Posted tagged ‘Community’

GRCC In the News, 11-13-18

November 13, 2018

GRCC honors veterans and other service members with ceremony on Monday

Nov. 12, 2018; WZZM

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Grand Rapids Community College honored veterans and all current military service members, highlighting their importance not only to the college but to the region in a ceremony on Monday morning.

New Kent County sheriff sworn in, badge pinned on by retired sheriff father

Nov. 9, 2018; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Some 22 years after her father retired as a sheriff, Michelle LaJoye-Young has reached the same “top cop” level in Kent County.

(This article doesn’t mention it, but Michelle LaJoye-Young is a Police Academy alumna.)

GRCC In the News, 10-11-18

October 11, 2018

BWW Previews: THE MAGIC FLUTE at Opera Grand Rapids Kicks Off a Fresh New Season!

Oct. 10, 2018; Broadway World

A couple weekends ago, September 28th, I was fortunate enough to attend the season kick off for the 51st season of Opera Grand Rapids. … Season kick off artist included: Avalon Cutts-Jones, Camille DeBoer, Cheri Reid, Jason Coffey, Jon Lovegrove, Madelaine Lane, Sarah Allmon, Sara Brown, Sarah Faasse, Trend Broussard, and we can’t forget piano player for all these wonderful artist Dr. Kenneth Bos. Dr. Bos also has played for the Michigan High School Honors choir programs, and teaches music at Grand Rapids Community College.

Schuette foot-dragging on 3M PFAS lawsuit, say Democrats

Oct. 12, 2018; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Michigan Democrats are criticizing Attorney General Bill Schuette for a sluggish response to PFAS contamination, saying the Republican candidate for governor is forcing state regulators to voluntarily request information from 3M rather than using the power of his office to compel disclosures.

… The criticism was leveled by Michigan Democrats in conjunction with the Sierra Club, who appeared at Grand Rapids Community College alongside Belmont residents affected by PFAS contamination from waste dumping in the area by shoemaker Wolverine World Wide.

Andre Fields receives national service award from Boy Scouts of America

October 10, 2018
A presenter talks during Raider Nation Day at GRCC. He is wearing a black blazer over a white t-shirt with text that reads "Raider" in blue and "Nation Day" below it in gold.

Andre Fields talks to students at Raider Nation Day.

Congratulations to Associate Professor Andre Fields, director of Alpha Beta Omega, for receiving the national Whitney M. Young Jr. Service Award from the Boy Scouts of America.

The award, which was given today during the organization’s annual “Fulfilling the Dream” luncheon, recognizes outstanding service in demonstrating and implementing Scouting ideals for youth from rural or low-income urban backgrounds.

Fields is being honored for his work with ABO, GRCC’s leadership development program for inner-city men. Members of ABO, which is funded by the Wege Foundation, work with mentors on strategies for success in college, career and life. They also have access to one-on-one tutoring, workshops, study tables, and math and writing groups.

The other recipient of the award, Autocam Medical CEO and President John Kennedy, also has strong GRCC ties. Autocam teamed up with GRCC and other area companies to form the Advanced Manufacturing Program in 2012. Participating companies work with GRCC to determine the AMP curriculum and schedule. All the AMP “classes” are run in a cohort fashion, with classes scheduled and reserved specifically for students in the program.

Kennedy is being recognized today for his work in starting a reading initiative in the Grand Rapids Public Schools.

“Dr. Fields and Mr. Kennedy are powerful examples of what outstanding service looks like,” Aaron Gach, Scout executive and CEO of the President Ford Field Service Council, said in a press release. “They have each championed initiatives that will have a positive and lasting impact on our community’s youth.”


CAB to host GRCC Trunk-O-Treat on October 20

October 9, 2018

The GRCC Campus Activities Board is hosting a Trunk-O-Treat on Saturday, October 20, from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on the top level of the Bostwick Parking Ramp! Bring your kids/siblings for candy, face painting, and to meet some special friends! Face painting is FREE to GRCC Students and $3 to Faculty and Staff.

CAB is also accepting volunteers/departments who would like to bring a car and decorate their trunk. CAB will supply the candy for those who provide a trunk.

FREE donuts for all contest participants.

Please sign up using this form.

For questions, please contact Kaitlynn Karl at

GRJC basketball coach Gene Paxton inducted into Grand Rapids Sports Hall of Fame

September 26, 2018

Former Grand Rapids Junior College coach Gene Paxton recalled the sacrifices that many of his student-athletes made to be able to play basketball.

Paxton, 86, was inducted into the Grand Rapids Sports Hall of Fame on Tuesday, joining former NFL player David Harris, NBA star Chris Kaman, Michigan State University golf coach Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll, former OK Conference Commissioner Jim Haskins, and the Paganelli family of football officials (and GRCC alumni), Carl Sr., Carl Jr., Perry and Dino.

Paxton guided GRJC teams to 517 victories over 25 seasons, winning five league championships — all without being able to offer students scholarships to play.

The students “had a lot of stuff to overcome before they even got on the floor,” he told the crowd assembled at the Van Andel Arena. “I still can’t get over how much some of those guys had to sacrifice to play a sport. So many of these players were working jobs — full-time and part-time jobs — they were going without so many things in other areas that other folks take for granted. I just can’t tell you how much I still admire people in that category.”

Paxton started coaching in 1965 and retired in 1990 as the winningest coach in school history with a 517-280 record. He’s a member of the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan Hall of Fame.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Civic Engagement Week to include discussion of marijuana ballot proposal

September 14, 2018

A panel of experts will lead a discussion of the marijuana legalization ballot proposal on Sept. 19 as part of GRCC’s Civic Engagement Week.

The presentation, from 3-4:30 p.m. on the Student Center’s second-floor multipurpose room, will include time for students’ questions. The discussion will be of special interest to Social Sciences and Criminal Justice students.

State voters will decide Nov. 6 whether to legalize recreational marijuana. The Sept. 19 discussion, presented by the Student Life Office, will center on drug education and civic engagement.

Panel members are:

GRCC receives Diversity Champion Award

September 14, 2018

Grand Rapids Community College was saluted as a 2018 Diversity Champion by Corp! magazine on Thursday.

The award was given in recognition of campus efforts to promote diversity and inclusion.

According to Corp!, the diversity champion category is for community organizations and nonprofits meeting criteria that include:

  • Being responsible for creating, sustaining, or promoting special programs, initiatives, strategies to capitalize on opportunities or respond to challenges tied to diversity, advancement of women and community support.
  • Encouraging community awareness, understanding and relationships in the name of diversity and inclusion.
  • Promoting diversity education and training.
  • Highlighting diversity events and accomplishments.
  • Fostering civic involvement to promote diversity and inclusion.

A recent example of these efforts is the “Build with Us” recruiting event that GRCC’s Purchasing Department co-hosted with the city of Grand Rapids. Service providers learned how to register as a supplier or subcontractor for the city and college, and GRCC’s computer lab was available for them to sign up during the event.

GRCC was one of 21 organizations statewide named a diversity champion. The magazine also saluted 27 Diversity Focused Companies and 29 individuals as Diversity Business Leaders.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Grand Rapids Mini Maker Faire open to all, this weekend at the Public Museum

August 16, 2018

Grand Rapids is a creative community, and that talent will be on display this weekend at the Grand Rapids Mini Maker Faire.

GRCC associate professor Moss Ingram has been involved with planning the event – billed as the “Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth.” It is planned for the Grand Rapids Public Museum from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., August 18 and 19.

The family-friendly event attracts makers as young as 10 though the mid-80s, showcasing robotics, drones, sewing and jewelry work, 3D printing, virtual reality, glass blowing, specialty foods and drinks, and more.

Artisans will show off their completed and in-progress work and share their experiences with people interested in learning how to tinker and invent, hoping to entertain and inspire as well as grow the maker community.

Additional details and tickets are available at

GRCC In the News, 8-14-18

August 14, 2018

Pregnant mother of 4 killed in crash ‘always put family first’

Aug. 13, 2018; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Nancy Orozco is being remembered by her friends and family as a “loving mother, wife and sister who always put her family first.”

… Nancy Orozco spent most of her life in Grand Rapids, where she lived with her husband, Oscar Reyes, and four children. She graduated from Union High School in 2008 and later attended Grand Rapids Community College.

Young gardeners with Grand Rapids Urban League cook up their harvest with GRCC students

Aug. 13, 2018; WZZM

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Urban League and Grand Rapids Community College are cooking up a special meal Monday.

Entries wanted for Barry County Artists Exhibition / 8-11-18

Aug. 11, 2018; The Hastings Reminder

The Thornapple Arts Council and Historic Charlton Park will host the juried fourth annual Barry County Artists Exhibition at Historic Charlton Park in the fall.

… As her sons entered high school, she (Patti Sevensma) focused on becoming a professional photographer and also began taking art classes at Grand Rapids Community College, along with local instructor Loretta Sailors, who has been a significant influence on her work.

Photos from Urban League visit

August 14, 2018

About 50 teens in the Grand Rapids Urban League have been working in community gardens all summer and needed to know how best to prepare their harvest. Staff at the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education stepped up Monday with expert advice. After working in the GRCC kitchens, the teens hosted their families and served the meal that they had prepared.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


GRCC In the News, 8-13-18

August 13, 2018

The future begins with our children

Aug. 10, 2018; Grand Rapids Business Journal

Let me tell you about a young man named Jason. Like many other teenagers growing up in an inner-city environment, he struggled in school and didn’t think he was going to make it.

