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GRCC Student Captures National Award Newman Award - Honors Inspiring College Leaders

Grand Rapids Community College student Vincent James, a Caledonia High School graduate, is one of 137 students from 30 states, all nominated by their college presidents, to receive a Newman Civic Fellows Award from the national Campus Compact organization.  

Campus Compact is a national coalition of more than 1,100 college and university presidents — representing some 6 million students—who are committed to fulfilling the civic purposes of higher education.  The Newman Civic Fellows Award was created this year to honor student leaders on college campuses who have demonstrated an investment in creating long term change in their community.

“It’s great to see Vincent get this kind of recognition for the work he does,” said GRCC President Steven C. Ender.  “We always strive to help our students see how their education can impact others as well as themselves and this award captures that philosophy.”

According to Ender and GRCC faculty and staff, in his first few weeks at GRCC, Vincent became an integral member of Campus Activities and Student Congress two of the most influential and high functioning student organizations on campus. He then established and led a new student organization called GRCC Cares to promote the benefits of volunteering through identifying needs around Greater Grand Rapids.   It was through this group that Vincent created a poverty simulation event to raise awareness of the challenges our citizens face while experiencing the effects of homelessness.  He also serves seven months a year with the Basketball Buddies program for Special Olympics.

 “Our college is very proud of Vincent and the impact he has made at GRCC and in the community,” said Ender.  “His passion and leadership are truly inspiring.”

This is the second national award to come to GRCC through the work of The Department of Experiential Learning.  In mid-May, the college was named to President Obama’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.

Grand Rapids Community College, established in 1914, offers opportunities for over 32,000 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 additional locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties.