GRCC In the News, 3-29-17

Kent ISD Launch U: Giving students a bright future

March 28, 2017; WOTV

WYOMING, Mich. (WOTV) — Austin Bonter is a machine build apprentice with specialty manufacturer AutoMatrix in Wyoming. It’s his job to transfer designs from paper to a computer and make a workable machine.

… Kent Intermediate School District, Grand Rapids Community College and several local manufacturers are partnering on the program to get high school students interested in an industry that many declared dead on arrival just a few years ago.

Grand Rapids Community College job fair continues Wednesday

March 28, 2017; WZZM

GRAND RAPIDS – A two-day job fair continues at Grand rapids Community College on Wednesday.  It started today at their main building on Bostwick in downtown Grand Rapids.

GRandJazzFest announces 2017 dates

March 28, 2017;

One of Michigan’s most popular free jazz festivals returns this summer for a sixth year to downtown Grand Rapids. GRandJazzFest presented by DTE Energy Foundation takes to the Rosa Parks Circle stage in the heart of downtown this Aug. 19 and 20.

… GRandJazzFest 2016 received distinction as a Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. Signature Event along with two other festivals, ArtPrize and LaughFest. In addition to DTE Energy Foundation, the City of Grand Rapids, and GRAM, sponsors for the 2017 event to date include GR and Jazz, IntentPR, Gilmore Collection, Hilger Hammond, Amway Hotel Corporation, Experience Grand Rapids, Grand Rapids Community College, Swift Printing, Corporate Live, Lake Michigan Credit Union, Matt Huizenga Video Production, Meijer, Steelcase, Rockford Construction, Kitchen67 and MoxieMen. Sponsorship opportunities are available at“We are so grateful to all of our sponsors for their support we could not do it without them,” Sundstrom said. “We’re seeking additional sponsors to help us bring a full weekend of FREE, family-friendly live jazz performances to West Michigan!”

Michigan’s Best Colleges for 2017 Determined by

March 28, 2017; (press release site), a leading resource provider for higher education and career information, has released its list of Michigan’s best colleges and universities for 2017. Of the 48 four-year schools that made the list, University of Michigan Ann Arbor, Michigan Technological University, Albion College, Calvin College and Alma College were the top five institutions. 27 two-year schools were also included, with Lansing Community College, Washtenaw Community College, Delta College, Henry Ford Community College and Kellogg Community College in the top five. A full list of schools is included below.

… Best Two-Year Colleges in Michigan for 2017 include:

… Grand Rapids Community College

(This press release was reprinted on several other sites.)

Get ready for commencement at GradFest

Get everything you need for commencement 2017 at GradFest!

You can sign up, order your cap and gown, and get your tickets any time from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 4 in rooms 118-124 of the ATC. This year’s commencement starts at 7 p.m. April 28 in the fieldhouse.

If you can’t attend GradFest, but you plan to participate in commencement, please contact Student Life at (616) 234-4160.

GRCC In the News, 3-28-17

Ready to deepen relationships

March 27, 2017; Grand Haven Tribune

Six months into his role as pastor of St. Patrick-St. Anthony Catholic Parish in Grand Haven, Father Chuck Schwartz said he feels stronger than ever that this is the path he was supposed to be on.

… A graduate of Grand Rapids City High, Schwartz took a couple years off school before getting an associates degree from Grand Rapids Community College.

Tiny Desk Contestant Diana Gameros: ‘How Can I Dissolve Borders?’

March 26, 2017; NPR

Earlier this year, NPR Music held the third installment of the Tiny Desk Contest, our annual search for a talented, unsigned musician to play a Tiny Desk concert here at NPR headquarters. More than 6,000 bands and artists entered, and many (including this year’s winner, Tank and the Bangas) were new to the Contest. But we also saw a number of familiar faces some of whom have been with us since the beginning.

Diana Gameros is one of those three-time entrants. After submitting videos in 2015 and 2016, the 35-year-old singer-songwriter filmed this year’s entry on a cold morning, as dawn broke over the San Francisco Bay. As she sings, the camera zooms out to reveal a spectacular view of the Golden Gate Bridge.

(This article doesn’t mention it, but Diana Gameros is a former GRCC student.)

John Morton has what it takes to turn Jets offense around

March 29, 2017; The Jet Press

Offensive coordinator John Morton has done it all in the NFL and on the college level. From his beginnings as a wide receiver for Grand Rapids Community College to Western Michigan to the NFL, CFL, and overseas, Morton has been on a mission. Have no doubt Morton has what it takes to turn the offense around for the New York Jets.

Jackson College softball team walks off twice in one week

March 27, 2017; MLive

JACKSON — The spring sports season is still young but the excitement has already been high for the Jackson College softball team.

… Jackson College is now 7-8-1 on the season as it gets set for its double-header on Tuesday March 28 against Grand Rapids Community College.

Mid Michigan Community College men’s basketball makes strides in first year as NJCAA Division II program

March 27, 2017; The Morning Sun (Mount Pleasant)

With athletics in general, expecting the unexpected is always a good bit of advice.

… The previous three years as an NJCAA Division III program, the Lakers won their region by defeating Lorain Community College to qualify for districts. But the move to Division II provided a new set of challenges during the MCCAA campaign and into the postseason, which saw MMCC square off March 7 versus Grand Rapids Community College in a District 9 showdown to open the NJCAA Division II Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Salute to Women honors Laura Moody, Christine Arnold, Erendida Erazo-Alas, Nkechy Ekere Ezeh

GRCC’s Salute to Women honors four women for personal and professional excellence. The entire campus community is invited to the awards presentation from 1:30-3 p.m. March 28 in the ATC banquet rooms.

Being honored are:

Laura B. Moody
Laura B. Moody

Nursing professor Laura B. Moody.

Moody supports young women in their academic career and wants to see more nurses of color. An active educator and advocate outside the classroom, she’s an advisor for GRCC’s Practical Nursing Club and also a member of many local and national groups, including the National Black Nursing Association and National League of Nursing.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Michigan and her master’s in nursing from Grand Valley State University with a focus in women’s health. She is a full-time professor at GRCC and an adjunct professor at GVSU.

Moody leads with clarity and authority on health issues impacting local communities, such as how ailments can affect quality of life.

“Community members need to understand the different resources that are available and how to tap into them,” she said.

Christine Arnold
Christine Arnold

Christina Arnold, founding director of the Bob and Aleicia Woodrick Institute for Equity and Inclusion.

Arnold retired as the Woodrick Center’s director last fall, but she still serves as a consultant. She also serves on the Student Advancement Foundation Board and on the advisory councils for Kent County, Varnum and Blue Cross/Blue Shield.

Her dedication to uplifting her community goes back decades. She grew up in a single-parent, Mexican-American household in Grand Rapids. Her awareness of mistreatment of minorities while still in school helped develop her passion for social justice.

She became a secretary for GRCC after high school, assisting in the gradual growth of resources and programs to raise awareness of and celebrate diversity. Through this work, and then as the alumni and diversity coordinator, she was a key player in initiatives of former GRCC presidents Calkins and Olivarez to support minority students and diversity awareness programs on campus and in the community.

It was this activism that led to the creation of the college’s Center for Diversity Learning in 2003, with Arnold named the associate director.

“I hope to continue to encourage people to get out of their comfort zones, seek opportunities to listen and learn from others,” she said.

Erendida Erazo-Alas
Erendida Erazo-Alas

GRCC student Erendida Erazo-Alas.

Erazo-Alas came to the United States from El Salvador in 2007 to start a new life.

She worked diligently to learn English in GRCC’s Adult Education ESL program, and then set her sights on a GED diploma. College was not part of her plans until she was inspired by her GED math teacher’s own story of attending as a nontraditional student.

Erendida started classes at GRCC in 2014. Despite her apprehension about her English skills, she took a position as a student ambassador for orientation in the Enrollment Center. She also has served as a peer mentor for TRIO/Student Support Services, a facilitator for the Latino Youth Conference, and as a volunteer for many campus and community efforts.

She has been recognized on the President’s and Dean’s Lists several semesters and has received multiple scholarships. She will graduate from GRCC this year with an associate degree, and plans to earn a master’s degree in human resources.

“When I feel like I’m struggling, I try to push a little more — push harder,” Erazo-Alas. “If I set an objective, I’ll work hard to get it.”

Nkechy Ekere Ezeh
Nkechy Ekere Ezeh

Alumna Nkechy Ekere Ezeh, associate professor at Aquinas College and founder and CEO of the Early Learning Neighborhood Collaborative.

Ekere Ezeh, a newcomer to Grand Rapids in 1986, liked to take long walks. When she found herself in the GRCC library, a brochure for the Child Development program caught her eye. As a mother-to-be, she was looking for information and decided to take a class. She ended up finishing a child Development degree at GRCC, which has led to a highly regarded career in the field.

Ekere Ezeh completed her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Grand Valley State University and then went on to earn her doctorate in child and youth studies from Nova Southeastern University. She’s now an associate professor of education at Aquinas and serves as director of the Early Childhood Endorsement Program. She is the founder of the Early Learning Neighborhood Collaborative, an organization that works to increase access to early education resources for vulnerable children.

“GRCC started it for me, opened the door for me, made my life now possible,” she said.


News & information for Grand Rapids Community College students