Jason was fortunate. He had adults to support him, motivate him and make sure he stayed on the right track. This past spring, he graduated from one of our great high schools in our Grand Rapids Public Schools and will attend Grand Rapids Community College as part of our culinary arts program this fall.

(Guest column by President Bill Pink.)

Mom accused of starving baby: ‘I dream about her’

Aug. 10, 2018; WOOD TV

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — In a jailhouse interview with 24 Hour News 8, the mother of a baby girl who police say starved to death said the child was loved.

… (Tatiana) Fusari and (Seth) Welch are college sweethearts who met while attending Grand Rapids Community College. They’ve been together for seven years and married for three of them, Fusari said.


Do you know what this is?

August 1, 2018

Do you know what this is?

Joe Z. has come across this item – it has “Grand Rapids Community College” on it and no other identifying information – and is curious to learn more about it. It’s roughly the size of a disc for disc golf. If you know what it is, email, and we’ll pass the information along.

GRCC In the News, 7-9-18

July 9, 2018

Education, business leaders push talent

July 6, 2018; Grand Rapids Business Journal

With Michigan’s lack of talent at the forefront of concerns in the business community, the area’s education and business leaders are working to better prepare young people for the workforce.

… Grand Rapids Public Schools and Grand Rapids Community College recently announced another new partnership, which will extend the existing Grand Rapids Learning Center partnership which helps identify a career path or transition to college to better include all students in the city.

Grand Rapids African American Institute: bridging the gap in healthcare professions

July 5, 2018; WGVU

Marcus Jones, a Black American student at Grand Rapids Community College on the Occupational Therapist track was first exposed to the profession when he began working at a Spectrum Health Hospital downtown Grand Rapids.

Pathways to careers: Initiative to improve access for people of color to health care jobs

July 7, 2018;

GRAND RAPIDS — Creating a level playing field for people of color in Michigan who want to pursue careers in the health care sector will lay the foundation for their success and the state’s future economic growth.

… Aquinas College, Calvin College, Davenport University, Ferris State University, Grand Rapids Community College, Grand Valley State University and Hope College will participate in the study to develop college-specific plans of action to engage students of color in reducing barriers to them choosing to study health care professions.

Restauranteur Roundtable: Grand Rapids restaurant owners struggle with talent, city’s still-developing foodie culture

July 7, 2018;

Talent issues dominate most business discussions these days, and that’s certainly true among entrepreneurs in Grand Rapids restaurant scene.

… How well do the local culinary schools around the region do in training the next generation of workers for your restaurants? Are you recruiting from them?
(Geoff)  GASKIN: (Chef Oscar Moreno) went out and spent a lot of time with the Secchia Institute at GRCC, and we have three that came from there that work at MeXo. I will say, they have stood out a little bit more than the others. Their chef coats a little buttoned up more. … They’re coming out now and describing the food.

45 teams earn MCCAA All-Academic Team Awards

July 1, 2018;

The Michigan Community College Athletic Association is proud to announce that 45 teams have earned MCCAA All-Academic Team honors. To earn the honors a team must have a cumulative grade point average for all members of the team must be 3.00 or higher for both semesters combined.

Mott Community College had six teams (Volleyball, Softball, Men’s Cross Country, Women’s Cross Country, Men’s Basketball and Golf) earn All-Academic Team honors. Grand Rapids Community College had five teams. Ancilla College, Lansing Community College, Macomb Community College and Muskegon Community College had four teams each. Softball was the sport with the most All-Academic Teams with 11, while Volleyball had seven teams. Women’s cross country had six teams, while Women’s Basketball has five teams.

Derrick King named Wyoming Lee boys basketball coach

July 5, 2018; MLive

Wyoming — Lee’s boys basketball team won four games last winter, but Derrick King has a plan to get the Rebels on track.

King, who served as an assistant coach for the Grand Rapids Community College men’s team this past winter, was recently hired to coach the Rebels.


GRCC In the News, 7-3-18

July 3, 2018

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;

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.

GRCC In the News, 6-29-18

June 29, 2018

Colleges, nonprofit work to increase diversity in health care workforce

June 28, 2018; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – The Grand Rapids African American Health Institute (GRAAHI) and seven West Michigan colleges are partnering to increase diversity in the health care workforce by reducing barriers to minority students seeking educational opportunities.

… The higher education institutions involved in the initiative include: Grand Valley State, Davenport and Ferris State universities, Aquinas College, Calvin College, Grand Rapids Community College, and Hope College.