Informational session on higher education graduate degrees today in Main 112

Western Michigan University will be at GRCC today to host an information session regarding their Higher Education master’s and doctorate programs.

This session will be held today, November 2, at 1 p.m. in Main 112.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact Eric Mullen at ext. 3752 or

Interested in a Higher Education Graduate Degree (masters or PhD)?

Western Michigan University will be at GRCC to host an information session regarding their Higher Education master’s and doctorate programs.

This session will be held 1 p.m. on Friday, November 2, in Main 112.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact Eric Mullen at ext. 3752 or

GRCC In the News, 3-1-18

Hispanic chamber names nominees for awards gala

Feb. 28, 2018; Grand Rapids Business Journal

The West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is hosting an awards gala soon downtown.

Hispanic Businessperson of the Year

… Manuel Barajas, Coldwell Banker

Young Professional of the Year

… Adrian Sotelo, Farandula Magazine

… Brune Garcia, GRCC

… Javier Cervantes, LINC

… Lorena Aguayo-Marquez, GRCC

… Marisol Blanco, GRCC

Building Bridges

… Bill Pink, GRCC.

Nonprofit Champion

… Lorena Aguayo-Marquez, GRCC

(Nominees Manuel Barajas, Adrian Sotelo and Javier Cervantes are GRCC alumni.)

GRCC alum to give keynote speech at Latino Youth Conference

March 1, 2018; The Lanthorn (GVSU student newspaper)

Local middle school students will have the opportunity to hear from Grand Rapids Community College alumnus Sammy Publes about dream-following, diversity and inclusion at the Latino Youth Conference. The GRCC-sponsored event is set to occur Tuesday, March 6, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in GRCC’s Gerald R. Ford Fieldhouse.

GRCC In the News, 12-14-17

Refugees grateful for construction training, jobs and language skills

Dec. 13, 2017; MLive

GRANDVILLE, MI – Two years ago, the future was uncertain for Tony-Kelly Lubanzadio in his native Democratic Republic of Congo.

… To join the program, the refugees were required to have some basic conversational skills to understand the curriculum. Students began their two days per week at Grand Rapids Community College in March.

College earns $1M grant for low-income STEM students

Dec. 13, 2017; Grand Rapids Business Journal

A local college has earned a $1 million grant to support its low-income STEM students.

… Additionally, the project team will enlist area community colleges, including Grand Rapids Community College, Northwestern Michigan College and Muskegon Community College, to help identify potential RISE scholars at their institutions and provide mentoring for those students before they enroll at GVSU.

Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra presents ‘Messiah’

Dec. 14, 2017; The Petoskey News

Once again the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra will bring the “Messiah” to Northern Michigan at 7 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, Dec. 14 and 15, at St. Francis Xavier Church in Petoskey.

… (Katherine) Jannakos, cannot remember a time when she hasn’t been involved in music. She comes from a very musical family, and early on studied music theory and flute. She didn’t start singing until high school, and later began serious voice study at Grand Rapids Community College. After three years she left that college and completed her degree at Oberlin Conservatory. She has appeared as a chorus member and in featured roles with Opera Grand Rapids, Oberlin Opera Theatre, Second Act Opera and the Bay View Music Festival. She has appeared as a featured soloist with the Kent Philharmonic, Flint Symphony Orchestra, Bay View Orchestra and Oberlin Orchestra. She is thrilled to be performing with the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra.

Five cool vintage Grand Rapids Christmas gifts you can buy online

Dec. 13, 2017; 100.5 FM

Everything old is new again, and with the continued restoration of old buildings downtown, Grand Rapids has been digging into its past to form its future. Here is some old school vintage Grand Rapids stuff I found online that you can gift to the GR lover in your family.

… 2. Recall the glory days of GRCC football with this mini-football

Grand Rapids Community College (also known as Grand Rapids Junior College used to have an elite junior college football program, one that competed at an elite level on the JC scene back in the day. The Raiders went to such illustrious bowl games such as the Wool Bowl, Valley of the Sun Bowl, and the Dixie Rotary Bowl.

This memento is a steal at $4.99.

GRCC In the News, 8-15-17

Race initiative leader: Lack of progress exposed

Aug. 14, 2017; WOOD TV

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — West Michigan groups focused on equality are speaking out as racially-charged protests continue in Charlottesville, Virginia.

… “It was something we saw that we did not want to look at,” Dr. Bill Pink, co-chair of the new initiative and president of Grand Rapids Community College, said of racism. “It was ugly. We want to believe that we’re beyond that.”

Chamber announces ATHENA winner

Aug. 10, 2017; Grand Rapids Business Journal

A local chamber of commerce has selected a health insurance executive as the recipient of its annual award geared toward women in leadership roles.

… The other 2017 ATHENA Award finalists were Lori Burgess, executive director Kent County Girls on the Run; Carol Van Andel, executive director of the David and Carol Van Andel Foundation; Nkechy Ekere Ezeh, CEO of Early Learning Neighborhood Collaborative; and Christy Buck, executive director of the Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan.

… 2017 ATHENA Young Professional Award finalists

… Lorena Aguayo-Marquez, DGRI

… Alyssa Veneklase, Gold Coast Doulas LLC

(Lorena Aguayo-Marquez works in Academic Outreach; Nkechy Ekere Ezeh and Alyssa Veneklase are GRCC alumnae.)

Adult Education program celebrates student achievements

Event: Adult Education Achievement Celebration 2017

When: May 18th, 2017

Maurilia Ortiz Blakely Scholarship recipients: Sandra Parra and Maria Montañez, each student will receive $1,000 scholarship for 2017-2018 academic year.

14 Students completed the program:  Students who obtain a score of 236 or higher in the reading and 228 or higher in the Listening Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment Systems (CASAS). Students have successfully reached the highest level of English proficiency per State requirements and are now ready for Adult Secondary Education.

120 Students advanced to the next English level: There are six English Language Functioning levels: Low Beginning, High Beginning, Low Intermediate, High Intermediate, Advanced and Adult Secondary. Students are honored in advancing a level in CASAS.

50 Students obtained a National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC): Students receive a certificate showing that they demonstrated skills in Reading for Information, Applied Math, and Locating Information. Certificates are awarded at four levels; Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze. The certificate is recognized by employers nationwide, as a critical indicator for workplace success.

25 students completed the preparation class for the U.S. Naturalization application and test.

Please see the program below for details:

78996_78996 Achievement Celebration Program_03302017_ANK

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GRCC In the News, 5-8-17

Change Ups: WMU Cooley Law School associate dean inducted into alumni ROTC Hall of Fame

May 5, 2017; Grand Rapids Business Journal


Retired Col. Scott Haraburda is Grand Rapids Community College’s 2017 Distinguished Alumnus. Haraburda is a 1981 graduate from then Grand Rapids Junior College; chemistry professor Joe Hesse was named the college’s 2017 Emeritus Faculty; and president Dr. Steven C. Ender received the President Emeritus Award. Ender retired in April.

School district plans $17M renovation of high school

May 5, 2017; Grand Rapids Business Journal

A local school district is planning to renovate a high school into a “center for college preparation and career technical education.”

… In a joint venture with Grand Rapids Community College, GRPS will launch its first Early Middle College program at the renovated Ottawa Hills High School.

GRBJ: Ferris programs help Latinos hone business skills

May 8, 2017 WZZM

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. – Throughout her 10 years in educational leadership and her work in the nonprofit sector, Lorena Aguayo-Marquez has worn many hats. Now, she wants to focus on the work that truly motivates her.

That’s why Aguayo-Marquez, program assistant for adult education programs at Grand Rapids Community College, signed up for the Latino Talent Initiative, a professional development program established in 2014 by the Latino Economic and Business Development Center (LEBDC) at Ferris State University.

GRCC Athlete Jeff Drake Todd

May 5, 2017; Grand Rapids Times

Jeff Todd is one of Grand Rapids Community College’s best basketball team players with a scoring average of 21.3 points per game as the Raiders combo point guard and shooting guard. In this interview with the GR Times, he talks about how he learned that grades come first the hard way, the influence of his parents on his college career, future plans and more.

Sinclair baseball edges Cuyahoga to win conference championship

5/7/17 Dayton Daily News (Ohio)

Sinclair split a doubleheader with Cuyahoga on Sunday to clinch the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference championship.

… The Tartan Pride travel to Grand Rapids Community College for a non-conference doubleheader on Monday.

