If you plan to continue working both on campus and from home, you may be curious about sharing your technology in both locations. Unfortunately, GRCC’s budget cannot support two sets of equipment for home and office. 

If you’ve been utilizing loaned equipment and plan to work on campus exclusively, please return your loaner equipment to the Library. We prefer your assigned equipment to be brought between locations as there is a limited supply of loaner hardware.

Please see below for low-cost options you can purchase for your home office (please note: home use equipment should not be purchased using department funds unless approved by your EBCO).

We understand that transitioning back to the office may create obstacles. It is our goal to make this transition as smooth as possible for you. If you would like assistance with setting up your equipment in your office, please schedule a time with our Desktop Support team using this service.

GRCC In the News, 7/19/2021

Education Briefs: GRCC summer enrollment above pre-pandemic levels

July 16, 2021; The Holland Sentinel

GRAND RAPIDS — Bolstered by students enrolling through state-funded programs, summer enrollment at Grand Rapids Community College has increased to levels higher than before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Good Things on The Lakeshore, July 16, 2021

July 17, 2021; WHTC

HOLLAND (WHTC-AM/FM) — Each week, Shandra Martinez, managing editor of The Lakeshore , talks to WHTC’s Peg McNichol about people and organizations making a difference along West Michigan’s Lakeshore. Here are highlights of their conversation on for the week starting July 16, 2021. 

… State programs play a role in GRCC’s 7.1% increase in summer enrollment. Grand Rapids Community College, which recently kicked off its second summer semester, reports enrollment this season is up 7.1% over 2021 and 5.9% from before the pandemic. The increase is attributed in part to students taking advantage of state programs that help with tuition costs.

Local leaders weigh in on growing entertainment corridor along U.S.-31

July 18, 2021; The Holland Sentinel

HOLLAND TWP. — In a half-mile corridor along U.S.-31, there’s a form of entertainment for everyone.

… In the coming months, the intersection will be joined by Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen and Grand Rapids Community College’s Lakeshore Campus. The campus was a milestone achievement for The Shops at Westshore, which has worked diligently to repurpose the former mall space after its deconstruction a half-decade ago.

Berryhill rolls to Petoskey tournament title

July 18, 2021; Midland Daily News

Berryhill Post 165 beat the West Side Rattlers and the Petoskey Royals by identical 8-0 scores, both in five innings, on Sunday to win the Petoskey Invitational baseball tournament.

… “Overall, we played pretty good. This was a good tournament,” said (manager Dan) Cronkright. “In the championship game, we faced a kid who’s going to Western Michigan. In our first game (on Friday), we faced a kid who’s going to Lincoln Trail College, and then we faced a kid who’s going to Grand Rapids Community College, and today we faced a kid who’s going to Muskegon Community College.

GRCC Student Life Director Lina Blair honored by Northern Michigan University for her efforts supporting students during the pandemic

Lina Blair smiling.

Many Grand Rapids Community College students lost their jobs and faced food insecurity and other challenges as the COVID-19 crisis struck, and Lina Blair sprang into action.

Blair, GRCC’s director of Student Life and Conduct, led efforts to expand the campus food pantry, working with community partners and others to provide thousands of meals and other items so students could continue their education and help their families.

Blair’s efforts were recognized this week by Northern Michigan University Alumni Association, which honored her with an Alumni Service Award.

Recipients, who are nominated and selected by fellow alumni, are honored for significant achievements in their fields, substantial contributions to society, and demonstrated exceptional leadership and civic qualities. Blair was one of four alumni saluted; awards will be presented during Homecoming festivities this fall.

“It’s an honor to be recognized by Northern Michigan for doing a job I love,” Blair said. “I’m part of a great team at GRCC that is passionate about helping students overcome obstacles. We’re fortunate to have community partners who recognized the challenges our students were facing, and stepped up to help us time and again. Working together, we were able to make a difference.”

The alumni association noted Blair “has implemented and maintained numerous service projects and efforts to address barriers to success. She advocates for student support in mental health, COVID-19 relief, and housing and food insecurity. In 2020, she led her team to establish a wider-reaching campus food pantry, with a new location and enough food to supply students in need.”

“The committee members were struck by Lina’s long-term commitment to community service that was already strong when she was a student at Northern Michigan University,” said Diane Husic, chair of the alumni award committee of the NMU Alumni Association’s board of directors.

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Tech Tip: Keeping your computer secure when walking away

Did you ever need to leave your desk while you have sensitive documents open? Sometimes it’s not practical to close the windows or minimize everything before you walk away.

