SLT Profile: Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Oversight Team

The Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention oversight team monitors, evaluates, and makes recommendations for improvement for the Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Program (DAAPP).

The DAAPP supports student and employee awareness, education, and coordinated programming for drug and alcohol prevention. This covers training, compliance notification, policy review, and programming based on an established timeline.

Over the last year we have:

  • Completed and presented the DAAPP Biennial Review Report.
  • Conducted the prevention program evaluation, including recommendations for changes.
  • Offered programming at the fall and winter Welcome Week, and during the winter semester.
  • Emailed compliance notification to students, faculty and staff.
  • In the coming year we plan to:
  • Use feedback to improve awareness and training for employees.
  • Improve the notification open rate for students.
  • Explore how to increase the program awareness offerings for students through an online solution.
  • Leverage existing programs.

The team is comprised of Campus Police, I.T., Human Resources, Counseling and Career Development, Financial Aid, CRM Coordinator, IRP, Dean of Student Affairs Office, Student Life and Conduct, Office of General Counsel, and Faculty representatives.

Andre Fields receives national service award from Boy Scouts of America

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.”


Upcoming Mind-Body Wellness Events from Counseling & Career Development

Counseling & Career Development is presenting a series of Mind-Body Wellness events this Fall. These events are intended to promote student wellness, particularly their mental and emotional health and resiliency. We’re trying out some new offerings and formats this semester, including weekly mindfulness meditation and tai chi activities, as well as brief talks with nutritious snacks. These will be held at a variety of locations across campus. The September flyer is below; the events are also listed on the Raider Connect platform, where students can RSVP (not required, but helpful!).

All GRCC students, faculty, & staff are welcome. Questions? Call (616) 234-4130, email, or check out Those in need of accommodations, please contact DSS in advance at (616) 234-4140.

Flier for the Mind-Body Wellness Series. Text reads: "GRCC Counseling & Career Development’s Mind-Body Wellness Series: September 2018 Events. (1.) Mindfulness Meditation: Mondays, starting September 10, 12-12:30 p.m., Meditation and Prayer Room, Main Floor Library and Learning Commons. Did you know that regular practice of mindfulness meditation can reduce stress, improve attention and concentration, increase feelings of connectedness, and may strengthen the immune system and improve stress-related physical and mental health conditions? Want to check it out for yourself? Join us for any of our weekly mindfulness meditation sessions to learn how to meditate or build on any previous meditation experience you may have. GRCC counselor, Emily Nisley, will facilitate sessions using a variety of common mindfulness meditation exercises. Our practice will be secular; no particular religious or spiritual beliefs are required. Chairs and floor seating are available; you’re welcome to bring a mat, cushion, towel, and/or blanket for more comfortable floor seating if desired. (2.) Tai Chi & Tea: Tuesdays, starting September 11, 12-1 p.m., Student Center Room 336. Originally developed in ancient China, tai chi is an exercise with benefits for the mind and body. Regular practice of tai chi’s slow, continuous movements with coordinated breathing and mental focus can decrease feelings of stress, improve mood, and increase strength, flexibility, and balance. The tai chi style we’ll practice was designed to be safe and gentle; it can even be done seated if needed. GRCC counselor Emily Nisley will lead the sessions, with about 45 minutes of tai chi, followed by time to enjoy a cup of tea together if you’d like. No experience necessary. Clothes you can move in and flat-soled shoes are recommended. Those with a health condition should consult their health care provider before beginning tai chi. (3.) Zzz’s Get Degrees!: Thursday, September 20, 1:30-2 p.m., Sneden Hall Room 103; Wednesday, September 26, 11-11:30 a.m., Cook Hall Room 213. Getting enough good-quality sleep lays a foundation for physical and emotional wellness, and is vital for maximizing the power of your attention and memory to achieve academic success. Despite this, there’s practically an epidemic of sleep deprivation amongst college students! Join us to learn how sleep (or lack thereof) impacts academic performance and health. Assess your own sleep quality and leave with 10 strategies for improving your sleep right away! Light refreshments will be served (while they last). All GRCC students, faculty, & staff are welcome. Questions? (616) 234-4130 Those in need of accommodations, please contact DSS in advance at (616) 234-4140."

