GRCC Faculty participate in FUNderwear Run

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On Sunday, March 13, 2016, GRCC Faculty took to the streets wearing their favorite pair of underwear to participate in the 2016 FUNderwear Run. The FUNderwear Run is a 5k foot race that invites participants to wear their finest (and funniest) underwear over their running clothes in support of Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids. Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids provides free emotional healthcare to children, adults, families, and friends on any kind of cancer journey or those grieving the death of someone in their life due to any cause.

Overall, GRCC Faculty was able to raise $1,245 for Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids.  Thank you to all who supported the team of runners and for helping to bring laughter and awareness of emotional health to the streets of Grand Rapids.


FUNderwear Run GRCC Faculty Team 2016

Wilfredo Barajas, Alejandro Saldivar, Monica Leneway, Joe Bliss, Owen Danko, Sarah Rose, Katie Vander Meer, Andrew Rozema, Jenna Hess, Rosario Montes-Sutton, Patricia Morris, Anwar Thomas, Audrey Heckwolf, Christina McElwee, and Michelle Allen.


Faculty Spotlight: Sophia Brewer

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Sophia Brewer started her journey at GRCC in 2008 as an Adjunct Librarian. In 2014, she was promoted to a full-time position. Currently, she works as the SeriSophia Brewerals & Collection Development Librarian. This means she is responsible for the overall collection of printed books, ebooks, magazines, journals, streaming videos, etc. in the library’s collection. Her duties also include everything from collection management to reference, to teaching library research and academic advising. Sophia strongly feels, “the library is a great place to work, not only do we work directly with students on a daily basis, we also work with faculty, staff and administrators to ensure that students have access to the resources they need to be successful.”

In fact, one of the things that Sophia values most is the relationships that she is able to build with her liaison areas. Each librarian at GRCC is assigned departments and/or areas of study in which they have to build collections and engage the faculty, staff, and students. In her time at GRCC, she has been able to work with Business, Academic Foundation Programs, Diversity Learning Center, ESL, Gender and Women Studies, Reading, Fashion and Interior Design. By engaging the faculty, staff and students in her liaison areas, she has been able to really customize instruction and resources for the students in those specific areas of study.

Sophia has also been responsible for many innovative projects within the library including de- selection projects, space assessments, software/vendor selection and research. In addition to her work in the library she has also participated on several committees and College Action Projects (CAP). She is currently on the Diversity Team, the Campus Climate CAP and the Lowest Reading Level CAP. Sophia has also volunteered and ushered at many campus events such as MLK Day, Giants Awards, The Diversity Lecture Series, Salute to Women, Latino Youth Conference and much more.

Through the work that Sophia has done with the Diversity Team and on the Campus Climate CAP, her passion for learning and serving has been reinforced. She is truly grateful to work for an institution that values diversity and inclusion. Sophia greatly appreciates being able to work in an open, public institution. Affordable access to knowledge, education and job training really adds purpose and meaning to the work that she does here at GRCC.

In addition to all of the marvelous work that Sophia Brewer does here at GRCC, during the November 2015 election, she won a seat on the Grand Rapids Board of Library Commissioners. This position allows her the opportunity to advocate for free and open access to knowledge and services for all Grand R
apids citizens. This is a great complement to the work that she is already doing within the college.

Sophia strongly values the relationships that she has built with her colleagues. She says, “In every facet of my work here at GRCC, I have to give credit to all of my colleagues especially the librarians, Lori Debie, Mike Klawitter, Nan Schichtel and Steven Putt. We all take our work seriously and support each other.” We, at GRCC, are so thankful to have such a passionate advocate that works hard to promote positive progress toward our goal of educating and preparing students for success.

Adjunct Faculty Spotlight – Elizabeth Raubolt

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Elizabeth RauboltElizabeth Raubolt has been an instructor of Art History in the Visual Arts Department at GRCC for just over two years. This semester she is teaching AT105: History of Art Before 1400 and AT106: History of Art Since 1400 both on campus and online. She has also taught art history for GRCC’s middle college program at Wyoming and Cedar Springs high schools.

While Elizabeth loves teaching art history, she really enjoys the opportunity to work with such a diverse student body. She strives to make the study of art history a hands-on experience and aims to design lessons that teach both the course objectives and emphasize the importance of applying the concepts and skills to real world situations. As an educator, one of her most important goals is to create an engaging and supportive environment where she can reach every student. Elizabeth hopes to ensure that students take something from her courses that will help them develop confidence in their abilities
and acquire the necessary skills to successfully navigate the challenges of being a college student and beyond.

In addition to teaching, Elizabeth received BA in Classical Archaeology and Anthropology from the University of Michigan and her Master’s Degree in Mediterranean Art and Archaeology from the University of Missouri. Currently, she is a Ph.D. Candidate in Roman and Late Antique Art and Archaeology at the University of Missouri.  In addition, she is an active field archaeologist and has worked on projects in Italy, Portugal, Israel, Greece, and most recently, western Turkey. Finally, she is the co-author of the entry, “Sardis, Ritual Egg Deposits” in the 2015 publication, The Archaeology of Food: An Encyclopedia.

 Beyond art history and archaeology, she enjoys time with her husband: taking walks with their Bernese Mountain Dog, Cleo, and spending time at their cabin in northern Michigan.

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.”