Key support at GRCC helps woman become first college graduate in family



Leah Nixon

Director of Communications

(616) 234-4213

April 19, 2017 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Support from the very start has helped a Grand Rapids Community College student become the first in her family to graduate from college.

Wife and mother Tammy Loggins was working different full-time jobs to make ends meet when she decided that college was the way to better herself and her family. 

She found life as a student to be far different than she expected: "My first semester, I was a part-time student just trying to get into the swing of things."

But she also received key encouragement in her very first class -- from English professor Jennifer Shinabarger: "She really encouraged me to look into the future and set goals that were obtainable. She kept me on track and always took the extra time to clarify anything that I misunderstood."

Loggins ended that first semester with a 4.0 GPA and a spot on the President's List. She then opted to become a full-time student.

"I was shocked by my accomplishments and proud to have learned my own capabilities when it comes to academics," she said.

Loggins will receive an associate degree at commencement, which takes place 7 p.m. April 28 at Ford Fieldhouse, 226 Lyon St. NE. She plans to transfer to Grand Valley State University and pursue a bachelor's degree -- and possibly a master's degree -- in social work with a minor in criminal justice.

Grand Rapids Community College has been offering educational opportunities in West Michigan for more than 100 years. Established in 1914, the college offers degree courses, certification and training programs, and workshops and personal enrichment classes. Offerings are held on GRCC’s downtown Grand Rapids campus, and at several locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties, as well as through distance learning.