GRCC professor Paul Krieger to retire, work as author-illustrator

After 28 years of service to GRCC, Paul Krieger, Professor of Biology, will be retiring this year. He has already launched a successful second career as an academic author and illustrator, so his plan is to begin doing that full-time.

Congratulations, Professor Krieger!  Can’t wait to see your books in the stacks!

GRCC alumnus co-authors paper in Science Magazine

A former GRCC Biodiversity Student, Brian Maitner, has recently co-authored a paper in Science magazine, perhaps the most prestigious of all peer-reviewed science publications!
The title of Brian’s co-authored paper (he is the second author) is “Metabolic Asymmetry and the Global Diversity of Marine Predators.” Brian is finishing his PhD in Bioinformatics with Dr. John Grady at the University of Arizona.
If you know of any students interested in the biodiversity, evolution, and ecology of plants, fungi, or animals, please refer them to Matthew Douglas in the Calkins Science Center.

Exercise is Medicine workshops look at lower back care, heart health

Students, staff and faculty are welcome at two free Exercise is Medicine workshops this semester:

“How to Take Care of Your Lower Back While Doing Physical Work”

When and where: 6-7 a.m. Jan. 29 at Ford Fieldhouse’s Fitness Center.

Presenters: Jodi Gee, Exercise Science professor, and Jim Van Dokkumberg, executive director of Facilities.

Description: In this session, you will learn exercises and techniques to use to strengthen, stretch and take care of your lower back and core while doing physical work. Towards the end of the session, we will demonstrate how to use some of the new equipment in our Fitness Center that will also help with core and low back help. Who needs to attend? Anyone who wants to learn about low back and core health!

“Heart Health: The Good, the Bad and the Down-Right Ugly Consequences of Not Loving Your Heart”

When and where: 10:15-11:15 a.m. FEb. 22 in room 123 of the Calkins Science Center.

Presenters: Leigh Kleinert, Biological Sciences professor, and Melanie Schiele Gady, Exercise Science professor.

Description: February is Heart Health Month, and we want to guide our participants on the importance of taking care of your heart as this is the No. 1 cause of death in our country and worldwide of men and women. We will learn about the heart and how it works, lifestyle choices we should be making or changing, what happens when you do not take care of your heart, and how to care for most common heart issues.

Former GRCC Biodiversity Student from Tanzania Now at Harvard Medical School

Fahmy Mamuya, a former Biodiversity Biology student from Arusha, Tanzania, is currently a medical writer and part of a multi-disciplinary research team at Harvard University in the Harvard Medical School.

After GRCC, Fahmy received his PhD in Cell and Organ Systems Physiology at the University of Delaware, followed by an MBA at the same university. He is an expert in cell culture and confocal microscopy. Fahmy has also had NIH-based research scholarships of vision physiology at the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

Fahmy believes, “…medical research can continue to transcend, and the impact can be harvested through effective communication to diverse audiences.”

Congratulations to this amazing GRCC alumnus, and to our science department for helping Fahmy get started!

Biology Professor Paul Krieger has ArtPrize Entry

Paul Krieger, Professor of Biology, has an ArtPrize entry entitled True to Life. It features three realistic illustrations: (1) Profile of a Red-Tailed Hawk, (2) Profile of Grant’s Zebra, and (3) Great Horned Owl. It is showing at First (Park) Congregational Church in downtown Grand Rapids from September 19 – October 7.
You can also view Paul’s work on the ArtPrize website: https://www.artprize.org/67543

GRCC Science Talks to tackle the Sun, species conservation in new lecture series

A new series of presentations on a variety of scientific topics begins this academic year. This lecture series is called ‘GRCC Science Talks.’ These lectures are free and open to the public. There will also be light refreshments available. Here are the first two presentations that may be of interest to you and your students this fall 2018 semester:

Unlocking the Sun: Spectroscopy in the 1800s

  • Who: Dr. Lauren Woolsey
  • When: Monday, September 17, 2018, at 3:45 p.m.
  • Where: Calkins Science Center (CSC) Auditorium (Room 348)
  • Description: Have you ever wondered how we know what the Sun is made of, even though it is far too hot for humans to visit? The story of how we discovered the chemical makeup of our own star combines chemistry, physics, and astronomy in a tale of mystery, far-flung expeditions, and unexpected discoveries. After an overview of spectroscopy for general audiences, GRCC Assistant Professor, Dr. Lauren Woolsey will take us through the secrets of the Sun from this turning point in science history.

Species Conservation: How We Got Here and What Can Still Be Done

  • Who: Dr. Greg Forbes
  • When: Monday, November 5, 2018, at 3:45 p.m.
  • Where: Calkins Science Center (CSC) Auditorium (Room 348)
  • Description: An examination of the reasons that animal and plant species are endangered today, the current status of species worldwide, nationally and in Michigan as well as some possible strategies to save some of these species as well as humanity. Dr. Forbes is an evolutionary biologist and a certified wildlife biologist with research experience

We look forward to participating in these events with you and our students. Please email Tim Periard (timothyperiard@grcc.edu) with any questions.

GRCC In the News, 7-3-18

GRCC Nursing program to lead career workshops for Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids

July 2, 2018; La Prensa

GRAND RAPIDS, MI, June 26, 2018 — High school students will learn about an in-demand career option through a partnership between Grand Rapids Community College’s nursing faculty and Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids.

A girl, a goat and a dream

July 2, 2018; Daily News (Greenville)

MONTCALM TOWNSHIP — As Cecilia Brandt, 17, of Cedar Springs, stumbled into the livestock barn with her goat April on Saturday morning, she had no idea she would be leaving with the top prize.

… She’s also already begun thinking about how she will use the scholarship. Brandt wants to attend Grand Rapids Community College for a time, before transferring to Grand Valley to study biochemistry. After that, she’d like to get accepted into an upper-level veterinarian school.

Nation’s top 2022 basketball player Emoni Bates enrolls at Ypsilanti Lincoln

July 2, 2018; MLive

YPSILANTI — There will be an added buzz inside Ypsilanti Lincoln’s gym during the 2018-19 high school basketball season.

… Elgin (Bates) and (head coach Jesse) Davis played at Grand Rapids Community College together and have remained friends for the past 30 years.

Skirka Named New Murray State Baseball Head Coach

July 2, 2018; West Kentucky Star

MURRAY – Murray State Director of Athletics, Allen Ward, announced the hiring of Dan Skirka as the ninth head coach of the Racer Baseball program.

… Skirka’s first collegiate assistant coaching position was at Grand Rapids Community College in 2007-08 where his team advanced to the NJCAA World Series. He spent the 2008-09 season at Ouachita Baptist working under former Murray State player Chris Moddelmog.

New position at GVSU to study diversity, equity issues in nonprofit sector

July 2, 2018; gvsu.edu

Leaders in the field of philanthropy from across the country have noticed a shortcoming in how the nonprofit sector applies principles of diversity, equity and inclusion throughout its critically important and economically substantial work.

… (Juan) Olivarez brings nonprofit leadership and higher education experience to the position, having served as president of Aquinas College for six years and Grand Rapids Community College for almost 10 years. He also served several years as the president and CEO of the Kalamazoo Community Foundation where he championed innovative community initiatives that focused on improving education opportunities for all people.

Matthew Douglas gives talks to Michigan Botanical Society

On February 10th, Dr. Matthew Douglas gave several talks to the Michigan Botanical Society at Grand Valley State University.  The first talk, Defense of Bracken Fern by Arthropods, discussed the protection that the fiddle heads of bracken fern receive in the spring growing season from arthropods, including predaceous ants and spiders. The second talk, Inter-generational Migration of Monarch Butterflies in North and South America, discussed the similar strategies of migration into these two (very closely but isolated) species of monarchs in the northern and southern hemisphere.

Paul Krieger completes 2nd edition of chemistry book

Paul Krieger, professor of Biology, just completed the second edition of his book with Morton Publishing entitled A Visual Analogy Guide to Chemistry. It is currently being printed and will be available in January 2018 in both in-print and electronic versions. It includes 44 new pages and lots of new practice problems. This book is part of a best-selling, four-book series that has been helping students in the United States and Canada succeed in their science classes for the past 13 years. His other books cover the fields of anatomy and physiology.

A Visual Analogy Guide to Chemistry. Second edition. A graph shows electronegativity increases for hydrogen and oxygen. An illustration shows two men, one representing hydrogen and the other representing oxygen playing tug-of-war with a rope that represents unequally shared pair of electrons. The oxygen man has a thought bubble over his head that says "I'm winning!" A drawing of a man says, "A dipole is like a bar magnet." Paul A. Krieger.

GRCC In the News, 9-28-17

GRCC will host conversation on opioid addiction

Sept. 27, 2017; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Grand Rapids Community College is encouraging people to take part in a conversation on the “Opioid Addiction: Progress, Challenges and Opportunities to Create a Safer, Healthier Community” Thursday, Oct. 5.

Disability Awareness Month Schedule Features Poetry Slam Champion, Highlights Accommodation and Action

Sept. 27, 2017; ferris.edu

A schedule of six events will be offered on the Ferris State University campus, this October, during Disability Awareness Month, with the goal of fostering acceptance and understanding.

… Final events on the Disability Awareness Month schedule include a presentation and discussion on the Paws With a Cause program, to be held in Room 217B of the University Center Building at 11 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 26. At halftime of the Ferris men’s basketball game against Grand Rapids Community College, Saturday, Oct. 28, the Grand Rapids Pacers wheelchair basketball team will exhibit its skills. The Pacers compete, nationally, with a high-energy, entertaining style that challenges the notions of what disabled really is. On Tuesday, Oct. 31, a Forum for Inclusion and Understanding, disABILITY, DEBUNKED! will begin at 11 a.m. in the University Center Ballroom. Ferris faculty, staff and students will offer presentations on their experiences with disabilities, with the goal of ending those assumptions that limit movement toward a more inclusive future, and society.

Preschoolers visit Biology Department

The Marsh Room children from the Phyllis Fratzke Early Childhood Learning Laboratory visited the Biology Department on Wednesday, June 28. The experience provided an opportunity for the children to extend their current study on spiders. Hats off to Holly Christopher, Biology Learning Center coordinator, who helped make this field trip a very enriching and rewarding experience for them!

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Matthew Douglas uncovers insect fossil

This past summer, while continuing his sabbatical research on North American and South American Monarch butterflies, Dr. Matthew Douglas of GRCC’s Biology Department had the good fortune of uncovering a nearly perfect insect from the Florissant deposits of Colorado (dated at 36 million years in age).  The insect, a fly in the family Tipulidae (cranefly), was a female entombed by a volcanic explosion that caused a great deal of silt to cover an ancient freshwater lake, entrapping this specimen.

All insect fossils are very rare because insects are so delicate, and this one is particularly rare and amazingly well preserved.

A fossilized fly.

Physical Sciences hosts STEM event

Last month, the Physical Sciences Department hosted a collaborative public outreach event led by faculty and students from GRCC and Van Andel Institute. The event, titled “Fall in Love With STEM” was part of a series of similar events sponsored by the Association of Women in Science West Michigan chapter. The GRCC site featured a unique “Exploration Station” format, where middle-school-aged registrants investigated scientific disciplines across science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, making this a true STEM event.

From the Physical Sciences Department, Assistant Professor Ashley Campanali led a station on engineering and Assistant Professor Lauren Woolsey led a station on astronomy. From the Mathematics Department, GRCC student Rachel Swem led her own station on mathematics and game theory. From the Biological Sciences Department, Professor Leigh Kleinert organized a station that was run entirely by the following GRCC students as part of their service learning program: Shelsy DeLeon-Lopez, Afrika Earvin, Alma Garcia-Bautista, Mollie Hettinger, Brendan Howe, Jenna Meyers, Mauricio Perez, Monica Rivera, Taylor Swift, Megan Thomas, and Ana Villagomez.

Sincere thanks and congratulations to all those involved, including the countless volunteers and support staff who made this event possible! Other station leaders include Alison Bernstein (MSU), Jamie Grit (VAI), Marie Adams (VAI), Allie Weber (VAI), and Jacqueline Peacock (FSU). Julie Turner led the VAI logistics and event registration, and Lauren Woolsey led the GRCC logistics and event setup. Photos in this post were taken by Katie Krajnak from VAI. Dozens of families attended this inaugural event, and we look forward to expanding the event in future years!

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Free Fall in Love with STEM event set for Feb. 18

Investigate a series of Exploration Stations during the Fall in Love with STEM event from noon to 3 p.m. Feb. 18. The free event was developed in a collaboration between Grand Rapids Community College, Van Andel Institute and Michigan State University.

From the very large (the solar system) to the very small (blood cells), explore all that science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) has to offer! Each station is designed to be a 15- to 30-minute activity, targeted at middle school students. Pick and choose which stations to complete, or explore all of them over the course of the afternoon! Program a robot or computer to make a drawing, investigate skeletons by dissecting an owl pellet, figure out mathematical strategies in games, identify DNA to help solve a crime, control objects with your brain waves, and more! Registration limited to 100 students, parking passes will be provided to registrants. This event is sponsored by the West Michigan Association for Women in Science.

This Open House of STEM activities is geared towards middle school and high school students and will be held on the first floor of the Calkins Science Center. The event is sponsored by the West Michigan Association for Women in Science.

For more information or to RSVP, please click this link.