GRCC Biodiversity Group Sponsoring Monarch Butterfly Release at John Ball Zoo 9/12/10

The Biodiversity Group of GRCC (zoology and botany) will be sponsoring the second annual Monarch Butterfly Release at the John Ball Zoo this Sunday, September 12th, between (roughly) 12:00 and 5:00.

The life cycle of the Monarch butterfly will be demonstrated at various locations throughout the zoo, but the actual (hourly) release will be coordinated near the Mexico Exhibit (overlooking Monkey Island). Children can put their names in a hat and every hour 10 or so names will be drawn and the children will be allowed to release the butterflies. Their direction of flight will be documented by former and current students of zoology and botany. Our students will also coordinated the release of the butterflies as well as assist at the “butterfly stations” around the zoo.

These migratory monarchs will use several different types of physical cues to orient their flight to the state of Michoacan, Mexico, where they will reside in an archipelago of mountain islands at 10,000 feet for the entire winter. They have never seen these sites before and will never see them again, and yet, they will fly over 2,000 miles as the crow flies to 7 overwintering sites no bigger than the central campus of GRCC. There is no other migration quite like this on the planet, and it is still a complete mystery despite years of research.

They are expecting a good crowd and hope everyone can make it. We must release the butterflies regardless of the weather conditions (the weatherman is currently promising a nice, sunny day).

Condolences to the Family, Friends and Colleagues of GRCC Prof. MaLinda Sapp

A prominent fixture in the Grand Rapids Community and GRCC adjunct professor in the Psychology department, MaLinda Sapp passed away after an extended illness.  Below are a collection of news articles detailing her life.  Details about the services will be posted as they are made available.

MaLinda Sapp, wife of Gospel singer Marvin Sapp, leaves uplifting legacy after losing battle to colon cancer at age 43
Published: Friday, September 10, 2010, 12:50 AM | Terry Deboer | The Grand Rapids Press

GRAND RAPIDS — As MaLinda Price Sapp’s 43rd birthday approached last spring, the Grand Rapids native turned aside suggestions of a party honoring her while she battled colon cancer. […] Mrs. Sapp took an active role in her husband’s music career, serving as his manager and as executive producer of several of his record albums. She was also a licensed psychologist and taught classes at Grand Rapids Community College.  (More)

MaLinda Sapp, wife of gospel singer Marvin Sapp, dies of colon cancer
Published: Thursday, September 09, 2010, 4:07 PM | Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk | The GR Press

GRAND RAPIDS — MaLinda Sapp, co-pastor of Lighthouse Full Life Center Church in Grand Rapids, passed away Thursday from complications from cancer.  (More)

MaLinda Sapp, Grand Rapids church leader, dies from cancer
Matt Campbell  Chris Zoladz |  Updated:9/9/2010 9:06:19 PM

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM/AP) — Gospel singer and Grand Rapids native, Marvin Sapp is mourning the death of his wife and manager, MaLinda Sapp. Workers at the Lighthouse Full Life Center Church say Dr. MaLinda Sapp died Thursday from colon cancer.   (More)

MaLinda Sapp dies of cancer – Marvin Sapp’s wife, mother of 3
Thursday, 09 Sep 2010, 3:37 PM EDT

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – MaLinda Sapp, an influential speaker and the wife of Marvin Sapp, died Thursday of colon cancer.  The Sapps established the Lighthouse Full Life Center, where friends of the family gathered Thursday evening to join in prayer.  (More)

Are too many students receiving Food Assistance in Michigan?

Are too many students receiving Food Assistance in Michigan?

By Ismael Ahmed, Director, Michigan Department of Human Services

Are too many college students in Michigan receiving Food Assistance benefits?  Are college students scamming the system to get food assistance they don’t qualify for?  Those are questions being asked around college campuses in Michigan.

At any given time in the 2009-10 school year, there were 10,000-18,000 college and university students who received food assistance –fewer than 2 percent of the nearly 1.8 million food assistance recipients statewide.  In today’s economy, the traditional college student isn’t necessarily an 18-to-22 year old; many people who have lost their jobs are now attending college to retrain so they can meet the new workforce’s needs. We know that most of these students – and, indeed, the overwhelming majority of people receiving this benefit – are doing so legally and complying with state standards.

The food assistance program is 100 percent federally funded and recipients must follow federal rules including eligibility requirements. I recently contacted university and college presidents around Michigan to advise them of these standards:

  • In order for a college student to receive benefits, s/he must meet one of the federal government approved guidelines such as having a child under age six, working 20 hours per week, participating in work study, or being engaged in an educational plan approved by the Department of Human Services.
  • Money received from friends or family members must be reported to DHS as income and will be used to determine the benefit amount.
  • If a person is buying and preparing food with others (such as roommates), everyone (with the exception of disqualified/non-group members) must be eligible or no one is eligible.
  • Students living in a dorm who have a meal plan that provides a majority of their meals are not eligible.
  • If students move home when not attending college – during spring or summer session, for example – this may have to be reported to his or her DHS case specialist. Parents, children under age 22 and others who eat together must have eligibility determined or the case must close.
  • Food Assistance benefits cannot be used for anything other than food products.
  • It is illegal to “trade” benefits for cash or services.  That is considered fraud and/or abuse. A person who participates in such is liable for prosecution.
  • The DHS Office of Inspector General monitors online social media and investigates alleged fraud and abuse discovered in the course of this monitoring.
  • Fraud and/or abuse of benefits can result in prosecution. Any person found guilty will be required to repay benefits received.  They will also be disqualified from the program for a minimum of one year up to a lifetime.

While no one can answer the questions I posed at the beginning of this article with certainty, it is most important that public money be spent prudently and that it goes to people who qualify. If you know a college student – or anyone else –who you suspect is receiving benefits inappropriately, I encourage you to call the 24-hour toll-free fraud hotline at 800-222-8558. You can also report fraud online at

Free Welcome Week Activities: 9/7/10-9/10/10

This year Campus Activities is hosting Welcome Week- Semester Survival September 7-9 out on Bostwick Commons from 11:00am – 3:00pm. Below are a list of activities for the week. Feel free to come out and participate!

  • Tuesday, September 7: Exotic Petting Zoo, Gladiator Joust and Smoothies
  • Wednesday, September 8: Camel Rides, Robo Surf and Elephant Ears
  • Thursday, September 9: Ropes Course, Make-Your-Own Dog Tags and a Luau with Kabobs
  • Friday, September 10:  Night Movie on the Bostwick Commons: On Friday, September 10, bring your friends and family for a free double feature out on Bostwick Commons with free pop and popcorn! This year we will be showing How to Train Your Dragon (PG) and Get Him to the Greek (R). How to Train Your Dragon will begin around 8:30 with Get Him to the Greek beginning after the conclusion of the first movie. Pre-show will include Fire Dancers beginning at 7:30.

Sneden Hall/DeVos Campus Shuttle Update

The Sneden Hall Shuttle schedule and information can be found at This page will redirect you to The Rapid’s website for our shuttle route details.

The shuttle runs Monday – Thursday, 7:00 a.m. – 5:41 p.m. We recommend that students who travel from GRCC’s main campus for an evening class to Sneden Hall park their car first at Sneden Hall at the DeVos Campus and take the shuttle to the main campus. This traffic pattern will allow the student to catch the Sneden Hall Shuttle back to Sneden Hall for the evening class and have direct access to their vehicle.

News & information for Grand Rapids Community College students