Category Archives: Alumni

GRCC In the News, 5-11-18

Putting the soul back in soul food

May 10, 2018;  Grand Rapids Magazine

Ever since Trimell Hawkins started spending time with his grandmother in her kitchen, cooking has been an important part of his life. As he grew up, Hawkins noticed he always ended up being the chef for his friends because he loved to entertain.

However, it was not until he returned from the U.S. Marine Corps that he realized he wanted to turn his passion into a career. He enrolled into Grand Rapids Community Colleges culinary program, Secchia Institute of Culinary Arts, where he later worked as the sous chef under master chef Kevin Dunn.

Recuerdan oficiales muertos en el deber

May 10, 2018; El Vocero

GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN (EVH) — Los departamentos de Policía del sur y oeste de Michigan incluyendo la Policía estatal del estado que cubre ambas zonas, así como otros departamentos de Indiana, realizaron una ceremonia en memoria de los oficiales caídos en el deber como parte de la celebración del Police Memorial Day.

… De los cuatro jóvenes que recibieron las becas, dos son de origen hispano, ellas son Erika Mejía y Rylee Guerrero.  La primera es egresada de la escuela Central High y actualmente estudia en el Grand Rapids Community College.  Trabaja como interna en el Departamento de Policía de esta ciudad.

… La segunda, Guerrero, nació y creció en la ciudad de Walker y estudió en escuela Kenowa Hills.  Es también estudiante del Grand Rapids Community College.

(GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN (EVH). Police departments in southern and western Michigan, including the state state police that cover both areas, as well as other Indiana departments, held a memorial service for fallen officers as part of the “Police Memorial Day” celebration . “

Of the four young people who received the scholarships, two are of Hispanic origin, they are Erika Mejía and Rylee Guerrero. The first is a graduate of Central High School and is currently studying at Grand Rapids Community College. She works as an intern in the Police Department of this city.

… The second, Guerrero, was born and raised in the city of Walker and studied at Kenowa Hills School. He is also a student at Grand Rapids Community College.)

Governor appoints local judge to state board

May 10, 2018; Grand Haven Tribune

Gov. Rick Snyder has appointed Ottawa County Judge Bradley Knoll to the Michigan Community Corrections Board.

… Knoll is also an adjunct professor of criminology and political science at Grand Rapids Community College and a faculty member of the Michigan Judicial Institute. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Michigan and a law degree from the Detroit College of Law.

Military aviation pioneer Jane Doyle named 2018 Distinguished Alumna

A military aviation pioneer is GRCC’s 2018 Distinguished Alumna.

Mildred “Jane” (Baessler) Doyle attended what was then Grand Rapids Junior College in 1940 and in a 2014 interview summed up her experience this way: “Junior college changed my whole life — my whole plan.”

She had intended to go into architecture because her brother wanted her to join him in his business. At that time, GRJC didn’t have an architecture program, but Doyle took engineering courses that would transfer to the University of Michigan. It was while she was in one of those engineering classes that the instructor made an announcement that caught her attention: GRJC President Arthur Andrews had received federal approval to run a Civilian Pilot Training program.

“They said they’d let one girl in for every nine fellows, so I had to pass a physical and I got into the flying program that summer,” Doyle said.

After completing the program, she transferred to U of M. She earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture and interior design in 1943 — while keeping up her flying time with the Civil Air Patrol.

After graduating, Doyle joined the Women Airforce Service Pilots. She and the other WASP recruits flew stateside missions for the military to free up male pilots for overseas combat.

She was part of an elite group: Of the 25,000 volunteers, fewer than 2,000 were accepted into the WASP program and 1,078 of them graduated from training. They transported aircraft, equipment and personnel, and performed flight tests on planes that had undergone repairs. While they worked with the military, they were considered civilians. They had to cover the costs of their housing, travel and even their uniforms. If a pilot in the program died — and 38 did — her family paid the costs to transport the body home.

“My family encouraged me in anything I wanted to try,” Doyle said in a 2007 interview for the Women Veterans Historical Project. “And my brother, at that time, was in the Navy, and my oldest sister was in the Red Cross in Texas. And so my family were very patriotic people, and they were proud to have us serve.”

She met Don Doyle, a flight instructor at the Seymour, Ind., air base where she served, and they married at the base chapel in August 1944.

After the WASP program was disbanded in December 1944, she worked with visually impaired children for a few years and then for Aquinas College, all the while raising her five children.

Doyle and the other WASP members received military veteran status in 1977. In 2010, she and the other surviving pilots were honored with the Congressional Gold Medal. Now 96, she is the last living WASP in Michigan, according to Texas Women’s University, home to the organization’s archives.

Doyle will receive the Distinguished Alumna Award during commencement, which will take place at 7 p.m. today in the fieldhouse. The award honors those who have earned at least 30 credit hours at the college, have made substantial contributions to the good of their fellow beings and have served as a positive motivational force for others.

GRCC In the News, 4-25-18

City of Wyoming swears in new ‘Top Cop’

April 25, 2018; WZZM

WYOMING, Mich. – Long-time Wyoming Police Chief James Carmody will officially step down today, paving the way for Captain Kim Koster to be the new head of the department.

… Koster’s own promotion makes her the first woman police chief in the City of Wyoming. It is a role she is honored to have, but one she seems reluctant to assign too much significance to. Koster believes Kent County is full of good leaders, of both genders, and cites Kent County Undersheriff Michelle Young and Grand Rapids Community College Police Chief Rebecca Whitman as examples of women who she has modeled her career after.

(This article doesn’t mention it, but Kim Koster and Michelle Young are GRCC alumnae.)

Director takes joy in teaching student musicians, to see what they can do and where they go

April 24, 2018; schoolnewsnetwork.org (KISD newsletter)

The Northview High School Jazz Band has burned through another take of Duke Ellington’s “Rockin’ in Rhythm” at a peppy pace, when director Greg Wells decides it’s time for a pep talk.

… He started out studying physics and engineering at Grand Rapids Community College but went back to music his sophomore year, earning a bachelor’s at WMU and his master’s at Michigan State University.

 

GRCC In the News, 3-30-18

GRCC mourns death of alumnus, longtime supporter Armen Oumedian

March 29, 2018; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Grand Rapids Community College is mourning the death of alumnus and longtime supporter Armen Oumedian, who died on Wednesday, March 28.

GRCC montará Torneo de baloncesto NJCAA Región XII en 2019, 2020

March 29, 2018; El Vocero

GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN. – Los mejores jugadores de baloncesto comunitarios de la región se presentarán en West Michigan durante los próximos dos años, con la selección de  Grand Rapids Community College  para albergar el torneo de baloncesto NJCAA Región XII en la temporada 2019 y 2020.

(GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN. – The best community basketball players in the region will perform in West Michigan for the next two years, with the selection of Grand Rapids Community College to host the NJCAA Region XII basketball tournament in the 2019 and 2020 seasons.)

West Shore earns high ranking for nursing

March 29, 2018; Ludington Daily News

West Shore Community College has been recognized as the No. 2-ranked LPN program in Michigan by the Annual PracticalNursing.org State LPN Program Rankings.

… WSCC had an overall score of 98.08, just behind Muskegon Community College, which had 99.64 total points. Lansing Community College was ranked third with 98.02 points. Grand Rapids Community College was ranked seventh with 97.04 points. More information about the ranking methodology is available at www.practicalnursing.org.

Maranda’s Guide to Spring Break Fun!

March 20, 2018; WOTV

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV) Spring break is here and if you’re staying close to West Michigan, there are so many options for family fun! Check out Maranda’s Guide to Spring Break Fun, including her picks of the day! To get a list of family-friendly activities emailed to you each week, click here!

… Kent District Library

Staying in town for spring break? We can help keep your kids happy, busy and entertained… and we will even sneak in a little education (but they will never know)!

… Big Time Builders at M-Tech

Get your hands on a virtual welder and try out some construction techniques and other maker projects at West Michigan’s premier training center. Try these unique maker projects at GRCC’s Leslie E Tassel M-Tech. For grades 4-8.
Wednesday, April 4, 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM
M-Tech, 622 Godfrey Ave SW, Grand Rapids

 

GRCC mourns passing of alumnus, longtime supporter Armen Oumedian

GRCC is mourning the passing Wednesday of alumnus and longtime supporter Armen Oumedian, who combined his generosity with a firm belief that education is the way to improves lives and our community.

Mr. Oumedian created several scholarships through the GRCC Foundation, including opportunities for first-generation students and those going into healthcare. Just this week, he was a sponsor of SCHOLARfest, the foundation’s annual benefit to assist students.

“Mr. Oumedian didn’t just improve lives, he transformed them,” President Bill Pink said. “He cared deeply about this community and this institution. But most importantly, he cared about the people who learn here and who teach here. He pushed us to strive for excellence, always, knowing the impact that would have on the people we serve.”

GRCC’s Armen Awards, which were held from 2012 to 2016, reflected Mr. Oumedian’s commitment to innovative thinking. Faculty members led students in designing and completing service projects for community organizations. The awards were later renamed the Armen Innovation Grants.

“Armen always challenged all of us to think about the big picture,” said Kathryn K. Mullins, vice president of College Advancement and executive director of the GRCC Foundation. “He always wanted to make sure everyone knew about how special GRCC is, and the important role it plays in our community and for our students’ educational journey.”

Mr. Oumedian attended what was then Grand Rapids Junior College from 1941 to 1943 — as did his late wife, Pat, and their three children. After graduating in 1949 from Kettering University, then known as the GM Institute, he worked for General Motors for 10 years. He then worked for 32 years at Rapistan Inc., retiring as a senior vice president in 2000. He was named GRCC’s Distinguished Alumnus in 1996.

 

GRCC In the News, 3-29-18

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; therapidian.org

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, 3-23-18

New officer joins Hastings Police Department / 3-22-18

March 22, 2018; Hastings Banner

Officer Nate Pickett is the newest member of the Hastings Police Department.

… Pickett is a 2004 graduate of Ionia High School and a 2017 graduate of the police academy program at Grand Rapids Community College.

Reeths-Puffer appoints board member to fill vacancy

March 23, 2018; MLive

MUSKEGON TOWNSHIP, MI – Reeths-Puffer Public Schools Board of Education gained a new member this month.

… (Sonya) Hernandez is an adjunct instructor at Grand Rapids Community College, a commissioner on the Hispanic Latino Commission of Michigan, and the director of the Y Achievers program and Youth in Government at the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids.

Unarmed black youths held at gunpoint distrust police a year later

March 22, 2018; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Just 13, Kaleil Harris has already decided he doesn’t like police. He doubts that will change.

… A public-safety task force — chaired by City Attorney Anita Hitchcock with Deputy Police Chief Eric Payne and Grand Rapids Community College Associate Dean Raynard Ross as leading members – is to unveil a police “youth policy” on March 27.

25 Grand Rapids Staycation Ideas

March 22, 2018; grkids.com

Your kids are on break from school, so you want to plan some fun activities that don’t break the bank or require serious travel. We get it and we are here to help!

… 17. Enjoy fine dining (at a lower cost) at The Heritage Restaurant, GRCC’s acclaimed culinary school restaurant.