Innovation Central, Montessori students’ 2017 prom a royal night

May 5, 2017; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Students from Grand Rapids Public Schools’ Innovation Central High School and Grand Rapids Montessori joined together for a royal night at their prom Friday, May 5.

The two schools — which are on the same campus — held their prom at Grand Rapids Community College’s Raider Grille. The theme was “where the royals meet.”

Nominations sought for GRAHEN Outstanding Adult Learner award

Here at GRCC, we are fortunate to have many remarkable students. Here’s your chance to help one outstanding adult student from the college with the annual GRAHEN Outstanding Adult Learner (OAL) award. This important award recognizes and celebrates the academic achievements, leadership and community contributions of local adult students.

For nearly 20 years, the Grand Rapids Area Higher Education Network (GRAHEN), of which GRCC is a member school, honors an outstanding adult learner from every one of its 13 member institutions every year.

GRCC faculty and staff can nominate individuals (adult and nontraditional students) from the 2016-2017 school year using the nomination form below.  The deadline to submit nominations is March 1, 2017.

If you have questions, contact Angela Salinas at (616) 234-3420 or .


GRCC In the News, 4-25-16

GRCC’s Brenden Johnson named NJCAA Player of the Week

April 25, 2016; MLive

Grand Rapids, Mich. — The NJCAA has named Brenden Johnson the Division II Player of the Week for the week of April 11 17. Johnson, a sophomore first baseman, was given the honor after posting a .421 batting average, 2 doubles, 2 home runs, 10 runs batted in, 10 runs and 2 bases on balls during an eight game stretch. Behind Johnson’s hot play, the Raiders went 5-3 during that span.


April 22, 2016; The Dallas Post Tribune

Leadership from Grand Rapids Community College in Michigan visited Dr. Wright L. Lassiter Jr. Early College High School at El Centro College this week to learn what makes the Blue Ribbon School successful.

SC4 adds cross country to sports lineup

April 24, 2016; The Voice (Macomb County)

Area runners who wish to continue running cross country after high school graduation may not have to travel as far to do so.

… SC4 becomes the 13th community college in Michigan to offer cross country, joining Jackson College, Wayne County Community College District, Alpena Community College, which has a mens team only, and Schoolcraft College, as well as Glen Oaks, Grand Rapids, Kirtland, Lansing, Macomb, Mott, Muskegon and Oakland community colleges.

Beld, Brandt fill crucial positions for Hudsonville softball team

April 25, 2016; MLive

HUDSONVILLE — Catcher and center field are two important defensive positions on a high school softball. Thanks to a pair of senior veterans, the Hudsonville softball team have those positions covered and then some.

… (Makayla) Beld is being recruited by Grand Rapids Community College for basketball and may possibly also play softball in college.

Orchard View grad part of near-shutout effort by West Michigan Ironmen

April 23, 2016; MLive

MUSKEGON, MI — Starting linebacker Derek VandenBosch was still on the field for the last play of the game.

… After his days at OV, VandenBosch went on to play at Grand Rapids Community College and the University of St. Francis in Indiana. After that, he returned home and continued his football career with the Muskegon Mustangs, a local semipro team that plays in the summer.

GRCC In the News, 4-20-16

GRPS ‘Bring Our Kids Home’ campaign announced during State of our Schools

April 19, 2016; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Grand Rapids Superintendent Teresa Weatherall Neal said choosing your neighborhood school is investing in your community, remarks that came Tuesday as she announced the launch of the district’s “Bring Back Our Kids” campaign during her State of our Schools address.

… The district will launch a new Middle College program in 2017 in partnership with Grand Rapids Community College. The program, which will target students in the Ottawa Hills High School and its feeder schools, allows students to earn both a diploma and an associate’s degree by attending a fifth year of high school.

Morning News

April 19, 2016; WZZM

Grand Rapids Community College leaders are working with McDonald’s on an “earn and learn” partnership.

Who’s your imam? 10 things to know about leader of Islamic mosque

April 19, 2016; MLive

KENTWOOD, MI — Seated upon the ornate carpet of the Masjid At-Tawheed, a class of Grand Rapids seventh-graders was hearing about the Quran and the pillars of the Islamic religion when a big, bearded man wearing a white cap on his head and a black coat over a white robe came flowing into the room.

… When (Morsey) Salem came here from Egypt in 2006, he didn’t know any English. After five years of English as a Second Language training at Grand Rapids Community College, Salem still prepares his sermons in Arabic and apologizes constantly for his English.

Helping teen parents ‘go as far as they want to go’

April 19, 2016;

Cedar Springs Public Schools, MI — It had been a week since Robert Brant met with Shelley Bauer, a teen parent educator, and he had big news. He could now begin visiting his nearly 2-year-old son by an estranged former girlfriend.

… The good news didn’t stop there. Robert had also received approval for $5,500 in financial aid at Grand Rapids Community College, just as he was about to graduate from New Beginnings. And he was getting more hours at his job, helping him to pay child support and save for a car.

LHS grad Snyder is disc golf All-American

April 19, 2016; Battle Creek Enquirer


The Kellogg Community College baseball team now sits 1 1/2 games behind Jackson Community College in the Michigan Community College Athletic Association West Division standings after the Bruins lost a doubleheader to the Jets on April 16.

GRCC In the News, 4-18-16

“La licencia de conducir me cambió la vida”, afirma un dreamer

April 14, 2016; Univision

Cuando estaba en su último año de secundaria, el mexicano Juan Mascorro sentía que era el único chico en su clase que no podía conducir. “No me hacía sentir bien”, recuerda el joven, quien prefería caminar las varias millas entre la escuela y su hogar en Middleville, Michigan, que tomar el bus escolar todas las tardes.

… Una dreamer que se beneficiaría es Sendy López, una amiga de Mascondo no pudo acogerse a DACA por no cumplir el requisito de haber estado continuamente en Estados Unidos desde el 15 de junio de 2007. La joven podría obtener un permiso de trabajo y protección de la deportación si la Corte Suprema mantiene viva la expansión de DACA, que establece como fecha límite el 1 de enero de 2010.

… El joven estudia ahora en Grand Rapids Community College y pronto se irá a Ferris State University, donde terminará su bachillerato en criminología para luego estudiar derecho. “Quiero ser abogado de inmigración”, asegura.

(When he was in his last year of high school , the Mexican Juan Mascorro felt he was the only boy in his class who could not drive. ” I did not feel good ,” says the young man, who preferred to walk the several miles between school and home in Middleville , Michigan, to taking the school bus every afternoon.

… A dreamer who would benefit is Sendy Lopez , a friend of Mascondo who could not qualify for DACA not meet the requirement of having been continuously in the United States since June 15, 2007. She could get a work permit and protection from deportation if the Supreme Court upholds the expansion of DACA , which sets a deadline of January 1, 2010.

… The young man is now studying at Grand Rapids Community College and will soon go to Ferris State University, where he will finish his degree in criminology and then study law. ” I want to be immigration attorney ” he says.)

(Both Juan Mascorro and Sendy Lopez are GRCC students.)

Local immigrant rights advocates travel to DC for Supreme Court arguments

April 18, 2016; Michigan Radio

The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments today on President Obama’s executive actions on immigration.

… “Sometimes we just stand on the sidelines, said Jacqueline Lopez, a student at Grand Rapids Community College, as she was about to board a DC-bound bus. “And this is just a way to be out there and stand with our community.”

… Dennis Martinez also attends GRCC. He says he has friends who will be affected by the ruling.

Change Ups: Magnifico inducted as ACA Fellow

April 15, 2016; Grand Rapids Business Journal


Grand Rapids Community College’s Lisa Freiburger, vice president for finance and administration, and Bill Pink, vice president and dean of the School of Workforce Development, were awarded The Aspen Institutes Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence. They join the inaugural class of 40 Aspen Presidential Fellows.

Lassiter Early College High School hosts Michigan community college leaders

April 15, 2016;

Leadership from Grand Rapids Community College in Michigan visited Dr. Wright L. Lassiter Jr. Early College High School at El Centro College this week to learn what makes the Blue Ribbon School successful.

“He has not been forgotten.” Remembering slain Kalamazoo police officer Eric Zapata

April 16, 2016; MLive

KALAMAZOO, MI — “It doesn’t seem possible that it’s been five years, but in five years, he has not been forgotten and he is in our hearts,” Connie Bernal said Saturday at a recognition ceremony for her son Eric Zapata.

