Two Students Awarded with the GRCC Faculty and Staff Centennial Scholarship

The GRCC Faculty and Staff Centennial Scholarship was created by the employees of the college in honor of GRCC’s 100th year celebration. Currently, two awards are given each year: one to an incoming student and the other to a returning student that has earned at least 12 credits at GRCC. These scholarships are awarded based on scholastic achievement as well as extracurricular involvement and community service. Applicants are also asked to submit a short essay explaining why they feel they deserve the scholarship. The recipients are then selected by a cross-college committee made up of representatives from each of the various employee groups (Faculty, Meet & Confer, CEBA, APSS, and Campus Police).

We are pleased to announce and congratulate the 2018-19 scholarship recipients for the GRCC Faculty and Staff Centennial Scholarship: Carley Hume and Rodney Van Lagen. Both have been awarded $1,000! Rodney is studying to become a secondary school teacher with a major in mathematics and a minor in English. Carley is currently enrolled in the Dental Assisting program at GRCC and plans on starting the Dental Hygiene program next fall.

We are very grateful to all the faculty and staff who have helped make these scholarships possible for Carley and Rodney. We wish these students all the best in their academic endeavors.

World Peace Day survey request

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

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.

Recap: GRCC World Peace Day Rocked the Raider Grille Last Week

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The GRCC World Peace Day Celebration rocked! Many thanks to President Pink, Provost Chesley, and Department Head Susan Davis for the funding to make it all happen! Also, a huge thank you to all of the participants and volunteers for making our GRCC WPD event the best to date! We are already looking forward to next year’s celebration and extend an invitation to our campus community to join us in planning GRCC WPD 2019! Contact the English Department for more details!

GRCC In the News, 9-27-17

News Briefs

Sept. 27, 2017; The Torch (Ferris State University student newspaper)

… Literature in person

Katie Kalisz, a professor of English at Grand Rapids Community College and a recognized poet, will be presenting in IRC 120* Monday, Oct. 2, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. For more information, please contact Dr. Deirdre Fagan at

*IRC 120 refers to the Interdisciplinary Resource Center on the Ferris State University Big Rapids Campus

Judging the ArtPrize Jurors Shortlist

Sept. 26, 2017; WGRD

ArtPrize Nine hit another big landmark Monday night as the jurors revealed their favorite entries. Take a look at their favorites which include a few surprises and some snubs too.

… The biggest surprise here, and it’s a welcome one, has got to be the diversity of the venues represented in the category. You can expect The Ruse Escape Rooms and Veterans Memorial Park to see an influx of visitors after being named to the Jurors Shortlist. GRCC Collins Art Gallery and Cultural Collective @ Rumsey Street might see the bigger crowds they deserve too. DeVos Place is a regular in the second round each year.

GRCC In the News, 9-7-17

Michigan job growth fueled by apprenticeships

Sept. 7, 2017; Burton View

MICHIGAN – More than one-third of Michigan’s job growth will be through apprenticeships over the next five years, said United States Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta, in an online post Last week, Governor Rick Snyder welcomed United States Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta to West Michigan to see how the state is connecting employers with educators and showing students the careers available to them at a young age. Michigan is a strong leader in apprenticeships, with the 8th most in the nation. Gov. Snyder and Sec. Acosta visited Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, where they are holding orientation for more than 150 new employees each week. They toured Grand Rapids Community College and Mercy Health to check out innovative job training programs. In Battle Creek, they checked out advanced manufacturing at Bleistahl and ROsler. Acosta told Snyder that he was impressed by Michigan’s leadership in job growth and its proactive approach to our future talent needs.

People and Places

Sept. 7, 2017; Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette

Maryann Lesert has been named the recipient of the Moondancer fellowship for 2017 at the Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow in Eureka Springs.

In all of her writing, the natural world and its human inhabitants are equally prominent and intertwined. From her first play, Superwoman (1998), a 90-minute warning of technologies that threaten to erase our biological sense of place, to Threshold, her current novel-in-progress about environmental activists working to stop fracking in Michigan’s state forests, Lesert’s work is equally inspired and supported by time with the natural world. Threshold grew from two years of boots-on-well-sites research on fracking in Michigan’s state forests. An excerpt from Threshold appears in Fracture, Essays, Poems and Stories about Fracking in America (Ice Cube Press, 2016). From 2012 to the present, Lesert has presented her research on the scientific, sensory and community effects of fracking in a presentation, titled Fracking in the Forest, to more than 50 academic, environmental and public audiences across the state. Lesert is a playwright, novelist and journalist who teaches creative writing at Grand Rapids (Mich.) Community College.

Jayhawks volleyball team stays perfect in conference with a victory over Glen Oaks

Sept. 7, 2017; Local Sports Journal (Muskegon)

The Muskegon Community College volleyball team improved to 4-0 in conference play with a four-set victory over Glen Oaks Community College on the road on Tuesday.

… MCC will host rival Grand Rapids Community College on Thursday.

GRCC In the News, 11-16-16

Michelle Obama welcomed WMCAT, other national arts winners to White House

Nov. 15, 2016; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – The West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology was among 12 arts organizations honored by the White House Tuesday, Nov. 15, for its dedication to enriching and transforming the lives of young people through the arts.

… WMCAT Executive Director Daniel Williams accepted the award Tuesday with Keloni Seawood-Walton, a spring graduate of GRPS’ Montessori theme school, who studied fashion and photography teen labs and has now transitioned to the apprenticeship program as a Grand Rapids Community College student.

State awards local nonprofit $175K to conduct preschool pilot

Nov. 15, 2016; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — The state has allocated $175,000 for the Early Learning Neighborhood Collaborative (ELNC) to conduct a pilot to evaluate the relative impact on vulnerable children of one versus two years of preschool.

… “This research will lay the foundation for the case to publicly fund 3-year-old preschool for vulnerable children,” said ELNC founder and CEO Nkechy Ekere Ezeh.

(This article doesn’t mention it, but Nkechy Ekere Ezeh is a GRCC alumna.)

Exhibit, reading celebrate 100 years of Display Magazine

Display magazine 1965Join GRCC Art and English faculty and students, and former writers and artists published in GRCC’s Display Magazine, for the Student Art Exhibit and the 100 Issues of Display Magazine Reading from 5-7 p.m. April 8.

Of the 100 issues of Display Magazine published between 1965 and 2014, approximately 60 pieces of art and 60 pieces of literature have been included in a special 100 year retrospective issue. Former Display advisers Walt Lockwood and David Cope are expected to attend and introduce former students, who will read their work published in the retrospective. The English Department’s annual Display Writing Award winners will also be reading from Display’s most current literary works.

The 100 Issues of Display Reading is hosted by Maryann Lesert, Display adviser, 2010-present, and the GRCC English Department. The reading will be held in the Health Tutorial Lab, room 401 on the fourth floor of Cook Hall. The art exhibit, featuring work from this year’s visual arts students, will be held in the GRCC Collins Art Gallery on the fourth floor of the main building.  Refreshments and reception snacks will be served in both areas.