For general security purposes we recommend putting your computer in a “locked” state when leaving your desk. Use the keyboard shortcuts below to get your computer into a locked state quickly or view the knowledge base here.

For Windows

Windows + L

For Mac

Control + Command + Q

For more information and helpful tips, please visit the IT Customer Support Portal or contact the IT Customer Support Desk at x4357.

If you have a suggestion or a Technology Tip you think can be useful, you can submit them by emailing 

GRCC In the News, 7/16/2021

GRCC: Summer enrollment soars above pre-pandemic levels

July 12, 2021; WZZM

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids Community College announced Monday that summer enrollment has topped pre-pandemic levels as many students take advantage of state programs covering in-district tuition.

GRCC summer enrollment surpasses pre-pandemic levels thanks to tuition-free state programs

July 15, 2021; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Enrollment is soaring even higher than pre-pandemic levels at Grand Rapids Community College this summer thanks to tuition-free state programs that are encouraging Michiganders to earn their degrees.

 ‘Apprenticeships are game-changers:’ Skilled trade industry excited about $10M grant

July 15, 2021; FOX 17

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Thursday morning, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced that the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity was awarded a $10,000,000 federal grant. She said it’ll create apprenticeships and employment opportunities for women, people of color, people with disabilities and those without a high school diploma or GED.

… That was the same word Julie Parks of Grand Rapids Community College used to describe the announcement.

NMU Alumni Association announces 2021 Alumni Awards

July 15, 2021; The Mining Journal (Marquette)

MARQUETTE — The Northern Michigan University Alumni Association has announced the four recipients of 2021 Alumni Awards who will be honored during Homecoming this fall.

… Blair is the director of student life and conduct at Grand Rapids Community College where she has implemented and maintained numerous service projects and efforts to address barriers to success. She advocates for student support in mental health, COVID-19 relief, and housing and food insecurity. In 2020, she led her team to establish a wider-reaching campus food pantry, with a new location and enough food to supply students in need. Prior to her role with GRCC, Blair worked at NMU for more than 10 years, where she advised student government, created a new program for NMU’s first-generation college students and provided leadership for the student conduct program.

The GRCC family extends condolences to Mary Lucas and family

GRCC extends condolences to Mary Lucas, of Language & Thought, and her family upon the death of her mother, Kristin E. Lucas, on Monday, July 12.

Mary’s mother passed away peacefully at the Hospice House of Adrian. She is grateful for the time she has spent with her mom during these last few months.

The visitation for Kristin is on Sunday 1 – 5 pm and the funeral is on Monday at 11 am. Both are at the Van Horn-Eagle Funeral Home in Hillsdale.

Highlighting staff who help our students

Kaelee Steffens, an academic adviser, smiling.

Always remember, at GRCC, you are surrounded by people who want you to be successful and are ready to walk with you on your educational pathway. We are here to help!

Meet Kaelee Steffens. Kaelee is an academic adviser and a first-generation college student. She always knew going to college or learning a professional trade was incredibly important.

She chose GRCC because it was affordable, and a family member was already attending. That family member and her GRCC adviser showed her the steps to get started, and how to begin planning for her transfer to Grand Valley State University after graduation.

Back at GRCC, Kaelee helps today’s students make plans to transfer or pursue a career after graduating.

During her time at GRCC Kaelee worked as a student employee and graduated with an associate degree.

At GVSU she worked as a student employee and then as an intern in various departments.

Through that on-the-job career exploration, she realized that her passion was working with adults — specifically adults at GRCC. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology, and then Master of Education in Higher Education, College Student Affairs Leadership from GVSU.

Since then, Kaelee has worked in admissions and enrollment, TRIO, academic departments, and academic advising between two- and four-year schools.

Through her work in higher education Kaelee has seen first-hand that a certificate or degree can change someone’s life in so many ways. It starts with an academic plan. It’s her goal that the students who enter her office leave knowing their next steps, and that they can always follow up if the plan changes.

“There is just something so special about working with the many different types of students that attend GRCC,” she said. “My first appointment for the day could be a mother with three kids and a full-time job, who decided now is her time. And my last appointment of the day might be a student who just graduated high school who is still exploring all of the degree options and training programs that GRCC has to offer. Every day is new and full of learning!”

You can connect with Kaelee and other members of the Academic Advising and Transfer team by emailing, calling (616) 234-3900, and texting (616) 404-0044.