As part of a week of activities leading up to his September 29 investiture, President Bill Pink will welcome GRCC alumni who are participating in a panel discussion.
“Today and Tomorrow: The GRCC Alumni Journey — This Is How We Did It” is open to students and runs 11:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. September 26 in room 103 of Sneden Hall.
Tatum Kovach, director of external affairs for Student Alliance, will moderate the discussion.
Panel members are:
Tony Helmholdt, automotive technician for Tesla Motors.
Helmholdt, a Forest Hills Central High School graduate, received an associate degree in automotive technology in 2008 while working part-time as an auto technician at Fox Ford Mazda. In 2009, he took a job rebuilding transmissions at O’Neill’s Transmission Service.
When he wasn’t working on motors on the job, he spent his time … working on motors. In 2007, he converted the family lawnmower to operate on compressed hydrogen gas. In 2008, he converted a motorcycle to operate on full battery electric power. He’s been building — and racing — electric motorcycles for a decade.
In 2010, he joined electric car maker Tesla Motors, working out of Chicago and San Jose, Calif., servicing its fleet of vehicles nationwide.
“Skills I learned at GRCC — combined with some passion — led to my success story, as it opened the eyes of prospective Tesla recruiters,” he said. “GRCC’s fantastic facilities, staff, and training have made a significant difference in my life, and I hope it continues to do so for others who enjoy the program as much as I did.”
Hilda Martinez-Gutierrez, coordinator of GRCC’s suicide prevention program.
After graduating from GRCC, Martinez-Gutierrez went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in family studies and a master’s degree in counselor education-family counseling, both from Western Michigan University.
Martinez-Gutierrez, who served an internship with GRCC’s TRIO program, is the coordinator of the college’s campus suicide prevention program. The program, funded by a three-year grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, includes activities on both the Main and Lakeshore campuses, training, and crisis response planning.
“GRCC means opportunity to access continuing education at a higher level — exposure to discover the difference within people around me and the world,” she said. “It has provided the space for me to experience my journey, my story which has enhanced my love for working in higher education, most specifically with the college student population.”
Denavvia Mojét, political consultant and community organizer.
Mojét pursues her passion for educating and empowering vulnerable populations, bolstering civic engagement, and striving for workforce diversity.
Her first efforts were in Benton Harbor, where she observed first-hand the effects of underfunded municipalities, education inequality and the overreaching Emergency Management laws. She received the Key to the City of Benton Harbor for her efforts.
She managed the successful 2016 state House campaign for the 75th District. She hosts the weekly radio segment, “Political Pulse” on Grand Rapids’ 97.3. She recently co-founded Equity PAC, a political action committee that advocates for low-income populations and works to eliminate socioeconomic disparities.
“GRCC gave me groundbreaking experiences, life-changing lessons and a dynamic network that empowered me to succeed in my career and impact my community,” she said. “I’m a better mother, teacher, student and professional because of my time at GRCC and I am proud to be an alumna.”
Puebles emigrated from Cuba with his family as a political refugee in 1988. He received an Associate in Liberal Arts from GRCC and a Bachelor of Arts, with a concentration in theater and Spanish, from Western Michigan University.
“I was an immigrant child who didn’t know the first thing about college and how to navigate those waters,” he said. “Thanks to my professors and lifelong mentors like Fred Sebulske, Tom Kaechele and Michelle Urbane from the Theater Department, I was able to prepare myself, discover my passion and eventually pursue my dream of being an actor.”
While living in Chicago, he performed with the Steppenwolf Theater Company, Healthworks Theater, Teatro Vista, Apple Tree Theater, Second City and Lookingglass Theater. He has appeared in the films “Batman Vs. Superman” and “Stone” and on the TV shows “Chicago Fire,” Chicago PD,” “Shameless” and “Empire.”
He has started his own theater company, Mixed Roots Collective, to address inequality of representation in local theater and film. Along with Urbane and Todd Lewis, he has formed One World Diversity in an attempt to address issues of disparity and inclusion and equality in society.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A 21-year-old man drowned in a closed Grand Rapids public pool Tuesday morning, police say.
… (Damon) Smith-Phillips’ father, David Smith, said his son was a Detroit native and a graduate of Osborn High School. Smith-Phillips was in Grand Rapids to attend community college and his father said he hoped to have a career in video game design.
U.S. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta on Monday joined Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder at Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) where they discussed the importance of apprenticeships before touring the college’s healthcare training facilities.
GRAND RAPIDS, MI – U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta and Gov. Rick Snyder toured Grand Rapids Community College’s Cook Academic Hall Monday, Aug. 21, as part of a series of tours focused on manufacturing and medical apprenticeships, officials say.
Heritage Theatre Group’s gender-reversed production of “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead,” an acclaimed existentialist tragicomedy Tom Stoppard that tells the story of what happened to the two ill-fated characters from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, opens tonight at Spectrum Theatre on Grand Rapids Community College’s campus. The local community theatre group has created a gender-reversed version of the play.
Aug. 3, 2017; AACC 21st Century Center (American Association of Community Colleges newsletter)
It’s been the summer of apprenticeships. They’ve been the focus of congressional committee hearings and White House executive orders. Earlier this week, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos visited Grand Rapids Community College (Michigan) to learn more about apprenticeships and the skilled trades.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV) — Join Ferris State University to learn how you can transform your college credits or associate degree into a bachelor’s degree. Program advisors, financial aid experts and admissions officers will make sure you have the information you need to take the next step. Make sure to bring all of your questions and copies of your transcripts. Qualified students will be admitted to the university on the spot!
… By partnering with Grand Rapids Community College they are able to offer select Ferris degree programs close to where you live and work.
GRAND RAPIDS, MI – The Grand Rapids City Commission is reminded at nearly every meeting by activists and residents of the affordable housing crunch in the city – but not all of the three candidates for a Second Ward seat on the commission put the issue as top priority.
… (Mayor Rosalynn) Bliss and the rest of the city commission have thrown their support to (Joe) Jones – who has drawn a number of establishment endorsements from across the city, including Grand Rapids Public Schools leadership, Grand Rapids Community College officials, Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce and the Grand Rapids Fire Department union.
Hate letters. State government threats. Mayoral involvement. Armed police in the theater.
… Criticism continued to elevate as the opening night got closer. Hate letters from across the country were sent to cast members. After the first couple of performances, the show had to be moved. Grand Rapids Community College which owns Spectrum Theater was facing threats to lose state funding over the play’s controversy.
… Grand Rapids Community College teamed up with Kent Intermediate School District on Launch U, a tuition-free early college program. Students in the four-year Launch U program will graduate with a high school diploma and a GRCC associate degree in mechanical design, tooling and manufacturing technology, or industrial technology. Launch U was created in partnership with local school districts, GRCC and area manufacturing representatives.
GRAND RAPIDS, MI – The Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce will host a Summit Up! event in which more than a dozen business leaders will discuss methods of attracting, developing and retaining talent.
… Other speakers will include Jacob Maas, CEO of West Michigan Works!, Kevin Stotts, president of Talent 2025 and Bill Pink, incoming president of Grand Rapids Community College.
Isaac Norris finds similarities between his love of music and his work as an architect.
… Meeting an architect with the same skin color at a young age showed him becoming an architect was possible, so his interests growing up from drawing and painting to building model cars all made sense as he entered the working world. He received an associate’s degree from Grand Rapids Community College before venturing to the University of Detroit School of Architecture now called University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture for a bachelor’s degree.
The Spectrum Theater, located on Fountain Street in Grand Rapids Community College’s campus, houses four theater troupes and is always bustling with activity. Managing all that activity is Michelle Urbane, theater manager. On top of managing the box office, Urbane directs and performs in shows and can always be seen running from one place to the next, always with a big smile on her face.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Our next finalist for the Connecting with Community Awards is the Comprehensive Therapy Center.
… It started with a summer camp called Therapy and Fun, which meets three times a week during the summer, from June to August. This camp model allows therapists and volunteers to come together to provide dance, music, and reading to the children in the camp. Volunteers for the summer camp can be children as young as 5th graders. The camp recruits their volunteers from area middle and high schools, such as Kent Intermediate School District. They also have partnered with GVSU speech pathology graduate students, Davenport occupational program students, and the GRCC OT program to gain volunteers that can invest in their children.
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