Faculty Spotlight: Andrew Rozema

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Andrew RozemDSCN1720-01a is a full-time professor in the Computer Information Systems Department at Grand Rapids Community College. From taking classes at GRCC as a junior in high school, becoming an adjunct instructor, and beginning his full-time role in 2014, Rozema has been a part of the GRCC community for more than half of his life. In his full-time position, Rozema teaches a variety of Computer Information Systems classes including Microcomputer Operating Systems, Routing and Switching Essentials, Ethical Hacking I and II, Principles of Information Security, and Computer Forensics. These courses build the foundational understanding of operating systems and networks.

Professor Rozema credits much of his success in the classroom with the professional development that he has received at GRCC through the Center for Teaching Excellence. By merging the skills that he had acquired through a career in broadcasting and information technology with personal experiences and effective professional development, he is able to create best practices in the classroom. Some of these best practices include using video creation to ensure that lectures get captured in the classroom and brought online for students to review, using online discussion forums during in-seat classes to ensure that all students are involved in class discussions, and using virtualization technologies to allow students to interact with technology that people are using in the real world.

In addition to his work in the classroom, Professor Rozema stays busy with other work within the CIS Department and the college. Departmentally, he has worked with colleagues to redesign the entire CIS curriculum, focusing specifically on aligning the information security curriculum with the Committee on National Security Systems standards. College-wide, he is actively involved in the Academic Governing Council and the Curriculum Approval Committee. For the past two years Professor Rozema has been involved in organizing and presenting at Faculty Learning Day, as well as continuing professional development at retreats and seminars like Great Teachers and Trends.

Professor Rozema continues to embrace the freedom to pursue his interests in IT and information security and advance the mission and vision of his department and college. He says, “I’m all about the Open Door. As somebody who walked in it and then through it, and then on to greater things, I love that this institution gives anyone willing to work for it amazing opportunities.” Thank you for continuing to provide these opportunities for our students.

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 https://www.gofundme.com/undxuupe  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!

Professors in Poverty – a response from our President

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On November 24, in connection with Thanksgiving, I emailed GRCC faculty about adjunct professors in poverty.  It generated a lot of positive responses, so I wanted to share what you can do about ACTING on this.

  1. Support the request in the video with petition signatures and donations. Here is the website for this campaign: http://www.bravenewfilms.org/professorsinpoverty?utm_campaign=prof_in_pov_ot2&utm_medium=email&utm_source=bravenew
  1. And share this video!

  1. Get more information.  For example, the graphic with Myth 1 at http://usuncut.com/politics/6-common-welfare-myths-we-all-need-to-stop-believing/is telling, but there’s no attribution to the source, so it might not be valid.  Also, the GRCC library licenses Adjunct Nation, formerly Adjunct Advocate, in e-format at http://lib.grcc.edu/record=b180358 .  On-campus users click into the title; off-campus users must log on with last name and 7-digit Raider number.  Although the screen says through 2014, it is a current license and provides 2015 content.
  1. Publicize the information.  Some of that we can do through the Faculty Association web site and Face Book, but that’s limited.  For public media outlets to pick up on things takes a lot more effort.  For example, the national adjunct walk out day in February 2015 (not sure of that date) generated a lot of press, including a big article in the Grand Rapids Press. Read the article from March 2015 highlighting work of one of our Adjunct instructors Mike Miller here: http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2015/03/pressed_for_time_a_day_in_the.html

Informing students should be important.  They should care and do care.  For example, the Professors in Poverty video generated the most complex and passionate discussion between students in three GRCC classes for a research topic this semester.  They had access to over a dozen educational related videos.

  1. Come up with solutions, even if they’re partial and little, and act.  For example, the faculty negotiating team has consistently advocated for adjuncts with mixed results.  For the administration has proposed a full-time temporary teaching position, but there hasn’t been widespread support for it.  For me to mention it here doesn’t mean that I support it, either.

A solution for the “road warrior” adjuncts could be for all the higher ed institutions in West Michigan to get together and create shared, tenured full-time faculty positions.  By “shared” I mean that a faculty member’s work load, pay and benefits would be distributed pro rata among the institutions that the faculty member is working for.  I’ve not heard of this being done any place and I don’t even know if it’s doable.  But why not talk about it?  Even if it’s a bad idea, it will generate awareness and possibly some better ideas.

All in all, I think that the current adjunct system years ago worked reasonably well for students and institutions when there were few adjunct faculty.  Now, I think it works poorly because colleges and universities hire so many adjuncts instead of creating tenure-track positions.  For anything to change, adjuncts will have to be a lot more proactive, ideally with the support of full-time faculty and administrators.  Adjuncts nationwide have become more proactive in the last few years.  Locally – not so much.

