Posted tagged ‘English department’

Condolences to family, friends of Joel Swets

November 28, 2018

We extend our condolences to the family, friends and former colleagues of Joel Swets, former poetry and composition instructor at GRCC, who died Nov. 12.

He’s in the front row, at the far right, in this photo of English faculty:

Members of the English department faculty stand on bleachers for a group photo.

World Peace Day survey request

October 3, 2018

To anyone who participated in this year’s World Peace Day event, the English department needs your help! Please take a moment to fill out this survey about the event. The survey will be open until 11:59 p.m. on Friday, October 5.

Please contact Professor Muhammad in the English Department with any questions: (616) 234-4950 or

Interested in attending the Grand Showcase? Talk to the English Department

October 3, 2018

As one of the event sponsors of the Grand Showcase, the English Department has 20 free tickets to the event, available to anyone at GRCC. For more information, reach out to Laura in the English Department, 400 College Park Plaza.

The Grand Showcase is billed as the the biggest community poetry event of the year. It takes place on October 6, 2018, at Fountain Street Church.

GRCC In the News, 4-23-18

April 23, 2018

Workforce issues haunt West Michigan community leaders

April 20, 2018; Grand Rapids Business Journal

Leaders from business and community organizations are stepping up efforts to address West Michigan workforce issues.

… “If we aren’t focused on it now, we’re going to find ourselves in a world of hurt,” said Bill Pink, president of Grand Rapids Community College. “It’s not in 2025. It’s too late by then.”

Social justice a common thread at sew shop

April 20, 2018; Grand Rapids Business Journal

After years in government and nonprofit roles, Janay Brower felt she was no longer cut out for safety net approaches. She wanted to address social problems, such as homelessness and poverty, on the front end.

… Brower started making connections with Kendall College of Art and Design, Grand Rapids Community College, and makers and nonprofits all over the country to find out who was doing what, how they were doing it, where they were getting the talent and what it would take to maker her business happen.

Heart surgeon writes book about his popular afternoon teas

April 20, 2018; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Getting on Dr. Luis Tomatis’ schedule for afternoon teas takes some patience.

… “I write in English but my English isn’t very good,” said Tomatis, who turned to Phil Jung, a former English professor at Grand Rapids Community College, to help him with the rewrites, and Gary Eberle, a retired Aquinas College English professor, for the editing.

GRCC In the News, 4-16-18

April 16, 2018

Not your average vending machine

April 13, 2018; Community College Daily

In Michigan, Grand Rapids Community College students are preparing for exams with the help of an unusual resource: a laptop vending machine.

Michigan Dairy Plant Plans $21.3 Million Expansion

April 13, 2018; Dairy Herd Management

A dairy plant in Western Michigan is planning an expansion that will add 62 jobs over three years and cost $21.3 million.

… “Agropur’s decision to invest $21.3 million and create more than 60 jobs is a tremendous win for West Michigan and the region’s growing food processing sector,” says Thad Rieder, Senior Business Development Manager, The Right Place. “By partnering with the City of Wyoming, West Michigan Works!, Grand Rapids Community College and MEDC, The Right Place has been able to coordinate talent, training, and financial tools to boost Agropur’s internal return for this important expansion.”

Change Ups: Cooley Law students garner Leadership Achievement Award

April 13, 2018; Grand Rapids Business Journal


… The Pregnancy Resource Center elected its directors: chairman, Adam T. Donovan, Rim Guard; vice chair, Jason Granger, Intellisys Capital; treasurer, Rick Rusthoven, KSS Enterprises; past chair, Peter Baldwin, AMDG Architects; secretary, Lynn Prince, Grand Rapids Community College; and Andrea Reynolds, Kent Career Tech Center.

Grand Rapids Christian announces new boys basketball coach

April 15, 2018; MLive

Grand Rapids Christian’s boys basketball program is losing an experienced, successful coach now that Mark Warners has stepped down.

… Christian athletic director Jason Heerema announced Sunday that Eric Taylor has been hired to coach the Eagles. Taylor has served as an assistant under Warners for the past four seasons, and before that, he was the Grand Rapids Community College women’s coach for three seasons. He was named Western Collegiate Coach of the Year in 2010.

David Cope to read from newest book

April 5, 2018

Grand Rapids Poet Laureate Emeritus David Cope will read from his new book, The Invisible Keys: New and Selected Poems, and from poetry he’s written throughout his career during a special event on April 12.

A long-time GRCC English professor, Cope sparked the poetic imaginations of many of his students. He also served as editor of GRCC’s Display Magazine for many years.

Copies of Cope’s book, published by Ghost Pony Press, will be for sale at $16 during the event, which runs from 7-8:30 p.m. on the GRCC library’s second floor. Refreshments will be served during the reading, which is sponsored by the library and the English Department.


GRCC In the News, 3-29-18

March 29, 2018

Beacon of Soul: Forty Acres Soul Kitchen plants its flag in ‘Gentrification Central’

March 28, 2018; Revue

Forty Acres Soul Kitchen, a modern adaptation of traditional Southern-style food opening this month, will be Grand Rapids’ only African American-owned full-service restaurant — that means a host, waitstaff, full bar and food menu. Let that sink in for minute. In the states second-largest city of 200,000 people. In 2018.

… (Chef Trimell) Hawkins, 34, attended the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education at Grand Rapids Community College. He was formerly the executive chef at Black Heron on the West Side. He said the menu reflects classic dishes he grew up on and putting a new spin on it, reinventing some soul food classics.

One more trophy lift for Peter Firlik at Addix Champions all-star game

March 28, 2018; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS – Peter Firlik is getting used to lifting big basketball trophies.

… The Stripes team was coached by Kim Elders, the head coach of Cornerstone University and his assistant Eric DeSantis. The Stars team was coached by Luke Bronkema and Mel Selmon of Grand Rapids Community College.

David Cope’s latest ‘American Elegy’: The Invisible Keys

March 28, 2018;

So, what’s in a retrospective collection of poems spanning 1975 to 2017?

“My whole life,” says David Cope, former G.R. Poet Laureate and Grand Rapids Community College Professor. There are poems about workers and the union, protest poems about war and environmental destruction. “Always war,” Cope says. “Every war America has been involved in during my lifetime.” But there are also poems about love, family, and a deep connection with the natural world.




GRCC In the News, 3-19-18

March 19, 2018

Grand Rapids Community College rides momentum into national tournament

March 17, 2018; FOX 17

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich — The Grand Rapid Community College men’s basketball team heads to the NJCAA national tournament winners of 8 of their last 9 including 2 wins over Ancilla college which has been ranked 1 or 2 in the country all season.

Change Ups: Jones receives honorary doctorate for improving cancer treatment

March 16, 2018; Grand Rapids Business Journal


… Grand Rapids Community College and Spectrum Health honored the first students who received need-based Spectrum Health Care Professionals Education Scholarships. The 96 students are sophomores in GRCC’s Associate Degree Nursing, Practical Nursing, Occupational Therapy Assistant and Radiologic Technology programs. Scholarships ranged from $3,000-$4,000 with almost $350,000 awarded for 2017-18. Students in the Medical Assisting program will be eligible for the 2018-19 scholarships.

Carlos Sánchez lanza candidatura de GRCC

March 18, 2018; El Vocero

GRAND RAPIDS MICHIGAN (EVH) .- Carlos Sánchez, director del Centro de Negocios y Desarrollo Económico Latino de Ferris State University, anunció su candidatura al consejo de administración de Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC).

(GRAND RAPIDS MICHIGAN (EVH) .- Carlos Sanchez, director of the Center for Business and Latin Economic Development at Ferris State University, announced his candidacy to the board of directors of Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC).)

Arts briefs 3/19/18

March 19, 2018; The Lanthorn (GVSU student newspaper)

… GRCC to present the play ‘Dead Man’s Cell Phone’

From Thursday, March 29, to Saturday, March 31, Grand Rapids Community College will be presenting the play “Dead Man’s Cell Phone” by Sarah Ruhl. Ruhl, who is a MacArthur Fellow and Pulitzer Prize finalist, set the comedy in a quiet cafe, where a constantly ringing cell phone forces a woman to confront her assumptions about mortality, redemption and technology.

Medical marijuana clinic rolls with changes

March 16, 2018; Grand Rapids Business Journal

With the possibility of Michiganders voting on marijuana legalization in November, a Grand Rapids-based clinic is keeping an eye on legislation that could affect its bottom line.

… (Paul) Farage and (Tony) Holmes knew each other from attending Grand Rapids Community College then Grand Rapids Junior College. They had stayed in touch off and on over the years, Farage living in Hawaii and California and Holmes in Chicago.

Poet David Cope to hold reading at Kentwood library

March 16, 2018; MLive

David Cope, former poet laureate of Grand Rapids, will read from his latest release, “The Invisible Keys,” from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 29, at the Kentwood branch of the Kent District Library, 4950 Breton SE.

… Cope, a longtime Grand Rapids Community College professor and poet, was named Grand Rapids poet laureate by the Arts Council of Greater Grand Rapids in 2011.

English Department hosts writing conference

January 4, 2018

“Who Cares? Why Bother? Real Writing for Real People,” a conference sponsored and hosted by the GRCC English Department, will take place Wednesday, February 7, and Thursday, February 8, in the ATC. Student writers and professionals from a wide range of disciplines, who use writing for their careers, will present over the course of two days. Scientists, historians and business professionals will discuss their uses of writing in their respective disciplines, as will poets and publishers.

For more information, contact: Jim Hayes, GRCC English professor, Ext. 4372.


English Department hosts poetry reading

September 22, 2017

GRCC’s English Department is one of the sponsors for this event:

Poetry Reading with Naomi Long Madgett and Friends. Friday, Oct. 6, 2017 2-3:30 p.m. Ryerson Auditorium, Third Floor Grand Rapids Public Library, 111 Library St. NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503. Join Detroit Poet Laureate Naomi Long Madgett for an afternoon of poetry and music. Dr. Madgett’s prodigious talents, sensibilities, faith, compassion, humor and wit are evident in her work. As founder and editor of Lotus Press, she has encouraged countless up and coming poets. Fable the Poet (Marcel Price) is the current Poet Laureate for the City of Grand Rapids. Sonya Marie Pouncy is a poet and Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop Fellow. Lamar Willis is a musician and educator at the Southfield Public Schools. This event is sponsored by Grand Rapids Public Library, Grand Rapids Community College English Department, and Grand Rapids African American Museum and Archives.

GRCC adjunct, student worked on ‘The Bread Show’

August 8, 2017

Adjunct English instructor Roel Garcia wrote the script for “The Bread Show,” a celebration of Latin American and Anglo-European bread-making traditions presented by the Urban Garden Performing Arts of Holland. GRCC student Mariana Ramirez Franco was among the actors in the August 4 performance at the Holland Area Arts Council.

Do your students know that writing is part of every job?

September 28, 2016

Encourage your students to attend the “Who Cares? Why Bother? Real Writing for Real People” 2016 conference, held Oct. 5 and 6 in the Wisner-Bottrall Applied Technology Center.

Click here for presentation details.

Sponsored by the English Department, School of Arts and Sciences, and the Provost.

Who Cares? Why Bother? Real Writing for Real People


Rain doesn’t dampen Peace Day enthusiasm

September 22, 2016

A message from World Peace Day organizer Shavval Fleming:

Peace Day 2016

I honestly could not have asked for a better outcome considering the weather conditions this morning! We held the event on the second floor of the Student Building in the Raider Grille/cafeteria. There were a lot of students that came and went! Gilles brought peace dove cookies his students baked. Volunteers showed as planned. Katie Budden’s art students created random acts of kindness signs we placed throughout the cafeteria, and these students participated in the celebration. Sean Mackey reminded listeners of social justice concerns around the globe and how each of us has a role to play in order to make change. Then, we observed a minute of silence and reflected on individual ways we can actively create peace in the world as is customary for World Peace Day celebrations. Sam Gould followed with his playing of several different African drums – each creating unique and pleasing sounds. Steve Barton brought two choirs and two percussionists. Their songs were so very pretty, and the last song – performed with the percussionists – made the whole crowd move! Around 1:30, the crowd got smaller; the students who participated in the reading of a LOVELY poem at that time that Mursalata chose brought an intimate crowd together in a way that was very cool! Participants watched as twelve different students took turns reading a stanza of a song/poem by James Cleveland called Peace Be Still. It was incredibly moving to watch as different ethnicities, religious perspectives, political perspectives, ages, nationalities, genders, etc. read the various stanzas demonstrating so very well the beauty of World Peace Day, the human family, and peace in general. Mursalata majestically read a poem she wrote too – so powerful and moving. I was truly touched. Finally, the sun came out, so we went outside to the plaza! At that time, participants joined in the effort to beat the longest sugar pull. Although we were not successful, the symbolism of this activity meant more than any record we could ever break! Students signed the peace banner and were hopefully inspired!

I would like to offer my MANY THANKS to all participants and volunteers! Hosting such an event requires many individuals offering their time, resources, and hearts!

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Presenters needed for writing conference

August 11, 2016

This year, the English Department is hosting the fifth Who Cares? Why Bother? Real Writing for Real People conference:

Wednesday, October 5, and Thursday, October 6, 2016.

Would you like to present? 

Help us teach our students the value of writing in various fields, and share the writing skills required in the professional world.

If you are willing to participate, please fill out the response form and email it to Nora Neill at by Friday, August 12.

See you in the ATC in October!

View this document on Scribd

GRCC In the News, 8-8-16

August 8, 2016

Aquinas College has 3 new board members

Aug. 5, 2016; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – The Aquinas College Board of Trustees has three new members, officials announced Friday, Aug. 5.

… James Rabaut is a partner at Warner, Norcross & Judd, LLP, and is chair of the firm’s Real Estate Services Group. He has served as a guest lecturer for business law at Aquinas College and adjunct professor for real estate law at Grand Rapids Community College. He earned both his a bachelor’s and law degree at the University of Michigan.

New book compiles essays, poems and stories about fracking in America

Aug. 5, 2016; Michigan Radio

In the last decade the term “fracking” has become part of the national lexicon.

… Stefanie Brook Trout is a Grand Rapids-based author and teacher.
Maryann Lesert is an associate professor at Grand Rapids Community College.

Busy offseason brings a dozen coaching changes

Aug. 7, 2016; MLive

… Comstock Park — Tim Johnson

Tim Johnson has coached Comstock Park’s baseball team the past 30 seasons, but he knows football, too. Johnson has taken over for Mark Chapman after serving as Chapman’s offensive line coach. Johnson has coached football since the early 1980s, including assistant roles at Grand Valley and Grand Rapids Community College.