Month: December 2015

GRCC Faculty Teams Up with Hope Network

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hope-network-squarelogoThis holiday season, the Faculty Association at GRCC partnered with Hope Network’s Developmental Adolescent Treatment (DART) Program to donate gifts for the children they serve. The DART Program is a residential treatment program for children ages 8-18 years old with severe developmental and behavIMG_3166 copyioral disorders. The program works with the children to teach them therapeutic coping techniques, as well as individual and independent living skills. As a residential program, the children live at the facility full-time, including the holidays.

The GRCC Faculty Association sponsored two children from this program, a 13-year-old boy and an 11-year-old girl. Faculty members Katie VanderMeer and Christina McElwee organized a gofundme account to collect funds. Overall, GRCC Faculty donated over $650 for the two children and the DART program.

After two days of intense shopping, Professor McElwee was able to complete the wish lists of both children and purchase additional items from the DART Program Wish List.


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Hope Network’s Tranise Bell-Mills & GRCC Professor Christina McElwee



A huge thank you to GRCC faculty for helping to make this holiday season special for the Hope Network DART Program.


Adjunct Faculty Spotlight: Nefertiti Williams

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Nefertiti Williams has been an adjunct faculty member in the Mathematics Department at GRCC for five years.  She primarily teaches the Academic Nefertiti WilliamsFoundation courses Math 095/096/097, which are Basic Math Review and Pre-Algebra. Additionally, to help students who struggle, she is working with her colleagues in the math department to develop “mini labs” which are “hands activities” to help students get a better conceptual understanding of the more challenging topics covered in class.

When Ms. Williams isn’t preparing students for the academic challenges that lay ahead, she enjoys being physically active.  She plays adult recreational softball, both women’s and co-ed.  Last summer her women’s slow pitch softball team placed first in the Class E MASA (Michigan Amateur Softball Association).

She also likes working out and has competed in local Bodybuilding and Figure competitions in the past.  Her downtime is spent with her family or creating jewelry.

Nefertiti Williams is passionate about what she does:  “I love helping my students learn. I love helping my students come to the realization that they can learn math.”


Faculty Spotlight: Orletta Caldwell

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IMG_2738Orletta Caldwell is a full-time professor in the Business Department. She teaches the Office Administration curriculum, which includes 11 rigorous courses. In addition, she develops the Office Administration Capstone, Project Management, Office, and Business in Technology courses. This year she has worked to include an emotional intelligence aspect to one of her classes. This is an essential skill that everyone needs, but is not often discussed in traditional curriculum. Emotional intelligence is an important trait for Office Administration majors because they encounter so many different personalities. To help students gain an authentic experience using emotional intelligence, Caldwell hosts an etiquette dinner for her BA 125 (Office Ethics and Etiquette) students. During this dinner students engage with other people with whom they may not interact on a daily basis. Students are required to serve as table hosts, engage in conversation, and maintain professionalism. It continues to be a wonderful learning experience for students as well as an opportunity for them to connect with the GRCC community, including Dr. Steve Ender, President, Dr. Bill Pink, Vice President, and other Deans, faculty members, and staff. Caldwell’s students truly value her as a teacher.

Caldwell was recently appointed as the Athletic Director for Grand Rapids Community College and has gracefully managed to meet and exceed the responsibilities required in addition to her course load. This position includes responsibilities such as budgeting, attending professional development, managing and hiring support staff, and attending GRCC sporting events, just to name a few. The aspect of the position that Caldwell enjoys the most is interacting with student athletes. She states, “I love my student athletes. They are dedicated to their team and sport, while having to carry academic responsibilities that can be quite challenging…they make the long hours worth it.”

Caldwell also serves on the Strategic Leadership Team and is a representative for the Academic Governing Council. She continues to rave about GRCC and the resources that the college provides to students as well as its’ faculty members. All who know her echo the words of her students, “…she is a great teacher, who is truly committed to her students. We are lucky to have her.”


GRCC Faculty team up with Hope Network to provide holiday gifts to children

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gofundmeimage1We need your help!!!  The Faculty Association at Grand Rapids Community College has partnered with Hope Network’s DART program to provide gifts for children in need!

We are asking GRCC faculty to please join the Association in sponsorship gifts for 2 children this holiday season.

Two ways to help: You can donate money on our gofundme site at  or donate gifts (see need list and drop off site below).  We will use 100% of the funds donated to sponsor children this holiday season on behalf of the faculty at Grand Rapids Community College.

What: Hope Network’s DART Program is a residential treatment program for children ages 8-18 years old with severe developmental and behavioral disorders. The children they serve live in a special facility and rarely see their families. Please help contribute by making this holiday season special for these children.

When: Donations will be accepted until Thursday, December 17.

Who: We are sponsoring a 13 year old boy and an 8 year old girl who are DART children. Any additional funds collected beyond what these two children need will be used to sponsor an additional child!

Donate gifts directly: If you would like to purchase a gift from the children’s wish list, see the link below. You can drop off donations on the 4th Floor of College Park Plaza (Christina McElwee) or in 212 of the Applied Technology Center (Katie Vander Meer). You can also drop off financial donations at either site as well. Wish list link: 

About us: This gofundme is organized by faculty members Christina McElwee and Katie Vander Meer on behalf of the Grand Rapids Community College Faculty Association. All funds and gifts collected will be reported out at Faculty Council.

Thank you so much GRCC Faculty in sharing in the joy of this holiday season. Please feel free to pass along this funding page to others who might wish to support Hope Network’s DART program!