GRCC honors four with Salute to Women awards



Leah Nixon

Director of Communications


GRCC honors four with Salute to Women awards

March 24, 2014 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids Superintendent Teresa Weatherall Neal is among the honorees for this year’s Salute to Women awards at Grand Rapids Community College.

The 16th annual ceremony, sponsored by GRCC’s Bob and Aleicia Woodrick Diversity Learning Center, will be held 1:30-3 p.m. March 25 at the Wisner-Bottrall Applied Technology Center, 151 Fountain St. NE.

Being honored this year are:

  • Nicole Bowl, a juvenile justice major at GRCC, first attended the college after graduating from high school. When she realized that she really didn’t know what she wanted to do with her life, she left GRCC. After becoming a mother, she returned to college with a renewed focus and plans to transfer to Ferris State University after graduating from GRCC in May 2014. One of the many people who nominated her for the award wrote: “She returned to school as a student who has clear goals — she is very focused, motivated and keenly devoted to accomplishing her goals.”
  • Elizabeth “Beth” Foster has spent much of her life at GRCC. She graduated from what was then known as Grand Rapids Junior College, and, after earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Michigan, returned to GRCC to teach in the biological sciences department for more than 30 years. Those nominating her say she was a great influence on both students and colleagues: “She truly served to inspire young females in her tutelage by her ambition and professionalism.”
  • Kathryn K. Mullins, executive deputy to GRCC President Dr. Steven C. Ender and liaison to the board of trustees, was surprised to find herself in college after the factory where she worked closed. In her youth, college wasn’t presented as an option, and she became the first in her family to go, eventually receiving an MBA in leadership studies and a doctorate in community college leadership from Ferris State University. She says it’s her responsibility to remove the barriers to success for students attending GRCC today. One person who nominated her for the award wrote, “She maintains a delicate balance always in situations that demand skillful arbitration, attention to detail and political savvy.”
  • Teresa Weatherall Neal, who has led Grand Rapids Public Schools as its superintendent since 2012, had already started her family when her sister encouraged her to continue her education. She received her associate degree from GRCC, a bachelor’s degree in public administration from Grand Valley State University and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Western Michigan University. She encourages people all around her — not just students — to commit to a life of learning: “Often we don’t know what we are capable of until we take the step.”

“This awards ceremony is a fitting conclusion to Women’s History Month,” said Christina Arnold, director of the Woodrick Diversity Learning Center. "We look forward to it every year, and we’re so excited to honor these four women who do so much for our community.”

The ceremony is free and open to the public. GRCC encourages the entire community to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate a need for an accommodation, or have questions about accessibility, please call the Woodrick Diversity Learning Center at (616) 234-3390 in advance of your visit or program participation.

Grand Rapids Community College, established in 1914, offers opportunities for more than 30,000 students annually in degree courses, certification and training programs, workshops and personal enrichment classes. GRCC holds classes on the downtown Grand Rapids campus as well as several locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties.