The Emeritus Faculty Award award was established in 1985 to honor those instructors/administrators whose dedication and creativity have left an indelible mark on the lives of students and colleagues at GRCC. During their tenure at GRCC and since their retirement, they have continued to promote GRCC’s “Commitment to Excellence” as illustrated by the GRCC values described in the narrative forms.
2019 Faculty Emeritus Winner
Grand Rapids Community College’s 2019 Faculty Emeritus has taught at all levels and using all methods.
Laurie Foster has taught elementary and middle school students, high schoolers, college students, teachers and her fellow faculty members in the classroom, out of the classroom and online.
Foster retired in 2016 as a full professor after working for 25 years in the Biological Sciences Department. She had a gift for making her subject relevant to students at all levels, whether they were enrolled in Honors Biology or General Biology for non-science majors. Her skills in the classroom have been recognized at the college, state, and national levels. She received GRCC’s Excellence in Education Award and Biology Teacher of the Year honors from the Michigan Science Teachers Association.
She expanded her teaching with online classes and helped lead the certification process for other GRCC faculty who were creating such courses. In addition to helping create the curriculum course model that GRCC uses today, she has helped faculty with instructional design and led workshops in accreditation and program review processes.
But her teaching has not occurred only on the GRCC campus. She has planned and participated in many community efforts to introduce science careers to girls in elementary and middle school. She has also served as a consultant for curriculum advancement in various West Michigan school districts and has led in-service opportunities for teachers throughout the Kent Intermediate School District.
Her legacy lives in the processes she helped build at GRCC and through four scholarships she helped develop: the Women in Science Scholarship, the Teachers of Tomorrow Scholarship, the Bill and Laurie Foster Biological Sciences Scholarship, and the Excellence in Education Legacy Scholarship.
Foster was recognized during GRCC’s commencement on April 26, 2019, in the newly renovated Gerald R. Ford Fieldhouse.