Reuben Mwangi leads Teacher Education Seminar

The Education Department hosted a Teacher Education Seminar on Tuesday, April 10. The seminar focused on “Managing Anxiety In and Out of the Classroom” and was a success with an impressive turnout. A big thanks to GRCC counselor Reuben Mwangi for his excellent presentation on this relevant topic!

Students seated at tables in a classroom listen to Reuben Mwangi speak.

Student organizations invited to participate in Question. Persuade. Refer. Gatekeeper Training

Student organization members and advisors:

As part of GRCC’s SAMHSA Suicide Prevention Grant, we would like to invite all current and active student organizations on campus to sign up for the QPR gatekeeper training. It is important to keep in mind that suicide is the second leading cause of college students deaths by suicide. With that said, we invite members and advisors of student organizations to reserve one hour of their time to come with an open mind, address some of the stigma around this sensitive yet immediate issue, become informed of the various warning signs that exist, and learn about some on campus and community resources available to you, GRCC students.

If you are interested in receiving this training, please email grant coordinator Hilda Martinez-Gutierrez at She looks forward to connecting with all of the diverse student organizations on campus.

Thank you!

Mental Health and Wellness Resource Fair

Special thanks to the community partner agencies and campus student organizations, listed below, that attended the Mental Health and Wellness Resource Fair on Oct. 23! On behalf of the SAMHSA Grant, Grand Rapids Community College appreciates your time and participation and hopes to see you all next year!

  • Safe Haven Ministries
  • Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan
  • Healthy Kent Suicide Prevention Coalition
  • Vet Center
  • YWCA-Prevention & Empowerment Program
  • Pregnancy Resource Center
  • Hope Network
  • Pine Rest
  • Arbor Circle
  • Forrest View Hospital
  • Title IX
  • Student Conduct/Drug & Alcohol
  • GRCC Veterans
  • ABO
  • PTK
  • TRIO
  • StandOut

A photo collage shows, clockwise from left: People look at information tables set up in the Student Lounge; two students sit at the TRIO table; two students staff the StandOUT table; messages on a whiteboard say, "Always be yourself," and "You have the poser to say, 'This is not how my story will end'"; students check out the information tables; students color at tables.

Transfer Fair is next week

GRCC Transfer Fair: Wednesday, October 25, 2017

12:30-3:30 p.m. in the Student Center, Room 301 (Student Lounge)

Over 35 schools attending!  Start Here/Transfer There

  • Learn about transfer requirements
  • Obtain catalogs and other transfer resources
  • Meet with College/University representatives


Sponsored by:  Counseling, Advising & Retention Services

GRCC Transfer Fair October 25

GRCC Transfer Fair: Wednesday, October 25, 2017

12:30-3:30 p.m. in the Student Center, Room 301 (Student Lounge)

Over 35 schools attending!  Start Here/Transfer There

  • Learn about transfer requirements
  • Obtain catalogs and other transfer resources
  • Meet with College/University representatives


Sponsored by:  Counseling, Advising & Retention Services

Raider Salute to Facilities staff

A Raider Salute from Erin Busscher, of the Counseling and Career Center:

I would like to send a Raider Salute to all of the outstanding Facilities staff for setting up and tearing down the Transfer and Advising Day event in the Juan Olivarez Plaza. They did an excellent job and I was impressed by their teamwork and efficiency.

GRCC In the News, 8-9-17

Restaurant Week Grand Rapids begins now!

Aug. 9, 2017; WZZM13

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. – If you’ve ever needed an excuse to try a new restaurant, or an old favorite, Restaurant Week Grand Rapids is it!

… Restaurants donate $1 from each meal sold to the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education Student Scholarship Fund at Grand Rapids Community College. Reservations are available for select locations!

Grand Rapids Public Schools Parent University to host screenings of American Divided

Aug. 8, 2017;

On Wednesday, June 28, over 600 people gathered at Celebration Cinema South to watch two screenings of America Divided, a film series that explores some of America’s thorniest issues — criminal justice, housing equity, education, immigration, voting rights, labor, Flint’s water crisis — by telling the stories of the people who get caught on those thorns.

… Dr. Andre Fields, counselor at Grand Rapids Community College, spoke about shared responsibility for the situation Grand Rapids finds itself in as the second worst city in the nation for African Americans. He said, “White people have downloaded a superiority complex. Until they unlearn that superiority, they’ll have a hard time having racial empathy. On the black side, we have to unlearn that internal sense that I cant overcome racism and build the life that I want. We have to take responsibility for our homes, our churches, our neighborhoods.”

Advising, counseling, disability and occupational support return to Student Center’s 3rd floor

The following departments have returned to their location on the 3rd floor of the Student Center:

  • Academic Advising & Transfer Center
  • Counseling & Career Development
  • Disability & Occupational Support

The Academic Advising & Transfer Center is on all “open advising” until Sept. 1  in order to see more students.  Open advising means students are seen in the order in which they check in at the front desk.  Students are encouraged to come earlier in the day as they tend to get very busy with longer wait times after 11 a.m.

The Academic Advising & Transfer Center summer hours are:

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday 8:00-5:00

Tuesday 8:00-7:00

Fall hours resume Aug. 21:

Monday- Thursday 8:00-6:30 and Friday 8:00-5:00

GRCC In the News, 7-17-17

GVSU, GRCC announce campus expansions in Grand Rapids

July 14, 2017;

GRAND RAPIDS — Two higher educational institutions plan to spend more than $82 million combined to expand their downtown campuses.

The state’s 2018 fiscal year budget, signed today by Gov. Rick Snyder, includes allocations for expansions at both Grand Valley State University and Grand Rapids Community College.

Change Ups: Blandford Nature Center founder receives inaugural award

July 14, 2017; Grand Rapids Business Journal


Grand Rapids Community College received a $50,000 grant from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation to create more health care career opportunities for minorities. The grant will fund a 10-day Health Care Scrubs Camp for Grand Rapids Public Schools students. High school juniors and seniors will learn in GRCC simulation labs, work in a decontamination unit at St. Mary’s Hospital, participate in a culinary medicine workshop at the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education, and take part in a disaster drill.

Chef Clark introduces new take on Italian cuisine

July 11, 2017; Grand Rapids Magazine

Chef Clark Frain is excited to bring contemporary Italian cuisine, including crudo offerings, which means raw in Italian, to downtown Grand Rapids.

… After a stint at the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education at Grand Rapids Community College he landed at Gibsons. “I had a great experience there,” he said. “I started refining my technique and learning about high quality ingredients.”

Inside Track: Building a brotherhood

July 14, 2017; Grand Rapids Business Journal

Andre Fields knows firsthand the painful combination of poverty, fatherlessness and systemic racism that haunts many of his black male students.

… Fields, an associate professor and counselor at Grand Rapids Community College, started a leadership development fraternity for black male students at GRCC called Alpha Beta Omega (ABO) in 2012.



Service office open late on Tuesdays

Some GRCC service offices will be open late on Tuesdays during the summer:

  • Enrollment Center —  The last placement test begins at 5:30 p.m. The phones will be open until 6:45 p.m. Walk-in appointments will be accepted until 7 p.m.
  • Financial Aid — The phones are open until 6:45 p.m.; walk-in appointments will be taken until 7 p.m.
  • Counseling Center — Tuesday evening services include appointment scheduling. The phones are open until 6:45 p.m. You can walk in to make an appointment until 7 p.m.