Food for Thought

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We all know that GRCC, like many community colleges, has a large population of adjunct instructors and that adjuncts often do not receive the same benefits as full-time instructors.

Here are a couple of recent articles regarding adjuncts in higher education for your consideration.  Should adjuncts be paid more?  What benefits, if any, should adjuncts receive from their employers?  Thoughts to ponder…

FUNderwear Run for Gilda’s Club

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The 2014 Laughfest FUNderwear Run – the only time you can run in your underwear on campus!
Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Faculty Association is sponsoring a team to participate in the FUNderwear Run to raise money in support of Gilda’s Club of Grand Rapids.  Run, walk, or jog – this is your opportunity to get a little exercise at the end of our mid-semester break, show your support for a great cause, AND show off your underwear!  Participants are invited to wear their finest underthings – over your running clothes, please.

The entry fee for the first 24 faculty to sign up with our team will be covered by the Faculty Association!

Where: 5K route starts at the GRCC Fieldhouse
When: Sunday, March 9 – run begins at 10a.m.
Fee: Free to the first 24 faculty to sign up – otherwise $25 per person
How to Register:  Scroll down to the link for the Offline Registration form below

FUNderwear Run Offline Registration Form 2014
Print out and complete the registration form and send it to Katie Vander Meer (  Registration forms must be received by Monday, February 17 so they can be sent in as a group and have the registration fee paid.

Not up for a run?  You can still participate!
The Faculty Association is also hosting a fundraiser supporting this event.  If you’d like to make a donation, please visit

All proceeds go to Gilda’s Club of Grand Rapids, a free cancer, grief, and emotional health support community of children, adults, families and friends.

The New Contract…

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…is in the final proofreading stages!  Thanks go out to everyone doing the hard work of checking over all the details to make sure that everything is accurate.

Meanwhile, you can reference a variety of bits and pieces – tentative agreements and memos of understanding (MOUs) are available in the Contract section under the Member Resources menu.


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GRCC’s English Department is hosting the 2014 TYCA Midwest Conference this year!  Taking place October 2-4, 2014 in conjunction with ArtPrize, the focus of the conference is  “Teaching as Art – Practical Creativity and Measurable Innovation”.  Proposals to present are being accepted through May 16, 2014.


Two of GRCC’s English faculty are closely involved in organizing and coordinating the conference this year.  Katie Kalisz is in charge of local arrangements and Nora Neill is the 2014 Program Chair.

For more information about TYCA and the 2014 conference, click here.

Faculty Council Meeting 12/6/13

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Minutes for the Faculty Council Meeting held on Dec. 6 are now available under the Member Resources menu at the top of the page.  Important information about some new Memos of Understanding and other topics included!

Upcoming Faculty Association Meeting

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Happy 2014 Everyone!

The first GRCC Faculty Association Meeting of the new year will take place on Friday, January 10 at 10am in the Recital Hall on the second floor of the Music Building.  As usual, coffee and donuts will be provided to tempt us away from our New Year’s resolutions to eat healthier and lose weight!  The meeting agenda can be found under the Member Resources tab above.

You should also note that January 10 is designated as a faculty preparation day and there should be no required administrative meetings scheduled.

For Faculty Council members, the first meeting of the year is scheduled for Friday, January 17.

New Meeting Minutes

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Minutes from the latest Faculty Council meeting held on November 22 are now available under the Member Resources tab.

College service opportunity for faculty – the Provost has indicated that she is open to faculty serving on the Deans Council.  If you are interested, please contact Fred van Hartesveldt or Provost Gilda Gely!

Coalition for Secure Retirement – New Link

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The Faculty Association is a member of the Coalition for Secure Retirement and our own President, Fred van Hartesveldt is an officer of the group.  The Coalition is an organization of groups that represent both active and retired state and school employees in Michigan.

The CSR provides services such as pension workshops, monitoring of retirement legislation, quarterly reports and action alerts to member groups, press releases in response to legislation, and outreach to legislators and state officials.

You can find the link to the CSR website under the Member Resources menu at the top of this page.

Faculty Spotlight – Matt Douglas

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Matt Douglas is a Professor in the Biological Sciences department at GRCC and also consults for many other institutions, including the John Ball Park Zoological Society and Frederick Meijer Garden.  He focuses on butterflies, moths, and other insects, especially the Monarch butterflies we know so well here in Michigan.

Matt has traveled extensively throughout the Americas, numerous islands, Europe and Africa (specifically Tanzania) and is driven by his zeal to see new lands, meet new peoples, and observe butterflies and moths.  Though the study of Monarch butterfly migration has been Matt’s specialty, he also travels to see the world and enjoy the company of many current and former students from GRCC’s biodiversity classes, Biology 153 and 154.

We all have a great opportunity to see some of Matt’s adventures tomorrow (yes, tomorrow!), Monday, November 18 from 2-3pm in 333 Calkins where Matt will present a feast of information and images from his travels to Costa Rica, Panama, and Tanzania – butterflies and giraffes and elephants, oh my!

The Armen Awards

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The Armen Awards highlight the practice of service learning at GRCC.  Service learning focuses on linking course learning outcomes with meeting needs in the community.  This is a method of allowing students to gain some real-world experience and creating a greater link between GRCC and the surrounding community.

The Armen Awards is a competition event in which teams of faculty and students design service learning projects that bring together course outcomes, institutional learning outcomes, and the needs of community partners.

This year, eight proposals have been submitted for consideration:

  • *Hope Hagan and her Business & Technical Writing course is partnering with the Covenant House.
  • *Aleta Anderson and her Introductory German course is partnering with Palmer Elementary School.
  • *Sarah Krajewski and her Biology for Educators course is partnering with Immaculate Heart of Mary School.
  • *Dr. Kate Byerwalter and her Child Psychology course is partnering with Family Promise.
  • *Dr. Sherry Knoppers and her Community Transcultural Nursing course is partnering with South East Outreach Ministry.
  • *Gayl Beals and his Automotive Job Training course is partnering with Mel Trotter Ministries.
  • *Jolanta Lanier and her Personal Health course is partnering with the American Cancer Society.
  • *Bethane Talsma and her Office Ethics and Etiquette course is partnering with Gilda’s Club.

For more information on service learning and the Armen Awards, click here: