Michigan Campus Compact honors 4 GRCC students



Leah Nixon

Director of Communications



April 11, 2014 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A state coalition is recognizing four Grand Rapids Community College students for their community service.

Michigan Campus Compact will honor Emily Smitter, Trisha Sruba, Tiffany A. Smith and London Nathan during the 18th annual Outstanding Student Service Awards Celebration on April 12 at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center in East Lansing.

Each year, MiCC recognizes students from member colleges and universities for their outstanding commitment to service-learning and civic engagement. Three types of awards are given: the Outstanding Community Impact Award, the Commitment to Service Award, and the Heart and Soul Award. This year, more than 500 students from 34 campuses will receive awards.

President Dr. Steven C. Ender said GRCC students find many ways to help others — both on and off campus.

“Community service is an important part of our students’ education," he said. “They learn and experience so much by working with different organizations and community members, and I’m always impressed to see the results of their efforts.”

GRCC student Emily Smitter is one of 36 students receiving the Commitment to Service Award. She is president of the Campus Activities Board, which plans student events. Smitter said her involvement in campus life has made her GRCC experience meaningful.

“You make friends and make connections for jobs and internships!” she said. “You build your resume, and you can get volunteer hours! Getting involved has made my experience here so much better!”

Smitter graduates from GRCC this spring and plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management from Ferris State University.

Nathan, Sruba and Smith will receive the Heart and Soul Award, which recognizes students’ time, effort and personal commitment to their communities through service. Sruba and Smith, who are pursuing degrees in exercise science, worked with students in physical education classes at Coit Elementary School. Nathan, a member of GRCC’s Alpha Beta Omega leadership group, worked with fourth-graders at Martin Luther King School on reading skills. He also has organized fundraisers to purchase books and holiday toys for kids at the school. Nathan graduates this spring with an associate degree in business administration and plans to develop a business abroad in international trade.

“These students have been highly praised for their work,” said Michael Schavey, associate director of GRCC’s experiential learning program. “They handled themselves with professionalism, grace and integrity, and always came into the elementary schools with smiles on their faces and wanting to make a difference.”

Michigan Campus Compact is a coalition of college and university presidents who are committed to fulfilling the public purpose of higher education.

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.