(This article doesn’t mention it, but Eric Zapata is a GRCC Police Academy alumnus.)

News 8 Daybreak

April 18, 2016; WOOD TV

Today is tax deadline day. If you need more time, you may be able to get an automatic six-month extension. You need to file form 4868, which you can find at You also might be able to get some free help. Accounting students from Grand Rapids Community College and Cornerstone University are providing free tax preparation.

Early Childhood Fair April 23 Offers Dozens of Resources

April 15, 2016;

Kent ISD, MI — Finding just the right childcare provider or preschool for your child takes a lot of time and leg-work. Even Michael Ghareeb, director of Early Childhood at Kent ISD, understands.

… In addition to PNC Bank, sponsors include Apple Tree and Gilden Woods Early Care and Preschool, Cindy Minnema with Berkshire Hathaway Real Estate, Comprehensive Therapy Center, Crowning Lotus, Early Learning Neighborhood Collaborative, Easter Seals of Michigan, Grand Rapids Community College, Great Start to Quality, ISJ Academy, Head Start for Kent County, Horizons Developmental Resource Center, Kent District Library and Michigan State University Extension.

Vocal Jazz Ensemble and IUnison featuring special guest Kurt Elling

April 18, 2016;

Vocal Jazz Ensemble and IUnison featuring special guest Kurt Elling – Duane Davis, director; Ly Wilder, associate director – – Vocal Jazz Ensemble and IUnison

… Duane Shields Davis, originally from Cleveland, recently retired as Director of Vocal Music at Grand Rapids Community College, after 39 years as a full-time teacher music educator. He continues to serve as Chorus Master for Opera Grand Rapids, a position he has held since 1986. Duane recently became the Instructor of Vocal Jazz at Western Michigan University.

GRCC In the News, 6-1-15

Transforming the College to Manage Enrollment Decline

June 1, 2015;

When the recession hit, countless adults were forced to enroll in postsecondary institutions to acquire new skills and retrain for an increasingly knowledge-based, lean economy. Of course, the recovery began and employers began hiring once again, causing enrollments to fall and leaving higher education institutions — especially community colleges — dealing with declining demand and plummeting state appropriations. College leaders are being forced to restructure their budgets to manage these challenges and remain viable over the long term. In this interview, Steven Ender and Lisa Freiburger share some insights into their experience going through this process at Grand Rapids Community College.

Change Ups: Koelzer wins national anthem vote

May 29, 2015; Grand Rapids Business Journal


Grand Rapids Community College’s adult English-As-a-Second-Language program received an additional $5,000 in funding through the Michigan Workforce Development Agency based on its 2013-14 performance. Also, the Higher Learning Commission has approved reaccreditation for the college.

Gr. Rapids foundation raises $33.6M for scholarships

May 31, 2015; Crain’s Detroit Business

The Grand Rapids Community Foundation said it has raised $33.6 million to pay for Grand Rapids Public Schools students involved in the Challenge Scholars program to attend college or trade school, reported.

… Besides what has been raised, the presidents of Aquinas College, Grand Valley State University, Ferris State University and Grand Rapids Community College in 2013 created scholarships for the 2020 graduates of the program.

Grand Rapids area dining guide: downtown

May 31, 2015; MLive

The Heritage Restaurant Located in the Applied Technology Center at Grand Rapids Community College, this is the culinary school restaurant. Open during selected times September through mid-April and for lunch May-June. 151 Fountain St. NE, 234-3700, $, $$$

Senior leadership key to Byron Center’s OK Green softball co-championship

May 29, 2015; MLive

BYRON CENTER — With the transition to a new coach this spring, the Byron Center softball team has relied on strong leadership to work its way through the season.

… After graduation, (Maylynn) Kapteyn will play at Grand Rapids Community College and Herrema is going to play at Spring Arbor. Wendland will focus on her studies at Michigan State University and May at Central Michigan. All four seniors have made their mark on Bulldog softball.

Jewish Theater brings historic factory fire to life

May 31, 2015; WZZM

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) — On Saturday, March 25th, 1911 a factory fire in Manhattan killed 146 people. The fire escape collapsed and the exit doors were locked.

… The drama opens June 11th at Spectrum Theatre on the GRCC campus.