Fred van Hartesveldt, Faculty Association President.

Adjunct Faculty Spotlight: Patricia Dockham

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Patricia Dockham is an adjunct instructor the Physical Science Department where she currently teaches Chemistry 120 — SurPatricia Dockham copyvey of General Chemistry Laboratory. She began teaching Chemistry 130 Lecture at GRCC in August, 2011. She enjoys teaching and tutoring at the high school and college level. Both her parents were high school teachers, as were many of her aunts and uncles. Her grandfather, Verne Dockham, was a Michigan conservation officer and field guide for ornithologists who explored the habitat of the Kirtland Warbler. Learning about his service, she was motivated to pursue a career in science, research and teaching.   Patricia studied chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Nebraska where she was awarded a doctorate in Biological Science in the field of biochemistry. Currently, in addition to her work at GRCC, she tutors high school physics and chemistry for two home school groups in Kent County. She also works as a free-lance editor for Words and Numbers, a science educational service.

Dr. Dockham spends a considerable amount of time volunteering in the legal profession as a litigation preparation expert. She started volunteering as a licensed residential builder in the rough and tumble area of construction law support, and later expanded into the area of civil litigation and criminal defense. She reviews case files, court records, trial transcripts, and media reports to take a fresh look at a case, and compare hard evidence to the timeline and fluid witness testimony. Motivated to do volunteer work, in large part by GRCC’s 2014 challenge for the College’s 100 Years of Community Service, last year she took a look at the case of Michael Elliot, the Ionia 2014 Super Bowl escapee, who has long maintained his innocence in his original convictions for over 20 years.

Patricia learned that Mr. Elliot’s DNA samples were taken during the initial investigation even before his trial in 1994. Interestingly, the prosecution did not use the DNA results at trial, meaning they looked for his DNA but did not find it at the murder scene, in vehicles or at secondary crime scenes. It is often said “Absence of evidence is evidence itself”, especially DNA evidence, so a convincing argument can be made that Mr. Elliot was not at the crime scenes. An attorney statement found in a co-defendant’s file confirms how weak the case against him actually is: “As the Court is aware, there may have been some serious problems with at least one of these persons ever even being bound over on those charges….” Her special interest is in researching and providing support in innocence cases such as his, where she researches and obtains the documents that an incarcerated, but wrongly convicted individual does not have access to.

In addition to teaching, tutoring, and volunteering, Patricia enjoys gardening and caring for cats and dogs. She works with a friend who raises mastiff pups for whom she does website maintenance and advertising.

Faculty Spotlight: GRCC English Department

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On October 9, 2015, the GRCC English Department full-time faculty participated in their annual Learning Day. This is a day that is designated for professional development, departmental growth, and strengthening the department as a whole. This year, Learning Day was held at Thought Design Learning Studios in Rockford, Michigan. Thought Design offers a holistic and diverse learning experience to improve thinking and brain health. English Department faculty participated in numerous activities and exercises focused on the latest brain science and how that relates to empathy, building relationships, and making better connections with students. The session concluded with the entire department working together to prepare a meal from scratch to further promote improved communication, new ways of thinking together, and problem solving. Hats off to the English Department for continuously striving to grow personally and professionally to better serve our students.

Check out pictures and student testimonials below!


GRCC partners with EC-Council to offer Certified Ethical Hacker program

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ecSept. 25, 2015 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — From the University of Michigan to the Pentagon, no computer network is completely safe from cyber attacks. A new program offered by Grand Rapids Community College will soon equip students to fight them.

GRCC’s computer information systems department is now Michigan’s first EC-Council Academic Accredited Training Center through the International Council of Electronic Commerce Consultants, also known as EC-Council. Students will learn the latest hacking techniques, tools and security measures. After completing the coursework, they will be able to take the Certified Ethical Hacker exam.

Read the full release at:


GRCC Faculty Picnic raised money for students!

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GRCC Faculty held its annual faculty picnic on Saturday, September 12, raising money for the GRCC student food pantry and the GRCC student scholarship fund! A total of $125.00 was donated to the student food pantry, and $53 was collectpicnicfuned for the scholarship fund! GRCC faculty and their families had a great time at this annual pig roast, where the traditional volleyball game was turned into paddle ball, and children laughed and played in the park and had fun with the games, face painting, and crafts. A fun time was had by all!

Check out all the photo’s by clicking on the link below!

Faculty Picnic 2015 Photo’s