Aug. 23, 2019 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids Community College honored employees Sarah Rose, Barbara Bouthillier and Deb DeWent with Excellence in Education Awards for the impact their work has had on students.
The awards were established in 1989 to honor GRCC employees for their contributions to the college, higher education and the community.
Rose, an associate professor, is director of GRCC’s Occupational Support and Disability Support Services programs and received the faculty award.
Bouthillier, an instructor in the Mathematics Department, was honored with the adjunct award.
DeWent, assistant director of Instructional Support, received the staff award.
"The Excellence in Education awards are especially meaningful because the recipients have been nominated by their fellow employees,” President Bill Pink said. "The work that Sarah, Barb and Deb do directly impacts the lives of our students. They are tremendous examples of how we at GRCC embrace the opportunity to help every student who walks through our door and change their lives."
The impact of Rose’s work in the Occupational Support and Disability Support programs is felt across the campus. Colleagues say she inspires and challenges the students she works with to reach beyond what they might think is possible. She also works with faculty and staff so they can make their classrooms and processes as inclusive as possible.
Bouthillier is known for going beyond lectures. She creates games to convey lessons and is able to work with students of varying abilities and with different needs. Students in her class are encouraged to approach problems creatively, to collaborate and to ask questions. Bouthillier also wants her students to be comfortable accessing GRCC resources, whether it’s office hours, tutorial labs or the Counseling and Career Center.
DeWent has played an integral role at GRCC for more than two decades. She has been a driving force to improve the course catalog, commencement and several important processes that touch not only students but faculty as well. Her insight -- and her ability to think “outside the box” -- has improved GRCC’s ability to meet the needs of students and the community. Colleagues say no problem is too big or too small for her to find a workable solution.
The Excellence in Education winners were honored during GRCC’s Opening Day gathering on Thursday.
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.