Month: October 2013

Faculty Spotlight – Scott Garrard

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ScottThrowing2Scott Garrard is Professor of Ceramics in the Visual Arts Department at GRCC.  He has been an active teacher, ceramic artist, and small business owner since 1982 and has been employed at GRCC since 2010.

Scott has participated in ArtPrize since 2011 and this year compiled a short time-lapse video of the construction of his entry, Teapot 48, which is a large 2×4 wood construction and follows the theme of teapot sculptures he has presented in the previous two years.  Teapot 48 was exhibited during ArtPrize at the Cathedral Square venue.

Scott writes about his work, “Teapot 48 represents my interest in ceramic forms contextualized in different formats and mediums.  It challenges the historical perceptions through shape, scale, and functionality.”

Enjoy the video!

Adjunct Info Update

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From Mike Miller, Adjunct Representative for the School of Arts and Sciences:

Hello all, as your adjunct representative for the School of Arts & Sciences I am writing to update you on some of the discussions we’ve been having at our Faculty Association meetings.

One of the first points of the semester was addressing why we wait so long for our first paychecks.  The answer is one that involves how all overload pay – including full time faculty – is assigned and then put into the payroll system software.  In short, it can’t make the first pay date.  However, I am planning on re-visiting this later as I think this deserves a better answer.

Most of our time has been discussing the POSSIBLE creation of non-tenure teaching positions at our institution.  Because this is still in a discussion and negotiation stage there is no concrete information to share.  However, if you wish to send me your opinion on such a position please do so.

We think the administration’s idea of the position is to off-set the effects of the Affordable Healthcare Act as some adjuncts (depending on teaching load) will be eligible for benefits.  We still have no concrete answer as to what number of credits one teaches in a semester would qualify an adjunct for benefits.  Thus, it is hard to discuss who this might affect until the IRS sets that number.

The moment any of these situations become clear to discuss concrete details I will share the information.

We dealt with pay, benefits, contractual obligations, and working conditions.  If you have any questions in these areas please let me know and I will bring them to Council.  Tomorrow we will talk about Blackboard.  I am sure you may have been affected by Blackboard over the last few weeks, especially on-line instructors.  There has been a recent fix to solve this, however if you experienced anything other than slowness or connectivity issues, please send them to me and I will bring them to the next meeting.

Architecture professors team up with LTU to help nonprofits

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Architecture professors from Grand Rapids Community College and Lawrence Technological University will team up to share how they’ve used their expertise to help nonprofit organizations.

Scott Shall, chairman of Lawrence Technological University’s Department of Architecture, and David Dye, a professor in GRCC’s Department of Mechanical and Architecture Design, will talk about “Practiced Learning” at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 14 in the auditorium of GRCC’s Wisner-Bottrall Applied Technology Center, 151 Fountain St. NE.

Shall is founding director of the nonprofit International Design Clinic, which performs much-needed design work with communities in need around the world. Since it was founded in 2006, the IDC has completed more than a dozen projects on four continents, including: an urban tent for the homeless made of reclaimed water bottles, a school system based upon the vending architectures of Bolivia that is tailored to meet the needs of the street children of La Paz, and a $2 water filtration system.

Dye, who has taught architecture classes at GRCC for 15 years, will discuss his work with Habitat for Humanity of Kent County. For the past five years, students in his Sustainable Residential Design class have worked with the nonprofit organization to design houses. Last fall, one of the student designs was built for Habitat by GRCC’s Residential Construction Class.

“Working with a knowledgeable client such as Habitat challenges our students to design sustainable homes,” Dye said.

During the Oct. 14 presentation, Dye and Shall also will talk about LTU’s Integrated Design Studio, offered in conjunction with GRCC’s architectural design associate degree. This partnership allows a student who completes the Integrated Design Studio program and the architectural design associate degree at GRCC to enter Lawrence Tech as a junior to complete that school’s Master of Architecture program.

“In five-plus years, a student can start an architecture program at Grand Rapids Community College and complete a Master of Architecture degree at Lawrence Tech – an excellent opportunity,” Dye said.