Press release: Four remarkable women celebrated for contributions to GRCC and West Michigan

Kathy Mullins
Executive Deputy to the President and Board Liaison

March 22, 2013, GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The 2013 Salute to Women awards reception honoring four outstanding women for their personal and professional contributions to Grand Rapids Community College is set for Tuesday, March 26, from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at the Wisner-Bottrall Applied Technology Center Banquet Rooms.
The 15th annual event celebrates the accomplishments of: Dr. Joan C. Berends, retired director of nursing programs; Myrna P. Granderson, a nurse, author and educator; Misty McClure-Anderson, a valued member of the interdisciplinary studies and instructional support staff; and nursing major Carly Misech.
The banquet is sponsored by the GRCC Bob and Aleicia Woodrick Diversity Learning Center, and the awards that afternoon will be presented by GRCC Provost Dr. Gilda Gely.
“It's something we look forward to every year,” Christina Arnold said. “It's a great way to recognize these four women who are connected to GRCC and who do so much for our community - and a great way to conclude Women's History Month. We're extremely proud of all of them.”
Dr. Berends, who helped start GRCC’s nursing program, was class valedictorian during graduation ceremonies at Lee High School at age 16. Although unable to enroll in nursing school because of her age, she boarded a bus and enrolled herself in 19 credit hours at Calvin College in the pre-med program. She then completed a combined pre-med program between Calvin and Blodgett Hospital in only three years. Dr. Berends’ career in education led to teaching part-time at both Calvin College and GRJC, culminating in a full-time position as GRCC Director of the Nursing Programs and Department Chair. She was instrumental in helping the programs achieve national accreditation.
Granderson, a passionate and eloquent advocate for the less privileged, authored her own success story in life by overcoming social and economic challenges to earn her nursing degree from GRCC. After graduation from South High School, she was inspired to enter the GRJC nursing program and eventually became an award-winning writer and nursing assistant instructor within the Grand Rapids Job Corp.
McClure-Anderson has made a lasting impact at GRCC through leadership, compassion and commitment to GRCC. She is a highly respected member of the staff who began as a student employee and quickly ascended to a full-time Educational Support Professional (ESP) position. She has held several key support positions at the college and in the ESP Union over the past 20 years.  She currently supports Instructional Support and Interdisciplinary Studies while serving as President of the ESP Union.
Misech was born in Palau, a small island nation in the Western Pacific, and graduated from Grand Rapids Central High School in 2008.  She is working toward her associate degree in nursing while working as a student employee in GRCC’s Student Employment Services office.  Misech has a reputation for her outstanding customer service and mentoring skills.  She also takes pride in embracing education and growth through change.  She inherited these values from her parents, who are currently caring for her son in Palau while she attends GRCC.
The 2013 Salute to Women awards reception is free and open to the public.
Grand Rapids Community College, established in 1914, offers opportunities for over 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 additional locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties.